Only One Step
By The Rev Mike Endicott
Here is real hope for you. I keep batting on all the time to everyone that the way to pray for those whose lives are in disarray is not to keep hacking at God to do stuff but to proclaim the kingdom of God to those who suffer. Why? Because that’s precisely the way that jesus taught his disciples to do it. So it must be OK!
Now we might think that this is some sort of method for getting God to do stuff for us but we seem to find it all too easy to forget something here: We are put here for God’s purposes, he is not put up there for ours.
And he honours our obedience. Just look at Joshua taking the Children of Israel across the river Jordan and into the Promised Land. So often we want to do the same thing – take those in discomfort and disarray over their pain and into the kingdom to be healed. So let’s watch how he did it.
God had told him how to do it. He was told to pick up the Ark of the Lord, the God of Israel, and carry it towards the river (in our case this would be the problem at hand). The other side of the river is the promised Land.
They were told that the river would dry up, the problem would disappear, if they took one step into it with the living Word of God on their shoulders. They would, in effect, be proclaiming the living presence of the kingdom at the flooding river.
The way to pray for those whose lives are in disarray is not to keep hacking at God to do stuff but to proclaim the kingdom of God to those who suffer.
Seems crazy! What ever happened to bridges and boats? That’d be much more sensible. But God knows one thing we have lost track of. That one step of obedience, and only one step of obedience, proclaiming the living presence of the kingdom of God at the problem and the people can cross over the problem into the Promised Land.
By the way, Promised Land is another title for the Kingdom of God, the prototype of which can be seen in the garden of Eden in the Creation story. Guess what? No sickness and no tears there. Beautiful!
So, dear church, I wish we could learn again to be obedient to God and take just one step of obedience into another’s horrible difficulty. Do this not necessarily by trying to do good but do it God’s way – take up our courage and gently proclaim the good news of the kingdom and the Cross to it and see what happens!
Let’s trust in the Cross and all that it has achieved. Let’s not debate it’s achievements with all our theological excellence…..Jesus said if we don’t look at it all like six-yr-olds we will mis it. Let’s learn it again. Let’s accept it in faith and trust and take a step out onto the nasty river in front of us and in front of those we love.
Let’s glorify God with one step of obedience?
Mike Endicott is a blind Anglican minister, based at the Well Centre in Cwmbran, South Wales. He is the leader of the Order of Jacob’s Well, a recognized Order of Christian healing and wholeness, operating under the patronage of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams. The Order was established to seek out, to train and encourage those called into ministries of Christian healing.
I encourage you to visit his website at SimplyHealing.org