In search of the orriginal…

We are bombarded. If, like me, you have embraced  facebook and forums, can’t turn off your mobile, and check your emails constantly then you are bombarded too.

I think the greatest invention of my lifetime is the Walkman. This is because it ultimately gave birth to the iPod, which in turn led to an explosion of wonderful, wonderful podcasts. There is a fantastic banquet of epic proportions laid out for internet savvy Christian who has access to iTunes (other podcast systems are available…).

And I can’t get enough! Thank you Father for your provision!

Not an Original Idea in Sight

When I teach I often joke, saying that I have yet to have an original thought. I find that when I teach, its usually a smorgasbord of all the other teaching that I have been bombarded with other the last months. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing! However, wouldn’t it be great to have something really original to say? To be frank, I have had some original ideas,but just to give credit where its due here’s my list of sources – well, some of them – you’ll find their influences through out my teaching!

  • Derek Prince
  • Creflo Dollar
  • Chris Vallouton
  • Dallas Willard
  • Leslsy Malpas
  • CS Lewis
  • Crispin Fletcher-Louis
  • Helen Eldon
  • NT Wright
  • Bob Craine
  • lots more..

All that’s good of course – you listen, you filter, you assimilate you pray over. But I crave the original.

The original in your hands…

I am convinced that God has much to say. There is an inexhaustible supply of fresh insight for us, waiting. Derek Prince said something along the lines, respectfully, that the bible is “Nothing more than black marks on white paper” if the Holy Spirit doesn’t make it alive. You can read it, and its interesting, maybe even beneficial, but you need the Holy Spirit to bring the words to life.

The words in the bible have to be applied to our situations. If they aren’t, it can do your head in. When the Holy Spirit of God breathes on a passage, often just a line or two, and applies them directly into our lives it is life and health and food and drink. Now there’s my original thought.

To my experience the original most often comes when I draw away. Get quite. Just me, and my bible (and sometimes coffee…).

Maybe, its easier to download a new Chris Voluton, read a theological tome, ask the wife, than it is to draw away, still your mind, and listen to God. He’ll bless in what you listen too, if you apply it (remember that Wise man building his house upon the rock). But when you get away on your own, turn off the teachers, and focus on loving logo –  the unobtainable original becomes possible!

Well, there’s my original thought.,

Finding your purpose

Believe in the sent one

When all is said and done…

“The work of God for you” replied Jesus, is to believe in the one whom He has sent to you” – John 6. Philips

The disciples had just asked Jesus “What must we do to carry out the work of God”.

On the surface its a really good question, seemingly. The disciples are expressing their desire to carry out the work of God. Sure, they would have mixed motives. But lets be generous to them – they had just seen Jesus feed 5000 men, walk upon the raging sea, and the boat they were in mysteriously transported to their destination.

The people had responded to the dispaly of the miraculous by wanting to make Him king, and so Jesus had gone off on His own. Its at this point that, after the searching disciples had found Him that they ask Jesus their question – “What must we do to carry out the work of God? ”

Jesus had a different agenda. We must learn to hear His agenda through the rush of our own. I am with the disciples. I want to carry out the work of God. And I would have said that the work of God is all that “Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven” stuff. But, as so always is the case, I would be looking at from a fleshy perspective. Like them, I wanted to be going out all guns blazing, making a difference, seeing the captives go free.

But Jesus has a difference idea – the work of God for the disciples, at that time, was nothing more than to believe in the “Sent One”. To look at Jesus and to believe Him. Nothing more. No “Go and do this” or “Take this ministry”. The other stuff clearly came – look at the disciples later on – their relationship with Jesus changes (servants to friends), and after Pentecost they see dramatic warfare. But it looks like, at that stage the emphasis was on “believe in the one that God has sent to you.”

You don’t have to be “Mr Discerning” to sense in the church a great frustration at its powerlessness. We hear of great break through, but its always somewhere else. Every so often Here, we get “glimpses of glory”. The frustration is everywhere – in the homegroup I run, in the Healing Group I take part in, on podcasts I listen to. Some people call this “Holy Frustration” which has always seemed like an odd idea to me.

So, maybe for us our work at the moment is to “Believe in the Sent One”. Could it be, that we can’t move on to inherit the land until we do this? Might it be beneficial for us to take a step back, and check on our “Belief in the Sent One”? Could it be that we are tyring to build the house without its foundations, or on the sand…