Well it is a month since the last blog and to anyone who still visits here I apologise for the abscense. The difficulties in blogging from here on ADSL make it a little less attractive than just sending out emails to interested parties. All that being said I think there are some things I should put down here before they are forgotten.
Our lives lately have been capturing more and more of the cross over between worlds and there is a steadily growing realisation of the tenuous grip this physical realm has on reality. I speak of course of the prophetic nature of the people of God and how this impacts our daily lives. Even for those who don't have a real sense of the prophetic call upon the church, or those who think the prophetic is reserved only for biblical heroes and not for today, the reality is the same. We are called living epistles or letters from God to the world, which is what prophecy is, letters from God to a dying world. As such we will find that the context of our lives is (or should be) markedly different than those around us. Our context is the revelation of the risen Christ, and it is to be hoped that this would make us different. In this realm we find that there are numerous messages pouring in from God every day. He desires to direct us in the paths of righteousness, both because Jesus intercedes this desire for us and because many of us pray for this as well. These paths are not just whether we should abstain from various vices but also the acting on variuos virtues. Of course if God had us all act on the same virtue, at the same time, in the same place it would be foolish; it is for this reason that He speaks to us both corporately and individually... we need to know what to do with this Spirit living within us. He is living and active and desires to act for us and through us. This would be incredibly difficult without any kind of daily communication. In fact, in a war, the network of communication is one of the first things to come under attack. Even before the troops are sent onto the field there has been a battle to confuse the communications of the opponent. Spying and espionage are forms of disrupting or misrepresenting communication. Propaganda is also a form of defeating the communication of the opponent by making people believe that what he is saying is a lie. Our enemy also does this to the church, because if he can stop us from hearing from God he can put our troops in disarray. There is a folly in the church today which says that all we need is in the written word. We just need to read it right or listen to the right teachers and we will know what to do in every situation that comes at us. This would be fine if we were fighting a defensive action (Hmmm, maybe this explains a lot?). In this case we would just set up our lines and react to whatever the enemy hurls at us. A defensive action leaves little in the way of mobility and nothing in the way of being more than a conquerer. A defensive action also allows for a static form of communication because the forces being affected are in one place. There may be a call for more troops or air support, but the fort is the hub.
We are meant to be offensive. We need to know how we are to be affecting the situations around us so that they need to react to our prescence on the field of battle. Most of us (I include myself as one in recovery from this thinking) are pretty happy with just reacting to the world. We go about our lives and only when the world gets in our face do we respond. It is kind of like they are prodding a sleeping hobo to see whether they need to take him to the morgue or just usher him out of the park. This is not an attractive lifestyle.
We are starting to walk out something different. Many Christians are starting to walk out something different and it is demanding that we keep our eyes and ears open at all times to what God is asking of us from moment to moment. Our being in China is a solid step in this direction for us. We had been taking little steps of obedience and now we are wanting more. Yesterday as we arrived at an open market to find clothes for a wedding we are going to we saw a man lying on the street. As our taxi drove by to where we would get out I heard God say that if I would go over and offer this man my hand that He would heal him. When we got out I told Cris what I had heard and she was with me 100%. We walked over and here was a man who could not even sit on the sidewalk to beg, he was lying on his side and holding out a begging bowl because his legs did not work at all. I reached out my hand and he extended his free hand to grasp mine. As I looked him in the eye and asked him if he would be healed I knew he would not understand what I was saying. I prayed there for him out loud and told him that the Lord was going to bring one of our brothers or sisters in Christ from the Chinese church to complete the transaction. Cris told me later that as I was praying she heard God say, "I didn't say when I would heal him." We left the man with a large donation for his bowl and the promise of the Holy Spirit for his healing. Now some may be thinking that this story should have ended with a miraculous healing for it to mean anything, but isn't that the problem? We expect something to happen every time. The fear of this not happening keeps us locked up and away from the offensive faith of our fathers. The fear of listening to the Spirit and taking the chance that He might not have in mind what we are expecting keeps us from more than we can ask or imagine. I know this man will be healed, of that there is no question. The other thing that I left off from the end of this story is that after I got up to continue on with my family I clearly heard the Lord say "Thank you." I cannot tell you what that did to me, but I know that I want to hear it again.
To war it is!!!