Last week was a well-timed kickoff of my online virtual Zoom study for Discovering Jesus…
Like you, I am very interested in what is happening in our world since it affects my life on a daily basis. I want a world that is healthy for my family. I want a world that provides an opportunity for my sons to succeed in a career they love and that provides well for their families. I want a world that makes good decisions for good reasons. I want a world that is based on a value system that can be sustained. Just this morning I saw the news about a revenge attack in Pakistan in response to the death of Osama Bin Laden. It was another tragic and senseless loss of life. It doesn’t take advanced training to realize if we all lived like this society would cease to exist.
Unfortunately, systems that cannot be sustained has been the age old tendency of mankind throughout history. People get ideas in their heads which they believe will work only to discover the plans they adopted have a short shelf life and eventually lead to ruin. 2 Kings 17 is just one example, “The Israelites secretly did things against the LORD their God that were not right.” (2 Kings 17:9) They had been given clear instruction. They had been promised support and rewards if they followed God’s lead. They had been supplied with examples that proved God’s faithfulness. They believed, however, that they had a better plan. Unfortunately, their scheme led to long-term exile in the land of Assyria.
I dont’ want to point to the Israelites as if they are the problem child in the world because we are all in the same boat. It would have been us doing the same thing becasue this is just how people are apart from the active work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Jesus made a point of this early in his ministry, “The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony.” (John 3:31-32) He was fully aware that we would rather figure things out on our own using our limited reasoning than accept God’s perspective on life. Even though Jesus has seen it all, heard it all, knows it all and has processed it all, we would rather listen to ourselves.
It is humbling to admit that, at a personal level, I am just like this. Intellectually I know better but I still long to have life make sense to me. I want a life that I understand, that I know how to do without too much strain and that makes me feel good. I am still suprised at how frustrated I get when I encounter thoughts I don’t understand, have to do work that is uncomfortable and face the agonizing setbacks of life. My prayer today, therefore, is “Lord give me the humility to follow as I lead. As I make decisions today, work on projects today, direct the activities of others and negotiate opportunities for the future, teach me how to rely on your wisdom and your pespective.”