Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What Would God Do If He Did Whatever He Wanted To Do? - Part 1

“Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief.”Mark 6:5 (NKJ)

What would God do if he did whatever he wanted to do? What if we didn’t resist him with unbelief, cynicism, doubt, fear? What would he do if he did what he wanted to do?
Certainly he may come to church. But he has a tendency to misbehave in church. He contradicts some traditions, disorders the furniture, ruins the bake sale. He has put a beating on a few people – in church. When he comes he rocks the boat. He looks to see what you put in the offering; he challenges your theology, messes with your hermeneutic.

What if we let him out of the theological parameters we have fixed for him? Would he shock or offend us? Would he get beyond what we understand? And you can’t leave him alone. He might talk to the wrong people (e.g., the woman at the well, eating with publicans and sinners, etc.). If past behavior is any predictor of the future, he will misbehave. He will likely make us all uncomfortable.

Would he do that? Look, when you hear someone who says things like, “God wouldn’t do such and such” or “God wouldn’t use such and such a person”, this is usually someone who hasn’t seen God unrestricted. Some generous soul suggested we allow God a longer chain. What we ought to do is let him off the leash. It’s all over then.

Do we ask for revival because we are afraid to ask God to do what he really wants to do? We ask for revival (i.e., re-vive), to bring to life what was dead or to re-do an old thing. But God, doing as he pleases, may not choose revival or restoration. Why restore what has failed? No. Be sure, it may not revival or restoration he has in mind so much as a new morning.

We take his mercies from a Tupperware bowl or a zip-lock bag - you know, leftover God. Leftover God is safe. Leftover God is predictable. We know the routine. But it is not leftovers he has for you. His mercies are new every morning. New - not revived. Make no mistake, he doesn’t wish to revive so much as to reform (or re-form) – to make different. We want the good-ole-days of the past; he anticipates a good new day. He is not caught in paralytic nostalgia. We imagine God forlorn, reminiscent of the past. In reality he is into the present and the future.

What would he do if he did whatever he wanted to do? Would he provide thirst-quenching water to lesbians and gays? Would he woo the hearts of your neighbors? He might startle you, misbehave, surprise you, embrace you, convict you, whisper your name. He may just put on a show you have never seen before. He may leave you in the dark. He’ll save people you wouldn’t talk to, and love you all the while. If God does what he wants to do, anticipate incomprehensible redemption.

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