This is a question that I felt the Lord ask me a couple of weeks ago. "Are you living a quiet radical life?" I had to stop and think... not because I didn't already know the answer, but because I knew that the answer was not what it should be! The answer was yes! But in my heart, I wanted it to be no! I wanted to be able to say that I live a bold, out loud radical lifestyle... I will say that I do have my moments, but I had to admit that for the most part, I am one of those quiet radicals! If you are one, you know what I mean! If you are not... then that probably sounds strange and doesn't feel quite right rolling off of your tongue!
In context, I was doing this study by Bill Johnson ("The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind") and it was all about renewing your mind and, of course, doing His will. I had just finished up with "Day 4" - which I will give a few highlights from, when I was presented with an opportunity to continue with this 'quiet radical life' or let go of my own reputation... it was a small opportunity - but leave it to God to present it to me right after I finished writing something about this very thing...
The devotion for Day 4 is taken from an excerpt of the book subtitled Renewing the Mind! Here are a few portions that really stood out to me:
"The renewed mind, then, reflects the reality of another world in the same way Jesus shone with heaven's brilliance (at the transfiguration). It's not just that our thoughts are different, but that our way of thinking is transformed because we think from a different reality - from heaven toward earth! That is the transformed perspective. The renewed mind enables His co-laborers to prove the will of God, We prove the will of God when put on display the reality of heaven."
"Every thought and action in your life speaks of allegiance to God or to satan. Both are empowered by your agreement. Renewing your minds means learning to recognize what comes from hell, and what comes from heaven, and agreeing with heaven."
We did a small word study on "Agreement" that was very good...
Then the next question dealt with Obedience... we read Romans 6:15-18,
which in The Message reads:
"So, since we're out from under the old tyranny,
does that mean we can live any old way we want?
Since we're free in the freedom of God,
can we do anything that comes to mind?
Hardly. You know well enough from your own experience
that there are some acts of so-called freedom that destroy freedom.
Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it's your last free act.
But offer yourselves to the ways of God
and the freedom never quits.
All your lives you've let sin tell you what to do.
But thank God you've started listening to a new master,
one whose commands set you free to live openly
in his freedom!"
Bill writes: "A worldview isn't so much WHAT you see, as it is a new way of seeing. The way you see reality is what determines what you think and how you live. In fact, you can't properly be said to believe in something unless there are behaviors in your life that reveal your dependence on that way of seeing. So in truth, agreement in our lives is established through obedience."
He goes on to ask why obedience requires trust in the person you are obeying.
When we line ourselves up in obedience, we create a bond of service to our Master. The longer (or more intense) our service is, the more like our Master we become. When we make a conscious decision to obey - trust is a huge issue because to be totally submitted and committed, we must trust that our Master is FOR us! However, in our blindness, we required little trustworthiness in our Sin-Master because the enemy so often convinces us that we can trust no one but ourselves (and we are enslaved to him - the father of lies and the one MOST untrustworthy!) We pray Blind Eyes opened, and the Fathers' heart revealed, because a conscious decision is a decision for Christ and for true freedom!
We also touched on Matthew 7:24-27 which is the parable of the wise man and the foolish man building their house. This is a wrap up of the Sermon on the Mount which is FULL of powerful teaching and it drives home the point to the whole message - which is obedience! It's not enough to HEAR these sayings (or to build our house!) but we must PUT THEM INTO ACTION through obedience by building on the Rock! The wise man Followed Through while the foolish man was a hearer only! Just as in the parable, our very Foundation should be that of Faith! Faith in His authority, faith in His ability to bring heaven to earth through us! We simply MUCH believe if we are to endure the wind and the rain! Notice, both the wise and foolish go through teh storm - but only the wise stand strong and undaunted! Is that not what our God desires and equips for us? When our way of seeing is filtered through Faith, Hope arises! And when Hope & Faith combine, Love pours out in Action! So James 2:17 rings true - faith without works is dead... 'faith without works is like the foolish man! He may LOOK wise and strong, but when the storm comes, he is on sinking sand! We must put our Faith to work compelled by Love to prove the will of God!
