Actively bringing about much needed change in our communities and hope to the broken and disheartened.
Those of you who follow me on Twitter or on FB know that I have been reading Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. In fact you may be sick of hearing me talk about it. The truth is the things that I am dealing with in IR are really a continuation of the things that I have been dealing for the past month or so. Part of my denominational requirements for ordination is to take a series of courses. Most of them I took in college, but there were a few that I lacked and I have been taking them via 1/2 week intensive classes. The last one that I did was a course on the doctrine of holiness. Basically this doctrine says that we believe God wants to do an ongoing transformative work in your life even after you have reached the point of admitting you are a sinner in need of a savior. In this course we talked a lot about the fact that this is not something that God will do to me as I passively park my rear in a pew week in and week out. This process of transformation requires hard work and commitment on my part, but at the same time it is not something I will achieve on my effort. It is still the work of the Holy Spirit, since it is in fact God who is transforming you, and not yourself. This is a both/and process, it requires both your WORK and the work of the Holy Spirit.
I love taking courses like this. I love learning about God and how He works in our lives. I love learning about the Bible, I was a Bible major in college and I minored in Theology. Something God said to me in an all but audible voice during that class was: I need to start living what I have already learned before I move on to learning the next thing.
That hit me hard. There are a lot of things, little things especially that I know I need to do/not do if I am serious about follow Jesus. But there are big things too.
The thing that has stuck with me the most as I read through IR is that Shane is someone who has reexamined all aspects of his life in order to follow Jesus to fullest extent he is capable – not that Shane has reached that point necessarily, but it is the only direction he seems to be heading in. It is his only pursuit. It is as if in every area of his life he has asked the question “Will this bring me closer to the American dream or the Kingdom of God?”. Some of us have not even realized yet that these are not the same thing!!!! Is there a scenario where the answer to that question would be, “both”?? I can’t think of any?
It seems as if in order to pursue the Kingdom of God on earth (Matthew 6:10) you have to stop pursuing everything else, even (or perhaps especially) the American Dream.
So where am I in all of this? Good question. I have no idea. All I know is that I need to stop concerning myself with learning more about God until I can begin to allow what I already know about Him to alter the trajectory of my life. Getting to that place requires far more humility than I currently have and a lot more wisdom. I think that my biggest need is focus. Focus on one pursuit. I would greatly appreciate your prayers.
God, our culture has made us disciples of the American Dream. We have bought into the lie that we can pursue the American Dream and Your Kingdom. Please forgive us. Please forgive us for the times that we have confused the American Dream with Your Will for our lives. Teach us the difference. Teach us through the Holy Spirit to lay down the American Dream and pursue only You, and Your Kingdom.
This video sums up the way I have felt over the past month.