Groundhog Day



usually a great time to catch up on reading or correspondence. To help pass the time on long flights, airlines frequently show movies to their passengers. On a trip a number of years ago I watched the film Groundhog Day.

The story was simple: the main character, Phil Conners, played by Bill Murray, lived events of February 2nd over and over. Each day began the same—the clock radio playing the same song and the announcers talking about the same weather that would be expected on Groundhog Day.

No matter what Phil tried, every day was predictable, included the same people, followed the identical pattern of the day before and was utterly inescapable. After reliving Groundhog Day several times, Phil asked two local residents this question:

“What would you do if you were stuck in one place, and every day was exactly the same, and nothing you did mattered?”

One of the men replied, “That about sums it up for me.”

Sadly, that about “sums it up” for too many of us. Each day seems the same; we are stuck in a predictable rut, and nothing we do appears to make a difference. While fighting boredom and discouragement, what we are actually craving is a fresh encounter with God. Without it, life can become repetitive and hopeless.

Daily encountering God lifts us from the treadmill and inserts us into the ultimate adventure. Experiencing God in all of His fullness is the starting place, the sustaining energy and ultimate destination in our life’s journey. It makes life matter both now and in eternity.

Spending time with God by reading the Bible and praying—meeting regularly with our Heavenly Father—allows His guiding light to enter our lives and the Holy Spirit to illuminate our thoughts. Instead of “waking up to the same song,” as we encounter God we awaken to the fresh movement and direction of the Holy Spirit empowering and releasing every dimension of life and ministry.

The Christian and Missionary Alliance began when one man refused to accept sameness and predictability. Declining to be content with anything short of a daily encounter with the Supernatural, A. B. Simpson committed to allow God into his life and offered the possibility for similar Supernatural encounters to all people. This is still our passion and our purpose in The Alliance.

Meaningful ministry will flow from the powerful position of a vibrant relationship with the Almighty. Relational connections that are so vital to the healthy operation of the Body of Christ will grow as we engage with each other and with God.

When we are actively involved in our local church minis-tries and regularly fellowshipping with one another, Living the Call Together is more than a catchy phrase; it is the way God intended His Church to reach its full potential.

When God’s people encounter Him and fully engage with one another, they will become fruitful as they are equipped and trained to use their gifts for service to their local church and others around the world. Just as Jesus challenged His followers to “make disciples” (Matt. 28:19), that remains our commission until He returns.

As members of the Body of Christ, we regularly engage with one another to be equipped and encouraged. The Scripture speaks of the ministry of encouragement, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1 Thess. 5:11). As a way of life, we affirm, appreciate and inspire one another to be mobilized for Kingdom purposes. We celebrate our victories and recognize what God is doing in and through us.

The Alliance is built upon the foundation of Spirit-filled Christians empowered to minister as God leads. When we are released to serve Christ and others in our neighborhoods and the nations, His work moves forward under His direction.

The role of leadership in the C&MA is simply to remove roadblocks, to keep our vision focused and to enable Alliance people to reach their potential in Christ. A spiritually healthy church will impact our world as the apostle Paul describes in Colossians 1:28. With Christ in us, we are messengers of hope “so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.”

In the Body of Christ, everyone is essential. There is no such thing as an insigni? cant member. We have been commissioned by our Lord to experience and share the transforming life He offers for time and eternity. We experience God’s blessing when we live and serve together in unity.

I don’t believe anyone wants to live a predictable, Groundhog Day existence. We have been called to encounter God and live passionate, full lives to His glory. I pray that Christ in us, the hope of glory, will describe us as we live the call together in the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit.

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