Mark Battherson writes:
“When Christianity turns into a noun, it becomes a turnoff. Christianity was always intended to be a verb. And more specifically, an action verb. … If the twenty-first century church said less and did more, maybe we would have the same kind of impact the first-century church did.”
Now there is something to ponder and act on. I see this everywhere. The other thing that came to my mind is the word ‘love’. It seems that it has also become a noun instead of an action verb. Love as become known only as a noun, a title for a feeling. We say, “I love you,” but are we really loving you? Being a Christian and being in love is never about us. Both are completely about others. 1 John 4:8:”He who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love.” So if we truly are a “Christian” (one who is acquainted with God) we have to “love.” There are so many places in the Bible where love is defined, everyone knows what it is, but doing it is another thing.
LOL Mr. Batterson writes:
“Some of us live as if we expect to hear God say, “Well thought, good and faithful servant!” or “Well said, good and faithful servant!”
Very, VERY, good point. ‘Nough said.
Mr. Batterson write:
“The primary reason most of us don’t see God moving is simply because we aren’t moving. If you want to see God move, you need to make a move!”
I have seen this in action so many times. I have seen those who sit around, praying for God to do something, yet doing nothing themselves. I see them praying for financial blessings, while spending what finances they have. I’ve seen them praying for healing, while continuing in unhealthy habits. I’ve seen them pray for breakthrough, while doing nothing to produce a breakthrough themselves. And I have seen the other side. I have seen those who have prayed for financial blessings and becoming more frugal with their finances and at the same time done everything they could to be a blessing with what they do have. I’ve seen those praying for healing, while changing their lifestyles dramatically to promote a healthier body and being an encourager to others who are hurting or in pain. I have seen those praying for a breakthrough and going out and looking, being in the right place at the right time, and chasing the breakthrough. It’s like Mr. Batterson says,
“We want God to part the river before we get our feet wet. Why? So our faith doesn’t require any faith!” … “Nehemiah didn’t wait for a sign. he had the courage to put his job on the line. And when he did, God confirmed the passion with signs following. The kind didn’t just write him a nice reference, the king wrote him a blank check.”
Wow, what a statement: So our faith doesn’t require any faith … Now that can be had pill to swallow. Hmmm.
Mr. Batterson write:
“Sometimes when we read the stories of biblical characters we underestimate how long it took for them to accomplish what they accomplished. And we underestimate how hard it was. We can read their stories in a matter of minutes, so we tend to overlook the fact that, in most instances, their passions were unanswered or unfulfilled for years on end.”
I hadn’t considered that before, but it is really true. We tend to look at the beginning and the end, while skimming through or fast forwarding through the middle parts of things. For example with Nehemiah, we don’t stop to consider how many years he served as a cup-bearer, nor how he served during that time and the effect it had on his request of the King. Had he not served the way he did for as long as he had, the request may have been denied instead. Everyday of our lives could be a step toward something God has for us in the future. How we act or serve today, could determine the answer to a request we have in the future.
Mr. Batterson ends this chapter with:
“You don’t need wealth or position or power to make a difference. You just need to do the best you can with what you have where you are. And if you are faithful in Babylon, God will bless you in Jerusalem. Be the best cup-bearer you can be! That’s responsible irresponsibility. That’s pursuing passion.”
Your Chase (Questions at the end of this chapter)
- Which describes you better: irresponsibly responsible or responsibly irresponsible? Why is that?
- Hmmm. I would have to say both. I have been known to be both at one time or another. I try to be more responsibly irresponsible though. Publishing my book was one of those times, it seemed totally irresponsible to the outside world for a single mom to spend $4,000 to have a book published.
- What makes you sad or mad or glad? In other words, what passions has God given to you?
- Sad? In my everyday life, not much makes me sad. But hurting and deprived children, or children with irresponsible parents make me sad.
- Mad? Hypocrisy, no doubt about it. I don’t mean the everyday little things that everyone tends to do. I mean habitual hypocrisy. Demanding from others what you are not willing to demand of yourself. Not trying your best to walk your talk. Saying one thing and doing another. And people just spouting off this and that from the Bible that really isn’t even in the Bible. People just believing things because they were told it by another person, instead of going to the Bible to find out what God really said about it.
- Glad? Spending time with family and friends who love God and love others. Giving to others. Doing things for others. Being able to help in anyway I can. Knowing that I made a difference in some way, even if it is a small way.
- What have you been praying about lately that God wants you to quit praying about? And what does God want you to do instead?
- Ohhh, uwwwl, ugh, ouch! Ok, let’s just skip to the next one! 😉 No really, getting out there with my book. Make the effort to trying and get some bookings here and there. Be active instead of passive about it.
- God asked the priests carrying the ark to step into the river before he dammed it up. How do you need to get your feet wet in pursuing your God-given passions?
- Just do it!
- What little things do you need to be doing now that will prepare you for the big things God wants to do down the road?
- I think I’m doing them. Problem is, I like doing the little things and the “down the road” is here and I’m still standing here doing the little things.