The fabulous Positive Thinking Rallies of the 70s and 80s were surely a step toward improving the church's stinkin' thinkin'. Yet, even these produced a threat to the God-call toward us. If it is to be, it is up to me was the clarion call. While this surely stirred action over complacency, it presented yet another stigma.
Life is not up to me. It is not up to a determined you. It is up to God. We are called to believe Him. He parted the Red Sea; not Moses. He pushed out the walls of Jericho; not Joshua. God raised Jesus from the dead; not a self-determined, never-to-give-up Jesus.
In actuality, If it is to be it is up to Him.
Why do we need this reminder?
When we think church is up to us, we become overwhelmed and inwardly overwrought with exasperation because WE CAN'T DO IT. Frustration, guilt, and bummerism subdue the spirit of each servant.
Here's what I face; where my mind races....constantly:
- How do we keep the members we have and draw more?
- How do we hold the church staff in tact?
- How do we keep the contributions strong?
- How do we create a growth spurt in the Tulsa Workshop?
- How do we remain meaningful in our assemblies for the various age ranges?
- How do we speak with clarity from the Word when we, too, are accustomed to supporting doctrines that never came from the Word?
- How do we refrain from giving up for we see ourselves as so terribly flawed and inadequate?
- How do we add new elders that will not go ego-blind the minute they become an elder?
- How do we determine the things we ought to keep doing versus the things we ought to let die?
- How do we transition me out due to age without doing so too soon...or too late?
- How do we hold this place together when we are basically operating on emotion more than Jesus?
- How do we keep the fire lit when each possesses a touchiness which could dampen in ripple effect?
Enter the Holy Spirit of God.
I don't know the answer to one of the twelve questions. Not one. When I apply myself, I conclude weaker than when beginning. Yet, the good news in all of this is the church really is Christ's; not ours. If it is to be it really is up to Him; not us.
We shall continue to move forward because He determines the path. We will rest when He calls for rest without guilt of we ought to be doing something more. We will respond when He calls for response.
Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent." This....is how we shall keep going on.