Often, as we strive to humbly follow God the Son, Jesus Christ, we find ourselves wondering if He is actually at work in us. We grow concerned about how effective is God the Holy Spirit applying the benefits of His Beauty to our hearts. This is a topic worth of concern, and here you’ll find two indicators that will clearly point you to the answer.
It is normal – more so in this context.
Pursuing disciple-making in a context that is culturally diverse can be one of the most satisfying experiences you, as a humble follower of Christ Jesus, could enjoy in this life.
It could also be one of the most frustrating and confusing events, ever.
Because you are not longer operating within your cultural preferences, all points of reference was gone. The land is unfamiliar. Not much makes sense. You are outside the map. If is it common for Christians to wonder about how effectively God the Holy Spirit is transforming them, how effectively He is applying the benefits of the finished work of Christ to them, then it’s even more so for those serving outside the comfort of their own Culture Circle.
But, it has be be cultural independent.
The challenge is to find a way to measure His work – yep, I said it! I am talking about using a formal metric to be aware of the Spiritual Transformation He is producing in us. Our natural inclination is to use units that make sense to us, units that are relevant to our own cultural framework. Here in the US, for instance, we like to measure Spiritual Transformation in terms of how much we know, how much we have accomplish, how many people we are serving…
Do you see the pattern?
We, Americans, love to measure things in tangible, very specific ways.
The problem is that this approach has the potential of adding more to the frustration we are already experiencing, because it may not translate well into the diverse setting we are serving at.
What we need is a way to probe our heart that is independent from culture but that, at the same time, reflects biblical principles.
Such a way, thanks to God, exist.
The two indicators.
To know how much He has changed us we must look at our sources of delight and sorrow. These two indicatos paint for us, with wide strokes, a realistic and clear picture of the condition of our heart.
Here the requirement is to be honest when answering the questions:
- What makes my heart jump for joy?
- What dips it deep into sadness?
And here you have two examples, from the life and ministry of our Lord.
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Mt 9:36
Is that the way you feel when serving those who are not like you?
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. Jn 4:34
Do you delight in doing His will? Do you find pleasure – similar to eating when you are hungry – in serving others according to Him?
Ask these questions often, keep track of you response in a journal, and gain a clear idea of His work in you.
Call to action.
Time for a self-evaluation: What do your sources of sorrow and delight say about His work in you? Repent, confess, and celebrate accordingly. And if you want to help others out, please consider sharing your experience with the rest of our community, using the comment section below.
Remember His grace for you, Follow Him in humility, Cultivate hearts – including yours – constantly, All in cultural diversity.