One of the greatest movies of all time is obviously The Incredibles.
That may or may not be a bit exaggerated, but my family certainly loved it growing up. We loved it so much we had the accompanying GameCube game. We loved it so much we could quote vast stretches of the dialogue, especially the parts that we found humorous.
At one point in the movie, Mr. Incredible and Frozone are hanging out in a car, listening to the police scanner, hoping for something to be a part of. Syndrome, the villain, has his pal Mirage watching them.
She reports in and says “They’re just . . . talking”.
I don’t know if it’s the cadence of her voice or what, but that random line had me and my siblings dying, and we still use it. At least a couple of us do.
I wonder often what the city I live in thinks of the community of believers that I’m a part of.
I wonder often what the enemy of the Kingdom thinks of the community of believers that I’m a part of.
If they were to summarize what we’re doing, what would they say?
Do the spiritual forces of evil simply say “they’re just talking”?
When I look at my life, I pray that I’m able to say I do more than talk. Yet it’s so easy to do only that.
“We need to be discipling younger men and women. We need to reach out to our friends that aren’t believers. We need to invest in this ministry or get involved in this way in our neighborhood.”
We talk about it.
We go through studies on it.
We go to conferences about it.
But are we actually doing it?
We vision cast.
But do we act?
From my personal experience, I can attest that when I talk about getting to work in our community, sometimes that does enough to assuage the conviction that I should be doing just that.
So then I go back to the norm.
The status quo.
Here’s the American version of walking with Christ:
- Believe in Jesus
- Pursue the American Dream
- Stick to only minor adjustments to the status quo
I want so much more.
Church, enough is enough. Planning is good. Prepping is good. Talking is good. Vision-casting is good. Dreaming is good. But all of this leading to no action is not the heart of God.
I’ve been in Vernon for almost three years now.
I have done a whole lot of talking.
I don’t know how much I’ve actually done.
I want to invite you, brother or sister in Christ, into action.
I want to share what the Lord has put on my heart in regards to action.
Here’s the normal process for me before I act:
- I see a ‘problem’ in the church or the community
- I go to Scripture and look for a solution
- I act
There’s nothing explicitly wrong with that. But it often leads to rash action that is birthed out of my own frustrations or opinions or perceptions.
The Lord has been leading me to view my actions in this way instead:
- Prayerfully and quietly listen to the Spirit’s leading
- Make sure what I feel the Lord is leading me to do is faithful to Scripture
Do you see the difference? Too often we walk in Biblical wisdom, but it’s couched in our own frustrations. We adhere to Scripture, but in response to our perceived issues with the church or community, rather than in response to the Spirit’s voice in our prayers.
I long to be the type of man who only ever acts when the Spirit is calling me to act. I long to be the type of man who acts, rather than just talks.
The books of 2 Corinthians and Titus have been on my heart a lot lately.
2 Corinthians is quickly becoming one of my favorites. It’s a book all about weakness. I don’t like when people acknowledge my weakness. It leads me to pop off, to get frustrated. Yet 2 Corinthians teaches that Christ-followers are to rejoice in their weaknesses.
This verse has been coming to my mind a lot.
Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace. – 2 Corinthians 1:12
Are we just talking?
Or are we conducting ourselves in the world with sincerity and integrity?
Are we relying on worldly wisdom (which I would argue that Biblical wisdom without the Spirit is rather close to that) or God’s grace?
The book of Titus is all about how we should respond to the gospel by doing good works in our communities.
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always be gentle toward everyone. – Titus 3:1-2
That one’s tough.
(A quick side note: let’s stop with the gossip. Are we slandering people? Or are we considerate, remembering that every action has behind it life experiences that we know nothing about? Are we peaceable? Are we gentle, even when we don’t get our way?)
We are to be ready to talk about doing good.
No, that’s not what it’s calling us into.
We are to be ready to DO whatever is good.
Church, enough with the lallygagging. Enough with the talking endlessly.
It’s time to listen to where the Spirit is at work.
It’s time to join in with what He is doing.
It’s time to take the advice of Bono’s pastor who told him: Stop asking God to bless what you’re doing. Find out what God’s doing. It’s already blessed.
Are we mentoring someone?
Are we serving our church?
Are we serving our neighborhood?
Are we praying for others?
Are we letting others know we’re praying for them?
Are we inviting other people into life with us, or just the people we like the most?
It’s time to do more than just talk.
It’s time to act.
In His Name,
The photo is not my own.