Our culture no longer believes in a Bigger Story. More and more people are stuck in their own small stories without anyone or anything to make sense of all the chaos and hurt in life. We all have the tendency to live without a Bigger Story today. The idea of a spiritual life in this cultural shift is becoming more confusing and intensely isolated from healthy community where the Bigger Story is discussed and how each of our unique stories fit into the Bigger Story. In the midst of this cultural shift, the idea and need for a suffering and sacrificial Savior to die for our sins makes less and less sense to people who no longer have a Bigger Story and bigger hope. When all we have is our own story to live out the reality of our sin and need for salvation get swept away in the midst of consuming selfishness and lack of humility toward eternity.
Few people today have someone or a community of people who are genuinely encouraging each other on their pursuit of God. And this is even true for many who are involved in church. How often do we really get below the surface in our discussions and interactions with one another about where our heart is and where we are with God?
Where are you on the spiritual path?
I want to introduce you to our Spiritual Equipping Path.
Are you a Fan?
We are all looking for someone to look up to who is worthy to follow, who will never let us down. We all have heroes and idols. Fans are fickle and want to be able to follow God on their own agenda. There are three people in the New Testament that represent a Fan; Judas (Matthew 26-27), King Herod (Luke 23:6-16) and Pontius Pilot (John 18-19). Judas had every opportunity that the other disciples had, but he never could submit to Jesus’ agenda – he wanted it his way. Both King Herod and Pontius Pilot were the classic skeptics. They were curious about Jesus, but not curious enough to continue the discussion with him. They were actually looking for fans themselves, they were both people pleasers not God pleasers.
This is where we all begin. We are Fans – born selfish. But if we make a commitment to follow Jesus we begin a relationship with the Father who is seeking those who will worship Him in spirit and truth. We begin the spiritual path of grace, growth and greater things as we become a Follower of Jesus. Most Fans do not know their heroes. Followers of Jesus know Jesus and He knows them.
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”-John 4:23-24
Are you a Fundamentalist?
No one today wants to be known as a Fundamentalist. But for many of us who have been believers for a long time we have subtly become this way in our approach to others, especially those who don’t know what we know or who we think are really screw ups. The Scribes and Pharisees best represent a Fundamentalist (Matthew 26:57-68). The fundamentalist represents someone who has grown in the Word – in Bible knowledge but not grown in the ways of the Holy Spirit. A Fundamentalist is about keeping the law and making yourself feel better by judging others. This person would also be the dutiful Christian who serves the Lord out of duty and not delight. These are the kind of people who do great harm to people on their journey and many of us have encountered them in our church experience. But before we are quick to judge – lets make sure we ourselves are not on this path and if we are to press in with the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts.
Are you a Feeler?
We all know who the Feelers are. They are the folks who are in search of the goose-bumps. They would be those who tend toward New Age and letting their personal experience dictate truth in their lives. They are led more by their feelings and beliefs of culture than by the Word of God. They are led by their emotions. These folks are best represented in the scripture by the crowd that enthusiastically shouted “Hosanna Hosanna” as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, but who just a week later were shouting “Crucify Crucify”(Matt. 21:1-11; 27:15-26). We are to experience God for sure, but our pursuit is not to be the experience itself or even the manifestation – our pursuit is to be for God Himself. And all of our experience is to be rooted in the Word. If this is our tendency we need to build a foundation of the Word of God in our life and let the peace of Christ and word of Christ reign in our hearts.
Are you a Follower?
Jesus asks us to follow Him. And this relationship is a Word and Spirit relationship. Jesus is the logos – the Word of God. And the Father and Jesus both have sent forth the Holy Spirit into our hearts to empower us to live new life. It is a life of Grace, Growth and Greater Things. The best representation of this Word-Spirit life would be the early church as found in the book of Acts (Acts 2:42-47; 4:27-37). Followers are saved by God’s Grace to Grow and serve God and others through Greater Things.
Where are you on the spiritual path?1