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Discipleship, Strategy

Shredding Clutter, Living with Purpose

PrioritiesPriorities help you rifle into the heart of the evilness called clutter. Busyness is the noise of life. And trust me that noise can be deafening. There’s a phrase that I’ve learned in a Bible study: Look for where God is at work and join Him. Maybe you know it, too. Some manage to raise their head and see where God is at work. And they join Him!

The danger to ALWAYS looking for where God is at work is that you’re always looking around instead of focusing on what He has called you to do. And trust me, God has a plan for you as a sold-out born again believer. But do you actually think it changes like a weather vane? Jesus referred to John the Baptist as an immovable force. Jesus asked the people if they thought of John as a reed shaken by the wind (Matthew 11:7).

A church approached a Christian foundation with a good evangelism idea. Before granting several thousand dollars, the foundation manager told me that he asked for a plan in writing. The pastor making the request said, “I’m sorry, but we can’t do that. God might change our plan!” When the foundation manager asked about their planning process, it killed the deal to learn that the church leaders got together every Monday morning and prayed about what they should do that week. The church lived one week at a time. They didn’t get the funds because the foundation manager believed the church was not acting responsibly.

Jesus emphasized perseverance in His teaching. He said to a follower that once he put his hand to the plow and looked back, he wasn’t fit for the kingdom of God (Luke 9:62). The truth in a story He told was to count the cost of building a tower or facing a powerful enemy headed your way (Luke 14:28-33). Jesus told His disciples that He did God’s will and it wasn’t up for negotiation (John 6:38). When Jesus told the parable of the  Sower, he described the thorny soil as being hearts that receive the gospel, but don’t bear fruit because of distractions and ungodly concerns (Mark 4:18-19).

There are amazing opportunities around many corners. There are many good things to do, but are they best? Yes, it’s practically a cliché, but it’s really true that if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

  • Stand for Christ, believer, and you won’t fall for the devil’s ploys.
  • Stand for spiritual transformation, pastors, and you won’t fall for syncretism.
  • Stand for making disciples, small group leaders, and you won’t fall for just dumping information.

These are not discounting great business slogans such as “innovate or die” and “if it’s not broke, break it anyway.” However, the innovations I have learned and promote such as Bible Storying and helping laity start new small groups that can become churches are not fads or off-handed dreams. They have become stands that I am taking because I see God clearly at work in these relatively “new” approaches.

It’s necessary to add that some stances are not biblical. A pastor I know had a couple seek his counsel saying that God was telling them to get a divorce. I learned that a church burned a case of New Testaments because they weren’t of a specific translation that the church desired. An older couple in one church we knew lived together since it would mean less Social Security benefits if they got married.

If you’re feeling swamped by multiple options, then pray at length. King David served the purposes of God in his generation before he died (Acts 13:36). That’s a great life challenge for a believer. It’s one thing to ask, “Is my life worth my priorities?” It’s something much greater to ask, “Is my life worth God’s priorities?”

Resource: “What is God’s Will” is an 8-session Bible study that uses orality methods. Let me know and I’ll send you a sampler of the study. SnowdenMinistries@gmail.com

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About Mark Snowden

TruthSticks originated from the book I co-authored with the late Avery Willis. Truth That Sticks: How to Communicate Velcro Truths in a Teflon World was the book and this blog and Bible studies have resulted. It's great to be partnering with churches who are committed to making disciple-makers. Request a catalog of Bible studies using orality at SnowdenMinistries@gmail.com.

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