React or Recognize and Respond?

by: Daniel Vaughan

 

Just the other day I sat with a close friend who reached out to be encouraged and prayed for. He found himself in a season and place that we all can relate, a valley. That low place in which Scripture uses to symbolically describe a depressed state. As we talked, he shared his struggles and shared the following:

 

“I no longer want to react to what’s happening around me, but recognize how God is working and respond accordingly.”

 

Wow! Please don’t miss what he said because it’s an amazing biblical truth. As believers, we can sometimes be guilty of reacting to troubling situations that inflict pain. We know something needs to be done or decided and without seeking God we just do the first thing that will in our minds provide safety and security. You see… that’s reacting to a situation. We are sometimes prideful enough to think if I just do something or try harder the situation will be resolved.

 

As the beloved, we are called to do much more then try to resolve a situation for our safety by merely reacting. In fact, we are to do more than run to God for consultation. Instead His love, compels us to recognize God at work and respond by sharing Him. Paul says as much when he says the following in 2 Corinthians 5:13-15:

 

13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

 

In these verses, Paul shows us not to react and try to make ourselves feel safe and secure. Instead, he demonstrates that we are to welcome those troubling times and be utterly devoted to God despite what may happen. I mean… who in their right mind would face a mob intent on killing him? Who would be crazy enough to go back into a city where he was just stoned, dragged out and left for dead? Only a person that recognized and was utterly devoted to God would do so. Such a man was Paul

 

Paul recognized God in his troubling situations and responded in a way that demonstrated the two greatest commandments of loving God and loving people (Mark 12:30–31). When we react to troubling situations it’s often for our own safety; however, when we go through troubling situations and decide to recognize God in it and respond how He desires us to, we see people reached with the Gospel.