Archive for November, 2010

It’s Time to “Show Up”

Monday, November 29th, 2010 | Uncategorized

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The October 5 Worldwide Day of Prayer was very meaningful to me. At the end of the day I had an hour before a dinner meeting, so I started to reflect back on the day. Quickly my mind was deep in thought.

What seemed to trigger my response was a video feed we enjoyed about a staff member at the University of Florida along with a number of the student leaders involved there. They have seen phenomenal results this fall. About 1,100 students attended the first weekly meeting and more than 650 are involved in their weekly small- group meetings. In answer to the question, “What is the secret to that success?” they said, “God just showed up!” They freely admitted that the level of results was way beyond what their efforts could explain.

I thought to myself, “That’s what I pray would be true of all Campus Crusade for Christ activities— God just showed up!” Certainly we should seek to develop and use the best possible strategies, training and materials. Likewise we should work hard. But in the final analysis what we should pray and trust God for is that He shows up with His supernatural wisdom and power.

That was not a new thought. For example, within a few weeks of being asked by the Campus Crusade board of directors to take my current position, I became overwhelmed by the impossibility of the task. Campus Crusade is very complex and spread out. And Bill Bright had set a very high standard of what was involved in leading our ministry.

Despite all that, what God showed me was the absolute simplicity of what I needed to do in my new assignment: Walk closely with Him and do whatever He told me to do. Now, that has proven challenging to do fully, but it is very simple to understand.

In the familiar verse, Ephesians 2:10, we catch a glimpse of God’s intentions: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” In other words, it is God’s plan to “show up”. He thoughtfully created us to do good works. He even made concrete preparation and provision for those to happen. On top of that he crafted us artfully and supernaturally to be able to be a part of those good works.

So what is the problem? Why don’t all these wonderfully preplanned works of God always occur? Sometimes it is because we don’t “show up.”

WALK WITH GOD

God’s Word is clear. To qualify for His blessing we must walk with Him. For example, in I Peter 3:7, husbands are told to be considerate of their wives or their prayers will be hindered.

Yet how easy it is not to “show up” in our walk with God. Sometimes it is simply due to distractions. We have so much to do day after day, that it is very easy for our devotional times to be too short. Or worse, we may not stay in touch with God as we walk through the day. It is quite possible to become so absorbed in a meeting that we don’t consciously even stay aware of God’s presence there.

DO WHAT HE TELLS US TO DO

Another way we don’t “show up” is by not doing what He tells us to do. Some time ago I was talking with a person nearing his retirement years. He was thinking of volunteering full-time with Campus Crusade. I asked him why. He said it was because he believed God had called him to full-time Christian work. I asked him when he first received that calling. He said it was when he was young.

I became very sad for him. For over 40 years he had chosen not to do what God had called him to do. Granted that is not everyone’s calling. But it was his, and he acknowledged that he had resisted it. I wonder how many of the good works God had prepared for him to do were left undone.

That same tendency can surface in our daily activities. We sense that God wants us to do something, but we don’t enjoy doing that. So we keep putting it off. Or we don’t do something God’s Word is clear on. Many times I have had to strongly encourage a person to ask someone for forgiveness.

APPLICATION

We all want God to “show up.” Yet often we aren’t willing to do the same. As you go about your activities over the next several days, ask yourself often:

1. Am I walking closely with God?

2. Am I doing what I believe He has asked me to do?

3. Am I putting my full trust in Him, not myself, for the results?

Steve