Presence Devotion #32
Boots and All
David Breen – General Manager of Training, Discovery Community Care
Acts 2: 42-47
All the believers were together and had everything in common… Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.
Individualism is rife in our Western society. We work to get what we can for ourselves and multitudes are swept up by the media messages every day. Keeping up with what is the latest thing impacts us all – be it the latest iPhone or the latest car – we are urged either subliminally or overtly to buy more stuff. What does this do to our capacity to sit quietly with God or engage with the Spirit in quietness and receive from him – and to our connection with others?
Independence is both a blessing and a curse – we need to be independent from our parents and become healthy and stable persons who can live effectively in our world – but not be individualists who live for the latest and coolest fashion item. Spiritual health and maturity recognises God as the source of all life and seeks Him every day for life and strength. Our spiritual health is undermined by “stuff” – by the mantra of, “Get more stuff”. Jesus said, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed… life does not consist in the abundance of [your] possessions.” Luke 12: 15
The opposite of greed is sharing – giving to others, to God and to those in need. The early church spent time together in Jerusalem eating and fellowshipping and worshipping God. The common approach was to share everything – including their spiritual experiences and their heartaches. We can miss out on the power of community by being too individualistic. There is only so much you can get from your time alone with God … #15 in my chair has to be within the context of the community of faith. We give and receive from one another so we are strengthened and encouraged.
When we give and share with each other what God has given us we do not remain slave of the god of money and greed. We break the system that wants to control us and manipulate us into always having to buy the latest fad thing or gadget, car or house! It also helps us to keep our focus on God who is the source of life rather than on what we can buy or accumulate.
How we do this is, you may ask. Let me illustrate; a man I know was at a conference with many other Christians, many who served the Lord by faith and did not have regular jobs. He had been learning about listening to the Spirit and obeying his voice. A thought came to mind to give his RM Williams boots to a particular person. After much struggle (between nice boots and desire to not have to walk out in socks) he gave them away – discovering the recipient did not have any shoes and was his size! He walked out in his socks – very aware of the presence and pleasure of God! It was better for him to miss his shoes than miss out on learning to obey God and experience his presence and pleasure.
When we give what we have and share it with others we please the Lord. Obeying Him must be the outcome of being in his presence. Greed and consumerism is broken when we choose to live everyday obeying God and sharing what we have with others. Individualism is transformed into community and we all get to share in the joy of his presence in our lives. Let’s make #15 in my chair a platform that serves the community through the bond of love.
1. How has individualism and consumerism affected my life?
2. What is God asking me to do that will break the power of greed?
3. How can I move from move a step closer to loving others as a result of my #15inmychair?