We had the privilege of attending a “spiritual gathering” that was radically different than our traditional church. Yes, the music was way too loud for our “ancient” ears, but the youth were passionately engaged, expressing a longing after seeing God’s Kingdom extended in their generation. The preacher openly addressed sexual purity. While old timers shifted around a bit uncomfortably, most of us welcomed someone with courage enough to challenge Christians with healthy sexual restraint. The speaker humorously highlighted the strangeness of some of our “normal” spiritual practices, and his message conveyed thought provoking interpretations of very familiar Scriptures. He even dared to end the service without an altar call and instead we held hands and lifted our voices in passionate prayer for the persons on our right and left. Strange, but challenging!
And God did amazing things in this strange atmosphere! Isn’t it remarkable that God can do stunning things without our traditions, without our organization, or without our church? This Kingdom thing is a God thing, not a man thing, much to our chagrin! We can so easily shift subtly into the idea that we have a corner on truth or even a monopoly on God’s strategy and become quite arrogant servants.
I love the fact that God never allows one man or one organization or one church to have a monopoly on success. He even seems eager to launch surprise “nobodies” into effective ministries in places where others have failed or plateaued. He seems to delight in surprising us with shocking new approaches. What a King! He is still very much in charge and exercising his sovereignty in surprising ways to extend his rule into the hearts of all men everywhere. Lord, may we see more surprises! We love your sovereignty.