Monday, March 12, 2012

God Plus One is Not A Majority

I have heard pastors and teachers use a phrase to encourage people to be strong and courageous in the face of adversity. Although the intent is good, the theology is completely flawed. Here's the phrase, "God plus one is a majority."

Just one question exposes the flaw in this thinking: Before God created Adam (the first "one" among humans), was God in the minority? Was God sitting around looking for some"one" to agree with Him so He could become the majority opinion or power in the universe? Of course not. Before Adam was, God was. Period. End of story. God is a majority- with or without one.

It might seem trivial, but our flawed thinking about God leads to flawed living. In the book Deuteronomy Moses recounted an event in the life of God's people which vividly illustrates this erroneous mindset. God had delivered the people of Israel from slavery and bondage and had brought them to the brink of the Promised Land in Kadesh-Barnea (recorded in Numbers 13-14). Moses recounted what happened next, "And I said unto you [the Israelites], Ye are come unto the mountain of the Amorites, which the Lord our God doth give unto us. Behold, the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged" (Deut. 1:20-21).

When God speaks, the majority has spoken. He's not waiting for your opinion, your strategy or your voice in the matter. If God says, "The land is yours, go take it," then go take it.

That's sound theology, but we doubt the pragmatism of such a statement. So did the Israelites. They sent in spies to see the land (Deut. 1:22-24). They came back with a good report about the land and its abundance (Deut. 1:25). However, they didn't go take the land (Deut. 1:26). Numbers 13 gives us the reason for their hesitation: "Nevertheless the people that dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are walled, and very great...We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we" (Num. 13:28, 31).

Actually, Moses didn't consider it a hesitation. He called it something else: "You would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the Lord your God." Failure to heed the voice of God is not a failure, mistake or misstep- it is rebellion. But "hesitation" sounds so much better, doesn't it?

So I guess the question you have to answer is, "What is God telling me to do?" Take some time to listen for His voice today. Oftentimes what God asks us to do is much greater than what we can accomplish on our own. The "giants" in our lives are stronger than us. The walls that need to rebuilt are too much for one person to handle. The job is too difficult for us. But that is okay. "Dread not, neither be afraid of them. The Lord your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you" (Deut. 1:29-30).

When Nehemiah stepped up to answer God's call, he was the only one in the nation who heard the voice of God and did something about it. He listened and obeyed God's voice. He went in and took it, just like God said.

God plus one is not a majority. God is the majority- with or without "one." So find out what He is telling you to do. And even if you're in the minority among other people, go take it. Don't hesitate. Listen. Obey. Your God will go before you.

2 comments:

  1. Great stuff/truth! Something I needed to read, too! God bless you, man!

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  2. Dear Robby, what this expression means is this; when everyone else is doing that which is contrary to the Word of The Almighty God and you are the odd one out of several, then you are in the majority because He is greater than the entire creation put together and that includes the god of the world ie satan.

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