To Hear God You Must Cooperate
“they listen to God’s words and cling to them and steadily spread them to others who also soon believe” (Luke 8:15 LB).
Ramblings from Evan’s dad – This past weekend we had 32 high school seniors, who did not want to go on a scheduled scavenger hunt. Many of them simply wanted to go to the park and hangout, throwing the frisbee and shooting some basketball. Some even wanted to go see a movie. However, when I told our Youth Pastor we were probably going to forgo the scavenger hunt, he let me know that they were going back on their word. Weeks earlier they had begged to have all the seniors stay in one house for the weekend. He agreed, but only if they would participate in the scavenger hunt. With this info, we went back to them and had a talk. We told them they needed to at least start the scavenger hunt because of the commitment a few of them had made to our youth pastor.
One of the speakers for the weekend, Kurt Anderson, was an illusionist. After the seniors agreed to at least start the hunt, we found out Kurt was going with us. Their reserved agreement to participate, turned in to excitement as Kurt fired them up with his personality, and his abilities that he used during the course of the afternoon. You should have seen the 6 SUV’s driving around. We would pull up to a place, doors would open, and out would spill 32 young people. Over the course of the afternoon we took flowers and cookies to a nursing home, we paid for a stranger’s tank of gas, we cleaned up trash in a parking lot, and we took chocolates to the staff at a medical clinic. Several came up and told us afterwards how much fun they had. One said he wished he had known how much fun it was, because he had skipped it in the past. The videos and pictures from the day were passed around and posted on their Facebook page.
That evening the kids decided regardless of who won, they were going to charge the stage, as if they won. Our youth pastor was beaming as he reminded us all that for the past 5 years, the seniors had finished dead last. When they did rush the stage, it was to receive their reward, they won for finishing first!
For me, I can see a sermon in that experience. I draw several parallels with that group of seniors and the scavenger hunt, and us doing God’s work.
1.) When we agree to go along with God’s plan for us, He will send us His Helper, the Holy Spirit.
2.) When we agree to go along with God’s plan for us, we sometimes actually have fun doing His work.
3.) When we agree to go along with God’s plan for us, the list of things He wants us to do, often doesn’t seem like work.
4.) When we agree to go along with God’s plan for us, others are blessed.
5.) When we agree to go along with God’s plan for us, He rewards us for our efforts.
I wonder how many times He has asked me to do something, with the Helper standing by, people waiting to be blessed, a reward waiting for me, and…I didn’t feel like it because I wanted to do something else?…
But the seed in the good ground — these are the ones who, having heard the word with an honest and good heart, hold on to it and by enduring, bear fruit. (Luke 8:15)