Does God have free will to do what he wants with His church? Including shake it to bits?
There is a subtle irony, bearing in mind what I posted a week ago on Linea's blog about suffering being of relatively minor account.
What I'm working through is my current lack of faith in where we've been with the changes to the church and leadership since August last year. I've previously been in another church where the leader has seen a pattern, thought it looked 'great' and applied it where it was never intended to be applied. That took a lot of recovering from. I'm experiencing a sense of deja vu at the moment. Barrie (leading elder) is moving to plant a church where things won't be centrally focussed, but instead will be small groups that occasionally come together. That's his vision. But God has been talking to him about this for a long time, and what I'm feeling is - have all the changes that we've been through been a result of the mis-application of this vision? This has resulted in my 'loss of faith' in the present direction. I'm running on nothing more than obedience at the moment.
But what if?
God knew what would happen when he started sharing those things with Barrie. What if He also wanted to shake the church to it's core, causing all but the most determined to leave? What if this was intended to boot us substantially further down the road to maturity through suffering? What if he wanted to 'plow the ground' for new church leadership?
There were a couple of 'words' given at a meeting on Monday night about how a pot had been created by a master potter, who left it alone. God had then come along and smashed the pot, removing many of the pieces so that it couldn't possibly be re-assembled. He would then make something different from it.
I can feel a measure of faith in that, but we still have the potter here - he's not gone yet. I don't see the next steps to remaking the pot differently. And there are lots of people: awkward, difficult people, hurting people, all of whom want things to suit them. This is why I need to keep plowing ahead, while trying to avoid falling into any traps, running aground etc.
Guess I've learned a few things.