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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2 Chronicles 35:25 Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah, and to this day all the male and female singers commemorate Josiah in the laments. These became a tradition in Israel and are written in the Laments. (NIV)
2 Chronicles 33:15, 16 He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the Lord, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city. Then he restored the altar of the Lord and sacrificed fellowship offerings and thank offerings on it, and told Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel.
Matthew 3:8 “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”
2 Kings 20:2, 3 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Isaiah 65:24 “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.”