Monday, August 26, 2013
Ken Costa – “Be changed to change”
This week we will be reflecting on some of the teaching material from the second week of New Wine, and these blog posts will present snapshots presented with a little licence as daily devotionals.
PUT YOUR ‘BUT’ IN THE RIGHT PLACE
THE year we are living in, 2013, has been characterised by The Economist as ‘The March of Protest’. Across the world, 50% of people live in cities and the infrastructure of those cities cannot cope. The extent of unemployment among 18 to 25 year olds is a scandal. Trust has been broken between people and institutions following discoveries of outrageous wrongdoing in the City of London and across the National Health Service.
There’s a deep hunger at this time but few know what that hunger is for.
People talk about ‘digital feeds’ but what sort of food is in mind? Among other things, the UK has risen to be the world’s third largest producer of online pornography.
Ken showed a picture of whale watchers on a boat. In the foreground of the picture (as it appeared in the Daily Mirror, below) was a huge 40-tonne humpback whale, but everyone on the boat, off Baltimore, Co Cork, could be seen to be steadfastly gazing in the opposite direction – a picture of both search and distraction.
Acts 1 depicts disciples in an extraordinary time and struggling. They ask Jesus a final question, just before the Ascension: “Lord, are You at this time going to restore the kingdom to israel?” After three years with Jesus it could be said that they had learned… nothing.
However the word to them (Acts 1:8) was: “But you will receive power…”.
So before we achieve, we need to receive, and in particular we need to realise the calling God has for us and our lives at this time.
Through all this dysfunction there is great opportunity. Jung spoke of those not mentally ill but stuck in dysfunctional living. Perhaps this is captured in the title of the Coldplay song Lights will guide you home.
Paul (or rather Saul, as he was known then) was an example of someone stuck in dysfunction and driven by a zeal in a wrong direction, which needed a ‘flash exposure’ to reveal, underlying the wrong direction, a true call of God. Ananias knew about Saul’s reputation and actions as a persecutor, but he heard from God: “But I have chosen him…”
BREAK A ‘BUT’ AND BIRTH A DESTINY
When “But God” is birthed in you, the dysfunctional “but I” is buried.
At the height of the recent financial crisis – would the Eurozone survive? – every economist was proposing a solution, but all eyes were on the head of the European Central Bank to make the defining pronouncement. And he did. He said that we would do “…whatever it takes”.
Will you covenant to do “whatever it takes” to bring change to this country? Will you buy into something bigger than yourself, in the words of Psalm 61, “The rock that is higher than myself…”. To persevere, as Andy Murray described his gradual rise to tennis supremacy: “I think I just persevered. Every year I improved a little.”
Don’t let the “buts” of other people mess your life up!