// revelation and risk

All morning i’ve been hearing stories from an event that was held yesterday. Crazy stories, it seems. Yesterday our church hosted a training day for something called ‘treasure hunting’, where people pray and ask God for the names and distinguishing features of people on the street, along with where they can be found, and then go and find them and pray with them. One girl had an image of two women, both with headscarves, one white and one aqua, outside a particular bus stop at a particular time, and showed up to meet precisely these women. Another met a girl beneath a specific tree, whose particular red coat had been accurately predicted by three separate people, and was able to pray for the friend with her, whose sore throat and tattoo were also accurately foreseen. There are many more stories, in similar detail, the sheer number of which raises big questions – the twelve people who went out came back with twelve separate stories of how they saw things predicted and then found them realised on the streets.

This is insane, right?

Except… except it’s not. In fact, it’s almost more insane to believe that this level of coincidence could occur any other way; i suppose you could argue that people had subconsciously noticed these guys on the streets earlier in the day if you were truly cynical, but they’d all been sitting inside for the previous two and a half hours before they stepped outside. And, i have to confess, it’s actually happened to me on a number of occasions recently, too. On at least three distinct occasions, i have been given an image of certain situations that have then been realised in exact detail. The first time it happened i shook it off, understandably a little disconcerted, but in truth, it keeps happening. To which the only (and frankly overwhelming) conclusion is that God is speaking. Here and now. To us.

The revelation of God leads us into action. Paul, knocked down on a road to Damascus, had a sudden and dramatic change of life; Peter and Barnabas, both visionaries whose lives were detailed in the Acts of the Apostles, saw visions that they then acted upon, both in dramatic and unexpected ways. And don’t forget Peter and John either, who, standing before the courts, declared, “we cannot stop speaking about all that we have seen and heard.” In my own case, and in the case of the guys who went out to the streets yesterday, that revelation carried with it a sense of our agency, too. We had to go, to act, in order to see those things realised and reaching their true purpose.

And when they are, your jaw simply drops.

There is an element of risk in all of this, an element of faith in action that is necessary for any of this to take place. For a while now i feel as though God has been calling me to take more risks, showing me the next step of the way and then challenging me to step out into it. I am tired of writing down my thoughts in coffee shops, apart from the world; i would much rather be out in the world, seeing the places where God is at work. He will go with me, but He will not compel me to go. That first step has to come from me.

That element of apparent risk makes life a thousand times more exhilarating, too. When i spoke to a friend of mine about this lately, he told me that what i thought of as risk was actually not as risky as i thought, because when i went i did so in the knowledge that God would work out all things for good, and that in His love He was trustworthy. My friend is right, and that does make it easier to take those risks – but i am caught between the old and the new, even now just learning how to have faith. And like Jesus once said, “one who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much”…

The places that God has called me lately have revealed a level of living that i never really knew possible, even when the journey to them started out from seemingly mundane beginnings, or when they seemed monotonous as they were going on; even when taking that risk seems less like a heroic achievement than a weary slog. The people that i’ve met, the circumstances that i’ve ended up in and the sense of God’s presence while i’ve been there, all of those have been staggering, and i am broken. I want more; want to know Him more, want to see Him more, want to hear Him more.

I hear His voice calling me onwards, and i am fearful most that i will not follow. Fearful that i will stop stepping out or stop seeing the ways that He is at work and speaking evn now. Fearful, too, that my fear will get the better of me and end in retreat rather than awe. Maybe i am one of the mad ones now. Certainly i am stepping into territory that would put off some of my more conservative friends, and it scares me that maybe, just maybe, it might be there that God is found.

But as long as He continues to call, i hope i will continue to follow.

And i hope you will too. Wherever that leads.

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    • Andy
    • May 9th, 2010

    Amazing, fantastic stories. Scary to follow. My feelings the same. I was involved in speaking with others about HOTS to an ecumenical group yesterday-I wasn’t sure where they were coming from or wether we even shared the same theology but God spoke to me about someone with a heart problem. Sure enough she came forward and God met her powerfully. It took some courage, she didn’t come forward immediately. Awesome

    • Luke
    • May 10th, 2010

    Love it love it love it
    You are indeed a mad one. Praise Him!

  1. Hopefully this should allow you to see a video story of one of the guys who took to the street on Saturday:

    http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1375510680443&ref=mf

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