January 28, 2013 - Radical Hope

I am out of the country once again, and although I miss my kids and grandkids, I love being here.

Times like these remind me how small I am in this universe. I’m insignificant in the grand scheme of things—incapable of meaningfully contributing to the needs of others—unless, of course, you know my secret.

My pastor, David Platt, has whispered this secret many times from the pulpit. The secret is—“God has this thing rigged.”

My weakness is transformed by one basic component of this secret—Jesus Christ. From my weaknesses He accomplishes whatever He desires. And time and again, the results are miraculous. I am thankful that His power is made perfect in my weakness—especially if I don’t start thinking I’m strong enough on my own.

As a reality check, I regularly ask myself the following five questions:

  • What am I doing here?
    • Is this my plan, my show, my goals? Or am I allowing God to carry out his will instead of—or even in spite of what I want? That’s a tough question when my personal plan sounds really good, but God isn’t interested in it.
  •  Am I in my comfort zone?
    • If I am, I’m probably in the wrong place. Comfort zones, contrary to popular belief, are not designed by God to show us where we belong. That would be a bit too convenient for us, wouldn’t it? God often takes us so far outside of our comfort zones it may be difficult to find our way back.
  • How did I get here?
    • If there is ever a reason to run away screaming, it’s discovering that the path we are on was designed by us instead of God. We may accomplish good under our own power, but it can’t compare to what God has for us.
  • Where am I headed?
    • Finding the focus for our task can be helpful as far as getting the job done, but if the final goal is to somehow benefit me, I may need to reevaluate who plotted the course. It’s not about me—at least, it shouldn’t be.
  • What is my motivation?
    • Perhaps this should be number one. My motives are extremely important, even if I am following God. For example, if God is using me to accomplish something great for His kingdom, something that may begin to put me in the spotlight, I might be tempted to believe I’m more than I am.
    • My favorite verse to repel this? Romans 12:3, For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”

God has assigned me a measure of faith? Wow. Even my faith is from God. How cool is that?

Go where God is calling you to go. Do whatever you have to do to get out of your comfort zone. You may surprise yourself at how much God can do through you—if you let Him.