Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Believing Outside the Box

“Repent!” His passionate and urgent plea reverberated through the atmosphere causing cracks in the God imposed silence. These would soon give way to allow a torrent of words from Heaven to be unleashed. As the initial drops fell on the dry, parched souls of longing hearts, they came in droves to the wilderness to be refreshed. They were not disappointed.

“Repent! The Kingdom of Heaven is near.”1 Repent – change your way of thinking. Stay stuck in your pre-conceived notions and ideas about God and you will miss what you have waited your whole life for, even when it is standing right in front of you. His words were perplexing. Was this wild man in the desert insinuating that what they longed to see and experience may be different from how they had envisioned it? Still, how long had it been since there was a real, fresh word from God? Maybe one should take heed and pay attention, besides what was there to lose?

John’s charge to the generation of his day is still relevant to us now. Jesus was a radical departure from the expected norm. God’s plans to reach the world today may be just as “outside the box”. One definition of insanity is doing the same thing the same way repeatedly and expecting a different result. If what the church as a whole is doing is not producing the results that God desires, why would He not do things differently? Our world is changing at a phenomenal rate of speed. What worked 10, 5 or even 1 year ago may already be outdated and passé. God is never late. He is always way ahead of the curve.

I recently read an article where the author pointed out the people most resistant to a new move of God. First are those who were the pioneers of what is currently in vogue. Second are those who have become deeply committed to this way God is working. This is not a call to throw wisdom and discernment out the window. When something is different or “new” to us it does not mean that God is not the author. He is not confined to our limited and small thinking. He has plans and strategies and even things not yet in existence. At its inception, much of the church derided the television as a “one eyed devil”.  Missed was the opportunity to capture what was the greatest tool for evangelism of the day. We should not even consider compiling the official “Standards of How a REAL Move of God Looks and Feels”.

Repent – come up to a higher level of thinking. Easier said than done, and it is necessary if we are to fulfill God’s plans for us now.  We cannot afford to become static and dogmatic in our definitions of what He can and cannot do. He meant it when He told us: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”2  The people of John’s generation who clung to the popular established belief that Messiah would come and overthrow the existing government and establish His kingdom (which will happen) missed the very one they had pinned all their hopes on. The King and the kingdom came, is was just – different. Because they were unwilling to adopt a whole new way of thinking about God and how He moves, they missed the event of a lifetime.

We need to guard against making the same mistake. When facing something outside our “norm” we can either be a Pharisee and work to prove it is wrong or be a Berean and work to prove if it is right. God will keep us from error and deception when faced with what are for us uncharted waters. Our Father is able to “guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.”3  It will probably feel a bit uncomfortable. We can expect be stretched and challenged to think outside the box we believe God comfortably resides in. If we are willing to come up to a higher level of thinking, we can experience new and exciting dimensions in God we never dreamed possible.
1. Matthew 3:2 NIV    2. Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV    3. 2 Timothy 1:12 NIV


  1. I'm ready -----Help me Holy Spirit.

  2. I have often said, "You can't put God in a box". This posting certainly elaborates on that. AND John the Baptist truly "broke all the religious rules" of his day, but his ministry WAS of God.