Friday, October 26, 2007

Radical Transformation: Lesson #1

Trying to figure out how to live a Kingdom lifestyle can be daunting. The Bible is littered with timeless Truths and directive Wisdom. After being overseas, in a very different culture/world, my heart has been opened to some different lifestyle techniques; worldly and sacred ones. Then I read the Bible and a collision happens within my soul, my heart, and I am confronted, in a big time way, to tangibly reconcile the tension....When the Bible tells me one thing, and western culture another, it isn't that I am struggling with how to reconcile the two together because I really don't believe we have to do that all that much....what I struggle with is that the Bible tells me one thing, the world another, and the Spirit engages the flesh in an all out War of how I will practically carry out what I know/learn. This War continues to wage in me day by day, night by night. Spirit vs. flesh/world. I take 2 steps forward, 1 step back it seems....The Goal: to divorce myself from the world. How to do it: Read the Word, let the Spirit move, talk to Jesus, embrace accountability, and Trust.

God vs. World, Part 1: 1 Corinthians 9:19

"For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more;"

One needs to look no further than 3 words in this passage: free, servant, and might.

In the context of this passage Paul is saying that he is making himself a servant to all, even though he is free, in order to proclaim the Good News. How does this vastly differ from the world's version of freedom and servants? Let us see.

World: autonomy, American Dream, self-centered, individualistic, etc.
God: self-sacrifice, submissive, giving, humble, fearing God, etc.

World: looked down upon, "the people who do the jobs no one else will do", which is code for the immigrants who work jobs Americans won't work because it only pays $7.00/hr, lazy, not driven, etc.
God: putting others needs ahead of yours, sacrificing time and resources, etc.

And finally...the word: might is very interesting to me in this passage by Paul. We are to become servants, (a.k.a.: give our own lives up for others), give our lives and desires up, so that we might be able to lead others to Jesus. This is amazing to me...Paul doesn't even say that it WILL happen, but that it, in theory, we could go about our whole lives giving ourselves to others and sacrificing, denying ourselves, so that we MIGHT lead others to Jesus...when was the last time you made a decision that was life altering based on something MAYBE happening. If you are like me, I am often very calculating with my decisions and will make many of them based on the relative "success" of the event happening.

Life Lesson #1: 1 Corinthians 9:19.

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