RIDICULOUS REQUESTS

Oct
2017
14

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“God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24)

He’s down on his luck. Recently he lost his job, his girlfriend broke up with him, he’s considered suicide, and then he’s forced to leave the city and move back home with his recently widowed sister and her daughter. Sounds like a scene torn from the script of an afternoon soap. It’s actually the background for a primetime dramedy (mix of drama and comedy) interestingly titled Kevin (Probably) Saves the World. The main character, Kevin, is informed that he is one of the 36 righteous souls responsible for helping people and keeping hope alive. Although there is little if any mention of God, per se, he is lead to believe that the universe will reveal who those persons are whom he is supposed to help. Hesitant to move his mission along, the overly-anxious Kevin puts himself in the middle of awkward situations, including what occasionally appears to be hallucinatory conversations with his spirit guide who only he can see. It’s ridiculous at times, but it also makes for good entertainment.

You have most likely heard of others who have felt similarly tested and appeared to be ridiculous if they acted on their promptings.  There are persons asked to take a leadership role in their church who are quite sure they have nothing to offer. What about the individual who quits their lucrative six-figure job because they feel called to go into missionary work? Then there are those who have faced life-altering situations (an accident or illness) where they have gone from what appeared to be highly-productive work to an imposed period of reflection and preparation. Most of them come to realize that even when they thought they knew where they were going in life, God could change their direction in a split second. Some even come to embrace those famous words of Jesus: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:33).

The Biblical accounts of God calling His children are countless, and many could have been perceived as ridiculous. How silly did Noah look when God asked him to build an ark? Scripture does not tell us if people made fun of him for undertaking this project, but knowing how the world mocks God’s followers – it makes some sense. The important thing, however, is that “Noah did everything just as God commanded him” (Genesis 6:22). And, who was Moses to think he could stand up to the most powerful king in the land as he “protested to God, ‘Who am I to appear before Pharaoh?” (Exodus 3:11). But God said, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say” (Exodus 4:11-12). Just imagine what was going through the mind of Simon Peter, an experienced fisherman, when Jesus said, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.” “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again” (Luke 5:4-5). Apparently none of these men worried if they looked foolish . . . they simply did what God asked of them.

More often than not, when God calls us to do something that appears completely ridiculous – we begin to worry about what people are going to think.  While His call isn’t always followed with a clear outcome, we can be assured that He does so for a reason. He wants us to step out in faith into a situation that might seem unbelievable, in order that He might amaze us and increase our faith. When He asks us to move, He never asks us to go alone. As the great prophet reminds us – “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21). The practice of listening to the voice of the Lord creates an intimacy and trust that only He can provide. When God makes what seems to be a ridiculous request, it is in those moments that we realize just how much we depend on Him. As we go forward in quiet obedience – we will be given an opportunity to refine our lives, serve Him, and become more of the person He wants us to be.

REFLECTION: Has God ever asked you to do something you thought was just plain illogical?   Did you have the courage to follow His calling? What is the one thing you have to offer the Lord where your presence could make the most difference?  What are those things that might hold you back?

A NEW LOOKUP  DEVOTION IS UPLOADED EACH WEEK. THE NEXT WEEKLY POSTING WILL BE ON SAT., OCTOBER 21, 2017.  COMMENTS ARE WELCOMED.

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