January 17, 2014 by Chris French
The final reading for this week comes from Genesis 11.1-9. It’s a short passage that you’re probably pretty familiar with. Read thru the story several times on your own and then come back to me. I’ll wait…
So a group of people were out and about fulfilling God’s command to multiply and spread out across the earth, when this group stopped and wanted to make a name for themselves. They wanted everyone to know who they were and for consequent generations to remember their names so they sat down and thought about what they could do that would bring them this renown. Finally they settled on building a city. Apparently this was a new thing. No one had ever done this up until this time. We don’t know who these guys were, but they’ve got some experience with bricks. Normally bricks were made out of clay and left out in the sun to dry. These guys knew that if they stuck them in a furnace the bricks would be more solid. Sometime during the middle, or maybe in the beginning, of their construction God came down and gave each family a different language. Up until this point they’ve all been speaking the same language, but now that is gone and it has created a barrier between the people so they cease their building project and go about doing what God wanted them to: multiply and spread out across the earth.
So what’s the point? God will get what He wants. His purposes will not be thwarted. The question is not what does God want from me. You know the answer to that. He wants righteousness from you, and all that comes with it. If I’m truly transformed by God I’ll want to share that with everyone I meet so they can experience the same transformation. If I’ve allowed Him to change me good things will pour out of my life. Generosity, love, mercy, forgiveness, joy, kindness, humility and grace will flow out of me like a river overrun by spring rains. The question is not will He still get done what He wants to get done in the world if I’m not transformed. Of course He will! He wanted the people to spread out and multiply. They weren’t doing it, so He made them.
Today He’s not going to make you do anything. If you don’t support the church He’s not going to allow her to fail. If you aren’t telling people about Jesus He’s not going to write them off. He’s going to get what He wants, but you will get left out. God is going to accomplish His will He just won’t use you to do it. Ask the people who were trying to build the city in Genesis 11 what happens when you try to put your will over God’s. There are consequences. He’s not going to make you speak a different language from the people around you today, but if you’re not transforming into Jesus’ image He might leave you out of His plans and find someone who is.
The good news is that you already know what He wants from you! Be faithful in that and He will use you. Step out of your comfort zone and talk to your friends about Jesus, host a Matthew Party, invite someone to church and see if He doesn’t give you more opportunities to talk about Him. Find a ministry and see if He doesn’t open your eyes to so many needs around you. Be generous and see if He doesn’t provide opportunities for you to make a difference. He’s going to accomplish His will, make sure you’re a part of His plan.