I used to think faith was a whole lot about me

We humans are fickle creatures.

Who among the gods is like you, O Lord? the Israelites sing

In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed.

They had just watched God literally dry up the ocean for them, snatching them from the brink of certain destruction.

The Lord will reign forever and ever.

They raise their voices and celebrate.  (Exodus 15)

And then Moses takes too long on the mountain and they get nervous.

They crave a god they can understand, one they can manage.

And so they melt their jewelry and make one for themselves.

Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord the crowd yells.

They have the Savior right here in their town, riding on a borrowed donkey.

Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!

They sing and celebrate. (Luke 19)

And then five days later, they’ve turned angry.

Or maybe just terrified.

Calling Crucify him! while Pilate looks for a reason to acquit.

It’s true.

We humans are fickle creatures.

We get nervous.  And terrified. And angry.

We crave a god we can understand, one we can manage.

But this is not the end of the story.

Not by a long shot.

Our God is not done with these fickle creatures that he created from dust.

Still he pursues his people, the Israelites.

Again and again showing his power and calling for their hearts.

Still he redeems the jeering crowd, suffering death and enduring hell to make them clean.

To draw them close.

I used to think that faith was a whole lot about me.

I’m learning that it’s a whole lot more about this powerful, unmanageable, pursuing God that I serve.

It’s less about me inviting him into my life and more about him inviting me into his.

It’s less about asking him to bless my plans and more about me getting on board with his.

I used to think that faith was a whole lot about me.

I’m learning that I still have a lot to discover about this powerful, unmanageable, pursuing God that I serve.

Advertisements

Living the Even If

We’re talking about worship this morning.

About Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

I’ve written about these guys before and it’s the same words that resonate with me today.

Even if.

Men of unwavering faith, they were confident in their God’s ability and his willingness to deliver them.

Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire, and he WILL deliver us out of your hand, O king.  (Daniel 3:17)

I’ve been there.

Maybe you have too.

I know my God is able… to heal, to deliver, to rescue, to redeem.

And I truly believe that he will.

I want to walk in faith.

But even if he does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods.

As a child, I struggled with this part of the story.

As an adult, I understand it all too well.

These men of unwavering faith knew that their God was able, they believed that he would.

But they also knew the redemption ache.

They understood that their God was working out rescue and redemption in a much bigger way than they could imagine.

And they were willing to stake their lives on it.

It’s easy to pray here, I think.

In this even if territory.

God we know you can intervene here, and we believe that you will.

But even if you don’t show up in the way we’re expecting, we will still believe.

But it’s awfully hard to live here.

In between the promise and the fulfilment.

When the silence is big and the days are dark.

And the stakes feel so very, very high.

It feels like Easter Saturday all over again.

And we are tired.

But, friends, let’s lock arms and lean in to the even if tonight.

Still we will believe.

Still we will trust.

Still we will not bow to the little gods that call for our attention and our affection.

Still we will wait for the promise.

Even if it doesn’t look the way we expected.