As we come into a new year, I like most, are thinking about my goals for the next year. However, I want to make goals that aren't so much 'new' as they are a return to doing things right that may have been overlooked in the past. Things like running. Concepts like reading more of the Bible, and letting the Bible read through me. Giving more. Things like that.
One of my goals is to continue to write. I was inspired by Mark Batterson in his latest prose, Primal, where he shares about "taking every thought captive" and what that means to him. He explains how it does capture the idea that historically we would hold: namely, that we are to take any sinful thought and put it in the pokey, and not dwell on it. But with a sense of revelation, Batterson also shares that for him, this verse has come to mean something in the realm of creativity. When a 'God-thought' comes, we must capture it.
"But whenever or however a God idea is conceived in your mind, you need to take it captive and make it obedient to Christ. God ideas are like melting snowflakes. They are delicate things of beauty, but they have short shelf lives." (Primal, pg. 119)
One God thought that I am capturing here in this blog is an idea that I hope takes hold in all of church culture. I want to coin a term for our culture: "Our Rugged American Anti-Individualism. " There. Now, you may have heard of the phrase "rugged American individualism", and this concept is in large part a foundational value of our country. It had value in breaking free from the tyranny of England, and their heavy handed rule. Perhaps this self-reliance has become the undoing of us now.
God lives, exists in community himself. Jesus lived with 12 men, and did not afford himself the luxury of a private room in the cities he visited. Jesus' prayer was that we would be one; one unit, not a group of a bunch of individual "ones". The early church as seen in Acts was very communal, very tied to one another. We must return to this understanding, and we must begin to apply ourselves to the truth contained in this. To do Christianity alone isn't optional, it's forbidden. God made us to depend on one another.
I realize that there may be some great hurts in our lives from being so dependent on others, and being so vulnerable to people, but this is the Jesus way. Even in the Garden, God sees that it isn't good for man to be alone. In the church, we must develop a deep sense of dependency on one another. It must become culture to us. It must become a strong, visible, tangible part of our faith, and it must be rugged, unable to be sifted out of the fabric of our lives. We must value our rugged American anit-individualism as a counter-cultural prophetic lifestyle.
So for my new year's resolution, I determine to capture God thoughts, to live them out, and to do so in the context of deep immersion in the community of God, the Church.