Living in the Gray

I saw a clip of “Southland” on TNT and the training police officer, John Cooper, said this to his rookie officer, Ben Sherman (mild paraphrasing) after he was struggling with his work as a Police Officer and the helplessness of not being able to stop a crime:

“when you get out of the academy, you think everything is black and white, but what you realize is that we live in the gray.”

Some of you may be wondering why lately I have not blogged, or posted anything.  There are a few reasons as to why:

1) Western Seminary studies – papers and reading.

2) GCF the Rock! Speaking, bible studies & other ministry preparations.

3) Lots of people suffering and dying around me.

4) Going through a time of introspection and assessment of my character and life.

Anyways, God feels real to me through this time despite sometimes feeling somewhat more distant.  Perhaps this is due to sin in my own life, but it may also be due to the loss of different people in my life and seeing people suffer much through cancer and other illnesses.  Nothing in Seminary or life prepares one to sit beside someone who has lost their father, or whom is struggling with their faith as they live alone and struggle with cancer and breath through oxygen tanks.  You wish you could do more, but you simply can not do anything but endure the pain and suffering with them… it is in these times that one then truly becomes the hands and feet.  You don’t just theorize about it, … you have to be in the midst of it… and what I have realized is that it is during those times that when they feel God exceptionally far, actually God is close… because you are made in His image, and you as a believer in Jesus Christ with the counsel of the Holy Spirit are there with them as a tangible display of that grace of God.

To add to that, it also makes one feel awfully helpless and pathetic; it gives you a dose of reality of man’s finiteness and the suddenness of death and loss.  You are nothing special, and your life can be brief… like a flame in the wind… but this is where God is so amazing because He blesses us with the privilege of life and being physical manifestations of His grace, love and mercy.  The question to ask oneself with this knowledge is how do we choose to live it out then?

I confess I am a deeply flawed and imperfect person.  As much as I desire to be that fine example of a Christian man and leader, whom glorifies Jesus Christ in my life and conduct, I realize I fall short daily… actually pretty much at all times.  Luther in his 1st of “The Ninety-five Theses” nailed to the door of Wittenberg cathedral begins with this:

“Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ…willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.”

This isn’t saying that life is so depressing, or hopeless, and that we can not make progress as Christians, but that it is through repentance that we walk and live our Christian lives.

Did you ever wonder what Jesus, Paul or other men in the Word were like?  What we see in the Word are glimpses/moments of amazing things happening, but what we forget and we often miss out is that there is life being lived by these men between these moments (granted we do see some).  They may be defined or known for those moments, but they didn’t happen without a life that was lived consistently, faithfully and in prayer; this is the space between the sentences and periods.  We often fail to notice/remember this; we only see the good things, but we often miss the struggles, the doubts, the difficulties, the sufferings, and the lonely moments that they must’ve endured.

It is a result of my life and the death and suffering around me that I believe God is taking me through a season of dryness and rough surfaces.  Whatever obstructions and pride I have in my life seems to be one-at-a-time crushed by the work of God through my life.  As each wall I have placed and bumps I have created show up, they are crushed by this gigantic roller of His molding and it is very painful and yet I welcome it because I know that He is doing a wonderful work.

As I reflect on truths people are speaking into my life, I am so thankful, hurt, burdened, sad, and joyful.  It is all mixed together as I read what some of my closest friends are sharing about me as a man, Christian, friend, and leader.  I see what lies ahead as much work, but how much work?  How much is it that I can truly adjust, and how much of it is what I must accept as my flawed/broken/imperfection that will remain with me in this life?

We live life in some things black and white, but more often it is in the gray.  I agree with this.  Not everything is clear cut, and there are a lot of unknowns in our lives.  Not everything is so simple as black and white… that’d often trivialize our lives and the lives of others we seek to love and walk with.  We can not do that.  Rather, I think we need to be even deeper in the grace of Jesus Christ, and to learn to embrace others with that love and grace as well.

