Manure Growth or Smell?

As I am reading the last chapter of Crazy Love, Francis Chan brought up a great metaphor for Christians. Christians are like manure. When it is spread out then it helps everything grow better, but if kept in one big pile then it stinks horribly. This lead me to ponder which am I? Am I the kind that reeks or the kind of Christian that trusts God enough to let Him spread me out. The ultimately factor is TRUST.
True faith means holding nothing back. It means putting every hope in God’s fidelity to His Promises. Do I trust God enough? Do I have faith? God can spread me out in many ways. He could have me go outside of my normal group of Christian friend, increasing my material giving, or using my time to serve others. The question is do I trust Him to let Him work wonders in my life for His glory?
In the past I have been that pile of manure that stinks. I hung out only with Christians and worked on getting fed and focused only on my relationship with God. I was me centered. I was worried about God helping me, but didn’t realize that I needed to spread out and help others grow. I have learned this year to share my faith. It is not something for me to hoard for myself but to brag to others about how awesome God is.
Many times I have made the excuse “I am waiting for God to reveal His calling on my life” I use it as a way to avoid action and avoid obedience to God. But I realized I never hear God calling me to sit in front of the television or to exercise or to go hang out with my friends or to go to small group. But guess what? I still do those things. These aren’t wrong things to do, but I am quick to rationalize my own entertainment and priorities but slow to commit to serving God. Jesus says “If you love me, you will obey what I command” John 14:15. Jesus did not say “If you love me you will obey me when you feel called or good about doing so..” NO! He said if you love me, OBEY. Period. End of Story. This obedience is what it means to live a life of faith.
Obedience is the main factor, but looking back on it many times my obedience to the Lord has been actions that are the most meaningful in my life. They have been the most satisfying parts of my life. And most importantly they were the times when I truly experienced life with God. Yes, I may get a lot through a study with friends over coffee or I may learn something new about God through my devotion. BUT the times I feel closest to God is through obedience and serving Him.
This is kind of a tangent but not completely. This year I have been praying for many of my friends that love Christ, but have become distant. I have found that it is actually the hardest to reach to the only Sunday morning Christians or the only Christmas and Easter Christians. They know the facts, but they haven’t experienced Christ in their daily life. I have been praying all year long for one friend in particular. I met her at the beginning of this year and her immediate response when I first brought up God was: I am a Christian, but I am not religious. I don’t do the whole church thing. I felt confused how could someone know God, but not want to actively seek Him. Sure, I may have my dry spells. But I cannot get through life without Him. Well, I felt discouraged because I had no idea how to tell someone how much God loves them when they already know that. So I resulted to prayer. And guess what… I was talking to my friend today about my small group and she said “You know what? I think I want to join your small group next year.” What an answer from God and a wonderful way to end the semester. I was feeling like this semester flew by and I really wasn’t living completely for God’g glory this year and it just felt great to have this prayer answered.
I am at this weird crossroad. I cannot wait for this semester to be over. It has been long and stressful. I can’t wait to see my family and friends. But I am so excited for next semester that I just want summer to fly by.

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