Action or Reaction?

How does a Christ follower live? How does a collective of Christ followers function? Are we to be people who take action or people who react? If you look at this question through a first world cultural lens you would have to say we are rewarded when we are people who take action. As we all know buried deep in the verses of that theological gem, 1 Condominiums, are these words meant to guide us as we seek to please God, “he who hesitates is lost.” 2 Condominiums also gives us insight into our responsibilities as God pleasing people with, “God helps those who help themselves.”If your Bible does not contain these two books written by the father of modern economics, Dr. Mammon McGreedy, I am happy to send you your very own copy for the low price of $7000 (while quantities last). Your purchase will also include other books of the Bible that may not have been included in your standard KJV or NIV translation such as the book of Maid. You may not be familiar with the title but I am sure you have heard one of its most quoted verses, “cleanliness is next to godliness.”

Cultural appropriation has been a problem from the beginning of time.

Until recently “cultural” and “appropriation” were individual words, not a descriptive phrase. We may not have had a name for it but it doesn’t mean we haven’t been doing it. Cultural appropriation means the adoption or use of elements of one culture by another culture. Followers of the true God have been doing this since Eve thought tasting that beautiful piece of fruit would be a good idea. We are guilty of applying human ideals based on the way we live to our understanding of the way God wants us to live. Throughout history the true God has been viewed through the cultural norms of the people seeking Him. We take the culture of the world and appropriate it to the culture of new creation that we are supposed to be embracing through following Christ.

The application of cultural norms to the life of a Christ follower causes them to replace God’s simple instructions with their own chaotic strategies.

God’s design has been perverted by sin. God created us to gain through experience and observation but He was to be the one that interpreted the meaning of what we witness and He was to be the one that revealed its application in our lives.  Once we cut Him out of the process we are stuck using our own interpretations, creating our own applications based on our own limited understanding of how life works. Our cultural norms reward forward motion and celebrate those who take initiative. Compiling all that we have learned through our powers of observation and the collection of experiential data, we formulate a way to take action. If we see results we continue to use and expand upon this formula, if it seems to be failing we re-evaluate our course and make adjustments in hopes of future success. We strategize in an attempt to find success, our energy drained by our constant efforts to create the outcomes we believe please God. As 1st and 2nd Condominiums says: He who hesitates is lost – God helps those who help themselves. We need to be a people of action.

The Biblical model for getting things done does not rely on our actions but rather your reaction to God’s perfect plan.

In a culture that sells the American dream as gospel truth, it is tough not to be a person of action. You can achieve anything you put your mind to in the land of opportunity, becomes the lens through which we see our calling. A truly biblical approach is quite different. The only action we are called to take is to pray. We are to wait on the Lord, not take action on His behalf. We are called to be a people of reaction to God’s call. If you think reaction sounds like you are behind on your response you are right. You are behind and God is out in front, leading you in His perfect plan. Old Testament, New Testament and subsequent church history has recorded great moves of God after people prayed, turning their attention on God and waiting for Him to respond. It’s time we do the same. Our culture demands action to create success, our God demands humility and then He will bring true success. It is time we stopped addressing the decline of church attendance in North America with the latest program/action devised by man and waited on God so that everything we do is a reaction to His call.

The birth of Christianity came out of obedient followers of Christ waiting as Jesus commanded. It did not start with the plots and plans of people trying to take action but instead it started out with humble people reacting to the power given to them as they waited on God (see Acts 1&2)

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