Synopsis of Part 1.
In part 1 I laid out my theory that we are all searching for a more effective way to live. We have the one we inherited or/and modified over time and we get a lot of advice on ways to improve it. In fact we pay a lot of money to people for ways to improve life. But as much as we make inroads in some areas, we end up feeling like we are trying to spin too many plates. Whichever plate we aren’t actively focused on ends up crashing down around us.
What We Really Need
We really need to go back to looking for the big picture, because things like wrong beliefs are just pieces of the puzzle. What we need the most to put them all together is the picture on the front of the box. That picture is going to be of you, by the way. It’s a you that you probably wouldn’t recognize.
Success Coaches (Secular Gurus) – employ an outline technique. They take you through a process of figuring out what pieces you do have and putting them into an outline. Then you can try to figure out how many blank spots there are and what order things go in. You can also work on improving the parts that you do have. That’s not wrong.
The problem is they still don’t have the picture. They don’t know what’s authentic to you and what’s not.
New Age Gurus – have a lot of techniques pulled out of the ether and observation of what others are doing that does and doesn’t work. They are great at generating ways to get and stay connected to the unknown forces that guide us. These deeper self knowledge and focus on connection to others and “the universe” tend to be things that bring more meaning and motivation. They aren’t wrong.
The problem is that by not being willing to personify the “universe” they are living deeply connected to something nebulous. God seems to meet these folks where they’re at and reward them to the degree he can. But they’re missing out on something truly amazing and a piece of them knows it.
Clergy – hover between these two worlds. Some have a relationship with God and exuberantly fling themselves into a grace-filled license to flounder about. Some are great at mining the scriptures for Kingdom keys that they incorporate into a lifeless practice that’s not sustainable. What both do well is picture God in who’s image we are made. One problem is they’re still looking for a corporate picture in that image. They can be so in league with the Spirit of Institution that they preach against the postmodern idea of finding what works for you individually.
Yes, We are The Body of Christ…
Okay I know corporate fellowship is all over the bible. I get it. God values the “one anothers.” The problem is that it dovetails so nicely with institutional centralized control. It’s become a justification for elevating the body over the priesthood of believers. I don’t want to nerd out too much here and get off track, but frankly the fruit of elevating corporate identity above all has been the creation of churches based on uniformity instead of unity. God didn’t create a church in his image. He made a married couple. God’s plan is more about innately different things working in harmony than he is about conforming so you can fit in.
For too long the church has relied on our longing to belong as the force for living a more moral life when they could have been pointing people to a God who accepts them where they’re at, and in whose image they are uniquely made, and counting on the desire to draw close to that relationship to bring about more abundant life.
A church full of spirit-filled, rugged individualists, who pursue their best selves in Christ so they can shape culture would explode across the world and change it for the better. It would also be impossible to control…and that’s a problem for Clergy.
So what’s the Answer?
We are built uniquely in God’s image. We are the output of a creative process. A divine self portrait. The picture on the outside of the puzzle box is a picture of you as God sees you and it’s brilliant because you look a lot like your dad.
Of course in order to see it you’re going to have to leave the box. Gurus and Charismatic Clergy are at least willing to step outside the box. Gurus then refuse to see what the picture is, they just bring back a few elements and call it good. Likewise, Clergy see only the parts they want to see. The parts that apply corporately. For the answer to the question of how to live better they turn to the scriptures and extrapolate principles to apply religiously.
I’m being a little unfair to Clergy. I know I’ve made some sweeping statements that put a large group of people in a box. Forgive me. I want to describe the reason no one seems to be able to help their fellow man answer the question, “how do I live now that will bring life?”
I know you have good intentions. I know I depend on the same Grace you do. But I’m driven by this one thought, Jesus said, “I came that you may have life abundant.”
Why isn’t every Christian I encounter living in abundance?
There is a place out there, a Promised Land, that every child of God is meant to inherit. It’s a place of Prosperity with a Purpose. It’s a place where the Kingdom of God pours through them and they are massively blessed while they delivering massive value to a world that’s looking to leave slavery in Egypt.
Why is God’s church still circling the wilderness? We seem to wander periodically alongside the Jordan River and peer across at the land God said he wants to give to us. God wants it for us. Why aren’t we there?
God actually takes responsibility for getting us into the Land He set aside for us. The problems are on our end.
I know in my journey I’ve completely misinterpreted my time in the wilderness. I’ve looked at the miracles God provided to keep me alive, but not blessed, and seen it as God holding out on me.
The truth is that one of the key things we learn in the desert is that God will always be your source of good things. This is a lesson best learned in a state of dependence. Once God gives you abundance it’s way too hard to keep our eyes on God when we have money, etc. to credit with our victories. It’s hard to deny manna from heaven, it’s easier when to ignore a God who sends rains on soil you tilled, planted, guarded and harvested.
That’s a Writer-downer
We will always be dependent on God. Now there is a lot more to learn about all this, but my goal here is to paint the big picture. I want to introduce the concept of context.
We are all on an adventure from Egypt to the Promised Land. We really need to understand the wilderness season we are in if we want to enter our Promised Land.
I bet you’ve felt one of the following things, if not right now, then sometime in the last 30 days…
- Overwhelmed by options or obligations.
- Resigned to never find an answer you are seeking.
- Hopeless that answers to your problems exist.
- Out of touch with your life vision, or without direction.
- Lacking passion/motivation to do the hard things that are supposed to bring success.
- Tired of trying the same thing and not having it ever work.
- Like you don’t have time to get everything done and you will never get to what’s important
If you have felt any of those things, or if what I’ve written resonates with you, there are 4 things you need to know.
Email me and I’ll tell you for free. I’ll reply to your email with those four things and a link to my calendar so you can set an appointment to chat about it for free, no obligation. (An offer, but no obligation.)
Please take me up on this. Whether or not you believe in God, he wants you to have life to the full. He wants to clear up any confusion and set you on a path to more abundant life. In 20 minutes we can identify the source of any fog and create some next steps.
PS I’m not going to tell you how you should live. I can give you context and I’ve walked dozens of people through identifying how they want to be living and what the reasons are that they’re not living that way now.