As I have been mulling over in my head the ideas of taking action and not being passive in our lives, I’ve considered that perhaps I’m being a little too vigorous. Is taking action in every area of our lives really what God desires us to do? If we take action in every area could this be really us just trying to be in control of our lives?
As a Reformed Christian I believe that God in divinely in control of everything that happens. Meaning that all the evil going on in the world is to some degree within the plan of God and He allows it all to happen. If our God is powerful then he can stop any evil act he so desires. And he doesn’t for reasons the Bible tells us and reasons we cannot know.
If God is in control of everything, then he is already in control of my life. However, the Bible encourages us to live in these days of evil wisely (Ephesians 4). We must take action, and be men, Paul tells the Corinthians in chapter 16. We are told to encourage one another daily, as the writer of the Hebrews says.
This means that God uses means to control everything. One way God controls his people is through commands, encouragement, admonition, and instruction. God desires his people to take control of their lives. Really, to take control means to live as good stewards of our lives. If our lives are a gift, and being of the faith is a divine act of God, then we cannot squander any area of our lives.
I don’t see taking action in every area of our lives as trying to control our lives, so long as we are living according to the word of God and the Spirit of God (who points us to the word of God). Sometimes we read the parable of the talents, and think about how we can multiply our businesses, or work more for the Lord with our “talents”. Seldom do we think ask, what are the “talents” God has given me?
I believe the talents are not simply the wealth we may have, nor the “gifting” God has given us for others. The talents are every area of our lives. Its our physical health. Its our wealth. Its our relationships. Its our love for God. Its our work and our social lives.
God has given all of thus these talents. We must ask ourselves, how do we multiply our friendships? How do we multiply in our work? How do we multiply in our health? I don’t mean multiply as in having more friends, but multiply as in adding to and making better.
When God told Adam to work the garden, and gave him a helpmate, Adam had to multiply and have dominion. He had to do husbandry with the plants and animals, as well as lead and love his wife. We must do the same as Christian men, and Christian women, according to our God given roles respectively.
We live in a time where we can know more, and have more, and do more than ever before. How are you handling your time? Yes, a thousand years ago they didn’t have as much and couldn’t do as much, but that doesn’t mean we can take more time for ourselves. If anything, God has given us a responsibility to take the 100 talents we have been given and multiply them more. The reason we have 100 talents, when 200 years ago they only had 50, was because with their 50 they multiplied it and it has been handed to us.
With great power truly comes great responsibility. We are often in the problems we are in because of our laziness, our unwillingness to take responsibility for the things that are truly our responsibility. Even if we live in a fallen world, that doesn’t give us an excuse to not care for our bodies to use them and wear them out for the glory of God. Even if we live among sinful men and women, that doesn’t mean we don’t have a responsibility to our children and their children and their children’s children.
As Christians, we must think hard, assess what God has given us, and what we can do in those areas of life that we have ability to affect.
I’ll use an example and be done:
If you don’t care about your health, when God has given you a time in which you can be healthier and more fit than any other time, then you are putting that responsibility upon someone else. When you hit 80 years old, your health may (or will definitely) fail, and if you haven’t prepared financially for that, that responsibility falls upon someone else. And as Christians this ought not be so. We ought to so think as to love our children now and in the future.
Sometimes, that does mean letting one area of talent fail because you can grow others better. But let it be a conscious, well informed, well prayed through decision, and not one that just happens and you have no plans for.
And ultimately, God will do as he pleases, so know that God will direct his people’s steps as they plan their ways.