I came across a blog posting today which was promoting a new book that looks great. Here is a snippet from it and a link to the orginal post:
“Simply put, God’s will is your growth in Christlikeness. God promises to work all things together for our good that we might be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:28-29). . . . God never assures us of health, success, or ease. But He promises us something even better: He promises to make us loving, pure, and humble like Christ. In short, God’s will is that you and I get happy and holy in Jesus.
So go marry someone, provided you’re equally yoked and you actually like being with each other. Go get a job, provided it’s not wicked. Go live somewhere in something with somebody or nobody. But put aside the passivity and the quest for complete fulfillment and the perfectionism and the preoccupation with the future, and for God’s sake start making some decisions in your life (emphasis mine). Don’t wait for the liver-shiver. If you are seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, you will be in God’s will, so just go out and do something. (61)”
– From http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/gods-will-for-your-life-follow-jesus-an…
It is so easy to get paralyzed into passivity, such that we’re always looking to the future without doing anything in the present. Francis Chan touches on this in Crazy Love. What keeps you from doing something?
“Don’t waste your life trying to look good. Spend your life making God look good. That’s why you were made. And you know the weakest among you, the most ugly, have perhaps, the greatest chance to do that. The rest of you are too good lookin’.
You distract people. But if you’ve got a little hunch in your back, a little pot in your belly and hair’s not doing what you wish it could, you just might be a candidate to get attention for somebody else.”
-John Piper, “Discern What Pleases God: Himself”, New Attitude Conference 2007
I find myself so often looking for some experience with God as if it’s some separate reality from the life he has given me. It’s almost as if that experience and living for Christ outside of that experience are mutually exclusive.
Paul Miller, in his book A Praying Life, speaks to this a bit. Of his praying he says, “I’m not hunting for an experience with God; I’m inviting God into my life experience. He is in me, and I am in him. As I bring to him my real life with my real needs, he acts in amazing ways.”
At the end of the day isn’t that what we’re looking to see? God working in amazing ways?
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. – Eph. 3:20-21
“He’s so heavenly minded that he’s no earthly good.”
Have you ever heard that said of someone? It’s a ludicrous statement. Finally, while I was attending seminary, a chapel speaker acknowledged that he’s yet to ever meet someone like this, and he’s right. He never will. You can be out of touch and ineffective for a number of reasons, but it’s not because your mind is set on things above (Colossians 3).
This notion of holiness as incompatible with real life is pervasive. People withdraw from the world and from their community to not be of the world. The problem is they are still of the world. This is not a sanctifying move. Our sin problem is not due to geographical proximity to the world, but rather our lack of proximity to the Lord.
The result: We end up still being of the world, and not being in it. We live in complete opposition to John 17:15-16.
My honest belief is that the more we are not of the world, the more we will live out the Great Commission, and the more we will be in the world. The more we are not of the world, the more we will recognize we have to be in the world.