What does “radical” mean and why as Christians are we called to be radical followers of Jesus?
Radical: “very different from the usual or traditional”
“favoring extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions” ~ Merriam Dictionary
The best example of being radical in our lives happened after my hubby was denied a $100 raise. We were astonished as it had been promised. But it turned out to be such a blessing. It pushed us into trusting God to lead us. It pushed us into starting our own company. We needed to let go of any fear of failure; fear of what others would say; fear that we couldn’t provide for our family.
You can read a little bit about this here:
After almost fifteen years of running our own business, we heard a different call. Step back. While taking a break on Margarita Island, hubby and I talked about how much joy we were getting out of running this business. Hubby was a 6 and I was a 2. We discussed whether it was possible to sell the business and how would we go about it. That will be another post.
Suffice to say that we decided on that sabbatical to look into selling.
Nine months later and many setbacks, we successfully sold the business.
As we listened to God for the next step of our journey, we knew that hubby needed to keep busy. He had worked all his life and this early retirement had him a little scared.
We decided to move away from our home town, up to the trees and the lakes. We decided to take on a project of building our own home. Hubby always loves building and plans so this kept him very occupied and happy. We even renovated a cottage at the same time.
However, when all was said and done and we moved in we said:
The next step
What if we used the area above the garage to make a couple of bedrooms and rent them out as a Bed and Breakfast? Sounded exciting. So we took that plunge.
We ran our B & B for four years. We found it fascinating to meet new people, discussing various subjects at breakfast. Finding out about different lands, and different ideas enlightened our thinking.
Step back again
During this time we both had become involved in our little town. Our B & B made it harder and harder to work around our schedules. And my mother had come to live with us as well for part of the time. Our family had grown and we needed the rooms when they visited.
So we closed down that enterprise.
Those are just a few of our radical moves in this life. I didn’t even count the one about our early marriage.
You can read about that here:
Jesus calls us
A long time ago I read a book called “If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get out of the Boat” by John Ortberg.
That book started me thinking of what my life would be like if I completely listened to God. And not only listened but did what He said.
Yes, you can travel to Poland — God said
The first time I truly listened to a radical spiritual calling happened while reading a post on the Internet. I read that there was a mission that taught English to Polish people while also helping them to read their Bibles and discover Jesus in their lives.
My heart started to pound. I really felt this might be something I should do.
I had so many buts.
- I had never travelled alone.
- I had never eaten out alone.
- I didn’t know any of these people and I am shy (was shy).
- I had recently decided to follow Jesus (around the time of selling our company) and didn’t think I knew enough about Christ to help.
- I had food allergies and environmental allergies.
I kept hearing — GO. Different times I would see the same post. I had to find out more. But that meant emailing someone. NO, I didn’t think I could do that. And it was someone I didn’t know.
When God really wants you to do something, He makes it very clear.
This notion of going to Poland would not leave me.
I went to bed thinking about it. I woke up thinking about it.
I couldn’t take it anymore. I wrote the email.
After many back and forth conversations, talking with my hubby and lots of praying, I decided to take that step and go. I had to go on training as well. That’s another story.
I visited Poland five times on a mission trip and once with my hubby on a vacation. We met lovely people and I developed a passion to teach others to read God’s Word. I also loved working with children (one of my jobs at the camp) and this led me to run a VBS for seven years at our church. And I grew in my faith and trust in God.
Living radically means listening to God.
Are you hesitant?
Is there something you feel called to do but are afraid?
Is God placing a call on your life — and you are holding back?
May I suggest you talk with your Pastor or a mentor?
Spend time in God’s Word and in prayer.
Remember to listen to His answer and how He speaks to you.
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