When I first spoke on this subject a few years ago, I addressed a group of about one hundred people in a Sunday morning service. Using examples drawn primarily from the Old Testament (e.g. a faulty bow, a senseless dove, a rotted linen belt) I argued that we could become useless to God. Afterward, someone suggested that if I gave the same message again, I should include some examples of how Christians today can become useless to God. However, for the purposes of this article I am not going to set out my viewpoint. On the contrary, at this time I want to solicit your viewpoint.
I will endeavour to achieve this by using a sequential or multistage evaluation process that requires you to participate in a series of practical exercises, as an individual and as part of a small group.
As an individual answer the following questions:
1. Where are we* now and where are we going?
2. What is God doing?
3. How are we* reacting to what God is doing?
4. How are we* changing over time?
*I would like you to answer these questions for three sets of conditions:
1. Your immediate family unit.
2. Your local church fellowship/home/cell group
3. The denomination or movement you are part of.
Working as part of a church/fellowship small group that you are comfortable with, answer these questions:
1. Who are we? (What is our purpose?)
2. What do we do? (What knowledge and skills do we employ?)
3. How do we do it? (How do we relate to each other?)
4. What makes us valuable? (Useful in relation the to purpose?)
In this exercise limit “we” to the group you are working with in this exercise.
The eternal purposes of God include:
· A wife for the Son.
· Children for the Father.
· A house for God’s Spirit to live in.
· A city God’s people can call theirs.
Working on your own, answer the following questions:
1. What do these purposes mean to me?
2. How can these purposes be fulfilled? (What needs to happen? What knowledge and skills are required, by whom and when?)
3. What am I doing to fulfill these purposes? (In terms of knowledge and skills applied)
4. What problems and difficulties am I experiencing in my efforts?
5. How do the teaching and training I receive within Christianity help me fulfill these purposes?
Can we become useless to God? I look forward to hearing from you.