OK… so why?

Now we have the right question. I remember going to Wales with a prayer team some 20+ years ago. We were hosted in a local hotel and as I walked through the door I said ‘this place is haunted’. A few wide eyes from some of the team with me, and we walked to reception, where there was a little note – our hotel is the home also of xxx who walks the corridors of this hotel…’

What should we do. My response was, ‘I am here to sleep, if there will be any disturbance it will be me disturbing this spirit.’ [Now some 20 years later and having dialogued with [Anglican] advisers to bishops on the para-normal I might have a few more ‘categories’ than I had back then. Back then, pentecostal boy, saw everything not of God as demons.]

I have been privileged to be asked into homes of those who are not ‘believers’ (but if invited in are they not at some level a ‘believer’?) to deal with doors banging randomly, apparitions manifesting etc.. I remember in Leatherhead my neighbour talked to me over the fence asking for some help. I went round and said – ok come with me, and together we will sort this out. At the end he crossed himself the way I do as he was from a Catholic background, she went the other way as she was from an Orthodox background – I didn’t, as back then I did not cross myself. Not sure if I would do it differently now – back then it was simple, this is a demon that is attached to the house due to the trauma left from a previous owner.

So back to yesterday’s post… Paul what did you do?

Three months later we set sail on a ship that had wintered at the island, an Alexandrian ship with the Twin Brothers as its figurehead (Acts 28:11).

Twin brothers – the gods / semi-gods Castor and Pollux. OK bring it up to date. We go buy a car, and the salesperson proudly says – you have a great vehicle here and we have dedicated this car, complete with naming ceremony to the god who oversees all travel. What would we do? Refuse to buy it? Cast out the demons? Take it to the local church and ask them to sprinkle it / submerge it fully? Although a little humorous I think such a car would create a few questions for us.

So Paul what did you do?

Wrong question.

He might have emabarked with a good old ‘shaba dabba’ and confronted the powers behind the image – after all he said images are nothing, but behind them lie demons. Or he might have simply cast them a sideways look, went to his bunk and slept, not even giving them the time of day.

The Bible doesn’t tell us cos it would be so detrimental – we would do what he did. Not a good idea. We need to do what we need to do, and as far as possible for the same reason as Paul did what ever he did.

I wrote to a group recently about a shift in a situation from ‘heavenly warfare’ to the entrance of the warfare on the earth – always a key transitional moment. I said for some it might mean intense prayer, for others a glass of wine.

Not… never what… always why.

What did you do (Paul)?

Wrong question

I was once in a gathering many moons ago when the speaker (Sharon Stone… no not the actress) asked ‘how many of you have walked around a building or a block seven times, claiming it for the Lord?’. In my element I was one who enthusiastically put up my hand. She paused for a moment and then said, ‘You did that because you did not hear from God, you read it somewhere.’

Her point was made. We copy. We want to find out what was done before, so we quickly look for some mud and spittle (any spit will do) and carry it with us waiting for the miracle to happen. Joshua did not have a ‘Bible’, he heard God and acted. Jesus did not have a manual to refer to.

We like to know and then treat the Bible like a rule book, a manual to tell us what to do. I think it is more like fuel in the tank for OUR journey that a detailed map or instruction manual.

I like the big missing pieces in Scripture. Was Paul opinionated and difficult to get along with? Not really too relevant (might be interesting but so what?). More relevant is what about Martin? (I hope not now using it as an instruction manual) but we read of what is required of leaders in some of the ‘pastoral letters’: two quite good principles there – what happens in the home, and what do the neighbours think? Public and private… mind the gap.

I was shaped by a movement that I am deeply grateful for but in those early days we had / were on the journey of discovering what the shape of biblical church was. I think now not so smart, or might only get us so far… after all let’s assume we get the answer we are looking for, we could well be in danger of getting a ‘new wineskin’ but wineskins do not produce wine.

Paul, what did you do when you got were inside that vehicle, and inside it for days, and was informed that it had been dedicated to two demonic powers? That I am really interested in. I need to know cos then I will know what to do. And the BIBLE? Wonderfully silent. It is the wrong question. We can do the what… march around 7 times; pray and fast and ‘deal’ with the principalities; determine what and how ekklesia should be. All wrong questions. ‘WHY?’ I think ‘why’ is the question that we need to engage with. (More tomorrow.)