Christian Devotionals

"Needlessly Impotent"

Oh how we take charge Christians love to go out and do stuff. Do stuff for God, do stuff for humanity. Unfortunately, we often try to do things in our own power and for the wrong motives. There’s too much grandstanding going on in the Church, where we want others to see our good deeds or be impressed by our talents. Yet Jesus clearly tells us that the accolades that we receive from our fellow man in those situations, is all the reward we’ll ever get. It’s the person who humbly serves God without all the fanfare who receives the reward that lasts forever. We need to remember that when we’re tempted to blow our own horn or do something for the wrong motive.

Another area of concern is our take charge attitude that often leaves God out of the equation. Whether it be the planning of a special church event or the handling of a building campaign, church leaders often lean on the wisdom of man and rely on their own flesh-filled efforts. I was reading one of my daily devotionals today – Moody Bible Institute’s “Today in the Word” – and it mentioned how many church fundraisers are tempted to follow the wisdom of the world in order to get “guaranteed results.” Church leaders take the advice of the experts and use business logic to be more professional and “with the times,” but ignore the God factor. God has never been a fan of playing it safe and aiming low in order to get guaranteed results. He knows what He can accomplish through a trusting and reliant people and it’s quite a bit more than a self-reliant – play it safe – people will ever achieve on their own.

That’s one of the reasons why our churches in North America lack real power. We aim for and settle for mediocre/natural results when the sky is the limit in terms of God’s supernatural power. We offer up prayers and say that it’s all about Him, but in reality, it’s all about us. We’re just offering up Christian lip service. Our mouths say one thing, but our actions say another. “We’ll do this for You Lord, bless us” or “Here’s what we’re going to do. We’ll call you if we need you.” This behavior results in mediocrity that impresses no one but ourselves. Outsiders looking in are not impressed by our average results. These are results that any human could achieve without God. Why should they be dazzled or drawn in to our church? It’s when we go beyond ourselves and fully rely on God’s help that things really start to happen. The end results are so beyond anything that we could accomplish in the flesh that people – insiders and outsiders – take notice. God was involved in this … hallelujah!

People in the developing nations don’t seem to have this problem of ours (self-reliant mediocrity). They acknowledge up front that they don’t have the resources and recognize that the odds against them are too overwhelming. So what do they do? They go right to God and put it in His capable hands. They’re usually not disappointed either. We see multimillion dollar churches go up in the slums of South Africa, we see the sick get healed and we see incredible victories spring up out of certain defeat. They go right to the Father and He does not disappoint. Maybe if we adopted their attitude of going to God first and fully relying on His power and generosity, we’d see supernatural results in the “developed” countries like the United States. There would be healings, miracles and fundraising like we’ve not seen in centuries. Why do we expect so little from this mighty God? I don’t know about you, but I refuse to live spiritually impotent. I’m going to follow the example of my brethren in the developing nations because I know my limitations all too well.

8 It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man.
Psalm 118:8 (New King James Version)

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