Note: This short post introduces a new “column” at Christian Marriage Spice called “God Stories”. The first “God Story” will be posted next week.
God Stories = Crazy, Unbelievable Insanity
I love God stories. God stories are crazy, joyful, hilarious, non-traditional, painful, confusing, wild, unbelievable, exhausting, frustrating, emotional, overwhelming… and often lead us far beyond the perceivable end of sanity. The counter-intuitive beauty is that this “insanity point” is often where many of us experience God in a uniquely pure, more real, more whole, and supernatural way. This insanity point is where God makes Himself and His provision known profoundly.
These insanity points are where we are challenged with the Truths of the Gospel… and equally importantly, where the Good News is NEEDED, EXPERIENCED, and PREACHED. Most of us are careful to try and never actually get to these insanity points. We do everything we can to ignore God and indulge complacent comfort.
Life stories are God Stories because they show us how great God is, how deficient we are, and excellently proficient we are only in Him. They occur far beyond our capacities, imaginations, personal provision, abilities, and capabilities. They depend on God. Afterwords (and hopefully sometimes during), we look at God and think… “How in the world can this be reality?” or “I can’t believe that happened or that we were able to endure that… Praise God”. As an important side note: God Stories are written for an in community (but that is another post for another day).
Many of us miss out on experiencing these stories because we are lazy, fearful, comfortable, greedy, selfish, and a collection of other crappy excuses.
The Actors in God Stories are Laughable Idiots that Preach & Live the Gospel
The actors in God stories are horribly ill-equipped by ALL worldly perspectives. The beauty of God stories is that they point to Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through us. Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit… the LIVING God dwelling in us and His Word… equips us for every good work. God both invites and commands our participation in His story.
When Christians are obedient, the Gospel is preached. When the Gospel is preached, people experience Jesus and are saved. When people are saved, people and communities are impacted for God’s glory, which causes the Gospel to be preached…. which is the execution of God’ plan. This iterative and endless loop of the Gospel Story was made possible and accomplished only in Jesus, and is executed through the Church He established by the Holy Spirit. God uses us.
2 Timothy 3: 16-17 … 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
By Default, We Participate With or Against God & He Does NOT Need Our Permission for Anything
The reality is we participate in God’s story one way or another. Ultimately, we pick sides in a war that already has a declared victor. We choose submitted enlistment OR defiant rebellion against the God of everything known and unknown. Those are the only two options. Beyond that… by default we are being used by God whether we like it and actively participate… or not.
Isaiah 55: 8-9 … 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
God does NOT need us, our agreement, or our understanding for His Story. He owes us NOTHING. Literally and unapologetically… nothing. He absolutely created and loves us beyond depths we can understand. God is God. God does what God does, period; we observe and learn. God never needs to apologize or pontificate. By default, without any required explanation, what God does is good and right. Only in our ignorance and arrogance do we attempt to demand explanations from the Author of Life and Time.
God uses you with or without your permission. The Creator of the Universe wants to use YOU (and me) for His Story.
Think about that.
If that does not astound you, then your brain is not engaged in this conversation. It should knock you to your knees in humility and light a blazing fire in your gut.
Imagine what can be accomplished as we actually actively participate… this is “The Great Commission”.
Matthew 28: 18-20 … 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
These moments, events, and life stories of choosing, preaching and magnifying Jesus Christ are “God Stories”.
God Stories are Timelessly Proclaimed & Plentifully UNKNOWN
Only because of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, God stories always surround us. The Bible has TONS of idiots making bad decisions that God redeems for His Glory. The historical and current Church maintains this story, lots of sinful hypocrites in the lifelong process of transformation and redemption by the Holy Spirit… somehow able to accomplish great things. Persecuted missionaries throughout the world have God Stories. “Normal Christians” faithfully living in neighborhoods across America have God Stories. My life echoes this as well.
Many God Stories are known and survive generations of proclamation. The Bible IS and infinitely embodies this idea. “Big” and historically impactful stories like those of Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, and countless others throughout history.
When we meet Jesus in Heaven, we will learn of so many stories that are hidden from the history books of humanity. People that painfully died for Jesus’ name that few knew. People that served in their families, churches, and communities faithfully without any pomp and circumstance, public accolades, or billboards, blaring horns, and news articles of commendation. God knows of these stories. That matters. God is glorified in these stories.
Matthew 10:26-32 … 26 “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
Psalm 139:1-3 … 1 O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
God knows of these stories. He knows of our actions and thoughts… good and bad, right and wrong.
We are actors in God’s Story. God Stories are part of the fabric of God’s Story. Through and in the Holy Spirit, we are partners with God in the God Stories.
Contemplation & Discussion Questions
Think, pray about, and discuss these questions.
- Do you REALLY believe in Jesus Christ’s diety, crucifixion, and resurrection?
- As you observe the work of the Holy Spirit in scripture… do you see similarities in your life and testimony?
- How has God changed you and what has he saved / protected you from?
- Ask God to reveal how you can further submit your life, preferences, and comforts to Him.
- Ask God to provide you with opportunities to share the Gospel, and provide you with courage to actually do it.
- How are you and your family actively and intentionally pursuing, experiencing, and submitting to God?