Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I remember sitting in the church my family attended, when I was nine, and realizing that there really was a God. And if God existed, then he was boss over everything. This meant that I needed to get behind him, get on his team. I needed to follow him. And that is what I decided to do.

However, “following him” does not seem to be as easy as it sounds. There is as diverse an opinion of what that means as there are people. We have considered God’s purposes in the world, his design of people and what these mean in the area of following him. People need to enter and embrace the way they are designed and God’s mission for his family. It is in the embracing and striving to live out and complete these things that humans move into the “zone.”

Athletes seem to move into a place where their bodies and minds are balanced and functioning optimally. Athletes often call that place the “zone.” There is a zone for the family of God. It is found at the intersection of the correct consumption of spiritual fuels and seeing God’s purposes and living in them.

God’s purpose can be described in a nutshell as the re-establishment of his reign over the universe. Jesus had two purposes on earth. (1) To enable people to become part of his family. (2) To teach people how to live so what they say, do or think promotes the re-establishment of his kingdom.

We teach people how to live in a way that re-establishes God’s kingdom by teaching them how to follow Jesus’ commands. Jesus taught a number of things in different settings. But when we look at what he taught about how a person should live his life, he gave us seven commands.
  • Repent and believe.
  • Be baptized.
  • Worship and take communion.
  • Pray.
  • Love.
  • Give.
  • Make disciples.
Each person should obey the first two commands once in life. The other five should be life time practices. There is probably a core essence that defines each of these. But actual practices can be varied.

Which is correct? To pray standing. To pray kneeling. To pray laying on your face. To pray aloud. To pray silently in your heart. To pace. Memorized prayer or whatever comes into your head. When Jesus spoke about prayer, it was either concerned with principles or the condition of the heart. There is no exact pattern to follow. (General models perhaps.)

Expressions may change over time and in different contexts. Be slow to insist someone abandon their expression, or to abandon your expression. God is certainly big enough to embrace all forms of expression, if hearts are turned fully to him.

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