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I want to live my Christian life, not God’s

Foreword —

Before you read, I purposely didn’t put full passages in the post to encourage you to open your bibles and read it yourselves! :]

The concept of living life in another’s shoes was, if not still is, a pretty popular idea. I have yet to try it since I have pretty small feet, even for an Asian, so I would not know how that is. Lately though, God has put it on my heart to see things the way He sees them, including the thoughts that He would think, the feelings and emotions that go through His mind as He sees the things I see, the actions He would take as if He was physically present with me. These are just some of the things I want to come to understand. I cannot say I have many answers yet, but God has revealed to me, what I believe as, a glimpse of His heart through prayer and meditating on His word.

First thing He put on my heart is: I am a sinner. It says in Luke 5 when Jesus first starting seeking his disciples, He finds Simon (called Peter), James, and John fishing. They had been fishing all night and were washing their nets. As they were getting ready to call it a night, Jesus says to them, “let’s go fishing!” (in a more elegant and Bible-y way). Simon complains a little, but at Jesus’ words, he obeys. Out of nothing, Jesus abundantly fills the nets with so much fish, the nets were breaking, and Simon and his crew had to signal to their partners to fit all the fish. Immediately after this, the text says “when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.’” Why? Because he saw through God’s lenses. He saw himself and his own life as how God would see him—as a sinner—and he saw Jesus the way God sees him–as a holy and righteous judge.

My first reaction to this miracle would be overflowing joy and amazement. Sure, I would be very curious about who this stranger was and how he could have known how to fish like that, moreover, I would probably go and sell all those fish and made a fortune. That kind of catch is not just a lot of fish. It was a lot of fish. I imagine the scene of Finding Nemo where the little Nemo tells all the fish stuck in the net to start swimming down all at the same time, yet double or maybe even triple that amount. Upon seeing this, my heart would naturally harvest a ton of greed and I would gladly take all the fortune this stranger freely offered to me.

Simon , James, and John, however, left everything and followed Jesus—the unbelievable catch of fish, the fleet of boats, the nets (which existed for who knows how many generations), their families, everything! They did not even know this guy. I mean, perhaps they could guess but truthfully, it was just some other freak-show who could do supernatural things. There were plenty back then who would do supernatural things like sorcerers or diviners, etc, but those three—Simon, James and John—had faith that this was indeed the Messiah. They left everything and followed Him.

Sadly enough, God did not give me his personal revelation as He did Peter. Even more tragic, I do not think God gives it to many people, if any at all, in this age. We must come to that point and realize our sinful nature not only through the things we do (ours sins) but mainly through who God is. Imperfection does not look very imperfect amongst imperfect people, but it does when compared to a perfect God, the author of redemption, the creator of the universe, the prince of peace.

Second thing he put on my heart: people are dying. All around me, people are dying both physically and spiritually. Friends are losing loved ones, sometimes immediate family such as a mother or father. Others are losing their way and getting caught up in what the world has to offer them and the rest are simply dying because they have not accepted Jesus as their personal savior. We all know in our heads the last words of Christ on earth—the famous “great commission,” right? The apostle Paul’s words as he wrote to Timothy during his last days also gives the same instruction. Paul even reveals more depth into what will be happening as the time draws near for Christ to come again. Paul charges us to preach the word, as now is the time when people will not endure sound teaching, but they will only listen to what they want to hear; it says in the passage 2 Timothy 4:3b – “having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teaching to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

(It isn’t just for the strong Christians, it’s for all Christians. Jesus did not say that the weak Christians only get part of me, no way. Every Christian gets all of Jesus, and all authority on heaven and on earth has been given to him! Matthew 28: 18-20)

Many times, I pass by on an opportunity to share the gospel. As the Holy Spirit stirs me, I always tell myself, “oh someone else will do it, next time I see them I will share, I don’t really know that person that well, we’ve only talked once, God are you sure you want me to go…etc”—all these lame excuses. More and more though, God has told me how my best friends, friends I’ve known since elementary school until now, are dying! My family members in Taiwan, my cousins, aunts and uncles, my classmates, even some people in my ministry may be dying! Am I doing everything I can to minister to them, to love them, to do everything I can to reach out to them and show them that the God of the universe is still knocking on their door. Revelation 3:20, Jesus says  to the church of Laodicea, the lukewarm church, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and eat with, and he with me.”

