Friday, November 28, 2014

Isn't There More?

Sometimes I wonder
As I live out life as a believer in Christ, am I not short circuiting something -
The something that the late John Wimber called "doing the stuff" ?

Illustration from my own life:
I come to know Christ. The person of Christ.
That's all I know. He is real.
I'm thrilled about Him and tell all my friends
Some believe too and others run away from me.
Its all very real and powerful and affects people around me dramatically one way or the other.

I begin to learn how one "lives Christianity" -
There is the thrill of finding out who this Jesus is from the bible: of realising I can talk to Him in prayer; of finding the joy of relating to others who love Him.
Wonderful stuff.
I also find out about what I could call the "church ethos"- the traditions, attitudes, and ways of churches.
I come to know what I can probably expect when I attend a church meeting.

I read in the bible that believers should be able to lay hands on the sick and see them healed. That at the Name of Jesus, blind people should see and deaf hear and lame walk. Even dead rise.
With the gusto of the new believer I go for it, praying for and expecting all those things to happen just as the bible says.
With little success. Puzzling.
So I do it less often and become cautious and tentative in my prayers for dramatic outcomes.
I drift towards learning the theory and the history more - and possibly begin a mindset that has influenced me since then, but lurking unseen under my radar.

And so, I gain some knowledge over time
I get into discussions, exchanging view points with other believers
I go to seminars and learn "7 Steps to be Being a Good Christian", "5 Ways to Make Your Testimony Powerful", "10 Soul Saving Tips for the New Evangelist" and such like.
I learn to make notes and think critically about what I hear.
I become part of various groups intent on learning to follow Christ -
I learn to let God change me
I take my part, as an older woman, in passing on what I have learnt to younger women.
I am part of normal church/Christian life.

There is a lot of good in these things.
The question, for me though, is: Isn't there more?
Did I give up too soon on those bold brave prayers?
After all, I was a baby believer at the time I launched into those big prayers.
Could I be limiting God because of a shrunken ability to believe Him?

Jesus indicated that those who believed in Him could be identified, in part, by their actions
Amazing, astonishing actions . . .
If I don't move in the realms of which He speaks, or at least look at the possibility of doing so, have I not stopped short of what He might have prepared for me to do?
If there are never "signs" that follow me, haven't I missed something important? Something that Christ intended to be a part of normal Christian life?

If it is always a coming to know the theory, and then a passing on of that theory to the next generation, wonderful as that is, is that really enough?
Christ's ministry on earth was marked by extraordinary happenings that helped people and glorified God.
It seems to me that His plan was for us to carry on that mission, empowered by His Spirit.

I have been challenged by the scripture that reads "(Jesus) waits for His enemies to be made His footstool" Hebr 10:13
In the context, the person making the enemies of Christ His footstool, is God (see Hebr 1:13)
Referencing Eph 3:10, it seems that the plan of God was always to use the Church (that is, ordinary Christ followers) to demonstrate His wisdom to the enemies of Christ.
Which brings me back to my point.

What if this is the plan: has always been the plan and remains the plan
And now, that plan is supposed to come through ordinary us . . .?

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