Thursday, June 15, 2006

This is God in community...stop

Last night, at our cell group at Warwick University, we were talking about how God had led or 'called' us in our lives. The thing that struck me was that, yes, there were some really radical decisions that had been made (you don't make lifelong commitments or live in community because it seems like a nice idea), and yet - there were no 'telegrams from heaven'.

Sure, there were particular moments were God spoke fairly clearly to some of us, but mainly it was through unfolding circumstances, growing understanding and - this was probably the main one - relationships.

We often say (a bit parrot-fashion, if I'm honest) that people need to know that God is calling them before they commit to things like community. I wouldn't deny this... and yet...

Is it really valid to say, 'I'm waiting for God to call me to give up my personal possessions and my own life'? Hasn't He done that already? (Luke 14:33)

But, sure, people need to see it and to hear from God and to be sure, if they're gonna last the course. Jesus taught this kind of carefulness too, if you read the rest of Luke 14...

So what am I saying? I guess that we need to respond to the clear commands of Jesus in the gospels with honesty and with a process of weighing up how we can best live them out. For this we need to hear God and we need each other. Even Paul, who signed most of his epistles with 'Paul, called to be an apostle', discerned this call with the help of others (Acts 13:1-3).

My own journey into 'all things in common' community was a big mix: being filled with the Spirit, hunger for more of God, reading the Bible, some straight challenges from people, having my wallet nicked by a homeless lad, finding a spiritual 'Dad', revelation - and some 'holy coincidences' like asking God 'What should I do with my life?' then pressing play on my CD player to have the words 'The call is to community' sung out at me (a Michael Card song I seem to remember)! The whole process took about three years. Actually, what am saying: the process is still going on. God still calls.

And I still want to follow.


dee-braveheart said...

hi james
It was almost 15 years ago that community seed was planted deep in the depths of my heart.
I am still working through and i hope that within the next year i will be able to realise the dream that has been growing in my heart.
I clearly think that we can easily sit on the fence and say i am waiting till God says go on do it but as you point out he has in the scriptures it is not a point of knowing we have to say your will not mind GOd
and reaching the point of submission and freedom
surely it has to be doesn't it?

guess who said...

the call for commuinity is there in me too. im just not allowed to fulfil it for another 38 weeks

hannah said...

i used to think that god would have to come floating down on a cloud and tell me that i community is what he is calling me to. now i know that its not like that, i know what god is calling me to do. i am hoping that community will be a huge part of my future.

Anonymous said...

The call for community has been there for years for me and I will be there April next year - You can fight God but you won't win as I have found out. Funny thing is I am looking forward to it now I have decided to do something I didn't want to do.


dee-braveheart said...

that is weird adrian coz we are planing on april next year differnt household same time of year
wow that is so very strange
as for this
guess who said...
the call for commuinity is there in me too. im just not allowed to fulfil it for another 38 weeks
i am sure that we all know who that is

Adrian said...

Dee - it looks like the coventry region will fulfill its community targets next year then when everyone moves in in the spring :-)


normal said...

Hey, 'Guess Who' - you're gonna be great: and remember to keep receiving from God now and not to put it all off till then... and Hannah, we'd like you to be a big part of our future too! (Adrian - we need to pray for brothers!)

HR?I said...

of course im living for God now! moving into community wouldnt be much fun otherwise-and i might die before then.(i hope i dont cos i wont have fulfilled the community dream, but you never know...)