Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Letting God Do His Thing
While in the process of restarting our church this fall as The Voyage Church, I'm constantly hounded by not only the naysayers who say we shouldn't have stopped what we were doing in the first place, but also my own doubts about whether it CAN be done successfully or not. In a recent gathering of people to share the vision of The Voyage Church, I shared with them a passage that I'd come across in my devotional reading. The passage is a familiar one, one that I'd read through hundreds of times before, but one that never really got my attention. That is, until I read it in the NLT. When I read it in that version, it came alive to me for the first time (this serves as a good reminder to read from a variety of translations of the bible.)
The passage I'm talking about is Matthew 5:3 - the beginning of the famous beatitudes passage that Jesus proclaims to his disciples. In the NIV, it reads something like "blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." Again, nothing wrong with that translation, but it never really grabbed my attention. In the NLT, however, it reads in the following way:
"God blesses those who realize their need for Him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them."
What struck me was the realization that God blesses those who realize their need for Him. God shows favor to those who are at the "end of the rope," as The Message puts it. God blesses those who suddenly recognize that they can't do it on their own. It's a sudden revelation that we are nothing and God is everything. It's an awakening that enlightens us to the fact that we are the creation and He is the Creator.
You see, God wants to bring us balance in our lives. He wants to make our burdens light. He wants to give us life abundantly. Yet, so often we seek the abundant and balanced life through our own means and through our own interventions. What Jesus is saying here is that we need a Divine intervention each and everyday in order to live the life that God all wants for us to live.
By seeing this, by noticing that God blesses us when we turn back towards him, we have hope. We have direction. Better yet, the burden is gone. When we finally recognize that we are hopeless and helpless without HIM, a peace that is beyond understanding begins to overwhelm us and transform us into something new and better.
So, as I reflect again on this passage, I'm reminded that I can't make the restart of our church successful on my own. I can only be faithful and do so much, but inevitably, it's a God thing. Today, I'm more confident than ever that God will show favor upon what we are doing if we will only keep our focus upward and let God do his thing.
Posted by J A Bouma at 11:46 AM