And these are but the outer fringe of his works;
how faint the whisper we hear of him!
Who then can understand the thunder of his power?”
Job 26:14 New International Version (NIV)
This is not going to be a happy little post about New Year’s resolutions. This is going to be a post about something that has been bothering me for a while. Maybe, after you read this, you’ll be able to create resolutions that mean something, however; that really isn’t the goal here. There has been an ongoing theme this year. No matter how loudly God is speaking, the majority still seems to be refusing to listen. We all seem to think we know better than Him and that we can make choices that will serve us better than anything He could possibly show us. Why do we do that? Why do we continue to stuff God into this little box that we only open when we have a problem? Have we forgotten that He is a God of miracles? Have we ever really understood that His power is the greatest and that ultimately, He holds all the cards? He knows how this is all going to end and if He’s giving you direction, it’s because He knows what would be the best option for you in any situation.
This is probably the biggest reason why I decided to fold my formal “ministry” over the past year and simply wait for God to show me what it is that He wants me to do to serve Him. I was trying so hard to fit my ministry into some sort of pattern of good Christianity, but everything around me was contradicting what I knew in my heart that Jesus actually meant for us to be. He doesn’t want us to count all of the people we help. He doesn’t want us jumping through hoops to beg for a few dollars from the government. What He wants us to do is to step outside our box and truly look at the people around us. He wants us to get to know the people we work with and live near. He wants us to care about what’s happening to each other. He wants us to use what we have to help those who are hurting when we have the ability to help them, not go through the motions of living a good “Christian” life, yet ignore the misery that our fellow man, woman and child may be enduring.
Many of us think we are good people…and by our own standards, we might be. But our standards are not His. No matter how good we think we are, if we can turn away from someone who is in need or hurting, then we are not living as Jesus intended. Yes, it is hard to reach out, especially when we may not know the person well or when we’ve convinced ourselves that we should mind our own business. To a point, we should respect each other’s privacy, but if God has placed someone in our field of vision and we choose to ignore their pain instead of at least asking if there is anything we can do, then we’ve missed an opportunity to let Him work through us. He created us to be vessels of light and to allow Him to work through us whenever possible. He gives us free will so that we can decide how much of Him we let in and how much of Him we let out and it is up to us to give up our pride and our need for control so that He can use us for the purpose for which we were designed.
This doesn’t mean that we all have the same personality or that we can’t have different ways of showing His love to others. In fact, we should understand that God is so much more than our little minds can imagine that He is. Imagine every good person you know and all of the quirks that make them beautiful to you. That, my friends, is who God is. He is not stuffy. He is not boring. He is not limited in His ability to entertain others. He is not without a sense of humor…obviously. Just look around at what He has created and you can see that. But He is also not one to be mocked. He is the one who has the power to change this world. And He will do so by any means necessary. He will not be politically correct. He is not bound by the laws of this world. He is, for all intents and purposes, the final word on all things. And not all of us will agree with what He says is right and what He says is wrong.
The choices we make every day show Him how willing we are to serve Him. He knows our hearts and even though we may stumble, He gives us every opportunity to turn to Him. Our constructs do not negate His power. No matter how much “good” we think we are doing by allowing each other to continue living a life that dishonors God, it is not our blessing that they need. It is His. We cannot continue to allow someone to hurt themselves or others and still believe that we are somehow being “Godly” for letting them “be themselves.” If being ourselves is in conflict with what God says He wants us to be, then we are getting it wrong; even if our actions and lifestyles are completely okay with the world.
So much of what we see around us implies that it is perfectly okay to disregard God’s laws or the teachings of Jesus as they are presented in the Bible. And many times, even those who are reading and studying the Bible have interpretations of what is in there that are so far from God’s intent that it is hard for anyone to believe that being a Christian is worth the effort. But misinformation is abundant; whether that be inside or outside the church. This is why it is so very important to read and study God’s word on our own and to listen, truly listen, for Him as we attempt to carry out His will. So that when we are in the midst of false teachings or demons who are trying to persuade us that God really doesn’t matter, we can answer them with strength and confidence and still walk away with the ability to be a genuine servant of God. It isn’t what you think it is. Listen…and He will tell you.
This is what the Lord says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.