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Monday, August 16, 2010

I call nobodies!

 I'll call nobodies and make them somebodies; 
      I'll call the unloved and make them beloved. 
   In the place where they yelled out, "You're nobody!" 
      they're calling you "God's living children."
(Rom. 9:25-26)

Paul is quoting from the book of Hosea as he recounts God's miracle in making a wayward people his own.  If you were to read this entire chapter, you'd catch the idea that God's promises and purposes of salvation take priority over any genetics or family origin.  The Book of Romans is clear about one thing - salvation is not a thing of the flesh, but of the spirit.

God's plan is not a hit or miss thing - it is not dependent on what we do or don't do.  In fact, it is a sure (certain) thing determined by his decision.  Adoption is God's choice and a settled thing.  God calls nobodies.  He calls the unloved and he calls them by name.  

It is as we embrace God that he embraces us - in the embrace, he goes about the miraculous work of straightening out our lives.  We can go wrong by focusing more on what we are "doing" to straighten up, fly right.  When our focus is on what we are doing and not on what God is doing, we miss him.  We don't see or appreciate the transformational work he is doing.

What I find amazing about God is that he is found "on the way", not "in the way".  It is not some hokey-pokey kind of religious exercise that brings us into his family, sharing of his marvelous graces. We sometimes are looking for God to be recognized somewhere "on the way" to where WE are going.  He tells us that is in the way we are looking for him that he is found - with our whole hearts, minds, bodies and souls.  

The purpose of God reaching out to us is restoration.  Yet, we insist on doing the restorative work ourselves - believing if we just try harder, all will be well within.  We do have a part in our restoration - it is in trusting God to shape the right living within us that we are "participants" in the process.  He expects that we will be honest about our need - he does the rest.  

Not all of us are ready to see, hear and act - before we come to a place of trusting God, we need to be in a place of listening to God.  Sometimes we get the cart before the horse - we attempt to trust, but have no basis for the trust because we have done little to develop the relationship.  Listening is key.  It is in the intimate moments of relationship that trust is built - in those times, we are also "opened" to listening and hearing like never before.

Remember this:  we cannot simply focus on action!  We must have our focus changed, our ears tuned in, and our heart opened to receive.  When we get still long enough, God speaks.  When he speaks, things happen.  If things don't appear to be "happening" in your life today, maybe it is time to get quiet again with God.