Unsettled? Moi?

message in a bottleHaving made a journey in space and time, an article first published in May 2005 'washed up' on the shores of New Zealand and has now been returned to the author's inbox in the Scottish Highlands.
 


Ed preface: A Christian brother in England received a message from New Zealand and e-mailed me a question: "Is this you?" I had to dig around on an old blog-syle internet group message list which pre-dated the Christians Together website in order to find the answer. Indeed it 'was me'. I copy it below (as my English brother believes it has a continuing relevance).


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HIGHLAND CHRISTIAN NEWS
Inverness








To Whom it May Concern
Message Dateline: 2 May 2005
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Preface:
The following letter may have no relevance for you and, if so, I would not wish that you waste your time by continuing to read any further than the next paragraph. However, if you feel that it may apply to you please read on. What I say is based on what I have been experiencing amidst the body of Christ where I am over a period of years.
 
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Dear Christian believer,
 
For a considerable time now you have been strangely unsettled in your spirit. This has perplexed you - as you have just been getting on with your Christian walk and participating in the general life of the church. But you have been disturbed in yourself. You have re-read the pages of the Bible relating to the dynamic works of the apostles and the early disciples; and then compared these with what you have been experiencing in your own life and fellowship setting. And you have perceived a huge "mis-match"; a yawning gap between where (spiritually-speaking) things are now, and where the early followers of Christ were in their day. (Note: I am not suggesting that Pentecost is to be repeated; but rather continued..( Eph 5:18.)
 
In different times and circumstances you may have felt that it was time to "move on to a new situation" in your journey with Christ, but in a strange way you have not felt any clear direction regarding which way to go. You have not felt called to "re-locate"; indeed you may have been feeling and continuing to feel that you need strive to indentify more closely with your immediate neighbours and that section of society (neighbourhood/workplace, etc.) in your immediate orbit.
 
In a strange way, any striving that you have done to draw closer to Christ, and to be more committed to His calling and God's word, has increased rather than reduced the dis-satisfaction and unrest that you have been feeling. And you have felt lonely even when surrounded by other Christians who do not seem to be disturbed in spirit in the way that you are. Most other Christians in fact seem to be just happily getting on with their lives. And this adds to your perplexity. "Is it just me? Why am I feeling this way? There must be something wrong with me; as most others seem to be getting along OK."
 
You have been concerned that you might be getting cynical and critical over what you see as the increasing worldliness in the church. And you long for fellowship with others whom you feel might understand - in some measure at least - "where you are". But as you cautiously yet honestly open up to others whom you sense may be walking the same path, you find that they too in their heart of hearts have been going through exactly the same inner spiritual processes and turmoil as yourself.
 
If you have been sensing or experiencing any of these things take heart dear child of God. I believe that what you have been going through is a God-given unsettledness, a Holy dissatisfaction with "what is"; and what He has been creating in you is to prepare you for the days to come.
 
I believe a great crisis lies ahead - for society, its peoples and the religious system which many would call "the church"; and God needs those who have been weaned away from dependency on the structures, programmes and other facets of organised churchianity. He is looking for those who hunger and thirst after righteousness; and long to be filled with the life-giving Spirit of God. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is searching for those who are - and will seek to be - Kingdom-builders (as opposed to empire-builders). He is desiring and preparing  those who will seek to know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified; those who will find no satisfaction in the trinkets of this world and who will spurn the carnal methods, the fixation with "success" and the worldly measurements of "spirituality" and "commitment" that have invaded the church.
 
But, if you have not done so already, please consider some questions. Are you a believer who is prepared to "abandon all" in the cause of Christ and His Great Commission to reach the lost? Have you considered the cost, and are you prepared to pay that price in the context of the measure of grace that has been shown to you? Indeed, in your spirit, you realise that nothing short of total submission will slake your thirst for God and satisfy the desires of your heart.
The way ahead could involve great sacrifice; and you may face rejection and much criticism - even from those around you and close to you in the "church",  but it is this type of sacrifice in which the Lord delights (Matt 5:11&12). And indeed the cost of turning away from His calling upon your life would be even greater.
 
Take heart dear follower of "the Way", you are not alone. Many others are being spoken to in exactly the same way as God is speaking to you. If it is not apparent to you yet, time will reveal those who will stand with you. Meanwhile equip yourself with (a knowledge of) His Word and abandon yourself to (the leading of) His Spirit, that He might use you to the extent that He would, as the God of all ages works out His purposes in our fallen and needy world; both now and forever.
 
