Thursday, October 19, 2006

praying for god's absence

This one from Brian Jones really caught my eye ...

This past Sunday as I walked to the podium to preach for our fourth service I prayed a prayer I’ve never prayed before, “I’ll take it from here God. If you wouldn’t mind, I’d like for you not to be involved in this one. I’d like to see what happens when I do this by myself.”

I stood up. I preached. People were visibly moved by my words. People laughed. Afterwards those in attendance shared how much my words meant to them. People made decisions to become followers of Jesus.

The only problem was God wasn’t involved. And it appeared it really didn't make that much difference.
Jones continues by arguing that we can in fact effect change in lives (at least outwardly) through our own human effort. We too often wrongly assume that if lives are changed then God is obviously involved at our church. We need to better determine if transformation is a true by-product of the work of the Holy Spirit rather than the outcome of re-socialization.

I would add that the latter is the trap we get into when our goal is to build ourselves and even when our goal seems good, that is to help others. Real transformation comes when our purpose is to glorify God.

A couple of nights ago I heard a man say that the reason we do spiritual warfare is for others. I know where he was going so I didn't jump on it. He was speaking against those that get spiritually puffed up as they flex their spiritual muscle. I'm ok with speaking out against that but spiritual warfare, or to the point of this post, ultimately, all that we do is for the glory of God ... or it is of no value.

What do you think? Can we be effective without God? Can we be effective and yet not glorifying to the Father?

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