My Two Bag God Theory
Now isn’t that an odd title?
Maybe I can explain it to some level that will be meaningful to the reader. So let me start with this target statement:
God’s people wish to do His will and they look for a way to measure their success at accomplishing His will.
I don’t know about your experiences but my exposure to the success measuring technique has mostly been about the number of ‘decision cards’ that were collected following some event or program. The greater the number of ‘decisions’, the greater God’s blessing on that program or event. But that isn’t always true either because I have heard the following statement:
If just one person accepts Christ, it was all worth it.
Well, how do you argue with that statement? I mean, can you really retort, “Nuh uh! That one soul cost the church and its people $33,000.”
I have been thinking on this problem for a while and I came up with my ‘Two Bag God Theory” in answer to this very situation. Its starts with the premise that maybe we are measuring the wrong thing. It doesn’t take long to poke holes in the ‘decision card’ mentality of measuring anyway. For example:
- How many of the decisions were children that had no idea what they were really doing?
- How many of the decisions were ‘repeat decisioners’? (The fact that people keep remaking a decision should be a flag that something isn’t working)
- How many of those decisions are still active and being discipled 6 months or a year later?
It would also be interesting to point out that David caused some serious issues for numbering the children of Israel. I am not saying that there is a command not to take attendance from that example, but I am not NOT saying it either. 😉
Its about time that I bring in my Two Bag theory to tie this all together. So here it is. Let us suppose that we have a spiritual well that needs to be filled with God’s water of blessing. All we have to do is dip water from His reservoir and put it into our well. And being the God that He is, He has supplied the way by which we can go about getting the most of His blessing. We will call that method a bag and in our case its a water-tight bag. So if we use His method to receive from His reservoir we can get the greatest benefit of blessing that can be added to our well.
Now, let’s suppose that while we are ‘planning’ for our trips to His reservoir, we start adding some thoughts about how best to accomplish His will. What we don’t realize is that as we add our wishes, logic, and wants to the way that process should work, we are poking holes into the water-tight bag. So when we visit the reservoir, we fill our bag that now has holes in it and transport it to our well to begin filling it from God’s blessing. The whole time we are carrying the bag we don’t realize it has holes in it because its not like all the water empties out before we get to our well. There is still some left that we are able to pour in and when we see that blessing pouring in we are excited about the fact that we were ‘in God’s will’ and that our process was a success. We are blind to the fact that much of the blessing that we could have had is now lost on the path of our own choosing.
We are blind to it because we have been focused on the end result of having some return for our efforts.
Who knows how much blessing we could have actually received had we been paying more attention to God’s way of doing things and been measuring how water-tight we had kept the process instead of worrying about if we had something to pour in at the end. The end result would have taken care of itself if we had cared about God’s direction in receiving the blessing instead of measuring the result of our efforts. That’s what we are truly measuring if we are honest with each other – we are measuring the results of our efforts so that we can rationalize our doing that process again by holding up the numbers as evidence of God’s will.
It was never God’s will that David would sin in his adultery with Bathsheba or his murder of Uriah. However, God used the situation to His glory by continuing the lineage through Solomon by which Christ would be born. If we had been blind to how broken that process was and only looked at the end result, we could surmise that adultery and murder lead to God’s blessing.
You might say, “That’s ridiculous!!”
I quite agree. So why do we do it?
The health of an organism is not usually measured in number but by its ability to function. We don’t count our fingers and toes each morning to determine how healthy our bodies are and we don’t count the number of people in our family to try to determine if things are going well. We measure both by how well they are functioning to their purpose.
So if counting ‘decision cards’ or turnout isn’t the right way to go about measuring God’s will in our events and programs, then what is?
I don’t have your answer. But somewhere God has laid out His purpose for His Church, His Bride, His Children and the way to go about meeting that purpose. Maybe we look at how well we are functioning in that capacity.