Looking at 2 Cor 5:17 ("Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.") Bill asks what it means to be a new creation, and I think 'new' is in regards to form, and not time! I think to be a 'new creation' means more than being redeemed. He REcreated us to be in His likeness - with Him abiding in us! We are not just redeemed to our original Adam nature, but are a new creation to our 2nd Adam nature - which is Jesus! Nothing is lacking! It definitely includes new experiences! Pastor Bill goes on to ask what we think it takes to go from "Anything can happen" to "Impossible things must take place..." My answer... I think it takes a renewing of the mind. It takes an obedience to Follow Through, and it takes a leap of faith - KNOWING His will is to move in power through us and to work WITH us to prove His will on earth to a lost and dying world!
The final question is where I began to get this 'quiet radical life' revelation... the final question of Day Four reads:
"Why do you suppose that people will admit that they experienced the supernatural power of God when they received salvation, but now, years later, they have no expectation to walk in the supernatural ministry of Christ? Do you recognize "bad teaching and disappointment" have been contributing to that mind-set? Have you experienced unmet expectations in the area of encountering God?"
Wow... so full... This is what I wrote for my answer:
I think many EXPECT the supernatural at salvation, and then either have no expectations after that, or they have had expectations unmet or unanswered and EXPERIENCE takes over EXPECTATION. Disappointment is a HUGE contributor to lack of faith and lack of follow through! It's an open door the enemy uses at every turn to hold us back from truly living! We tend to live a QUIET RADICAL LIFE, sharing our encounters only in rooms where we are all like-minded. This is great - but we hesitate to shout it from the mountains because we don't want people to think we are crazy or weird! But here's the secret that we are learning: We are NOT crazy or weird. We are ALMOST 'normal' - and well on our way to consistently living the 'normal Christian life'!
Amen?! It hit me that very few of my outer circle really know my conversations with the Lord, or the things He shows me. I suppose that could be true of many of us - but I started to wonder if I was living radically in silence, and if so - what good is that doing?! Sure - I am blessed, and I am secure in hearing His voice and in our intimacy - but is that really affecting the Kingdom!? Then - literally minutes after writing these answers and pondering this quiet radical life, my husband read an older post here and wanted to forward my blog on to some family and friends. My immediate response was no... I know this is a public blog, and anyone can read it - but my initial reaction was wanting to preserve that quiet radical life even though I know He is calling me to live out loud on a bolder level! You see, as much as I love and cherish the friends and family that he suggested sending this blog to - I don't really talk about this side of my life with them! They know I believe - uh - strangely, maybe?! But I felt that they had no idea HOW differently... of course, in the end, I gave up my reputation and thought - you know, one day this blog will be a book and they will want to read it then, if not before! Besides, why do I care?! Shouldn't I WANT to share what He is showing me?! I do - but as the Lord showed me, much of it is shared in 'safe rooms' - but in the safety of like-minded people, who am I bringing the Kingdom to? Who am I bringing revelation or challenging preconceived ideas? There is something wonderful and powerful about Agreement and of being in one accord... of being part of a remnant! However, I believe in this new season, the Lord is rising up those who are willing to lay down their own will... to lay down their own reputation - but put His on the line!
So - this is the secret for you as well as me... the secret is that no matter what others think - we have the assurance that the Lord LOVES us and He desires to move through us in power! We are NOT crazy or weird... but we are striving to be normal! What is the 'normal Christian life'? Bill says it like this: The normal Christian life is to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons! The normal Christian life is a life that walks in Power and that is able to operate from one reality to another, bringing heaven towards earth!
Rise Up... Be Bold... Step Out...
Put His reputation on the line...
He can handle the pressure!
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