Rules for Relationships - One Final Thought

Sunday was Scout Sunday and I want to thank all the Scouts and Scouters out there who invest so much into these programs to build up young people.  You don't have to wonder what guides a Scout.  Through scouts' oaths and laws, you get a clear picture of what their ideals are – what they are shooting for in life.  No other group of young women or young men walks with such a transparent set of ideals.

Maybe you have wondered, wouldn’t it be great if God was as transparent?  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 read the Bible and hear the stories and ask," 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 God prefers hide-n-seek and scavenger hunts rather than e-mail and cell phones.  But more recently I’ve come to a place where I think I maybe off just a bit.  I recently spent a week listening to Dr. Bob Mulholland, author of a great book on the Christian life entitled, "Invitation to a Journey."  He referenced an unknown author who wrote, “God is always at home.  It is we who have gone for a walk.”  If you’ll notice in the stories in the Bible how even when people like 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.

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.

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.  This is what Christmas is all about!

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.  To walk humbly means asking of ourselves a question Bob Mulholland asked our Academy group, "On whose terms is God, God?"  I did that for the first time when I was a junior in high school.  I’ve had to do it many days in my relationships. 

God calls us to be transparent with a God who has never hidden his plan and desire for us.  Though somethings are hidden, the rules for relationship with God and with one another are thankfully, quite clear.  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 living these rules for relationships.


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