Slowing Down to Speed Up
We move at the speed of light, but we often miss the One who is, Himself, the Light.
We want instant transformation the way my daughter can instantly surf the web on her Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. Transformation takes time. It’s often forged in pain and patience.
Pastors want their churches to grow exponentially overnight. And if they don’t, then they think something’s wrong.
So how do we pursue healthy spirituality in an unhealthy culture?
Let me introduce the 3 Gifts of Integration. These ideas were generated as I read pages 47-60 in the book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Dr. Pete Scazzero. The 3 Gifts of Integration will help us slow down so we can we speed up our transformation:
THE GIFT OF MARINATING
Learn to marinate [i.e., stand, abide, focus on] in the presence of God in each and every situation in which we find ourselves.
How do we do this? In our fast-paced, superficial, over-hyped culture, we must learn to slow down and savor communion with Jesus.
What this personally means to me is..
In staff meetings, I get to marinate in God’s goodness.
On a date with my wife, I get to marinate in God’s goodness.
In the midst stressful and unpleasant circumstances, I get to marinate in God’s goodness.
“I am the vine. You are the branches. Those who live in me while I live in them will produce a lot of fruit. But you can’t produce anything without me.” John 15:5 God’s Word Translation
THE GIFT OF ANCHORING IN YOUR LIFE IN GOD’S LOVE
Before time began, Jesus began His relentless pursuit of you. And His glorious, life-giving pursuit of you doesn’t end the moment your eyes are opened the first time that you need Him. Every day of your life, Jesus pursues a deepening, widening, soaring relationship with you, anchored in His no-strings-attached love.
Our culture is filled with false gods that try to entice us to commit adultery against Jesus. Remain anchored in the truth from the one, true God…“that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen" (Ephesians 3:16-21, NLT).
Marinate and anchor yourself in God’s unconditional love.
THE GIFT OF BREAKING FREE FROM ILLUSIONS
Around every corner is an illusion. Our shallow culture tells that we can’t live without a certain lifestyle, certain consume products, or certain accomplishments, or Twilight-inspired relationships. Our hearts become attached or addicted to the good gifts that God blesses us with instead of the Great Gift, Jesus.
Hidden in our hearts, we say, “If my church doesn’t grow to 3,000, then I won’t have a successful ministry.”
Hidden in our souls, we say, “If I don’t accomplish these certain goals, then I’ve failed.”
Hidden where only God can see, we say, “If I’m not famous, then I’ve failed.”
We break free from these illusions when we realize that there is nothing more soul-satisfying, more beautiful, more purposeful, more goose-bump producing than the gift of Jesus, Himself, and being a part of His family called the Church.
Break free from our culture of illusions by becoming a prisoner to Jesus; let Him, alone, possess the key to your heart.