Watching the recent political debates I was reminded that it’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. This principle not only holds true in the political arena, but in the spiritual as well. Sometimes when we are reading the Bible’s text it’s difficult to catch the emphasis on words—perhaps that is in order that the same words can speak to people’s hearts through the Holy Spirit in different poignant ways.
God had five little words for the prophet Elijah when he was having a meltdown after experiencing a monumental miracle at Mt. Carmel. Obviously when God asks a question it’s rhetorical. Being omniscient, He certainly knows the answer, but wants to hear our response. God asked, “What are you doing here?” Depending on which word He emphasized there are actually five questions we each should consider.
WHAT are you doing? Our daily actions matter. The content of our day matters to God and he has a plan for the agenda if we will only ask for his guidance.
What ARE you doing? I hear a parent asking this question in a satirical tone, as if in disbelief at the sight they are witnessing their child partake in! Hopefully our Heavenly Father doesn’t have to shake his head in wonder at our silly behavior. Each moment has meaning and alters our future. Have you removed the things you should not be involved with to allow time for the activities that are not just good, not just better, but best?
What are YOU doing here? Our Maker created each of us with specific giftings that should be actively benefitting His world. Do the things only YOU can do, delegate and eliminate other responsibilities.
What are you DOING here? Elijah, stopped his pity party long enough to answer God repeatedly that he was the only one being persecuted. God informed him that this wasn’t true, there were actually 7,000 others. God had a plan to comfort Him and use Him for His purpose—a good reminder for us all. When we have miserable moods, or countless hours on the couch, God’s Word can focus us forward.
What are you doing HERE? The emphasis is location. Bloom where you’re planted; grow where you are stuck! It’s no coincidence that you have the job you do, nor live where you do, nor exist in this span of time in our world’s history. It’s not random that you have the family and friends you do. There is a destined reason. Find God’s purpose in that and life will become more meaningful!
May the five fingers upon your hand beg these five small questions that demand God’s plan.