GUEST POST ~ Is This Your New Normal?

 GUEST POST ~ Is This Your New Normaal?

Absolute Surrender; Undistracted Devotion

 by Mike Higgs


We heard a startling and sobering statistic the other day. According to the latest Gallop poll, 81 percent of Americans say they believe in God, which is the lowest percentage since Gallop started asking the question in 1944. Other polls tell us that around 63% actually identify as Christians. These percentages are not surprising to those of us who are observers of culture shifts in our country. But a statistic used by author John Mark Comer in a recent podcast highlighted what he calls "the chasm we have in the wider culture" between identifying as a Christian and actually living like one. He says,  "Any attempt to actually measure how many Americans are practicing the way of Jesus, like discipling under or apprenticing under Jesus, most estimates come in right around 4%." Yikes! 

     This statistic is sobering because we live in sobering times. Hopefully no explanation of that is necessary. For me, there is no 59% gap between what I confess with my mouth and how I live my life. But there remains a gap. And I am trying to minimize if not eliminate it, through what the author Andrew Murray calls "absolute surrender." For me, absolute surrender has meant developing my own" rule of life," so to speak, then praying regularly and desperately that I might life in accord with this rule. I put this together a few years ago, and call it My New Normal. It resides in my journal, where I reflect on it and pray into it several times a week.

My New Normal:
• Jesus has not made a difference in my life; rather, He is my life. I have died and my life is hidden with Christ in God. I am a new creation in Christ.
• I have not accepted Christ into my life; rather, I have surrendered my life to Him, absolutely, unequivocally, and unconditionally. My life is not my own. I have been bought with a price.
• While I have set apart a daily devotional time, my life is to be a 24/7/365 devotional time. There is no sacred/secular division or distinction. I seek to Practice His Presence continually, in unbroken fellowship and prayer.
• While Sunday mornings and other experiences of corporate singing, prayer and teaching are an expression of my worship, the offering of my body as a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:2) is my continual act of worship.
• I have no rights.
• I will be unoffendable.
• I will forgive always and without exception.
• I will always consider all others as more important than myself.
• I will resist any measure of conformity to any pattern of this world, and be transformed by the renewing of my mind.
• I will be all in, all the time, all the days of my life.
• I will love my wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.
• I will give the rest of my days, with my wife, to awaken the church, equip the willing, engage the culture, disciple the nations, and otherwise bear witness of Christ. Together, we will help people discover their true identity, purpose and belonging through Christ.
• Following the example of the Lord’s Prayer – “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” – we will seek spiritual transformation in our community, through our prayers and our service.

     I have seen some significant shrinking of the gap in my own life over the past few years, and I think (hope) my wife would concur. But I have found there is an obstacle to further progress: distraction. And I am a master of distraction. One of my favorite authors, Francis Frangipane, says, "It is time to enter the place of undistracted devotion." More on Undistracted Devotion in the next newsletter.


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