Why Your Formula May Be Destroying Your Impact

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Is it possible that many of us have simply been educated beyond the point of obedience?


A trend I’m seeing is that many of us demand that things make sense and line up with the “formula” that we have been taught or come up with ourselves based upon our experience before we will act.  The problem with this deduction is that formulas based upon human experiences are often flawed by what we fail to see or perceive in the experience.


In 1 Samuel 4 we see that Phinehas and Hophni take note of how Joshua defeated Jericho and attempted to do the same thing in their battle with the Philistines… They bring the Ark of the Covenant, they sent out the people to release a shout…They appeared to do everything that Joshua did and yet Israel got their butts handed to them!


The formula that brought down the walls of a city and destroyed one army was the catalyst to incite the next enemy to fight harder and kill 30,000 Israeli soldiers!


How many times do we resort to the same pattern of behavior?  We take note of what “worked” last time when we (or they) followed God’s direction, and then write a rule (formula) for how we do it in the future…


Just because circumstances appear the same doesn’t mean they are.  The difference between Joshua’s victory and Phinehas/Hophni’s defeat is that one put his faith in God’s instruction and the other put his faith in a formula based upon his interpretation of a previous experience/breakthrough.


Formula’s for worship, Formulas for how we do church, Formulas for how we build a church, Formulas for outreach & evangelism, Formulas for how we pray for people, Formulas for how we get the Holy Spirit to move in our midst…


We’ve been told that “God always…” or “God never…”, “God used to but now doesn’t”, “God won’t if you don’t…”.


We’ve been taught the formulas for converting the “lost”:


* The Roman’s Road


* If you died tomorrow where would you spend eternity?


* If someone steals what does that make them…? If someone kills what does that make them…? Jesus said if you ________ then you have committed it in your heart…so what does that make you…?


I just wonder if sometimes people need to be told about God and other times God just wants to give them a hug.  And we don’t know because we don’t ask.


Is it possible that because methods have primarily been taught, many resort to the formula before they even ask God what He might like to do in their situation and as a result never really learn to discern His response…?  And if so could this impact their influence?


I’m open to your input, what do you think…?  Do you agree or disagree…?  Why?

-Post your input in the comments section of this blog…and feel free to repost on your social networks.




photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/alicehutchinson/5030685113/”>Alice Hutchinson</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>

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