Thursday, October 25, 2007

Guerrilla Spirituality

"How can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a foreign land? If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill . May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy." Psalm 137:4-6

For one reason or another, there has been a reduction of services at the church I attend... to the point where in all likelihood there will only be one service a month at a time I can attend.
This has made me start to think about where I'm going to go invest my time on Sundays a bit more. There's been a belief in my church that God would strip it right down... and then, in time, begin a revival... against all odds. Now it would appear we are in the time between times
Those of us who are affected the most have got some thinking to do.

One positive thing is that our home group may meet more frequently.
When it comes to Sundays though, I suspect we may for a time at least... take different paths.

No doubt, we will be encouraged to attend the main church in the "minster model"... that would be the church of St. Nicholas in my hometown. However, I feel that in my teenage years, God called me away from that place for various reasons. Now I do return on seldom occasions... and I dare say there is unfinished business there between us, but it's not a place for me to get spiritually fed on a regular basis.

Though I am saddened to lose the opportunity to worship regularly at a church I am familiar with... I believe the right thing for me to do is to get out there and go from church to church, learning from and having fellowship with friends who are in different places. I thrive on fellowship, I'm like a sponge... I soak up the moisture in my surroundings.... and I benefit a lot from being able to share what I have learned with others.

So I'm going guerrilla.

I'm going to use the home groups and what remains of services at my regular church as pit stops... and I'm going to move in, out and about other believers - drawing strength from their gifts and doing my best to return the favour with the gifts God has given me... as I begin to learn more about them.
Many would say this is unwise "you must be grounded in a regular church". However, Jesus moved about from town to town... and so did the apostles:

"The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." John 3:8

But I also must do my best not to forget the promises God has made... and that is why I copied the quote from Psalm 137 at the top of this post (that same passage was given to me, to help other people who felt dejected about some of the decisions that had been made).

When we were praying on Monday, I felt God put a passage on my heart... I felt it was for those of us gathered... but since that time, I've had a feeling there is particular significance for myself in it:

"If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people."

The LORD replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."

Then Moses said to him, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?"

And the LORD said to Moses, "I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name." Deuteronomy 33:13-17

It's clear that wherever I go, I need to listen to God very closely... when he tells me to "go", I need to go. When he says "wait", I need to wait.
At the end of the day, if we are at all serious about discipleship... we have to be mindful of Jesus's response to the man who said they would follow him wherever he would go... and I'll leave you with that as a final challenge to ponder:

"When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go."
Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." Matthew 8:18-20

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:19 pm

    Nick, many MANY of his dear one have gone guerrilla in the last few years. It is definitely a time of being separated unto Himself for many, and these children are emerging from this time as pure gold, refined for Him. :)
    Be very encouraged and courageous as you fallow His leading.


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