Sunday, March 4, 2012

What if? A Speculation on Humility (Philippians 1:18)

[12] “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. [13] Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (John 14:12-13 ESV)


 [16] You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (John 15:16 ESV)

The fact that Jesus said that He would grant any request made in His name is something that is obviously open to misunderstanding. It clearly doesn’t mean we are going to get something like an ice cream Sunday just for the asking… not necessarily anyway. The context of both statements indicates that it has something to do with our work as disciples. Even then, experience does not indicate that we will get easy answers to simple requests like: “God, please bring revival and an explosive growth of your kingdom to central Europe again. …in Jesus name.”

OK.

We need to… wait, what?

I said, OK. But there is a price I will ask.

God?

Yes.

And you’re willing to do what I ask?

Sure.

What’s the price?

I will allow you to see and experience a great movement in your day, but the only involvement you will have will be the asking for it—this prayer. What do you say?


Well, yes I really want to see that, but I would sort of like to be used by You, to have a purpose—a role to play.

OK. How about this? You get the revival, you get to be a part of my plan, but you never understand the connection. You won’t see how you influenced the results. You will simply have to trust that what you do makes a difference somehow.

Well…

Yeah, nobody likes that one. Here is my final offer. Revival. You are instrumental. But, the world at large will never know the role that you play. I get all the credit. It will be all me—empowering and guiding you anyway.

Yes. That would be great!

One thing. You need to see it through until I am done with you. Most people who get this deal see an inkling of success and forget all about this conversation. They think that they have stumbled upon a secret method. They quit the work and write a book. They go on the speaking circuit and tell everyone else how to produce revival. How to start a movement. They try to take credit in an “I’m merely trying to have a greater impact” sort of way.

Oh… yeah, I get that. I will try to stay focused, Lord.

One more thing.

Yes, Lord?

Someone else will try to take all my credit for your work in the eyes of the world anyway. Wherever I have people working there are always some around who will raise their voices and pound their chests; and people like to listen to those voices.

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