Here’s the bottom line: My life with God has been totally a response. It was initiated by him and continues to be animated by him. He got the ball rolling and keeps it rolling each day. I got on board and have gone along for the ride. It’s all his doing. He’s in charge. He’s determined the destination. He’s kept me on coarse. He’s provided the on board service and serves me my meals. All I’ve done is tried my best to be a good passenger – cooperative, following his safety guidelines, and being nice to my fellow passengers. It’s been about learning quiet acceptance and trust. And in a world that celebrates being an assertive person of action that’s in control and can muscle his or her way through life, it’s taken a lot of getting used to.
But after forty-five years I’ve concluded that anything creative, anything powerful, anything biblical, that I’ve participated in has originated with God. It’s not been by my own initiative, good intentions, zealousness, training, intelligence or strength. It’s been my response to what God has been doing. It’s been about being part of what’s going on with God. This has meant dealing first with God and then with the business of daily living. Discerning his actions and joining him in what he’s doing. This is what I’m calling, “living on the prophetic edge”.
God is the original prophet. He spoke the first prophetic word to the formless void, “Let there be…” and there was. It was first spoken to and all of life has been response. You might say the world runs prophetically. God always has the first word. “This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us (first) and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” Everything’s a response.
I believe we were meant to live on this prophetic edge – in a place where God initiates, we respond. Our life is to be, what Eugene Peterson calls, “answering speech”. A response to what God is doing in and around us. In order to live this way we have to be God-conscious rather than self-conscious like Jesus was. This is the challenge always before us. To live a life of faith, love and trust in the Lord that frequently involves failure and suffering, like the psalmists.
Living on the prophetic edge most often doesn’t get us what we want but what God wants. Neither does lead us to where we want to go but where he wants to take us. And that’s always the best place we can possibly be.