WHOSE LINE?

I used to like to watch the TV show “Whose Line Is It Anyway” hosted by Drew Carey. The show consisted of a panel of three or four performers who create characters, scenes and songs on the spot, in the style of short-form improvisation games. Topics for the games were based on either audience suggestions or predetermined prompts from the host. While sometimes a little coarse, watching the performers act out different situations on impulse was hilarious.

Now this may be a bit of a stretch for some but I liken the show “Whose Line Is It Anyway” to the way a lot of us Christians or Christian organizations make decisions. Drop the coarse humor and you have a similar scene being played out in the church today or in the majority of Christian organizations. A need for staff or volunteers comes up, or an opportunity to speak comes up and we impulsively jump into action to fill a position or plan a program or say yes to the invitation simply because we think we know what we need or want from a practical or experiential perspective.

The fact that some of you reading this bristle at that statement says something about the way we approach Christian service. I recently read in My Utmost for His Highest that the Apostle Paul said, according to the Moffatt translation of II Corinthians 10:5, “. . . I take every project prisoner to make it obey Christ…

So much Christian work today has never been disciplined, but has simply come into being by impulse! Oswald goes on to say…”In our Lord’s life every project was disciplined to the will of His Father. There was never the slightest tendency to follow the impulse of His own will as distinct from His Father’s will— “the Son can do nothing of Himself . . . ” (John 5:19). Then compare this with what we do— we take “every thought” or project that comes to us by impulse and jump into action immediately, instead of imprisoning and disciplining ourselves to obey Christ.” True determination and zeal are found in obeying God, not in the inclination to serve Him that arises from our own undisciplined human nature. It is inconceivable, but true nevertheless, that saints are not “bringing every thought [and project] into captivity,” but are simply doing work for God that has been instigated by their own human nature, and has not been made spiritual through determined discipline.

Photo by Maggie Markel on Unsplash

As disciples of Jesus we need to be like Him…if the Son did nothing of himself but only the Fathers will…shouldn’t we also take every thought (project) prisoner to Jesus? We as a society have become so busy (in and out of the church), striving to get so much done “for God” that we scoff at taking the time to pray, listen, invite Christ into every decision and ask Him what He wants us to do or how to move forward.

One of True Pursuit’s values (and one of my personal values) is to always “ask & listen” to the Spirit before launching into a an event or initiative. Seeking advanced words from the Trinity isn’t just a cool spiritual thing to do, it is essential to how we walk intimately with God, and to offer what we have to others. Honestly, sometimes it feels like we know exactly what to do, or what and when we need to offer. Pausing to ask seems like it will just slow the process down, or even cause us to miss an opportunity. The truth is that even though we may think we know, it gives us more clarity and confidence when we take time to hear it from our Father.

Photo by Jeremy Yap on Unsplash

So rather than improvising, or just going with your gut, what would it look like if the next time you are presented with an opportunity you, or your board, or building committee or whatever, hit the pause button (bringing every thought or project into captivity) and asked Jesus what he wants you to do? You will be surprised at how much he wants to say.

– Pete

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