Wednesday, April 25, 2018

What God cannot do without our help

Photo by Geetanjal Khanna on Unsplash

“I’ve already got more truth than I know how to obey. I don’t just want to ‘know’. I want to change. And I don’t want to change on a so-called spiritual level; at a ‘public’ level. I want to change in the inner chambers of my heart.”
— Paul Washer
There are so many people I know, myself included, who already know plenty of life-changing truth, but do not apply it. If it wasn’t for God I’d be frustrated enough by now to give up, especially as it pertains to myself — so often a hearer and not a doer of His Word.
Washer tells us what we all know, but don’t think often or highly enough of — the thing that sets our doing apart from our hearing is the worship of God, which is the only weapon that works in war… the spiritual war that every devoted follower of Jesus faces every moment of their lives.
But what on earth is worship? It is more than love-me-some-Jesus songs! In fact, it isn’t that at all. It can be a dangerous consumer style worship. It consumes but does not cost. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but if that’s all ‘worship’ is, we live a stale and thin spirituality that does nothing to fortify our faith.
Worship is summed up in the quote at top;
to implore God to change us… me
in the deepest recesses of the heart.
When was the last time we praised God in the wiping of a baby’s bottom, or in shovelling snow, in waking early, in working in extreme heat or cold? In going without? In deep marital conflict that seems irresolvable. Do we see the glory of God in these things? That’s our problem. That’s the key indicator of what needs to change. We don’t choose to change the order of things in our minds. We refuse to see the sanctity in and of these moments, for that paradigm is God’s will and agenda.
In this day, we are so given to hearing and pondering and agreeing… without doing a thing about it. God can give us His Word, in dozens of translations, with commentaries and sermons and podcasts and eloquent quotes, but we’re the ones who need to apply its wisdom. Without doing that we can receive no power.
If only we esteemed God enough to take Him seriously enough to do His will by doing His Word.
If only we saw in ourselves the esteem God has for us. He made us with the capacity and the will to overcome, to work, to conquer, to strive to change and want to build God’s eternal kingdom.
But the first and last step of such a life is the doing life, not simply the hearing life. It is the life of taking God so seriously that we will not rest until we discipline ourselves in godliness.
Jesus finished His sermon on the mount by saying in Matthew 7:24-27 (NRSV):
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell — and great was its fall!”
It’s time we got up off our knees and walked forward into a life of loving God and people with real and formative action.
Everything we do ought to be done for the glory of God. Think and feel that way, and we have no problem doing what God wills us to do. And the prayer of Matthew 6:33 becomes a reality.

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