Tuesday, July 30, 2013

God's Will and God's Way

from Church in the Canyon website
Some years ago someone who was a part of our district conference ran a homeless shelter in Roanoke, Virginia. Many of us thought he was wonderful. He was extremely committed, and was willing to make great sacrifices to help provide housing for the down and out down at that end of the Valley. And people responded. Churches sent food, offered their time, gave financial help to make it a success.

But the person in charge, over time, became more and more bitter toward the supporting churches in our conference. No one could do enough. He began to lash out at everyone. He pretty much wrote all of us off as rich, selfish, and uncaring.

Actually, he was probably right in a lot of ways. There is no doubt that many of us were too busy investing money in expensive church buildings, bigger homes and extended vacations, plus doing all kinds of other self indulgences that I’m sure could break Jesus’s heart. So we probably deserved this angry Amos in our midst, who one day brought a group of homeless folks to our annual conference assembly and planned to just take over the meeting. He was convinced he was right and that God had sent him to us to set us straight. 

I think he was probably about 95% right about God’s will. But what he was missing, I believe, was an understanding of God’s way. And by that I don’t mean always being nice and diplomatic and to never ruffling any feathers. Love can be tough. But love  expresses its anger and outrage out of a heart that is broken, as a weeping prophet who, like Jesus mourning over his beloved Jerusalem, mourns with a love so deep that it is heart wrenching, not out of a heart that’s bitter and full of resentment.

I, for one, need to learn about the importance of not only knowing and doing God’s will, but to learn from Jesus and the Bible about how to do it in God’s way.
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