Michael B Linton

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Funny...some only believe in a clock-maker God.

If the above title seems obscure, let me help you. A very watered-down version of Christianity is Deism. It believes that God does not act in the world anymore. He is kind of like a clock-maker. He created the world, wound it up, and let it loose. Thus, He's a clock-maker God.

Here's why that's funny. Some people believe in a clock-maker God. Sometimes I wonder if God's clock isn't broken. See the irony? Let me explain.

The problem here is that God is not on our agenda. I can't see later on tonight, much less months down the road. And He can. He knows what we need before we need it. He knows what our bank account says, He knows the upcoming bills, He knows the work involved in planting a church and all the things that I need to accomplish.

The hard part for us is the waiting. I want to know now what will happen in a few days, months, years. Or at least I want a few details so I can make plans. But, there I go, wanting to make plans. The main thing is that it isn't about me or my plans. The world does not revolve around me, it revolves around God. Most of the time, I don't like that. Occasionally, it's a good thing, but usually only when I'm counseling someone else. I don't like it for me.

This is a dilemma for every Christian. We want just enough information to head out on our own. "Thanks, God. I'll take it from here." I've made that mistake too many times in the past. I know the repercussions and I know the warning signs of when it's about to happen. The stupid thing is, I usually forge ahead anyway. Let me tell you, it's a struggle not to run out ahead now, too.

So, what do we do? Well, we wait. We wait when it doesn't seem the bills will be paid, even when you know you are exactly where God wants you to be. We wait when it seems the current task is about to overwhelm us. We wait when we aren't sure of the next step and the answers aren't rapid-fire from the mouth of God. We wait.

Here's another reality: we might not be rescued the way we think we should. We might not pay the bills. We may have to struggle more than we'd like. The next step might not be the direction we want to go. We can take a great lesson from Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego). When threatened with the furnace, they said it was okay. God would take care them. But here's the kicker, and I'll quote:

Daniel 3:17-18 "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. "But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up."
Ain't it great? Even if they weren't protected, they would still follow God. And it is just as much idolatry to go our own direction in decisions as it is to bow before a statue. We're just worshipping our own plans rather than a golden idol. And our attitude has to be the same as theirs. Regardless of the consequences, we must follow God. It may not make sense to anyone, including you, but we have to follow. Regardless of the fire. Regardless of the trials. Regardless of the fact that it seems God's clock is broken. It's not. We just need to set our clocks to God's.

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