Vol 1:37 The Ordinary Life of the Spirit of God

This concludes my ongoing reflections on Roxburgh’s and Boren’s Introducing the Missional Church, at least for the time being – there are still other chapters in their book. The focus of these past weeks has been on following the winds of the Spirit.

I am continually amazed at the earthiness of God and God’s encounter of us, God’s creatures. What makes God of the Old and New Testaments unique is that God is involved in the ordinary daily lives of human beings – God is concerned with the messiness of our lives and somehow through our brokenness and through our incapabilities, God works out the missional redemptive purpose of making all creation new.

What Roxburgh and Boren express, is my conviction as well. “Our rock-bottom conviction is that the Spirit of God is among the people of God. . . . [W]e mean that the Spirit is actually at work in our ordinary, common lives. This means that God’s future – putting into action God’s dream for the whole world – is among God’s people” (p. 122).

Not only did God risk all in becoming human, God still continues to risk it all, risking the completion of God’s dream through a people who do not always get it right, who do not always yield themselves to God’s Spirit, even though we confess we are filled and empowered by the Spirit of God.

This is why we worship, why we make confession, why we seek forgiveness and to forgive, why we open ourselves to reconcile and be reconciled – to remind ourselves whose we are, to remind ourselves who is at work in us, to remind ourselves that it is not about us, to remind ourselves that God is making all things new through a people who are imperfect at best. In reminding ourselves we come to recognize that this work that God is doing through us is all the work of God, is all the work that the Spirit of God is accomplishing – and so day by day, we fitfully submit ourselves to Jesus Christ, to God’s purposes so that God accomplishes what we could never imagine to accomplish.

This truly amazes me that God is able to use a broken people who are submitted to Jesus and God’s purposes to accomplish what leaves us in awe.

And so, Roxburgh and Boren express: “Very practically, a missional church is formed by the Spirit of God at work in the ordinary people of God in a local context. A practical implication is that this imagination changes the focus of leadership. Rather than having plans, programs, strategies, and goals, they ask how they can call forth what the Spirit is doing among the people. When this happens, the potential for discovering the wind of the Spirit is exciting” (p. 122).

May we indeed be a people who daily practice opening ourselves to God’s Spirit – and then be open to see and hear how God involves us in God’s redemptive mission in making all creation new. Such Spirit-engulfed living leads us to live life in Spirit-imagined ways. I cannot imagine any other way I would rather live.

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