I hope the Challenging the Assumptions sermon series caused you, like it did me, to pause and consider the current state of our witness for Christ. The realities discussed hit painfully close to home! But more importantly, what was the outcome? Was it merely some temporary discomfort replaced by the latest attention grabber? Or was the result genuine life-change as a result of the Holy Spirit’s conviction?
The take away for me was a growing understanding of what it means to live a compelling life. Not a more Christian life…not a morally superior life…not even a perfect life. This side of heaven, we’ll never be any of those things. Instead, God has called us to live a life that is compelling.
Gary Thomas addresses this call:
Perhaps one of the best ways to engage our culture is to do the hard work necessary to cooperate fully with God to develop a compelling life. Bono isn’t a compelling figure just because he’s a rock star; he’s compelling because he’s a rock star who has something to say.
What defines a compelling life? Someone who is available to God and regularly experiences God’s fellowship, presence, and empowerment. There are no substitutes, no shortcuts. We are not compelling; on the contrary, we are sinful, often poor imitations of our Lord. But when God lives through us, shines through us, and overcomes our worst inclinations with his merciful transformation—that’s compelling. People become interested not so much in us but in what’s so different about us. The non-Christian notices the changes as we become more and more like Christ—if indeed we are experiencing more and more of Christ. [The Beautiful Fight pg. 27, newly re-titled Holy Available]
What would outsiders looking in say about believers if we were each living compelling lives? That’s a pretty incredible thought! But living a compelling life is not something that happens naturally or even easily. In fact, it’s not something I can simply choose to do, at all. So how can I live a compelling life, day in and day out? As Gary said, it happens only as we are experiencing more and more of Christ. That must be my priority—experiencing more and more of Christ, day by day, minute by minute. Can I choose to live a compelling life and it just happen? No! But I can choose, moment by moment, to experience more and more of Christ. It’s only there that Christ’s work in me becomes compelling!So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. –2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT