Recently, a missionary from Africa spoke to our church on Hebrews 11 and what it means to be a person of faith. God really used his message to convict me of sin and neglect in my life, in my home, my ministry, my love for others, my eternal perspective. It was a tearful day, but it is sweet to see how God's grace shines through and brings comfort in the midst of conviction. God used it to encourage me to take heart and accept the challenge He brings to my life as I seek to walk in light of His Word.
But reality settles in and I wonder, "How do I go from feeling very convicted, to making life changes, when I wake up the next day and everything seems the same?" I almost felt that day that everyone should be talking about it, that my world should be shaken, turned upside down and twisted into the proper shape. But that didn't happen, doesn't happen. You wake up and life is the same. So I puzzle over how to incorporate new convictions into every day life.
For me the phrase that keeps coming to mind is "feeling the pinch." How can I feel the pinch for the Lord? You know, serve Him until it hurts. Get out of my comfort zone; stretch myself; be okay with little sleep, late nights, uncomfortable visits with hurting people; allow my schedule to change even if it means dealing with a fussy baby; figure out how to get the estranged neighbor to feel loved and important, for new ways to share God's light with her; sacrifice material things to help others. To "be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves," (James 1:22). Really, to keep the eternal perspective at the forefront and remember that we are aliens on this earth and to stop feeling like this world is home, "waiting for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God," Hebrews 11:9.
Are you feeling the pinch?