What I think God is saying to me, and to our church:

“Hi. I’m God. The real, fully orbed God that puts your stagnant little caricature to shame. And I want you to know something. I’m not nearly as interested in your happiness as you think. What I want most, if you’re interested, is for you to become more like Jesus in what you want, think, choose, say, and do.

Wanting what Jesus wants changes everything. What you think changes, what you choose changes, what you say changes, and what you do changes. And that’s what I want. If you’re interested.

What I can promise you is that the path into that kind of life will almost always involve pain and sometimes, even much of the time, you’ll be anything but happy. In fact, please stop trying so hard to be happy and comfortable. It sets you back further than you’ll ever realize. I want you to lay down your life, your happiness, your rights. I want you to pick up your cross, join me in my suffering, and join me in my mission to reach the world. My heart, my passion, is for the lost. Is yours?

Don’t answer just yet. During the next while, I’m going to stretch your concept of who I am beyond what you think is possible. I’m going to rework what you think the Bible is and what it’s for. I’m going to re-order your tiny ideas of church and worship and the meaning of life in particular. Because I love you. Because I love the world. Because I want to love the world through you. Because there is no “plan B.”

I’m not going to lie. It’s going to hurt. A lot. You’re going to have to give up a thousand things that you thought were your God-given right. Things that make you happy a lot of the time.

Because, like I said, Happy isn’t actually part of the deal, and from where I’m sitting, comfortable is a four letter word.

Don’t get me wrong; joy will be there. Peace, too, along with all the other fruit of my Spirit. If you lose your life to me, I’ll make sure you find it. Through dying, that is.

So that’s my offer.

Your call.

With love beyond measure, Jesus

PS: I’m not going to budge.