Sunday night's sermon in prison was one Shag passed along - We Need to be More Like Demons. I will be glad to send the sermon notes to anyone who asks.
One of the points is: Demons have to check in with God before they can do anything. We need to be the same way. We need to be sure what we do lines up with the will of God. If what we're planning does not line, up should not do it. If we are not sure if it lines up with what God wants, we should wait.
After the sermon during a young man came up, obviously confused. He wanted to know if he had to ask God's permission before doing anything.
Wow. This kid (and he is a kid to me) was really listening.
So, I 'splained. No. It's not necessary to check in with God for absolutely everything.
You don't need to ask God if you need to get out of bed. You need to get up, I told him. When you get up, you can sit on your bunk and read your Bible for a few minutes. You can pray. You can sing a hymn. You can be a witness in a very quiet way right there.
Cleared that point.
But what, he asked about other stuff. What to wear, where to go. The myriad decisions we make every day without giving it any thought. I was still not completely clear on what he was asking, so I gave more examples. You don't have to check with God every time. You know what clothes to wear. You know you need to eat lunch.
He narrowed the question down even more.
Then, I got it.
No, you do not have to check in with God before you make every single decision that comes your way. The Bible offers instructions on what to do in every situation I've encountered. If you know what the Bible says, then you know what to do.
He got that. He asked for yet more information. What if it is something that's not covered in the Bible?
Then wait. God will tell you.
But, he asked, how long do I have to wait? How do I know when God tells me something, he asked.
"You a dad?" I asked. Yes, he is. A 4 YOA. Ok, no help there. "Mom still alive?" Yep. "She ever tell you to stop?" Yep. "She ever tell you to stop or you are going to jail?" Yep. "That was God speaking through your mom." The prison I go to is a substance abuse treatment center. Everyone incarcerated there was sentenced on some substance-abuse related charged.
Yeah, but, he went on.
Now, I figured it out.
Sometimes God doesn't speak in a voice that everyone can hear and understand. Sometimes, He takes action. "What you need to do, if you have a choice, is ask God to close the door you don't need to go through. Ask him to open the door you need to go through. Then, you just have to pay attention to pick the right door."
"What's important is that others see God working in and through us in everything we do."
He said he got it then. I sure hope so.
I'm still working on it. I need to do better. A lot better.
So you, my reader, if you are still here I tell you this is not just a God thing. This is a human thing. In everything you do, people need to see the real you. They need to see how everything you do is trying to make this world a better place. You need to be this
When you try to do better, you will do better. Make sure everything you do is a guide for the rest of the world to follow. Make sure you are being the kind of leader you want to follow. Make this a habit. Grok.