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Inching along

Lifegroup Tuesday. Acts 13. Came across an intriguing fella named Elymas. The description of him was clear, but it appeared to make no sense.

He was a false prophet.

He was a sorcerer.
He was a Jew.

Like the aptitute test that asks “Which of these things is not like the others?” these three descriptors do not go together naturally. Why? Well, the Old Testament clearly states that if you were a Jew, you were not to be a false prophet. The result? Big rocks dropped on ya. How about if you thought sorcery would be a good career choice? Result? Big rocks dropped on ya.

And that got us to thinking about how this could happen. Does a good little Jewish boy just wake up one day and think to himself, “Yeah, today it’s gonna be sorcery and false prophesying. That’s the ticket.” And then we asked, “Does the high school teacher arrested for having child porn on his computer just wake up one day and go there and get nabbed right out of the chute?” Probably not. In fact, 15 years ago, if you had told that high school teacher, fresh out of college, that he’d lose his job, his family, his reputation, and his friends because he got caught doing child porn, he’d have told you you were nuts.

No, the path was probably long and twisting. Long because it took a whole lot of steps to get there. Twisting because each step had to occur with the final destination concealed. Had he seen it coming, he might have changed course. Makes sense. Proverbs tells us that it’s the little foxes that ruin the vineyard, not one big fox. Lots of little things add up. Add up for good or for ill. Romans tells us that ending up in a good place is the result of little steps, too–little steps of faith that build on each other.

So, what to do? We sought to evaluate our lives right now. Where are we, in little things, in seemingly inconsequential things, in “what’s the big deal?” things, taking little steps leading to righteousness? And where are we, in little things, in seemingly inconsequential things, in “what’s the big deal?” things, taking little steps that are taking us to utter destruction currently hidden by the twists in the road?

For some, it was the need to bow a head and pray publicly for that meal in the restaurant. For others, it was talking to that family member who asks the question that forces us to profess what we really believe about Jesus. For me, it was not just saying I’ll pray for ya, but actually stopping and doing it. Or, seeing the need of a brother in pain and stopping from my so-called busy schedule to hang out with him at the doc’s. A lot of the time, I’m impatient for the big rush, the major accomplishment. But today. . .today some mighty good stuff flowed from what would appear to be just dinky little things.

Liked it enough, I’m thinking about trying a little step of faith again tomorrow. Who knows where this might lead?

Could be bailing someone out of the adult detention center who’s taken too few of them, I suppose.

Dwaine Darrah
McLean Campus Pastor


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