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Obedient to adventure

By Mark Bishop

I recently went on a mini-adventure to an airport to see what God was up to there. Me and a few friends have started to do this in and around where we live. We try and listen to God and then be obedient to what we feel he might be prompting us to do.

One time we headed out not knowing where we would go. We went to our nearest bus stop and started there. Which bus should we get Jesus? The 266 it turns out. So, we’re on the bus. Where should we get off Jesus? Here. We end up in Harlesden in the pouring rain, wandering around and wondering what we should do next.

This is the point where we started getting scared. “Erm, maybe we’ve come to the wrong place mate… maybe we should go get a coffee somewhere and, erm, maybe we should pray more… or just go home now!” You get the idea. Any excuse.

But suddenly I felt the Holy Spirit whisper to stop on the corner of a street. So we stop, and we wait, and we get a bit more scared. Then my friend see’s a young man limping across the zebra crossing, rain pounding his coat, school tie visible just underneath, head dipped in protest to the downpour over London.

My friend just starts waving at the lad and acting as if he’s known him forever. “Hey mate, how are you doing, have you hurt your leg?” The young man doesn’t flinch but starts to tell us all about it. “Can we pray for you? We know Jesus and he’s healed some people we’ve prayed for before.”

The young man accepts, keeps his head bowed, closes his eyes and agrees with our commands and pleas for healing in Jesus name. And most of the pain left. Thank you Lord Jesus.

If we call ourselves a follower of Jesus then we have to be constantly learning how to be obedient. It’s the same for our Christian family across the world. It’s the same for you today as it is for a persecuted Christian in a different country, breathing in their own sights and sounds.

If we call ourselves a follower of Jesus then we have to be constantly learning how to be obedient.

What are we to be obedient in right now God? Where should we go next Jesus? Situations may differ massively but we are all faced with the potential obedience-based adventure that is right in front of us. Can you learn to hear God’s voice more? Can you practice being more risky in your obedience to Jesus? And as we accept, we find the way, one little step at a time.

I believe that as we stand in solidarity with our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world we in the West have to challenge ourselves to ask – what is the risk we are willing to take in our country, in our community, in our street? We may not get arrested for offering someone prayer but we will encounter fear. Can I stand up with this amazing King who calls me his and not fear other people? Are there adventures to be had with him right on my own doorstep?

Back to the airport.

I end up in the multi-faith prayer room where muslim brothers who are about to depart to different parts of the world are rolling out their mats toward Mecca for afternoon prayers. “Allāhu Akbar” they say, “God is great”. And I agree as I sit with my Bible on my lap, God is great. But I’m a bit nervous, I feel the pressure of our different faiths, the tension I have that my brothers are so reverent and yet have not met Jesus. How I would like to meet Jesus with them. And I’m reading Hebrews 12.

“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire”
Heb 12:28-29 (ESV)

Yes Lord. Your Kingdom come and your will be done here in Heathrow as in heaven.

“Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.”
Heb 12:3 (ESV)

Thank you Jesus for all you endured that meant I might be forgiven, called, filled and sent to share your good news. Your Kingdom come in London as in heaven, in the U.K. as in heaven, amongst the persecuted church and throughout the world as we pursue obedience in our following of you. And take us on adventures Lord. Amen.

The Author
Mark is married to Carrie and lives in a missional community in West London with their two kids and a bunch of friends. He is a pioneer of missional communities in the Diocese of London. He also sings a bit, paints a bit and enjoys hanging out with entrepreneurs.

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