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Thursday, August 02, 2007

concentric circles

This will be brief... I wanted to get something up before being gone for 10 days to church family camp at Bonclarken, then vacation. When I return, I'll flesh this out a bit.

At church family camp, we are going to study Acts 1:8, where, having been filled with the Spirit, the early believers are charged to carry the message to Jerusalem, Judea/Samaria, and the ends of the earth. I am going to lead the campers through a personal and church exercise on our own "Jerusalem, Judea/Samaria, ends of the earth" as we think about personal ministry and mission.

Before that, though, we are going to talk about God's promise to pour out His Spirit and the ways that sin keeps us from fully experiencing the power and presence of the Spirit. These are a reverse of the Jerusalem-Judea-etc... concentric circles.

At our furthermost "boundary" we miss experiencing the Holy Spirit because we get distracted. We grow blind, deaf, and dumb (like the famous "Pinball Wizard"!) to God's Holy Spirit because we stop "setting our eyes on Jesus" (Hebrews 12:1). We become deaf to God's prophetic Word.

Closer in to home, we disobey God and those sins keep our back turned toward God. We lose sight of His face and lose our vision.

Closest to our core, we keep committing what many consider the basest Sin - idolatry, particularly self-idolatry. We fail to yield our will to God's will, and we dream our own dreams rather than those of God's Spirit.

My use of "prophecy, visions, and dreams" from the Pentecost passage is broad in application of those specific concepts, but illustrates how we block ourselves from the promised and poured out Holy Spirit. Without that Spirit, we cannot join God's mission to the world (or even our Jerusalem).

First, before missions, we must repent and throw ourselves again on God's mercy and grace; then,
empowered by the Holy Spirit, we are sent out, blessed by God.

More, with graphics, when I return.

** Does anybody use a blog-reader (is that the same as an aggregator?)... I've just discovered Google Reader and it makes keeping up with the 25 or so blogs I used to randomly access a piece of cake. All new posts from all of them in one place, with the ability to tag, forward, etc... Is this old news to some of you, or do you use something similar?

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