Yesterday I was riding around a little scouting for ministry opportunities. In DTS Equip, we’re training for outreach
and what to do when your contacts fall through. I met with Pastor Dennis, of the Lakeside Community Chapel to talk it over. He made some suggestions and we agreed to have a prayer time, joining the students in our school with the church members who want to pray about this. The goal is to reach out to the little community of Lakeside-a small tourist town on Flathead Lake of less than 2000 people.
One of the things the pastor and I talked about was visiting a church member at a retirement center in Kalispell, so I headed up there. Since we are Youth With A Mission and have plenty of energy for that kind of thing, I got in touch with the activities coordinator to see if we could get together and spend some time at the Brendan House later in the week. As I walked down the hallway to the “lounge” where everyone was hanging out, I saw this sign on the wall.
How classic is that? Maybe we should have one of those in the classroom. Maybe I could get an app for my phone that has that as the “Lock Screen”. Just the basics. The only thing I can think to add is “where” you are. You are in Kalispell, Montana. And maybe one more thing…
You are not God.
This DTS Equip course started out with a lesson on asking questions. The first question God asked in the Bible was to Adam in the garden of Eden. “Where are you?” Genesis 3:9
Did God need the information? Hardly. Things had changed for Adam and Eve. Their location in relation to God had changed. They were now sinners where before they were not. They now knew about evil and good, and that they were naked. The change wasn’t geographical. It was spiritual.
“Where are you?”
Where am I in my own mind? Am I turning my words and my preferences and desires into the word of the Lord for me and for others? Is God the one I am looking to for direction or have I become the ultimate authority and commander?
Once I heard a humorous little Q&A that went like this:
Question: “What’s a difference between me and God?”
Answer: “He doesn’t think he’s me.”
I was thinking about the first question God asked in the Bible. Then it occurred to me that it wasn’t the first question. The first question was,
“Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”
Interesting choice of words. Eve’s first mistake was talking to him at all. Teachers tell us there are no stupid questions. I think that was a stupid one; or maybe a foolish one. It’s one that questions the goodness and the sovereignty of God and attempts to twist who’s who and what’s what.
“Where are you?”
Lots of trouble can be avoided in this life simply by knowing who I am and where I am. A strong identity is important when trying to avoid temptation.
“And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written,
‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
The devil starts straightaway with the identity thing. “If you are the Son of God…”
As in, “Maybe you’re not… and if you are, prove it!”
Getting the identity thing worked out is one of the most important things in life.
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons…”
We are sons and daughters of God. There is nothing to prove-not to God, not to the devil, not to others. An inheritance is not dependent on performance. It’s part of being a member of a family.
Who are you?