Called to Disrupt
Called to Disrupt is the third 30-day devotional Bible study in the Life Designed series.
It follows Called to Flourish and Called to His Presence.
Disrupt is an antagonistic word. It’s definitions:
to cause disorder or turmoil
to destroy, usually temporarily, the normal continuance or unity
to break apart:
to radically change (an industry, business strategy, etc.)
Why does this word seem combative, hostile and unfriendly? Because disruption hinders our personal agendas. It redefines who we are, how we should use our time and forces us to rethink our priorities and resources. It is humbling.
Doesn’t that sound like what God wants for us? He wants a glorious disruption. Within this glorious disruption there is joy, wisdom, discernment, surrender and courage. There must be these things to answer God’s call to disrupt. And He does call us to that.
Think about familiar and heroic biblical characters. They disrupted their worlds powerfully. Think about our revolutionary Savior. From His birth, throughout His life, His death and His resurrection, He disrupted. He radically changed, broke apart and destroyed the status quo. He changed DEATH. As you and I seek to be more like Jesus, can we dismiss this part of the challenge?
Called to Disrupt, a collection of devotional Bible studies, asks you to put aside defensiveness and consider your personal call to disrupt. Like personal definitions of boldness, calls to disrupt are subjective. For one person it could mean joining the military or going back to school. To another, it could mean leading or attending a challenging Bible study or changing how and what their family eats for dinner. However it is defined in one’s life, it is difficult. It will get push-back from multiple sources and requires great faith to continue on this call from God. You will argue with God if you are listening to His call because He is asking big things of you. God is asking, and will ask you, to turn aside from your daily routine with curiosity, trust and energy to disrupt your world.
That said, I can’t help but pray this prayer. I hope it helps you begin this study.
Oh, thank you God that you have disrupted my life, redefined who I am, my priorities
and how I should use the resources You have generously given me. How could you
love this undeserving person so much? Thank you for never giving up on me, constantly challenging me and teaching me despite how slow I am to learn and react to your leading.
Thank you for the joy, wisdom, discernment and courage you want to pour out on me.
Help me to surrender myself to You and Your glorious disruption to which You have called me.
My prayer for you is that you find answers to a prayer like this one throughout this devotional study.
Day 2 Date: _____________
“‘I and the Father are one.’ At this, the Jews again picked up stones to stone Him.”
John 10:30-31 Berean Study Bible (BSB)
Anomaly: something that deviates from what is standard, normal or expected.
Jesus was an anomaly. He wasn’t who or what the Jews, Romans, or Gentiles living on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea expected. He didn’t fit normal. He was disturbing on multiple levels.
King Herod was disturbed (Matthew 2:3) by the news of Jesus’ arrival. It caused Herod to order the murder of boys in Bethlehem, 2-years-old and younger, to eliminate his newly born rival. The news of baby Jesus by the angels terrified shepherds (Luke 2:8-9) but resulted in joy and amazement.
Jesus continually alarmed the Pharisees and confused his own family. He tangled standards, traditions, and rules. He broke ranks.
Read Luke 12:51-53. What was Jesus expected to bring to earth?
What did He say He was bringing?
The Contemporary English Version of Luke 12:51 adds clarity to the passage for me.
“‘Do you think that I came to bring peace to earth? No indeed! I came to make people choose sides.’”
His disruption didn’t eliminate His compassion. It elevated it. Jesus healed, fed and welcomed regardless of the day of the week, disease, nationality, age or gender. This was revolutionary and dangerous.
Jesus disrupted everything in the known world. He is disrupting our world because He still makes us all choose sides. There isn’t any sitting in the middle. All must decide who Jesus is. By declaring Jesus as Messiah, you and I disturb the standard, the normal and the expected. You and I are called to disrupt.
This is a difficult challenge. Our culture is moving rapidly toward accepting everything and everyone politically correct at the moment. If anyone pushes back they are bullied, shamed and vilified.
Read John 7:13 and John 9:22-28. How have things changed?
