27 June 2007

Faith and Skeptism. The joining of two hands (Part 1)

On one hand, we have the Christians who think that any sort of prophecy or 'hearing from God' today is impossible. Those that claim they do are using the power of the mind, or Satan (Which I find rather interesting that the pharisees accused Jesus of being in cahoots with the prince of darkness as well).

On the other hand, we have those that run after such signs. They try to stand a little higher in their chair when a prophet on a platform looks their way hoping they get a word about being a millionaire, or having a world-wide healing ministry.

I find both hands give fodder to the other.

But most of us lie somewhere in the middle. Somewhere between faith and skepticism. Not fully embracing, but not fully accepting either. Our two faces morphing into one.

This is healthy.

And scary.

Theologically, and experiencally I cannot discount the moving of the gifts of the Spirit that Paul describes in 1 Cor 12-14. Nor do I want to.

But experiencally, I've missed it at times. I've screwed up more than once. I've replaced hearing from God with hearing from my own desires. And this is someone that countless of people have called 'prophetic'. No pressure right?

I hate long posts, so I'll divide this into two parts. First, my most obvious missing it story, and later, some practical and theological implications...

My story (the short version),

We we're broke. We were tuck in Colorado, and living in California at the time. We were more than broke - we were homeless; sleeping where we could. Fortunately we had friends.

And yet for eight months or so, I believed, I truly believed that by the end of the year, we would be 'out of it'. Maybe even prosperous. Man, I had the faith worked up!

And here it was, almost midnight on New Years Eve, sitting in a church service waiting for someone to come to me and say, "I don't know you, but I feel like you need this." Then I\it'd be handed to me; a big fat, Jesus loving check.

I believed. I had to. The year was almost up.

Tick, tick, tick, tick. Singing. Laughing. Celebration.
Tock, tock, tock, tock. Music. Smiles. Hugs.

Then it happened.
Midnight happened.
No check.

What I did surprised me. I had put every ounce of belief into having a better life starting at midnight.

Nothing changed, except I spent gas money I didn't have to drive to a service I got nothing out of.

Except this -

I went forward, knelt, raised my hands, and worshipped.
I was spent. I was depressed. I was angry. I was seriously 'f-en' confused.

But I worshipped. And I trusted.
With the promise stripped, laid bare, and exposed for the lie it was, I found my trust in God. Not his word, not a prophecy, not in my faith, but in God.

Simply God.
And that was enough.


sonja said...

Sounds to me as if you were rich in faith at midnight ... so perhaps the prophecy was not far off ... hmmm?

paul said...

thanks for sharing, bro...

yes i'd say i was somewhere in between, sceptically open - but then again no has ever said you'll be prosperous by the end of the yr to me - but your example of the calender test is a good 'un in terms of working out what is truly prophetic :)

David said...

No one said it to me either; I just thought God told me...

David said...

And yeah, it was certainly a learning lesson. ;-)

David said...

I like you thinking Sonja ;-)

Makeesha said...

good post babe.

bjk said...

looking forward to more....

Chris said...

My two cents, and maybe something for you to explore a little bit David. Is the gift of prophecy focused more on the individual, or the community. Many NT examples of prophecy occur not with single individuals, but within communities of the Church, and even the text of 1st Corinthians 12-14 focuses heavely on the fact these are gifts for use in the body, as part of the body. My view of prophecy leans toward hearning what individuals say with a healthy dose of skeptisism (not complete disbelief), and to trust more freely the word of God as it works in a community of believers.

Makeesha said...

I think prophecy should be both individual and relational (us and God and us with God, with others) - at least it seems that's the NT model - so yes Chris, I agree. And I'm sure David will touch on this next time but there's a difference between divination and prophecy - - something lots of folks I know don't seem to have been taught.

paul said...

what's that Mak... the divine-nation ;)

paul said...

so if you tell me i'm going to be prosperous i should raise my eyebrow ;)

Rupert Ward said...

Good post David.
I agree with so much of what you say here ... it seems to me that often we don't have trust in God, but trust in what he is going to do FOR us ...