In seeing the movie “Inception” last night, I found one of the most remarkable and insightful points of the movie made at one of the most “insignificant” times of the movie. Don’t worry, I am not going to spoil anything for you. If you don’t know the movie is about dreams… well, I am sorry you missed the last round of previews released by Legacy Pictures and Warner Brothers.
The most significant line (I think) of the movie happened in the middle when a room full of men were sleeping, entering in to a chemically induced “shared dream”. When asked, “why do these men come here to sleep”, it was simply answered, (paraphrased) they come here because their dreams have become their life.
This is phenomenal. The dream has become the treasure! What does this have to do with the church and life lived here and now?
We have been hearing a lot recently about churches being “on mission.” Lest we get lulled in to another round of simply using quasi-christian buzzwords as a means of sounding knowledgeable, it would do us well to put in to perspective what some of the potential obstacles of living a “missional” life here in the states would be.
The New Testament teaches us that whether or not our treasure is really in heaven is most clearly seen when it costs us our earthly treasures in order to obtain it. But American Christians live in the most prosperous nation in world history and the one in which it costs the least to be a Christian.
This environment can be deadly to faith. It allows false faith to masquerade as real very easily. And its power to dissipate zeal and energy and mission-focus and willingness to risk is extraordinary because it doesn’t come to us with a whip and a threat. It comes to us with a pillow and a promise of comfort for us and our children. The former makes us desperate for God. The latter robs our sense of desperation.
And it’s the lack of a sense of desperation for God that is so deadly. If we don’t feel desperate for God, we don’t tend to cry out to him. Love for this present world sets in subtly, like a spiritual leprosy, damaging spiritual nerve endings so that we don’t feel the erosion and decay happening until it’s too late.
Jon Bloom, via God, Make Us Desperate! :: Desiring God.
Thinking that I can already hear the objections, let me be clear: before I quoted Jon, I said simply that we would need to look closely at some of the things that might become “potential obstacles” in our faith. And for each person, that might be different. The point is this: the challenges faced by Christians in the west, specifically in America, is that a slow, dull, insidious sapping of passion, zeal, and verve for the Kingdom of God is persistently and perpetually around us.
How can we stir one another today to live on mission? What needs to change to awake our churches from slumber? How can we continue to put before one another this grand vision of a Kingdom that is worth everything, where our hearts can be content with saying “no” to this world because the King of the universe has said “yes” to us?
I know I need to be reminded of this today.