Yesterday I had the privilege of spending the day with the guys behind the curtain at Leadership Catalyst. LCI is the mothership for the TrueFaced resources that I yammer so much about. The cool thing was when you pull back the curtain on these “wizards” there is no hiddenness or deception. It was a day of energizing and honest conversation that flowed without judgment, posturing and pride. What a joy! Do you think there has been a meeting with those dynamics in Washington in the past 50 years or so?
I pondered on the dynamic in that room as I jetted back to scenic Garland today. If only more Christians would trust these truths of identity, protective love and grace what difference would it make?
When I was a kid the preachers used to bellow about revival. We need REVIVAL! Lord, give us revival! They would have week long revival meetings badgering us to sell out. We got yelled at about our sin. We heard clearly a message of condemnation and fear. We heard that we had better shape up or else! We heard stories about backslidden Christians burning in hell because they wouldn’t repent. We heard that we had better get serious about Jesus. And we believed we would. That fear based compliance lasted for a day or two or maybe a couple of months if we really got convicted.
Then I wondered what difference a revival centered on the grace of God might make in the church and ultimately the culture? What if a revival was based not on avoidance of damnation but on being reconciled to have an actual relationship with God? What if Christians really understood that they are new creatures when they put their trust by faith in Jesus? What if Christians really got that there is no condemnation for them because of the Cross? What if Christians really understood that they are no longer have to prove anything and they could instead trust God with their maturing into who He created them to be? What if Christians saw that Jesus stood beside them ready to resolve their sin instead of looking with disappointment from afar? What if Christians learned to trust God and others with who they really are and dropped the dadgum masks? (My grandfather’s favorite Christian cuss word). What if Christians had the courage to put their full weight on these truths of identity and grace and allowed God to love them and others through them? These are the truths I have learned, refined and had a chance to discuss with the guys at TrueFaced.
Here is what one tired and discouraged Christian learned when he began to understand the message of grace. It is changing me. And I have had the best year with Jesus of my nearly forty years on the journey. I have had some really good spiritual seasons along the way but I have never had the consistency of joy and peace that I have experienced in this past year. I have never felt such spiritual freedom until I leaned into grace that allows me love God, receive love from Him and allow that to flow to others.
What if Christians really trusted who God says He is? Could we change our walk with Jesus? Could we change our family? Our church? Our culture? Dare we believe this? To paraphrase and put a much better spin (in my opinion) on the lyrics of John Lennon.
You may say I’m a dreamer,
But I’m not the only one.
Perhaps I am a dreamer. In Hebrews you find a familiar passage that lays out a simple starting point.
It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him. (Hebrews 11, The Message)
I have seen the power of my God. I believe in His faithfulness and love for me. I believe he cares and does respond when I seek Him. I can start the revival in my heart today. You can do the same.