Ask Wayne a question here, or suggest one for the group to answer as a new topic.
If someone asked you just what it is you believe, how would you answer in a simple, concise way? (I am still blown away by the conversation you had with the atheist on the plane, Wayne.) I am curious about others’ responses as well.
Bobbe, I often respond something like this: The One who created heaven and earth wants to be a Father like you’ve never known and he loves you more than anyone on this planet ever has or ever will. Learn to live in that reality and your life will be an incredible adventure of love and life.
But I don’t have a stock response for anyone. What I say to someone always honors the uniqueness of the moment–who they are as an individual, how well I know them, what’s going on in their life at the moment, and what the Spirit nudges me to say if anything
But is this the “more” Wayne? You seem to be walking that out. Like Bobbe says that conversation you had with the guy on the plane blows me away too. That friend of yours who meets with the Muslim Imam for lunch, he too seems to be walking out the “more”.
Me? Not so much. It does not matter how clear the picture I see of who God calls us as this Bride to be, it is just still a vision. A picture, I dont see it walked out where I am. Maybe I am walking around with my eyes shut, maybe I have expectations of this splendid thing that are invalid and fruitless?
Most days the fire of who I believe she is becoming is a bright white flame, but today when I wrote and read what I wrote this morning, I checked myself, for where do I see the “more” in and around me? My conversations at work where I spend the best part of most my days are fun and engaging but i cant see the “more”. I share my house now with my family and grand children and it is wonderful… but that thirst for more is not quenched, it is just distracted.
I think for me it is back to the drawing board again. Somehow I have missed it, in loving and being loved I think I must have lost sight of the wood in the trees. Lost sight of this glorious thing as she grows amongst us, within us, almost a secret, still a mystery, maybe that is where I have stubbed my toe, I am looking for her out there when she is most truly present in me? I dont know for surely she needs to be both? Maybe tomorrow I will feel less alone and more able to see again.
Hi Anne. To me the “something more” is always the person and reality of Jesus. That may sound trite to some and I don’t mean it that way. Whatever God is doing around me, and what he is saying to me and how that plays out in the circumstances and people around me is the “something more.” For too many years I looked to movements, programs, feelings, gatherings, and so many other things to be the something more and they never satisfied. They couldn’t. Though they are not valueless of themselves they are not the something more. He is. Walking with him each day and see what he is doing in people and situations around me satisfies my heart at the deepest level, and the growing awareness of those things allows me to be in awe almost every day and in gratitude every night as I lay down to sleep of what Jesus is doing around me and in the world these days.
It can be as spectacular or as subtle as he wants at any particular season, but when we find our way into those unforced rhythms of grace, there is no sense of unsatisfied longing for something more. I am contented in what is. And that doesn’t mean I have hope for even greater things ahead, but I now know that the unfolding of glory is his to do, not mine.
If that helps…
Wayne in Thousand Oaks, CA
I love this. I am trying to live daily with this reality. Circumstances around me and in me have varying degrees of obvious Spirit-touch. I am coming to realize that not everything has to be obvious to me. I can rest in what He is doing, whether it is clear to me or not.
Thanks for your responses, Wayne. I know there is no “stock response.” In the past, I think my responses to “What do you believe?” got bogged down in theology, instead of relationship. I am interested in the responses of others so that I can be more clear about my own when asked.
Anne—Sometimes, I know my expectations are the problem. Sometimes, I just need to lay them down and ask Him to let me be part of the mystery and the glory. To teach me to love Him and to love those He brings into my path.
How would you define the Kingdom of God?
I know it’s spoken of often as a Mystery and it is a little study into the scriptures that I am doing which I feel is an answer to a prayer asking Father to help me get interested into the bible again without the guilt and past raising it’s head. I feel it’s working and felt today to pose this question to see how you would come at it. Can it be placed in a short simple answer?
Ian in Colnbrook. Berkshire UK
I like Dallas Willard’s definition, “The kingdom of God is the effective range of God’s will.” It’s where what God wants becomes real in us and in circumstances around us. Of course, that is tied up in our free will and the free will of others. The kingdom is offered at this point, not forced. Where our wills align with his, the kingdom comes! It can in habit any circumstance and shape us in it. It does not overrun the will of others, but it shapes us in the midst of a broken world and allows his kingdom to come, in the same way it did through the life of Jesus.
Oh I love that, the effective range of God’s will…
I’m busy reading “Paradox Lost” one of your recommendation, and it goes into an interesting little part in the first few opening lines, where this little line appears, "How can God still work his plan in my life when my free will keeps getting in the way and messing it up?
It is an interesting idea to wrestle with and as it has unfolded over the last few months I find that chapter so aptly named "A Strange Sort of Comfort."
Whilst looking into this I almost feel that I can understand the process of Father aligning my will to come alongside his. Example, I want something I feel is right for me, or is my desire, Father sees a better idea or way that will help and no matter how much I think He is not helping me, He actually is. It’s in that realisation that His will is winning me to a better place. In effect His range of His will is increasing in my daily life.