December 19, 2008

Needing God

I need God.

It sounds simple and obvious, but it is something I ought to say more often.

God completes.

Revelation 3:1b,2
"I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strenthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God."

The Church in Sardis was criticized because it was dead, incomplete. God sets us a high standard- we are called to be new creatures.

But often, I don't act like it. Why?

John Bunyan wrote,*

“These troubles and distresses that you go through in these waters are no sign that God has forsaken you; but they are sent to test you, to see whether you will recall that goodness, which up to now, you have received from Him and if you will live upon Him in your distress. Be cheerful, Jesus Christ makes you whole.”

See, Jesus Christ makes us whole and complete. With Him, we can withstand trials without falling. He enables me to be alive. It's foolish for me to ignore Him.

God makes action possible.

A few weeks ago, I was, again, facing a block in my striving to reduce world hunger.

All the arguments I presented in my speech weren't enough to quench the problem- it wasn't that I wasn't convinced. Instead, it was my feelings that were getting in the way.

Absence of my feelings, to be precise: I wanted to feel for the starving children. To want to spread knowledge of the tragedy. I wanted to be passionate about solving hunger. I knew I couldn't trust my feelings, but that was easier said than done. I thought that if I felt nothing, I couldn't act. To some degree, I suppose that's right. If you don't care, don't speak up.

But my wonderful mother was determined to show me otherwise. "You're not doing it because you want to," she said. "Aren't you doing it to bring pleasure to God? Isn't that what you say in your speech?"

She was right. I wasn't trying to fight world hunger for myself. It was for God.

I wrote in my journal that night,
"Dear God,
I can't fool myself into thinking that if I invoke your name, my feelings will be set straight. But what I do know is that this will serve You. I cannot be certain of the results, but my motivation is clear- not for myself, not by myself.

I need you, God. You give me life and meaning. You power me and inspire me. I want to please you, God. ... I want to please you."

I know I must act, though I'm not yet quite sure how. I want my works to be complete. But not without the founder and motivator of my faith! I have to stop focusing on my ways and my arbitrary prerequisites to action. I have to be willing to relinquish my control and instead give my all to Him.

I pray for ideas, opportunities, and, most of all, wisdom. To God be the glory and power forever!

*John Bunyan, quoted by James W. Bruce in From Grief to Glory (Carlisle, Pa.: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2008), 34.