Friday, 28 May 2010

Ultimately against the powers II

A while back I blogged about the powers. My thinking received some affirmation this week in a conference I attended looking at the relationship between geography, society and what is going on spiritually in an area. Among questions considered was the relationship (if any) between how an area is laid out and how people's lives play out, all the while trying to think in spiritual terms rather than pure human cause/effect.

A great aspect of the conference was that it was held in an interesting multi-cultural urban area, with all kinds of 'stuff' going on around it, rather than some detached nice conference venue somewhere. This made our discussions feel all the more acute.

Planning decisions, how people are housed, provision of amenities all factor into the equation. Yet we must not look in pure human terms, but seek God for insight into the 'behind the scenes' goings on. There is a curious interaction between human interactions and our decisions and the spiritual realm in all aspects of life.

It is not all gloom and doom, nor need we think there is a demon lurking within every building. We have Good News to share, and hope in God who redeems. Structural problems need not remain bad forever - confronted by the power of God even the most difficult of situations can experience grace and renewal.

We are not left without alternatives - Christ is risen!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Worth Resolving

What is Paul's life worth to him? Does he care about it. From Acts 20:24 it would seem not alot. Here is the New Century translation:
I don't care about my own life. The most important thing is that I complete my mission, the work that the Lord Jesus gave me - to tell people the Good News about God's grace.
It seems to me that Paul has resolved the same as his Lord, to do the will of the Father (see John 4:34). From that he derives his worth, nothing else.

Note that does not prescribe exactly how it should be played out. Paul could presumably have even a secular job, or any one of a range of possible earthly titles or labels, but within that still go about the Father's business of telling the Good News. Such jobs or positions would not give him his worth - that would come from his ability to pursue God's purposes.

So it should be for us. Does the organisation or 'system' you are in right now expect or presume certain things for you? What is the expectation of your friends? Does that seem to predicate you reaching or obtaining a certain status?

If so, consider thinking again. Your worth is not ultimately to be found there, but in God's purposes that may lie within it, or in some cases, may not.