Sunday’s over. The “service” has ended. We go home. What then?
I’m reading “Renovation of the Heart” by Dallas Willard. Whenever I read Willard’s books, I keep having to stop, pause and re-read because of the depth each sentence carries.
Last night I couldn’t get past this line:
“Wanting God to be God is very different from wanting God to help me.”
There are two ways to be “Christian.”
First, there’s our way:
Wanting God to help us. Our Divine personal assistant.
We are by nature self-absorbed people. Even after we become Christians we carry the idol of self into our new experience of weekly church gatherings and opportunities of involvement.
Then our lives spin out of control after we come to Christ. What happened? We don’t understand why things are not working “better” now that we have God on our team. Whatever happened to “If God is for us who can be against us?”
Soon enough, church becomes “problematic.” The Pastor preached about something I don’t agree with. The leadership made a change I wasn’t consulted about. Even with people LONG involved in ministry I’ve seen it: “I didn’t get asked to be on the ministry I specifically told them I feel “called” to do.” “Our church grew and we aren’t as important anymore.” “Where is God when it hurts?” we cry.
Let me say it straight: This isn’t serving God. This is expecting God to serve us.
HE WILL NOT. He’s God. And He will be God.
No matter what.
Secondly: There’s God’s way.
The Words “I am the Lord” appear 188 times in the ESV. A human never utters them.
Especially strong is Isaiah 44:6 “This is what the LORD says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.
My prayer is that many of you reading this will repent, turn to the living God of Creation and SERVE HIM. That is the only way life make sense.
Life will not work out the way we expected. It always works out the way God does. We get disappointed by what God long ago firmly appointed.
If you fail to catch this, do not be surprised that some day you will be sitting in your living room with your hopes dashed to pieces wondering “why?”
The question should rather be, “What now, Lord?” The declaration of our heart should yield, “I am NOT in charge of my existence. I AM accountable to You. I have been created for you (Rev. 4:11)”
God is not coerced by my opinion of how my life should work out. The One who formed me knows what I should be, should do and should have. While He does not give me detailed instructions, I can ask for the wisdom to live according to His life-giving principles (James 1:5).
Now its not about WHAT I do, have or become, but HOW I do, have or become it.
Learn the lessons from the scriptures: The Pharisees thought they arrived only to be sadly and mistakenly blind to God (John 5:39-40). Samson played the fool with his God-ordained life, indulged himself and it left him blind and bound. Cain got angry with God. Balaam used God to get money (2 Peter 2:15). In the end times (like right now), people will prefer pleasure over God (2 Timothy 3:1-4).
People like to pretend they are god. YET, God is STILL God.
What is our response?
Colossians 3:23–24 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
I love the first word of that passage: “Whatever.” Young people use that word to deal with a bane experience. Christ-followers should champion that word as a motto of a self-less, Jesus-centered reality where everyday we get a chance to live WHATEVER to the best of our ability in the Name of Christ.
Which way do you go from Sunday?
I pray you choose wisely.