Monday, June 21, 2010
Today’s Topic: It’s a God Thing
Today’s Text: I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. (Isaiah 6:1)
It happened again. I don’t know why it surprises me so much when it does. By now it should be the expectation by which I live. The fact that it isn’t proves how much of my life is directed by my choices rather than by the leading of the Holy Spirit. Let me set the stage for what happened.
Last week I was with a friend. We spent several days together just relaxing, playing golf, and talking. We joked quite a bit about some of the pet phrases we have adopted into our spiritual vocabulary. The one that we laughed about the most is this – “That was a God thing.” At the very root of our laughter was the realization that because God is sovereign, everything is a God thing. Yet we tend to give credit to God only when the thing that happens has an immediate benefit for us.
Which one of you would shout out at the top of your lungs from the emergency room of the hospital where you lie writhing in agony from an accident, “This is a God thing?” But it is. We must understand this – God is in sovereign control of every circumstance of life, and is using even the consequences of our sin as an instrument of shaping our spiritual life into the image of His Son Jesus.
But that is not the deep water I want to dive into today. The fact that we say “That was a God thing” only at times of personal benefit proves that we are attempting to be in control of our own lives most of the time. And because of that, we miss out on so many opportunities to see God do incredible things in and through us. We miss hearing so many whispers of the Holy Spirit because our pride is shouting so loudly.
Back to the story of last week. My friend Paul and I were on our way to the golf course early in the morning. We decided to stop at McDonald’s on the way and pick up coffee and a breakfast sandwich. Between my house and the golf course there were two McDonald’s at which I could have stopped. As I pulled out of the garage my spirit clearly heard the Holy Spirit speak. It was one of those times when I am made aware of the incredible processing power of the human mind created by the very same God who was now taking control of it. In a flash I was directed to turn right and head for the McDonald’s by the mall, taking the back roads from my house. I quickly processed travel time, tee time, directions, and ease of access both to the drive-through and back onto the highway to the golf course. I compared it to the other option. All of this was taking place in a split second of time as the car approached the end of the driveway.
Then, in my mind, I heard it again. Go right. I obeyed.
When we pulled up to the window of the drive-through to pick up our food, I looked inside the restaurant and saw an old friend. It was a man who used to attend our church. I hadn’t seen him in over a year. I waved to him to come to the door at the end of the drive-through so I could say hi. He did. We pulled up to the door and talked for a moment. I had heard several weeks ago that he had gotten a new motorcycle, and there it was in the parking lot. He told me how much he liked it, and then invited me to call him and bring my motorcycle over and go riding with him some day.
As we drove away from the McDonald’s, I looked at Paul, and almost simultaneously we said, “That was a God thing.” We laughed, and all the way to the golf course talked about how many times the Holy Spirit tries to direct our steps that way every day and we miss it because we are so focused on what we want to do. The shouts of our pride drown out the whispers of the Holy Spirit so that the recognition of God’s activity in our lives is so infrequent it surprises us when it happens.
My goal is to stop shouting and start listening, so I can see the Lord seated on the throne of my life, high and exalted, and the train of His robe filling the temple of my life with His presence and glory. When that happens, everything becomes a God thing.