Radical Revolution: How Radical is Too Radical?

The word "radical" packs a lot of meaning into it. And when you put it together with the word "Christian", I'm sure a lot of things come to mind. Soapbox preachers, missionaries like Jim & Elisabeth Elliot, the fiery prophet you were afraid to make eye contact with in the revival service... all of these fit the description and seem pretty far removed from my regular life even though I truly love Jesus and try to serve him. So, how radical is too radical?

In thinking over the question I was drawn back to a book I read several years ago (and recommend highly) "The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life" by Hannah Whitall Smith. No, it's not a self-help book as the title might suggest. Mrs. Smith published this book in 1875 before that was a section in the book store. Instead, she shares some remarkable insights on a perhaps unexpected way to be radical in your Christianity. I'd like to share an excerpt from her book to get your heart moving toward our message on Sunday morning.

Looking forward to seeing you then,

P. Tracy

Excerpt from "The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life" by Hannah Whitall Smith...

Let us believe, then, that without Him we can literally do nothing. We must believe it, for it is true. But let us recognize its truth, and act on it from this time forward. Let us make a hearty renunciation of all living apart from Christ, and let us begin from this moment to acknowledge Him in all our ways, and do everything, whatsoever we do, as service to Him and for His glory, depending upon Him alone for wisdom, and strength, and sweetness, and patience, and everything else that is necessary for the right accomplishing of all our living.

As I said before, it is not so much a change of acts that will be necessary, as a change of motive and of dependence. The house will be kept, or the children cared for, or the business transacted, perhaps, just the same as before as to the outward, but inwardly God will be acknowledged, and depended on, and served; and there will be all the difference between a life lived at ease in the glory of His presence, and a life lived painfully and with effort apart from Him. There will result also from this bringing of God into our affairs a wonderful accession of divine wisdom in the conduct of them, and a far greater quickness and dispatch in their accomplishment, a surprising increase in the fertility of resource, an ease in apprehending on every side that will amaze the hitherto cramped and cabined soul.

Moreover the soul itself, in this natural and simple way, will acquire such a holy habit of 'abiding in Christ' that at last His presence will become the most real thing in life to our consciousness, and an habitual, silent, and secret conversation with Him will be carried on that will yield a continual joy.

If, then, thou wouldst know, beloved reader, the interior divine union realized in thy soul, begin from this very day to put it outwardly in practice as I have suggested. Offer each moment of thy living and each act of thy doing to God, and say to Him continually, "Lord, I am doing this in Thee and for Thy glory. Thou art my strength, and my wisdom, and my all-sufficient supply for every need. I depend only upon Thee." Refuse utterly to live for a single moment or to perform a single act apart from Him. Persist in this until it becomes the established habit of thy soul. And sooner or later thou shalt surely know the longings of thy soul satisfied in the abiding presence of Christ, thy indwelling Life.

(p. 241-243, (C) 1998 by Bridge-Logos)