God has never verbally asked me the question, “So Dave, what have you done for me lately.” In actuality God has never spoken audibly to me, despite the fact He speaks to me daily. I wish He would speak aloud to me, but then again, He probably knows that I wouldn’t believe it was Him. Once again, God proves He knows me better than I know myself. I’ve gone off the point…
To some the notion of God uttering such a phrase (‘What-have-you-done-for-Me-lately’) is doctrinally incorrect. In the spirit of, um, spiritual-correctness, I would have to agree, for the sentence loosely implies that God needs us to do stuff for Him when clearly He does not. Our Lord is more into relationship and since He declared that He finished the work on the cross, He’s really more interested in our availability than our work-ability. The truth of the matter is that doctrinally-correct titles just don’t fit well into the title-area.
Walking Like Jesus
I suspect that every Christian who reads 1 John 2:6 regards the walk as either something that they have to do or something that they get to do. Obviously how you perceive the remark affects how you walk, where you walk, and why you walk. If you asked me how I perceive my walk, I’d likely tell you that I get to do it, but I must be honest for every so often I consider it a chore. I know, shame on me, but that’s why it is critical for every Christian to be in prayer, in the word, and in fellowship. For me it is when I get away from these things that my Jesus-walk becomes burdensome.
I am a reproach among all my enemies, But especially among my neighbors, And am repulsive to my acquaintances; Those who see me outside flee from me. Psalm 31:11
Here’s a sad little truth: as you walk like Jesus there will be some in the faith who will attack you for it. They will call you a Pharisee, a legalist, or perhaps just a pious jerk. Ouch. Now if you’re one of those ‘God-Hates-Fags-and-You’re-Going-To Hell’ sign-tote’n types, those labels might be appropriate. On the other hand, if you’re connected to Jesus, seeking His will, yielding to His will in obedience, and if what you are doing lines-up with Biblical doctrine and those Christians you fellowship with, consider those remarks blessings rather than insults. While it’s sad that the church cannot get along in this regard, when these things occur, and they will, it is confirmation that you are on the proper spiritual tract.
Why Do They Do That
Why do Christians beat-up on other Christians? Well I suppose it has a lot to do with that narrow-path we all waddle along. Regardless of where we are on that trail, we will always have some folks in front of us and some folks behind. In our discipleship we conclude that further along is better, but then our sinful nature kicks in and begins to formulate how we can advance our position. Sometimes, whether we realize we are doing it or not, we surmise that by knocking down the person in front of us somehow improves our standing.
Of course the flip side is to spy the believer behind you and want to help him along in his journey; a gesture we are called to do by the way. However, in our zealousness we sometimes want to cut corners by omitting things – such as love. That’s where those ‘God-Hates-Fags’ guys are coming from (God does not hate the homosexual by the way—I know you knew that, but it was a good place to throw that in). What God abhors is sin and there is a danger when the Christian camps on one aspect of our Christian walk to long or worse, refuses to bulwark the bad news with the all-important Good News.
So, What Have You Done For ME Lately
Christianity is a full-time job and part-timers will continually be after the full-timers to cut back their hours. Get used to it and pray for the temps! Typically they harbor guilt and often times it is a result of thinking their walk is a task to be done rather than a commission they get to do. Be patient and loving with them.
The Acts 1:8 passage is hopefully one we are all familiar; I use it quite a bit when I find myself sharing about the Compassion ministry. Today, the phrase, ’…And you shall be witnesses to Me…’ leapt off the page. What does it mean to be a witness and/or to give testimony for Jesus? How we answer that question and what we say in our testimonies should have a profound impact, oh not on our audience (we have little control over that), but on ourselves, for these testimonies need to reflect what God is currently doing in our lives. If our witness reflects something we did yesterday, a week ago, or worse case scenario, ten years ago, there is a huge problem.
A Good Test
Stop right now and share a five minute testimony with yourself. Now hold it up (figuratively) before the calendar. What does that time-line look like? If it looks pretty good (which means there’s stuff for today, yesterday, etc.) then hold it up to the clock—now what does it look like?
The exercise is not meant to make you feel guilty (or prideful for that matter), but rather to allow the Lord through His Holy Spirit to convict you. What’s the difference between guilt and conviction? Well let’s just say guilt is the cancer that’s created when we refuse to yield to conviction. Ignore what God wants to do in your life and the guilt you experience will eat you alive. Generally speaking (and as it pertains to the subject matter), God doesn’t care about our yesterdays.