God Works

Don’t worry about these things, saying, “What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?” These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. –Matthew 6:31-33

I was sitting at a Chick-fil-A one afternoon, and I had my Bible on the table with papers spread out. This is not unusual for me. I’ve frequently used Chick-fil-A as one of my regional offices. What was unusual on that day was this: a man walked by me and as he passed, I heard him say, “God doesn’t work.” Then, he sat down at the booth facing me.

I processed what he said for a moment, then asked him in a non-Robert DeNiro sort-of-way, “Were you talking to me?”

He replied, “Yeah, I guess I am.”

So I followed up. “Obviously, you’ve come to some conclusion that God doesn’t work. Tell me your story.”

I listened as this man told me his story. It wasn’t all that unusual. I’ve heard versions of the same story hundreds of times. As the story typically goes, the person was at one point in life a follower of Jesus, but when faced with difficult life circumstances, the person chose to follow their own way, rather than God’s way, and life didn’t turn out as planned. Because God didn’t step in and fix things, the person concluded that God doesn’t work.

The truth is, however, that God isn’t a genie, just waiting for us to rub the lamp so that He can appear and grant our three wishes. He’s not waiting to hear the marketing plans we have for our lives to determine whether He’s going to invest in us. Instead, God is waiting for us to forfeit our selfish agendas and to make the decision to follow Jesus. That’s how God works.

Are you willing to follow Jesus? Will you obey Him, follow His teachings and His direction? Or, will you decide to go your own way, and then act surprised when life dumps you off in a dead end, and say, “God doesn’t work.”

What G.K. Chesterton wrote one hundred years ago is still true today, “the Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”

On the day we make the decision to choose God’s agenda for our lives rather than our own, we’ll find that God works.

GOING DEEPER:
1. Think of a time when you felt that God let you down. How did you resolve these feelings?

2. What are the biggest obstacles you face that make it difficult to choose to follow Jesus each day?

FURTHER READING:
2 Corinthians 11:3; Matthew 6:24

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Doug Fields

Doug Fields

Doug is the senior director of HomeWord Center for Youth and Family. Doug speaks to thousands of leaders, teens and parents each year. He teaches youth ministry at APU, and provides leadership and resources as a part of the Youth Specialties Team. He has authored 50 books and blogs at Download Youth Ministry. Doug, Cathy and their three children live in Southern California.

  • About HomeWord

    HomeWord helps families succeed by creating Biblical resources that build strong marriages, confident parents, empowered kids and healthy leaders. Founded by Jim Burns and supported by Doug Fields, HomeWord and Azusa Pacific University have partnered to form The HomeWord Center for Youth and Family. Learn More »

  • About Azusa Pacific University

    APU is a leading Christian college ranked as one of the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Located near Los Angeles in Southern California, APU is a Christian university offering associate’s, bachelor’s, master's, doctoral, and degree completion programs, both on campus and online. Learn More »

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