Good ideas or God ideas?

I’m an idea guy. It’s just part of how I’m wired. Sometimes, the ideas come out so fast that it’s hard to catch them all. Some of those ideas are—well, lets just say that if you “catch” them, you’ll want to wash your hands afterwards.

It’s all a part of the creative process. “Brainstorming” is a popular word for it when done in groups. You end up with a lot of ideas, some of which are really good ones, and some of which ought not be allowed to live. You sort through them, take the good ideas, and then look through them for the ones that are also practical. You end up with “good ideas” that are actually “do-able,” and then you clean off the table with a good disinfectant and start the process over again.

So, you’ve now got a good idea that you KNOW you can implement. You oughta go out there and do it, right? Not necessarily. You see, so far we’ve only evaluated your “good idea” from a human perspective. Does God think that it’s a “good idea?”

“WHOA!! What’s God got to do with MY great ideas?”

If that was your first reaction… probably not a lot.

God, being the ultimate creative genius, is a great “idea guy.” I’d save myself a lot of energy if I’d run my “great ideas” past Him before I go do them. He really does have a better perspective than I do sometimes.

In the first chapter of the book of Acts, Jesus tells his followers that He is going to send the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, and tells them to wait for that empowerment before they go doing a lot of stuff. Then, Jesus ascended to the Father, literally rising up into the clouds before their very eyes.

Must have been quite an experience.

The leadership of this group went behind closed doors and spent a lot of time in prayer. I personally believe that they did this because they didn’t really know what else to do, and it just seemed reasonable. When in doubt, pray.

Then, Peter, the hyperactive “gee, we oughta do something” Apostle had an idea: They needed to plug someone in to the vacancy created by that nasty incident with Judas. It seemed like a good idea. It made good sense. Peter even had a scriptural argument to support the idea. They nominated two candidates, and flipped a coin (“drew lots”—same thing), and Mathias became the twelfth Apostle.

It seemed like a good idea. It even had Scriptural justification. But, was it a GOD idea?

I can’t help but notice that Mathias is never again mentioned in the entire New Testament. It’s like they made the guy a leader, and he spent the rest of his days leading nowhere, because it was a good idea, but Mathias wasn’t called by God to be an Apostle. He was called by Man.

Notice the way people were called into service after the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost:

(Acts 13:2-3 NIV) While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” {3} So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.

Now that was a God idea. It didn’t require a committee, or a vote, or special certification. God issued the call, and the people responded.

It’s sad to me that there are an awful lot more Mathiases in the Body today than there are Pauls and Barnabuses. There are lots of churches that are sitting still because the church called a Pastor, instead of God calling the Pastor. There are lots of Mathias-types who are in good “positions” but aren’t exercising their gifts and talents—or their calling.

Should there have been a 12th Apostle? Probably so. But, God wasn’t ready to fill that position yet, in this writer’s opinion. The man for the Job wasn’t following Christ—yet. But, when God called Paul to be an Apostle, he didn’t let the fact that there was already a full compliment of 12 Apostles stop him from responding to God’s call. He just went out there and acted like an Apostle, did the work of an Apostle, and unlike the anonymous Mathias, was quite prominent in the early work of the church. that was a God idea.

Whatever you do, don’t quit coming up with good ideas. But, as you look over your “good” ideas, be on the lookout for “God” ideas.

I don’t know about you, but I can use all the “God ideas” I can get!

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