Article 1: Our changing world (4 min read)
How do we respond to this daily changing landscape?
Firstly we can draw comfort from our Father’s presence. We have a family vision that begins with us building our life around the presence of Jesus. Practicing his presence, the deliberate times we pause and welcome his refreshing love, or we may put the worship on in the car or at home. The times we may walk the dog or open our Bible to draw strength from his presence for our body, mind, soul and spirit. We were created to live with a conscious sense of him being with us. Sometimes we can feel him in our physical bodies, other times we are aware of him in our emotions but at all times we are can draw on the Holy Spirit strengthening and assuring our spirits (Romans 8:16, Matthew 28:20). He dwells in us and when we turn to him, even for the tiniest fraction of time, we open a door way for Heaven’s culture, peace that is beyond logic or understanding to flood in.
'You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.'
Secondly we can listen for his voice in this new season. So much of the traditions, systems, structures that define our daily lives are being shaken in our family life, work life and the life of the nation. There is a need to live in uncertainty and to be comfortable not being able to control the next few days, weeks and months. So there is huge opportunity to depend on God in new ways. That’s why the Holy Spirit reminded us to feed on God faithfulness (Psalm 37:3) as a family the last time we met together before we began meeting online (message can be found here). As Peter found out (John 12-17) in those last few hours before the Garden of Gethsemane, we are asked by Jesus to live life in his voice, his words daily. This will look like opening the Bible, remembering Scripture, turning on the audio Bible, reading a devotional encouragement, checking in with a daily reading app etc and longing for his relationship. When we need certainty in a world of real uncertainty, we can listen daily and find security in his voice. God longs to be gracious and compassionate to us (Isaiah 30:18) and he is waiting to care for every detail of our lives. Perhaps you may now get out that journal or app and write down the things God encourages you with, or reminds you of, as we still our hearts to listen. Why don’t you write down everyday something to be thankful for alongside that everyday as the Bible links God’s peace in our hearts with thankfulness (Colossians 3:15)?
'Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe'
Lastly I believe we can offer ourselves as instruments of Kingdom transformation as our worship in this season. Our spiritual act of worship is so much more than a few hours a week but the consecration of our everyday life for his kingdom (Romans 12:2). Consecration means devotion to one heavenly purpose and in the past many have tried to engage with God’s instructions for living by separating from the everyday and living apart. The Holy Spirit inside us will keep us from sin if we are living in our first and second point, practising his presence and listening to his voice. But now more than ever Father God wants to speak to us about transforming the very normal parts of life at home, in family, at work, in our community. If we will consecrate these parts of our life the potential in this season is unlimited. This is where I feel so full of expectancy and hope. Things that felt so permanent, immovable, obstructive, closed to God’s love and mercy are all of sudden open and ready for God’s presence to move in. We could never have predicted this season, even when the prophetic voices of Jesus’ body have spoken dimly of what is happening globally. If we offer ourselves in this season, if we step out of the pattern of those who have no hope, I believe Father has leaves of his tree of life, creative solutions and anointed ideas, to give us that will heal national problems as well as the difficulties of our immediate communities. We are called to serve those around us in love, to serve in humility but with power.
‘Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb… On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.’
‘But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.’
Father I turn my attention to you today and ask you to fill me again with your presence, right here, right now. I receive your comfort, compassion and grace. I turn my ear to you and with all my heart want to live listening to your voice today and everyday. I’m ready to treasure your words and live in them. I offer myself again as your son or daughter, a citizen of your kingdom family and tell you I’m willing to serve those around me in love. I accept leaves of the tree of life to give to those around me. I trust you and receive hope and peace for this season.