Wednesday, September 18, 2013

When God Says...Shut Up

Shut Up was one of those "no-no" words in my house growing up.  Say it and you would be sure to get the look of death that said "oh no you didn't".  That look was all it took to never desire to say those words ever again.

But there've been a few times that God has had the audacity to speak those very words to me...probably because I left him no choice.

You see there are times when we know God is specifically calling us to start something or to stop something.  And we have all of our excuses to try to block out His voice.

"Start a new ministry" - I can't because I don't have the education, and I can't go back to school, and I can't afford it, and I can't sacrifice my family time, I can't because life is just too busy right now

"Stop being mad at a family member" - I can't because they hurt me too much, I can't because they aren't sorry, I can't because they don't even know what they did, I can't confront them because it will blow up in my face"

"Start inviting your neighbor to church" - I can't because they'll think I'm weird, I can't because we have nothing in common, I can't because we don't even talk"

It's been my experience that if I make excuses long enough, and hear God long enough he will eventually say "just shut up and do it".  Maybe God doesn't talk to you quite so boldly but that's just the kind of relationship that God and I have.  We say it like it is.  That get's me into trouble with others so I've generally learned to hold my tongue, but not with God.  I love that about Him.

One of the most recent "shut up" times with God was when I began reading the book "Leading from the Second Chair".  I came across this quote that rocked my leadership world.  "Building credibility and influence requires putting the prestige of your position aside and picking up the towel of service.  You must commit to serving your entire organization well, each and every day.  Then, and only then, will your peers, subordinates, and senior leader truly allow you to lead from the second chair."  

At the time I knew God was calling me to serve the church in a new way.  And I had all my excuses as to why I could not.  I can't because I'm an introvert.  I can't because no one will actually know what I do.  I can't because I like the spotlight too much.  I can't because it sounds like a lot of work.  I read the quote from the book over and over and over and asked God to give me the ability to say yes and to be excited about it.

I also came across this passage from Phillipians 2 during this time:

You should think in the same way Christ Jesus does.
     6 In his very nature he was God.
    But he did not think that being equal with God was something he should hold on to.
     7 Instead, he made himself nothing.
    He took on the very nature of a servant.
    He was made in human form.
     8 He appeared as a man.
    He came down to the lowest level.
    He obeyed God completely, even though it led to his death.
        In fact, he died on a cross.
In this moment God was saying, look at Jesus.  Do what He did, pick up the towel of service and shut up and serve.  So far, each time I've been willing to shut up with my excuses God has led me to become more like Jesus in humility, more free in who I was created to be, and more likeable because I'm just a better person as a result.  Now if only I could translate that into my home life as well as I do in ministry.  Teaser - that's the blog for next week I guess.

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to see what God does through you and this new ministry!
    Chris G.