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  • Writer's pictureHarry Smith

Resonance is not obedience.

Updated: Apr 16

I look back over 2023 with thankfulness regarding the many great conversations I have had with clergy and ministry leaders as a part of my journey in writing the booklet “A Tree has Roots.” In it, I have been exposing a satanic stronghold which has operated in Ireland since the mid-12th century, sadly, and all too often, in and through the Church - what has been called an “empire spirit” and often expressed as nationalism! The title of this blog, “Resonance is not obedience” was one of the headings in a recent Sunday morning sermon in our Church - a phrase I have been mulling over ever since!

As we enter into 2024, and the booklet draws ever closer to being printed and a publishing date, I am aware that tackling the subject of this “spirit” is one that Satan has and will continue to contest. The majority of comments from church and ministry leaders have been: “I get what you are saying,” and “You have thrown a whole new light on how we need, to reinterpret and embrace our divided history.” This is resonance!

One of the ways Satan has contested this is by throwing us off the scent! For too long we have been embracing the lie that our historic/cultural/religious struggles in Ireland have been between ‘us and them’. In Ephesians, Paul exhorts us by writing “Our battle is not against flesh and blood…” Yet, that is exactly what we have made it - us v them! 

One question that has often been articulated in my conversations is, “But, how do we address this in the Church?” They are all too aware that the negative aspects of our separate identities are so deeply embedded in us that to expose them is to run the risk of “rocking the boat.” Yet, if the Holy Spirit were to move among us as a purifying fire, that may well be the outcome! Can we really expect to experience lasting revival without this?

In 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 Paul writes: “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Examine all things. Hold fast to what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” When we read the word “prophecies” here, we often think of it in terms of a charismatic gift. But there is another expression, perhaps more connected to its Old Testament sense, where God spoke through his prophets, to bring correction into what He saw as their collective wrongdoing. 

For instance, in the Old Testament, God spoke through the prophet Amos in terms of putting a “plumb line” into the nation. Their building - the nation of Israel - was “off plumb” (Amos 7:7-8). Today that building in Ireland is the Church, the followers of Christ. We have been responsible (though often unconsciously) for embracing the idol of nationalism. I sense that “A Tree has Roots” is such a plumb line. By embracing the “empire spirit” embedded in our history we have been constantly quenching the Holy Spirit. God is asking us to “Examine all things” so that we can “Firmly hold fast to what is good.” Perhaps one of the best ways of doing that is by allowing God to first of all put this plumb line into our own life so that we can become catalysts for change. This moves us from resonance into obedience! A mind-boggling yet liberating prospect.

For myself, as I enter into 2024, I really do not have a clue what the path ahead, regarding “A Tree has Roots”, will look like. I have a longing to see this booklet being widely distributed, read and its message embraced. Not because I have written it, but because I believe it is a liberating message for the Church on this island. What is certain is that societal change will ultimately come about through a revived Church.

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