Living in God’s Sphere

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Being in God is to be surrounded, saturated, strengthened and safe as adopted sons of our Heavenly Father, explains Gordon Allan (inset, above, on main picture of U2 playing at The Sphere).

My WhatsApp pings. My USA-based brother is sharing a status update. He has tickets to see U2 perform at The Sphere, Las Vegas, only two weeks after it opened. (‘Bet’ you didn’t expect to see Las Vegas mentioned in a Direction article!)

I was both very pleased and very jealous, yet felt compelled to share his joy. The Sphere is a 112m high x 157m wide dome-shaped auditorium seating 18,600. Its draw is a floor-to-ceiling wraparound, 16k resolution LED screen with 4D physical effects and a sound system loaded with the latest technology.

Oh, and the exterior is also covered in LED displays.

And all this before a single song is sung! It is a totally immersive experience, placing you in the centre and then having your audio and visual awareness saturated with images and sound.

You are in the middle, cocooned in the moment and invited to step into this high-tech journey.

I have been thinking about the New Testament church in Thessalonica.

Formed through God hijacking Paul’s plans (Acts 16:6-10) and having evangelism/church planting cut short due to a riot after three short weeks (Acts 17:1-10), it wasn’t a ‘good’ start.

But it was a God start! Paul greets his friends with these words: “To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: grace and peace to you.” They are ‘in God’.

‘In God’, ‘in Christ’ or ‘in him’ are Paul’s favourite descriptions of our status with the Father and Son (164 times).

What does that mean for 21st-century followers of Jesus today? It is being truly alive and forgiven through Jesus’ death and resurrection.

It is having access to and being welcomed into the family of God – knowing him as Father.

It is the Holy Spirit’s ongoing presence in our lives, guiding and empowering us in our home and workplace.

It is our connection with God, revealing our true identity as sons.

It is being immersed in his goodness and strengthened by his grace in our daily decisions and conversations enabling us to live well for him.

It is possessing an overcoming confidence when facing challenges, obstacles or the temptation to compromise.

It is experiencing his unshakable Shalom peace regardless of what is happening in our world, or in the world.

There is not a single man reading this who wouldn’t want to experience being strengthened by grace and the comfort of God’s peace in their life.

For me, the Sphere is a great modern-day illustration of what it is to be ‘in God’; surrounded, saturated, strengthened and safe as adopted sons of our Heavenly Father.

Live well ‘in him’ today.

Gordon Allan is Senior Leader at Edinburgh Elim Church

From Direction Magazine

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