Lastly, he put on my heart to ask for suffering. In 2 Corinthians 12:1-10, the church of Corinth was struggling and being ravaged by Satan’s servants. Paul, upon hearing this, becomes very troubled. He describes it as a “thorn (in the Greek, literally, a stake) given [him] in the flesh, a messenger (angels are also called messengers) of Satan to harass [him].” God allowed the church of Corinth to be attacked in this way. In this same way I believe God has allowed the demons to attack our ministry here in Santa Cruz. That without these trials, nothing good would come of us. We would have continued our stagnant cycle of going to ministry activities, complaining about certain people, gossiping, and doing everything except encouraging the brothers (and sisters). But as always, we must ask ‘why.’ Why does God allow this to happen?

Paul explains it further in the verse, “to keep me from being conceited.” God needs to humble Paul. The great apostle Paul who made us Asians into Christians. He needs to be humbled by God. Paul goes on to explain it in verse 10 – “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

I live too comfortably.  Slowly, God has put suffering into my life through the lives of others. It isn’t bad to the point where there is a stake in the my side or anything of the sort, but in light of recent events, God has shown me more of what He sees and what He feels—a kind of holy anguish that comes from seeing others dying and a humility only attainable through suffering and weakness.

So now what? I don’t know about you, but for me, my identity as a sinner, my calling as a disciple maker, and my pride is not always before me in my Christian walk—yes, my Christian walk. If I were to live the Christian life God called me to—God’s Christian life that he has planned for me—then I would see these things all the time. These things and more will always be before me, reminding me how much I need Him. I am not writing these things because my life will dramatically change after this post; that is utterly impossible. I write it to invite you to keep me accountable, those of you who feel convicted to also to live God’s Christian life.

Jacob wrestled with God.

It is said that God can work in mysterious ways.  I have heard stories of a man shaving, and coming to Christ after reading a page of the Bible he had torn out in order to wipe off shaving cream; of a man who used the pages from Matthew, Mark, and Luke to smoke with, before meeting Christ in the book of John.

Jacob son of Isaac had the pleasure of meeting God in a wrestling match.

Here in Genesis 32 is the epic struggle:

24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.

28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.”

29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”
But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.

30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”

I finished reading this passage thinking “why did this happen?” So I looked up a sermon from 1994, from a Rev. Goettsche, and it completely changed my attitude towards this story.

Put yourself in Jacob’s position – He has avoided a serious crisis with Laban, and preparing to meet his brother and, quite possibly, his killer.  Jacob has been praying to God to save him, reminding God of His promise to prosper him.  God responds by wrestling with Him.

Why does God decide to give Jacob a struggle with Him?

I think it was to show Jacob who he was really in conflict with.  This whole time, Jacob is under the impression that his fight is with Esau and Laban.  God is reminding Jacob, “Your fight is with Me.”

One observation Rev. Goettsche made was that Scripture says “a man wrestled with Jacob,” not that “Jacob wrestled with a man.”  God initiated this struggle.

What is the point of wrestling?  To force the opponent to yield.  God wrestled with Jacob to make Jacob yield to Him, for in order for Jacob to be raised up as a new nation, he would have to be broken down first.

Probably the most challenging question for me to ask was this: Is God so weak that a mere man could hold him down for an entire night?

Looking at the passage, Jacob was beaten when God touched his hip socket in such a way to dislocate his hip.  God could have done this at any time to end the struggle.  But He wanted Jacob to struggle.  I think God wanted Jacob to reach a point where he couldn’t move an inch out of fatigue.

Why does God then dislocate Jacob’s hip? Why doesn’t he just let go and say “Well done, my young apprentice?” After Jacob is worn to the bone, God defeats Jacob with one touch.  I believe God is showing Jacob this:  You have tried every trick you know.  You have fought as hard as you could. You gave it your all.  But I defeated you with one touch.  Jacob had to understand that God was superior.

