Deus Interrupta – God interrupted
Did you know that there are over 140 instances in the bible that specifically state, "but God?" I've noticed those words more intentionally as of late. God interrupts us…it shouldn't come as a surprise. I mean, God is God…and either we have God in our lives where the focal point is us and we are essentially USING God (conveniently playing our own god) and asking God to be around to bless OUR plans or we are submissive, intentional and humble about our plans coinciding with God's plans and will for our lives. It comes down to this, "who is the real Lord of our lives?" OR, will the real Lord please stand up!
Sit down now, will you?
I've come to realize lately how God interrupts us…for every plan, for every tragedy or stuggle, for every seemingly "good idea" there is also the God of our lives who is gracious and merciful enough to say "woa, no or SLOW DOWN" to any or all of our initiatives.
Take what happened in our lives this past week – for over a year, I've been praying and seeking God about our family's finances. Vicky and I have had extensive prayer times, conversations and planning sessions about how best to proceed. We thought we had a strategy…we embarked on fulfilling that strategy, and started to act on implementing the strategy when all of the sudden, God spoke. NO, I wish God had done the "sorry Charlie" or "speak from heaven" type of thing…but that didn't happen. What did happen was an outpouring of emotion and a strong sense that we should STOP what we had planned and reevalute. Frankly, there was a part of me that said, "hey, what's this…full steam ahead." But I was wrong…we needed to revisit our "listening quotient." We had to act on the fact that we pray that God would slow us down…and He did. Yeah, "but God"…yeah, we had our plans, "but God." We had made our decision, "but God."
You see, there's always more to who God is and how God is acting than we give Him credit for…we casually throw up a prayer or maybe even stop for a second to appease God with a moment or two of our time over a particular issue. We plead with God to keep up with us as we run at full speed with whatever we desire to do. And even in the midst of lip service, we are surprised that God has the audacity to throw a "but" into our plans?
I was just reading last night in Proverbs, yeah, you know the book…the one with all the practical wisdom. Proverbs 16:1:
"We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer."
There's a part of me that hates that because I SO want it to work in the reverse…I want to have the right answers to God's plans. "But God" doesn't work that way. God's not around to make sure OUR plans are the ones that are always right…God IS around so that HIS plans are always right. In that reality God invites us to partner with Him in making our lives and our world what He desires it to be. And if that takes a few "but God" moments in our lives so that we can finally "get it", than so be it.
The world was on the edge of destruction BUT GOD saw Noah…
Sarah and Abraham were too old and faithless to believe that God could provide a miraculous birth BUT GOD knew different…
It looked like the people of God were "toast" in comparison to the armies and will of Pharoah, BUT GOD had other plans…
People questioned Jesus on whether he had the right to forgive…BUT GOD had some forgiving to do….
We were stuck helplessly in our brokenness…BUT GOD loved us before we could ever even acknowledge who He was and is, and HE lived, died and rose and EMPOWERS us to live a new, Kingdom life…
So, what do you think? How might there be some "deus interrupta" moments in your life…and, most importantly, what are those moments telling you about your Kingdom life? You see, the issue really does come down to "who's the boss"…if it is you, then stop pretending that God is God and simply acknowledge the truth that you are a spiritual consumer asking God for His blessings on your already self-fulfilled and self-directed life. Oh, and by the way, don't blame God that He isn't coming through for you…remember, you are the one setting the direction and asking God to jump on YOUR ship. But if God is leading and you are responding then that's a dynamic partnership. Will we get everything we want? No…and we shouldn't. The world isn't about us and our fulfillment…it is about God and His will and HIS-story of which we are a significant and much loved part. Oh, you and me…we can make our plans…that's OK…but don't be suprised when God says, "but." He has a habit of doing that…so that we acknowlege where credit is due and who truly is the supplier of every good and perfect gift.
Chew on that for a while…more to come!