God Taps In
What’s your goal? Paul says his this way: “I want to know Christ, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (Phil3.10) I too often say mine like this: “I want my plans to work out, to have the power to make good decisions, to move circumstances and people, to attain to the goals I have made.”
God’s sovereign touch reshapes my goals. A lonely meeting at Einstein’s (my appointment didn’t show). A towed car. Snow. He graciously wrecks my self-sufficiency, aiming me again to Christ.
My second research trip to Silver Spring culminated in an hour alone at Einstien’s, not the plan, not my goal. Multiple previous interviews were fruitful, but like that last drip of water stuck in your ear after a good swim, I couldn’t shake the thoughts: “I don’t have all the right answers, my plan has holes, I may not have the right questions and abilities.” God met me through a question, “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand?” (Is40).
A third trip to Silver Spring was covered in snow. Not my plan, not my goal, not the best setting to capture pictures and video of the area. At least the roads were clear so we could move efficiently around the city. Until my car was towed. As a friend drove me to pick it up, God reminded me that my efficiency was not His goal, my ability was not His means.
God has a way of reaching down to touch our hips. Bones shatter, sinews stretch and pop, we limp for the rest of our lives. He did it to Jacob, as the self-sufficient patriarch wrestled with the God of the universe, the God who play wrestles with us like I do my five year old son. “Oh you are so strong!” God says as he reaches his finger out to gently touch the leg He created. Jacob limped away humbled to be a part of God’s work to bless all nations, as God went to raise the sun at daybreak.
I want to call the shots. I want to orchestrate and execute plans. I want to work for God, to bring God glory, resulting in life, redemption, and restoration for the people of Silver Spring. I, I, I, I… God will. God will do whatever He will. Graciously, He employs us in the work, making us more like His Son, as we cling to Him and point others to Him.
His touch manages to shatter our realities. We’re not in control. He wants to reach the world more passionately than we do. He wants His Son to receive the glory more vibrantly than we do. His Spirit will bring all kinds of people, tribes, nations, before His throne one day to worship Him, praise His work of salvation in Christ, and enjoy His goodness. People from Silver Spring will be there. That’s His goal, not mine.
Knowing Christ and making Him known in this work. I want my family and this community to know Him more deeply together. I want us to cling to Him, beg of Him, be reshaped and molded into His likeness. We want to see others come to know, worship and follow Him with us. Sure, I’ll plan, pray, work harder than I’ve ever worked before. But if He will move, He will move, and the thunder of His touch is bigger than anything I can create or am aiming for. We want to see thousands come to find life in Christ, and God raise up new life in new churches all over the Northern DC area. We want to partner with and create international gospel movements. Yet, God’s plan is bigger. It ends in an eternity of living free from sin and death, the redemption of this world, and unending life found in relationship with Him. He is our God, who holds the waters in the hollow of His hand, working all things for good, the enjoyment and majesty of His glory.