This past weekend I had the privilege of attending a Salt conference with my Chi Alpha family in Knoxville, Tennessee. There’s just something about a gathering of believers worshiping one God, and hearing His word being spoken in a way that resonates with everyone in the room. I arrived one way and I am leaving refreshed, revived, and ready.
I wanted to share a bit from my notes about what was spoken by the speaker for the night services, Shawn Galyen. The Word of God that was shared by him encouraged, challenged, and changed me and I am confident it did the same for everyone else.
His series was on the Kingdom of God and how it is Inside Out, Upside Down, and Future Back. The first night he spoke about the Kingdom of God being Inside Out and it wrecked me.
The Kingdom of God is God’s goodness fully expressed.
The world offers us external formation but Jesus offers inside out transformation.
God’s kingdom works inside out but we don’t want to believe it because that means we lose control.
We’ll do 1,000 things to avoid dealing with the heart.
There are two enemies to inside out transformation:
- Image management versus soul formation
Image management replaces attention to the heart because we are desperate to create our own identities. Yet, Romans says that we were predestined to be conformed to the image of the Son.
We know how to build a profile but not character. We know how to build a resume but not righteousness. We work on image management to be noticed but Jesus says I love you!! You do not have to create yourself.
The greatest crime in our culture is to be still. We are taught that if we are not active then we’re losers. But Jesus is in the stillness. Stillness is about attentiveness to the voice of Jesus. He whispers to invite you to intimacy with Him.
We read titles but not books. We read Scripture memes but not the Bible. Culture has taught us to bounce along the surface and never got deep about anything. We are no longer able to focus. Activity as an idol is an imposter and dictator. Get rid of things that distract us. Ask yourself: Am I soul attentive? Am I devoted to Christ or distracted by life? What do I need to say no to?
Be released from being your own Savior. We don’t have those resources that’s why there’s grace.
You do not need to work harder you just need to cultivate soul formation. Jesus is not a resource for life, HE IS LIFE!! A yes to everything is a no to the important things. Prioritize Christ. Dare to trust Him.
My Thoughts: I really needed to hear that sermon. Honestly image management and other distractions have been a hindrance to my inside out transformation for a few weeks now. Social media is on the top of the list as something that people use for image management and it also can serve as a distraction. Yet, the Kingdom of God is Inside Out. Culture is training us to focus on what we see on the outside but God cares about the inside. It is the first thing He looks at and it is most important. In 2018 and beyond, let us learn stillness and may it be aggressive receptivity to Jesus. There are so many distractions pulling us away from dealing with what’s going on inside of us so we will need to be aggressive. God doesn’t shout for our attention, He whispers. It’s up to us to position our lives in a manner that allows for us to be receptive and attentive to His whisper.
These few days God has been showing me how much He loves me and desires an intimate relationship with me. It sounds cliche but it’s still true. Everything else needs to be placed in their proper place, after Him. In order to overcome, I will need to lean on Him and reach out to Him. He can both place me on a firm foundation and help me soar.
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.