I am not talking about Storm Doris!
I have a wonderful notebook entitled, “Things my brain won’t let me remember.” I think it could well have quite a few companions alongside it in years to come. I found something in it today that I had forgotten I had written there. I confess I have no idea who Doris Kareva is and I resisted the urge to Google her to make it sound as though I did know so that you would think me more clever than I am! However, at some stage my notebook shows I wrote down some lines from a poem she wrote:
The question isn’t
how to be in style
how to live in truth
in the face of all the winds
Sometimes the way that the need to obey the command of Scripture to “Keep in step with the Spirit” is interpreted is that the times are changing and the way God does things is changing (not sure who told the unchanging God this) and the church needs to change in what it says and what it does too. Well, “Keeping in step with the Spirit” is more than that, albeit that of course we need not to be lazy or unimaginative and must seek to be relevant and do things in a relevant way. Remember though that the way of Christ faithfully followed will at times make us look extremely irrelevant to the life of the world. In fact you cannot be a true disciple of Jesus unless you are at least prepared to be thought of or laughed at as a complete irrelevance to our contemporaries without us trying to cause that. Faithfulness to Christ will mean that at times ,for sure, we will not be admitted to the tables of leaders and decision makers in the various aspects of human endeavour; despite qualifications to be there, we will find ourselves ostracised, kept out. (Have we forgotten that we are following one who said, “The world hates me, because I testify of it that its works are evil,”? It is not a matter of if only the world at large understood Jesus better everyone would want Him and it is the church that needs to apologise for its bad representation of Christ, needed though such an apololgy may be at times! They would not, without an operation of the Holy Spirit by the grace of God to free those we are representing Christ to from a deep seated humanly inescapable resistance and rebellion against God in which we all as beleivers once shared.) At other times we may be admitted to places of influence in the church and/or the world. Whatever, Scripture and the God of the Scriptures speaks in very strong and hostile terms indeed of those of His people who move boundary markers in the land, effectively saying “mine” to something that is not our territory at all to deal with as we choose, or wish, or see as being fit and sensible . You can work out the spiritual application of that for yourself.
Well, whether the aforesaid Doris Kareva is a Christian or not, I have no idea, but I close with some more of her words which should be read as flowing on from the words quoted above:
with mindfulness, courage,
patience, sympathy –
how to remain brave
when the spirit fails.
If we are called to preach or teach God’s Word, to lead His people, or to encourage the church in its mission, I hope there may be sufficient fear of the Lord in our being not to feel we can pick up and move the boundary stones as we choose even if the intended result of doing seems like a good goal to aim for. After all we want to bring ourselves and God’s people into the promised blessings of God not the promised curses don’t we? Remember, all His promises are pure, like silver refined in a furnace seven times , not just the nice ones. It is as much a reason to fear God ,in the humble and proper way, as it is to rejoice in Him with humble and proper joy, that He will fulfil His Word.
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