That sure is a fun title, isn't it?
Anguish isn't really a popular word today; it denotes pain, sorrow, and a bunch of other negative adjectives. But recently, I was reminded of a sermon by Dave Wilkerson on this very subject, a sermon that was so powerful the first time I heard it, it brought me to my knees, and caused me to take not just one look at myself and at the condition of my heart, but several looks, to evaluate where I was, what I was doing, and what cause, if any, I was fighting for.
I believe the words of this sermon are still as relevant today as they were many years ago when first preached. Our culture, society, generation today- whatever you want to call it- has become such a fast-paced/fast-food/instant-access/social media-driven/hunchback (yeah, check your posture next time you're staring down at your phone ;)/incapable of face-to-face communication generation and I fear we are forgetting what it truly means to be followers of Christ. But I'm not just saying this to you, I'm saying this to me; this is my generation too.
I've realized something about myself in the last few weeks: I like to be lazy. One of my favorite things to do is just sit on the couch and watch my favorite shows. I do like to get out and do fun things outside too, so I'm not a complete potato, but sometimes I actually look forward to when I can go home. I daydream about my bed and my pillows and blankets. I will often make plans to do something productive, and end up putting it off just so I can lay in my bed longer.
If someone calls me while I'm at home, chances are the conversation goes like this...
"Hey what are you doing?"
"Laying in bed"
"Just laying here"
Sometimes I really enjoy just being lazy.
But the thing I realized is not just that I have a lazy problem, but I have a discipline problem.
I realized that I had grown lazy in spiritual matters. I had been undisciplined (although I really wish I could eat pie and cookies and cake and ice cream and sit on the couch but still get the same results as if I didn't eat as much of those things and actually exercised, it doesn't work that way). At one point I even found myself asking God, "Why can't I just have a normal life?!" (that line probably came from one too many made-for-TV movies I watched as a child). He then led me to the subject of anguish. And I realized: I had wanted an easy life...a convenient Christianity.
But we were never called to live a life of ease or convenience! And I say this not to scare you or condemn you but to hopefully wake you up the same way I was woken up.
Don't desire comfort, or convenience...desire Christ, and from there everything will fall into place. If you find yourself becoming lazy or apathetic, get on your knees and pray!
If you aren't in anguish over your city, your family, your friends, your church then who will be?
Don't let the devil take your fight, YOU can make a difference, YOU are called to a life far better than you can ask or imagine and YOU are called to anguish.
I know this is sort of a heavy topic, but I believe it is necessary to not just discuss, but to act on. What will you do with your anguish?
Take a few minutes and click on this link, I promise that it will change you--or at least your perspective on anguish: "A Call to Anguish"
Ephesians 4:1 "As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. "