Thursday, October 04, 2007

Post #200......(Pass The Cake Please)

Who'd have thought it would have gone this far? Maybe my wife would, she knows how much I can talk when I get going. Anyway the theme remains the same; unity.

I have been thinking this morning about an email I received from some friends who were attending our missions homegroup. They were very new and seemed to be searching out what they were about. It was good to have them but now they are moving on to other things. In the email they explained that they have been very impacted by the teaching of both Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar and were going to do a video series on some of their teachings. There were some hints at the last couple of homegroups that they may have been going this way so it wasn't to much of a surprise. What did surprise me were the feelings that came up in me. I am somewhat familiar with the teachings that these men have and have fellowshipped closely with other men who have been full on in the word faith movement (please forgive if I use wrong terms here, I'm not versed in all the lingo). When I was in China with jet lag I watched brother Kenneth and Benny Hinn (at 3AM on satellite tv) as well; again please forgive if they are from different streams but the men I fellowshipped with followed both of them and spoke with equal regard to both of them. There was some good stuff there that I enjoyed even more than the irony of watching it from a communist country.

For many years I have spoken my piece against the whole prosperity gospel and generalised about the word faith movement, all the while feeling quite highbrow in my opinions. Now, though, I was tunneling through much self-doubt regarding my own faith walk. I wondered if it was a lack of faith that has me tied up financially and if it has also been blocking the doors to the missions field for us as a family. There were other issues as well, but this is a blog post not a book. So I woke early one morning and set out for a walk to try out this new lesson in silent warfare that God has been teaching me.

As I trundled around the lower Mission area the thoughts came streaming in like a loud TV from next door. I couldn't change the volume, channel or the neighbour so I walked and listened. It became interesting though that although these voices were familiar they were not THE familiar voice I was waiting I walked on. Slowly I became aware of the fact that I have become so attuned to listening to the neighbours TV that the signal coming into my own mind were being ignored. When God did finally speak He shared with me about my faith and stilled my worries. He began to share with me that I indeed have faith for great things, just not the same things as my brother and sister do. I love that God never made it about them being right and me being wrong but rather spoke directly to my place of need. He showed me that I have faith for the people of God to come together as one and faith to see walls of separation come down. I have marginalised this for so long because it wasn't about healing the sick and raising the dead so it was probably just a cop out.
This is the beginning of a change in understanding for me. This is the beginning of seeing for me. I tend to be a very black and white kind of person, and when it comes to the foundations of faith and truth don't expect that to change any time soon. The black and white, though, tended to extend into all things I did not understand and to people whom I didn't get. I am beginning to see more of the truth of what my favourite verse in the bible (Ephesians 3:10) is talking about:

9...and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things;
10so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.
11This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord...

I love this verse because it says there are many facets of God's wisdom and that these facets are being reflected through His people. He is showing it to the rulers and authorities that didn't get it when they rebelled from heaven. So now it is our chance to show it off. The catch is that none of us has the capacity to show it all off. We need others to show the parts we are not called to show. If I look to the apostles I quickly see that even those who were with Jesus for 3 years never assumed that they could do it all themselves nor that they were expected to fulfill all the offices and duties of the church. So now I look around and I see so many unique calls and duties that God has given to His children. I see those who by faith will gain riches for the kingdom and I see those who by faith forsake all riches to go to the darkest places of the world with the gospel. I see those who by faith pray and intercede for people and cities and I see those who by faith evangelise and transform people and cities. There are those who by faith establish radio and television stations to spread the word and those who by faith go to places where there is no radio and television to spread the word. There are those who stand by faith before governments to profess Christ and those who by faith suffer torture by governments for professing Christ. Above all this though I see a vision of a united body where all the parts are working and supplying to one another from the bounties of their faith. I see a body with no divisions of denominations where people of faith give to one another without measure. A body where the rich don't tell the poor to step up their faith, but rather pony up some cash. A body where the intercessor doesn't tell the evangelist to soften his own ground with prayer but rather partners to target and take down strongholds and set prisoners free. A body where the poor don't tell the rich to pack a food hamper but rather bless them to plunder the wealth of the nations for the kingdom. A place where the evangelist doesn't bash the prayer warrior for only opening his mouth in his closet but rather shares his gift and anointing to effect change in the intercessors sphere as well. A body where, as a dear brother of mine always says, we esteem each other as better than ourselves.
Then I ask myself, who wouldn't want to be a part of that????

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