False prophets, playing on people’s innate fear of displeasing God, will abound in the coming years, leading people on wild pilgrimages and creating panic. As we listen to the heartbeat of the Rabbi, we will hear a word of reassurance: “I’ve told you all this beforehand. Shh! Be still. I am here. All is well.” In place of end-time agitation and thoughts of doom, Jesus tells us to be alert and watchful. We are to avoid the doomsayer and the talk-show crank when they conduct their solemn televised meeting in the green room of the apocalypse. We are to act justly, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8). We are to claim our belovedness each day and live as servants in the awareness of present-risenness. We pay no heed to the quacks and self-proclaimed seers who manipulate the loyalty of others for their self-serving purposes. Hope means that in Christ, by entrusting ourselves to Him, we can courageously face evil, accept our own need for further conversion, the lovelessness of others, and the whole legacy of sin in the world around us and in our own heritage. Brennan Manning, Chapter Eight
As I read Brennan Manning’s words here at the end of chapter eight of Abba’s Child, the simplistic melody of John Michael Talbot’s classic worship song based on Psalm 62 comes to mind…
Only in God is my soul at rest, in Him comes my salvation. He only is my Rock, my Strength and my Salvation. My Stronghold, my Savior, I shall not be afraid at all. My Stronghold, my Savior, I shall not be moved. Only in God is found safety, when my enemy pursues me. Only in God is found glory, when I am found meek and found lowly. (click here for a sample)
In truth, no one knows, with any certainty, what the future holds.
Will there be trouble? Will there be turbulence? Will there be turmoil?
If we listen carefully to Jesus, the answer has always been ‘yes’, and will always be, ‘most definitely, yes’.
Yet as I see it, in these troubling times Jesus predicted, so many other voices are out there in our Christian circles, speaking on behalf of Jesus, stirring people to words and deeds that may or may not necessarily be what Jesus actually desires of us.
And don’t get me wrong. Action, in the name of Christ, is not all bad.
But truthfully, action, in the name of Christ, for action’s sake never brings much good.
Because my actions, done out of my own good intentions, just don’t cut the mustard when viewed through the lense of God’s Kingdom. In fact, too many times in my life, my actions, when done out of my own good initiative for God, often worsen a troubled situation rather than actually help it!
Can anybody out there identify with that one?
So what’s the key? What’s the answer?
How can we be pro-active for God’s Kingdom purposes in this troubled world and not screw things up so royally that God has to work twice as hard to clean up both the world’s messes and now ours as well?
Truthfully, I believe much of the answer to that question lies in Psalm 62.
Only in God.
He stands up as I sit down.
He rises up when I bow down.
He saves and rescues as I stop my well-intended actions.
He leads as I follow.
He can be God when I am not.
Anybody up for some intense silence right now? How about some quiet trust? Maybe, Manning is right? Maybe it does take more fortitude to keep our mouths shut? More inner strength to keep our arms at our sides? More character shown in silence? More braveness made evident through the stillness of our soul?
Well, hush my mouth. Arise, Oh Lord. I defer to You, and Your strength alone.
My prayer: I’m so sorry Lord when my pro-active ‘to do’ list supersedes Your desire for me to simply ‘be still and know that You are God.’ Grant me the willingness to simplify my life, quiet my mind, and silence my actions. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: How have I overstepped the very clear boundaries given me in Micah 6: 8? What might it look like in my life if I began focusing exclusively on ‘acting justly, loving tenderly, and walking humbly with my God’?
So what is God speaking to you today as you live as Abba’s child in the midst of His Gospel of Grace?
Over an eleven-week period, you and I will take a deeper look at God’s Gospel of Grace; Exploring the Good News of God’s Unconditional Love & Acceptance. We are using Brennan Manning’s classic book, Abba’s Child – The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging as our guide. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Gospel of Grace home page for ease of use. ENJOY!
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