A Little Understanding – Connect to the Foundation & Footings
In my days, as a world-renowned scientist, well not so much days, more like hours. Well not so much hours, but instead it felt like hours when I had the dream. Okay, I really know very little about science, but I do know that this little thing called gravity cannot be defied while living on the earth. When a plane takes off, it must have more power from the engines and lift from the wings than the force exerted by gravity. It flies not because it defies gravity, but instead it overcomes the force until it runs out of fuel. Once it is out of fuel, gravity, the law that no plane can defy, does what gravity does: it pulls the plane back to earth. It is the same with our Christian walk. We can hold up the basic day-to-day living of a Christ follower’s life. We can hold up the day-to-day operations and programs in the collective of Christ followers. The problem is, we were not designed to defy the laws of spiritual gravity.
There is a constant strain on our lives as…
…Christ followers and on the collective of Christ followers. Continuing with the plane parallel, to overcome the forces that pull it to the ground, a break must be taken to refuel and maintain the plane. Most Christ followers and most collectives of Christ followers actually do this. We take time to make sure that we do things to keep us going. We read the Bible, go to church, sing songs, listen to Christian radio, go to Christian events, and many other rest stops that we use to fill up the tank and perform maintenance. The problem is, we are slaves to the limitations of the plane when it comes to distance traveled and durability, and we are slaves to the limitations of our knowledge, resources, and strength when it comes to work done for God. When we live from fill-up to fill-up, we live wrong. We are not tied into the foundation and footings, God and His love, we are tied into events and services, motivational speakers, and emotional highs and lows. That is what keeps us going.
My guess is you were caught a little off guard…
…by the end of the last paragraph. I have to admit, I was too when I wrote it. Often, I have said to people, you need to make sure you are going to church, reading your Bible, and maintaining your Christian walk. I have used parallels like recharging or refueling, and I will continue to use the same metaphors but with one difference. We don’t recharge or refuel so that we can be strong enough to carry the load, we do it so that we will better understand God, which will lead us to give Him the load. When we worship God with everything we are, recognizing everything He is, when we learn about Him, seeking to better understand His holiness and our state of sinfulness, when we experience the giftedness of great preachers along with thousands of our closest friends, we should be learning more about God while understanding that we can never know enough.
To put it another way, if we are truly encountering the living God, we become more and more aware of our inability to bear the load and of God’s willingness to take it from us. Those who refuel or recharge with this truth become weaker so that God can be their strength. They are humbled, understanding they need God for everything. Those who only hear the excitement ride the emotional wave. They feel they need to do things for God. They are refueled or recharged by their own power and motivation. They become stronger for a time but sense no need for God’s support. When they run out of fuel, they do the same thing all over again. At some point, they become frustrated and tired, feeling like they are spinning their wheels. Eventually they, as a group or as individuals, realize that no matter how much they have done or how hard they have worked, they have had very little lasting success. The prayers of these people and churches are, “God, why haven’t you blessed our work; we’ve done so much.” They miss God’s call to be humble and let Him be their strength, which leaves them feeling humiliated by their failures.
If God is going to be the center of our lives…
…the foundation of our churches, the footings that bear the load, we need to make sure that the load is secured to Him. It is not our job to take action on His behalf. It is not our responsibility to make our lives and our churches into something that is presentable to God. If we could do this, then we would fully know everything about God. We would be God. Instead, we must understand that God has a way to transform us into the people He wants us to be. God has the plan to make each collective of Christ followers into the ambassadors He designed us to be. Most importantly, He is the only one who has the strength and the knowledge to make this happen. We need to pass the load onto Him instead of carrying it ourselves.
“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Over the next few months I will be preaching a sermon series using my book Blueprint as a jumping off point. My posts will contain small sections from my book and a link to my sermon.