Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Marathons of Divine Purpose

Since last November I've been blogging on the paradigm of 24/7 missional life as simple, daily expressions and opportunities available to us to be a vehicle of God's purposes to reveal Himself to those on the earth. A common everyday life of missional practice, beyond our previous theology and behavior of looking to events and specialists to "do the work" for us. Instead, each one of us taking the opportunities to live out the realities of Christ in our lives to those around us in multiple venues and spheres that make up our own individual lives.

One of the most awesome aspects of living this life is that it is fine tuned by God to fit perfectly who we are, where we are, and what we are. We don't have to find the version of what we like and try to clone it. Instead, it is already within us. However, it does take our ability to listen, cooperate, initiate and obey what has already been laid out for each of us. As Paul says; " Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Philippians 3:11-13

Our temperaments and natures play a large part of how we pursue life, and the pace of it. Most of us are somewhere between two extremes; the phlegmatic, laid back, slow moving turtle types and the fast, ground chewing, quick leaping, jack rabbit types. However, unlike the children's book regarding the turtle and the hare, we are not in a race against each other. We run in our own race. The race that is "set before us" which Paul refers to. An individual, unique and God directed race path. One long marathon of divine purpose for which we are given the freedom to choose the pace and whether we stop frequently or not along the way.

In riding a motorcycle, you can stay upright moving pretty slowly if you have acquired good balance, but if your stopped too long you tip over. If your in a boat with no wind or motor propelling you, it's said that "your dead in the water" and that's not what motorcycles or boats were created for! They are vehicles to be upright and moving somewhere. Both are directed by the rider or a captain for a journey. "With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith." 2 Thessalonians 1:11.

He is our captain. Rider extraordinaire. Hopefully we are learning to balance our lives, keep upright in our hearts and conscience and be continually filled with the Presence and "wind" Himself. Submitting joyfully and obediently, "For in him we live and move and have our being." Acts 17: 27-29.

This is incredible when you think of it. That the Creator of the universe, whom I can't even begin to fathom and understand, actually chooses to use the cracked, damaged, completely fallible humans He calls both "dust" and "His People" for anything of value and purpose. He has wonderful races for each of us that are "above all we could ever ask and imagine" if we choose to run those races by pressing forward into them. You can't just talk about a race to actually participate. You must move your feet!

In his epistle, James is writing to the twelve tribes who were scattered abroad (vs 1). Tribes of Jews familiar with the teachings of Moses and the Prophets. Many, were probably teachers themselves. But the assumption James makes is that they are little soft on not what they know, but in doing what know. He says in 1:22 "But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves".
It's easy to talk of faith and not put much of it into action. It's easy to spiritualize complacency and call it "waiting on God". Certainly, I'm not advocating a life of frenzied activity and works. There are times to "be still and know that I AM God". However, love is a verb. And action. Faith is a risk. It requires a movement (no matter how timid) forward. Our words must have substance, or they cease to have any worth. Talk is cheap, the saying goes.

I think God is quite able to direct us down the right paths on our marathons of divine purpose.

James 2: 18; "but someone may well say, "you have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works and I will show you my faith by my works"...Even so faith , if it has no works is dead, being by itself."

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the challenging reminder and the grace with which you write.