I recently had the privilege of traveling with my family to the Hawaiian island of Kauai. What a joy it was to introduce our three-year-old new places of God’s beauty, new people made in the image of God, and new wonders of His creation. This idea of the new stood out to me during our stay. As a father, I love the opportunity to show my daughter these new things.
And it hit me that our Heavenly Father must also love to show us new things about Him and His world so that we might more fully live, being able to more readily comprehend and grasp what He has set in motion long ago. It was no surprise, then, when I read a wonderful article by Dallas Willard on “How to Live Well” in the Conversations journal.
Dallas reminds us that the Church has been through “a period when the dominant theology simply had nothing to do with discipleship. It had to do with proper belief, with God seeing to it that individuals didn’t go to the bad place, but to the good place.” While this theology may have worked for a while, it’s not sufficient for making lasting change. Rather, he calls for the following:
We are coming into a time when many churches and Christians who are in leadership positions will be able to say it’s all about discipleship and transformation into Christlikeness. Now, if you read the New Testament or even the Old Testament, you might have come to that conclusion already. It is hard to avoid, but circumstances in history have a way of claiming us and not letting us see what’s actually happening.
This new pattern for the Church will come from those that are what Willard terms “spokespersons for Christ,” who are those “men and women, wherever they are, who speak up for Christ and bring knowledge of God. They bring knowledge of the human soul, and without that, the world has no structure. It’s all up for grabs, and there are a lot of people grabbing…. Spokespersons for Christ are those who have knowledge that no one else has. That’s why they are the most important people in society. That is because they bring about knowledge of what time and eternity are about. They bring knowledge on which people can base their lives. They bring knowledge that can be communicated to others on the basis of experience and reason and Scripture and grace and work and everything else you want to put in to the bag!”
So, as you go about your day today, would the Lord show you new things in your own spheres, and would you remember that—as a spokesman or spokeswoman for Christ—you are on the sole team God has foreordained to bring goodness, truth and beauty to this earth. What a responsibility, privilege and gift!