My last post concentrated a lot on this World we live in. The concepts and precepts in this World are vastly different from the way of God. The world’s paradigms tell us to do the opposite of God’s Word at almost every turn.
A few weeks ago I was chatting to a colleague at work who was truly horrified to hear I have never had a one-night stand or casual sex.
I laughed at the time, but her horror at the thought was tangible and became the subject of conversation for some time.
Her response was typical of worldly people. But we need to expect that.
Our expectations must be different to the World if we are to be a light in the darkness. We are conditioned by society, especially in Western society, to expect nothing. Claw our way to the top and fight tooth and nail to stay there. We fool ourselves that we can change the world from the inside out, that by living as the world lives we can influence them, but we are, in fact, being digested by the very beast we are wanting to change. We must be mindful of anything that can take our eyes off our ultimate goal.
A few years ago a church a family member was involved in leading Worship was advised by the senior leader to stop singing the worship song “I believe in Jesus” because it contained the phrase “Here with the power to heal now”. The rationale was that this line might create an expectation in the congregation that God heals today. The leader had never seen a healing, and didn’t expect to.
I’ve been a member of churches like that in the past. Frankly the religious nature sickens me. It becomes a modern day hive of pharisees all trying to earn brownie points. Exactly what Jesus came to do away with.
Jesus did what they didn’t expect. He forgave sins, healed on the Sabbath, threw out the money-changers from the Temple, ate with sinners, befriended tax collectors and hookers and raised the dead. Then he told his disciples (including us) we could do all those things and more because of His sacrifice.
He told us to expect what the World tells us not to.
So many people in congregations sit in their pew once a week for an hour or two and think it makes them a Christian. Or the devoted ones go to home groups or bible-study meetings as well. Try convincing them you’re a car because you spend every Tuesday evening sitting in your garage. The principle is the same, but they can’t see it. It’s a ludicrous notion.
Be what the World doesn’t expect. Do what it doesn’t expect. Expect what it doesn’t expect.
Jesus didn’t tell us to pray for the sick. He told us to heal them. No instruction to study medicine, just heal the sick. Freely receive and freely give.
The World says store it for a rainy day. God says give away your umbrella and I’ll provide.
Right now my wife and I are starting up a new venture. The economy says it’s a bad time to start a business. The exchange rate says it’s a bad time to start a business. The World system says it’s a bad time to be starting a business. Global recession. God inspired us. We’re starting a business. God gave us Hope, we looked at that Hope and it grew into Faith, and Faith is transforming the vision into a reality. We expect the unexpected according to the World.
We forget God’s Wisdom is folly to the World and those in it. I’ll readily admit I’ve had moments where the thought of what we’re doing scares me, but then I remember God inspired this. We were offered a business in exactly the same field for a fraction of the expected price, but in a different location. We wrestled with the choice, but eventually we reached a place of unity about it being the wrong thing to do and we’re moving ahead where God told us to move. The doors have opened with a little push, not had to be forced. If you’ve read the posts before this, you’ll know I have referred to myself as a “wrecking-ball” for God. I just bluster ahead and blast anything that tries to get in the way aside. My wife, thankfully, whilst just as strong as I am is a weapon of more finesse. We complement one another’s shortfalls and bolster each other’s strengths. It’s a good team.
Expect the unexpected. Always.