What if God has shelved blessings He had every intention of bestowing upon us?
What if our lack of trust in His character has caused these aforementioned gifts from the Lord to remain out of our reach as we've delayed their delivery due to our hardness of heart?
Here's a quick anecdote for illustration purposes. . .
This afternoon I had a great conversation with an amazing sister-in-Christ. In the midst of our talk, she mentioned how a ministry we share in common causes her to remain uncertain about our response to God's guidance and plans. In other words, have we somehow grown uncertain about God's ability to provide for us and, in turn, do we doubt His faithfulness? Do we somehow veil these sentiments and attitudes by "waiting for God" or claiming that we need to spend more time in prayer, but in fact we're just stalling or avoiding the inevitable confrontation with our true feelings?
Some of us feel that the only way that we can ensure that something really comes from God (notice the control issue) is if we ensure that we take no action. We remain bystanders. If we do take some kind of action, then it leaves the door open for questioning whether what has taken place, or has been given, is actually from God.
Then there's the possibility that we exerted just enough influence to get what we wanted and in essence, it's not from God at all. We forced something to happen.
But again, what if God has, in fact, made all sorts of provisions available to us and even after all of our inaction and delay tactics; God continues to afford us with a way to return to Him and harvest the blessings He's made ready to turn over to us. . . what then?
Is "waiting for God" justifiable? Or, in this case, is waiting upon the Lord actually a veiled way of burying our talents, of ignoring them and allowing fear to entice us to turn our backs on God's mission for us and for the city?
I believe that we often worship a god that is too small and is counterfeit. The God of the Old & New Testament is beyond our ability to comprehend. His ways are definitely not ours and we must begin to re-experience awe, fear, wonder, mystery and trembling before God. When we struggle so much with disbelief and with a sense of spiritual ennui, I figure that it's because we just don't feel we can deposit all of confidence into the hands of a God, which if we're honest, like the line from The Script's hit pop song, Breakeven, we seem to "pray to a god I don't believe in. . . "
After all God has done for us, it is fitting that He upbraids us for our hardness of heart and disbelief. How can we ever expect to be ready and truly used by God, if we don't believe He is worthy of our trust. How can we pray and expect any answer to come, if we're not even sure God is available, listening to us or, for that matter, capable of addressing our petitions?
I believe we must risk everything for God. I believe that when we begin to act as if God is truly capable, then we will begin to see the signs and wonders promised to accompany the Church wherever it is and wherever it goes. Until then, we're not going to see anything remotely close to what Jesus promised us during those post-resurrection days.
In a great book by Jim W. Goll entitled, The Lost Art of Intercession, Goll passionately tells readers that the Lord told him, "I will restore Pentecost," (pg. 119). I have no doubt that God speaks to us and can reveal His plans and purposes to whomever He chooses. I do believe, though, that Pentecost happened and that the power unleashed on that day isn't going to be restored. It is already here and ready to be reclaimed, not restored.
That power is latent in the Church. It is asleep. It remains dormant due to growing distrust in God's character and as a result of worshiping science as the oracle of the enlightened and educated. A substantial part of the Church in America has chosen to follow the guidance of business pundits and adopt measures that extinguish faith in Jesus Christ and dismantle any belief in the supernatural nature of our faith. How? Through idolatrous self-reliance and introducing cost-benefit analysis as means of making "sensible" financial decisions as Christians seek to "serve Christ" in trying and uncertain times - just to name two reasons.
At the moment we return to the Lord and repent, God will bless us with the power He has already set aside for us in Jesus Christ. It is collecting dust due to our disobedience and neglect. As soon as we begin to pray to God with fervent contrition and trust, we will literally move mountains. But, of course, if we believe this to be scientifically impossible, it will remain so unmoved and no other option will be available to sensible people. What if God is asking for everything that runs contrary to all sensible decisions and in turns, He expects our undivided fidelity and complete trust? What if those are the two things we must have in order to see the power of Pentecost once again?
Are you in? Are you game? Are you willing to let go of all sensible attitudes, advice and guidance and embrace becoming a fool for Christ?
If you want to see the power of Pentecost, if you want to receive the blessings already designated for you since before time began, then begin to underestimate the power of the dollar, stop depositing confidence in people to be the answer to problems that only God can be and begin to live an unrestrained life in Christ. Decide with faith, act with trust in His character and pray with the certainty that the petitions have already been answered as He wills. Desire nothing more than His will for your life and crave nothing short of being one with Him.
Do these things and watch the Kingdom unravel, unfold and unveil itself before you. May this be so, even now -
For the sake of Jesus Christ.