Happy Sunday!

I hope this Sabbath day is a day of rest and reflection on the goodness of the Lord. One of the things the Lord has been teaching me lately has been the idea of seeking to be uncomfortable. For students in the United States, it’s easy to “believe” in Jesus, but it’s hard to follow Jesus. I know, for me, when I was in high school and even now at Biola, I would find it easier to blend into mainstream and often lukewarm Christian culture rather than to pursue my faith with the fervency it warranted. As people, we tend to want to blend into the crowd and play the comparison game. For example, I would excuse faults in my own pursuit of the Lord by using the rationale of: “well, other people who claim to be Christians do this” or “it’s ok because I’m still doing better spiritually than that person.” This way of thinking is not the way God wants us to view our spiritual and personal growth.

In my 5 years of being a follower of Jesus, my spiritual growth has not come from comparison or blending into mainstream, lukewarm Christian behavior. My spiritual growth has come from getting uncomfortable in my faith. Like Peter, who decides to step out onto the rough sea waters to walk towards Jesus, situations that have been scary and unknown have brought me the closest to Jesus. Scripture refers to the Holy Spirit as the “Comforter.” A comforter is not attracted to the comfortable but to the uncomfortable. If we want to experience God in a new fresh way, we must continue to find ways to be uncomfortable.

Seeking spiritual discomfort can manifest itself in a variety of ways. For example, Francis Chan said something in a sermon I listened to once that has always stuck with me. He said, “If you want to experience God, go make disciples.” He didn’t say keep doing the same old things you’ve always done. He said do something uncomfortable. Making disciples is scary and causes us to die to our pride and risk our reputation for His sake. This discomfort makes us rely on the Holy Spirit; therefore, we feel closer to God because God draws that much nearer to us. You can also get uncomfortable in your quiet time by reading more, contemplating harder, and praying bolder. You can be bolder in your verbal, intentional encouragement of your friends and even your enemies. You can be uncomfortable by worshipping like it is just you and God in the room instead of worrying about who is next to you at church. You can get uncomfortable by watching less tv and reading more to grow deeper in intellectual worship of the Lord. There are so many ways to get uncomfortable, and God cannot wait to meet you in your discomfort.
So it is Sunday. I have a full week ahead of me and so do you. I want to be uncomfortable by fighting my pride through encouraging my friends consistently and genuinely this week. What is one way you want to get uncomfortable this week?

Weekly Update

It was another great week at Biola! I am trying to push through to get to Thanksgiving. I had a few papers, quizzes, and even a midterm, so it was great to get some rest this weekend. Also, last weekend was great because we had University Day!!! We had 400+ prospective students and their families on campus for a 2 day visit. It was so fun getting to meet a ton of you all! If you haven’t visited (especially for an overnight visit), you really need to! These visits have been a blast! Check out some of our visits here:

https://www.biola.edu/undergrad/events

If you have any questions about my life or about Biola in general, feel free to reach out to me! chris.c.middleton@biola.edu
Have a great week being uncomfortable!
-Chris