Confronting the Challenge of the Community Commitment to Change

It’s one thing for Joshua to get his call from God to go forward and possess the promise. It calls for something else for the people to go with him.

Hearing the East Jordan tribes suggest that they would commit to the cause they were called to and encouraging Joshua to do what he needed to do is quite astounding. Here are a people committing themselve to support the greater cause even though their land had already been sorted. That level of solidarity with their family and wholehearted support for the leader says something about the cause and says something about their willingness to undergo change to see he job done.

To what degree are local gatherings of saints committed to that process of change. To truly become the vehicle expressing the Kingdom of God on the earth how ready are we to change? How committed are we to join our leader – Jesus – on the journey of inhabiting new space of Kingdom life and the changes that come with that -the battles and skirmishes we have to go through of institutional and personal areas of darkness that we long to cling to?

We can say verbally that we are sold out for Jesus, but it’s when He leads to address our much cherished norms and practices that we see how much we mean that commitment. It’s when He challenges us by saying if our time together is really about building each other up, is it really about using what we’ve been given to invest in someone so they can become more like Jesus. It’s when He highlights His bemusement at our ecstatic utterances that are followed with abject apathy at the culture around us as well as the culture we perpetuate.

My own journey with Jesus has been extensively challenged overthis year and I’m only just beginning to get in the swing and habit of addressing those areas He highlights. Yes, He’s patient,kind and merciful to us. He is also quietly insistent that we continue tocheck and check again if we really are a community of believers committed to ongoing change to reflect His character, His passion, His activity and His mission on the earth. That’s a communal thing, not just a personal thing and to get that going, to bring awareness to that is a task in itself. Thank God relationships, though, in which these efforts can begin, over time, to take root.

That should help us to follow Jesus in possessing the promise that He gives us.

For His Name’s Sake


C. L. J. Dryden


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