Your God and my God has clearly stated through His Son Jesus Christ:
>>> 
Blessed and those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, because they shall be filled.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.
(Matt 5: 6 - 10)
<<< 
 
Your brother,
 
Colin
Footnote: See also a later 'Open Letter' (27/06/2012) which lists some symptoms and suggests some remedies relating to the above

The Editor, 22/07/2016

Feedback:
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Dale M 22/07/2016 19:27
I think I can identify fully with the sentiments expressed in this letter.
Makes me think of the book I read by Stan Firth - 'The Remarkable Replacement Army'.
Like the prophet Habakkuk we begin to feel restless or impatient and want to cry out 'How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, "Violence!" but you do not save?
(Hab. 1:2)
Editor 24/07/2016 17:54
I have placed a link to the 'RRA' book in the left hand margin (scroll up) along with some other related articles.
Mini 27/07/2016 15:51
Dale M, what did you think of Stan Firth's book?
Dale M 27/07/2016 20:02
Mini, The short answer to your question is that I found it an encouragement. For a long time I have increasingly felt that the churches in general, whatever denomination, have almost lost their way. They have to a large extent become conformed to the patterns of this world and they hang onto unnecessary traditions which they have adopted over the centuries. The book confirmed what I had been thinking for a long time – true discipleship to Christ has been replaced with mere church-ianity. It appears that God is raising up a true people for Himself around the world – the true Spiritual army of Christ. The ultimate victory will be won by His 'army'.
Editor 28/07/2016 14:08
" It appears that God is raising up a true people for Himself around the world – the true Spiritual army of Christ. The ultimate victory will be won by His 'army'."

To continue the spiritual 'take' expressed in military terms (as above), an earlier (2004) piece is entitled 'The Transit Camp'.

http://www.christianstogether.net/Articles/128203/Christians_Together_in/Christian_Life/The_Transit_Camp.aspx
(Guest) 28/07/2016 19:30
How can the "ultimate victory be won by His army"?

Absolutely impossible!

The ultimate victory is won by God ALONE, in and through Christ!

He came to SAVE His people! If Stan Firth's book teaches that the "ultimate victory will be won by His army", then he is plainly wrong!

What says the Scripture? Please read Daniel 2.34-35. It is Christ that destroys the coming Antichrist and his world system-then He sets up His millennial reign. "The stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth." That "Stone" is Christ!

Daniel 11.32 tells us that "people that KNOW their God, shall be strong, and DO exploits." (I emphasised the KNOW) Let all of us give Him the credit-ALONE?
(Guest) 03/08/2016 22:07
It is nearly a week since I asked the question "How can the ultimate victory be won by His army?"
No one has yet bothered to answer my very simple question. Perhaps, because in my 28/07/2016 post I gave the Biblical answer?

Stan Firth's certainly book belongs in the bin. There is NO remarkable replacement army.

Jesus Christ won the victory on the cross!

On Christianstogether homepage, there is an excellent link under the heading "Recommended Sites" which will take you to Philip Wren's "Signs of the Times" web page. Wren puts it very plainly in simple language as I have tried to do;

"It is NOT for the church to build the kingdom of God on earth."

Wren is a good man. I disagree with his Arminian theology, and am opposed to his endorsements of false prophets such as David Noakes etc. Let the Bible ALONE be our guide?
Dale M 04/08/2016 17:44
(Guest) - I have not responded for two reasons. Firstly, I prefer not to respond to people who are not willing to identify themselves. Secondly, I have little understanding of what you are trying to say in your last two posts.
Editor 05/08/2016 19:04
Note to Dale (and other site visitors). I have removed a response to the above (17:44) message because -
(a) the person posting is a non-site member who has neither registed with the site or identified himself to me
(b) the post was yet another attempt to drag any and every message thread into a hyper-Calvinist debate
(c) the tone of the message (while quoting Scripture) was offensive and was lacking a Christ-like spirit

For the above reasons I have to consider the possibility that such messages come not from a truly born-again believer but from a 'Christian' religionist (who, as we know were the principal enemies of Christ).
Donald Calder 05/08/2016 20:18
editor I find your last sentence quite harsh to question someones salvation and by the way I am not a hyper calvinist
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NOTICE: - The 'Response' facility on some articles may be restricted to CT site members. In these circumstances comments/questions from non-site members should be sent to the Editor by e-mail: editor<atsign>christianstogether.net

Christians Together in the Highlands and Islands > Survival Kit > Unsettled? Moi?