Are We Really on the Cutting Edge?
Like me, I’m sure you want to do God’s will. In fact, the desire is even more acute, isn’t it? We want to be in the centre of His perfect will in this moment of time, right? We want to be sure that what we’re doing is aligned with God’s desire for this generation. We hope that what we’re about is on the cutting edge of God’s restoration purposes for today. I mean, who wants to be on the blunt, dull end?
However, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is a dark side to this noble desire, a dark side that actually works against God’s purposes and usurps the very noble intentions we might have. A dark side that I see lurking in my own heart, and one that colours some of what, in my opinion, He is doing in restoring His perfect will on earth as it is in heaven.
Too often, as I see it, the desire to be on the cutting edge spurns a subtle pride, a sense that we’re better than others or ahead of others is some “restoration race.” The revelation we receive—a gift from God—is then used as a “one-up” platform from which we too easily condemn others to the trash bin of “old school.” Paul said that “knowledge puffs up” (1 Corinthians 8:1), and I must admit, an unbridled striving to be on the cutting edge puffs a lot of hot air into the sails of one’s heart. Amen, or O-me? A noble desire to do God’s will can quickly become a smokescreen from which ego takes centre stage.
A Different Restoration Question
I’ve found it helpful—actually, crucial—to ask a different restoration question. The question, for me, is no longer: “Are we on the cutting edge?” but rather “Are we wrestling with cutting-edge issues?” More pointedly, are we faithfully working through the cutting-edge issues He has revealed to us, knowing there are many cutting-edge issues He will ask others to unpack?
In other words, while we ought to faithfully wrestle through the cutting-edge issues God downloads to us, we do so humbly, knowing He is downloading other cutting-edge issues to others that we haven’t even begun to grasp yet. In time, we’ll serve others with the our understanding God allows us to unpack, even as we learn from others in those areas we have yet to encounter.
“We see in a mirror dimly” (1 Corinthians 13:12). No one person or group has the whole picture. We really do need each other. “And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body” (1 Corinthians 12:19, 20).
Moses was on the cutting edge of his generation (even though it seems he didn’t camp in any smug sense of self-importance.) He truly was a pioneer, blazing a trail towards a new day in God. His attitude in Exodus, Chapter 32 is profoundly pertinent for our topic here.
Rather than “write off” unfaithful Israel, and chart a new “pure” course—perhaps “birth” a new nation of “Mosesites”—Moses interceded for his people, praying: “[LORD] … blot me out of Your book” (Exodus 32:32). As a ‘remnant of one,’ He refused to give into a self-congratulating “I’m on the cutting edge” superior attitude; instead his sacrificial servant-heart bridged the gap for God’s people to ultimately inherit His promises.
Any revelation we have graciously received ought to deepen our capacity to serve others—even as we humbly acknowledge the download others have received. God does use pioneers, but when we think we’re the cutting edge of what God’s doing, our big head blocks out the light of God, casting a shadow in which others may stumble.