Jacob grew up knowing who God was.  He prayed to Him and was met by angels on numerous occasions up to this point.  He knew the words to say, and he knew the actions to perform.  But God desired an intensely personal relationship with Jacob.  In the midst of the looming distractions Jacob is facing with his family, God created a raw struggle with Jacob in order to force him to focus on his own self and faith.

In wrestling, every muscle is strained to its limit.  Every move has a countermove.  The mind is fixated on what the body is doing, and what the opponent’s body is going to do.  Every ounce of the person is tuned in to the task at hand.

I believe God desired Jacob to focus his entire being on Him in such a way.  I think God was thoroughly enjoying the wrestling match, thinking, “Finally! Finally you are paying attention to me! Oh, and check out this move – ”

When does this match end? Jacob is barely hanging on, his hip dislocated, no doubt in great pain – but he won’t let go until he is blessed by the man he wrestled with.

The last time Jacob asked for a blessing, he was in the presence of his father Isaac, lying to his blind face.  He went to such lengths as to put wool over his arms to deceive Isaac’s touch.  When he asked for a blessing, and his father asked, “Who are you,” Jacob replied, “I am Esau.”

Is there any question as to why God asks of Jacob at the end of the wrestling match, “Who are you?”  God knew Jacob’s name before he was even named so.  God wanted to know if Jacob was going to own up to who he really was, or whether he was going to continue to struggle.

For all Jacob knew, the stranger could have been from Esau’s camp.  By giving his identity, he may well have been putting himself at his enemy’s mercy, being in such a weak state and all alone.  By telling the truth, Jacob was rebelling against all that he had ever done up to this point, deceiving his father, his brother, his relatives, and constantly running and hiding from them.

God desired Jacob to come to grips with who “Jacob” really was – for only once that is established could God move within him.  If a man is calling someone to ask how to reach a destination, how can he be told if he can’t explain where he is?  God showed Jacob where he was, and it took a long night to make it clear.

God is constantly asking me, “who are you?” I am a sinner, I am prideful, I am lustful, I am weak.  God will wrestle with me until I come to grips and tell Him who I am.  And He will answer, “I know who you are.  You are a sinner, and therefore my enemy.  But if you submit to Me, I will make you a sinner redeemed; an enemy I  call friend; an orphan I  call child of Mine. ”   God renamed Jacob to be “Israel” in remembrance of his having struggled with God and men and overcome.

Why didn’t God heal Jacob after he learned his lesson?

I believe Jacob’s injury served as a reminder of what he learned, and who he encountered that night.  I believe Jacob would wince, and then smile at the memory of God popping  his hip out every time it twinged.  But some injuries don’t make us smile.  Some of the injuries left on us from struggles past continue to hurt – and often we fume at God for the hurt we feel.  And every time we do, we forget that He is the only one who can kiss away the pain.

Our lives will always be filled with problems.  Jacob only saw the struggles with Laban and Esau, and not the struggle of his own heart to submit to God.  We are not so different from Jacob – we cry out to God for Him to take us out of our situation, without wishing to let God take control of every situation we face.

What amazes me is the intensity of God’s desire to be with us.  God desires our hearts so much He is willing to come down and wrestle with us personally until we realize who He is.

My favorite part of the entire story is when Jacob asks God who He is.  Jacob wrestled with God hour after hour, forsaking all sleep and comfort, to discover the identity of the one who faced him.  I love God’s reply even better.  Why? Because it’s the way He answers every question the disciples, the crowds, and the pharisees ask Him – He answers it with a question: Why do you ask my name?

Then Jacob recognized God, and it must have been the most incredible experience as God faded into the rising sun.

Rev. Goettsche ended his sermon saying, “This has been a devastating week for many of us…including me.  There will be scars for a long long time.  There are lots of questions that we have that will never be answered.”

I was curious as to what events Rev. Goettsche might have been talking about.  The sermon was given on October 4, 1999.  I looked up November 1999 online, and I found that just two weeks prior to his sermon, an earthquake in Taiwan killed around 2,400 people.

