Don’t quit your day job

Flock of BirdsMy day job has kept me very busy of late and there has been less time to sit and reflect. Social events and family obligations have also contributed. But none of these tell the entire story as to why I haven’t posted.

This week my thoughts were like a pack of birds in a field. I could see them from afar, but when I got close to one, the entire pack would fly away. For this reason, I haven’t posted since Monday and that post was queued up for a while in advance.

I am reading through Numbers right now for devotional reading. One of the recurring themes in that book is that God does not look favorably on a rebellious heart. God also takes sin very seriously and the remedy for sin is costly. There is no free lunch, someone has to pay.

The good news is that Jesus has paid that price and we can come into relationship with God through Jesus’ work on the cross. I know this, believe this and live in confidence that I am saved from the penalty of my sin.

That being said, when I read Numbers, I am faced with acknowledging that mine is a rebellious heart. I do not want to submit, I constantly want to assert my rights. I want God to do things my way, and my way is defined as anything that pleases me or increases my comfort. The only solution for this rebellion is repentance.

Another part of my unrest is a sense that the world is becoming increasingly hostile to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Maybe it has always been hostile, and I’m just now seeing it. Or perhaps the hostility was hidden behind external conformity which is now out of fashion. But for the first time in my life, I see persecution of Christians as a real possibility in the United States.

The question is, what can one individual do about the chaos that is around him? The correct answer is that on his own, he can do nothing. That is the bad news.

The good news is that when God wants to work, he can use the most unlikely characters to accomplish his will. For this reason, I love the story of Gideon. He was not  brave, nor was he a natural leader, but God chose him and used him to deliver the nation of Israel.

Most of us are not called to preach to large audiences, nor are we called to organize a massive spiritual movement. We are called to be in relationship with Jesus through prayer and Bible reading. We are also called to be faithful to obey what he commands. The rest is up to him.

It may turn out that a smile directed at someone who is having a bad day may be used by God for encouragement. A thought prayer quickly delivered for the frazzled person you encounter will make a difference.

The point of this ramble is that God redeems all of life, even the aspects of life that seem to have no eternal value. To be faithful in a difficult or boring job is as much an act of grace as teaching a Bible study. To serve your family in humility is of more value than serving in a church program. Faithfulness goes a long way in God’s economy.

There is an old saying that if you “mind your pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.” In the same way, I need to mind my own thoughts and actions and God will take care of the rest of the world.

Despite my restlessness, God remains in control.