I had a great day out with my wife Joanne and many friends and other strangers today. I attended a wedding of a great friend, who has been with me through some tough times. In the past I have rocked the boat a bit by what I have said about the history of marriage and the church, and how I strenuously believe that what we call defacto relationships / partnerships are not automatically sinful and dishonouring before God.
However, while I believe this is true; I also believe that there is something special when you get a bunch of believers together to witness the marriage union of two fellow believers. And today was such a day. Together we joined in the prayers to pray for our friends, we joined in the promises to continue to pray for them as they journey together. Together we said amen to the blessings, the prayers and the prophetic words spoken over their lives.
I also met up with a couple of people today whom I haven’t seen for a while. College friends, lecturers, pastors etc. And I met face to face with someone whom I have been friends with for a number of years on face book, but have never met in person. I enjoyed our brief conversation and we decided we will meet up in person for coffee / lunch next year.
Within our conversation he said to me something which I am going to take as the compliment of the year. “Craig, your an edgy kind of guy!” After I asked him what he meant by that statement, he again replied, “You like to stir the pot!” To which I replied, yes sir… you have me nailed in one.
It’s true, I like to stir the pot. I like to stir the pot because Scripture encourages us to be pot stirrers. The Holy Spirit is a pot stirrer. Where ever the Holy Spirit moves, he stirs and moves us to action. He breaks us out of the status quo. He stirs us to mission. He stirs us out of our legalism and easy believerism. The Holy Spirit stirs us up out of our comfort zones to share the great and glorious message of our Lord Jesus Christ. If you look at any great or small move of God, there was much stirring and shaking that occurred.
When we read about the prophets of old, they were men and women who were not afraid to stir the pot. They were not afraid…well actually many times they were afraid…but God called to them and told them to buckle up and to show courage and despite their fear to step out and stir the pot and call God’s people to come back to him. Jesus was a pot stirrer. He stirred up the pot in many ways. He got under peoples skin. He got under their noses. He broke through the religious, legalistic and condemning barriers of the religious leaders. He stirred the pot through showing great compassion to the hurting, the broken hearted, the sick and lame. The blind, mute and deaf, and those harassed by demonic spirits. He stirred the pot up by showing his compassion for them, healing them and delivering them.
So today when I was called an edgy kind of guy.. I smiled and said yes I am… thanks. Just this week I have taken on the voluntary role of being the pastoral care team leader for a local charity that ministers to the intellectually disabled, as well as their parents and carers. This is a edgy role. For our plans are to establish a chaplaincy program this year in which we will minister to those on the edge of society. We will minister to the volunteers who are involved in the ministry. And its our hope that through the power of the Holy Spirit. Through the love of Jesus Christ. Through the grace of our heavenly Father, That we will be cutting through the status quo of our community and minister the love of Christ to those on the very fringes.
Not only that, I am also involved in a church planting group, where we have been meeting, praying, talking and brain storming about the ways in which we will plant a church in our local area. This group is an edgy group. We are planting right in the middle of what others call hard ground. But, its our experience the gospel is working in our area. We have already established relationship and community through a weekly bbq. Men’s and women groups. Kids and youth groups. School ministry and even a small Sunday school for the local kids.
Today I want to encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to cause you to be a pot stirrer. That the Holy Spirit will stir you up to do the work of the Gospel. Or perhaps your not yet a believer or submitted your life to Christ.. and perhaps today you too will ask Christ into your heart. Ask him to forgive you and that you too will accept his love for you. For I know that perhaps some of my readers who don’t call themselves Christians are being stirred up as they read this now.
I ask you, will you allow the Holy Spirit to truly stir you. Are you willing to ask him to stir you up. As for me, its a regular prayer of mine.. Lord, do what you will through me today. And in doing so, will you allow the Holy Spirit to cause you to be the spoon in which he stirs the pot for his kingdom where ever you may be.