Which One Are You?

There are a plethora of ways to sort out people. But there is just one of those ways I want to speak into this morning, and it goes like this: There are only 3 types of people. Those who watch what happens. Those who make things happen. And those who wonder what happened. The point of these distinctions is be someone who makes things happen! I always thought it was better to be someone who made things happen. But being a bit of a radical rebel, I have changed my mind.

Why can’t we be all three, in appropriate proportions, of course? It hit me yesterday morning as I was sitting in one of my hunting stands. I was watching the sunrise; sunrises are a great way to begin the thinking processes in our minds. So, let me apply my personal theory that we need to be all three types of people.

First, there are moments we simply need to watch what happens. Think about my sunrise–I didn’t cause it to happen–it just happens like clockwork. Watching led me to see the beautiful colors and remember the faithfulness of God. Being a new day, there are some things I need to make happen under the leadership and power of The Holy Spirit–such as my growth in grace towards holiness. Then that sunrise caused me to wonder–to be surprised that the God of all Creation loves me and reveals Himself in ways that are so mysterious to me.

You do not have to be just one of these types of people. Each one brings more of God’s grace and presence into our lives. That grace and presence is what changes our lives and leads us in an entirely new direction. It will comfort us when we are hurting. Encourage us when we are struggling. Guide us when we are unsure. I leave you with the words of the most prolific songwriter ever, David:

Lord our Lord,
    your name is the most wonderful name in all the earth!
    It brings you praise in heaven above.
You have taught children and babies
    to sing praises to you
    because of your enemies.
And so you silence your enemies
    and destroy those who try to get even.

I look at your heavens,
    which you made with your fingers.
I see the moon and stars,
    which you created.
But why are people even important to you?
    Why do you take care of human beings?
You made them a little lower than the angels
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
You put them in charge of everything you made.
    You put all things under their control:
all the sheep, the cattle,
    and the wild animals,
the birds in the sky,
    the fish in the sea,
    and everything that lives under water.

Lord our Lord,
    your name is the most wonderful name in all the earth!

Psalm 8 (NCV)

Lips And Hearts–Wednesday’s Wonderings 15 January 2020

Wednesday is the day I’ve chosen to wonder about. . .well about life and God. And today I’m adding another point to wonder about–people. Oh, yeah, I know I’ve wondered about people before, but usually in the context of my gifts of sarcasm and snarkiness. But this morning I’m setting aside those gifts. . .because my heart is breaking for a group of people.

My heart always breaks for the least, the last and the lost–people hurting, struggling, and doubting that there’s enough grace with God for them. The group my heart breaks for this morning is. . .well, look at how God describes them:

Most preachers, myself including myself, quote this passage with the sense that God is angry. That God is criticizing these people of lips without hearts. Even Jesus quoted this passage and we envision Jesus full of anger and foaming at the mouth. So we point out with criticism and anger these people who’s lips say one thing about God, but there hearts are far from God. Could it be, that when God said that to Isaiah, and when Jesus quoted this passage that there was sadness in His heart? Could He have been crying for them?

Many times I have questioned…scratch that…criticized Churchians, Tenured Pew Sitters and Progressives for their attitudes and ways of thinking. But this morning…my wondering has my heart breaking for them. I’m grieving because they are missing so much of who God is and what God wants to do in their day to day life.

Lips say one thing but the heart says something different. It’s not just the aforementioned Churchians, Tenured Pew Sitters and Progressives who are herein described. I’ve seen Conservative and Orthodox folks who fit the bill of what God is saying through Isaiah. And even yours truly has been guilty of this. Seeing and believing only what we want to see and believe, and then say it’s God.

Why have we limited God? It’s easy to say, “Well, it’s the Devil! That’s what he does!” No doubt, that IS his job. But right now I’m remembering a sign on President Harry Truman’s desk:

WE have a choice; sadly many of us have chosen poorly. So today, I choose to accept responsibility for my lips; and My Heart! I choose to wonder about the Wonder Of God! I choose to remove the fences and walls that keeps me knowing ABOUT God to KNOWING GOD! I set aside whatever I’ve thought about God. I set aside everything others have said about God. And I open MY heart to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the mysteries of God. I long for this, and so I choose to start with a clean sheet of paper and let God write what I need so that His Image becomes more clearer and brighter in me.

And thus I wonder: “How could I even think that MY understanding of God (which is spoken by my lips) is the ultimate expression of God?” Yes, we need to fight Satan in this world. But before we go to battle, let’s make sure that we honor God With Our Hearts. And the best way to do this is to quit pretending we’re the experts and surrender our heart to the wonders of God. Only as we give up our concepts can the heart be cleansed–and be drawn closer to God.