Monday, July 26, 2010

What God Won't Delegate

"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.  To him be the dominion forever and ever.  Amen." — 1 Peter 5:10,11; ESV

It has taken me 17 years of doing ministry to finally understand the need to delegate those things that either I'm not very passionate about or am not good at.  I always felt the pressure to be amazing at everything because, 1). I got paid, and 2). I got paid because I'm the expert.  Now, I still get paid, but I can admit now that I am more clueless about ministry than ever before.  However, there are certain things that I will not delegate off to anyone else because those things are most dear to my heart.

You're the same way.  I heard a statement once that I believe rings true: "You will always find time for that which is most important."  There are certain things that I will not delegate off to anyone because of the fact that those things are most precious to me.  And in this passage we see those things that God will not "delegate" off to anyone.  Did you see the four things that he himself will do for those who are being afflicted?

1).  Restore - return (someone or something) to a former condition.
God himself will restore those who have been broken by affliction.  God will not leave a person to sit and wallow in their pain and suffering.  He will restore.  Now I completely understand our difficulty in accepting this because we are such a "now-driven culture", expecting everything to happen quickly for our benefit.  However, God's restoration is according to his time-frame.  If it were up to our timetable, we would probably jump from one broken situation to the next.  God actually wants to restore completely.

2).  Confirm - make more able.
As I'm facing the affliction, God himself is the one who is "making me more able" to endure.  He is not expecting me to just BRING IT all by myself.  Rather, he has provided his grace (which is sufficient) for all things.  The only reason that I can get through affliction is because God is confirming me to do so.

3).  Strengthen - establish in a place
If I'm going to stand firm under affliction, I need the strength to stand firm.  I know that I don't have it, but Jesus does.  God himself strengthens me so that I may stand firm in any and every situation that I face.

4).  Establish - lay a foundation; establish belief
From start to finish, it is God with me.  It is God providing and enabling me.  He starts with a sure foundation (himself) and leads me on from there to that which is the greatest good (himself).  The journey along the way comes with good and bad times.  However, in all things, God receives glory and I become more and more like Jesus in the process.

If you're feeling alone, go with what you know to be true as revealed to you from God's word instead of what you are currently feeling.  From start to finish, he provides all that is needed to truly live for and with him.  What a mighty God we truly serve.


  1. "If it were up to our timetable, we would probably jump from one broken situation to the next. God actually wants to restore completely."

    How true is our "now-driven culture." We want everything now. Money, sex, relationships, friends, food, entertainment, new technology, healing, forgiveness, restoration from awkwardness, and the many forms and shades of personal gratification. It must be now. Tomorrow is too late. 24 hours is so far away... Christians even want God now. Sometimes it's almost like we don't really want Him later unless we can have Him now to get us to later. I think your statement above is spot on. Since we can't see the timeline of broken situations ahead of us, there is nothing but God that can either keep us from those trials or restore us after we've gone through them. Only God can see the steps of restoration ahead of time and so we need to rely on Him to lead us to each of them.

    ... and just an unrelated side note, thank you for what you said yesterday about the purpose of weekly church services being about us giving back. Ever since the Rising move to Wednesdays, I have been in this sort of "hunt mode" to find a service where I could get fed. But is hindsight, that logic is completely missing the point. In looking for a place to be fed, I think I was looking for a place to affirm me and make me feel good about the work I was already doing when I should have been looking for a place that teaches me how I can better give back. Because that's what "Sunday morning" is. "Sunday morning" is not "let's sing some cool songs and then learn about how we can succeed in life." "Sunday morning" is "let's sing songs in order to show musical worship toward the awe-inspiring majesty of our God... (not just God, or the God, but OUR God) ...and then learn, not about how we can succeed in life, but how we can succeed in God's life for us.

  2. Thanks Brian! I will be sure to pass that on.