Sixteen years ago I wrote the following article. Amazing how much has changed. I value “why” more than “how” or “what”. I value action because “I can” and not because “I have to”. I control my time and not the other way around. I love more.
Yesterday, Tina and I had a conversation over action versus reaction. I told her that I wanted to be actionary, as so much of what I do as a pastor is from a reaction position.
“Hello, Lee? I need prayer.” I pray. “Lee, can you meet with us?” I do. But, I have come to a place where I want to be pushed to the limit in my Christianity(shh. Don’t tell Tina!) and that means that it has to be from an action position. To be out there with God, where it is Him and I, pushing through.
Lately, my Bible reading has increased so much, I am just devouring the Word. The building is nearly finished and I can taste the results. I have had three dreams in the last few days; one about a Christian underground “railway”, the second about a training center and the third about bringing people to spiritual salvation that often think they are “saved.” (Check out the prophetic site later.) There is something that wants to happen here. For months people have spoken of the Spirit “brooding” here.
Action. Yesterday, I sat out in the sun too long (great conversation though!) and now have a pink tinge to the top of my head. (And remember what happened to those children who made fun of Elisha!!!) I didn’t take action, nor was my reaction even quick enough!
As Christians we miss opportunity, while we wait for the “right” moment. We say we want to be on the cutting edge, but we are afraid of a little blood from the blade. Being on the cutting edge is not a badge, but a position one must take. You must be willing to be in the heat of battle. You must be willing to take a hit or two.
My wife will tell you that I love the front line position. The difficulty is when you are out on the front line, and you take a hit and you turn around and it looks like no one else is within miles!!! HELP!
I want to see us as Christians set the course, “dictate” the policy. To do that you must know what the course is and once you know it, take action. If you have been falling prey to reacting to the devil, STOP! He is placing “black holes” in your life that will cause the life to be sucked out of you. There are people who will suck the life out of you, while others trod on to hell! Not that we don’t minister to people, but we need to let them grow up and start chewing up their own meat. There are people who have been Christians for years who are still whining about their spouses, their finances or their kids! They are reacting! Let’s help them to act. Take action.
Habakkuk 3: 17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Forget the devil’s course for you, rejoice! And do what is right in the sight of the Lord.
Judges 21: 25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
In this day, there is a King…His name is Jesus. Notice when Lazarus was dying, He didn’t race over there. We need to stop thinking we are God’s ambulance crew and start seeing that we are God’s servants. Yes, we help people. But let’s begin to seek the Lord in all things and let Him decide where we are to go.
I choose from this day to be an action person for the Lord and not a reaction person. You, too, may choose that. Let’s begin to do the works of the Lord and not those of our thinking.
Okay, anyone that knows me knows how much I have changed. And those that don’t, well you probably are thinking, “Wow! Could he be more legalistic?” But, if I see one thing, it is that my passion has not waned. I want the best God has for me, for you, for others. And my action in these days? To enter His rest. My labor is to mix my faith with the labor to enter His rest and not be moved from a place of peace.
Lately, that has been truly an “act of grace” on the Lord’s part in my life. With so much swirling about with family, friends and the workplace. Last night I came home from work and I just wanted it to be quiet. To not hear people, phones or anything else.
I still love the “front” line finding I am much like the bear that “went over the mountain to see what he could see”. I am intrigued with the “why” of something considerably more than I am with “what” has happened or “how” it happens. Yesterday, I found myself involved in a conversation about the Civil War, slavery and Robert E. Lee. It was a great conversation. One of the key parts was the “why” of it all.
Too often I find myself looking at a circumstance and wanting to uncover the why of a situation more than what has happened or how it is happening. A child looks at a garden and is “wowed” with the “what has happened”. Someone else is cognizant as to “how it happened”. (You put a seed in the ground…) Me, I want to know why it is that the watermelon comes from the seed it does. Why does the choice of this location matter more than another? Even “why” did it grow the way it did? The more you uncover the “why’s” the more you can see the patterns or the rhythms of God or a person. You can learn to determine the “sounds of the ground”. Why do some areas feel more “Godly” than others? If you saw a porn store or a pawn shop, you might say “AHA! See! That’s why.” (When I was younger I can tell you there were towns that did not allow certain kinds of business in the city. They drew a certain “element” they said. But what is it that draws that kind of business to a particular town and not another? We know that lust, greed and pride will form in the absence of godliness, so we must understand that is moving towards the “why understanding. But there may be a bigger rhythm not yet uncovered. History often reveals those.)
There must be a return to principle, but principle brought about without Godly understanding or love will only result in legalism and more sin. (It is the law that empowers sin.) So, I have a “challenge” if you will. What is the principle that guides you? How does that appear in your life? Why is it there? Many would say “love” but are all you actions loving? Do you love all? What is the source of your love? What causes you to move from “loving” to sinful action? In the midst of your thinking, even now, God is revealing things to you. It is not “failure” but understanding that God is imparting.
Too often the emphasis is on the prophet and his ability to see. But long ago, I came to the conclusion that the role is more often the “digestive” system, helping to uncover truth, chew on hard things and remove the waste. And with that we are seeing a lot of “anything goes” or an I can “eat anything” happening. The problem is without plumbing the depths or operation in the love, wisdom and revelation of God many are actually acting out in ways that are not in “line” with God and His heart. The answer is not to “avoid” so much as it is to understand. Why is it more important? If you do not understand God, words will become rules, empowering sin and well, goofiness.
Why did God say something is often way more important than what He said or even how He said it.
One more example. I live in a community. I often ask myself as I read a paper or a story, why. Why is this person or that person drawn? I do the same in church settings. Freedom can draw a lot of people. But not all understand freedom. How many would truly have an answer as to why God would promote freedom? Is there a hindrance to, too much freedom. (As in, is the word(s) “hypergrace” in your vocabulary? Or “greasy grace”? Why those words?) In the midst of a situation there is a rhythm. A sound of the ground. Uncover the why and you will see the what, the how and even the where.
In the great words of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Happy trails to you!