Last week I wrote about timing being the Father’s business. It’s hard to live in that reality, especially when we live in a culture that is obsessed with being right and being in charge (anyone watch the premier of Modern Family?).
Yet, over and over again, Jesus makes it clear that “it is not for us to know the times or dates the Father has set.” Yeah, yeah, yeah I get that in theory, but I’m still left with the “so then what?” question. What are we supposed to do, how do we act and move and make decisions about life when we aren’t the ones in control?
The bible verse that immediately following this one about timing says:
“BUT you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
I would never naturally connect the idea of not being in control with the receiving of the Holy Spirit. But it makes so much sense! God doesn’t leave us in this black, mushy hole of having to live a life we can’t even fathom, let alone control. No! Instead, He gives us the Holy Spirit’s POWER to live by. It’s an incredible spiritual power that more than makes up for not being able to control life’s timing.
I confess that I do not live my life in light of this power. Yet in almost the same breath that Jesus reminds us that we aren’t in control, he commissions us with the power of his spirit. He’s saying: sorry, you aren’t in control and never will be. BUT you do have my power literally living inside of you and you will change the world because of it. So what are we waiting for? Let’s GO DO that!
Paul sums it up well in Galatians 5:
“It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on…”
“…my counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit.”
(Really all of Galatians 5-6 is so good it’s worth reading the whole thing – especially in light of this idea.)
I’ll sum it up this way:
1. We aren’t in control and that’s hard.
2. God gives us a choice. Either ignore #1 and live in the futility of trying to regain control OR live differently, according to the incredible power of the Spirit.
Timing. Control. Spirit. I want to live with these ideas working in tandem as God created them. That seems way more freeing and fun than the way I’ve been trying to do it…