Are you 74 years old or older? If so you may remember the end, or even the beginning, of WWII. Those of us who are younger are fortunate to have lived through a long time of peace.
Plenty has happened since then though, with revolutions abroad, financial crashes at home, the start of the nuclear age, crumbling empires, the rise of alternative culture in the 60s, genocides, freedom for marginalised people groups and the growth of the world wide web. Some of these were starkly horrific times, some were great leaps forward, some have left a long-lasting impact and others less so. But all of these historical surges have their noteworthy events that signalled a turning point.
In June 2016 the UK voted to leave the European Union, and last Saturday saw one of the biggest demonstrations in UK history with the People’s Vote March protesting brexit. It seems the only thing we can all agree on right now is that we face great uncertainty.
So who knows what the next 74 years will bring? One thing’s for sure: although people, causes and nations come and go, God is constant and He is sovereign over all of history. He is working out His purposes in and through the church:
…so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord
Maybe God is withdrawing His hand of blessing on our nation or maybe he is working directly through recent events. But one thing’s for sure: God is not taking His hand off the Church, and His call remains the same. The Church is hearing God’s call to consecration again. The Gospel has never been so needed. Do we have fear or faith at this time?
I was in Cornwall earlier this month and the sea was very wild. The Cornish sea in March is very different from the Cornish sea in August. God places us in different surroundings to teach us different things at different times, and so we can be a light to the world around us (Matthew 5:14-16). But our surroundings shouldn’t change what’s within us (Matthew 5:13) – we are motivated by faith, not by what’s around us (Ephesians 4:14-15).
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
As we re-consecrate ourselves we’ll find God is among us and our minds will be renewed – humble, always learning, not having all the answers.
As Francis Chan says: “our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” The things that really matter are loving and walking with God, having love for one another and proclaiming the Gospel.