Perspectives- Seek the Ancient Paths-A talk by Anne Chittick
Présentée par Anne CHITTICK
Espace spirituel anglophone
dimanche 14 juillet à 8h45
Durée émission : 10 min
I was thinking about the state of Western Europe recently, reflecting on the moral, political and Spiritual chaos and in danger of going from deep concern....
I was thinking about the state of Western Europe recently, reflecting on the moral, political and Spiritual chaos and in danger of going from deep concern to feeling overwhelmed by the way things are when into my head came two different passages from the Old Testament.
Firstly from Ecclesiastes ' There is nothing new under the sun' followed immediately by a verse in Jeremiah 6:16 'Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it and you will find rest for your soul.'
In other words, contrary to what we so often think, things have been as bad in the past and indeed much worse and the cure is the same as it has always been - God has come to rescue a lost World and each generation has to find the 'the ancient path', 'the good way' and 'walk in it'. It is God who transforms Society, Nations even, and He starts with ordinary people like you and me.
It is too easy to be intimidated by the unbelief around us and then forget what hopelessness we felt before we knew God, knew that He'd sent His Son Jesus to redeem us, to forgive us and to show us a different path than the one we were on!! A way of life, hope and peace!! Once we become intimidated we are frightened to speak and are in danger of ceasing to share what God has done for us altogether. Silenced we keep to ourselves the Good News that God cares and transforms Society one at a time, failing to throw out the lifeline of Hope to those around us.
Great moves of God in the past have started with ones and twos; God breaking into the lives of individuals with His love, bringing forgiveness and transformation which folk in turn are compelled to share with others. Good news is always worth sharing!! So as each life is changed individually so Society is transformed. As people turn from crime, from hurting one another, from taking and distributing drugs for example, so Society and in time Nations are transformed by the power of God working in the lives of men and women, boys and girls.
This happened in the 18th century through the Wesley brothers, Whitfield and Jonathan Edwards. God used these men to transform Britain and the Americas and turn around from a desperate state of moral degradation as individuals responded to the Gospel. The following century there were many further reforms: slavery abolished , factory reforms, orphans rescued through individuals like Wilberforce, Shaftsbery, Muller and many others. God using the again His people to help others in despair and desperate need of one sort of another. People often without a voice but known and valued by God.
It would be good to mention at this point that behind these moves of God and many others people were praying. Not thought of as great or powerful in the eyes of the World but of great significance never-the-less. To illustrate this one of my favourite stories happened last century in the little village of Barvas on the small island of Lewis off the West Coast of Scotland. Two Godly ladies - Christine and Peggy Smith were sitting by their peat fire earnestly praying. They were 82 and 84, one was bent double with arthritis and the other was blind. They were deeply concerned for the young people on the Island and crying out to God for them. Suddenly one of these ladies had a vision of the Church filled with young people. They were so moved by this that the next day they called for the minister to come and shared with him what had happened and told him that revival was coming. They urged him to call together the elders of the kirk to pray at least twice a week for half the night, promising him that they would pray at the same time in their cottage. After a few weeks God really met with those men too. As happened in Acts the building shook and Gods Spirit fell on them. They urged the Faith Mission in Edinburgh to send up someone who could lead a Mission there in Lewis. Duncan Campbell came and for several years God moved in these Islands and far beyond in power, transforming lives and thus again the environment around them. God so moved on these islands that often the very presence of God could be felt there. People often responding to God as they walked along the road. The vision these old ladies had of the Church filled with young people was fulfilled.
Let's draw encouragement from what God has done in the past and press on with hope, faith and prayer asking God to transform the Society that we live in in these days starting with us.
Have a blessed week.
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