So we’re in the middle of the perfect storm and things are not going so perfectly. And I’m getting these questions. Some are from the Holy Spirit, some from people, and others are questions I’m asking myself. And they are like “splinters in my mind.” (whoever word smithed that phrase was a genius. Splinters…in the mind. What a word picture! I’m sorry, but there’s not a pair of tweezers in the world long enough to pull that kind of splinter out of your mind!) And that’s what these questions felt like, painfully nagging for attention. Questions like;
- Why does the gospel stop at the front gate of these Army posts?
- If you believe in the priesthood of the believer so much, why are you doing things to circumvent it?
- What does that have to do with Jesus?
- Why is my vision so small?
- Why am I only teaching people to obey three-quarters of the Great Commission?
- What about the nations?
- Why do I think going to church is a waste of time?
- Why is my prayer life so anemic?
- When is the last time I shared the gospel?
- Can’t God do in the US what He’s doing in China, India, and Nepal?
And the list goes on and on. These questions elicited all kinds of emotions from anger to embarrassment to fear. Have you ever noticed how many questions Jesus asked? In fact, the Divine questions actually started way back in the garden between God and two naked people trying to hide behind a couple of fig leaves.
“They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Gen 3.11-13)
- “Where are you?” (Gen 3.9)
- “Who told you that you were naked?” (Gen 3.11)
- “Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” (Gen 3.11)
- “What is this you have done?” (Gen 3.13)
Isn’t it interesting that the Almighty God, the One Who knows everything, chooses to ask questions rather than start with the condemning facts? At the moment that sin enters the scene and corrupts all humanity, the Father gently guides His wayward children into truth. And that is exactly what He was doing with me as I stood hiding uncomfortably behind some very itchy fig leaves. As disciple-makers are we asking lots of questions both of ourselves and others? More later…