This blog is to add “One More Thing” or two to Sunday’s message. You can’t always say everything in a message, so the blog is designed to expand on the message. If you weren’t in worship, you can watch the message on Middletown UMC’s Facebook page or listen to it on our website at middletownumc.org.
The question from yesterday’s message was, “Do we have the courage to take the inward journey of self-examination and the courage to take the outward journey of acting on what we discover?” We do not take the outward or inward journey alone; the Holy Spirit journeys with us. It is impossible to successfully navigate the inward journey alone. God gives us, through the Holy Spirit, the spirit of power, love and self-discipline. None of us are prefect, so without the spirit of power we will be too fearful to truthfully acknowledge our imperfection. The inward journey will reveal the aspects of our lives where we are fruitful and with those discovers we can celebrate. However, the same inward journey will reveal where we have failed.
We can rejoice in our fruitfulness and ignore our failures, but this approach leaves us stagnate. The only for us to grow is to learn from our failures and correct them. Our outward journey will require some action on our part. The necessary actions will be challenging, if not we would have already been executing them. The same Holy Spirit who gave the power to look inward will also give us the power to act.
Receiving the promised spirit of power assumes a very important component. Most of us believe in God or some concept of a god. We have no problem professing what we believe using the Apostle’s Creed either out of rote or conviction. However, belief is simply the intellectual accent to an idea, concept, or doctrine. Belief falls just short of where we need to be to receive the spirit of power needed to live as fully committed followers of Christ. We need to be able to trust God with our lives.
Believing in God is one thing, but to fully trusting God with our lives is something completely different. Where is your trust; in your own abilities and intellect, in your wealth, in your job, in another person, in blind hope? All of these things can fail you; God is the only one that will not fail you. We may think God has failed us in the midst of a tragedy, but that is a result of faulty theology (which is more than this post can address). Trust means being able to honestly pray a prayer of indifference.
The prayer of indifference is not about being apathic it is about being willing to trust God with our lives regardless of what may come. The prayer of indifference is Mary’s prayer, “Let it be with me according to your word.” (Lk 1:38) Praying a prayer of indifference and more importantly being able to successfully navigate our journeys require us to trust God.