There’s someone reading this and you’ve got a pain in your neck and shoulders.
As I type those words, I don’t actually know them to be true. Given the number of readers of this blog, and given that they are all “computer people” who are given to the strains of sitting at a computer for all or part of the day, it’s a safe bet.
There’s some reading this and you’ve got pain in your neck and shoulders and Jesus wants to heal you.
The first part of the sentence is covered by the law of averages, the second part is a categorical statement based on my belief that healing is the “normal,” but we’re prevented from seeing it frequently because of lack of faith or sin. In other words, Jesus is still positively disposed and favourably inclined to heal, but because of a variety of factors, we don’t see healing at a rate the first century Christ followers experienced it.
Jesus is healing someone right now of pain in the neck and shoulders.
That statement would be a word of knowledge; were it not a word which I wrote in my own flesh. (Though granted, there may be someone with such a pain for whom my choosing their condition as my “for example,” provides the faith-lift they need to see God really do something special.)
My point is that we can sometimes make categorical statements knowing that they are by no means false.
There’s a man here in church this morning and you’re struggling with an online addiction to pornography.
If the church is bigger than 20 people, I’m betting that it’s not rocket science to safely make that statement. We know that peoples’ lives are constantly in flux and change when it comes to the things of the Holy Spirit. So it was that I once heard someone say this:
There are two kinds of people here today; you’re either moving toward the cross or moving away from the cross.
Again, not rocket science. Hearts burning ever brighter towards God versus hearts growing cold. It happens. People chomping at the bit for the next steps God has for them, versus people who are a heartbeat away from walking out the church, putting the Bible on the shelf at home, not soon to return to either. It happens.
The line is also used in marriage counseling. The pastor will take the husband and wife into the sanctuary and put them on opposite sides of the auditorium facing the platform; then tell them to start walking towards the cross. Then he’ll tell them, “When you’re moving towards the cross, you can’t help but be drawn closer to each other.”
Someone else put it:
There are two kinds of people here, those whose best days spiritual are ahead of them, and those whose best days spiritually are already behind them.
Of course, there are no limits on what God can do down the road, and no limits on how he can use even our hardened hearts or closed minds to speak to us.
We are encouraged to look out for each other. Love and encourage those whose faith is weak; who are in a spiritual valley. Love and celebrate with those who are experiencing mountain top experiences. You don’t need a word of knowledge to know this; the law of averages says there are people around you in both categories. You don’t need to know whether someone falls into one category or the other; you simply reach out to people where you find them, and God will show you what to do next.
I am responsible for my own spiritual health, but I need to be aware that there are people around me who are writing their own story. I need to support those structures that give them — and all of us — context to help move towards the cross; to see the best days in our walk with God ahead.
So how about you? Best days yet to come, or coasting on some experience that took place years ago? Start moving towards the cross!
|Passionate Worship Music Not Sold in Stores
One of my employees just put me on to a YouTube cut of a passionate vocalist, Kim Walker singing at Jesus Culture event in California for an indie recording project called We Cry Out. The nearly 9-minute song is called Oh, How He Loves Us and you can watch at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoC1ec-lYps
Left Behind Theology
“Two women will be working in the field, one will be taken and one left behind.” If those words have always modified a Thessalonians passage for you that deals with being “caught up to meet the Lord in the air,” chances are you’re a big fan of Left Behind theology. Open to other possibilities? In the blogroll, go to “sermons” and click on “Greg Boyd / Woodland Hills” and either download or listen to the sermon for February 15th. Or use this quick link: http://www.whchurch.org/content/page_173.htm