Excuse me for a few minutes, I’m just going to bring up a couple of things which bother me. They aren’t world shattering, but I do think they are important.
I’ve probably blogged on this before, but I find it very strange when mission writers and speakers say that God needs us to reach the nations for Christ. I’m sorry, but what sort of pathetic God needs me to do anything? An omnipotent, omniscient, all-wise God really doesn’t need people like us to lend him a hand so he can get something done.
God doesn’t need us to be involved in mission, he could perfectly well send a whole host of angels to do the job. But God does want us to be involved. He loves us so much that he doesn’t want to do the job without us. His commitment to us and to our growth is what drives our call to mission, not God’s inability to get stuff done without us.
It isn’t unusual to hear Christians talking about trying to discover “God’s will”. Very often this is presented in terms of a binary choice. If you make the right choice, then you will be where God wants you to be, but if you make the wrong choice everything is messed up. I’m sure that there are times when following God does boil down to a simple choice of A or B, but I’m not convinced that this is as common as we make it out to be.
Very often God offers us a choice of A or B and they are both good; we can choose either. Our God is a God of infinite variety who loves to give his children good gifts, he isn’t a behaviourist putting us in a maze to see whether we will make the right choice. He offers us A and B (and C, D, E…) because they are things that he knows would bless us. He can work with any of them – he is an all knowing, all wise God. He isn’t thrown off balance because we make a choice he didn’t expect.
Obviously, there are some choices that we shouldn’t make; the Scriptures are a good guide to that sort of thing.
The thing that links the subjects of these mini-rants is that they both relate to our view of God. We love to sing about how big and powerful God is, but when it comes to practical issues we, all too often, limit God’s ability to do things. We make ourselves, our choices and our abilities the centre of the universe. On balance; that’s a mistake!