Written by Joe Watson. Media by Max Gensler. [divide]
I think that a lot of us might be inclined to say there are times when we are completely caught off guard by the gospel of Jesus. To me, I would say it sort of feels like an epiphany where God is speaking or working in my own life. I seem to really latch onto gaining a new understanding of scripture that I have never heard before. Listening to sermons also provides a great avenue to hear something about God I have never heard before or shows me something from a different angle. What then do you do if nothing seems to captivate you anymore?
It is a fact of life that we will go through times that are hard and make us doubt the activity of God in our lives. Yet, we should not hold on to these times as though they will never go away. If you are going through a hard time, it could be that God is going to captivate you with his gospel in the near future. But you should also be aware that this may be where God puts you for quite some time. How are we to act in hard times? We are to seek him. The Bible is packed full of desperate people looking to have their worldly woes appeased by him. David while trying to let out his feelings and doubts says in psalms 42:9 (ESV), “I say to god, ‘ my rock: ‘Why have you forgotten me why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?’” and yet in that same psalm David also realizes something that I think we can model when we feel as though God is not with us, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God” (Ps. 42:11) In fact David sees that it is so important to turn to God in our times of doubt, and suffering that he says the same line twice, before and after he voices his doubts.
I think many Christians believe that the grace they were given by God is an awesome thing, but I think many of us live our lives in a way that doesn’t look for that grace. I wonder what sort of Christian doesn’t open his or her Bible, or go to corporate worship at all? In the prevalent society we live in, it is easy to do whatever we please with ourselves. But to be captivated by the gospel requires Christians to work. I think that we are really passive when we think of being moved by God. Many times we just sit around and hope that God is going to do something, that we can’t start working already. To be captivated regularly shows that we are working towards seeing the way that God works in our world. I am sure you have read the Bible and heard the awe of many in the Bible who find awe in God’s works. Do you ever find yourself apathetic to these parts of the Bible? Like you don’t really understand why this person finds a common thing so awe-inspiring? If this is you I think it may be apparent you aren’t looking for enough opportunities to be captivated.
It will not come so easy as to just shut off and go to our prayer closet once a week if we wish to truly be captivated daily. The many saints who came before us would have either woken up and spent time with their congregations (as we Greenville students cannot do for 3 days of the week) or would have woken up and read their bibles and prayed. It’s something we must be intentional with, and a life full of discipline cannot be taken lightly. To be captivated is to be provoked to action. Are you being provoked into believing, or are you just enjoying an experience and sitting on it? True captivation of the gospel leads to life changing and kingdom furthering action.