Whenever we visit Steve’s family (who live in the middle of nowhere) Steve always gives the kids a chance to drive on the deserted country roads. This can be scary for a mum. It is a pity it will not count towards the many hours we will have to put in, sitting next to them while they build up their experience so they can drive in their own. The right to drive on Victorian roads comes with many hours of stress for parents who have to endure a lack of experience behind the wheel but still provide the experience to get their kids traffic and hazard ready drivers. Regardless of how great they think they are at driving…if they choose to drive on the wrong side of the road, it won’t be long before there is a disaster. One of the first things my kids have had to learn at their young age is how to use the steering wheel to keep the car on the left hand side of the road. I remember well my Dad trying to teach me to drive and his horror at me struggling to avoid killing pedestrians in the right hand side of the road we were on. I remember well my sister praying when I struggled to turn a corner and ended up taking the car over an island in the middle of the road and ending up on the right hand side of the road, with a stream of traffic heading towards us.
I did not end up on the wrong side of the road intentionally. Very rarely do we intend to drive on the wrong side of the road but when we find ourselves there we need to make sure we know how to get back to the left hand side.
The list below is Ike the roads we travel on the journey of life. The left hand lane ( the ones that are bold) ) is where we are meant to be travelling but we may well find ourselves on the right. …most of the time unintentionally. How do we remain in the left hand lane and how we get back to the left when we find we have drifted?
Together | apart, separate,
Unity | disunity
Unity | division
United | divided
Agree | disagree, oppose, resist
Agreement | disagreement
Agreement | conflict
Peace | war
Peace | conflict
Peace | battle
Whole | broken
One | many
Partner | stranger
Ally | enemy
companion | antagonist, opponent
Harmony | discord, cacophony, hostile
As I write these two lists there is a very distinct line between the left hand sides and the right hand side. I would like to think that the left hand side defines me but am I decided. is there an undercurrent of strife and conflict running in my heart and impacting in my church community.
The call of the CHURCH and our church community called HILLS is to live, (dwell, take up residence, remain, abide )in the left side not the right side of this list. Every word on the left of this list is what we are called to live and intentionally stay in. The left hand words are our dwelling place and a position of grace. The words on the left are words we must actively seek to enjoy and actively seek to find a reality in our lives daily, weekly and for eternity. There is intentionality about staying in the left hand lane. The words on both side of this list are words that have prophetic meaning and creative power. regardless of which side we are dwelling in they both come with powerful outcomes and positions for a future we may not have considered. Whichever side we dwell in, both have the power to do things in our lives and through our lives that will reap a harvest of outcomes. We are not called to dwell in the words on the right but if we do, the power of these words have just as much power over our lives as the left but the outcomes are destructive, paralysing and have the capacity to destroy our lives and our influence and impact the lives around us. I love that living in the left hand words actually brings the protection of heaven and and outpouring of grace over our lives.
Every word on that list has authority and power. The words on the left have the power to bring the blessing of heaven over our church community. The words on the right have the power to block the blessing of heaven over our church community. The words on the left is where I want to live and abide. They enable us to endure, persist, and breakthrough into new levels and new spiritual realities. Every one of them have been paid for by the blood of Jesus who denied himself so we could dwell in the position of grace that he has called us to. Everything that the enemy is seeking to do in our lives and through our lives is to get us to dwell in the words on the right. If he can get us to dwell there and pull others there he has done what he seeks to do with the church,to paralyse it and make it powerless. If we do not see it we will reap a harvest of disappointment, hurt, loneliness, brokenness, pain and regret.
What causes us to move from the left hand lane to the righ? Hurt, unresolved issues, Unforgiveness, , offence, ignorance, abuse, selfishness, lies of the enemy, distractions, discontent, frustration, disappointment, apathy, weakness, weariness, laziness, busyness, confusion, fear, doubts, past experience, family, friends, peers, our logic, leadership, insecurity, our mind sets, temptation, vanity, gossip, criticism, negativity, complaining, whinging, whining, condemnation, shame, guilt, others, our peers, obsessions, need for control, lack of control, immaturity, rebellion, selfish ambition, disobedience, dishonour, pride, trust, authority, lack of appreciation lack of encouragement, misunderstanidng and the list could keep going, ignorance,
If i were to take a highlighter and highlight the ones that have pushed me to the right???I would highlight every one!!! Paul is helping me see today the power of unity but also the own of disunity and how easy it is to drift there.
Paul does not just exhort the church to feel and experience joy and contentment…he goes deep into our hearts to rip out what is robbing us of joy and contentment.
My calling impacts on OUR calling. I becomes WE. Me becomes US. He is not just at work completing what he started in me but what he started in US and how we flesh out (or don’t ) UNITY individually will always impact on us corporately and as a body.