Historically, we see that God brings renewal and positive change when people intentionally seek him. But people don’t usually decide one day all on their own initiative, “I’m going to really go for God.” Usually, there is a catalytic moment, an eye-opening experience, or a disruption of our contentment with the status quo.
God brings disruption to light a fire under us.
God disrupts normal life by his delightful appearance, his penetrating words, and at times through great difficulty. Through disruptions, we see that what we thought was “normal spirituality” is probably less than all God has for us in our pilgrimage of faith.
These disruptions are often not specifically sought after or expected. They are often difficult, but they are also heavenly. God satisfies the hunger in our hearts when we follow his path of disruption. God-disruptions produce godliness and fruitfulness if we humbly respond, giving God a chance to unwrap his gifts to us.
Examples of biblical disruptions:
Jesus encountering Paul on the road to Damascus. “Is that you, Jesus?!”
God encountering Moses through the burning bush, “God, you’ve got the wrong guy.”
The prophet Samuel anointing David as the next king. Teenager becomes giant-slayer.
Matthew, sitting in his tax-collectors booth, received an invitation from Jesus: “Follow me.” Jesus’ radical inclusion of a “scum-of-the-earth” tax collector is scandalous and wonderful.
The Holy Spirit came down at Pentecost and empowered the disciples, which turned the world upside down.
Jesus offers the Samaritan woman “Living Water.” She tells the whole neighborhood this good news.
We can be disrupted when we:
Read a book, hear a sermon or a song – God grabs our heart, opens our eyes to a reality we know is right but couldn’t previously see.
We see a passage of scripture like, “Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart” and decide to take it seriously. (Col. 4:2)
We see burning passion for God in someone’s life and it produces the right kind of jealousy in our hearts. We want the blessings of God that we see in those around us. We are provoked to follow the path of disruption – to break out of previous habits and really dive into the pursuit of God.
Jesus said some radical things, like “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.” (Matt. 10:37)
Jesus absolutely didn’t want us to stop loving our family, but he calls us to love him with everything we have, everything that’s in us: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” Most people would describe that as fanaticism. For Jesus, and Paul, and hundreds of thousands of disciples through the ages, it’s the normal Christian life. That’s where real adventure is.
Don’t hear legalism in what I’m saying. It’s finding the Pearl of Great Price. God disrupts our routines and our low expectations in order to begin a new chapter of experiencing his love and giving his love away.