“An Inconvenient Experience”

But from there you will seek the LORD your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” – Deuteronomy 4:29 (ESV)

This week I started reading John Stott’s Basic Christianity. I’m a few chapters in and have stopped to think about the main theme of his first chapter, on seeking God. Stott explains that, “We must cast aside apathy, pride, prejudice and sin, and seek God in scorn of the consequences” (p. 18). I’ve been thinking about the “consequences” part of this quote and how true it was in my own life before I became a follower of Christ. When I would have conversations with friends and others over the years about seeking God, it was those “consequences” that played a part in holding me back. I’m sure it wasn’t “apathy”, but “pride, prejudice and sin” all played a major role for me.

In one of his sermons, James Merritt talked about those times when he presents the gospel to others and described what was the number one objection that he heard from others – “I just don’t think I can live up to the Christian life”. Dr. Merritt would then respond, “I’ve got news for you. You’re right ! You can’t !” To realize you can’t possibly live up to that perfection in this life, to disregard the consquences, and instead set your heart, mind and soul to following Christ anyway, is the greatest decision you can ever make. It certainly has been in my case.

Stott then explains that many don’t seek because they know they won’t find. In this way, they won’t have to stand face-to-face with the consequences of a radical change in life. I can see myself in that also, before becoming a Christian. What would I be giving up ? Am I ready for that ?

Here’s how Stott so beautifully puts it – “We know that to find God and to accept Jesus Christ would be a very inconvenient experience. It would involve the rethinking of our whole outlook on life and the readjustment of our whole manner of life.” (p. 18)

I thank God for that rethinking and readjustment. I could not imagine life any other way now. I look forward to more from John Stott and what’s been a wonderful book so far.

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