I don’t know if this was part of the struggles Rev. Goettsche and his congregation were facing, but I do know that many people wrestled with God many nights and many days because of that incident.  I know that even now as rescue efforts continue in Haiti, 70,000 lives have been taken thus far, and the death count is rising even as aftershocks continue to shake the country.

Like Rev. Goettsche, I don’t think there will be a good answer to give until we are in Heaven, but I believe that God will reach down to the people of Haiti just as He did with Jacob.

I found a poem written by Charles Wesley, and it is my prayer and my desire that I may find what Jacob found, and that the people of Haiti – and all who are suffering today – will meet who Jacob met in this poem.

WRESTLING JACOB

by: Charles Wesley (1707-1788)

    OME, O Thou Traveller unknown,

    Whom still I hold, but cannot see,

    My company before is gone,

    And I am left alone with Thee.

    With Thee all night I mean to stay,

    And wrestle till the break of day.

    I need not tell Thee who I am,

    My misery, or sin declare,

    Thyself hast call’d me by my name,

    Look on thy hands, and read it there,

    But who, I ask Thee, who art Thou?

    Tell me thy name, and tell me now.

    In vain Thou strugglest to get free,

    I never will unloose my hold:

    Art Thou the Man that died for me?

    The secret of thy love unfold;

    Wrestling I will not let Thee go,

    Till I thy name, thy nature know.

    ‘Tis all in vain to hold thy tongue,

    Or touch the hollow of my thigh:

    Though every sinew be unstrung,

    Out of my arms Thou shalt not fly;

    Wrestling I will not let Thee go,

    Till I thy name, thy nature know.

    My strength is gone, my nature dies,

    I sink beneath thy weighty hand,

    Faint to revive, and fall to rise;

    I fall, and yet by faith I stand,

    I stand, and will not let Thee go,

    Till I thy name, thy nature know.

    Yield to me now–for I am weak;

    But confident in self-despair:

    Speak to my heart, in blessings speak,

    Be conquer’d by my instant prayer,

    Speak, or Thou never hence shalt move,

    And tell me, if thy name is LOVE.

    ‘Tis Love, ’tis Love! Thou diedst for me,

    I hear thy whisper in my heart.

    The morning breaks, the shadows flee:

    Pure UNIVERSAL LOVE Thou art,

    To me, to all, thy bowels move,

    Thy nature, and thy name is LOVE.

    Contented now upon my thigh

    I halt, till life’s short journey end;

    All helplessness, all weakness I,

    On Thee alone for strength depend,

    Nor have I power, from Thee, to move;

    Thy nature, and thy name is LOVE.

    Lame as I am, I take the prey,

    Hell, earth, and sin with ease o’ercome;

    I leap for joy, pursue my way,

    And as a bounding hart fly home,

    Thro’ all eternity to prove

    Thy nature, and thy name is LOVE.

Why We Should Keep Silent

Currently in smallgroups, we’re going through Jerry Bridges’ “Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate.” A really convicting read of sins that many Christians overlook and like in the title, tolerate. Usually we study a passage in the Bible that goes along with that week’s “respectable sin” and this week’s chapter is on self-control, discussing self-control in eating and drinking, personnel finances, and temper. More specifically, the author brings up the point that “anger, in most instances, is sin, but with the short-tempered person, there is the added sin of a lack of self-control.” I thought if not in all of us, certainly myself, needing to be careful and have self-control in my words towards other people.  What better example could we have than of Jesus Himself, displaying self-control while being accused. First, you hafta read Matthew 26:57-68 and 27:11-26. For the lazies, all you gotta do is just click the links and the passages will come up in a new window!

In reading these passages, I realized that “Jesus remains silent.” I thought, well cool, Jesus shows a lot of self-control by not saying anything back to either the priests, elders or Pilate. Lesson noted. But then I also realized that Jesus  doesn’t always keep silent, but that He does answer sometimes too. So obviously there are times we are to keep silent, and also times when it can be appropriate to speak. I saw that Jesus never answered when He was being accused but did answer when the people asked of who He was. Specifically in 26:63-64 Jesus tells the people that yeah He is “Christ, the Son of God” and in 27:11 that He is indeed the “King of the Jews.”

