In our last blog we briefly touched on what are known as the seven spheres or the seven mountains of influence in our society. Those seven mountains consist of Business, Government, the Arts & Sport, Media, Education, Religion and Family. We at Rebuild spend a lot of time thinking about these seven spheres of influence and rack our brains trying to work out what being called to rebuild in these areas would look like. Let me tell you we still don’t fully know – but before we can rebuild we need to grasp an idea of the rubble we are building out from.
It doesn’t take long when reading the paper, watching the news or listening to the UK top 40 to spot the ruins in these spheres. Here are some examples from my experiences recently: On my ride to work every day I like to read the Metro in order to keep an idea of what is going on. Recently I have seen front page articles on the Brexit debate apparently pulling our government in half, the conviction of former Sunderland football player Adam Johnson, multi-million pound businesses not paying correct taxes… the list goes on and that’s just the morning paper! Once I get to work (where I am a technician for Music & Drama) I see teachers stressed and burdened by the weight of paper work from schools being under staffed and overworked. We also have our debate club, which has chosen to question the ideals of family by debating: ‘is marriage an outdated institution?’ Then I head home and pass protests about doctors, university fees, immigration and taxes.
It is clear that the media, television, music videos are all screaming of a generation that has no idea what it really wants but they want it all now! Job, image, sex, money, booze. I see kids every day that are so blatantly influenced by the wrong people but that’s because the right people aren’t there or aren’t loud enough. I know a lot of people who don’t watch the news because it makes them too angry or too sad and I can totally sympathise – it can make you despair! I am deliberating painting this picture so that we can see the problem. We are in a world where a lot of people are losing hope and are living in fear.
However, God is different! He has been using His word to teach me about hope. There is hope. God has shown me different turning points in the Bible – the key moment in a story when it all changes. He drew me to Daniel in the lion’s den where there is a verse in Chapter 6 that says ‘the king sealed the stone with his own seal, so that no one could rescue Daniel’. In human terms, Daniel’s fat was set in stone but God showed up. Another example can be found in Ezekiel. He is led down and down and down into ‘the valley’ where he finds nothing but dry bones… until the turning point comes – God breathes life. Similarly God has spoken to me and my wife through Lamentations 3:20-22, which says:
‘I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease’.
This is the moment when things change. This is the turning point! In the midst of the pain and anguish there is a stirring of hope.
So as we look at these seven mountains and begin to try and rebuild the ruins let us ignore the seal of the one who holds people captive and instead see the authority of the one who sits with us and the lions. Let us pray for the breath of God into our lifeless bones and let it cause us to dare to hope. That is a good place to start.