I’ll admit it. I have not been wanting to have my personal God Time lately. I’ve had a lot of tasks that I would much rather just jump right into doing, instead of taking the time first thing in the morning to be with God.
Fortunately, I’ve also been a bit suspicious of this desire as a potential temptation from the devil, who would love to keep me from my relationship with God and whatever God might have planned for me to receive during God Time. So, I exercised some discipline and had my God Time anyway.
As I confessed this bothersome desire, I had this thought: Am I feeling this way because there’s not been any highly motivating insights or great emotional experiences in my God Time lately? Is the microwave mentality and/or the priority of emotions that strong within me that I’m not willing to wait for results, or even just to enjoy relational time?
This close to Independence Day, my mind went to firework shows. Yes, we all love to see a spectacular firework show! Not many things are better than leaning back on a warm summer night to see thrilling displays of sparkling, colored lights making beautiful and unique designs! But that’s the consumer side of it.
There wouldn’t be a show at all if everyone wanted only to show up and sit back to watch. Somebody has to be willing to do all the planning and preparing to make it possible—work that the vast majority of citizens know nothing about; work that has been going on for months. Unglamorous work. Even as the show is happening, some usually unseen people are busily working to make firecrackers pop. That’s a whole lot of work for a 15 to 30-minute show! Wow. (To learn more about the work behind the scenes of a firework show, click here and here.)
Back to the church. Are we willing to endure the “dry” times in order to do the necessary spiritual work that will create a sustainable dynamic move of God in our midst? There are paradigms that need to be shifted, and spiritual disciplines must be built into each member. Some foundational work needs to be done, and it’s not going to be the most exciting thing to do. Yet, if we will take the time to do this vital but un-thrilling work—if we’ll just stay with it, we will eventually see the desired result: a church so on fire for God that nothing can quench it and full of people who, like fireworks that don’t fade away, are lighting up the world’s night sky and drawing people to ooh and aah—that is, to worship Jesus.
“…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16, NIV).
Thanks for reading!
Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. http://www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™
Discussion Stimulator: What bit of change do you feel the need to make to become more of a producer than a consumer (or spectator) in your life?
2 thoughts on “The Work in Fireworks”
Thank you Raylene for this helpful blog. For me, when life is uneventful, it is easy to become complacent about spending quality time with Jesus. During trials, I tend to pray more fervently and frequently. When thing are relatively calm, I try to remember how great and glorious God is and all He has done for us. This helps me to become more of a producer than a spectator and spend quality time with the Lord.
You are so right about the “good times” lulling us into complacency. Lately, I’ve been aware of how easy it is for other stuff to creep into our lives and end up taking over. Like that expanding spray foam (you spray just a little and then watch it expand to fill up a space), too many things get our permission to be in our lives, and the next thing we know, we “suddenly” don’t have the time/energy/money to do the good things we once did! How did that happen!?! I’m thinking the answer is at least partly because we didn’t stay diligent. Fortunately, our God gives us another chance to try again at renewing our diligence, because if we stay with it, we can end up with a great “fireworks show” instead of something mediocre!