My church background is pretty interesting and the things that I’ve learnt over my time in Stoke-on-Trent and especially at the YMCA has been eye-opening for so many reasons. I’m extremely grateful to God to be exposed to these things and experience a lot of them as well as observe them. The more I see new things and they connect with God the more I’m amazed at how wondrous and beyond my comprehension He is.
Something I’ve noticed is how certain corporate experiences in services and the like. In some settings there’s a great anticipation and expectation for something significant to take place. Sometimes when that expectation is met it knits people together in amazing ways that would not have been applicable in another setting. People have some memories they share of how God moved in their situation and it’s brilliant.
There is no doubting that the power of God is able to deliver people instantly from things that have been plaguing them for years. It is a reality that has been witnessed and celebrated time and time again. In all that expectation and anticipation it can sometimes, appear as though Christians live for spiritual highs. Almost as if occasions like that is their fix. The concern here is because of the painful work of sanctification that requires slower process work and it’s more about brothers and sisters supporting each other by being there for each other challenging and consoling one another as they bear each other’s burdens.
Although it is prevalent in New Testament epistles it does not appear as emphasised in the Christian experiences as the wonderful charismatic moments. It’s not an either/or situation, it is a both/and gig where there is an appreciation for what both brings to the table.
It’s a concern that comes from hearing and seeing people talk of an amazing move of God only to see them struggling to maintain any semblance of a Christian life afterwards. Rather than growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus, it just appears as though they’ve got their fix and just wait for the next one to come along. Is that what following Jesus is really about? Isn’t there something about actually changing in character from a selfish, sinful, slob of a slug of a sentient being, to a humble, mourning, meek, hungering & thirsting, merciful, pure and peacemaking personalities? Doesn’t that further reinforce the loving attitude that’s then developed with each other and the Spirit-filled life that comes from that, rather than an almost addictive power-driven desire for spectacle for self-gratification?
From this I have a desperate desire to see liberated people of faith gradually addressing their flaws and exercising their gifts and having an expectation and anticipation for God to show up, but not just in the wham, bam, thank you ma’am of charismatic events, but in the hum, drum, pedigree chum of regular life.
For His Name's Sake