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God Doing His Thing

Evangelism, discipleship, and the church are God's thing. He invites us, calls us, and gifts us to be a part of it. Two basic truths accompany this concept.

"God keeps doing His thing" is one of the lines I live by. I say it when I realize I've stumbled into the center of something far bigger than myself.

Like the time I wandered into a bar in Uganda, hoping to develop some friendships, and left an hour later having led someone to Christ.

Like the times I've found myself sitting at the right table, riding on the right bus, on MSN at the right time. The times the right words come to me in a conversation—answers to tough issues, clear explanations of the Gospel, words from God for people. God doing His thing.

Evangelism, discipleship, and the church are God's thing, not ours. He invites us, calls us, and gifts us to be a part of it, but the bottom line is God, not us. Two basic truths accompany this concept.

First, if this is God's thing, God is responsible to carry it out. In Africa, I had to fall back on this truth constantly. As we traveled from church to church, I had to believe that God was preparing the way before we came, working through us when we were there, and carrying it out in the long run. Knowing ministry is God's thing takes the pressure off of us; He is ultimately responsible for its fulfillment.

The second truth is a little harder to swallow: if this is God's thing, He gets the glory, not us.

When King Nebuchadnezzer gloated over Babylon, saying "Is this not the great Babylon I have built … by my mighty power for the glory of my majesty?" (Daniel 4:30, emphasis added), God stripped his glory, authority, and identity until he acknowledged that this was God's kingdom, not his.

We easily get caught up in Kingdom-building—my church, my ministry, my program. We tighten our grip on our role, our vision, and, ultimately, our glory. When it's God's thing, programs and roles are subject to His vision. His scope in any given situation, location, or individual is often far broader than we'll ever see. It's His Kingdom we are building, and it's for His glory.

So what is our role in this Kingdom that is out of our hands and beyond our scope? Faithfulness. God invites us, calls us, and gifts us to be part of building His Kingdom. We are not responsible for the whole thing, but we are responsible for the part God has entrusted to us.

Thus, the first challenge is to discover our role. Paul challenges Timothy "fan into flame the gift of God" (2 Timothy 1:6) and to be faithful in carrying out His calling.

The second is to be faithful in that calling. Tertullian once said "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church." Those martyrs saw none of the fruit of their work, but it is upon their faithful blood that we build the Church today.

And upon our faithfulness today God will build His church tomorrow.

Originally published in The Messenger, April 18, 2007.




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