In John 7, Jesus decides to go to Galilee and avoid Judea because the Jews in Judea were hatching a plan to kill Him. I often turn my faith into voodoo like seances and emotion-filled prayers in seeking God’s will, while Jesus Himself just uses common sense. I’m not going to Judea, He says, because those guys are trying to kill me. I’ll go over to Galilee instead. I hear they have a Dairy Queen.
I remember reading a big report from a church I used to go to, a vision statement outlining the plan for the church to grow. It involved buying new property and building a new building and more than quadrupling the size of the congregation over the next twenty years or so. When I read it, I remember thinking that the vision lacked common sense. The church was in a rural area, and there was no growth happening in the community. It seemed like, if you wanted to reach more people, you’d just send another pastor into an area closer to town and plant another church. It would be a lot cheaper to do it that way anyway. But the vision was couched in a lot of God talk, a lot of talk about how it was “bathed in prayer” and the sort of language that creeps normal people out. That vision statement came out ten years ago, and very little has happened, save a church split and a lot of controversy.
I find it suspect when a vision for power and glory for man is couched in a lot of religious talk. I usually suspect that its one of two things, if not both:
1. Justification for doing something we really want and God didn’t ask for.
2. A way of defending what we want so nobody will argue with us or push back. How can they? We prayed about it and stuff.
Miracles happen and people get visions for sure. But mostly God gives us a hoe and some seeds and introduces us to the miracle of work and a lot of common sense.