To Love & To Lead: Staff Discussions

UNNATURAL

Posted on Dec 13, 2017 by Brian Seewald, Youth and Family Pastor

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ən-ˈna-chə-rəl | “contrary to the ordinary course of nature; extraordinary; untypical”

“Since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” 1 Peter 1:16

I am grateful that you are taking the time, whether it is via email, cell phone or the real paper issue, to read this newsletter article. Before you go any further, pause a moment and take a deep breath…no…seriously take in deep breath; catch as much air as you can and just let it out. There you go…isn’t that much better. It feels odd or even unnatural for some or even many of us to simply pause and breathe deep. We are being groomed by society to become Energizer Bunnies, where we just keep on going. It is good to stop. It is good to breathe deeply. It is good to reflect. So hopefully at this moment you are a bit more relaxed and I have your attention. With that in mind, I am going to ask you to do one more thing: say out loud: “I am Different!” Go on…say it! Say it with conviction. Say it with the power and authority of Christ: “I am Different!” Hmmm…I sense the hesitation in some of you. Why? Does the word “different” freak you out? It shouldn’t, if you know Christ. Why? Because we are different! So go on, if you didn’t already, and say, better yet, boldly proclaim: “I AM DIFFERENT!”

Way to go! I knew you could do it! For some this exercise was easy and yet for others not so much. It is unnatural to claim something that is not widely accepted or socially normal. But that is okay. Jesus was never widely accepted. He wasn’t socially normal. He stood for everything that was different, uncommon, and unnatural. Jesus was conceived in an unnatural way…in fact it was supernatural. He was not a conformer to the world but one who was set apart for the world; One who walked in light not in darkness. His lifestyle would be considered unnatural for the human mind and heart…because it is! What is natural then for the human? One word: selfishness (“For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…” 2 Timothy 3:2-4). Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God! Did you hear that? Is God our first love? If we are different (say it again: “I am different”) then it would be evident in our passion and heart for Him and others above all else.

This leads me to the heart of what God wants to share through me. If we are different and if we are to be unnatural and if we are to be set apart as Jesus Christ was, then what are we doing to pursue that lifestyle? I get it. We have gotten trapped and caught up in the things of the world: stuff, money, pleasure…………………..ME! God is calling us away from that. John 3:30 says, “For He must increase and I must decrease.” I love the word MUST. This is a requirement in order to move from the “natural” way in which the world operates into the “unnatural” or better yet the “supernatural.” Friends, we have lived far too long for ourselves. We have plenty. It’s time we share. Share what we have. We have Jesus! The greatest gift we can give anyone, especially this time of year! It’s time we operate in the supernatural (that is by the Spirit of God) and submit to God and flee from the natural (that is the flesh). What is God saying to you in this moment? What is He calling you to this day? What can this look like as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ? He is the gift the world is truly waiting for!

Before you go, pause one more time and take a deep breath…catch as much air as you can and hold it…just kidding…let it out. Now say, “I am Different.” Let’s not hold onto what was meant to be let out! Go live and be the difference in the world today! Be a difference maker (a disciple who makes disciples).

Brian Seewald

 



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