Friday, February 26, 2010

Spiritual Transformation

Spiritual Transformation involves the entire change of a person because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ. Rather than simply cleaning up a person’s life- we are building up from the ground up- a person who is now a new creation because of Christ.
As we disciple men and women at Ft. Campbell- the foundation of what we do centers on Christ. We cannot expect to do anything to truly help someone unless they have Christ in their lives- unless they have committed to follow Him. If this is not in place- anything we do is ultimately not going to truly help the person- these things will simply be bandages that are attempting to hold back a wound that is much more serious than a simple superficial cut or scrape.
Because we realize this- one of the key questions that we as a ministry attempt to bring out is if the person we are attempting to help and disciple has ever made a commitment to follow Christ or prayed to receive Christ. If the person is uncertain about this- then we will talk with them more about the bridge illustration or the John 14:6 illustration and help them to see why they need to have a relationship with Christ and receive Him into their hearts. Once this is done- then we can begin building the basics of the Christian life into their own lives. Though many times we have also realized that as we help soldiers build the basics of the Christian life into their own lives- many have realized that they were NOT following Christ or were NOT really Christians in the first place- and then they step forward to make that commitment.
As we are building the basics of the Christian life into the lives of our new and young disciples- one of things we have begun emphasizing more is the idea of a new identity. One of the passages I love to share with our men about this idea is in 2 Cor 5.
2 Cor 5:15-20 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.
I center on verse 17 to emphasize to our young believer that Christ has now made them into a new creation. They are no longer what they were before- that means whatever they used to be like, whatever they used to do, whatever they used to think about- that mindset is now going to change- because they are no longer that person that they were before because Christ has changed them. The question that I always get next is “What does that life look like?” My response to them is in verse 15 and 20. First I tell them that while they would live life to please themselves before- now verse 15 says we must live for God because Christ bought us by His blood. Then… we must live as ambassadors for Christ. We are being sent out into ‘foreign lands’ as envoys from God to connect and re-connect with people and tell them that our king not only wants to begin ‘diplomatic relationships’ with them- but He wants to know each of them personally- that is the new job description that we have undertaken along with our new identity.
As we have continued this work at Campbell- one of the things we have noticed more and more of is soldiers coming from broken families and a myriad of symptoms that have resulted in hampering our men because of these situations. One of the more common ones is that many of our young disciples feel they are simply too broken, too scarred, too messed up to be used by God to help another. I feel that God has empowered me to motivate and encourage these men by first communicating to them that they are loved and cared for. In Mark 4:38- the disciples were worried that they would drown. They woke up Christ not saying that they doubted if He had the power to save them- they doubted His DESIRE TO CARE for them. They said “Do you not care that we are perishing?” This is the conflict with many broken people- they don’t believe that someone cares for them. If they don’t believe that God truly cares for them- then they will be too afraid to do anything because they feel as if they are jumping out of an airplane without a reserve and the primary doesn’t look very good as well.
One of the things that I have been trying to emphasize with our men is that God DOES care for them and wants to intervene and be involved in their lives- even down to the minute by minute things that they do. He is not distant- He is not far away- He is not uninvolved. He is close, nearby, and engaged in what is happening with His people. I have made it a point to share my testimony with guys on how I’ve experienced similar feelings as they have- but I also share with them how I’ve pleaded with God for intervention and how He has delivered in bringing me help and grace. One of the verse I really enjoy sharing with our men is Proverbs 21:1 The kings heart is in the hand of the Lord- He directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases. So God can and does intervene- I have to realize that He wants to and that He has good for me in mind.
As I continue to reinforce this in their minds- I also challenge them to take a step out there and ‘make a play’ for Christ on the field. In this case- in their units and in their barracks. As our young disciples are solidifying their understanding of being a new creation and living life as a new creation- on of the more powerful transformation things they experience as well is when they see God using them to affect the lives of other men at their units. As our men see this- the not only understand John 15:16 by Word- they understand it by experience. Once this begins to happen- the doors are now wide open for them to truly grasp and experience what living as a new creation can entail.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


The Idea of Discontent that I shared at our last rally and at Rio Grande University in OH seems to be creating a buzz.....
In not too many ways...
The Idea of discontent is very similar to the idea of 'hunger'
If you are 'hungry' for something- you will do something to satisfy that hunger- whether its spiritual hunger or physical...
In the physical context you might go grab a cookie...
In the spiritual context it might move you to start reading your bible or to seek a spiritual mentor

I've attached some notes on the topic from the recent rally and Rio Grande talk
Hope it continues to stir up good movement and progress in maturing in you walk with Christ.

Notes from Last months Rally and Rio Grande Talk concerning the idea of Discontent

Discontent- longing for something more or better than the present
1. Paul talks about being content in all situations in Philippians- not the same idea- we are combating the attitude of complacency
2. If you are satisfied with how things are- satisfied with how the world is, satisfied with how you life is, satisfied with what your current walk with God looks like- then you won’t do anything
3. But if you are DIS-satisfied with how things are- you will do something about it- you will do something to change how things currently are…
4. If you are discontent with your walk with God or lack of- you will seek out God- whether its going back to church for the first time in a long time, whether its committing to reading the bible everyday, whether its seeking someone to help you- you will do what it takes if you are uncomfortable enough- if you are dissatisfied enough
5. Matt 4:19-20 "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.
a. Why are these men so willing to give up their jobs to follow Jesus?
b. 21st century- fishing is a pastime- not so back then
c. They are looking for something more…..
6. Unless you arrive at the point where you are dissatisfied with how things are right now in your own walk with God- you won’t respond to bring about change- and you will continue living out a mundane life…
7. Something to consider…..
a. Praying that God would make you and I dissatisfied with how our current walk with God looks like- so that it would spur on change and growth
b. Praying that God would make our friends and family dissatisfied with their current walk with God or lack thereof- so that it would spur on change and growth