I have used the Peter example before… ‘You are the Christ’ meets expectation that the Messiah kicks out the enemies (Roman occupation in that era), so he is bold enough to stand on the word in order to keep Jesus in line – ‘not so Lord’.
It is nigh impossible to silence expectation. Our memories are so alive and important, and it is for this reason God says ‘forget the former things’, the irony being that s/he had just spent a number of ‘verses’ reminding them of the former things!
In that passage in Isaiah the former situation and the current one was similar: captivity by Egypt / captivity by Babylon, but the deliverance would be so different. I spent many years looking for a repeat of ‘the Welsh revival’ or the ‘Great Awakening’. Not now. And I see God at work everywhere. And is Jesus there present? Well we got to go and find out, and if we go then guess what? Jesus will certainly be there!
Peter discovered that something was happening at Cornelius’ house. But is it Jesus? Go find out, go humbly, cos you will be converted, and when you get there you’ll discover that the lines you drew, the in / out lines were not simply inadequate but wrong… and you are there Peter to bring Jesus into the centre of the party.
Could we in a move of God that is so inclusive that our tiny minds could be blown? I think that really is possible. But we got to find out, and we can’t find out if we stay put and continue to prophesy the ‘greatest move of God ever’, ‘the month of the holy breakthrough’.
National / continental timelines are unique. I wrote a short review of the ‘Slow death of Europe’. Maybe should be expanded to ‘of the West’. For sure. Death of what was, and dare I say even some of the good things that seemed to be part of our heritage. I am not looking for a repeat of ‘Wales’ or… I am looking to be re-educated, and am still probably a little resistant to being converted, and just hope that it might be a process.
Let’s be careful about bringing our expectation into what we prophesy, and let’s be slow to put expectations on what we hear. And maybe get our shoes ready for that journey to Cornelius.
One thought on “I know what that means”
Amen to that, Martin. Why we ever thought we could put life/God in a box and keep it there is beyond me. Then we focus on decorating the box. Or put locks on it so only our gang gets to open it and look inside. Look at the life on this planet! The amazing, unique, unbelievable life. So diverse, so crazy some times, so challenging and yet so comforting. Every box we have ever made to define life, creation, the spirit fails.
The problem is that after several hundred years of building the box, decorating the box and managing the box, we think the box is all there is. And the fact that the box may be only a part, and a small part at that, is devastating for some. Eyes up, look around, focus outward. There is so much life out there to get to know. Eventually the box will be seen for what it is, a small, limited artifact.
And in the meantime, it is time to dance. I mean that. We need to celebrate life like never before. The power of death looms right now. War, famine, climate change and all the politics and power seeking that enable it. Everything we do must counter that. There is no time for playing with boxes, constantly fussing with them. Get out and dance with other people who celebrate life. Plant trees, play with children, create art, make sure your community is cared for, visit elders, build soil. Work with others for something larger if you can. Promote life and live.
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