Anyway, here's my first shot.
Talking of shots, do you remember Maradona's hand goal in the Soccer World Cup all those years ago? An intentional hand ball from the diminutive genius that the referee allowed as a goal, that proved decisive in the tournament, and was notoriously labelled, 'The hand of God.' Well, last night, Thierry Henry, flamboyant french virtuoso performed a similar illicit miracle, which put Ireland out of the coming World Cup Tournament in extra time. "The hand of God' returns.
Or should I say 'hand of god?'
One important question for us as a bunch of friends journeying together has been; "what does it mean to be Reformed Charismatic for the sake of the gospel"? Is it possible for these seemingly conflicting church traditions to come together, and could it be, that God is intentionally bringing together the best of these two traditions, for the sake of the gospel.
One answer to that question may be that to be Reformed Charismatic means we simultaneously embrace the Transcendence and the Immanence of God. He is God far off, and also God up close. There is a reverence for His Sovereignty, and yet a fervent hunger to partner with Him in seeing His power revealed today. This is good for the gospel. It means that though we are continually trusting Him for more of His power in and through our lives, we will not force His hand. We want to respond to His leadership. God is not our servant. We are His servants. Jesus said,"I only do what I see the Father doing." We want to echo his words. And his life.
How many of us charismatics, in desperation for God to act visibly and powerfully, have tried to make it happen instead of responding to His Sovereign leading? How many times have we succumbed to the pressure to perform, rather than trying to move to the unforced rhythms of His grace. Are we addicted to the spectacular? Or have we considered that God may be working behind our backs more than in front of our faces.
On the other hand, has our view of God's Sovereignty caused us to become spiritually passive?
Do we find ourselves saying to ourselves and others, "If God wants to act he will" Have we forgotten the privilege of partnering with a Sovereign God, who calls us to actively 'stir up the gift that is within us?"
We are so enjoying seeing an increase in Jesus' evident power in our midst. It is one of the signs that should accompany those who believe the gospel. We are hungry for more, not for the sake of the spectacular, but so that many more would trust in Christ.
But God doesn't need our help. He is able.
He doesn't need us to score 'hand goals.'
The world needs the Hand of God.
Not the hand of god.