david platt wrote a book called radical. several important people in my life read this book and commented on it’s radicalness. i ordered said book 3 months ago, read the first chapter & was subsequently knocked flat on my back at least 12 times.
my outlook. my heart. my faith. completely rocked.
confession: i was suddenly scared…scared to discover how wrong i was, scared to discover how far from my Father i had strayed, scared to be smacked in the face with His truth. so scared in fact that i put radical on the shelf and walked away.
but then i made my to-do list for the week and i found myself writing “read two chapters of radical” at the bottom of the list — now where did that little thought creep in from? well friends, my Father knows best.
and so begin my reflections on radical. some thoughts will undoubtedly be fearful and broken and battered. others will be marked with beauty and hope and redemption. but all thoughts will be full of gratitude because they come from a heart that belongs to a child of the King.
chapter 2: too hungry for words.
what is the Gospel? — the underlying question of chapter 2. — it is God’s Word…it tells us who He is, who we are, and how very much we need Him.
but is God’s Word enough for me, for us? the question hit the bullseye of my gut & i found myself grasping for my answer as i read the following two paragraphs.
what if we take away the cool music and the cushioned chairs? what if the screens are gone and the stage is no longer decorated? what if the air conditioning/heat is off and the comforts are removed? would His Word still be enough for his people to come together?
the gospel reveals eternal realities about God that we would sometimes rather not face. we prefer to sit back, enjoy our cliches and picture God as a Father who might help us, all the while ignoring God as a Judge who might damn us. maybe this is why we cling to the comforts in our culture and in our churches. we are afraid that if we stop and really look at God in His Word, we might discover that He evokes greater awe and demands deeper worship than we are ready to give Him.
bingo. i’m afraid.
one of my biggest fears in life, if not the biggest, is disappointing people. and it seems the Lord has taken to shining a gigantic flashlight into the crevices of my heart in order to reveal this fear. with quite a bit of frequency as of late. which brings me to the following thought:
have i been resigning myself to a lukewarm faith out of fear of disappointing my Father, out of fear of not measuring up?
oh, madison, do you not know who you are? do you not know your place in the Gospel? it would appear not.
which brings me back to God’s Word and how it reveals who we are, who i am. — now bare with me for a minute because our reveal is not so pretty…in fact, it’s down right ugly and hopeless and scary.
we are born with an evil, God-hating heart and in our evil we rebel against God. everything in creation responds in obedience to the Creator…everything that is except you and me…we have the audacity to say “no.”
oh, but the mercies of the Gospel await us.
in our evil, rebellious ways we are unable to even see our need for life let alone bring our dead selves back to life. we are all stumbling fools wandering in an eternal black hole of selfishness and rebellion…our sinful nature fully deserving of His wrath and our desperate souls forever separated from Him.
oh, but the mercies of the Gospel await us.
you see, God’s Word reveals how radically dependent we are on Him to do something in our lives that we could never do ourselves — we are radically needy. we are radically dependent. and by no power of our own can we come to Him.
we can not create our own salvation…we can’t even initiate it…God has to come to us and deliver us from the darkness, open our blind eyes and overcome the evil that is our sin.
the beauty of the Gospel — He already has.
what happened at the Cross was not primarily about nails being thrust into Jesus’ hands and feet but about the wrath due my sin and your sin being thrust upon his soul. in that holy moment, all the righteous wrath and justice of God due us came rushing down like a torrent on Christ himself.
this is the gospel. the Creator of all poured out His eternal wrath on my Savior so that i, a rebellious, disgusting sinner, can stand in the presence of my Father.
is the Gospel enough?
the Gospel is everything.