How Good Is It?

Today at Shalimar UMC we are hearing about “God’s Good Plan.” Christians along with Jews can truly refer to “Father Abraham,” because the father of the Jews is the father of the promise on which Christians base our faith. However, this father of our faith was not perfect, and neither was his wife. This week we reflect on that question they must have had that those of us trying to live by faith wrestle with too: “How good is it?”

1115244_origYes, God has a plan, a rescue mission, a project of restoration and salvation. It’s a good plan. Jeremiah 29 tells us that God’s plan for His people Israel was “to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” But this is written to a people in exile, punished for not living in God’s world God’s way. Once we join God in faith, we encounter stipulations and situations that make us question how good it really is. It certainly isn’t good if good is supposed to be synonymous with easy. God came to Abram and Sarai when they were past the age of believing the promise of a child could be possible. Then, God made them wait some more. He didn’t tell them exactly how the promise would come to be. He didn’t tell them exactly what to do in the meantime, at least not step by step. So there was a lot of room for interpretation and a frustrating lot of room to improvise. So that’s exactly what they did. Is this sounding familiar to any of us reading this today trying to live according to God’s plan and promises, but who want a turn by turn map of instructions?

Two thoughts. A friend once told me: “If you’re ever wondering what God wants you to do, just keep doing the last thing He told you. He’ll tell you the next move when it’s time.” Second is the very reason Abraham is such a revered man in our faith history: he was a friend of God. He wasn’t just a servant. He knew God, like personally the way friends know each other. So, God didn’t have to tell Him everything step by step. Abraham knew God’s heart and was able to act accordingly. We can too.

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One Comment

  1. What a way to start the day–thank you for all the amazing posts the last week. As we were out of town to be with family in GA to celebrate a significant milestone with our family we had the time to escape the day to day tasks which often times seem to not be easy and run us into the ground after a while, but we were able to enjoy listening to the word on our drive and some podcasts and some good family. The question you titled this post makes me think of what one the great leaders I’ve had in my life would tell me: “its so good!”

    In our adult small group that gets together before the 11:07 service studied Daniel 6 a couple Sundays ago and talked about how strong Daniel was he stood strong in his faith when he faced opposition and his was faith was put to the test. I’ve heard and finally tried to incorporate this idea in my life as I read through the marathon plan of the bible that if I am not facing some form of opposition its probably not the will of God. The latest chapters in Exodus made me think of the commonality between Abraham and Mosses. They were so persistent in their faith, they did everything God would tell them but yet they faced opposition in what God was telling them to do. This makes me think; perhaps there might be a problem with Western Christianity, we think it should be easy. After all if this is for God shouldn’t it be easy; why would someone who loves us so much make it so difficult for us, even to the point where we might face death like Daniel and many others? Should we not have any opposition? This made me think of of what we read in Matthew 7 13: Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. Its obvious to me the narrow gate is not easy to get through all the time. Its not easy for me because I find I’m usually carrying a lot more than what I can handle as I try to fit through the gate. This really humbles me and think, I don’t need to carry anything. If I ask God to carry the stuff I’m trying its so much easier to get through the gate. I could go through the wide gate but as it says that usually leads to destruction at some point if I try to do it myself.

    Its taken me 34 years to finally realize we do not battle against flesh and blood but we battle against powers and principalities of this dark world. As a result I expect whenever we are trying to move the kingdom forward we can expect resistance from the prince of darkness. If you knew a thief was going to come in the middle of the night wouldn’t you prepare for them? However, we can stand firm in any opposition because we have access too and are able to put on: the full armor of God, the helmet of salvation, the breast plate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the sword of a spirit which is the word of God, the belt of truth, and our shoes are prepared of the gospel of readiness.

    Sorry, that was a long post but I was just feeling it this morning.

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