I thought this was an incredible example of self-control with the words that come out of our mouths. Think if you were in a similar situation of being accused. My first reaction would be anger, which no where does it even say Jesus getting angry. Then I would immediately think of some excuse or reason to shoot back at the accuser. But Jesus chose to remain silent. Jesus chose to answer the people when they would inquire who He was. When have you only spoken for the purpose of sharing who you are? A lot of times, I realize what I had just said was helpful to neither those around me (it didn’t build them up in any way) or even myself (being angry and then not having self-control to hold my tongue).

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may givegrace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29

How we can keep silent? By simply remembering that Jesus kept silent. The Son of God, being accused, chose to not say a word at times. So really, who do you think you are? Who do I think I am to believe that I have some right to lash out whenever I want? Who are we to not keep silent?

Building our Towers of Babel

So our youth group at Grace Church Fremont called the Rock! embarked as of 1/1/2010 on a journey through the entire Bible within 1 year.  We are planning periodic parties to continue to encourage people to read their Word, but what most amazed me was that we were expecting a handful of kids, and we ended up getting 18-20 kids, and young adults joining in on this commitment (talk about the Lord opens the floodgates).  So now, I have a copy of this 1 year Bible in my bathroom (where I love to read) and I have made that my time each day to spend reading the daily readings.  I tend not to share anything, but will try to do so when a particular reading really captures my imagination.

Today’s OT segment covered the story about the Tower of Babel:

Genesis 11

The Tower of Babel

1Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. 2And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. 4Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” 5And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. 6And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. 7Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” 8So the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. 9Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth. And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth.

Great story in the Bible, and as I read it, I was really horrified at the statement in verse 4, and had been pondering it all day.  Well, it’s funny how God works because I’m reading another book for Seminary, and in it, the author really spoke to me in his words about Genesis 11:

“In the secularized public educational system, we are literally conditioned to become builders of Babel instead of shapers of the kingdom of God.  Everything around us tells us to work on an individual ‘tower with its top in the heavens, and… make a name for ourselves’ through professional success (Gen. 11:4).  The divided condition of American life, as we work frantically to build millions of dynastic towers, may be preferable to merging all these competing power centers in one great secular Babel, as Communists have tried to do.  But it creates a force field of individualism which affects the church, where empire building shatters catholic (def. for your sake: universal) unity and creates waste and chaos.  With the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, humanity can be unified in the Messianic kingdom without the danger of building Babel.  But it often seems that the church is as divided as any other institution in our society.  Its leaders often conform to the world, concentrating on success and reputation at the expense of the health of the whole body of Christ” (Richard Lovelace, Renewal as a Way of Life, 60).

On another page, I wrote more notes on the matter, but essentially the point is that the problem of many of our faiths is that it is based on our individuality as Christians and not the compassion kingdom oriented perspective that God has for the people of this world (our neighbors).  Lovelace follows with this most powerful poignant statement:

“The result has been that instead of ordering careers, families, businesses, and governments around God’s purposes, we have, at best, tried to talk about Jesus to others while investing our main energy in pursuing the same things as the world: survival, security and wealth.  The church is seen as an enclave of spirituality apart from the struggle for worldly success.  It is a restricted sphere in which God is permitted to rule; outside, we run things.  No wonder the kingdom is largely invisible to Jewish observers – it stops at the boundaries of Christian church buildings” (Lovelace, 57).

Our faith is not bound in simply the walls of the Church, but in the entirety of our lives in this world.  We are Christ followers, and our lives should revolve around that profound and deep foundational truth that is based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  If that’s the case, then something amazingly unique should be reflected in the lives of the Christian.  We can not be simply about our personal pursuits, but something about our lives needs to manifest that glory of God so that it brings attention to Him and not us.

Think about it.  Are you building your Tower of Babel? or are you furthering God’s Kingdom?