Practical is defined as: concerned with the actual doing or use of something rather than with theory and ideas. If I had to summarise this week in a word it would be practical. How do we practically live out biblical principles? Do we have a practical biblical worldview? How do we practice living this life we preach so much about? How do we take every thought captive and
bring it into the obedience of Christ? Are we seeking truth Genesis through Revelation and not just referencing a single verse, and out of context at that? We started the week with “stop conforming to the patterns of this world” and looked at what exactly those patterns consist of. A lot of them have to do with identity, security and value. These things are false idols of the twenty-first century. We may not necessarily have golden calves that we bow down to, but it is more than socially acceptable to glorify workaholism, materialism, and the idea that in this life there is a ladder to climb and if you aren’t at the top you’re losing.
“Is success even a biblical concept?”
In a single sentence phrased as a question, our speaker, Leah, shattered years and years of expectations and requirements I set for myself and judgments I had of others; I found peace in the realisation that maybe God doesn’t consider that stuff at all. Maybe, just maybe, He doesn’t even care. Not in a way that He is indifferent to his children, but I picture Him up in the sidelines of heaven, watching his dearest children compete in the game of life. God is up in heaven cheering for us, his heart breaking when we lose, not because the score matters but because we don’t comprehend that it was never about winning the game in the first place. What if the concept of success, of accomplishment, of fame, of gain, of profit, of progress, of prosperity, of advancement were all in vain, when we fail to realise that true victory is found in him! We’ve been reading this all along in our Bibles; He has given us victory. Can’t you just breath a little bit easier knowing that we actually don’t have to save the world? Isn’t it a relief to know that He is going to do his good work all on his own, even if we never get first place ever in our whole lifetime. The race has already been won.
Another chunk of knowledge I’m walking away from this week is that the way Jesus discipled was practical. Leah taught us about split thinking, which is when people think of the material world and the spiritual realm as two different things. They aren’t. They are both real and both good in God’s eyes and combined they are the Kingdom of God. When you are sick some Christians think “Should we pray or go to the doctor?” Leah asked “Yes.” Yes we trust that God has us in the palm of his hands and yes we also take responsibility for being sensible, safe, smart human beings and taking responsibility for ourselves. Sitting around waiting on God to move isn’t faithful, it’s lazy. It’s fearing man. It’s fearing failure. It’s cowardly. It’s not bringing the Kingdom. That’s waiting on the Kingdom.
“Just because something isn’t spiritual,” Leah taught, “doesn’t mean it isn’t part of the Kingdom.” Jesus was practical. We should be too. Practical is partially defined as: the actual doing of something rather than a theory or idea. The Bible is fact; it is also a theorem we are supposed to apply to our lives. It’s a manual. If you have the instructions to build a coffee table and you read them daily but when it comes to actually building the table, you don’t apply the manual you may as well have never read it in the first place. The same goes for God’s kingdom. You can read the Bible religiously, and know it cover to cover; but when the time comes for hands on work you’ve got to execute. It might be ugly at first, it might be awkward or uncomfortable. It will be messy, I can promise you that. But passivity is not biblical. Detachment is not biblical. We’ve got to be in the word, but also in the world. Doing things.
“Preach the gospel. and if necessary use words.” -Francis of Assisi
That’s Biblical Worldview. We are Gods Kingdom. We’ve gotta start actin’ like it.