We may like to plan. We may like to organize our life in order to aim at the right goals and results. However, our plans rarely survive the first encounter with cultural diversity, and the ensuing chaos can drive us crazy. Let’s talk about a few realities of this environment, and how they can help us to be cultivated as humble followers of Jesus Christ.
Beginning and End to determine the now.
We are flooded with options and we love details and metrics. That’s one of our particular problems, here in the USA. And often we carry the resulting attitudes (“I want to know, and I want to know right now in the way that makes sense to me”) into our ministries, into the way we approach the Great Commission.
Now, there is nothing wrong with planning or with the desire to know if we are going in the right direction.
But, as we strive to follow Jesus Christ in humility, we must resist the temptation of believing that our cultural preferences are THE standard God is using to measure relevant Spiritual Transformation, and which must be follow and accepted by everyone.
If you consider the beginning – the deep, muddy, and dark whole the Triune God of the Universe took you out of – and if you consider the end – He will present you without blame before Him with great joy – then details of life are smooth out, the right perspective is gain, and the right course of action becomes evident.
We will never be done on this earth. But He has dealt with our past, and has secured our future. We are now free to look at the present in the way He is calling us to.
How serious are we? – Removing idolatry.
“We will never be done” is not an invitation to live carelessly. The fight is real, and it’s an uphill battle. It’s not going to be easy or painless. And the main theater of this war is each of our own hearts.
That’s the only real battleground we know anything about… some of the time.
Are you serious about following Him, in humility? Do you want to see Him in action? Do you want to experience significant transformation that points to the effectiveness of His Beauty?
Then, you need to ask Him to deal with your idolatry.
Yes, sin -> pride -> cultural preferences -> idolatry
Free to enjoy His work in us.
With the battle against your idolatry raging on, and because of His Beauty and its implications you can, here and now, enjoy the freedom He gives you.
Freedom from performance.
Freedom from metrics.
Freedom to give yourself away, using the gifts / passions / areas of interest He has given you to make it clear that there is no other God but Him, and to be a blessing for those around you… regardless of what cultural preferences they hold on to.
And in doing all this, you will experience Spiritual Transformation. You will know the Gospel is true. And you will be ready to tell others about what has happened to you.
I am convinced one of the main reasons we clinch to our cultural preferences so strongly, using them as the standard for everything else, is because we are not sure of who we are in Christ, and what belongs to us because of His grace. Then, before you engage in making disciples in a culturally diverse setting – or before going any further, if you are already in that environment – think about this: Where is your identity anchored in? What defines you? What are the main sources of your delights and sorrows? I pray that the LORD may show you, clearly, your need for Him.
Remember His grace, Follow Him in humility, Cultivate constantly, All in cultural diversity.