It's not what I have[.] It's what I have to give. A blog about resources--gaining, giving, and sharing.

08 February 2011

Desire. Decide. Act. - pt. 2

10:23 AM Posted by steve flores , 2 comments
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money." -Matthew 6:24, ESV

You might have read that verse and thought, “What in the world does this verse have to do with Steve’s story?”  I know the scripture mentions money and masters, but I want to spend time with what I believe is the heart of this verse—the desire, the decision, and the action.  Reading through Matthew, I’ve discovered something about Jesus’ character and it’s this: When He asks followers to do something, it’s ‘either/or’ with Him not ‘but’.   Either I obey or I don’t.  Either I’m hot or I’m cold.  Either I love or I don’t.  In the words of Jesus, “I can’t love two masters.”  ‘But’ won’t people think I’m too radical?  ‘But’ You don’t mean love this person, do You?  ‘But’ first let me.…  For followers of Jesus, when it comes to what He says, ‘but’ is not an option; the reality is ‘either/or’.  To Jesus, riding the fence, being lukewarm, and maybe, are proven to be inaction.  I’ve been guilty of it many times and it’s intolerable.  I cannot serve God and ________.  Either I serve Him or I don’t.  I desire.  I decide.  I act.  It takes all three, in that order.
I desire to look like Jesus
I decide to follow Jesus
I act on what Jesus says (obey/follow)

My paraphrase of the verse, “If you desire to follow (love/serve) God, then decide to do so and act like it, because you can’t do what you want and what He wants.  It won’t work.”  Many followers of Jesus look at His words as options, rather than commands.  It doesn’t work that way.  We can’t say we follow Jesus and not His words (many don’t even know what He said).  It’s like me standing on the final tractor tire.  I had the desire to hop onto the tractor tires, because of a decision to jump, but if I stay standing on the final tire I didn’t do what I set out to do.  I need to jump to the fence.  We need to know what Jesus said, so we can follow His words. We need to move from desire to action.

Let me finish my story.  I decided to jump, but it was futile.  In a nervous frenzy, I lunged forward to the fence and I fell, splat, into the mud.  Completely covered in mud and embarrassed, I remember crying.  It hurt my ego then, but today I’m grateful for the decision.  I wasn’t crippled by fear.  I decided to take a risk—a step toward learning what it means to let my yes be yes and my no be no

Let me also resolve the question posed in the quote from Andy Andrews at the beginning of the previous post. 
“Five seagulls are sitting on a dock.  One of them decides to fly away. How many seagulls are left? There are still five. Deciding to fly away and actually flying away are two very different things. There is absolutely no power in intention.” –from the book The Noticer