Not everyone is Jonah - 11.30.10 1115

"What is God's will for my life?"

Have you ever asked this? Of yourself? Maybe heard someone else struggle with the question? At some point I'm sure we all ask it. Makes sense. I mean, you want to make the best contribution possible, and we're conditioned to think that life has two roads, the one that will be in God's favor and the one that will not. Sometimes we carry it a bit further. We remember God "orchestrating" stories in the bible, hear verses like "I have plans for you" in Jeremiah, and see God calling specific people for specific things and we think, what's my calling? What's my story? Where does God want me to be?

What's God's will for my life?

Well, let me ask this. What if he doesn't care?

What if he doesn't care what you do in your life so much as how you do it? When trying to decide on a life career in ministry, or politics, or anything, what if it doesn't matter which you choose?

What if, and this might sound strange at first but think about it, the answer to "what's God's will for my life" is much simpler than we make it out to be. It could be a simple three word sentence.

"To be Christlike."

He might not have specific plans for you. No doubt he did for many people in history like Jonah or Jeremiah, but:

what if they were called so that you wouldn't have to be?

What if God asked them to play certain parts in the grand plan to help bring the Christ event and further his kingdom so that you would not have to bear the burden of a specific task, or life. What if your only calling is to live free, to be Christlike.

Can God work through you as a doctor? Lawyer? Minister? Janitor? Yes. Can you find opportunities to be more like Christ in your decisions, in all those places, and maybe even bring others into a relationship with Christ? Yes.

What if the entire time you are wrangling your hands about choices in life, beseeching God, pleading "what do you want me to do with my life," and the whole time he is looking down at you asking, "what do you want to do with your life?"

It could be that he is simply waiting for you to make a decision so that he can begin filling your life with moments that will mold you into a more Christlike image.

What is God's will for my life?

I believe he's already told us.


Which God Weighs More - 11.16.10 0720

My mind battles with two images of God, the one I'm used to and the one I'm learning about.

In the one corner I have Static God. SG is transcendent, sitting on his throne above. He watches, observes, and makes calls based on what's going on down here. Every once in a while he will quickly step down and correct human history, putting it on a different path in accordance with the plan, but for the most part supervises what he has laid out. He has attributes like "righteousness" and "truth," and they radiate from him, sending vibes out that call us to be better, do better, much like a magnet pulls passively on passing-by iron filings. The distant judge. Setting the standards, we do what we can to live by them and please him with our actions. While I know that my salvation has nothing to do with my works in the direct sense, I can't help but picture him looking at me from afar, notebook of life in hand with a cocked eyebrow as he tallies my deeds for Day Omega. He loves me and draws me to his throne, pulling me to come closer, see clearer, and know that he is good.

But in the opposite corner I have Dynamic God. DG does not sit on a throne and is not passively supervising. He is on earth, in our lives, constantly nudging, correcting, and guiding history toward a goal. He also has attributes like "righteousness," but they are not static descriptions of his nature, they are active descriptions of his deeds. Rolling up his sleeves, he thrusts his arms into history to partner with us in making things righteous, working with us daily in accomplishing the overall plan. He is never at rest, but instead looks for, and sometimes makes, opportunities to correct and build the body of Christ into a more accurate image of Jesus. He is not a general calling the shots for his army, but a commander who leads his people into battle. The imminent mentor. Setting the standards, he holds our hand and shows us ways to reach them, often doing for us what we cannot in order to make them happen. Up to his neck in the swamp of our lives, he does not stop until all is a crop ready for harvest.

Both are in the ring, the arena of my mind, struggling for dominance. The Static God I've been taught versus the Dynamic God I'm discovering for myself. I see it in my prayer life and in my actions, the oscillating frequency of my bible readings and divine conversations. I don't wish to have Static God a part of my life because I don't believe that is the true God.

The more I read scripture and study Hebrew thought, the more I see nothing but the Dynamic God of activity. His just, righteous, and faithful attributes are reworking humanity and recreating creation in a way that is polar opposite to the magnetic throne that tugs and pulls from a central location in heaven. He is not only righteous, but works to make things righteous. He is not only merciful, but works with us to makes us merciful too.

We are created in his image. Humanity is also active and never at rest.

But am I emulating his activity, as a child of God?

Or am I eating from the tree of my own plan, as a son of Adam?

That tree tastes nasty.