Wednesday, 4 September 2013

A Call to Die, A Call to Live

I am reading David Platts book, Follow Me. The by line says "A Call to Die. A Call to Live."  I have a sneaky suspicion I am moving into a place of gathering and weaving of all I've been learning over the past year, and making and moulding it into something more formed and distinctive rather than a tangle of yarn. 

The tangle began with a lack of peace, a desire for more, I started by stating, honestly and aloud "There has to be more to this faith walk than what I am living!".  I wasn't alone, strangely as I began talking with some friends, I realised there were a number on this same walk. I began my search with the Holy Spirit, as His existence in my heart was smothered by my understanding or lack of it. This developed into a quest for more of God's presence, more experience, greater understanding.  Then water doused the fire, controversy, questions of theology, unsettling attitudes, they over shadowed.  The slide into the valley was so subtle, the fire spluttering and the light fading. Many friends on the same walk found themselves with company in the valley. When the lines of 'them and us' are drawn, no one wins, not even those who are right. 

We live in community for a reason.  Friends who shared this experience came for dinner not so long ago, we talked honestly, from the heart, shared our pain, our questions, then we prayed. I am so thankful for wise friends who allow the Holy Spirit to work through them to minister.  Truth sparked the coals that had lost so much of their warmth. Words of encouragement, revelation, love through honest conversations. The light is returning, the questions are still there, but the valley doesn't look like a dead-end now there is light growing.

Beth Moore says Time + Conflict = Change. True. Experience teaches. Yet all I have been learning doesn't seem to follow a logical course, and some days doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  There seems to me to be quite random revelations that seem important yet don't tie into what I have been learning. For example; I'm coming to an understanding that one way to be filled with the Holy Spirit, is to be out of our comfort zone relying on the Holy Spirit, through telling others about Jesus Christ. Another is prayer, I've been asking myself the question, why pray to a God who knows all? Is petitioning a list really how I should pray?  Am I building relationship with God through my prayers? How did Jesus pray?

I have no idea what I am to be learning, I guess one day I may understand what it all means.  Maybe, maybe not, but either way I know God is weaving, delicate and intricate. My greatest revelation and the foundation for my searching is that I want more of God. I want, in fact, I need for there to be more to life, an abundant life, what I was living can't be all there is to faith.  
"The Life God has for us is one of abundance. It is meant to be full, not repetitive. He wants us doing things that have eternal impact. He wants us busy expanding his Kingdom in one way or another, today and everyday.  This doesn't mean that every Christian should quit his or her job and move to a foreign country. But it does mean that we need to figure out how to make each day count for his purpose.
Paul Said it like this: "No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him."
Don't most of us do the opposite? We busy ourselves with "civilian pursuits" and occasionally jump into the battle when we feel compelled. Kingdom service is something we visit on a mission trip, day of service, or prayer meeting. Being entangled in the civilian lifestyle has become the accepted norm. It is even applauded so long as we can point to some occasional Kingdom activity. But doesn't Scripture tell us to live differently? And wouldn't your life be more "abundant" if you could figure out a way to be on the battlefield every day?
You may be looking at your life and assuming you have no options. Isn't a person with bills, family and responsibilities destined to be "entangled in civilian pursuits"?
Absolutely not. You and I were made for more."
(Francis Chan)

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