permit me a one-day break from the “mclaughlin group” series to address something i read earlier today. in case you, my cherished readers, didn’t get to see it, i want to share it here for your consideration.
brian kruckenberg was the “guest blogger” on swerve.lifechurch.tv today. he is the life church campus pastor in mesa, arizona and wrote a powerful piece that i urge all of you to read.
he made one particular statement, though, that stopped me in my tracks (and, in fact, fits in well with our current discussion of the state of the church). kruckenberg wrote:
“I’m learning that the only way to allow God to truly use you is to be in over your head.”
i gotta’ tell you, i am freshly convicted of my tendency to step into places where only god belongs. far too often i try to solve problems and fix issues in my own power and by my own skillfulness. sometimes it is simply lack of faith. sometimes, though, it is something much more heinous. occasionally i don’t trust god because i am fearful. i am far too concerned about what people think of me. i am easily motivated by adulation and dissuaded by criticism. i carefully choose the endeavors that make me look good and have little chance of failure.
god calls me to trust him deeply, but i satisfy myself by thrashing around noisily in the shallows.
i am excited by the idea of being “in over my head.” i want to wrestle with issues–right out where everyone can see–that i have no chance of understanding intellectually. i want to engage people who are spiritually curious in a way that focuses on who jesus is, and diminishes me. i want to lead my people into impossible places, miraculous places. i want crazy faith, and i want to use it to trust god for ridiculous things.
but my pride tempers and smothers my faith. it may look like caution and diplomacy and expediency, but it’s pride. god knows it and i know it. for me, the first step to being in “over my head” is to deal with the self-aggrandizing tendencies that paralyze me. like kruckenberg,
“I am scared, yet excited, after coming face to face with the fact that I can’t do it without God. I feel completely inadequate yet incredibly energized at the same time.”
look out, deep end, here i come!