God has been moving in amazing ways within our ministry. As one of the main leaders I get the joy of being able to hear of all the ways the gospel has been transforming lives. Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting some of the stories of how God is working through people within VI.
Our hope is that you’d be able to see the different ways God has been working within VI and lives of those who are striving to live rooted in the gospel (Col 2:6). Seth will kick off this new blog series…
Growing up in church I learned how to be a ‘good Christian’. The problem with this was that it became a disguised form of legalism that created a problem; being a ‘good person’ became synonymous with being a ‘Christian’. The result was that, practically, living for God on a daily basis meant simply acting like a good person on a daily basis. I would have a good day ‘spiritually’ if I had a quiet time in the morning and if I didn’t curse under my breath throughout the day. Make no mistake, I felt the power of the gospel transform my mind and heart; that I was God’s personal creation, that out of pride and ignorance I rebelled and therefore deserved hell, that while a was and still am a sinner Jesus of Nazareth the Christ, the all atoning sacrifice, paid my debt on the cross, and that there is now exists inside of me faith that saves by God’s grace. But, tragically, I was having a great deal of trouble applying it practically to my life.
The door was shut. The reality was that it was frustrating. I would have quiet times; I would spend 2-3 weeks a year overseas ‘on a mission’, and I was completely (outwardly) faithful to the church and my role as a worship leader. However, on a daily basis I was struggling to experience God beyond that of an intellectual level. It was frustrating to me, as I felt as though I was making every effort to pursue deep understanding and application of the Truth, I strove to be faithful in prayer and faithful in reading the Word, and that I was, comparatively (which in and of itself leads down the slippery slope of legalism), being a good person.
God opened a new door to me. The doctrine of grace does not end with salvation. Being or becoming what the world would call a good person or even a Christ-like person is not an end in itself. This is because no matter how Christ-like we become ‘even our righteousness is like a filthy rag’. Me responding to God’s grace and salvation is so much more than me attempting to conquer sin in my life (I do not mean to diminish or at all disregard the call to be sanctified, only to point out that it is not the only purpose of my life). So then, my idea of ‘living-out’ my faith on a daily basis was shattered.
God pushed me through the door. God saved me so that I may now participate in his mission. This is not going on a mission trip, this is not attending a church, this is not deepening theology, this is not even loving others (all of which are very good things, but are not ends in themselves). People coming to Christ and being blessed eternally by the gift of God by God are the only events in any single person’s life that does not simply go away. So God has blessed me with a mission; that every day, 24/7, every dollar spent, word spoken, action lived, and step taken would be for the sake of furthering God’s Gospel. This happens here and now. When I walk to class, when I watch the NFL on Sunday, when I shop for clothes, and when I sit alone in a coffee shop. God has placed me here because here is what I need and I am what here needs. I was blessed so that I may be a blessing.
In the middle of last semester I began to experience what this looked and felt like when I began to live this out. My initial frustration was that I was not experiencing God and that I was not seeing and feeling God move in my life. As soon as I began to even attempt to be on a mission (missional is the hip term) on a daily basis I saw God move. I could see God moving around me because I was the person God was moving. God empowered me to build relationships with people at ASU who I, without feeling compelled by the truth of the Gospel, would not have pursued. Sharing my life leads to sharing the gospel. These relationships are my mission field. This mission field is my purpose at ASU. It all is satisfying God’s eternal purpose of displaying his Glory!
My challenge to myself and every person—find one person in every class (or setting in general if you’re not a student) and become their best friend this semester. Sharing your life leads to sharing the gospel.