Scripture quotes John the Baptist as saying: “No one can receive anything unless God gives it to him.”
All spiritual input originates from God.
- Forgiveness starts with God.
- Transformation starts with God.
- Anointing for service starts with God. (Both the assignment and the enabling come from God.)
God is eternally present. He is intimately, vitally present with each of his children. He gives 100%, focused, intense, passionate attention to each of his children. He is consumed by crime, the environment, modern day slavery, war, terrorism, and that you need a parking place in order to be on time for an appointment. God is 100% totally involved with his children’s greatest desire, and their greatest need.
I will not comment here about why bad stuff happens, and God does not seem to intervene. I can think of a number of reason, and there are probably more others can think of. And probably none of those are the right ones.
I do want to focus on god’s heart, or God’s desire to give. God’s heart is consumed with generosity. He wants to give abundantly. He wants to bless. He wants to restore us to what our original relationship with him should have been without sin. He wants to restore us to our original character, our original behavior, should be. He wants to restore the world to Eden.
So, God is eternally present and unfailingly generous. He initiates our restoration in relationship, our restoration of life, experience, and character, and any service. And what he begins, he continues, may not necessarily coincide with what we think. People look at circumstances and judge whether God’s blessing is on it. There may be two churches. One has 50 people, and the other 5000. People tend to feel that God favors the one with 5000. And that may not be the case. I do not mean to suggest that big is bad. But big may not be good either. If big results in people not serving, not listening to god, not exercising their responsibilities as priest, then big is not good.
God gives. We receive. As we respond to what we receive.