burden – noun
1 a load, especially a heavy one.

I have a burden. It’s for all the students at Toutle Lake school. Not just the the ones in the youth group, its for the whole school. Over the past few months that I have been here I have learned about horrible, horrible things that go on regularly at school and in the lives of students. Sex clubs. Eating disorders. Physical/sexual/mental/emotional/drug/alcohol abuse of students, by students, of parents, by parents. Parents who won’t do anything. Parents who foster the behaviors.

The question many people in and out of the youth group are asking is; where is God in all of this? It’s a great and valid question. There are many ways to answer it depending on how you want to approach it. The one factor that is constant in any answer or way of approaching it is this; He is on His throne. Nothing has changed. He hasn’t gone anywhere. He is right there. “What is He waiting for? Why doesn’t He do something?” Because no one really wants Him to. God isn’t a Jack-in-the-Box. He doesn’t live in a box waiting for us to turn the handle and make Him pop out when we want Him to. 

There is a subject that I’m going to be talking about for a long time. It’s this; there is a disconnect that needs to be fixed. It has to do with our understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. What is disconnected? There is a gab between what it means to be a follower and doing the things a follower does. In other words, many of us have the idea that being a Christian means that while I’m at church, I don’t say mean things, I don’t do mean things, I’m a nice person. But while I’m anywhere else I can do whatever I want. That isn’t how it works. How would you feel is someone said they were your best friend and while they were around you they were nice, but when they were with other people they talked trash about you? That’s the same kind of thing that’s going on at Toutle Lake and in the youth group. It’s isn’t about doing, its about being. What do you want to be?

My burden is to see everyone bridge this gap. I don’t want people to do the Christian thing. I want people to be sold-out, totally given over, fired up with the Holy Spirit followers of Jesus. Here’s the thing. If God did nothing else for you than sending His Son Jesus to die for your sins and give you a new nature, that ought to be enough. Yet we blame God for all the crap that goes on in our lives and expect Him to fix everything. How many times was Paul the Apostle beaten to within an inch of his life? How many times was he shipwrecked? How many times did he do time in jail? The answers are lots and lots. Did he blame God? No. In fact, he was happy about those things because it gave him opportunities to lead people to Jesus. You see, Christianity isn’t primarily about this life we live on this planet being a comfy one. It’s about transcending, or rising above what happens to us in this life because, if we are in Jesus, we have died to this world. It has no hold on is. It’s rules don’t apply to us.

So, if that guy beats you up, if that girl makes fun of you, if that person says you don’t really love them because you won’t have sex (oral or otherwise) with them, if that friend says your a wimp because you won’t take the hit or drink the drink, if your parents treat you like garbage, none of that matters. Why? Because in Jesus you don’t play by those rules anymore. Those things are not what give you value or worth anymore. Your identity, your sense of who you are isn’t found in those things anymore. In Jesus you are above those things. What are you worth? God says that you are worth His Son being beaten, mutilated, ridiculed, tortured, and murdered so that you could be freed from being a slave to sin, a slave to the things of this world. Do you feel trapped? Do you feel like there is no hope? Then you need to give up. You need to die (spiritually). You need to be born again. You need to be resurrected in Jesus. That’s what Jesus died and rose again for. That’s how God proves that He loves. you.

So where is God? He is on His throne waiting for you to come to Him, give Him your whole life, then go walk in the new one He has for you. Walk among the spiritually dead of this world, of Toutle Lake school and save them from themselves. Help them to see that putting themselves, investing themselves in this world is the same as throwing money in the garbage. It doesn’t matter what happens in this world because God has saved us from it.

What is my burden? To free slaves. To free minds. To free hearts. To free souls.