As with all the teachings SLT has brought us this summer, last week’s sessions significantly challenged me.
From Dan Rude’s preaching on discipleship within the church, three character qualities really stuck out to me: humility, trust, and thankfulness. The opposing character qualities of these are pride, self-reliance, and ungratefulness, all areas that I felt convicted in.
Often times, I am under the false impression that I play a big part in God’s plan for the world, believing myself to be the sole reason that people repent. However, the cold, hard truth is that God doesn’t need me.
“The Great Commission is God’s eternal plan, and He will accomplish it,” Rude said. He continued saying that giving new life is God’s job, not ours.
Habakkuk 2:14 says, “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord’s glory, as the waters cover the sea.”
And in John 3:8, Jesus said to Nicodemus, “The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
This means that God’s plan will be fulfilled with or without me. I am not the deciding factor as to whether His will is accomplished or not.
“We aren’t asking God to join us in what we are doing for Him,” Pastor Rude continued, “He is asking us to join Him in what He is doing.”
Too often, I find myself believing that I need God to help me in my plan, and I don’t think about helping God in His plan. I am not the main character in this story. God is, and it is my choice as to whether I join Him in His ultimate plan or not.
“The Bible has one message for pastors, priests and prostitutes: you must be born again,” Rude said. He continued, saying that there are those who are too far up their ladder to come down, to humble themselves and accept God’s grace and mercy.
Our culture today encourages self-reliance, rebellion against authorities, and a humanistic mindset. I know that many times my mind has given into such thoughts.
I often find myself questioning what God’s Word commands, saying, “Why would I do that when I could be doing this?” And when it comes to the Christian life, there are countless times when I feel like what I am doing is far from bearing any fruit and therefore a complete waste of time.
But God has considered every contingency and He knows what our best is, Rude says. We know nothing compared to what God knows.
“Everything that He has commanded is for our good and saying that we know better is not showing trust,” he said. If I truly do trust that God has my best interest in mind then what is preventing me from leaning solely on Him?
Besides humbling ourselves and trusting in God, we need to appreciate what He has done for us. “It is an unbelievable blessing that we can be a part of God’s plan,” he said. He pointed out that seeing the lives of countless people changed by the message of the Gospel is amazing. Many people would have simply continued on the path of destruction until their inevitable death had God not intervened.
When Pastor Rude said this, it really struck me how many lives I have seen transformed by the Word of God. People who, had I only seen their past, I never would have believed would grow into the godly men and women they are today.
After Dan Rude’s teachings, I have three prayers that I wish to pray:
I pray that I would never take for granted the new life God has given to us as believers and be forever thankful that the Lord has allowed me to play a part in these transformed lives. I also pray that I would not grow prideful, believing that only I know what is best for me, but that God would be glorified through my complete trust in Him. And lastly, I pray that I would preach the Gospel, because I don’t deserve to be a part of God’s plan, but by His grace and mercy He has allowed me (and all of us) to partake in it with Him.