Ever been accused of riling things up?
Try choosing a ministry other people aren’t on board with. Try pointing out heavy truths of slavery and oppression taking place on the streets of your town. Try moving to a state or a city or a neighborhood that people don’t quite understand. Try selling all of your stuff and giving it away. Try walking to a church in your neighborhood and calling those in the pews your “people” whether or not that church has the coolest VBS and worship program. Try leaving your church to spend your Sundays in a different way. It riles people.
Everyone wants an explanation. Suddenly people are huddling in close to you wanting the inside skinny on why you’re really leaving. Simply stating that God is doing something with you isn’t enough. Don’t even try it. Well, try it. And good luck with it. It riles people.
Suddenly, everyone feels they are closer to you than he or she ever truly was. You can’t quite remember becoming close enough with them for this conversation. They don’t say it, but they mean, “I know you aren’t around gossiping, but obviously you will tell ME.”They are riled.
You find yourself at a birthday party and people want to hash it out. They are riled. People pull you out of service and need to know if something happened. And to that we should always be able to say, “Yes.”
Yes. God is at work here. Prepare to be riled if you aren’t in cahoots with his plan.
And be ready to be a lone reed if you are.
Every day and every minute you are trying to stand before God and hone in on his still small voice. You want nothing more than to lock eyes with The One Who Calls You. You find your grasp is a white knuckled fist upon his robes. And you are low and humble and crying more days than not.
In the end, do you know what you will discover? You need to know that when people get riled up it is much more their issue and much less your problem. You aren’t riling anyone, actually. What is happening is the Holy Spirit is about you, and rather than meet that with support, their fear jumps up. And then rather than meet their fear with grace, we sometimes find that we are afraid of that very thing they are talking about. And if we aren’t careful we begin to reverse the work God is doing in us. We are no longer out on the waves, eye to eye with Jesus and his deep grace. We are swimming back to shore, walking up to our chair, and pulling a towel over our face to block out what we left and what we are now missing. It’s a sham.
That fear? It’s a sham. God says, “Grace abounds in deepest waters. Join me. Look in my eyes and feel my heartbeat in time with yours. This is when your doubt subsides and you are strong in me. This is how you know me. Most importantly, this is how other will know me- when they watch you.” It riles me.