A waste of resources or an extravagant God?

A couple of weeks ago I shared some thoughts about the extravagant worship of the woman who broke the alabaster vial of perfume and poured it over Jesus.  Some of the disciples criticized her for the waste of resources.  Jesus praised her.  Have you ever thought about how God often seems to apparently “waste” His resources?  (It is certain that One whose reserves are infinitely available could not actually be guilty of waste.  From our perspective it seems that there are many ways God is simply not “frugal” !  But could this be a narrow view we hold because of our own poverty?)

A statement Oswald Chambers once made pops into my mind at this point: “Consider the unutterable waste of God’s choicest saints…”  Yes, let us take a moment and consider some of God’s unutterable waste of assets.

Moses.  God takes this great leader to the backside of the desert for 40 years of obscurity before launching him into public service. 

Jeremiah.  God calls this guy to be a prophet from his mother’s womb and powerfully reveals Himself to and through him.  But nobody ever responded to his ministry!  Zero.

John the Baptist.  John’s miraculous conception and separated life was amazing.  He totally lived for one thing: to announce the coming of Jesus.  Over 30 years of desert loneliness and then he came out for six months of public ministry.  Then he’s left in prison to await the removal of his head at the whims of a seductress.  What a waste of a choice resource.

Jesus.  So much about Jesus’ life and ministry could be seen as a “waste” from our limited perspective.  Think of the host of angels that announced His birth to a few blue collar shepherds working the night shift!  So many important people in the world, so many movers and shakers, so many people who could have made things happen for Jesus.  But God chose to reveal the miracle birth to a handful of nameless, faceless people.

Consider the fact that God dwelling in flesh spent more than 90% of His life in almost total obscurity.  Here is the Creator living on earth in person.  He can raise the dead and heal the sick.  He can change weather patterns with the utterance of His lips.  And He only does those things for 3 years of his 33 year existence!  Why did He wait so long to get busy?

Jesus gave the most profound teaching on the nature of worship to a Samaritan adulteress, despised by her community.  “God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth…” (John 4)  We don’t even know her name.

Possibly Jesus’ greatest sermon on Christology, was preached to two fellows on the road to Emmaus.  He spoke to them about all that Moses and the prophets said about the Christ.  And their hearts burned within them.  And they almost didn’t figured out that it was Jesus!  Why?  Because Jesus was incognito – on purpose! They didn’t even take notes!  Wow.  I’d love to have been there.  I could get rich off those sermon notes.  I could create a ministry website and sell them to hundreds of preachers on Saturday nights.

What about you?  Have you ever felt like your life is a waste?  Indeed it can be if you’re highest aim is not to deeply know and walk with this extravagant God!  The real measure of a life is not whether people take note of you or realize how gifted you are.  The measure of a life is whether or not it was a vessel poured out for the Master’s pleasure.

Dear one, we must learn how to find our deepest satisfaction in nothing less than God Himself.  Only those who have found their deepest contentment and joy in God alone could ever be called successful from God’s vantage point.  We need to find our satisfaction in the things that satisfy God!  And we need to rectify our definitions of success to the same.

And don’t forget that most of this world’s greatest successes were dismal failures in God’s sight.  And many of those who were despised or forgotten by this world are now famous in heaven.  He is God and that’s just the way it is.  His opinion alone counts.

“Consider God’s unutterable waste of saints”…. Yes, it would do us all some good to reflect on these things regularly.

One thought on “A waste of resources or an extravagant God?

  1. Betsy says:

    Dane–So thankful that you shared your timely reflections on this point!!! This and your many other blog entries continue to bless our spirits at exactly the right time–God’s time!! We appreciate your faithfulness in sharing what God continues to put on your heart!!! _________________________________ Thanks, Betsy.  I appreciate your encouraging words. Dane

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