Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Waiting Is the Hardest Part

In the words of our beloved Tom Petty, waiting is the hardest part.  At least it seems to be for many Christians today.  We always seem to be in a holding pattern, waiting for the big message from God to be revealed to us so we can be busy about His work.  

"Burning Bush" by Will Borden
We've read in the scriptures concerning what we should be doing: loving God, loving our neighbors, keeping a watch over our tongue, taking care of orphans and widows in their distress, keeping ourselves from being polluted by the world, etc.  But, we tend to want, and wait, for something more...for something bigger.  We want our burning bush moment.

What if that moment doesn't come?  What if God has no big task for you outside of the task of simply loving the people he has placed around you?  What if He doesn't need you to be the next Andy Stanley or Chris Tomlin, but just simply obey in your simple life?

It's easy for me to get wrapped in waiting for bigger and better.  Our world has trained us for it.  Even the Church leadership culture of today somewhat cultivates it.  And so, instead of simply obeying in the simpleness of my life, I can make excuses and claim to wait for my burning bush.

As I read from 1 Samuel 10 today, verse 7 stood out to me and made me think about all of this,
"Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you."
Saul was just given his marching orders from the prophet Samuel.  He was just informed that he would be king of Israel and that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon him in power and he would be changed into a different person.  But this little phrase after all that was encouraging to me, "Do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you."

I can remember seeking counsel and advice at different times in my life when I was making big decisions.  My desire was that to make a decision that would please God and benefit His Kingdom.  In several instances, more than one option seemed good and it drove me crazy.  The advice I received from wise men and women seemed to all ring with the same truth: be faithful wherever you go and God will bless.

I think about that as I wait for my "burning bush".  I think about that as I face questions that I have no answers for.  I need to continue to be faithful and do whatever my hand finds to do, because God is with me.

I don't know if you are waiting for something bigger and better to come along.  If you are, don't let the waiting handicap you from doing what your hands can find to do now.  It's a lesson I'm learning.  God is with you, and He desires to use our simple, quiet, non-burning-bush lives to maybe kindle a Spiritual burning in the lives of those around us.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Disunity: The Us vs. Us Mentality

"Disunity" by Wojtek Kowalski
I am saddened today by Christian "brothers" and "sisters" that point at other church bodies around them and tell others not to attend there because they have heard this or that about them.  I have to use quotes around "brothers" and "sisters" because I'm not so sure they consider me a brother if they think it necessary to dissuade others from attending the church Body that I am part of.

I am of the mind that if you believe in Jesus, God's only son, for your salvation, and you are seeking Him, you are my kin.  I don't care what you think of all the other doctrinal issues in our world.  I don't care if you are pre-tribulation, post-tribulation, Calvinist, Armenian, Wesleyan, Methodist, Four Square, Catholic, Assembly of God, Church of Christ, Non-instrumental, Baptist, Lutheran, Open Bible, etc.  But, I am continually reminded that there are those in this world who are arrogant enough to believe that their way of thinking and interpreting the Bible is the only way and will continue to bad-mouth the Body of Christ, His Bride, until the day He returns.  

I am reminded of Jesus' prayer for us recorded in John 17.  I continue to pray this over myself, over you, over the Church universal.  May we get it!  May we continue to grow in unity and love until Jesus returns.
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.  John 17:20-23 (NIV)
God, forgive me for when I have bad-mouthed your bride.  Help me to love Your Church the way you love Your Church.  Continue to work in us compassion, understanding, and love.  May there never be competition or envy.  May those who cause strife and division be silenced.  In Jesus' name! 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What Life Are You Waiting For?

In reading from Axiom by Bill Hybels, in the chapter, "What Life Are You Waiting For?" Bill penned this:
Many years ago I shared a conference stage with Joni Eareckson Tada.
Joni Eareckson Tada
She did a Q&A session following one of her talks, and someone in the audience asked her how she kept going - how she kept leading and serving and creating - despite her obvious physical challenges.
I'll remember her answer for a long, long time. She said, "This is the only time in history when I get to fight for God. This is the only part of my eternal story when I am actually in the battle. Once I die, I'll be in celebration mode in a glorified body in a whole different set of circumstances. But this is my limited window of opportunity, and I'm going to fight the good fight for all I'm worth."
 Joni got it right at the conference that day, and I came away from the event more resolute than ever that if I'm waiting for some other life to be courageous, then I'm kidding myself.
Then later at the end of the same chapter Bill writes,
This is the only leadership life I get, my one and only shot at following God the way I feel him prompting me to do so. This isn't some pregame warm-up. It's the game, and the clock is ticking!
 What life are you waiting for?
It's a good question and truth for me to ponder.  I am one that has allowed fear and doubt to control me. I have allowed those fears and doubts to become bigger in my mind than my God.  And I know the truth of the matter, that He is more than able and when I am weak, He is strong.  I need to walk according to those beliefs and be a good steward of this life I've been given to "fight the good fight for all I'm worth".