“God’s not doing it, so wondered if you could do it Vicar?”
A phrase I heard yesterday, it made me laugh, but I have been chewing over it in my mind all day.
It reminded me of a quote by A.W. Tozer: “If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the Church today 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament Church, 95 percent of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference”…
Archbishop Rowan Williams said that “Mission is finding out what God is doing and joining in” and scripture reminds us that if “God doesn’t build the house the workers labour in vain”.
The work of God and the work of his Church ought to be one and the same thing, yet we know sadly this is not always the case.
I could list the reasons why Gods Church sadly ends up getting out of step with Gods spirit and his heart, and it probably would sound like a real finger pointing and tub-thumping article, but that might not be altogether helpful.
Yet so often with Christian groups and Churches I want to yell STOP and ask afresh, “Where are you going? And is God leading you there?”
Or have you ended up there and Gods opinion on the matter is just assumed because your building has a cross on the top of it?
Or perhaps at Church meetings everything is descided before someone realises and says a quick prayer asking Gods blessing on what we have descided?
Moses was offered the opportunity to go into the promised land but without God going with them, Moses refused saying without God what would set them apart from the other nations of the earth.
The problem with the church, is the same as the problems of the human heart, it’s we want to be in control and we want things done our way and how we like them, we don’t naturally find sacrifice and surrender easy…
Graham Kendrick wrote of Church “each other’s needs to prefer for it is Christ we are serving” which is theological truth and wonderful aspiration, but the challenge for all of us in lets see this becoming a reality in our lives and in the life of us gathered together corporately as a Church.
Let’s be a group that talk less of our own needs, desires and opinions and instead seek the will, heart and direction of the one we are meant to follow.
Most theological problems stem from God not doing what we’d like him too, and then we need to ask is he involved in our mission? Or our we involved in his? Do we invite him into our Church? Or does he invite us into his? Whose leading who? Whose speaking and whose listening to who?