Wednesday, August 21, 2013

How to get from here to there

I am one of those men who asks for directions. There I said it. I am not particularly proud of it but I have always preferred to ask than to wander - well, most of the time. There was that time in Athens while walking to the Parthenon I took Judi on a walking tour of the city saying every 30 minutes or so, "It can't be that far - I can see it from here." Other than that...
I have, however, found that asking for directions can be almost as frustrating as just striking out in hopes of landing on the right spot. There is an old farmer's story of a salesman who was trying to find a particular farm in the hills of Kentucky. Seeing a farmer standing beside his tractor next to the road he stopped to ask for directions. 
"Well, turn around and head back about 1 mile to the Topper Store and turn left. Then watch for a barn with checkered roofing cause in a little bit you'll come on to dirt road on your left - take the next left..." After five minutes of directions the salesman headed out only to end up back at the same tractor with the same farmer 30 minutes later. Frustrated he called out, "I followed your directions exactly and still ended up back here."
That's good cause I wasn't gonna go to the trouble of telling you where to go till I was sure you could follow directions."
There is something exhilarating about just starting out to see where we end up, but, if we have a particular destination in mind it is good directions we will need.
You and I want to see more people who do not follow Jesus choose to follow him. For that to happen we are going to have to follow some basic directions. 
We must agree the church is God's tool for directing them:
"His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord" Ephesians 3:10-11.
"So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ" Ephesians 4:11-13.
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen" Ephesians 3:20-21.
There is a lot more in Ephesians directing the church in its primary mission I recommend it as of first importance.

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