This past Sunday, our church had the privilege of welcoming the Mayor of Oakland - Libby Schaaf, into our Sunday service. Above and beyond her just joining us for service, we also had the opportunity to hear about some of her goals for the city and how we can pray for her as she endeavors to do the same thing that we as a church are endeavoring to do: overwhelm Oakland with love.
But as great of an opportunity as hosting the mayor was, I think even greater were the lessons that hosting the mayor taught me about God:
1. GOD CAN BLESS IN AN INSTANT.
We got the call on a Monday. She was sitting in our service the following Sunday! The crazy thing is, this was not an opportunity our church was pursuing! This was not an opportunity I had been seeking. This was not a goal our staff had set out to accomplish. But, God can bless in an instant.
Regardless of whether or not a blessing is in your plans, when a blessing is in His plans, it can happen instantaneously!
God can create more momentum, favor, and blessing in a moment, than we can create in a lifetime. The question this forces me to ask myself is this: Do I live my life with an eager expectation of the next instantaneous blessing of God?
2. GOD'S WAYS SUPERSEDE OUR WISDOM.
From the moment we arrived in Oakland, having a positive impact on the city was our desire. Having favor among the civic leaders was our hope. Being known as a church who was in the city, for the city was our aim. But, our knowledge on how to make that happen was limited. Our connections were few. Our influence was small. On our best day, we could have never positioned ourselves to have the mayor of Oakland be interested in our church! But, God's ways supersede our wisdom.
God can have a "way" about causing His plans to come to fruition, that far exceed any idea or plan that we can even conceive!
Not only was the visit of the mayor an instantaneous blessing, but after getting off of a phone call with her office this morning, I am seeing how it was also a connection that will lead us to more opportunities to serve the city than we could have ever created for ourselves. The question this forces me to ask myself is this: Am I limiting how God will accomplish His purposes through me to my wisdom or am I humbly seeking His ways?
3. GOD IS HONORED BY HONOR.
Regardless of the mayor's political positions. Regardless of the mayor's religious beliefs. Regardless of the mayor's policies. (Most of which I am not very well acquainted.) We thanked her. We applauded her. We listened to her. We prayed for her. Why? Because, God is honored by honor.
Honor is not something that people in positions of leadership have to earn. Honor is something that followers of Christ are privileged to give. And God is pleased when we do.
And as we were honoring the mayor, I felt the pleasure of God on our church. I knew we were doing the right thing. I was convinced that extending honor is honorable to God. The question this forces me to ask myself is this: Who am I dishonoring?
God can bless in an instant.
God's ways supersede our wisdom.
God is honored by honor.
Is the way we are currently living our lives reflecting our belief in these three truths about the nature of God?