(This post was written by Michael Wallace, High School Pastor)
When I think of the term radical, my mind often conjures up images of extremists and people who seem to have lost touch with reality. So, to title a high school event radical is, even in my mind, kinda crazy. Who wants to be radical? Who wants to be seen as the weirdo that stands up for what he believes or the crazy girl who shares her relationship with God with her friends?
The truth is, radical is the requirement to follow Jesus. Matthew 4:19 shows us that following Jesus isn’t about becoming a scholar or teacher, but a fisher of men. That’s radical. Acts 4:2 shows us that following Jesus means telling others about Him even (or especially) when it causes some awkwardness or friction. That’s radical. Luke 14:33 shows us that the first step in following is to recognize the cost of following. Understand that it’s going to hurt. Check the price before selecting your order, because the bill is gonna be steep. Following Christ means being willing to give up everything. That’s radical.
So what does this mean? How do we actually pull this off in our current culture? Four simple letters: O.B.E.Y. The hardest word in the world to act on. You see, following Jesus, really following Him, is born from obedience. The disciples obeyed when they dropped their nets and followed Him. In John 14 Jesus is abundantly clear that the way we show Him our love is to simply obey!
Basically, following Jesus means that we “listen to God and do what He says” just like Jesus did. How can something so basic be so radical? Because our ability to hear God is easily muffled when we listen to ourselves first. When we listen to our fears, our doubts, and a world that doesn’t even know Him.
Don’t let the people you are trying to save dictate the truth for you. Be radical. Listen and obey.