Part of our family’s nightly bedtime routine is to read a chapter of the Bible. We are currently reading in the book of Acts. As we were reading, I was struck by how difficult it is for the dedicated God follower to identify God in action. Saul was one of the most dedicated God followers of his day; however, he failed to identify what God was doing through people such as Stephen. He not only failed to see what God was doing, he actively opposed it and encouraged others to do the same.
Sadly, the Biblical examples of this are numerous and should shake a Christian to the core. According to what I read in the Bible, the professional God follower is the least likely to be able to identify God in action and the most likely to fight against those doing the work of God. There are even Old Testament examples of “heathens” hearing from God and obeying more easily than God’s own people. (Ezra 6).
This weekend the Christian world will be celebrating Palm Sunday; the commemoration of Jesus Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The common Jewish people were desperate for a messiah, or savior, and many had witnessed the miracles that Jesus had performed. The thought that Jesus was their Messiah brought them out in droves. The professional God followers; however, had different ideas about Jesus.
They had allowed jealousy and pride to corrupt them to such an extent that they actively led the common person away from trust in Jesus, as the Messiah, and within a matter of days Jesus was crucified. Amazingly, they did all of this while still professing to be led of God themselves.
The lesson our family is taking from this is to be cautious of what we determine to be “not of God”. According to the Bible, God’s ways are not our ways; therefore, we should not expect his actions, and the actions that he directs, to be easily identified. The last thing we want to do is find ourselves fighting against God and encouraging others to do the same.
Our family will combat this by examining our motives on a regular basis and seeking spiritual discernment to determine what we should support and what we encourage others to support. Our highest calling is to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves. We pray that this will keep us free from jealousy and pride and afford us spiritual discernment to see God in action.