Honest Christianity: giving God permission

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Tomorrow I am going on retreat and pilgrimage to Holy Island, a time where I would expect to meet with God and to get recharged. The question I bring is this:

“Am I really open to God doing what God wants to do or say or do I bring conscious and subconscious restrictions? Could there be a danger of boxing or straight jacketing God?”

It seems a fusion of arrogance, naivety and delusion to give God permission, but I do find this intention and prayer a helpful one. I have a feeling that God would rather be invited in to our lives, even more that just knocking on the door. In a future blogs I want to explore what is God never like, for now I believe God is no bully. If we have a sense we would like to say something to someone, it is not always easy to know how to raise the issue. What about when they say to you, hi Paul, we have been chatting for a while now, is there anything you would like to say to me? I encourage this approach when those in ministry ask me how they can get the most out of their mentoring or discipling relationship. One of my first tips is to recommend to them to give permission to their mentor permission to speak into their lives.

Inviting God to come and do what God would want to do, seems like good business sense to me, to be up front, be clear in my intentions, and send clear signals to God as to what I would like.

There can always be a consequences with this approach, God might take me at my word. We will see what happens, but whatever happens God is trustworthy enough with this risk.
Oh dear what have I done?

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3 thoughts on “Honest Christianity: giving God permission

  1. Oh dear what have I done? Sounds like a good prayer in itself! I’m asking it myself too in different ways today – just had news of a family bereavement today which I am sad about. Won’t disrupt the retreat and I don’t need looking after by weary people but perhaps we can be weary with God together and find something to sustain us all. That’s all I can ask for tonight! Safe journeys – I look forward to being with you.

  2. I am fascinated by this notion of going somewhere to meet with God… especially as a ‘retreat’. Does omnipresence mean nothing anymore or has God retreated from the everyday context? Other than biblical predilection for going up mountains and into the desert to meet God, which I would suggest is a minimal selection of the text, where does this idea gain and hold such purchase?

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