don’t waste your life

don’t waste your life doing things for God

by dwight friesen


Simple things have a way of changing lives.  Yet simple things can be difficult to receive.

  Most people have this fascination with being profound (in fact “homosapien” means wise, intelligent being and we can’t forget the Garden of Eden).  When we discover something simple we are p
rone to complicate it.


I fear we have muddied God’s beautiful vision for his church.  We have all these pricey buildings, sophisticated programs, flashy services, and these senior pastors who think they are CEOs, generals, or in some instances even the Pope.


Christ’s church is simple.  She is the New Community of Christ’s followers.  She is relational – the people of God united before Him.


Worship, preaching, evangelism, Bible teaching, missions, retreat centers, fellowship, theology, prayer, service, etc.; all of these can be good, yet every one of these can be idolatrous.  When these kinds of things begin to drive us, we must beware for we may already be bowing before a golden calf.  God is a jealous and holy God.  He will not share our affections. 


When the people of God become more task oriented than relational, a red light should illuminate our dashboard prompting us to pull over and be still.  All tasks related to the church or the gospel must be birthed out of life with God.   God never calls us to tasks – but God always calls us to himself.  When such a Christ-life is healthy every task finds its place.  But when that intimacy with God is off, then we are in danger of defining ourselves by something or someone other than Christ.  All God-honoring ministry can only result from the overflow of life with God.  Ministry can never be a goal in and of itself, that kind of ministry will always be an idol.  It doesn’t mean God won’t use such efforts.  God can even speak though Babylon and Balaam’s donkey.  Surely God can use an idolatrous preacher or missionary. 


The sad truth is that idolatrous Christians whose lives are marked by such “fruitful” ministry may find themselves wondering why they no longer sense the presence of God.  They ask:  Why do I feel so alone in ministry?  Why am I so full of pride?  When did I stop hearing the still, small voice of Christ?  When did I start pursuing power?  Where did the joy of ministry go?


The flashing red light on one’s dashboard is God’s invitation for a person to park oneself, and be still.  It is in the being still that God speaks, and can be heard.  When a person is hearing God’s voice and responding, the relationship is growing.  And the person begins again to live this simple thing we call the gospel.


The Church often seems filled with people racing along to their individually selected destinations, CD player blocking out the voice of God.  God is a gentleman and rarely raises his voice.  We need to find a rest stop, take time and listen, holding our destination very loosely.  God often waits until the last moment before telling us where to turn.  In fact, if the vision for your destination is crystal clear you may need to seriously reflect as to who’s vision it really is.


The church is so simple, God and his united people, together at the cross of Christ.  Don’t waste your life doing things for God.

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