In the last few years God has been teaching me to take His promises at face value.
If Jesus said, “Do not work for food that spoils…” (John 6:27) maybe he meant it.
If he said, “Don’t be concerned about what to eat or drink. Don’t worry about that stuff. All that jazz dominates the minds of people who don’t see the bigger picture. Your Daddy knows when you’re hungry, and He’s a good Dad! You just worry about playing your part in your Daddy’s business and He’ll worry about feeding you.” (John 12:29-31 NBV) maybe he meant it.
I love when Jesus makes promises about our Father taking care of us.
Today, I was convicted. Do I love it when Jesus makes commands? Do I take those at face value?
When Jesus says, “Sell your possessions and give to those in need…” (John 12:33) maybe he meant it.
When Jesus said, “Give to those who ask…” (Matt 5:42) maybe he meant it.
I have a tendency to explain away commands like I used to explain away the promises. “That homeless dude isn’t really in need… He probably makes $100 an hour doing that… I don’t know how he is going to spend it.” But, am I really a follower of Jesus if I’m not actually following His teachings? (Not questioning my salvation here, FYI) He said, “Give” and I interpret it to mean, “Give after you have fully investigated how your money is going to be used and have thus verified that it will be used in a God-honoring way.”
When I look at the context of that verse in Matthew 5, it doesn’t seem like Jesus’ primary concern is how the recipient of your “giving” is going to steward your money. Read it.
What if my responsibility is not for the outcome, but the obedience? How does that play in to the fact that we have so many “charities” that are hurting people more than actually helping them by giving unwisely? I don’t know.
What if the promises and commands go hand-in-hand?
What if I can actually take the promises of scripture at face value as I act on the commands of scripture at face value?
I have this feeling that we explain things away too often. Maybe we’re too smart for our own good.
Do you mean that we should all quit our jobs and do full-time missions work?! Who would support us if none of us have jobs?!
Maybe we should… and my Father is loaded.
Do you mean that I should always give money to every homeless person I see? What if they’re using it on drugs and it’s just going to help destroy their lives?!
Maybe we should… and Jesus knew what he was talking about.
More important than those questions is this question:
Is everything in my life on the negotiation table or am I not willing to “go there” when Jesus starts talking to me about that.
My primary concern is to follow Jesus. If He is actually directing my life as my CEO (aka, Lord) then its possible for me to follow Him and trust that He knows what He’s doing when He gives me directions.