The Lightingale

Why don't we respond to Jesus as quickly as we respond to other things?

The Lightingale
Why don't we respond to Jesus as quickly as we respond to other things?

I'm not sure if the What the Health frenzy has died down, but since it's release date on Netflix this year, it's had a bunch of people scrambling to go vegan. Including me. Vegan Facebook groups popping up here and there encouraging people to join and learn how to change their diets. I even joined one. Before seeing this movie, I've always been mindful of looking at my labels and trying extremely hard to buy only organic meats, eggs and veggies. We've been an almond milk family for a while now, but this movie had me step it up a notch concerning the food I purchase. Upon my research, I noticed something online. (You can get a pretty good gauge at how people really feel when we can type it out on the internet.) Outraged vegans and equally angered nonvegans were arguing via cyberspace, going back and forth, both sides belittling the other.

 

One side fighting for the rights of animals and the other side claiming there is nothing wrong with eating meat. As I stalked the threads, I was shocked at the raging emotions from people over what to eat and what not to eat. Strangely enough, it seemed that this documentary just brought so much to the surface. Comedians making light of it - going on 30-day challenges, Hollywood stars suddenly making announcements that they're going vegan, and closer to home for me, even a coworker asking me if I'd seen the film because her family decided to take up veganism. So, I've been hearing and seeing it on all sides.

Let me back up, if you haven't heard of this food documentary, it's on Netflix and it's basically an expose on the animal agriculture and the dairy industry. It's pretty sad and ridiculous how big businesses try to cut costs and will do whatever to meet the meat quota (pun intended) and to remain in business. It's understandable when you have to feed the entire planet, but some things are just crazy and uncalled for. For the record, this post isn't a summary of the film, it's more of a personal observation and opinion on what I've seen. If you want to see it, I suggest checking it out for yourself.

Now, with all that being said, after I watched the film (I only got through ½ of it) I immediately decided to go vegan. It was officially a wrap for me. I didn't pray about it, I didn't talk to my husband about it. I just make the decision, everyone else was doing it, right? It would be good for my health, right? ... Right, so on I went. I announced to my family that I was going vegan. My hubby wasn't personally on board, but he sweetly supported me 100%. I pressed my way and started researching recipes and different veggie dishes to make. I was determined to be a full-time vegan and I was going to be successful, no matter what. Day 1, started out strong. Day 2, eh. Still going strong, but my recipes were not turning out good. By day 3, I was struggling. I didn't think I could do it, but I was still determined. 

Then I heard from the Lord, “why can't you hear something from Me and change your life just as quickly as you did with food?”

Did I just hear that correctly? The Holy Spirit came down my street, knocked on my door and sat me right down with the truth. Basically, why am I so willing and eager to respond quickly based on a major truth the world tells me, but I doubt the Lord and am extremely skeptical of Him when He tells me something? This "food decision" was just a reflection of my heart and lack of interest sometimes in obeying God. 

My Savior King, who has been there with me and who knew me way before I was even formed in my mother's womb. Why is it that He can tell me or you something, and we don't move at all, or we drag our feet, but we can hear a worldly truth that everyone is making a big deal out of and move without even thinking? Without even talking to God about it. Without searching the scriptures for ourselves to hear what He has to say.

Why when I hear from God about how deadly my sin is, why don't I immediately start seeking  Him and being extremely intentional about making better choices that honor Him? Why do I drag my feet with the Lord? It's because I think I know better than Him in certain cases.

Jesus can tell me plainly, "you need to be more submitted to your husband." And I'm like, “ok,” with no intention of changing. I can hear the Word of God playing in my heart and still not move. The Holy Spirit can be like, “you need to love this sister, pray for her,” and I'm like “nah,” and instead think of all the reasons why I don't need to to do that. This is God we are talking about. The King of Kings and Lord of lords. The only One who knows our inward parts, our sitting and our rising, our coming and going. The one and only true God, Yahweh. The One who loves us and has been with us, helped us and has fought our every battle. We don't want to listen to Him, but we want to do all these things the world suggests we do. Why is that? Why do we put the opinions and facts of man over what God says? I'm not saying don't listen to wise counsel or great advice, but if all we do is listen to everyone else and never go to God for ourselves, we are putting our confidence in flesh. Not a good idea:

Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord, for he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes.
— Jeremiah 17:7

On the other hand when we decide to put our confidence in the Spirit of God, things will change for the better:

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, for he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.
— Jeremiah 17:8

I'm not saying going vegan is bad, there are tons of health benefits; if you go that direction, more power to you, what I am saying is that we all need to look at our hearts and motivations toward the temporal things we hear from others and the eternal things we hear from the Lord.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
— Romans 12:2

I'll just say this, I am currently not a vegan. I will probably have vegan dishes here and there, but that's just not a conviction that I currently have. I love the variety of different foods too much. My vegan desire was from a good place, but my motivation was fear-based and not Spirit-led. I have a terrible habit of making decisions based on fear alone. When we operate out of that place instead of consulting with the Lord and trusting Him at His Word, we only hurt ourselves. And will possibly drive ourselves crazy along with the people closest to us. We desperately need the direction and guidance of the Lord in all things and in all decisions.

That's really the point of this post, making the Lord bigger and more honorable in our lives. It's not about deciding to be a vegan or what we are "supposed" to be eating at all. It's about bringing all things into the subjection and into the presence of God. Our ideas, our “wisdom,” our troubles, our worries, our eating habits, our worries about what's going on with this seemingly crazy planet, all of it, we bring it to Him first. He will supply the answer and if not the answer immediately, his comfort and peace through it all.

Come near to God and he will come near to you.
— James 4:8a (NIV) <---love this scripture!

Jesus wants to be with us leading and guiding us to the place He wants us to be, even if that means being a vegan or not. So, I pose the question to you (and myself) now: why don't we respond to God as quickly as we respond other things? What's the debate? These are questions we have to be willing to wrestle with and to contend with personally and privately. The decisions we make within themselves don't make or break us, but our relationship and willingness to really follow Jesus, does.

What say you? Leave your (friendly) comments below!

The Lightingale exists to encourage and empower imperfect women in the perfect love of Christ.