Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Through circumstances God speaks meaningfully

11:28AM on 28/11. That’s what I saw. No coincidence as I looked down at my computer’s clock. “What are you saying, Lord?” was my simple question; a learned response that so many of you relate with.
“Yes, Lord, I’m here to write…” “No, write… on THAT… then do with it what you do.”
So here it is.
The greatest joy of my life is that God speaks to me. With such consistency of regularity that the phenomenon cannot be explained away. For fifteen years, more or less, continually.
When God speaks, I’m taken to unexpected places. Yet almost always for a reason that seems obvious to me as I look back. Even if it seems bizarre to say “yes” and follow without logic or reason.
I call it trust, though many will perhaps not understand. And in my following, I don’t always go where I want to go; where I’m comfortable going; where there’s benefit going. Sometimes it appears to be a complete waste of time. And yet I find myself saying, “Lord, if You say so…”
As the Lord speaks in the most inaudible of ways, I listen because I’ve learned the hard way. So often. Too often. And yet that is what God is teaching me; more patient is my Lord than I can ever contemplate.
As I hear God speak, I’m led to imagine with wonder how veritably deep, spiritually, this life is. How much of it do I not understand? — and never will! And how acceptable is that? Very. It has to be that way.
There is no point in attempting to change what is eternal.
The longer I follow Jesus, the more I realise how important listening is; to lean not on my own understanding; to bow to a wisdom far greater than mine, and yet so indelibly inscrutable.
Jesus keeps my life abundantly simple. Most especially as I hear him speak through discerning.
It’s the numbers and words I see, it’s the human connections I experience, it’s the thoughts he gives me for prayer, and it’s time on a day where there’s a modicum of space for copious portions of his grace. And so very much more.
God speaks to me. I like that. I need it. Everything has dimension and perspective because of it. My experience of a meaningful life is pregnant for this very reason. God gives me and is my purpose.
The precious gift of conversing with the Divine is within everyone’s grasp.
All it takes is the openness of mind and heart to enter a pilgrimage where the Lord takes you.
The better we hear the Lord speak, the better listeners we become.
Right now, I’m questioning something I have felt God has been asking me to do — have I discerned correctly? It’s up to God to confirm it. And I’m at peace with that.
Yes, I do have many doubts, but these I’ve learned are centrally within the field of the conversation.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

False Teacher is as False Teacher does

Photo by César Abner Martínez Aguilar on Unsplash

Breaking my social media fast (which will be ongoing after this) just to do a bit of hypocrisy (which I’m very good at).
Tired of the so-called, self-proclaimed Facebook prophets who preach their divisive words to the disenchanted just for such a time as this, driving huge traffic to their pages, deploring the ‘old wineskin’ who are apparently distant and disengaged.
These ones, by their prophetic dirge, inspire pride in ‘the saints’. Self-righteousness ‘look at me and how good I am’ followship of a movement dedicated to picking the eye teeth out of what is not altogether bad.
You think you’re onto something. But your mode of delivery is a critical spirit.
Go one step further. Drop the keyboard. Ditch the angst. Go positive.
Go with inspiring your ‘followers’ – your ‘top fans’ (like who needs to follow Jesus? – when Facebook is co-conspirator with you, giving you functionality that helps your fans earn a ‘badge’ for ‘following’ so ardently) – with something that won’t actually get them deploring what people who are actually trying to serve do.
Speak some kindness. Do some respect. Oh, woah, try this; do some repentance. Model some of that.
Stop trying to build your church by stripping the church part by part at the wreckers wholesale.
Yes, you have massive followings. Well done you. Oh, so highly anointed of you. You’re capitalising on a keyboard warrior discipleship set.
Those are your real fans. They love you. They love what you say. All you share are the same biases.
You are not calling them to empty themselves and be filled to overflowing with Christ.
No, you know you won’t get massive followings just by diligent faithfulness. You call people to do ‘house church’ – to stop supporting their pastor preaching from their platform – all from your platform ministry.
The one deploring the old wineskin possibly has a point, but how they speak it out ‘prophetically’ does no service to the body of Christ. They are hypocrites like me. You deplore what is old wineskin to you; I deplore you because how you speak is old wineskin.
All – watch who you ‘follow’. Follow only those who follow the Lord. They will be steeped in repentance, humility, and a love beyond dividing, calling everyone to the ‘greatness’ of a love-one-another kind of ministry that bears the fruit of forgiveness and reconciliation.
This kind of writing really isn’t me – it’s not what I like to do. But, as someone with a voice (i.e. a keyboard and bandwidth), I use this blip in time simply to remind all who will read and hear – the Lord is near.
Lord, may this hypocrisy that I do not count too much against me. Have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen.
Note: the title follows the Forrest Gump quote: “Stupid is as stupid does,” meaning that an intelligent person can revel in stupidity by doing stupidity. Intelligence is no guarantee. False teachers, likewise, are not characterised only by what falsity they teach, but also by how they teach; and the motives of their teaching. The ‘how’ is the character imperative that is so intrinsic for a Christ-follower teacher.