|by Dr. Bill Denton
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. (Phil 2:12-13)
You ever feel like "nuthin" happens where you live? Does life seem ho-hum boring? Ever get the feeling that all the excitement, all the "happenings" in the world, are occurring somewhere else to somebody else? Ever wish that just for a change, you could be on the cutting edge of something new and wonderful?
My favorite caricature about Abraham Lincoln shows two tired Kentucky pioneers with their skinny dogs. They meet on a bleak February morning. One asked, "What is new out here, neighbor?" The other replied, "Nuthin at all... nuthin' at all, 'cept for a new baby boy down to Tom Lincoln's. Nuthin' ever happens out here."
In the light of history, we know that God was causing great things to happen on that cold February morning - things of which the despondent pioneers were unaware. In the dark moments of discouragement, we have also felt like that pioneer: "Nuthin' ever happens out here." Then we realize that God is still working out His purpose in life. The fault lies in our own lack of awareness. We may miss what God is doing all around us. Could we but develop an awareness, our lives would be filled with light and joy. God's love envelops us, but we must respond to that love if we are to experience its real meaning. (Author unknown)
Well, you might be right. Fooled you, didn't I? You probably thought I was going to launch into a brilliantly designed argument to get you to see all the things you usually miss. Like the illustration above suggests, we may be missing what God is doing. I don't want to argue against the point made. However, some people are dull and boring. Their lives are lackluster. The newest thing that has happened where they live is when the highway department repainted the stripes on the road near their house. Let's face it, the truth is that there are a lot of people living in the slow lane of life, and they like it that way.
Of course, there are others who currently occupy the slow lane, but wish for something new and exciting. They seem to be waiting for it to happen. They are a lot like the fellow who was discovered sitting by the lake. Someone asked him what he was doing and he replied, "Waiting for the fish to bite." Interestingly, his fishing pole lay on the ground by his side. So far he hadn't gotten around to putting a hook in the water, but he was waiting for the fish to bite. Do you see the problem?
If you're happy with your "slow-lane" life, I'll try not to disturb you. If it's perfectly fine with you that "nuthin" happens where you live, I sure don't want to complicate your life. But, if you're waiting for things to happen, may I suggest that you consider "throwing a hook into the water?" Get up and make something happen "for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure!"
I've heard countless people say they wished their church could grow. Many have said they would like for their church to make an impact on their community, help change lives, and save the lost. There is just one problem. They evidently think that if they sit around long enough, someone will come along and make it all happen. They're waiting for the right time, the right person, the right situation, the right method, the right something that will cause things to happen. What they need to learn is that all of those things are within their grasp. They just need to get up and make something happen, for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure!"
Chances are, your world is about as exciting as you are! Now I've gone and insulted several people, but it's true. If your world is boring, and you don't like it, change it. Make things happen; good things, exciting things, productive things. Somebody, somewhere else may look at you and wish their life was so exciting, "for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure!"
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