Today I’ve been reading Red Moon Rising, a phenomenal book about the 24-7 prayer movement. One of the things that struck me is how God likes to do things his way. For all the planning, organizing, and scheming we like to put into things, God often has other ideas.
Rather than putting together a brilliant military strategy, the Israelites shouted at the wall of Jericho and were victorious. What the heck is that? You see it time and time again in Jesus’ ministry where he makes absolutely lousy p.r. moves.
Now I sound completely contradictory. As excited as I am about doing the best that I can and complaining so much about how churches screw things up, now I talk about how God doesn’t care so much about our best. I know, I don’t get it either.
I think the important part is obeying God. He wants us to do our best, to put everything we have into whatever we’re doing, and bring the best of the best to everything we do. But at the same time we need to realize our best is crap. God’s going to work through us inspite of ourselves. God will work through the 40 minute sermon, even if it puts me to sleep. He’ll work through the half-hour session of thoroughly modern worship, just like he’ll use the hymns that seemed to stand as filler in my church between the announcements and the offering. He’ll use the liturgy, and he’ll use the rambling prayer.
I don’t really get it, but I think it’s kind of cool. God doesn’t follow the marketing rules that would seem to guarantee amazing success. He has other ideas. Sometimes I think the church needs to latch on to that. Sometimes I think I need to latch on that, especially when I complain about things.