Cal Jernigan – Senior Pastor
I am extremely excited about our next teaching series coming this Fall. It is titled, Thy Kingdom Come. This series of messages will deal with what life in the Kingdom of God is intended to be. I am confident it’s going to challenge and stretch each of us!
In preparing for this, one of the books I just read (actually re-read) was The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard. It’s a fantastic book about life in the Kingdom and it is both deep and wide. There were many things in this book that challenged me, but perhaps nothing more than what Dallas said in one particular paragraph. Take a moment to chew on it yourself.
“The intention of God is that we should each become the kind of person whom he can set free in his universe, empowered to do what we want to do. Just as we desire and intend this, so far as possible, for our children and others we love, so God desires and intends it for his children. But character, the inner directedness of the self, must develop to the point where that is possible.” Dallas Willard
What would it take for me (or you) to become the kind of person that God could trust to be set free in his universe? What would have to change in me that would allow God to be able to take his eyes off of me and be confident I would just do the right thing… automatically? How do I grow to the point of wanting to do only the things God wants me to do?
As I have pondered this thought, I have come to the simple realization I would have to become a whole lot more like Jesus than I currently am. But isn’t that the goal of it all anyway? What is true spirituality if it is not simply becoming like Jesus?
Said differently, am I learning today to make decisions and live life my life in such a way that is exactly the way Jesus would do it if he were to live my life for me?
Which reminds me of something…
If you have ever been to London and taken the subway (the tube) you are probably aware of a phrase that they seem to love to use. It is both spoken and written frequently. They’re serious about you getting it. The phrase is “mind the gap.” The gap is the distance between the platform and the subway car. If you don’t pay attention to this gap you will trip and fall. Mind the gap.
The gap in our walk with God is the distance between what Christ would do and what we would do… instinctively. God’s greatest desire for us is that we would “grow up” and be done with the foolish things that are outside of his will. Remember, all good things God has given to us; things he has withheld he has done so simply because they are not in our best interest. Too often we reach for them instead of obeying. The gap grows.
God wants us to become like him; to think like him and to act like him. This is what it means to understand his Kingdom. He is serious about your transformation.
In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote,
“The real Son of God is at your side. He is beginning to turn you into the same kind of thing as Himself. He is beginning, so to speak, to ‘inject His kind of life and thought, His Zoe [life], into you; beginning to turn the tin soldier into a live man. The part of you that does not like it is the part that is still tin.”
This lifetime is all about becoming the kind of person who is prepared to take their rightful place in God’s Kingdom. It is about developing the ability to do the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do. This is the essence of Christlikeness.
So where are you and Christ essentially different? Remember, he is everything God desires we become. It is in conforming to Christ we are truly prepared to be “set free” in the universe.
Mind the Gap!