July 5, 2013

I was trying to explain an exercise to a Bible class of preteens recently. Each student was going to have a chance to tell something wonderful about one of their classmates, a great achievement, a talent, or something about their character.
I grouped them into pairs, and we got ready to begin when one student took a long, hard look at his partner, who just happened to be his sister and then blurted out, “Seriously? You want me to do that?”
It took us a few minutes to get going, but once we did it was great. They filled an entire white board with the positive attributes of their peers and siblings. It was one of the best classes we’ve had to date
How many times in the Bible do you think someone asked, “Seriously, God? You want me to do that?
Can’t you hear Moses on Mt. Horeb (Exodus 3)? You want me to go there and say what? Nobody is going to listen to me.

Don’t you know that the Israelites had to think to themselves, “March around Jericho how many times? Seriously?” (Joshua 6).

We know it crossed Jonah’s mind, as well. You want me to go to those people? Why would you want to show pagans your love and mercy?
At first, Naaman flat out refused to obey the word of the Lord (2 Kings 5). It didn’t make sense to him. Surely the prophet of God could have immediately healed him of his leprosy. Dipping yourself in a muddy river is crazy.
The rich young ruler just wanted to keep his possessions (Mark 10).
Love others the way Christ did and does? That might put me around people who make me feel uncomfortable. It might make me unpopular.
Forgive others? But I have scars that run deep and legal papers that say I don’t have to.
Go the extra mile? Do you realize how far that is?
Too often we want to tell Jesus how it’s going to be. We will follow, but don’t ask us to do that or go there. It’s easy to follow when we’re the one calling the shots. Right?
However, God’s ways aren’t ours. He sees the big picture. He understands the heart. He’s in control.
Following Christ might bring many of those, “You want me to do that?” moments because Jesus calls us out of the mundane. He beckons us into his story and out of our own selfishness.
This life is about Christ. Lord, help us to trust and obey even if we don’t always understand.

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