We Must Grow

“If we are not growing, we have nothing to give away.” – Putty Putman

First of all, if you do not know who this man is, look him up! He is a pastor at The Vineyard Church in Champagne/Urbana, Illinois. He is the creator and leader of the School of Kingdom Ministry, and the revelations that Jesus has given him are AMAZING!

With that said, I would like to share some of the things that have happened to me over the past week. I was in Illinois at a training to help lead this School of Kingdom Ministry at my church. However, I had no idea what I was in for. When I think of being trained, I think of listening to a lot of teachings, taking a lot of notes and having a relatively mundane time. That was not at all what God had in store for me!

I realize I need to give a little bit of backstory in order for this post to make more sense. Over the past few months, I have been distancing myself from God because I have been having a lot of doubts and questions around the idea of who God is. I am surrounded by many people who are actively searching for God or trying to figure out who he is, and I kind of just forgot about all of the things that Jesus has done for me. This training helped me remember.

One of the first questions asked at this training was, “Does anyone ever feel like they have no idea what they are doing?” In my head, I was screaming, “YES! YES! A THOUSAND TIMES YES! I’M ALWAYS CONFUSED!” I was relieved when Putty said, “The disciples were always confused, but they were always running after Jesus.” There is so much truth and knowledge that can be learned from this statement. How many times have you felt confused in your faith? How many questions have you asked regarding God or His will for your life? How many times have you questioned His goodness because of something bad that has happened to you or your family? I have been there. I am always somewhat there. It seems like no matter what I know about Jesus, I always seem to forget it when push comes to shove. I forget that all I need to do is ask the Holy Spirit for insight or guidance, and He gives it to me. Instead of running after the ideas of culture or religion, run after Jesus! He will give you the answers to the questions you keep asking yourself over and over again!

Stick with me, because I am about to go into some stuff that is going to be challenging to wrap your mind around (I know it was for me!). I found that half the way that I was looking at things was wrong because my worldview was off. I was not basing my worldview off of how Jesus would have when he was walking the Earth. In order for Christianity to be where it is supposed to be and where God intends for it to be, we must deconstruct and rebuild the idea of Christianity. Doesn’t that make so much sense?! How many times have you met a Christian, listened to their theology and asked yourself, “Um is this person even a Christian?!” I, as a Christian (or follower of Jesus as I like to say), ask myself this question when I encounter Christians who just don’t seem to get it. I learned that it’s because they are looking through their own lenses instead of through the lenses of Jesus. Think of it as needing spiritual glasses! Our worldview determines the way we live and turns our whats into whys. Luke 11:33-36 says, “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines on you.” Before I go on, it is important to define a couple of words as they were originally written. The New Testament was originally written in Greek. When the word “healthy” is translated back to its original Greek form, it means generous, not healthy in the sense that we may think of. When the word “unhealthy” is translated back to its original Greek form, it basically means stingy. Again, not the sense of the word that we would have originally thought. Now, according to these verses, the purpose of those who follow Jesus is to shine, not to hide! This is where worldview comes in. Those Christians who have a worldview that is of the world are the ones that you encounter whose theology does not seem to line up with that of Jesus. They are the ones whose light is hidden, and they are the ones hiding it! For every time that a Christian hides the light that Jesus has put inside of them, they are unable to shine and stand out as “different” as the rest. Now do not mishear me, different does not mean better, it simply means different. Have you ever met a Christian and asked them, “You do not seem like other Christians I have met, what makes you different?” Their answers may vary, but essentially it is the fact that their light is not dimmed by fear of what people will think. It shines brightly because they hold the light that leads others to the same freedom that Jesus sets the captives free with!

Now, if we have a skewed worldview, that worldview will ultimately tell us what we actually believe about the world, even if it is not aligned with the worldview that Jesus intends for us to have and operate in. Essentially, it is a worldview based on assumptions. Some of these assumptions may be: “I am just one person. What difference can I make for the Kingdom of God.” or “It is not a big deal if I participate in the things of this world because Jesus still loves me.” or “Jesus does not see or love me because my family member is dying of an incurable disease.” However, the things that Jesus would have to say are much different. He would say: “You may be just one person, but whatever you do for me, you do for the Kingdom of God.” and “It may not seem like a big deal to you. Of course I will love you always, but I have more for you. Drop the things of this world and follow me.” and “I see you. I see what you are going through. I love you. I hear your cries. I desire healing for your family member. They are important to you, so they are important to me.” However, when our view is of the world, we fail to see times when God has been faithful because we are blinded by the things that society or religion tells us. We need God to show us the way to seeing and operating in a perfect worldview. There is a perfect worldview because Jesus lived it!

Thanks for reading!

Be blessed,

-Becca Rice