About 5 years ago Jesus asked me to do something that only a few people know about.
He asked me to give a gift to a friend of mine. Getting together kept falling through, but she worked 5 minutes from where I worked and finally the Lord asked me to go to her job and give her the gift. The thing is, she worked at a strip club. Recently a blog post has been circulating about a similar instance and I felt compelled in my heart to share this story for those who feel that only special people get asked to do "special" and "crazy" things.
You can read this post HERE.
God told me to go to a certain place and buy a certain item for a dear friend of mine. So I did.
I took my little gift and I put it in a pretty gift bag. The gift itself in the longeun was pretty insignificant compared to the way it was supposed to be given. The instructions were clear and what I didn't realize was, an invitation was being made.
"Sarah - are you willing to put aside what the church has deemed 'acceptable behavior' to show My love to those I love?"
There it was. I was offered a choice: obey or... be good.
'Obey' meant no more "Good Church Girl". 'Obey' meant I could be judged by church folks.
'Obey' meant, I could be called a fraud by others.
There is a scripture in Philipians which in some Bible versions says that Jesus "made himself of no reputation". Now - that scripture is out of context for this particular thought but still, the idea sits in my mind: Jesus was a mixed bag, having a good reputation with some folks, a bad reputation with others, but in the big picture of things, no one could really pin Him down, least of all for sin.
So what does it look like to follow Jesus when He says, "come, follow Me," and leads you into a strip club?
Well... You either say, "yes Lord," and allow Jesus to be Jesus or you say, "EXCUSE me?" And fold up your idol of the ideal Jesus and fit him right back into your pocket.
to say yes is to have faith that God is still good and that He is our righteousness. To say no is to choose no faith - and it is absolutely impossible to please God without it. In the moment of "no" when God asks us to obey, we are choosing idolatry because in that moment, God is challenging the box we've placed Him into and we refuse to accept it.
So yeah. I visited my friend in a strip club. It was there that I handed her the gift God chose and said what He instructed me to say.
"God wants you to know that no matter where you are, and no matter how dark a place, He is there waiting for you because He loves you. This gift He asked me to get for you is His way of letting you know that He's thinking of you today."
I walked away that night a different girl. The God I loved was a God I didn't understand. Yet I understood more about purity that night than I ever had before, and that was the purity of God's love shining bright in a dark, dark world. I wrote about little moves. My little, nervous "yes" changed the level of freedom I would have to know God's heart more for several years to come. I'm not who I want to be just yet, but I was in that moment. Will you risk your "reputation" to be set free?
It's all just one "yes" at a time.