Years ago when I was working at a juvenile prison for boys I learned the practical value of asking the right questions. A child psychologist had said that if you want to teach boys you walk with them and ask them questions. The quality of the questions will influence the quality and quantity of the answers. Clearly Socrates knew this secret. So I started walking with the inmates as often as possible and I saw results.
(Girls apparently work better with information but I haven’t tested that out.)
So let’s take a walk. Your life as a believer is in the mud, or a state of boredom. You’ve been doing the same thing for years. And you are not closer to God – maybe farther away. Years ago there was a question going around, “If God seems far away ask yourself who moved?”
Perhaps a better question would be, why have you not changed? The Christian religion is about change. (If we presented Jesus as a change agent maybe we’d have fewer interested people.)
God said, “I am the Lord. I change not.” Malachi 3:6. What this means is, if you want to come into the presence of the Lord, you must change. That process is given in the Bible.
2 Peter chapter 1 presents a game plan for change. And Peter, who lived through humiliating change, is the right person to encourage us, and give us a series of goals.
5 For this reason make every effort to add virtue to your faith; and to your virtue, knowledge; 6 and to your knowledge, self-control; and to your self-control, patient endurance; and to your patient endurance, godliness; 7 and to your godliness, brotherly kindness; and to your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these things reside in you and abound, they ensure that you will neither be useless nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But the one who lacks these things is blind and shortsighted because he has forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. (MEV)
God is not expecting us to do everything at once. You start with faith, in the case of Christians, faith in the written word of God, which describes virtue, then knowledge then self-control. How many if us start at self-control or knowledge but then we are ahead of the list. So many believers will ask a counselor or their pastor, or even themselves, “What does God want me to do?
Here is a chance to pull out Peter’s list and apply the list to the problem. Is this an issue where you apply discipline or patience, are you being tested in your character or your concern for others, are you to step back and watch God do it, or enter into the situation? The question as you walk with God is always, not what would Jesus do, but what would Jesus have me do?
PRAYER: Lord Jesus guide us all in your plan for our life. We have so many tasks, so busy lives, so much to burden us we forget what we are all about. Gently remind us each day that we have God’s Holy Do List to guide us as we raise children and answer to our leaders and family. Help us also not to be hyper over the results. We thank you for giving us a lifetime to prepare for the rest of our eternal journey, In Jesus Name. Amen.