Sometimes I fear that the charismatic movement which began in the Spirit has ended in the flesh. The raw power of God has been transmuted into systems, processes, taught and learned but often not marked by as convincing results as claimed. I am not against learning “how to” as it were. God means His ways to be taught and learned. There are “systems” or processes taught in His Word. For example if we ask, seek and knock, He will give us His Holy Spirit. If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us ours sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. The thing is though, that God’s systems are based on relationship with Him, not merely on learning steps to a result from a motivational speaker. There is always a danger that trust in God degenerates into a series of magic chants invented by man even though using biblical language, with the Name of Jesus attached to them, without Jesus being honoured or even present.
Today I was reading in Romans 5 about the relational, the non magical journey to hope. (maybe you should read that Chapter before reading more of this blog!) Here are a few lines of a longer prayer I found myself praying and writing:
“…Today Father, I read of another journey of relationship in your Word, a journey that leads to a desirable and often sought place. Your Word tells me there is a “hope” we can reach that will never be disappointed. Father, so much deadness in life, lifelessness in eyes, lethargy of limb, dull beat of heart has settled upon people through hope which has proved false and mocked its own dying, only to rise again in some other mask or guise to grin at our grasping and gasping, showing its true face: the nightmare clown.
Father, the hope you give does not disappoint us. It is secure, for it is the fruit of assured love, your love shed abroad in our hearts by your Spirit. What a prize; what a treasure:a hope that does not die because its anchor is in that love which died and never dies.
Thank you, Father, for showing me the steps of the joyful dance of hope in your Word. “Trouble.. endurance,” steps one and two. Most dances begin with finding our feet move awkwardly, and the steps are difficult. “ Trouble… endurance” seem a long way from swirling with You and all who love You on the dance floor of each new day, but your Son is Teacher, Rabboni, who knows the steps, The Way. “Trouble, endurance… and then…character.” Lord, this is old time religion, that modern day religions of magic chants through mics have replaced. But it was good for our fathers, good for our mothers, good for Paul and Peter, so it is good enough for me. “Trials, endurance, character…hope…,” planted in Calvary, nurtured by the continual fertile living waters of your witnessing Spirit within.
I’ll stick with your Way, Lord, by your grace and help. I’ll learns to dance to the steps revealed, written, recorded. Raise up a generation of Josiahs, of every age and of each gender, who discover lost words and ways, the ignored Book of God, buried in our forgotten heritage.
Amen, let it be so! Amen!”
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