Transparent: What Does God Expect of Me?

Click here to view opening video: God Speaks

God is mysterious. God does keep secrets. But when it comes to the heart of what matters most; when it comes to us – God is transparent.

Wouldn’t it be great if God would drop little hints like with Doug? Sometimes, it sure would make things easier especially when it seems so many other people God does seem to be more transparent than he is with us. We begin to wonder, why doesn’t God speak to me in a burning bush? Why don’t I get clear dreams about what God wants me to do? Why don’t amazing things happen to reveal God to me?

I have been convinced for awhile that God prefers hide-n-seek and scavenger hunts rather than e-mail and cell phones. If you’ll notice in the stories in the Bible how even when people like when Moses sees the burning bush or Peter has a dream – they still argue with God about what to do – even when He speaks and becomes transparent.

For YEARS, people have wondered and asked – “what does God want from me and my life?” But long ago, in a sort of three-way, conversation between God, a prophet named Micah, and the people, the people asked…
Micah 6:6-8 (GNB) (6) What shall I bring to the LORD, the God of heaven, when I come to worship him? Shall I bring the best calves to burn as offerings to him? (7) Will the LORD be pleased if I bring him thousands of sheep or endless streams of olive oil? Shall I offer him my first-born child to pay for my sins? (8) No, the LORD has told us what is good. What he requires of us is this: to do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God.

God has made himself transparent with us. How does he want us to live and what does he want us to do? Do Justice. Show love and mercy. Walk humbly with God. Clearly, there is nothing we can give to God – nothing that God needs from us. But to us he makes himself transparent – sharing with us what he desires of us…

God’s heart says we should give all their due whether it is our boss or friend but also those who have no voice – the needy and the prisoner. We should love mercy – not just seek justice but go farther and act with kindness – meet the need. But that isn’t all, because God asks us to walk humbly. And to do that, we must be transparent.

When a person becomes transparent – authentic with God – then it follows, that we’ll become transparent with others. If there was any doubt of God’s willingness to be transparent with us – we need only look at Jesus the Christ – God in the flesh.
How do we become transparent with God? In his own words, Jesus said, “I can guarantee this truth: Those who listen to what I say and believe in the one who sent me will have eternal life. They won't be judged because they have already passed from death to life.” (John 5:24 GW)

To walk humbly with God means letting go of the idea that you are God – that you’re in control – because you aren’t. I did that for the first time when I was a junior in high school. I did it every time I stepped into the woods and was humbled again – at least 3 guys at Crossroads can attest to that! I had to do it again while I was working on this sermon and praying for Crossroads and our community.

God calls us to be transparent with a God who has never hidden his plan and desire for us. Whatever it is, whatever part of your life that you’ve yet to share with God, may I suggest that today is the day to begin to be transparent.


Gary said...

My experience with Baptist/evangelical theology can best be described as a wild Roller Coaster ride: a lot of great psychological, emotional, and spiritual highs and a lot of deep psychological, emotional, and spiritual lows. Why?

In Baptist/evangelical theology, your Justification and your Sanctification---your essence as a follower of Christ...if you boil it all really dependent on you and your feelings. Your salvation is dependent on you performing an action; a deed; a good deed: making a mature, informed, decision; the correct decision… for Christ. And your assurance of salvation is based on you maintaining a sufficient level of "feeling Christ’s presence within you" to confirm that your previous “decision for Christ” was done correctly and sincerely. Why else would so many Baptists and evangelicals report having multiple “born again” experiences?

Do I feel saved? Do I feel I really repented in my born again experience? Do I feel that I truly had faith when I made a decision for Christ; when I prayed a version of the Sinner's Prayer? If I am really saved, why do I feel at times that my faith is so weak? Maybe I need to do the born again experience again; maybe I need to pray the Sinner's Prayer again, just to be 100% sure that I am saved. I want to know without any doubt that I am saved, and if I do not feel saved, I begin to doubt my salvation.

Baptist/evangelical theology tells me that I will always feel Christ's presence and strength inside me...if I am a true believer. But what if I don't feel him there sometimes? If it is true that I should always be able to hear God speak to me, in an inner voice or feel his inner presence move me/lead me to do his will, what is going on when I don't hear anything or feel anything? Have I committed some unknown sin and he is refusing to hear me? Or is the reason that I don't hear or feel him present within me... is because I'm not really saved!

I was so incredibly happy to find orthodox (confessional) Lutheranism and find out that my feelings have nothing to do with my Justification, my salvation, or with my Sanctification, my walk with my Savior and Lord! My salvation was accomplished 100% by God. He placed the free gift of salvation in my "lap" before I even considered asking for it. He wrapped me in the "blanket" of salvation without my assistance. I am God's by his choice, not mine!

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