What will be your most significant spiritual moment this year? In the last post, we discussed where the magic happens spiritually and through the Old Testament, it often happened through the experience of exile, being outside of the homeland and the comforts provided there. Though we cannot choose exile, we can choose to put ourselves out there in faith—on mission and experience the same transformational experience offered to us in exile—just without the typical suffering involved.
Now the New Testament barely ever uses the theme of exile, except for a few
occasions. The first time was after the death of Stephen, the martyr who died because of his faith in Christ (and talking about it loudly in front of the wrong people). After that, a great persecution came upon the church, scattering it throughout the Roman world. It is this moment of exile that would seem to break the church, that it actually made the church and transformed the world. At first, it seemed like the church had been pulled up by the root like a weed. Instead, it was as if the persecution blew on the seed puff of the dandelion, scattering the seeds of the church throughout the world. These seeds eventually transformed the entire Roman world (think unfertilized yard here filled with yellow dandelion).
God is a wild God. Jesus had promised his followers that they would receive power from the Holy Spirit and that power will make them witnesses not just in their place of comfort, but beyond the borders of their comfort, race, geography and to the entire world. They receive the Holy Spirit, but they DIDN’T go. It was the persecution that sent them beyond the barriers of their comfort. Outside of the borders of their comfort, new opportunities emerged, new seeds were planted and the world has not been the same since.
How might the wind blow upon you in 2017? Follow in faith and you will never be the same….
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