March 12, 2012

God’s Impossible Plan

Our church has a book club. We met last night to talk about the latest volume on our list. In that conversation, we discussed how God’s ways are not rational. For instance, a sincere giver will discover that she cannot out-give God. The more that is offered in His name, the more He refills our account. This is not only about money, but about other treasures in our lives.
God’s ways are not our ways. He began the church with a small group of men and women who had very little going for them, at least in the eyes of their contemporaries. They were ordinary people who had jobs, families, and other responsibilities. Yet God entrusted with a great commission to go into the world with the gospel, and as they were going, to make disciples. 

Since that small beginning, the church of Jesus Christ has multiplied to millions of members. As the Bible says, there is no force on earth, human or satanic, that can overcome it. Eventually, every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God (Philippians 2:10-11).

This seems impossible, even absurd. However, Jesus had a plan. This would not be accomplished by mere human power. Before He left, Jesus gathered His people and told them,
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
This then is the difference. To make all challenges melt before them, He gave them the Holy Spirit who alone means no limit to what God can do. For those who believe in Jesus, our strength is not in ourselves, but in and from Almighty God.

We don’t always cooperate. This is no secret. Our failures make far greater headlines than our successes. We fail when some of us move ahead with our own ideas of how to build the kingdom. Sometimes we disobey God with catastrophic consequences. Yet Jesus made this promise: . . . . I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18) 

The building blocks are His people, admittedly a ragtag group at times. We stumble about, not certain of what we are doing, sometimes taking our eyes off the goal, sometimes not getting along, and often feeling weak and inadequate, yet this task has never depended on our power or expertise. It is about the power of the Holy Spirit who often works contrary to appearances and in spite of weaknesses and failures. Because of the power of God, He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or imagine, even multiply and build His family when it seems that we are totally impotent and helpless.

God, I’m amazed at You. You told Paul that Your strength is perfected in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9), which makes no sense to the rational mind, but You do it. You can use anything and anyone to accomplish Your purposes, not only to astonish the naysayers, but to glorify Your Name. Help me today to cooperate with You in whatever You are doing and fit me into Your grand and amazing plan.

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