OK own up how many of us went and saw or watched the film ‘Toy Story’, more than that how many of us went on and watched the full series? Since the release of the latest even been approached by a number who said they were moved to tears while watching in that release as lives were put at risk! The film introduced a character called ‘Buzz Light Year’ a spaceman figure who coined a phrase as he burst into super stardom on the silver screen “into infinity and beyond” this has become his calling card.
Having mentioned the coined phrase of ‘Into Infinity and beyond’ now that’s a challenge how many of us ever realised that our faith would be a journey of such magnitude. When it was all about getting my sins sorted then to find that it was an adventure that would draw us beyond anywhere that we imagined.
The challenge of it, the necessity of believing, having a faith, trusting fully the Father, realising that this 70 to 120 year life span was just the beginning of a journeying to a beyond. Yet our Christian faith is based on a Kingdom of God that has arrived and yet is still arriving, that we have tasted of an age to come and we are to bring that age to bear to our world whatever world you live within. We are people who too can introduce each other with these words of into infinity and beyond!
A journey to another world
When we consider that it’s not only an age that is still breaking in upon us but also daily we deal with journeys to other worlds. The worlds of new experiences, of the mind and new understandings new worlds journey’s, worlds that we have to break through or cross into to become part of. There may be attitude crossovers (a world beyond) we need to deal with, may be life actions, habits that are necessary to adjust which will mean crossing over to another world. Consider this the joy of health, the amazing recreation of limbs we read about in the scriptures, as Jesus declared “reach out”, as he touched eyes and coffins these are journeys to another world not just healings and miracles. The different world of the lame and blind that once survived for a living now having to go and find industry as the reason for begging has gone, “another world”. From being carried daily to a spot at the ‘gate beautiful’ to now caring your own bed, providing a living source for yourself, “another world”.
Walking our faith is more often about letting this other world of new experiences, new relationships, new vocabulary and ways of doing life to break in upon us allowing the implications of this world affect our immediate life, realising that I have to negotiate the implications to my immediate surrounding and actions. For some being at home with your self is another world. Being loved, being touched is a yet another world for. Others are challenged in just trusting or letting go is another world for them, letting go of their own world and embracing another prepared for them is a real cross over.
While some struggle with the challenge to become part of another world often refusing to change and will not cross over there are a growing number we see brought into our living rooms nightly through the 24 hour news channels’ who long for another world where poverty holds no control where is produces a lowly dependence, it’s another world they ask for along with the abused, the let down, the political prisoner, the revolutionary we see in many nations today fighting to survive.
We have to deal with our prejudices and preconceived ideas to get into this other world, a necessity of developing a turning towards God way of life, repentance is not a one-off event but a constant attitude, not just turning away from sin but more positively and accurate turning towards God, constantly turning towards Him therefore constantly turning away from some things. Let me pose a question is not perusing the Father a turning towards him in a constantly consistent attitude, another world?
Acts 10:17-20 – The journey to another world.
Now while Peter was greatly perplexed in mind as to what the vision which he had seen might be, behold, the men who had been sent by Cornelius, having asked directions for Simon’s house, appeared at the gate;
18 and calling out, they were asking whether Simon, who was also called Peter, was staying there.
19 And while Peter was reflecting on the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are looking for you.
20 “But arise, go downstairs, and accompany them without misgivings; for I have sent them Myself.”
New worlds are closer than what you think. They are in the next room, or building, on the next plane trip, in the next meeting of people, in the next thought, or at the next event.
Jesus through personal involvement brought through people together into a new world, a world of a new creation. In all these new worlds up hold our differences without a willingness to occupy new worlds we will never be the divers people of God. We should cultivate our distinctions, celebration our divers nature to do so we have to look beyond ourselves away from where we are safe and move into new worlds. We will find the reality when we cross to unfamiliar, totally new worlds and discover real truth is truth everywhere all the time; it can function in any culture and in any world even if we do not occupy it.
- The book of Acts tells us how the word of God connects from culture to culture.
God is not trying to get into the world He is already out there.
Now there was a certain man at Caesarea named Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian cohort,
2 a devout man, and one who feared God with all his household, and gave many alms to the Jewish people, and prayed to God continually.
Firstly let me say that this great new world requires a generous person to travel to it, generosity is not just giving money, that’s just one of generosities manifestations, being able to accept different forms, different ways and thinking is generosity as well. Generous with those who cannot give you anything is the thing that matters, that may be a challenge for many who are utilitarian, giving when nothing can come in return. Here Peter had to give not seeing anything that the people of Caesarea could give back to him, he was one of the people of God, the Jewish root and what can a Gentile add, look out a new world is rushing at you Peter!
None of Peter’s way to date ways was enough to make it in God in this new world that now he was thrust into by the Holy Spirit, pluralism says as long as you are sincere its enough, I say its necessary to embrace and cross not just sincere. We must not fall into that trap as believers, we are new world people.
Before Peter could deal with Cornelius he had to deal with himself.
You cannot move out until God deals with yourself. Another world is drawing you calling for you knocking at your door for you and I to embrace.
“No so Lord” said Peter, how can these words be coupled together?
This story is not about food although you cannot connect if you cannot eat together, break bread, make covenant and pass the salt.
God was dealing with a barrier that was lesser than the salvation of the world, lesser that his plan that Christ might fill all in all, was not only dealing with it but also removing it. What Peter got on the rooftop was not enough, your vision, prophecy; insight is not enough, he needed the journey from Jerusalem to Joppa, this journey became the producer of the greatest changed in him. In the journey he had to deal with the unknown, his own prejudice’s and challenges as he did he becomes more and more part of the ne world
When you meet people who God wants to do something with they don’t meet you on your terms. When God wants you to do something it tests the temperature of where you are.
- All you believe becomes reality when you’re on the journey and making it happen.
To change it requires personal involvement, we must bring eternal values to a real level.
It took years to get the gospel to Joppa yet within a few hours the gossip got back to Jerusalem. The word got back to Jerusalem prior to Peter getting back. Breaking into another world means we will have to deal with much of the response created by history. When the gospel breaks out of a culture something dramatic will happen.
Beyond boundary people
Joshua 3, this passage paints with words the experience of a people who went beyond, the Hebrew who lives beyond migrating over a river and city to a new land, a promise, crossing over every boundary that is not the Fathers. The narrative is there that we might realise that we are not to be held up with any boundary, boundary crossing is the way of our faith that we can truly be FREE!
Many boundaries to negotiate, to take a view over then run on towards greeting the challenge, boundaries of our intellect that we must go beyond for example. The way we have presented the gospel it is now time to go beyond the religious boundary, to find a new way to communicate the gospel of the Kingdom, realising that the ways of yesterday are irrelevant to societies needs. Please do not hear that the message of Christ is irrelevant, far from it, it’s just the way we have communicated to date served an old day, a new world awaits us. We are finding that in a divers people groups along with a divers church many ways of explaining our faith along with bring Christ to an individual is not king but the Holy Spirit is the way of ministry. In this new world where we are to be led by the Holy Spirit therefore becoming ‘sons of God’ (Romans 8), to be true heirs while maturing. We must not take away the supernatural or no boundary or new world will be crossed into.
History has men and women who have gone beyond their point of experience to bring about the new day. They went beyond! YOU ARE TO BE ONE OF THESE BEYOND PEOPLE; IT’S YOUR ETERNITY.