Outward thinking


As most people know, I am a very dangerous mixture of a person.

First of all, I am an intellectual (this list is not in order of priorities of what I identify with more, it’s just for the sake of rhetorical flow) that feeds off ideas and knowledge; what makes me an intellectual rather than a pure nerd is that the knowledge I seek, discuss, and find I actually apply it to my life and adjust my behaviors accordingly. It’s not quite just simply memorizing useless facts. This gives me the storehouse from which I can pull info to tell people certain things.

Secondly, I am a Christian, which by its very nature gives me the responsibility and burden to tell people certain things.

Thirdly, my primary spiritual gift is as a teacher, which allows me the ability to tell people these things with a certain sense of authority (only from God, of course).

Fourthly and finally, the single adjective that can describe everything about me the best is the word “passionate” which gives me the desire to tell people certain things from that storehouse of knowledge in my head that so affects how I look at the world.

In short, I talk. A lot. I think I assume that others are like me and everything they hear they apply to the “big picture” of their worldview much like someone would apply a puzzle piece to a puzzle. That ‘s how I work. Don’t assume that I’m just constantly changing opinions. No, everyone knows that I have convictions. Rather, as is the case of spiritual truths, I believe the best way to understand God is to try to step back and apply each new truth you learn in your relationship with Him to the big picture of who he is. Most people hear a good sermon on God’s justice and then they proceed to fear Him until they hear a good sermon on His grace, after which they begin to just love Him and thank Him. I think in order to worship all parts of Him, we must be able to apply all truths, and all bits of knowledge to the big picture of who He is, not just as a long list of attributes on paper.

Anyway, my point is this. I have noticed in myself a definite spike in the level of discussions I’ve been having (both in quality and quantity) with Christians on deep theological concepts. a-millenialism vs. pre-millenialism and Charismatic/Pentacostal movements vs. Cessationsts have been the biggest topics. A lot of people don’t understand why I’ve been doing this; they continue to tell me that outside of salvation, this stuff doesn’t matter. That’s true and not true.

Where it is true that saving knowledge does not require a perfectly correct set of doctrinal beliefs, as I said above, each of these things affects our worldview – the filter through we which we see/feel/do all things.

So right now I am laying it all out there for everybody:
Though I spent most my life in a pre-millenialist, cessationist church indoctrination, I have since found those things to be unbiblical and incorrect. The truth, as I see it in God’s Word of a-millenialism and the full workings of the Holy Spirit have changed my walk with God in a way that I wish everyone could experience.

Finally, I come to my point of writing all of this tonight, including the preceeding poem (actually, they’re song lyrics, but I just put some loose structure on them and called it a poem). Those two theological things have for the first time began to give me the proper view of my spiritual walk: IT’S NOT ABOUT ME!! It’s about the Kingdom of God. Used to I was driven to evangelize out of fear for my friends, now I am driven by purpose – because to evangelize the lost is the only reason why I am still here on Earth rather in Heaven with God; it is my reason for living. That’s why I entitled this post “Outward thinking.” Because that is where we must all arrive; to a place of outward thinking where God will use the “foolishness of our preaching” even in spite of being “the chief of sinners.” God’s Will will be done in this Earth, and if I am to live up to my purpose, I must give God the chance for Him to execute that Will through me.

“I just want to be able to look in the mirror again and to see your face instead.”
“I will either fail or conquer, die or live, but either way I’m yours”
God I love you so much and fear you with all my heart. Help me not to get so wrapped up into intellectualism that it substitutes for you, because nothing can adequately do that. Help me be a true Christian that doesn’t obey you to get control or leverage, but rather obeys you to get more of You. Use me and my foolishness for your purposes O God.

Amen.

–Paul<

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