Daily D – 1 Corinthians 12:6
God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. 1 CORINTHIANS 12:6 (NLT)
One Size Fits All is a nice idea. It seldom works as intended in all applications. Whenever you see this phrase, or words like universal, one-time, once-in-lifetime, one-of-a-kind, all-purpose, etc., feel free to stop and ponder if this is true and/or helpful for your situation.
Our staff works with dozens of other nonprofit organizations. No two of them are exactly alike. No one degree program at a college fits every student equally well. No government transportation plan fits in every city.
You get the idea, if you think about these kinds of things for a minute or two, that God loves variety.
Growing up in the fundamentalist subculture I did, it often sounded like there was a one-size-fits-all approach to all kinds of things from evangelism to marriage to child-rearing to clothing choices. Some of those issues actually are more associated with preferences than principles. For example, a powerful pulpiteer spoke at the church I attended when I was in college and talked about how the Man of the House was supposed to be in charge of the checkbook. He was to make the financial decisions for the family.
He got a lot of amens for this statement. He would prefer I spend the rest of my life in jail to deferring to my bride in financial matters since she is a Certified Public Accountant and school business administrator who manages hundreds of millions of dollars and I have seldom met a book I did not want to buy. Don’t tell that preacher, but I will gladly submit to my wife’s expertise in this area. She gladly submits to my expertise in trash collection and towel folding. It is pretty much an even swap.
One-size-fits-all does not work in gender roles, marital expectations, and work styles. It also does not work in spiritual growth and development. Instead of cookie-cutter Christianity where uniformity is the highest value, we should prefer plans and experiences based on a person’s unique wiring. Consider this: Some people find the fastest way for them to connect with God is to read the Bible. These people often have systematic plans for doing so.
Other people find the fastest way for them to connect with God is through prayer. They have prayer lists and prayer practices to enter into God’s presence at set times and as events unfold. Still others find the fastest way for them to connect with God is through music. Hymns and worship songs most ably empower them to express their love to God and to place themselves in position to hear him most clearly.
Which of these pathways do you prefer? Is one more right than another? Being the Baptist I am, my upbringing would say that reading the Bible should always come first. There are quite a few preachers who would Amen that idea. However, I know plenty of Baptists for whom prayer is their first resort and others for whom singing is their first step.
Which pathway is right for you is more about how God shaped you and your walk with him than anyone’s opinion. Do not try to be like me or anyone else. You need to read and study the Bible. You need to pray. You need to express your love to God and music is a wonderful means for doing so. How will you mix these three as you earnestly approach our Father in heaven?
The most important thing is that you know and experience God and allow him to mold you into the masterpiece he has planned from eternity past. Do not allow Hollywood or Rome or the local seminary to squeeze you into a mold. Learn best practices for spiritual growth and development and use them in the manner best fitting for you.
I will become what God wants me to be and not what someone thinks I should be.
Our Father, you are the Potter, I am the clay. Shape me, mold me, fill me, use me. I want to know you and experience you. I want to help others do the same. Thank you for your unique purpose for my life. Amen.
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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.