Radical or Fundamental?

People who achieve excellence are often admired and receive tremendous accolades. From business to academia to athletics, those who obtain a higher level of accomplishment than the given status quo, especially in the face of adversity, are highly revered. Curiosity stirs some to look deeper into the reasons for their success, only to turn away with a roll of an eye when they perceive the methods used to obtain greatness are considered unrealistic. Most desire the end results but only a few are willing to invest what’s necessary to achieve those results. Everyone wants a quick fix or an easy solution; a smooth path with the least amount of resistance. Anything requiring maximum effort, energy, time or commitment areconsidered by many to be unrealistic expectations. There’s a word often used to describe those willing to commit to a goal that seems unattainable: radical.

How many desire to lose weight or have a healthier lifestyle, but when faced with the reality of what it will take to get there (intense exercise, complete change in diet, eating habits and consistency over the course of time), turn away with the mentality it’s not realistic? Or how many desire to attend an elite university, but won’t commit the necessary time to study to obtain the grades, because after all, studying for hours upon end is pretty extreme? How many want to build their own successful business but aren’t willing to put in the necessary labor to lay the ground work to build such a company? How many desire a stronger marriage and family but aren’t willing to invest the time and energy? The list of examples is endless, but you get the picture.

How many of us desire a closer walk with Jesus? I know I do. But have we considered what it takes to get there? Look at what God says:

1 Peter 1:16 – “Be holy because I Am holy.”
Galatians 5:24 – “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
Matthew 5:44 – “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”
Matthew 16:24 – If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”
Luke 14(*v.26) 27, 33 – “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple…So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”
Jeremiah 29:13 – And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Um, I’d say that’s pretty radical, wouldn’t you? And that’s just a sampling! The main reason Biblical Christians, that is those genuinely living out their faith as prescribed in Scripture, are considered radical is because there are so many “Christians” who aren’t genuinely living out their faith. It’s an anomaly. And yet, in God’s eyes, it’s not radical at all; it’s fundamentally how we’re called to live.The disciples, the Apostles and early church understood that (Acts 4:19-20; 5:29; Gal. 2:20; Phil. 3:7-11). Do we?