"I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name." Isaiah 45:2-3 (NIV 1984)
Several years ago I sat beside my youngest sister and listened as she boldly rejected my views of God. She told me how she'd always been a free spirit, much too non-conventional for traditional religion.
"Good thing I'm not into religion," I gently replied.
She twisted her face as if half expecting a lightning bolt to strike us both. "But you ARE religious."
I laid my head against the back of the lounge chair, closed my eyes to the sun now washing over me and simply replied, "Nope."
Letting my statement just sit for a while, I decided not to clarify unless she asked. And ask she did.
That's when I explained that I follow God, not a list of rules. I am passionate about getting into the Bible - God's teachings - and letting the Bible get into me. I no longer evaluate life based on my feelings. Instead, I let my feelings and experiences be evaluated in light of God's Word.
I have watched God chase me around with rich evidence of His presence and invitations to trade apathy for active faith. But I had to make the choice to see God. Hear God. Know God. And follow hard after God.
Then I took my sister's hand and told her I'd be praying for God to mess with her in ways too bold for her to deny.
Fast forward over six years later. My sister walks into her professor's office and sees one of my books on her bookshelf. I don't think she really believed anyone actually read my books. But there it was. And it messed with her.
She later went home and poked around my blog a bit where she found a clip of my testimony. Again, it messed with her. One verse in particular messed with her so much that she let the possibility that God exists slip into her heart.
A few days later she went and had "Jeremiah 29:11" tattooed on the back of her neck. And she started calling wanting to talk to me. About life. About tattoos. And about God.
A few weeks later I stood in the middle of an airport praying for my precious sister who called while I was traveling, and asked me to pray for her. She had called. She had asked. And that's the miracle of our Jesus. He is the God of the impossible.
I wonder what might happen if we dared to ask God for the impossible just a little more often. I'm up for it? Are you?
Dear Lord, use me today to reach the heart of one. I want to trade any apathy I may have for active faith. Lead me, and I will follow. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
Read the book of John over the next several days. Let the truths of Jesus' life resonate in your mind and soul. As you read and ponder each verse daily, let your feelings and experiences be evaluated in the light of God's Word.
How can you, right where you are, choose to see the rich evidences of God? How can you show this to someone else who needs to hear it?
Have you asked God for the impossible lately?
John 15:13, "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." (NIV)
Colossians 1:9, "For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding." (NIV)