Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Forward Motion....Part 2
It wasn't the great suggestion, It was the great commission. - Pastor Pedro
Part 2. We box God in our minds, by not seeing Him for who He is. How else can we box Him?
I had been looking for the second part to this idea of struggling with forward motion, and God shot me a parable this week, 3 times he gave it to me, He knows I need the confirmation several times (I hate being doubting Thomas). Matthew 25, starting on verse 14, Jesus gives us the parable of the talents. The parable goes that a man leaves three men with a number of talents for each. (I love that the currency used was talents, as that word can be both a currency or something we as humans excel at) When he comes back, two of the men took the talents they were given and multiplied them, having invested them in banks and gaining interest. The third man however, buried his talent and hid it from the world. When the man who had given the talents returned, he was well pleased with the first two, however, furious with the third man saying: "You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?"
Why would he hide his talent? Why would he box up his gift? We are guilty of this. I am first in line. I myself struggle with the idea of sharing what He has given me. This has nothing to do with money. He has given me and you and anyone else who calls on Him and believes, life. It is almost like we take that gift, and keep it in the gift box. We might take it with us here and there, but we'll never let out our gift, we'll never tell our story, His story. (This is why they call it HIStory)
"What is life kept to ourselves, careful words composed, it's a book upon the shelf, a story never told" - Daes Vail
Why do we box up our story? Is it fear? That is funny, because I remember reading somewhere that we were not given the spirit of fear. (This is the part where I yell at myself for being so guilty of the above) Tough pill to swallow. This isn't an easy message. It is easy for us to sit and yell about this all day, however, if we don't do it, what good is it? It is like being given a flashlight and being thrown into a dark room, then being instructed to do something, and doing without turning on our light. How does that make sense?
We are the light and the salt. My favorite picture of this part of scripture concerning being the light is one that was given by a special guest one night at CCk. Imagine all the lights in the city of Miami. Now imagine all these lights being located in one parking lot. The lot will be lit, however, the rest of the city will be in darkness. Those lights may as well not be on. They are in a sense, purposeless. You only need a handful of lights for that parking lot. The rest of those other lights need to properly be placed throughout the city so that there can be no darkness.
This message is a call. Christianity isn't about being comfortable. Jesus said in Matthew 10 that he didn't come to bring peace, but a sword. One of my favorite quotes that compliment this says: "I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity." - C.S. Lewis
We are always presented an opportunity day in and day out to preach His name, to share His word, to let out of our box, the amazingness that is God. I know for me, it is so hard. Hard to be bold, hard to sometimes see that opportunity, and more often than not (and this upsets me about myself so much), hard to go through with our commission.
The most painful thing to me, is to walk into a room and just look around and observe the people in it. There is someone in that room who is going to hell. Who may never hear the word, who may never know the love that is Jesus. Stop and think, could you imagine if the person or event that brought you to Christ never came, imagine that for a moment. It breaks me. What is frustrating is not knowing where to begin. Not having that discernment. Pray for it.
I read this book a while ago in high school called "The Prayer of Jabez". Don't ask me to tell you where in the bible Jabez is located, because I don't remember. For the most part, the book was a feel good book, but I remember one thing from it. It is the only part of the prayer I remember. "Lord expand my boundaries!" We need to daily ask God to send those opportunities our way. He has entrusted us with the commission of getting His word out, we need to do something with it.
Appropriately, there is a verse for this (Oh c'mon, you knew it was coming). James 1:22 "Be doers of the word, not just hearers, deceiving yourselves." I have commented on this verse plenty of times, however, which each post, the weight of it becomes heavier and heavier. As we begin to draw closer to Him and as our hearts begin to break for the things that break His heart, we begin to realize that if there is something that breaks God's heart, it is the want that all men come to know Him. Paul says it in Colossians that he labors hard for this goal, that all men might know Christ.
We need to do, not just hear. Pray that he reveals to you your calling, your ministry, your gift, then DO IT. It is nice to recite verses and reflect on how pretty they are or how they make us feel, but there is more to it. John 3:16 is gorgeous, verses found in Psalms are at times breathtaking, however, if we just hear them and do nothing with them, how is that in line with our commission?
Phil 2:4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Don't limit God to the box of our minds, Don't box up God like a treasure that only makes you feel good, let Him out!
I challenge you today, take the first step in the great commission. Do it with me. I want, next week, that we make a new friend. It doesn't have to be a best friend or a huge convo, however, I want whoever reads this to take an interest in some other person. Pray for some discernment, then go out and get someone. You don't even have to talk to them about Jesus, you just have to show them some love. Make them feel cared for in some way. You never know what will come of it, you could very well be speaking to the next Greg Laurie..