This past weekend we launched The Story! It's not too late to join the journey and to bring others with you! If you missed this past weekend, check out the intro here. This coming weekend's message will be reflecting on Chapter 1. Come having read it and ready to engage your heart and your mind!
With the launch of The Story, I've been thinking about Dallas Willard and the helpful acronym he offered when it comes to thinking about how our lives are transformed. He speaks of three catalysts when it comes to the transformation of our lives. He refers to them as VIM.
Transformation begins with a vision of how our life would be different if we were transformed in some particular way. By way of illustration, John Ortberg points out the difference between America and China when it comes to learning another language. In the U.S., there are a multitude of ways people can learn Chinese. In China, the methods are more scarce and expensive when it comes to learning English. Yet far more Chinese are learning English than Americans are learning Chinese.
What makes the difference? Vision. People in China can see how learning English helps to create opportunities for them educationally, financially, and even vocationally. When the vision is strong, people will find a way.
Perhaps this why Jesus taught in pictures - "To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It is like......." When He said this, He was holding out a vision of the qualitative difference the reign of God makes in the world and in our lives so that we would pursue it.
This is one of the reasons why I attempted to articulate this past weekend why The Story is important and what it will do for us. I was hoping to stir a fresh vision in each of our hearts for immersing ourselves in this journey.
Let encourage you to consider how your life will be different as a result of you being consistently in the Word of God over the next several months. Your life will be different.
There must be a decision to act. Transformation isn't just a matter of vision but of aligning our actions in such a way that the vision becomes a reality. What is your intention for when you're going to read - do you have a set time and, even, place to draw near to God in such a way? This is also where my suggestions for "getting the most out of The Story" from this past weekend come into play - read up, write up, show up, and speak up. (If you missed the message, let me encourage you to listen/watch it).
These are the things that are used to change us - such as relationships, practices (spiritual disciplines), and experiences. With it being the beginning of the year and a new series, now is a golden opportunity to connect with others at The Branch and form relationships that can empower one another in our transformation as followers of Christ. Our small groups are a great forum to help make that happen. If you're not in one, let me encourage you to let us help you find one. And, of course, The Story represents a great opportunity for us to invest in the daily practice of reading Scripture.
What about "experiences?" This is when "life happens" and the "rubber of our faith meets the road of reality." Such moments can be transforming and revealing. When these things happen, they can also prove to be a time where our relationships with others and our practices can make a profound difference in how we respond to such experiences.
It's time to live a better story.
So get your VIM on!
Posted on Mon, January 21, 2013
by Blog Author Account