Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Moving God

At the close of chapter 5 of “Face to Face with God” by Bill Johnson, he talks about our own personal need. That’s not what I want to dwell on. I want to think about how I can change the world, the many, many evils that need to be stopped. And yet, how critical it is that we think about why we need a Savior. Not in sweeping sense of saving all of humanity, but our individual sins.
            Johnson says “The prostitutes, stargazers, tax collectors, and harlots all recognized Jesus as the Messiah. The ones most trained in Scripture were the ones who didn’t recognize Him for who He was.” In a current context, imagine those that are frowned upon in our society- the homeless, the addicts, maybe even the Wall Street schemers and child abusers. What if they were the ones to recognize Jesus, if he was here today, and our Christian pillars [enter your favorites here] in society did not recognize him?
            It is shocking and disturbing to think it could be so. And yet we have all heard incredible stories of people in deep darkness turning their lives around. And there are churches and individuals doing shocking evil in the name of God.  Johnson continues: “The awareness of deep personal need is also the setting where extraordinary faith grows. When there is no awareness of need, the opportunity to respond to God remains out of reach. For this reason, the Pharisees had no access to the realm that pleases God the most- faith. And faith moves God like no other thing.”
            I talk often about concepts like self-awareness because it is so essential to growth. Also, awareness of sin is like flossing. You go to the dentist and get convicted to floss your teeth. You may even lie about how often you do it. For a while, you floss religiously, possibly motivated by high dental bills. And then you skip a day and one day turns into a few and before you know it your gums are bleeding. I don’t want to be bleeding before I admit my sin and seek to change.
I’m still chewing on the connection between awareness of our own sin and faith. But I read this passage a few weeks ago and the idea of faith moving God has really stuck with me. Maybe because faith costs so much to give. Faith is trusting that even when it seems like God is not near, He is. That even when terrible things happen, He still has the whole world in His hands, like the child’s song says.  
I am awestruck at the thought of our great Creator being moved by anything I do. And yet, we see over and over God being moved. He answered cries. He rescued His people. He brought the dead back to life. He responds to us. We just have to ask, and listen. And wait.
(P.S.- Happy Birthday to my mom, who taught me so much about self-awareness and faith) Beth Kropf