A lot of people have a lot to say about what it means to be a believer and be the “church”. I know that whenever people get focused they can become very active in “religious activity” often missing the “LIFE” in between all the action.I have come to realize of late just how much we need to have real hope in our lives. We truly need to know who we are in Christ and understand that in Him all things come together, for us as people, and for us as His “body”. This does not entail organization or structure per se. It does mean valuing people for who they are and how Jesus sees them.
I have been walking these last few months in a very deep place. I have been walking with a friend in the “valley of the shadow of death”. Ian is my friend. Ian is dying. Ian has come to terms with his own mortality. More than this, Ian has rediscovered the God he knew in his boyhood. Ian has made peace with God, and in so doing, God has enabled him to make peace with his adult children, of whom he had been estranged for years. Miracle after miracle has occurred. Ian saw and experienced the blessing of God in this reconciliation with his family. Ian has been so blessed that he has embraced the Lord and His grace and mercy. Where before he accepted our prayers and love, we discovered as we prayed, he verbally expressed his heart to the Lord and to us. He was changing from the inside out.
We have walked with Ian and Dale (his spouse) these months in very real and intense place. We have seen the Lord by His Spirit touch lives, without our having to try to do anything.
Lori and I have focussed on the Lord and asked Him for what breaks His heart, and for His compassion. The Lord has continually just called us to walk with our friends in this difficult place and to love them. I am amazed what God has done in Ian and his family and in Dale and in ourselves. A whole new paradigm is taking place.
The paradigm is simply to love Jesus, embracing the place He has us in at this time, seeking His grace and His power for what lies ahead and asking for discernment for what we need to ask for and need to do in this place. John 5:19 speaks of Jesus only doing what He saw the Father doing, and Jesus not being able to do anything apart from the will of the Father. We are seeing that we need this attitude in our own lives, so that we will be able to do the same works of Jesus.
So brothers and sisters, embrace the Lord and the hard place, for He is in that hard place, seek His love, grace and wisdom, wait and pray, and then move in faith, doing the works of Jesus, tearing down the strongholds of the enemy, releasing life, and extending the Kingdom, one healing, one miracle, one sign at a time, one person at a time in one place at a time.
Remember the very words of Jesus….”Greater works than these shall you do in My name…” Isn’t it about time we were were doing greater works than these!!!
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The above blog post was written at a time when I was eclectic in my theological & biblical views and understanding. As of 5 February 2017 I am a functional cessasionist, that is, I believe the spiritual gifts, in particular gift like the vocative, prophetic gifts as well as healing & miracles have ceased. This means that my understanding is that at the end of the apostolic era, when the last apostle died (that would be John who was at Patmos & Ephesus, the author of the Gospel of John, Epistles of John & the Revelation of Jesus Christ, with his passing, the need for these particular gifts, the oracles of God given to men through the Holy Spirit, were no longer required. With the forming of the Canon of Scripture, there came to be no need for revelatory gifts. In fact in Revelation, John himself records the words of Jesus, “18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book. 19 And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share of the tree of life and the holy city, which are written about in this book.” [Revelation 22, CSB]
God is sovereign, still heals, still manifests in the miraculous, but not at the whim or the discretion of men. We pray and ask the Lord, and then we yield and surrender to His will, echoing the words and the spirit of Christ, “Not my will but your will be done.” [Luke 22:42].
I embrace and hold to a Reformed understanding of theology & Christian living in the world. I have abandoned my other views entirely. I would be more akin to a Reformed Baptist (1689 Confession) type of Reformed theology. I used to be a continuationist (akin to John Piper) but no longer.
God bless you as you seek to know Christ and the power of His resurrection [Philippians 3:10 CSB].
In the eternal grip of Jesus,
Samuel M. Buick
29 January 2018
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