Lately I have been thinking about this question: Have we lost our focus? As I scroll through my news feed, I am inundated with posts of political alignments, opinions and fears. Though these things are important and should be discussed, I wonder if our attention is in the wrong place. Or better put, our attention is focused too heavily on the influence of temporal things. See, as a follower of Christ, we have a higher perspective we cling to and a higher calling in this world. This means we can’t just put our heads in the sand to ignore the world, instead as we engage the things going on around us, we must view them through a very different lens. Consider what Paul says in Colossians:
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. (Colossians 3:1-4 NLT)
Now, let me be clear. I am not advocating a passive escapism by quoting this text. When Paul speaks of setting our sights on the realities of heaven, I don’t believe he is speaking of ‘going to heaven’ and hiding in a bunker until that time comes, rather the reality that we are agents of heaven. This means that our perspectives, our lives, our actions, and our mission are all higher than the temporal things we find on earth. It is not that I am saying that we shouldn’t engage the things surrounding and issues facing us, our neighbours, and this world. It’s actually the opposite: In our higher calling, we become change agents for the betterment of this world. Our prayer is truly to see heaven’s realities impact and transform this physical reality we live in. We are citizens of both the earthly realm and the heavenly realm, and as citizens of both we are in a partnership with God to see these two world reunited and reconciled. Paul believed this:
"And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ." (2 Corinthians 5:18-21 NLT)
I wonder what would happen if the Church were to live in the Kingdom reality that Christ calls us to. Much too often, we live our calling in half measures. It is easy to fall into the daily motions of, what Dr. Jonathan Welton calls the Average Christian. It is safe, it is easy and it doesn’t require much of us.
"An Average Christian is like a thermometer, in that he or she can describe the spiritual climate to you. Normal Christians, however, are like thermostats, because everywhere they go, they shift the atmosphere. Consider Jesus, the first Normal Christian, after the wedding at Cana (the beginning of His ministry). He was never again able to walk into any atmosphere and be a wallflower. Normal Christians affect change in every environment. This type of lifestyle is not accidental; it requires constant, personal responsibility."
Our internal survival guide says: Why push the limits if we don’t need to? The problem with this state of being is it misses the desperate need in the world and in our own soul. We may have fallen prey to the lie that the life we live is ‘good enough,’ but if we were to do a real gut check, we would see a growing unsettledness towards the status quo.
In our own human effort, we may see the world through a blur. Much like someone needing glasses to correct their vision, the Gospel gives us the lens to see the vision God sees for His creation. It corrects our vision and allows us to see clearly. It is with this new vision that we have new purpose and see the opportunities to be full of love, fuelled by faith and addicted to hope.
This is the Kingdom impact in our lives. We become no longer satisfied with the state of our own lives, of our soul, or the world around us. We see the hopelessness around us and are wrecked to see a change. That change starts with all of us, but we are not putting our hope and stock in the state of the world around us either. We are not driven to fear or become agents of hopelessness because of the world around us. Instead, we are a light in the darkness and agents of hope for the hopeless. What would happen if we accepted the invitation of God to His mission of reconciliation in this world? I wonder...
Drake currently serves as the Editor-In-Chief of boldcupofcoffee.com and the Executive Pastor at gateway.ac as well as an avid speaker, writer and leadership coach/consultant.
Drake is passionate about seeing people thrive and come alive. To BELONG, wrestle with what they BELIEVE and BECOME people FULL OF LOVE, FUELLED BY FAITH, and ADDICTED TO HOPE. Drake is also a life learner and loves being challenged to think deeper and grow further. One of his favorite things to do is spend a good amount of time in a good café or coffee shop with a good book or engaging conversation. To be able to share in someone else's journey and experience is always a pleasure and honor. You can also connect with him at your personal page at drakedelongfarmer.com. To read more articles by Drake, simply click here.
CONNECT WITH US
SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL
Privacy: We hate spam as much as you, so we will never share your e-mail address with anyone.
SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOGS RSS FEED
AND GET ARTICLE UPDATES