“How?” that is the oft asked question. Seldom do I meet someone, through Street Hope, that does not know that they have difficulties and issues. They are in search of a solution. Addictions themselves are signs of an unsuccessful search for a solution. In our ministry we suggest that the dis-ease that people are experiencing is a spiritual problem and that a spiritual solution is required. It is here that we encounter the greatest resistance.
We had a good conversation about this during our study this week. We were comparing and contrasting (are my teacher roots showing here?) the reception Paul and Silas got at Thessalonica and that of the Bereans. A resistant group in Thessalonica had a emotional response to the Good News. Out of defensive anger and jealousy they drove Paul and Silas out of town. The Bereans had a different reaction. They were ready to honestly consider whether this message rang true. They were open to the possibility of a new life. They were willing to take receive this new possibility and act accordingly.
These are the three prerequisites to a spiritual solution. Together they spell HOW. Honesty: looking at our own state and realising that all of our solutions fail us. Openness: to the possibility that a loving God can and would restore us to wholeness, and Willingness: to let go of our failed solutions and allow God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
One of the things I have come to recommend is, that for 30 days in row, people pray “God if you are real show yourself real in my life, in Jesus’ name. Amen.” I ask people to be open to the possibility that God will answer that prayer and to end each day looking for traces of God’ answers. At the end of the thirty day dare someone who meets our prerequisites will have had a profound experience.
If a person lacks any of the prerequisites, they will seldom find the spiritual solution, but this is not the final answer. Where there is life there is hope. Over the years I have seen those who were initially resistant find new hope and joy on subsequent occasions.
Jesus said to Nicodemus, “You must be born from above.” Spiritual revival is the only hope for a lost and hurting soul. We who have Jesus have the solution to sin’s ills. We too have a prerequisite, we must love! How can a hurting person become honest, open, and trusting with us if we are not first seen as trustworthy? The Church carries a lot of unfortunate baggage and we must overcome it as surely as our friends must overcome their spiritual state. This is a cause worth our best efforts.
On another note, I went to see my chiropractor this week. I told him about my experience of healing. He checked me out and said I had a full range of motion and marvelled with me at God’s power to heal.