The temptation is to seek a template with instructions and apply those directions precisely to obtain a certain outcome. We want results because they make it comfortable for us. There is a certain security in the thought process of, “If I do ‘x,’ then I can expect ‘y.'”
As we have stepped into the invitation to start this new church, we have read books, sought counsel and attended equipping conferences. I noticed at one of the conferences when the discussion was on “how to” do the things they were talking about, there was an increase in note taking and questions. The effort to capture the idea through creation of a checklist of sorts was evident.
In the Kingdom of God, however, that attempt is flawed. The law in its written form didn’t work as cyclical rebellion and performance failures made it clear that something else was needed for the hope of man. That something was Someone.
The result that Jesus offered for the here and now was a change of heart. He offered a heart that was not reliant on the application of “how to,” but instead was reflective of “Who.” The “Who” is the One who changed the nature of the heart to allow the performance of the person to reflect that very nature.
That is a relational reflection of transformation as opposed to a skilled application of ideas. The result is that we are reliant on the transformation of our heart to reflect His and not on our own limitations. His transformative ability will exceed our skill set every time.
It’s kind of scary to stop trying in the ways that we know to try. It causes us great tension to consider that giving up is actually a gain. “What if we fail?” is actually a question of “Will God fail me?”
He won’t. He is Faithful. His faithfulness, however, has a fresh application unique in each of our lives and situations. How it looked for others won’t always be how it will look for us. The consistency of Eternity and Truth will be present, but the specifics of manifestation will be different.
That means that the checklist of another’s story won’t apply. God will always be seeking to take us to the heart of the matter. Our heart and His heart. Hang on.