Thursday, March 1, 2012

Some Advice

Have you ever made a decision without consulting your children? If you have kids I am sure you have. If you don't have kids your parents probably made many decisions without consulting you. A few years ago my wife and I decided to refinance our home. We discussed it, looked at the pros and cons, looked at the costs associated with it and made a decision to refinance. During this process we did not once ask our kids, who were all under the age of ten at the time, what they thought about it. We did not ask them if they thought it would be wise to refinance our home, we did not once ask them if they thought we could afford to do this and we did not once ask them if they thought what we were doing would fit into their plans. I bring this up because as I was reading the other morning I came across several passages of scripture where God is making decisions and telling Moses what he is to do and not once did God ask Moses what he thought about it, not once did God ask Moses if he thought his ideas were good, not once did God ask Moses if he thought he could handle the task God was assigning him. Take a look at a few of these passages.

Exodus 25: 10-16 - 10 “Have them make an ark of acacia wood—two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. 11 Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it. 12 Cast four gold rings for it and fasten them to its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other. 13 Then make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. 14 Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry it. 15 The poles are to remain in the rings of this ark; they are not to be removed. 16 Then put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law, which I will give you.

Exodus 26: 1-6 - 1 “Make the tabernacle with ten curtains of finely twisted linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, with cherubim woven into them by a skilled worker. 2 All the curtains are to be the same size—twenty-eight cubits long and four cubits wide. 3 Join five of the curtains together, and do the same with the other five. 4 Make loops of blue material along the edge of the end curtain in one set, and do the same with the end curtain in the other set. 5 Make fifty loops on one curtain and fifty loops on the end curtain of the other set, with the loops opposite each other. 6 Then make fifty gold clasps and use them to fasten the curtains together so that the tabernacle is a unit.

Exodus 28: 1-5 - 1 “Have Aaron your brother brought to you from among the Israelites, along with his sons Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, so they may serve me as priests. 2 Make sacred garments for your brother Aaron to give him dignity and honor. 3 Tell all the skilled workers to whom I have given wisdom in such matters that they are to make garments for Aaron, for his consecration, so he may serve me as priest. 4 These are the garments they are to make: a breastpiece, an ephod, a robe, a woven tunic, a turban and a sash. They are to make these sacred garments for your brother Aaron and his sons, so they may serve me as priests. 5 Have them use gold, and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and fine linen.

I could go on and on with several more like this. If you read those passages not once does God say "Do you think that is too much gold Moses?" or "Do you like blue, purple and scarlet this season Moses" God does not even say "Moses do you think you can do all of this?" God even brings Moses' brother Aaron into the mix and doesn't even ask him first if he wants to be a priest.

As I thought about that I remembered a verse that basically sums all of this up.

Psalm 135:6 The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.

I sometimes find myself thinking that God needs me and my opinion or my skills. I sometimes find myself thinking that God probably wants to bounce a few of his ideas off of me to see what I think. Can you say arrogant? The Psalmist seemed to understand how seemingly insignificant we can appear in the grand scheme of things:

Psalm 8: 3,4
3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?

God will do what God wants to do. We cannot change his mind, we cannot offer him a better option, we cannot talk him out of a decision. We have the opportunity to partner with him and be eye witnesses to what he is doing locally and around the world. Are you busy being a part of his plan or are you busy trying to convince him that your plan is a better plan? One will produce fruit the other will produce frustration.

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