Changing the slope to incline, by John Whiting

[on January 6 Phil Tiews spoke about ‘Counting the cost’ at our prayer meeting, describing the characteristics of bodies in ‘incline, recline, and decline’. Below John Whiting shares what he sensed the Lord saying through that talk.] A thought about the slide which shows us at the beginning of a new upswing: perhaps we're being called to die to an old way of life in order to take up a new one. Times are changing, and it appears that God is calling us to move from a period of "lying fallow" to a period of more active service to the people around us. That'll require changes to the lifestyles of many of us.

It's too bad there wasn't more time for the end of your talk Sunday. We need to give serious attention to your "serious questions" about what God is saying to us and what we'll do about it. The needs around us are great, and they're likely to become greater. I think God would like us to respond with Isaiah's cry of "Send me!" We certainly need to listen for God's direction, but I think we'll be more likely to hear it if we're eager to act on it. This might well be worth another talk or two in the future.

In considering how to act, I'm reminded of the story about King Saul's son Jonathan considering how to approach the Philistine army. As you remember, he took one small step at a time, looking to see whether God blessed it and presented him with an opportunity to move further. Pretty soon the whole Philistine army was routed. I think that would be a good approach for the Community right now. We're doing that already with our contacts with 3 Dimensional Ministries, the bike outreach, our Christmas celebration gathering, and the discipleship groups. I'm sure many individuals are likewise testing opportunities to see how much fruit they might yield. Still, it might be good to encourage people in the community to be more aggressive in this approach. I suspect strongly that God would like to use us more powerfully than we expect. If we were more opportunistic -- and, perhaps, less analytic -- we might be very favorably surprised at what we see.

God bless you!

John Whiting