Thursday, March 22, 2012

Please .... Just DO it!!

I've spent the entire almost 50 years of my life connected to the church.( I wasn't born in a church, but I'm pretty sure I was taken there within hour of my arrival.)  That doesn't make me perfect, but it does mean that I've seen and heard a few things along the way. As one of my former pastors used to say, 'I've been around the track more than once.'

I attended a prayer meeting recently.  As sometimes happens in prayer meetings, people began to share certain things that they believed God wanted them to share with the group.  That might sound unusual to some of you, but I believe that God does speak to people and that there are times when what He says should be shared with others who are there.  In this particular meeting, the general theme of what was being shared was something like this:

'God is calling us to wake up because He is getting ready to do something.'
 'He is about to give us the tools to do what He is asking us to do.' 

Before you read further, let me say that you may not necessarily like what follows. I'm not saying it to be offensive or disrespectful. I just think that it needs to be said.

Imagine if you will, that the finalists for the 100M Olympic Gold Medal Final are on the track before the big race.  The announcement goes out that the race is about to start and the athletes continue to mill about visiting with each other about how great the race is going to be.  The announcement goes out again, and again, and again... and the athletes continue to mill about discussing how great the race is going to be.  The announcement keeps repeating, the crowd keeps waiting and the athletes keep telling each other how great the race is going to be. 

Kind of absurd don't you think?  And yet I think I'm seeing it happen in the church.  (If you are looking for the place where this gets edgy, here's the first spot...)  Perhaps the church is so overexposed to the 'God is about to do the BIG thing' message that no one is stepping up to participate in the race.  

Imagine with me again.... this time the athletes have responded to the announcement, they are all in the starting blocks, focused on the lane before them.  They hear the starter say 'Ready.... Set .......' and again 'Ready...... Set ...... ' and again 'Ready...... Set......' and on and on it goes.... At some point one of the runners stands up and steps away from the blocks, others follow because they rightly conclude that the starter is never going to say 'GO'.  (If you are still reading, here's the 2nd spot....) At some point those who were ready to run conclude that the race is never going to happen and walk away from the starting line.  I've met enough disillusioned Christians who no longer believe that God is willing or able to do much of anything to know that the race that never starts has taken it's toll on the team.

There are at least 3 things that I know to be true:

1)  God is ALWAYS doing a BIG thing. It's not as though He stops and starts depending on His mood.  God's plans, purposes and thoughts are enormous!  He has more in mind than what you and I can even begin to comprehend AND He is ALWAYS working to see those things come to pass. God is unstoppable  We just don't always see it.  Henry Blackaby (Experiencing God) says this:  'If you want to be a part of what God is doing, look around at what God is doing and join Him.'  That is life changing insight if you put it into practice.

2) We have been given EVERYTHING we need to do ANYTHING that God is asking us to do. 

Check this out: 

Luke 10:19 - I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and overcome all the power of enemy.  Nothing will harm you. (Jesus)

Eph 1:3 - Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Acts 1:8 - You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you... (Jesus)

Are you seeing a pattern?  have given past tense, overcome all complete domination,  every spiritual blessing (the full meal deal....)  There are many more, but there's not enough time today.

A few years ago, I was given a motorcycle. It was completely unexpected and very appreciated. I love to ride it! When it arrived, the ownership papers were in my name. The keys were there and it was ready to ride. If I had parked it in the garage and went into the house hoping that some day I would have a motorcycle that was mine, anyone who knew the story would be concerned for my state of mind. The giver would have been disappointed that I had not chosen to enjoy what he had generously provided for me. My friends would have wondered why I had never put the key in the ignition and taken it for a ride. Even my wife, who was a bit nervous about it would have encouraged me to go for a ride.

It's bad theology to sit around waiting to receive that which is already given to us.  It makes us look foolish.  It also leaves us tremendously under-resourced.  Our unwillingness to lay hold of what has been given to us has incapacitated us and rendered us ineffective when it comes to participating in God's BIG Thing.

3) Nike has a fantastic marketing slogan.  'Just Do It' has inspired people all around the world to get active, train, compete and just enjoy a healthy lifestyle all while wearing Nike gear.  Deep inside of me, I think the single most important message that God has for the church is:
 'Just DO IT!' 

We've talked enough, trained enough, dreamed enough, even prayed enough.  Now it's just time to get it done! Game On!!

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