Sunday, March 1, 2009

God’s Core Business

It seems kind of weird to tag God as a merchant i.e. that he has a ‘core business’ or trade. The truth is, he’s so other-than everything else--especially in the worldly or commercial sense. But there is about him, a nature; his wisdom and truth are known all about us every moment, though most of us are blind to it in ordinary life. It’s forever a mystery to us.

Everyday Miraculous Life

Within the realm of human nature, God specialises in the certain business of miracles; not supernatural miracles (though I do not deny them), but practical, everyday, ordinary-life miracles.

(I especially don’t want to downplay the supernatural miracle because I know there are many who passionately believe--it’s not my intent to offend. It is no coincidence that Jesus denounced those who continually looked especially for the supernatural type of miracle found often in the Old Testament[1] e.g. the Exodus, for reason to believe. But, as we see, Jesus changes things.)

Our Relational God

God is relational at his core. He would not have created us had he not sought relationship, and in any event, there are so many things about life that testify that he wishes to relate with us, as much as he wishes for us to relate with him.

There above are two hints toward what I would call are the most common and powerful miracles of God. There is a third--us, humanity. We are intrinsically part of his miraculous plan; he has miracles planned for each one of us!

Changing hearts and minds

God’s core business, in relation to us at least, is working his changes through our hearts and minds. When he achieves this--the breaking down of the sinful, selfish pride each of us battles with--it’s nothing short of an absolute miracle. And all we’ve done is responded in obedience; yet, there stands a nature totally foreign to our default human nature.

Only his Spirit, the Holy Spirit, can bring this change about--to show to us our errant way, give us the courage to react, and thus bring us back into fellowship with him.

We can say these things, like forgiveness and grace and magnanimity, are miracles because they so rarely happen comparative to our fallen state. God can only bless the humble acts. He encourages us to act humbly but then we must do it. Then it’s possible that further miracles are possible because our humility is often (eventually) the activator for the other person’s likewise response.

Jesus said, attesting to this, “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” –Matthew 23:12 (TNIV).


“Pride first, then the crash, but humility is precursor to honor.” –Proverbs 18:12 (Msg).

James says, finally, “Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. But the rich should take pride in their humiliation--since they will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.” –James 1:9-11 (TNIV).

This is the nature of God. He gives the ‘high position’ to those who’re truly humble--in the moment (it’s no good being humble yesterday and not today). The time for the prideful rich is coming; they will be no more.

God’s ‘core business’ (if it were possible for him to have one) cannot be limited to miracles, but it would be closer to say his business is intrinsically linked to changing lives--our lives. God’s greatest achievement is changing our hearts toward a repentant humility.

His business is changing hearts and minds; a changed life is the Spirit’s aim.

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

[1] Disclaimer: (Additional to all the supernatural miracles) the account and theology of the Old Testament is littered with everyday miracles of obedience to which I allude here. For example, see Ruth regarding her loving interaction with Naomi, obediently going against her Moabite lineage. Jesus showed us both forms of miracles in his ministry, and the early Church was no different. Miracles of both kinds are biblically common.

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