Have a conversation with God. Ask His forgiveness for falling into the trap of cultural compliance (we all do it). Ask Him to help you discern when it is time to be unexpected, nonconformist, and unpopular even when there will be repercussions. Ask His help to be ready for the any reaction; push-backs will come from unexpected places. Declare and write down who Jesus is to you. Find a friend to share your declaration. It is good practice. We need practice. We will be called to disrupt our world with this declaration.
Day 5 Date: _____________
“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.”
Proverbs 27:1 BSB
Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crash disrupted our church service. Members of our congregation were thankful they were worthy of this disruption.
Mamba Sports Academy in Newbury Park is 50 yards from our church building. Bryant was an investor in the facility and was there often. He and his daughter were on their way to one of her games at the academy when the helicopter crashed. Her team was waiting for her.
When the terrible news arrived, the academy’s security guard rushed next door to our service and found help. My friend Nancy — a biblical counselor — and others were tapped and streamed out the door to a baffled pastor in the middle of his sermon. They rushed through parking lots and into stunned teenagers, coaches and parents reacting in disbelief. Prayer circles were formed. Hugs were offered. Grief was acknowledged. Support was given. The Holy Spirit was there.
Should you and I pray for disruption? This example shouts loud and clear. Yes! I think we should be praying for Holy Spirit disruption and preparing for it.
“…worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way.” 1 Peter 3:15 New Living Translation
Be ready. How? Read the following verses. Write down how to prepare.
2 Timothy 3:16-17,
Building relationships with neighbors (how else would we know if they are oppressed or suffering), reading, studying and memorizing scripture, praying for guidance, discernment and help, obedience, meeting together and building relationships within the church to join spiritual forces are all ways to prepare. They are ways to welcome God’s disruption.
Have a conversation with God. Ask Him for a mindset that prepares you for disruption. Ask Him how you should prepare for Him to act to glorify Himself and promote His kingdom. What is His reply? Write it here:
Wrap Up Date: _____________
“…go to the street called Straight.…” Acts 9:11 English Standard Version (ESV)
I would like to leave you with this question: what if? What if each of the biblical lives we considered made different choices. Nicodemus, Joseph, Zaccheus, the Centurion, the Syrophoenician woman, Paul, Peter, David, Gideon, Moses, the man who needed to bury his father, Joshua, the disciples.
You and I don’t know if those who walked away from Jesus had a heart change later. Maybe. Hopefully. We do know Jesus loved them all and wanted all of them to follow Him.
We know those who stepped off of the path of routine, conformity, pride and fear changed their own lives, their families’ lives and a large swath of Europe and the Middle East for millenniums.
So, what if? What if you to step off the path to answer God’s call? His call may seem trivial to some, or even to you. It may seem so over-the-top it boarders on the impossible. God doesn’t compare calls. He asks you and me to act upon them. God weaves these calls, and the completion of them, into His purpose.
Read Acts 9:10-19. Write down what you know about Judas from this passage.
It is unlikely this Judas is related to any other Judas in the New Testament. Judas was a very common name in Jesus’ time and region. We know little about the Judas in this passage, only where he lived. He was, probably, one of the believers Saul was authorized to imprison.
You and I can only surmise the inner conflict Judas felt as he opened his home to Saul. Had Judas been warned? Did he recognize Saul? Saul was a threat; those leading him, because he was blind, may have seemed as threatening as Saul himself.
This act of faith by Judas, which I have overlooked for decades, should be compared to one of us opening our home to a man who claims to have converted to Christianity a few days ago ad before that, was an active ISIS terrorist. Judas’ shows us how every act of obedience to God is meaningful, probably scary, inconvenient and disruptive.
Your call to disrupt, your stepping off the path, depends on God’s unique call to you. It is vital you get help from other believers and be in a continuous dialogue with God as you turn to answer His call. You may never know how stepping off your path, or staying on it, effects or will effect the world. God asks you to trust Him.
Judas stepped off his path and welcomed God’s choice to evangelize the known world. The ministry of Paul, formerly known as Saul, began when Judas opened the door of his home on Straight Street in Damascus. Go figure.
Have a conversation with God. Thank Him for those who questioned, who were afraid, who needed help and did what God asked of them, anyway. Ask for clarity to understand His call to you and courage to act upon it. Ask for more of Him: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.