What Legos Have to do with the Churchby Matt & Heidi Keller on 10/09/13
Just some short (and maybe a bit random) thoughts here...
This morning I was reading through Romans and a certain word kept jumping out at me.
Paul uses this word comparing those who are either obedient (slaves) to sin or an obedience that leads to righteousness. When I was done reading I jotted down this question in my journal:
What does obedience (to Jesus) look like?
And then ultimately...am I living an obedient life to Christ?
I don't normally attempt to answer such questions at this time of the morning...especially before my first cup of coffee. But if I wait, my boys will wake up and they can be quite needy in the morning which leads to me being disobedient to God (parents...you know what I mean).
So these are my pre-coffee thoughts. Take them for just that. But I do believe that God works and speaks even when caffeine has yet to take effect.
I asked God His thoughts on this.
Me: God, what does obedience to you look like?
God: Look at your children.
Me: I don't want to wake them up. It's too peaceful.
God: No, just think of them. Think of how they respond to you when you try to communicate with them.
Me: You mean, like when I talk to them?
God: Yes. Why do you communicate with your children?
Me: Well...I guess ultimately because I love them.
God: Right. And how do they respond?
Me: It's day to day.
God: What do you mean by that?
Me: Well, they are good kids but when it comes time for them to do what I ask, they all of the sudden become the most creative kids in the world. They come up with the BEST excuses!
God: Really? Like what?
Me: You really want to know?
God: Yes, I'm enjoying this.
Me: Ok, well, let's take Lego's for example. The boys love playing with them but when they do, the Lego's take over the house. When it's time to clean them up my youngest instantly comes down with some sort of stomach illness. It's like clean up time is a laxative for him. "Dad, I don't feel good. I think I have diarrhea". My middle child then gives me the best guilt trip ever. "Dad, we're in the middle of the hugest battle ever. If we clean it all up we'll have to start all over tomorrow and we'll forget where everyone was and have I told you that I love you today?". And then there is my oldest son. He says he's growing out of the Lego stage but he still sneaks in for a quick battle or to at least destroy some of his brothers progress.
God: So do they listen right away?
Me: Never (unless there is money involved).
God: You bribe your kids?
Me: Um...well, ya. OK. Sometimes. I'm sorry! I was desperate!
God: So how do the Lego's get picked up?
Me: Well, it usually takes me or their mom to get down on our knees and help them or to at least get them started.
God: Why don't you just let them keep the Lego's out all of the time?
Me: Have you ever stepped on a Lego at night on your way to the bathroom?
Me: Well, it REALLY hurts! And we have friends that come over with Lego eating babies...and it just to have things cleaned up from time to time.
God: I see.
Me: Why are we talking about Lego's again?
God: You asked me what obedience looks like.
Me: Oh ya....so?
God: Do you tell your boys to clean up the Lego's just to torture them?
Me: The thought has crossed my mind.
Me: OK. No, that's not the reason. It's good for them to be responsible. To clean up after themselves. And of course, it protects others from that awful pain in the middle of the night and the cursing that follows.
Me: I'm sorry.
God: You're forgiven.
God: Now how do you feel when your children don't listen to you? You've given them a clear command and they either ignore it or make excuses why they can't or won't do it?
Me: Ya...I see where this is going.
God: Good. That's why I created the family. So you could better understand ME!
God: Now, you see, I've given the Church a command. It's not a difficult one. It's simple and is for their own good. To love me with all their heart, mind, body and soul and to love their neighbor as themselves. But you should see the creative excuses I get! You asked me what obedience to me looks like. Let me point you to the Bible. James 1:22 says, "Be doers of the word, not just hearers only". The Church today has many hearers but just a few doers. This breaks my heart because I know what's best for my children. I am a gentle Father that gives them clear commands because I love them. If the Church became "doers", you would see me work through them in a way like never before. You would see the sick healed, the broken made complete, the lost found. My hope would spread across this Nation like wildfire. Nothing could stop it.
Me: I like that. I want that!
God: Good. Then encourage the brothers and sisters to spend time with their Father and to be doers of all they have heard.
James 1:22-27 (The Message)
22-24 Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.
25 But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.
26-27 Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.