And so I insist – and God backs me up on this – that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd. … and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you. Eph 4:17-24
Twelve years ago I started a journey. After I sought fulfillment in a career as computer programmer for years, even started a university education again as a family father to enhance my chances, God shook my little universe. It started with the bankruptcy of my employer – and several to follow. And God bringing to remembrance that he had called me to something different.
Shortly after I found myself on a hike – this time in the Alps of Switzerland. In the natural it was more like a walk – up one hill in a cable car, walk to the next one, and take that one downhill. And this was great – giving me enough breath to question my companions.
At this time I had been a Christian for 16 years. But lately God began to show me new things. I found bible verses that could not be reconciled with the Christian lifestyle and teaching I knew. I read why those verses were not applicable any longer – and it made no sense whatsoever.
God started my personal apocalypse of Christ. Apocalypse means nothing but revelation, exposure, unveiling. I started to understand that what God started 500 years ago in Zürich, Wittenberg, Geneva – he wanted to unfold in my life, let it become real to me.
1985 I had my personal “Turmerlebnis” (tower experience). I caught that we are saved by faith through grace. A personal relationship with God, based on faith in his existence, his death and resurrection, the consequence of forgiveness of my sins in my life by God’s unmerited gift of grace. He is. He gave himself and died for me – his gift. Now he lives in me. Free of sin.
In the following years I learned to cherish and understand more about baptism, certainty of faith, evangelization, holiness, the word of God, the Holy Ghost and his gifts, healing.
Looking back into church history, I remember some names and places: Huldreych Zwingli, Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, the Anabaptists, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitfield, Charles Finney, the healing movement, Azusa Street, the charismatic movement. Names connected with above truths.
The pieces of the puzzle started to fall in place. But what about the fivefold ministry from Ephesians 4? What about Paul’s catchphrases “in Christ” and “the body of Christ“? What about the sons of God? And the love of detail God shows in describing the tabernacle, the temple, the feasts, and the priestly garments? What about the future of the world?
Back to church history I discovered more moves of God: Latter Rain, Charismatic Renewal, Word of Faith, the prophetic and apostolic reformation, Kingdom, and Third Day.
The journey continues. I can and will not cover those issues in this blog – too little space. Some things I have written about, some I will in the future. This blog is about something different – starting and continuing the journey.
In the beginning there is a teachable heart.
Which of you is a wise and well- instructed man? Let him prove it by a right life with conduct guided by a wisely teachable spirit. Jam 3:13
Two more components are found in the first sentence of this verse.
Wise is who lives with the wise:
Walk with wise men, and thou shalt be wise; But the companion of fools shall smart for it. Pro 13:20
And well-instructed is he, who obeys to fathers and leaders.
Hear, my sons, the instruction of a father, And attend to know understanding: For I give you good doctrine; Forsake ye not my law. Pro 4:1-2
The second sentence shows us the way to become the new man. A new spirit, guiding our behavior and conduct to live a right life. To change our thinking and doing.
The moment you gave your life to Christ, God gave you a new spirit. This spirit is taught by the Holy Spirit. Deciphering and bringing to life scripture. In prayer, that is communication between the two. Through men: fathers, leaders in the fivefold, wise men (and sometimes not so wise men). Situations. Learn to understand and speak his language. And when you hear him, and what you heard does not fit your thinking – change your thinking! And do what he says. Make it your default behavior.
That is the journey, the personal apocalypse of the son of God in us.