Excuses, Reasons, Roadblocks, Concerns. These are what we are tempted to give to God when He opens a door in front of us that we are either not expecting or not quite ready for. We immediately move into telling God the “whys and why nots” of what He has asked of us. For every opportunity God provides, we are likely able to produce multiple points of argument against His proposal, divine though it may be.
We may occasionally wonder why God didn’t see all of the reasons/issues/challenges that we can so clearly see and freely point out to Him. Frankly, sometimes God surprises us by how little thought he puts into the opportunity He has presented us. We may wonder to ourselves if God is serious about what He is suggesting or calling us to.
We might remember saying something like this…
“It’s not the right fit for me.”
“The timing is completely off.”
“That’s too much to ask of me or my family.”
“That won’t work!”
“God, You just don’t seem to understand why I can’t just step out on faith and do what You are suggesting. You may be Almighty, but I’m not. And I have needs – physically, socially, financially, romantically, professionally. What you are asking me to do or to become conflicts with so many of my needs and alters the balance of my life and family.”
Anxiety over where God is leading (or just plain old rebellion) comes close to getting the best of our relationship with God. Simple math gives us many reasons why we can’t do it. He can’t be serious. So, we throw on the brakes to things suggested by God for us to try or take as our next pursuit. While I feel ashamed of my thoughts and debating with God, He feels sorrow for me – His beloved child- who, believing in His existence, has trouble trusting in the promises of God to create and care for me in steps of faith.
Perhaps we should settle in our hearts once and for all that when God calls us to act in a particular way He is not joking. He is not acting rashly. He is not kidding. He is serious. He is serious because faith is not a static reality. Faith is dynamic which means a whole lot of things for us, but particularly means that trusting and obeying is involved. We don’t just determine in our mind that one day we will trust God and obey Him without actually acting on our belief. We must actively/dynamically trust and obey Him as both a lifestyle and a daily agenda. God’s requests, requirements, and risks for us are not tests of our faith. Rather, they are petitions for us to separate (or detach) from our selfish ways so that we may attach to those glorious plans He has in His heart for us.
Fellowship with Jesus and obedience to his commandments come first, and all else follows. Worldly concerns are not a part of our discipleship, but distinct and subordinate concerns. Before we start taking thought for our life, our food and clothing, our work and families, we must seek the righteousness of Christ. (Bonhoeffer – Cost of Discipleship)
God is serious about our faith in Him being active and all encompassing. Anxiety about what will happen to us or what we will lose our how we will be affected is a temporal concern that should not separate us from eternal fellowship and glory. God is serious about giving us a vision for what life in Him is like and how it opens up windows for us to see heaven on earth. Serious enough to send His Son so that we may know Him in His fullness and follow Him in his infinite wisdom. Serious enough to move heaven and earth so we may know how much He loves us and longs for us to love Him in return. Serious enough to open doors for us to abandon our ordinary, routine, selfish lives so that we can be a people of faith, hope and love in word and deed. Serious enough to offer us a new vision, a new journey, a new life in exchange for our beat up, burned out, busted up plan of self survival.
God is not done with me yet. Neither is He done with you. He is serious about who we are and what we are doing with the Who that He sent us to know. So, let’s stop giving God reasons why He can’t do something in or with us and start giving Him full control of our hearts. Let’s get serious about God working eternal life into us here and now.
Proper 15 – Week of August 9, 2015——————————————————————————
35Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; 38for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. 39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.” (John 6)