For Christians, the question “What’s God been doing in your life lately” is an important one. When we are discouraged, it helps us to believe that God is still at work in others. When we are asked it, we are often forced to reflect on our recent experiences, searching for the hand of God at work.
This is a good and useful question. But there is a danger when we avoid the equally important question: What is God undoing in your life lately?
You see, to ask what God is doing in your life, is often to ask a question of “building up,” to see the blessings of God in your life. But this rarely makes us uncomfortable, it rarely causes us to question the rhythms and systems of our life that we assume, like the air we breathe.
But when we ask what God is undoing in our lives, it is a loaded question, a question of “tearing down.” It puts us in a humble place, assuming that we have ways of living, rhythms and priorities that are not quite following the ways of Jesus. When we are asked what God is doing in our lives, we are being asked to be like the observing crowds in the New Testament. Has he fed you loaves and fishes this week? Has he walked on water or raised up your daughter from the dead?
But when we are asked what God is undoing in our lives, we are being asked to be like the disciples in the New Testament. Have you taken up your cross and followed him? Have you sold all you have to buy the pearl of great price? Have you become last this week so that you might become first?
The danger of us only asking what God is doing is that we can install a slick layer of Jesus-speak over the already-existing structures of our lives. Instead of also questioning whether the way we spend our money is following the way of Jesus, we just thank God for blessing us with all our new stuff. Instead of also inviting people into the depths of my life, I can just thank God that I have great friends I can do Bible study with.
In other words, we have to continually let Jesus tear down as he builds up, demolishing the very foundations of our house as he builds something new. Otherwise, he is just the decorator of our lives instead of the ultimate architect and chief cornerstone.
So next time you are looking for God in your life, be sure to see him in the tearing down as well as the building up. You might be surprised what you find.