A very cool thing just happened. During a time of fellowship this morning, we found ourselves discussing and then praying over a crisis that had developed inside the church involving a particular family. As we gingerly approached the subject matter, we were very careful not to react to the situation in our flesh or allow ourselves to be guided by our emotions. As we processed what we were receiving from the Lord, someone hit us with a snowball.
Have you ever played the ‘what if’ game? In our situation this morning we did. As we approached the problem we began to makeup scenarios in our heads, “What if we do this thing and others come along and need similar help? As the word gets out we will be inundated with cries for help!”
To Embrace or Dismiss the Snowball
Do we embrace the (snowball) vision or do we dismiss the vision…That is the question? The answer to both questions is, “Yes!”
First we are to dismiss it. Why? Because when we create scenarios in our heads that are a result of what may or may not happen, inevitably they become the stumbling blocks that prevent us from doing any good thing. The end result is that we know (from God) what it is we are supposed to do, but fear prevents us from doing it. This exactly what James was referring to when he penned these words in James 1:22:
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
James prefaced that remark by telling us we need to remove all the ‘junk’ that would interfere with our being obedient to that which God has taught us. One of our biggest pitfalls as Christians is ‘knowing’ God’s word sufficiently, and falsely believing that knowing it is sufficient.
After having removed the obstacle, we are then free to embrace it. As it happened the morning, as a result of a good deed, we envisioned droves of people lining up for provision. While it was correct to dismiss it as the obstacle that it was, it is also right for us to embrace it as ‘possibly’ God’s bigger picture for the church.
A Big ‘Ouch’ Moment
The irony is that the pastor of this church had been given a vision years ago of people ‘lining up at the doors of the church’ and ultimately the pews being filled to overflowing with most (if not all) accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. I confess that when he first shared this vision, in my mind’s eye I saw a bunch of middle-class, working stiffs marching into the pews. Right now I see the make-up of this assembly quite differently.
My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place, ” and say to the poor man, “You stand there, ” or, “Sit here at my footstool, ” have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? James 2:1-5
Don’t Fear the Snowball
As a result, obedience ends up being a catalyst to Kingdom building. The Bible is quite clear; we are to give to everyone who asks. In so doing we should not allow the vision of an avalanche freeze us in our tracks-of-obedience to the request. However, that same vision provides for us an opportunity to be consistent givers and in accordance to God’s will. So while it is true we are to give to everyone who asks, the Lord is giving us an opportunity to respond as Peter did in Acts 3:6,
“Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”
These articles may or may not relate:
- The True Service, Humility and Obedience of Jesus Christ (lynleahz.com)
- Hope In the Lord (thoughtfulbeliever.wordpress.com)
- Mark Dever – False Conversions: The Suicide of the Church (Transcribed) (rodiagnusdei.wordpress.com)
- Sins Against the Brethren (justificationbygrace.com)
- The Love that Motivates Obedience (sabbathsermons.com)
- Gospel-centred counselling is grounded in the saving work of Jesus Christ (pjcockrell.wordpress.com)