I live in and worship in a fairly diverse community of faith. Our statement of faith was written from a primarily Reformed theology point of view, and there is a core of probably a solid quarter of the congregation who would self classify as Reformed or Calvinist.
Over the years, and in fact right from the very initial incorporation of our church in 1968 or 69 there have also been some Charismatics in the mix. This number by percent was at the outset very small, and in the 70’s and 80’s there was some pretty intense disagreements between the two.
Currently I would say that Charismatics make up a solid ten percent of the mix.
I grew up in the former group and am now a part of the latter. That is to say, I believe in, and move in spiritual gifts. I have experienced supernatural gifts that were undeniable and I see these expressions of faith in my experience as wonderful demonstrations of what the Bible declares.
I have often seen God move in healing, but not by any means the majority of the times that I have prayed asking for it. Of the times I have seen God heal in apparent answer to my prayer, it has often been undeniable. I also see this line up clearly with scripture on many levels. It would be pretty difficult for someone with an argument to talk me out of what, in whom, I believe.
There have been times when each of these groups made it their main mission in life to educate and enlighten the other. The strongest of each group would pull together their most poignant and pithy arguments and try to out talk the other “side.”
Sadly this would usually end in folks drifting further apart, rather than drawing closer to Jesus.
One place these differences manifest on a regular basis is the way we pray for one another.
Just for fun, let’s pretend someone in the congregation is sick (yep – it happens.)
Folks on the Charismatic side of the pew will start asking God to heal, right now, and begin declaring and proclaiming and the like. (and hey – I am not making fun of this, I am the one making the declarations as likely as not)
Then my brothers and sisters from the Reformed side of the pew will begin to ask the Lord for Sister sickly bring Him glory while they wait for their healing, or while they suffer with no end in sight.
We are all asking for God to be glorified. One group through healing, another through strong Christian character in the face of adversity.
It occurred to me on Sunday morning as I was hearing prayers on both side of this issue that we are leaving the “bringing glory to God” to the sick folks, the ones under the most pressure and stress, those with the greatest reason for resignation and frustration.
What I was wondering is how much are we pressing in for our lives to demonstrate the greater glory on a good day? Do we ask God daily to be glorified in the way we deal with our peachy circumstances? Do we reckon Him worthy of a bouquet of praise on days when He has not just snatched us out of the hands of the hunter?
Maybe this is super obvious to you, but it struck me today.
So today, Lord, will you help me glorify You in the stuff that is going well, and the stuff that challenges me?
Walk in the blessing He has already given today.