I’ll be honest, I’m cheating and labeling this blog post as being on the 3rd, despite the fact
that I am writing it at 2am on the 4th, just cause it makes more sense to me that way.
Today was good.
Made some fried plantains for the church on the beack potluck, alongside Gayly and Craig.
Then went out to church, welded the grill back together so Nick and Gwenn could make the goat
kabobs and bbq chicken, and had a great time hanging out with the people from church.
The service was great, our theme for the month is community. So, it’s a great time to work in the
pot-luck meal. Then, Steve Concepcion brought stuff for communion, which fit perfectly as well.
He didn’t know the theme was community, he just knew that it had been a while since he had
partaken in the Lord’s Supper, and decided that we would be a great group to do it with.
It was great to see that work out with our group.
Especially cause I always see the meal of communion being a feast in scripture, so this was one of
the few times in my life that it truly was at a feast. We had enough food at the church that we
even brought some chicken home. It was awesome.
Then, to cap the night off, we played a bunch of “Ticket to Ride” at the Mangine house, and I am
crashing here for the night.
Now, for the thoughts that are really on my mind to get this post going.
You didn’t need me to stay up just to update the day, right?
Yesterday, I talked to my brother on the phone. I told him Gayly had just finished the book of
James (my recommendation) and was looking for where to go next in scripture. Josh recommended
Acts, and he recommended that I start reading there again too.
So, last night I started in Acts 1.
And something hit me that I never considered before.
Read Acts 1:12-26…here it is:
“12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath
dayâ€™s walk[c] from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were
staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and
Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 They all joined
together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his
15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty)
16 and said, â€œBrothers and sisters,[d] the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit
spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus.
17 He was one of our number and shared in our ministry.â€
18 (With the payment he received for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong,
his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. 19 Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this,
so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)
20 â€œFor,â€ said Peter, â€œit is written in the Book of Psalms:
â€œâ€˜May his place be deserted;
let there be no one to dwell in it,â€™[e]
â€œâ€˜May another take his place of leadership.â€™[f]
21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the
Lord Jesus was living among us, 22 beginning from Johnâ€™s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken
up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.â€
23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then
they prayed, â€œLord, you know everyoneâ€™s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen 25 to
take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.â€ 26 Then they cast
lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.”
Now, it several things jumped out at me first.
(1) Peter knew what had to happen cause of his knowledge of scripture. He was able to quote Psalms
about it. In fairness, maybe Christ actually pointed that out to him before the ascension, but
either way, it was important. Mostly because the logical question becomes, why did they need to
replace Judas? At least, that was the logical question to my mind.
(2) Apparently, while Jesus had the 12 disciples, there were others who hung out the whole time.
Specifically these two, Barsabbus and Matthias, were called out. Maybe this is a reflection on the
fact that we will be called in His timing. We can wait upon the Lord, and seek Him daily, but
until He is ready to call us, we are not ready to be his disciples. **thoughts, not something
completely rationized out at this point, but worth consdering**
(3) Casting lots was considered completely binding.
Why is this important? Because I think it would still work in modern times, but we are too scared
to admit it.
I honestly think that many times we don’t trust God enough to truly seek crystal clear direction.
We claim that we struggle to see God’s will at times, but maybe it is because we are not bold
enough to ask plainly and allow Him to work. And maybe it’s cause we always want an out.
The disciples (and other religious leaders of the time) worked on the principle that God was in
control, and that would even extend to the lots being cast by a faithful man.
They had enough faith in God’s sovereignty, that these lots being cast were binding. There is no
talk of dissension, or fighting between Barsabbus and Mattias after the lots were cast. One was
chosen, the other was not. It was clear, and they moved on.
In the old testament, there are numerous other examples of clear tests of God’s will. Gideon is a
“36 Gideon said to God, â€œIf you will save Israel by my hand as you have promisedâ€” 37 look, I will
place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground
is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.â€ 38 And that is what
happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dewâ€”a bowlful
39 Then Gideon said to God, â€œDo not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me
one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered
with dew.â€ 40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with
Gideon tested God. But even He was still questioning after God made it obvious. It took two tests
to be sure.
But after two tests, Gideon had absolutely no out. It was clearly obvious (dare I say “intuitively
obvious to even the most casual observer” as my engineering textbooks used to say).
And now He was in an uncomfortable place. A crisis of belief. Now, He MUST man up and do what God
has called Him to do, because He knows without a doubt that this is God’s will.
I’m not sure in my life if I want to know that clearly on things.
Do I really want to know an answer? If so, I should ask God, knowing that He will provide. And I
should ask clearly, for Him to make it obvious. Who knows, maybe I should cast lots?
BUT, IF I DO THAT, I MUST FOLLOW WHAT HE SAYS!
There is no other option at that point.
That is my crisis of faith, and I think I am not alone.
Perhaps we don’t pray over the sick because we are scared of what will happen. We will have put
ourselves in a place that truly tests God’s will in our lives.
Do I want to know the truth? Is God actually first in my life?
Am I willing to ask Him for clear direction, if that means I must follow, even if it is where I
don’t want to go?
Time to get real, and I don’t like it.
God has been calling me over and over again to live with even more faith in Him, and it is through
trials that our faith is strengthened.
Will I step up?
I have some thoughts in my mind that I really have to consider.
I will pray for clear direction. I will write down what I ask, that I will be accountable to His
Now, do I trust Him enough to ask for clear vision?
What are your questions in life? If God would grant you a chance to get an answer (like a magic 8
ball), would you be willing to ask, even if it meant the answer was binding?
Do you trust Him enough?
If so, are you asking?
I know I’m working on it now.
I have seen God be faithful to provide sustainance during fasts, to provide financially when I am
completely broke, and to provide spiritually in my weakness. Now can I trust Him to provide
clarity on my confusion?