One time I chatted with a man who had belonged to a denomination I had been a minister in. At his workplace there was a man who seemed to be a keen Christian. One day he asked the fellow Christian if he would go out to lunch with him.
The reply was an apology saying, ‘I would really love to, but I am fasting this week.’ To this he commented, ‘We are Baptists and live Bible based lives.’ He said he knew that fasting wasn’t in the Scriptures since they had never been taught it.
The fellow Christian asked if he would be willing to be shown a couple
of verses. He was quite astounded at what was read and pondered whether
there was anything else in the Book they hadn’t been taught. The fellow
believer showed him verses relating to being baptised in the Holy Spirit and
living a Spirit filled life. It’s easy to see that man made boundaries had
been depriving him of much that God wanted him to experience.
GOD SPEAKS IN THE LANGUAGE OF THE DAY
One of the emails we received was from a brother in the Lord in
England who had read something of what I had shared in Ireland last year
and has now written an article about Spirit led living. He was kind enough
to share it with me. I like what he wrote, but one aspect caused my mind
to race. In his paper he quotes at some length from the King James
translation of the Bible.
You may note that I refer to the KJV but never use the title ‘The
Authorised Bible.’ The only authority it bore, and bears, is that of an
unbelieving monarch who authorised it to be read in churches.
Since I believe that God always speaks in the language of the day, I
respect the KJV for much good that it has been instrumental in over the
centuries, but prefer to use a more modern translation. No translation is
perfect and all, of necessity, include some measure of interpretation. Why
do I write about this? Any one translation can be turned into a finite
boundary, whereas God is so much greater than them all. My heart is for
life without boundaries.
A HEART FOR THE NEXT GENERATION
Here are excerpts from the second email that I mentioned:
‘I have just re-read “He’s Here!” and thought back towards the
changes and responses many believers have made on this journey and in so
doing have paid a price. In the book you write, “My heart is for the next
generation!” I have to echo this, although there are many challenges in this
for my wife and I in walking whole-heartedly in response to whatever Jesus
wants of us.’
“Young people need to face the cross – and so do we all,” you say.
My question is HOW do we ensure that the following generation takes the
baton from us without “going back” to the familiar and safe places of church
form and function?’
Surely a part of the answer to these questions involves each one of us
personally living a life without boundaries, which can only be accomplished
by being continually filled, controlled and led by the Holy Spirit, honouring
Jesus as total Lord of every aspect of our lives.
I firmly believe that there is the very real danger for every one of us
of listening and responding to the inner ‘voice’ of God the Spirit only when
He speaks and leads within the boundaries of our present experience,
understanding and life style. Do we allow the norm of whatever fellow
Christians we associate with, and what we’ve learned in the past, to be a
hidden yet real and dangerous boundary to our sensitivity to Father’s
desires for us? Do these things restrict, hinder and limit the flow of eternity
within and through us? May I plead with you to carefully ponder the above paragraph.