This was a very interesting question that kind of shook me. You see there is a little of Elliot in many folks. Instead of going forward and stepping confidently into God’s future, we sometimes weakly allow the fortune to move us where it wills.
For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.
1 Corinthians 4:20 (ESV)
The church needed a new fax machine. An email thread was circulating among various church leaders. A deacon wrote the specifications of the machine. The information technology person wrote that it was in stock at the store. Someone else said that we need to hurry up if we are going to buy it because that model doesn’t stay around long. Then the associate pastor reminded the group that if we hurry we can catch the treasurer before she goes home for the day. Someone else asked about the return policy on the machine. Then someone else asked how the church could ensure only proper use of the machine. The emails went on for a few more minutes. A lot of typing was happening, but no one was buying the machine.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
I remember last year during a football game one of the few times that the Tennessee Titans were driving to the goal. In the middle of a play, the screen went totally blank. I pressed the on-button on my remote control and watched nothing happen. I jumped up and ran to the television to press some buttons on the TV. Nothing happened. The screen sat blank, and I was missing the game. Upon examination of the room, I saw that the television was plugged into the power strip. It was plugged in but it was dead.Continue reading
Wade In The Water
Wade In The Water, Children
Wade In The Water
God’s Gonna Trouble The Water
But this spiritual comes in with a little predictability in a world that cannot be predicted. The singer encourages us to go down into the water. Go down into the water because God is going to trouble the water. God is going to make God’s presence known in that water.
Bible students know that this spiritual is using imagery of the crippled man who was trying to get into the water when it was troubled. (John 5:7). The Bible story provides us with some interesting things for contemplation. First, the Spiritual is based in the rumor that something divine comes to this pool. You know when you are at your wits end, all you can do is place yourself where God has shown up in the past. The singer of the Spiritual encourages us to go down to where we heard God has shown up in the past. We have heard of healing happening there. We have heard people getting blessed there, so go show up there to get the blessing that God has for you.
Another interesting point is that in the Bible story the healing came to the one who was first in the water when the shaking of the water happened. The singer doesn’t want to wait until the troubling happens before jumping in the water. The singer wants you to “camp out” in the water. The singer wants you to be there before the troubling happens so that you can fully experience that “troubling of the water.”
Today in this unpredictable world, the singer of this Spiritual tells us to go where we know that God has worked in the past and then wait for the troubling. And ultimately the singer is sure that God is not only gonna show up, but God is gonna “trouble the water.”
I got Shoes, You Got Shoes
All God’s Children Got Shoes
When I get To Heaven, Gonna Put on My Shoes
Gonna Walk, All Over God’s Heaven
This singer simply looks pass this present reality to a different one. You see in the present reality I don’t have shoes. In this present moment, I don’t have a robe. In fact in this present reality, I don’t have all the things that I need to survive. But in God’s ultimate reality, the singer has them. No, the slave master does not have the last word. God has the last word.
One thing I like about this spiritual is that the singer is talking about a present parallel reality. The slave is saying “The slave master says I can’t have shoes, but I have shoes today.” Not only do I have shoes, but the other slaves have shoes. Feet look as bare as they did before they decided to sing, but they continued “All God’s children Got shoes.” The shoes are a present possession in God’s ultimate reality.
While the shoes are a present possession in God’s ultimate reality, the slave will nto be able to use them until the future for they sang “when I get to heaven I am gonna put on my shoes and walk over God’s heaven.” The slave is celebrating the fact that presently I have the shoes but in the future I will use those shoes to walk over God’s heaven.
Today, many of us do not have the things that we should have. Some of us are even missing meals. Some of us do not have a good enough prescription drug plan to pay for all of our pills. Some of us cannot even afford the coat or shoes that are needed to get through the winter safe and healthy. But the promise of God is that God has gone to prepare a place. The promise of God is that he will come again to receive his own. The promise of God is one day we will no longer have to want for the necessities of life.
This reality changes our lives in such a way that we can celebrate God’s future. This reality changes things such that we can continue “Marching to Zion.” This present reality shapes and forms us as we live even today for we know that for the child of God, our needs and wants are fully realized in God’s promised future.