Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The Great Divide

I am currently in Wolverhampton staying with my Grandma, what is supposed to be my home when I’m not at university.  I don’t have a Church here.  I don’t have Christian friends.  And I don’t have the Christian Union.  Here is my secular place.  Nottingham is my sacred place.  For two years now, my mind, heart and soul have been set in an unhealthy bipolar fashion, as I like many, have fallen under ‘The Great Divide’.

            This summer between my second and third year of university (the last time I have to return here to live) was my last chance to get it right and make an effort.  I urged my sister in Christ (to whom I am accountable to) to push me over text and email, something that to both of our surprises was not much needed (thanks Jess!).  I arrived on Saturday evening and by Sunday evening, after walking for almost an hour, I found myself in a Church, joyfully singing worship amidst a large family bearing happy hearts and welcoming faces.

            Personal progress aside, this ‘Great Divide’ is something that continually effects the majority of us, it being a way of life that is too easy to fall into and exceedingly difficult to climb out of.  Whether you’re at university and return to a home town during holidays, you have work life and personal life or separate your different groups of friends, think of the ways in which you banish God from parts of your life.

            At this new Church I’d visited, a woman asked, ‘what kind of fruit are you?’.  At this I was rather confused and so patiently waited for the coming analogy.  ‘Are you an orange or a peach? Is your life broken into segments, or is your life integrated with God as your strong centre?’.  Well I happened to be an orange.  I was always satisfied with merely being a fruit of God, bearing the good news in my heart, but I never took much notice as to exactly what kind of fruit I was.  And it turns out I was the wrong kind.

            In Paul’s biblical letter to the Colossians, he writes ‘whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him’ (Colossians 3:17).  To me this means three things:
1-    Whatever: absolutely everything you do, from preaching the gospel to doing the shopping, playing sport with friends or doing the housework, in prayer or in day-to-day conversation.  Whatever you do, do it with God on your heart and mind.
2-    Whoever: absolutely everyone you meet, not just your Christian friends but your non-Christian friends, the people on your course, at your workplace, on the bus, at the gym.  Whoever you meet, show them that you have God in your heart and mind.
3-    Whenever: absolutely every minute of every day.  Not just on Sundays, not just at times of organised mission outreach, but all the time.  Whenever you live a waking breath, live it with God on your heart and mind.

It all seems ridiculously difficult, almost impossible.  But the beauty of it is that we WILL mess up, and we WILL drift away at times and almost slip into the ‘Great Divide’, but God in his outstanding grace knows this already and forgives us.  He won’t leave us, nor will he forsake us, and no matter how far from Him we drift He will always seek us out to carry us back in loving arms.  So why banish God from certain segments of our lives when He so desperately wants to saturate every inch of it with His love and grace?  Give it all to Him, don’t hold back, and He will do things with your life so incredible that you could never imagine.  Get rid of that ‘Great Divide’ and let the sacred bless the secular.  Be a peach!

Alternative helpful Bible passages:

Romans 12:1-2
            ‘Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.’

Matthew 5:16
            ‘Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.’


  1. That was a nice bit of writing Annie, and it's given me lots to think about. Hope everything is going alright up there, I look forward to reading your next blog post.

  2. Great post Annie, and very true - here is the text from a very short literally 2 minute video preach I made last week (I'll post it on here properly some day) which is perhaps relevant to this questions:

    "If you ask a Christian if they have sinned then you can guarantee they will say yes. If you ask a Christian if God loves them, again they will say yes. But what if you ask a Christian, indeed ask yourselves, whether or not you are at this very moment filled with the Holy Spirit? Would the answer of yes resound just as quickly and certainly?

    Yet we are called to be filled by the Spirit and the essence of revival is when we can say ‘yes’ to this question at any time of day – that is victorious living, that is living in the light and not in darkness, it is living in a state of complete brokenness at the cross and openness to our Saviour.

    Of course, victorious living is easier said than done; sin smears its stink in our hearts and corrupts our lives such that living in the light seems impossible.

    Indeed, only one person could ever live the life of true victory and that was Jesus, but by grace He offered Himself up for us, so that if we offer ourselves up to Him, if we acknowledge that we are sinners, if we desire to have Jesus as Lord over ALL of our lives, if we present ourselves broken at the Cross – if we break the I of Self and bend it into the C of Christ – then He will wash us clean in His blood, He will grant us His record, He will give us the living water and the Spirit till it overflows.

    So the real question Christians need to ask themselves is whether they bring their WHOLE life, BROKEN, before the cross, and allow Jesus to FILL their hearts by GRACE – because if so, then Jesus will pour out the living water of the Spirit into our lives, and then we can say YES."