God is in need of you

A little outrageous

I have heard so many times ‘God can do this or that’ when they are talking about a situation. Of course so much of this talk depends on two aspects – a simplistic belief in a omnipotence in the sense of ‘God can do anything’. Take a big question of salvation… ‘[God] desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth’ (1 Timothy 2:4) and is ‘not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance’ (2 Peter 3:9)… desire + can do anything would lead to one possible conclusion that all therefore will be saved (not the strongest argument for universalism, simply one of the (for me) automatic results of such a view). But if God needs our response then we have a disconnect between the desire (of God) and the automatic power to do something. The disconnect would be down to our response… perhaps a little like a number of people find themselves in a dangerous situation such as fallen overboard from a ship, a life-line is thrown to them, some pull on it and others do not. Those who pull on it would say ‘thank you for saving me… I would have perished if it was not for you’. They would hardly go round proclaiming ‘I saved myself!!’ Of course I realise that I am biased on giving weight to free will, but I find it difficult to reconcile the aspect of God wanting something and not choosing it… wanting all to be ‘saved’ but only choosing a portion of humanity. Responding to salvation does not make us the saving agent, God is the one and only saving agent. [The above seems to highlight the difference between recognising love at the centre of the Godhead or power.]

God needs my / your response at a personal level, needs our cooperation.

And in bringing this whole world to her (him? its?) conclusion God needs us (‘us’ as humanity). I think it is very unhelpful when we are at the centre deciding who is in and who is out. Salvation is practical – it is a salvation from powers, particularly the power of sin and death, and an alignment with the redemptive purpose of heaven so that all things will be restored. Chosen for purpose… Israel as a priesthood for the nations, same as the collective Adam was for creation. The ‘crazy’ idea of God seems to be a choice of humanity as being important in the process, called as co-workers. And all of that so earthed, so mundane (might mean dull and boring to us, but it is from a root meaning ‘of this world’). Cups of cold water given in the name of Jesus (not necessarily knowingly… both groups say ‘when did we visit you in prison?’ according to Jesus) seem to make a contribution to the restoration of this world. We might add a ‘good morning’ said with a smile… a genuine day of interaction and work… All of this God needs.

I have two options. One requires a significant level of faith. That one is that we have a long way to go yet of saying ‘good morning’ so that there is enough that contribute toward transforming this world… the other takes less faith and is my fall back position. That is we just have not grasped what we are here for and have reduced our response to God to be all about getting a ticket to a sweet bye and bye that we will need a return visit of the TRULY human one to end the mess and bring us through to the coming age. Either way for those of who are ‘in’ the truly human one we could simply decide to up our mundane game and make the small contribution – what would that look like if we could really see ‘the multiplicity of the small’?

I probably need to do a post on the powers, the principalities and the darkness and how we overcome (a post where I make out that I really know!), but I would certainly need to include in such a post that if we could see the multiplicity of small ‘good mornings, have a cup of water’ then powers would be exposed as not having the power we attributed to them.

God needs us… s/he is not about to do everything for us… no more than a parent will do everything forever for their children. Feed a 1 year old, but feed a 5 year old. And did I mention in this post that there is a judgement based on works that is beyond death? Not comfortable theologically for those of us post-Reformation, but seems consistent in the book that is pulled on as per sola-Scriptura.

God needs us. Not to be perfect (last time I looked there was not a perfect world nor circumstances) but how we make our small mundane (heavenly responses in the mess) responses. Let’s not lean back into ‘God can do’ that raises all the questions when there is no action from heaven. Let’s do our part to grasp the life-lines, and connect others to whatever life-line they need. Then we will all be able to say ‘God has done this and we will rejoice’.

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