Perhaps it was the mentioning of Mr. Spock in my last blog that awakened a memory in me of a conference I spoke at once. I don’t usually get names attached to prophetic words, however on this occasion I got two or three prophetic words along with the names of the people who they were for. I knew that God was asking me to step out and not only give the prophetic words but the names as well. I can’t say I found strong faith as the moment to share the words came. This was a first for me! With very wavering faith I gave the words. It was a great relief to find that people with the names I had been given by the Spirit of God were actually there! I guess it wouldn’t have really mattered if they hadn’t been. I would have just been humbled to get it so wrong in front of a crowd, and I guess there would have been some merit in that!
I am remembering one name and word from that nerve wracking moment. I felt I was to say to someone called Kirk that he was “to boldly go where he had not gone before,” which as every “Trekky” knows is where Captain Kirk always took the Starship Enterprise. There was something new, a new venture, an adventure that God was calling him into. Well, thankfully there was a young man called Kirk there, and he had come to the conference wondering if God was calling him into a certain type of church service and work and was looking for confirmation one way or the other from God.
I find myself wondering today if God is perhaps calling some of you who read these blogs into something new, but it seems such a change, a going to where you had not gone before, a doing what you have not done before, that there is perhaps a nervousness or a need for some sort of confirmation. When I came to Wester Hailes, I felt like that. Nothing in my background or previous ministry made this look like a sensible or understandable move, for it would mean ministering in a type of parish that was completely foreign to me. Yet, it has been a hugely fulfilling and indeed a very happy experience.
But even more than sharing my experience with you, it is good always to think of Jesus. I am thinking about Jesus as I write this blog… actually I try and think of Him a lot! Worshipped and celebrated in heaven, the will of His Father was for Him to come into a world where He would be despised ad rejected. As He became flesh for us, He experienced from the inside as it were, new things; temptation, pain, humiliation. He became familiar as a human being in human flesh with the very feelings of our infirmities. I am thinking too of Paul, a Hebrew of Hebrews, being asked to take the gospel to the Gentile world. He was so adaptable. To the Jews he became as a Jew, to those under the law as one under the law, to those without the law as one without the law, weak to those who were weak. God seemed to ask him to cross frontiers, to boldly go where he had not been before and mix with people that nothing in his life experience would have suggested would ever happen.
Have you ever realised that the heroes of faith mentioned in Hebrews 11 were all asked to take steps of faith that had no precedents, and which in a sense no one could ever have predicted for them either? I think I heard R.T Kendall make that point at CLAN Gathering once. In a sense that comforts me very much at this moment. In having to step back from full time parish ministry for health reasons, it is not that I am taking a path no one else has ever taken, but it is certainly new territory for me. I am beginning to conquer the fear of all the changes… and starting to feel the excitement of an explorer, walking in places I have not stepped upon before.
Is there change afoot for you? When you are as sure as you can be it is God behind this invitation into other worlds than your familiar one, boldly go…. or if boldness seems to be too much of a stretch, still go! That is true courage…. to feel the fear, and do it anyway.