by Corey Bullock – Ahwatukee Campus Pastor
This post today may simply be written on my own behalf, but I hope that somewhere in the blogosphere that someone is challenged in the same way that I am. I have been reading a book called “Blood Brother’s” by Elias Chacour. He is a Palestinian Christian that writes about his personal experience at overcoming hate and seeking peace in Israel not only in his soul but for the people of the land. Admittedly, I am just now becoming familiar with the issues that surround the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. As I learn more about the tensions that exist, I becoming increasingly aware that to choose sides in this conflict does nothing to resolve it.
Although I believe it would behoove you to research more into this cause, my post today has little to do with the issues that are specific to that land. Instead, I direct your attention to the man who authored this book and his desperate search to discover how God wanted to use him.
From a young age Elias found himself pursuing God’s direction for his life. Having experienced tragedy in his youth at the hands of the Zionists who stole his property and persecuted him, it would have been natural for this young man to harbor resentment and join rebellion efforts. However, God drew Elias near and camped his mind on the words of Jesus instead of the feeling that would only breed further dissonance. It was in the ‘Beatitudes’ that Elias discovered his service to God and his purpose to His people. In the midst of the turmoil, Elias was sent to be a peacemaker.
Elias recounts a portion of a lecture that would forever shape his pursuit of peacemaking from one of his professors:
“If there is a problem somewhere . . . this is what happens. Three people will try to do something concrete to settle the issue. Ten people will give a lecture analyzing what the three are doing. One hundred people will commend or condemn the ten for their lecture. One thousand people will argue about the problem. And one person – only one – will involve himself so deeply in the true solution that he is too busy to listen to any of it. Now . . . which person are you?” – Blood Brothers
Like Elias, we know that God has a plan for our lives, but discerning that path is often difficult and can take time. We get frustrated that our prayers rarely result in a quick and clear answer. We want to do God’s will but we want to do it on our schedule. How can we be expected to persevere through the overwhelming problem if we cannot even persist on the front end of pursuing God? Why would God entrust such a responsibility to one so impatient not endure the time of preparation that is necessary?
These are questions that we must ask ourselves as we seek after our purpose – seek we must! Too many of us have become content with tensions around us and complacent in our situation. We either think that the issue is too big for us to tackle or worse yet, we have resigned to live out our lives in mediocrity. I believe that God has put in each follower of Christ a passion for something, experiences that are invaluable to that passion and spiritual gifts that equip a person to do something about it. The question we have to ask ourselves regarding the problem that peaks our passion – which person are you?
I don’t feign to be an expert on discerning the will of God in mine or others’ lives. My plea today is that you would simply pursue it with all of your heart and not settle for anything less. We can learn from Elias a few things that can aid in that pursuit.
- Spend time with God in contemplation both in prayer and his Word. God speaks!
- Seek Godly wisdom from others who are seeking God. Talk with others about your pursuit and read from authors who have studied this. Two books I would recommend that are both inspiring and instructive:
- Survey your life. Write down the things that you are passionate about, the things that stir you or disturb you. What experiences/education/training/life lessons give you insight into the problem? How has God gifted you to take on the problem?