Soaring heights and desperate lows; excitement for things to come and grief for what has transpired in the world. So much has occurred in the past few weeks. I have watched myself argue from pre-conceived notions not firmly grounded in scripture (simply tradition in me I didn't know existed) just shatter on the ground. Humility and struggle. Like Peter Parker in Spiderman quoted, "with great power comes great responsibility," which I contend that he ripped off from one of Jesus's parables. It's my prayer that what I have learned doesn't fall away from me in my pride but is put into practice,there inlies the burden.
Since the last update I have sought time to pause and reflect on new things I've learned, but then the next day comes with it's new sets of revelation. Jesus message is radical. The Jesus of the Bible is not the Jesus of my culture. Jesus came to redeem all cultures and backgrounds. Eternity has been written on the hearts of every man and without Christ to provide the over-arching narrative to ones life, he will search for stories that shape his existence that simply don't satisfy. Whether it's the Greeks and their mythology or Americans and our Visa cards, man has been on the search for something greater than themselves to explain daily occurrences and surroundings; the search for a Savior.
Being content just living in the Fathers presence has taken away my happiness found in earthly things. I have found myself in this strange state of being able to just watch a sunset or hear a story of how my God has changed someone and just cry out of joy. Visa cards and other quick fixes that promise happiness have lost their neon glow in my heart. Looking back over my life I have seen polarized experiences shape my outlook on the world, I feel that God is balancing my heart out and bringing me to where He wants me to be (especially now) - and thats hopelessly in need of my Father to guide me. When my pre-concieved ideas of what a "christian" is have disintegrated over the last year as defined by church attendance/activity , the world and religious activity lose all luster. What has happened to get me here? Im still baffled actually, it's nothing I did....
- When I was 19 I just got back from attending a charismatic church and I felt sick to my stomach witnessing what I thought where outright perversions taking place (and maybe some of it was). After, I debated with the woman pastor about how her church was evil etc , and in a way I'm going to paraphrase because I don't understand fully what happened as she didn't really answer my question: "I cast out the spirit of judgement in you! In Christs name!!" .... I proceeded to speak in tongues without control while weeping. I have never in my life gone from anger to weeping. Ever. From that day on whatever theologies I had been taught on how "God simply doesn't do that anymore" got thrown to the wind. Since that time It has never happened to me again but my God is so much bigger than what I have been cognitively taught to perceive. That was not the devil, the devil is not in the business of bringing glory to God.
-Being a conservative republican with a low interest in social justice my comfortable world was shaken as I started to see "Gods economy" of love at work when I worked along side illegal immigrants in the dusty fields of Australia. Working next to mothers that have not seen there children in: 5,7,10 years does something to your outlook and compassion to members of the "global south" as we are taught at home that's the way it is. Social justice in itself is just social justice, in Christ though, all things are found in there fullness. What is my response to the world and it's suffering?... or do I just change the channel to something that doesn't force me to change the lavish way I live that in the end provides no real sense of joy but I will hold on to it with all that I possess out of fear.
-I'm not sure how much suffering I have experienced that I didn't directly cause but the polar opposite of that is the JOY that comes from walking in obedience with Christ. The outward man is dying but the inner man is being renewed daily. Theres a reason we where made like fragile jars of clay- the clay never gets the glory above the potter. Out of our cracks (through bruises, sadness, failure) and over the top of our rims God love that we simply can't contain should flow out of us. Jars of "Enclosed Steal" wouldn't be a effective way for the creators glory to be showcased as the steals strength would be simply manifested through itself without need of a Caretaker to look after it. I'm thankful for how fragile I'm , it forces me to trust in Him - that and baldness. Our temporal struggles are eclipsed by His glory. We must allow him to flow from us. Our lives should be prayer. All of these things have challenged the way I view God in the world. When done incorrectly, theology is just a way of putting God in a box when in reality (if there was a "box") we simply can't contain him to what we are comfortable with. The more I "learn" the less I know- the more I become dependant on Him.
Life here in New Zealand has been amazing. Not because I love it here, but for what has been revealed to me. Christ has come to make all things new, I want that to be the reality in which I live, not the cheap reality and fear the world has to offer. In a world where evil is published and celebrated, movies about murder get played and watched with glee when murder occurs in this world. People are starving to death while we watch movies about people getting murdered. Sorry about the David Downer on you right now- I guess this is what happened when I have weeks of pent up anguish. In this season of Easter I want to shift my focus from things that grieve the Spirit to things that bring/expand Gods kingdom here on earth. This is the prayer of my heart. He died for the world, not just the people/countries I like. He makes all things new and thats how I want to live- free from fear and full of love. May you be blessed as you search for Him, salvation stories are found everywhere in our world from Visa Cards/Binge eating/Heroic movies/Music , but only one true Salvation Story should be focused on and lived in. Share that story with people still living under "mythologies." Proclaim to the WORLD the reality that Christ Jesus has brought from above. Amen.
Your kingdom come , Your will be done Father. Hosanna in the highest.