Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"The Issues Are Not The Issue" by Garris Elkins

Recently, I sent a private Facebook message to a friend of mine who leads an international ministry. My message was prophetic in nature and would seem somewhat cryptic to the casual reader. I trust this leader and knew he would be able to move past the nature of the word and understand its substance.

This leader and others like him are called upon to deal with issues that have a very wide and diverse audience.  What I felt the Lord was saying to this leader, and to the rest of us, was this – “the issues are not the issue.” The human-issues we face each day are not always the God-issue we need to discover. These God-issues are buried deep beneath our history, our preferences and our current culture. It is in the discovery of these God-issues that we find peace and resolution amidst the surface turmoil of cultural opinion.

Most of the headlines printed today are in response to diverse people groups responding to even more diverse opinions they each hold about how this life should be lived. The clash of these opinions produces the headlines. Behind these visible and reactionary headlines is always a deeper God-issue waiting to be discovered. The truth of the deeper God-issues must be discovered and understood if the Church is going fulfill her mission on planet earth.

A danger the Church faces in our current cultural context is the demand to provide a quick and shallow response for complex issues.  We must have a response, but it cannot be reactive, it must be the result of God revealing truth to us.  Revelation is not nervous about timing.  Revelation is sourced from eternity without the pressure of time.

Whenever I have made quick and visceral responses I have found that my first answer was generally to the issues I was facing on the surface instead of the deeper God-issue He wanted to process with me. Many times I had the right answer, but the wrong response. There is always something deeper when we are relating to God and it is in the process of this relationship that He invites us to journey with Him towards the discovery of His deeper truth.

Today, give God some time to develop a deeper understanding within you about His heart for each subject that requires a response from you.  In the end, the deeper God-issue you discover will always reflect His heart, not a human response.

1 comment:

  1. This is such a timely word for us today. Complex issues deserve more thought, prayer, and patience than we usually give them before voicing our opinions. Quick answers usually result in regret.