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Which god?    God or god?

“Thou shalt have no other god before me.”  (Exodus 20:3 KJV)

September 5, 2012

Put on the full armor of … so that you can take your stand against … so that when the day of … comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.




If you took the lines above and used them as a sneak preview of some new video game or TV reality series that was recruiting participants - I’d bet it would be wildly popular.  If it was the lead in to a 3D movie that was being advertised, and the studio didn’t want to give anything away - people would fill in the blanks and be waiting in line to see it.

It sounds very eXciting.  
And that’s what people are into these days.

eXtreme sports -
eXtreme reality shows -
eXtreme anything.


Or how about this one -

“Is he a man?” asked Lucy.

“Aslan a man!” said Mr Beaver sternly. Certainly not. I tell you he is King of the wood and the son of the great emperor-beyond- the-sea. Don’t you know who is the King of the Beasts? Aslan is a lion – the Lion, the great lion.”

“ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man. Is he – quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”

“That you will, dearie, and no mistake” said Mrs Beaver; “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”

“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.

“Safe?” said Mr Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

Sounds pretty eXciting too.
What if you could actually step into this adventure?
Would you?


Or maybe this one gets your attention -

If you follow <this person>, you follow the most radical man who ever existed. He marches into the world with … and offers people a whole new way of looking at the world and living within it. His is the most radical message you can … live. He turns everything upside down and calls us to do likewise. <this person> is not vitally committed to our comfort and safety; he is committed to the advancing of his kingdom revolution… everywhere.

That sounds like quite an adventure.
Anyone ready to sign up?


Many of you may be wondering - what the heck is he talking about?
This is a site on Christianity -
this stuff sounds interesting - eXciting - even eXtreme -
but Christianity is boring -
it’s all about peace and love -
it can’t be this.

Wanna bet?


Here are the entire quotes from above.

The first is from the Bible -
the full sequence being from The Armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-19 -

The Armor of God

Eph 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,  15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Eph 6:19 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,  20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.


The second is actually the complete excerpt -
From The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe -
one of the books in The Chronicles of Narnia by c. S. Lewis.

In this book - Aslan - the one who isn’t safe - is Jesus.

Really - Jesus not safe?


And that’s where the third quote comes in.
It’s from The Jesus of Suburbia <Have We Tamed the Son of God to Fit Our Lifestyle>,
by Mike Erre.

The entire excerpt on that one is -

Jesus does heal, of course, and bless us financially and bring peace. But all of that does not even come close to Scripture’s teaching on what it means to follow Jesus. If you follow Jesus, you follow the most radical man who ever existed. He marches into the world with kindness, peace, and love, and offers people a whole new way of looking at the world and living within it. His is the most radical message you can preach or live. He turns everything upside down and calls us to do likewise. Jesus is not vitally committed to our comfort and safety; he is committed to the advancing of his kingdom revolution in the hearts of people everywhere.

In talking about what his kingdom is like, Jesus announced, “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men take hold of it” (Matt. 11:12). In other words, God is doing something so powerful and dangerous that only those who are willing to embrace it with forceful intensity may take hold of the movement of God’s kingdom. The revolution of Jesus isn’t for the faint of heart or the middle-of-the-road. It isn’t safe. It isn’t comfortable. It costs us a great deal to say yes. We take hold of the revolution by abandoning ourselves to Jesus and letting go of everything else.


There was a comment in Erre’s book about how we never hear these kinds of things on Sunday mornings.

There’s two ways to take that.

One - it would scare some people off - which it might.

The other - it could bring in a whole new group of people!
This is eXciting stuff.


It like the ultimate fantasy game -
eXcept it’s for real.
It’s real life and death - and the prize is your soul - forever.
Talk about high stakes adventure.


If you’re into war games and such -
like where you going into a jungle, or heavily wooded area - and the “enemy” is hiding - how about some real life war - and the enemy is both real and invisible!  And when you’re dead - you’re really dead.  But - when you’re alive - you live forever.  Maybe the best news though - if you “play it right” - you cannot lose!


Hate sitting on the sidelines - while other people are getting involved and you’re not invited?
Guess what.
You’re not only invited - you’re already “playing” - whether you know it or not.
If you don’t know it - you’re almost certainly gonna lose.
If you know it - and follow the rules - you’re gonna win.
No invitation required -
stop waiting for it -
you got it when you were born -
and you’re already involved in the greatest adventure ever.


Maybe you like jumping out of airplanes -
or hang gliding -
or bungee jumping -
anything where things are out of your control.
Your life is literally in someone else’s hands -
whoever put together your safety equipment -
the parachute - the glider - whatever -
you do it for the thrill of not being in control.
That’s what you’re already involved in here.
You may not know it yet - but you are not in control.
You’re a player in the “game” -
but who are you trusting - God or Satan?
Trust God - you win.
Trust Satan - you lose -
choose to try to not play - you probably lose.


Maybe you like to read a good mystery -
do some detective work to find out what’s really going on as you observe the characters in the book.
You can do this with life too -
observe good and evil -
but instead of just reading the book -
you can play a part in the outcome.
In the end - good (God) will win -
so the end is known -
but who plays which parts - including yourself -
that has yet to play out - at least for us to see.


I could go on and on with these types of scenarios - but I leave it to you to add your own if I haven’t included it.


The point is -
we are made with these types of desires -
there something in each of us that wants to do -
something that gets us eXcited -
peaks our interest -
gives is the desire to do something.

Those desires were with us from birth -
just like the invitation to join the spiritual war going on around us.

If you haven’t found your “thing” yet - please do.  It is there - waiting to be found.

If you have found it -
but you’re not yet involved in the ultimate eXtreme living -
eXtreme Christianity -

Whatever level of eXcitement you felt in the best moment of your fantasy game / war game / sporting event / book -
whatever that is -
it’s a drop in the bucket compared to this one -
the ultimate eXtreme eXperience -
eXtreme Christiamity.


There’s no bench warming -
no one who won’t get picked to be on the team -
no time outs -
no commercials -
action can come at any time -
there are always plot twists -
you never know where you’ll be going next -
or what you’re going to be doing.
Just know that He will always be with you -
and if you stay with Him -
He will win - and take you with Him.

And -
we’re not talking small stakes here.
We’re not playing for a few hundred dollars -
or for a car -
not even for a luxury car -
or millions of dollars -
or a private island someplace.
Nothing as trivial as that.
This is life and death -
and it’s for ever.


Bet you never heard all of this in a Sunday morning sermon.

If you did -
what would you do?

Would you tune it out?
Would you sleep through it?

Or would you say - where can I sign up for this?


eXtreme Religion - Christianity