Journal Entry 2- The larger story
Brother, things are not what they seem.
And thank God.
You're not blowing it. You're not stupid. You're not outside the reach or love of God. You've simply needed a gospel large enough for your desires that also makes some sense of your pain. This is the deep rescue of Christianity that God is ripping down the curtain for you to see.
As if cloaked by smoke and mirrors, Christianity can appear on the surface to be little more than buildings with programs and lessons in morality. Go deeper and you might recognize the offer of deliverance from an eternity without God. But if this is all Christianity offers there is no real sense of urgency. Though important, these needs can wait until tomorrow.
However, if you challenge your familiarity with Scripture, either by looking at it from 30,000 feet, or by drilling in deep to understand what Jesus was really saying through the parables, you will see that God is telling a story. And your participation in that story is a life and death matter. Not only for you, but for those you love.
There is a great war for our souls that is being waged only a veil width behind the familiarity of your everyday life. We were all hand crafted and well equipped from birth to play a crucial role in a world at war, but as if living inside the Matrix, the masses of humanity daily step on to the battlefield armed with little more than caffeine and a secret hatred for our neighbor. You have an enemy who hates and envies God. "As God's children, holy and dearly loved", you are both a reminder of Satan's former glory and an obstacle in his war to regain it. Have you been living in this reality friend?
The assault has been ongoing on your heart and soul, the wellspring of your being, to blind you and reduce your God-given identity and purpose into a rubble that you're led to believe can no longer be salvaged. But the salvation power of Jesus and the Father is massive, able to reach into the darkest places and release us from the heaviest chains. Jesus wants to bring you healing in the most broken places of your heart and soul. Like David said in Psalm 23 "He restores my soul." This is what He is after, and when you begin to see this happen, you will have a story to tell that has power to disrupt anyone's notion that Christianity is about buildings and moral restraint. The world needs you to set it straight with regard to who Jesus is and what He does. It needs to hear your good news.
How then shall we live?
Do you know the 2 stories that matter? By that I mean God's larger story, and then your story within it. By knowing the larger story you can begin taking back what has been stolen: Your dignity, identity, purpose, love, hope, joy, and union with God. Only by knowing the larger story can we put all the joy and pain of our lives in proper perspective. Otherwise we waste our lives in small self-centered stories waging war against false enemies.
The enemy is behind all of this confusion and posing and self protection. But the truth is that we are God's army, being rescued and trained to become expert battlefield medics and SEAL teams to extract the battered and confused from deep behind enemy lines and from prison cells. This is where the weeping turns to joy, even here and now. Restoration and life are available. You must enter the fray. Forget how sloppy you are with a sword. Step into the arena and you will feel the favorable breath of God strengthening you with every thrust and parry.
Fight with courage and as if you have the favor of Heaven's King with you.
For you do.
Alamo Band of Brothers
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Homework you will enjoy:
1. The Lord of the Rings is a tale of the fantasy genre, which can be easily dismissed by men who like to keep things literal. However, when you consider the scale and nature of the story God is telling, there is simply no human interest, love or war story that captures it like this. This story was written by God, through J.R.R. Tolkien, for such a time as this. Ask God to open your eyes to see what He is up to.
2. Gladiator is the story of a general who became a slave. The slave who became a gladiator. The gladiator who defied an empire and freed its people from the hand of an evil ruler. Sound familiar? You betcha. That's our story.
3. Want more? Being Sons blog posts: Bigger is Better Part 1, and We Stand Alone Together
1. Consider honestly and carefully how you are living. What does your story revolve around? (You? Someone else? Something else? Is it truly God as you know it should be?)
2. How do you see your life? What words or phrases would you use to describe it? (Fruitful, eternal, joyful? Hopeless, confusing, disappointing?) Why is this so?
3. If you could choose a critical role in this story God is writing, what role would you want to play in it?
4. Have you ever written out your story, with all of it's trials, pains, victories and life changing moments? It's a fantastic exercise and one through which God will eagerly speak. Do it. Just start with a list of the most obvious highlights and lowlights. Don't edit or worry about getting the order right. Just begin to recall. Then...just write. God will meet you.
Resources for you
1. The best resource we can possibly recommend is the Daily Prayer. Hands Down! By Far! You need truth in the innermost parts. Get it in there every single day. Here is a different version than the one handed out at BASIC. This one will help you include your entire family in embracing the full work of Christ.
2. "To Be Told" by Dan Allendar and
3. Donald Miller's book called "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years". This is a great read even for those who don't read.
4. Ransomed Heart Tribe gives you great resources like the book and video entitled "EPIC". Use the Promo Code ALAMOBROTHERS to get an extended free trial.