God's Job, Our Job: Knowing the Difference Makes All the Difference - page 1


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From the Winter 2015 issue of Knowing & Doing:  

God's Job, Our Job: Knowing the Difference Makes All the Difference

by Michael William Schick
Adapted from the book by the same title

“I have made two important discoveries: first, there is a God; second, I’m not Him.”


his quip, while humorous in its delivery, is amazingly profound in its essence. With a culture that increasingly encourages self-absorption, it’s not surprising that many people act like “little gods” who are confused about their role in life versus God’s role over all of life.

 While many well-meaning men and women may believe in God, there is a tendency to usurp His function. People try to act like God all the time, attempting in their own power to achieve that which only God alone can accomplish. We try to control circumstances, manipulate situations, prevent mishaps, redefine morality, exalt ourselves or avoid the inevitable. In the end, we must face reality: we are mere mortals who are limited, finite, and powerless. We do a lousy job of playing God, and the sooner we realize this, the better.
 It is not my intention to write about God’s attributes, as there are already many great classics that brilliantly address the nature and character of God by looking at who God is. Instead, I want to focus on what God does and what we are to do accordingly.
 Our society glorifies self-sufficiency, intellectual prowess, personal achievement, creative genius, and survivor instincts. We are told to “just do it,” but do what? And for what purpose?
 In the 1980s movie “Chariots of Fire,” Eric Liddell, on his journey to participate in the 1924 Olympics, shares a key observation about his call to missionary service and his passion for running. He told his sister: “God made me for a purpose – for China – but He also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.” I believe there can be pleasure in doing what God made us to do, but we must remember God’s priorities for His kingdom, as well as his provisions for His people.
 A monk once overhead St. Francis of Assisi repeatedly praying, “O God, who are You, and who am I?” In a similar fashion, we might do well to pray, “O God, what are You doing in the world, and what am I supposed to do?” Or, more precisely, “What is Your Job, and what is my job?”
 I would be naïve and arrogant to think I could even scratch the surface of the infinite activities of God in His universe. But I do believe the Scriptures give us an exciting glimpse into what He’s working on as He unfolds His divine plan for His most-prized creation, His image bearers—people just like you.
 Consider one reflection on the difference between one of God’s “jobs”— to reveal, and one of our corresponding “jobs”—to discover.

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