I’m not a big fan of corny religious memes… In some ways they are the new church signs (I saw one that said, “Sin burn is prevented by Son screen”). I mean c’mon… That’s bad. Maybe you like them, and that’s okay. But they aren’t for me. And I will almost always make fun of them.
I also get annoyed when someone posts a meme, and then says, “Share by 3pm and receive a blessing from God,” as if God is some genie in a bottle that we can control. I get even more upset when someone says, “Share this… I WILL BE CHECKING.” Really? We are threatening people now?
But I’m also not a fan of the corny religious sayings because I usually don’t agree with them. Here’s one I came across with a scenic background this week:
“Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe, and have faith that everything will work out for the best."
Hmmmm… Since when does following Jesus ever require turning my brain off and not thinking? When does following Jesus ever require me to lose my creativity and wonder? And what about when things don’t work out for the best?
I know this means well, but this one really irked me. It irked me because I know many of us actually live our faith this way. We too often use faith in God as an excuse to do nothing.
I don’t need to budget… I have faith.
I don’t need counseling… I have faith.
I don’t need AA or the meetings… I have faith.
I don’t need a plan… I have faith.
I don’t need to get a job… I have faith.
And understand me, I’m not knocking the incredible risk associated with faith… But our heroes of faith were not ones who sat back and let life happen to them. They were people who actively engaged alongside God to push the mission of God forward. God has called us to work alongside Him, not sit back and watch Him do what we ask.
This week at church we looked at the story of Nehemiah rebuilding the walls. And there is very small detail that I came across thanks to Chuck Swindoll… Check this out:
I said to the king, “If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor before you, send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.” Then the king said to me, the queen sitting beside him, “How long will your journey be, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me, and I gave him a definite time.
Prior to this interaction, Nehemiah had prayed, but then found himself waiting for four months for the right time to approach the king… Finally he had a chance. And thank God he didn’t spend the last four months just sitting on the couch “having faith” that God was going to rebuild the wall with the snap of His fingers. Rather, Nehemiah must have been using the four months to plan, wonder, imagine, and think about how he was going to rebuild the walls because he gave the king a definite time.
Nehemiah, though he had great faith in God, still had a plan to move forward once God opened the door. And this in no way diminishes the faith of Nehemiah because he rebuilt the wall in 52 days! God was working through his faith. He still had faith and reliance on God, but he wasn’t passive. He didn’t turn his brain off. Rather, his faith was active.
I don’t know where you’re at in life, but don’t believe the meme. God has given you talents, abilities, and intelligence to live with an active faith. Don’t sit back and wait for God to move… Rather, plan ahead and get ready for when God does move.
To quote Chuck Swindoll again:
“Don’t tell me you have faith, if you can’t tell me your plans.”
If you believe God is calling you into something, how are you planning to join Him in making it a reality?