Total Recovery: The Eternal Purpose & the Apostolic Vision (Part 1)

Well, I sort of gave up blogging from AblazeUK about half way through last year (and don’t think I’ll even attempt to do it this year). But there was one more thing from Ablaze I had wanted to write about and just have never got round to, and that was my message on the last morning. I can’t give you any audio (as if you want recordings of any of the sessions from Ablaze you have to buy the CDs), but I can summarise what I spoke about. And I’m going to summarise it, not because I think particularly highly of my sermons, but because I was speaking about the very heart of Apostolic theology (which is sort of what this blog is supposed to be about). So here’s just a wee introduction, and I’ll get to the heart of the matter in the next couple of posts.

Part 1: Total Recovery - That's God's Plan

Last year’s convention theme was ‘Total Recovery’, which rather resonates with us all, because we know that we need it. We know that things in this world aren’t as they’re supposed to be. We know that our lives aren’t as they’re supposed to be. We know that our church isn’t as it’s supposed to be. In fact, the whole world isn’t as it’s supposed to be. And somehow, we long for a recovery. And not just a temporary one or a partial one, but a full one – a total recovery. And so it sounds really good to be able to say that that is God’s plan!

But what exactly is God’s plan for total recovery? And is it anything like what we’re thinking of? Is it anything like what we’re expecting? Well, maybe not. You see, in the Bible we see all sorts of people who got the wrong idea about God’s plan of total recovery.

In the Old Testament, if you know the book of Job you’ll know that Job’s friends thought they knew all about God’s plan, but yet they got it completely wrong. In Jeremiah’s day the people thought they could trust in the physical Temple for security and prosperity, but God had to send Jeremiah to declare to them that that wasn’t His plan at all (Jer. 7:4).

In the New Testament, even Jesus’ disciples got the wrong idea. James and John were looking for the best seats in glory. But that wasn’t the Plan. Even after Jesus had risen from the dead and spent 40 days teaching them, the disciples were still asking ‘Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ (Acts 1:6). They were taking their eyes off God’s plan.

You see God’s Plan of Total Recovery isn’t about how good we are (as Job’s friends thought). Nor is it about a physical building (as the people of Jeremiah’s day thought), or getting better experiences of blessing than everyone else (as James and John thought), or even about the restoration of Israel (as the disciples thought). No, none of those are God’s Plan of Total Recovery. For God’s Plan of Total Recovery is much, much better than any of that. God’s Plan of Total Recovery is – Jesus!