I've watched a grown man beat the pulp out of female security guard, though she did hold her own for the most part.
I've been cornered by a man asking how to make sloppy joes in the Manwich aisle.
I've been hit on by a man in the dog food aisle. He literally asked if I was married. I thought, "Dude, you must be desperate for one and two, if you think you're hitting on an animal person, know that I'm buying regular sized dry dog food for an 8 lb mutt with no teeth. I do not plan to water it down either."
And today, I was barracaded in the chip aisle by a random dude asking where I go to church because it's the last days. If he only knew just how right he was at that moment. I was hot, hungry, and in a hurry.
While going to church means nada in the sense that it won't save your tail from hell, I appreciate his concern. Okay, not really. Well a little. I suppose he thinks he's doing what he can to spread the gospel, though, that wasn't at all what he was doing. I sort of wish I'd have said no to hear what he might have said next. Maybe he would have started with, "Hey random lady, have you broken the 10 commandments because that makes you a sinner going to hell. And it's the last days. Get saved."
I don't know. I suppose I get the "Do something!" mentality. I love that people are in love with Jesus and want others to know about Him, His saving grace, His love and mercy. But scaring the literal hell out them isn't exactly the right approach in my opinion, or cornering them in a market to ask where they go to church. Church doesn't save people. Jesus does. Granted, you could meet Jesus at church.
I believe that God can ask you to do something out of the ordinary concerning Him--like praying for a random stranger in McDonald's, buying the coffee for the car behind you in a Starbucks line, or even speaking a word to someone in the grocery aisle (if you are most certain it is the Lord and you are supposed to) however, there are things that I think happen out of zealousness but they backfire and sometimes do more harm than good.
A youth pastor (not our rocking youth pastor) once told the kids to be radical in their faith. I agree. Be passionate. Then he told a story about a boy so on fire for God he jumped up on the cafeteria tables and started preaching.
I had to explain to my daughter that the Bible says to obey earthly authority (not if they tell you to go against what you know is biblical authority). Drive the speed limit, etc...Authority at the school says not to jump on cafeteria tables. It will get you detention. Is it right to break the rules God tells us not to, to preach Christ? Why can't that boy just live his life out loud, love the people he encounters and preach through his daily living? He could.
Now, I know that boy was excited about his faith. But his still-on-milk-mentality drove him to break rules that ultimately led to detention and not a revival. I explained while the youth pastor had good intentions, he got it wrong.
Radical faith isn't preaching from cafeteria tables or cornering folks at the store with pointed questions that ultimately don't matter. You can die in your sin and go to church every Sunday.
Radical faith is saying, "No, I won't go to that movie because I know they take the Lord's name in vain and show nudity." "No, I won't go to that party because there is drinking involved." It takes bigger faith to look peers in the eye and draw a line than it does to stop a stranger and scare them half to death. (There are always exceptions.)
It's like that commercial from the 70's. Hey Koolaid. What is up with that? Remember those commercials? Did I date myself? As a kid, Kool Aid running through the wall to save the day was pretty kool.
He was passionate about his drink and helping others. Passionate about the right thing. Kool Aid had lots of zeal.
However, did he really need to bust through a wall? Was that really the right way to go about being passionate? Is impulsiveness the answer?
Look with me at 2 Samuel Chapter 6. David is king and he's bringing back the ark. The presence of God! The Philistines had captured it, then they were plagued with rats and tumors until they sent it away and at this point it was in the home of Abinadab, and David was ready for it to be back in his city.
He was zealous. Passionate. And so were the people.
They busted out the harps, lyres and wooden instruments and played music. It was a joyous occasion.
They loaded the ark of God, whose name is called by the Name, the LORD of Hosts, who dwells between the cherubim onto a new cart and Abinadab's sons pushed the cart. The people and David went ahead of the cart, rejoicing. Dancing. Singing. Breaking it down.
And the cart hit a bump.
And Uzzah, one of the sons, reached out to steady it.
And he dropped dead.
That last party horn gave a sorry "hrrrrngh" and everyone stopped. The singing halted. That woman near the end carried her note maybe 30 seconds longer than the rest until it died off in a weak echo.
The Lord had struck Uzzah down. In his passion. His zeal. Why?
Because though their motives and passion was pure, they did not follow the proper order.
God was specific about that ark and how to carry it. He had them make poles that slipped into the four grooves on the ark. And the sons of Kohath were designated to carry it. No carts.
This was the very presence of God. A holy God. As if man could just reach out and touch Him (then--before Christ came and made a way so we could).
RC Sproul says, "The presumptous sin of Uzzah was this...He assumed that his hands were less polluted than the dirt."
They got caught up in being passionate that they forgot order. God is God of order.
David was angry. Not the same Hebrew word for angry that God was. He had no reason to be angry. He'd disobeyed. But God's anger was righteous.
David left the ark at Obed-Edom. Everyone went home, solemn. Probably confused. Some ticked--like David.
But David was a man who took his emotions to the Lord. He had a teachable spirit. And three months later, David did it right.
He went to the Lord in his passion and consulted God. This time (verse 13) those bearing the ark, with the poles carried it about six paces and no one died so they stopped to sacrifice an offering to the Lord.
And then they danced before the Lord and David was in nothing but a linen ephod, making merry. Full of passion and joy. Not caring what others thought.
He'd done it right.
His wife, however wasn't so happy about it. "How dare you dance around like a fool, half naked. You. Are. King." (my paraphrase)
And David said, "In God’s presence I’ll dance all I want! He chose me over your father and the rest of our family and made me prince over God’s people, over Israel. Oh yes, I’ll dance to God’s glory—more recklessly even than this. And as far as I’m concerned . . . I’ll gladly look like a fool . . . but among these maids you’re so worried about, I’ll be honored no end.” 2 Samuel 6:21-22 MSG
Some translations say, "I'll be even more undignified than this!"
I love it.
Passion plus order. Then you can dance recklessly! It's important that we go about things God's way. We consult Him first with the steps. The fact is, David knew the steps, but he got so caught up in his excitement, he left the most important part out.
Obedience in all areas. God wants us to delight in Him and be full of joy. But He also expects us to follow each step accordingly. And to follow man-made authority that doesn't directly go against what He says.
Be radical. Be passionate. Be full of zeal.
But be smart.
What makes you want to dance before the Lord?