The Motion of God
Written by T. M. Suffield |
Sunday, June 4, 2023
If we chase after experiences we won’t find them, but that if we look to worship God in spirit and truth, we will have dramatic and dynamic encounters with God by his Spirit that will change us, change our churches, change our towns and cities, shake the foundations of the earth, challenge the powers successfully, and occasionally be just a little bit strange.
In my last post in this series filling out my ‘eucharismatic’ manifesto, I argued that the church exists to worship God, and therefore our primary purpose is worshipping God.
However, if you’ve been following along, you might think that this is an odd first step when I have argued that the church is defined by her encounters with God, which seems to shift the focus to us. That’s not right, church isn’t about us, it’s about God.
Except, I’m a Reformed Charismatic; Calvinistic in my understanding of salvation (and more). Which means I want to argue an important point that affects what happens on Sundays, but also everything else in the entire cosmos. It’s this: God always moves first.
When I repent what I discover is that in the counsels of the Almighty God, he first chose me and elected me to life, the Spirit regenerating my heart so that I can respond in faith to his call and repent. When God calls, he makes what he calls for happen.
When I move towards God and meet him, I will always find that he has moved first. God’s kindness is gratuitous, it overflows, what we call grace or gift is how God always works with his people.
It’s because of the Lord’s gracious posture towards us, his movement, that we can speak of the gathered Church as a series of encounters with God, or even of the Church itself as the mystery of the bride encountering the husband, the son encountering the father, the army encountering the general, the Temple bricks encountering the divine presence of Yahweh filling the holy of holies.
When we gather to worship God, he will have graciously ‘presenced’ himself with us. And before you cry that ‘God is everywhere’ and so can’t be especially present, you’re going to need to go and look at the holy of holies again.