We Need a Journey

I have spent some time pondering “more Jesus” in my life as part of my 31-day commitment to Less Me, More Jesus.  What does that really mean?  How can I truly draw closer to Him?

In his book Kingdom Journeys, Seth Barnes asks similar questions:

How do we change on the inside? How do we become more loving, selfless, and forgiving?  

How do I become more like Jesus?

My “deliberate steps” seem like a good place to begin.

Study, prayer, meditation, submission, confession, and worship.  These spiritual disciplines seem essential if I want more Jesus.  Right?

Right.  Intentionally seeking Jesus each day through His word and prayer will bring me closer to Him.

He will bring me closer to Him.

But, Seth describes another spiritual discipline that would turbo-charge a person’s faith walk…It’s a practice he [Jesus] instituted with his disciples, one that bore tremendous results.  A discipline we’ve neglected:  a kingdom journey. 

A kingdom journey.

A kingdom journey is first and foremost about expanding God’s reign in the world and increasing it inside our hearts. 

If you look at Jesus, you see that he called his disciples to follow him on a physical journey, not just a spiritual one.  He tramped around with them in Judea for three years, even sending them out on their own short-term mission trips without him. 

Physical journeys.  As in, leave the comfort of your home and follow Jesus somewhere for a week, a month, or a year – or more.

Jesus asked his followers to leave everything behind and go.  Their packing list?

Nothing.  Just go.

Jesus has a point to make.  He was already preaching a kingdom that stood logic on its head – the first shall be last, the poor in spirit will be blessed, love your enemy, and pray for those who do you wrong.  Jesus knew we would never learn to rely on God unless we walked away from the crutches we’re prone to lean on. 

Journeys open up our spirit to the possibility of a reality it hasn’t yet grasped.  Away from the familiar, our hearts become a place where God can work, a place where only faith will sustain us…The journey is more than an escape from the things that have come to define us in life – it’s a chance to break free from the shackles of an ordinary existence.

While that makes sense to me, here’s my thought: I am too old for a kingdom journey.

I am 36.  The World Race is not happening.  I can’t pick up and go with a husband and two children.  But, deep down, I know I need such a journey.

I ask God, “What would a kingdom journey look like for me?”

I also emailed Seth with the same “age/season in life” concern. His response?  You’re never too old.  He spoke with a couple the day I emailed him who had children.   This couple spoke with Seth about how they could raise their children to go on kingdom journeys.  One is praying about Uganda.

Uganda?

The country that’s captured my daughter’s heart!  It’s also one of the countries highlighted in an Invisible Children presentation I viewed on Sunday.

My immediate reaction?  I do not want my children going on kingdom journeys.  I do not want my daughter in Uganda.  That.  Scares.  Me.  To.  Death.

Still, I know Seth’s right.  I am not too old.  God will send me on a journey.  But more importantly, I need to raise my children to go on kingdom journeys.

That’s hard.  So, I am asking God to change my heart, help me relinquish control, and trust him fully with my family.

Only He can do that in me.

Seth dreams of a generation of young people [who] abandon their comfortable lives to fly in great numbers out into the harsh world to cover it with the glory of God.  Their quest will seem reckless to those committed to a life of self-interest.  They will appear impetuous to those measuring their commitment to follow Jesus according to careful risk-versus-reward formulas.  They must go.  The world is waiting for them.

I pray the Farish’s – and you – join this commission by Jesus to “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone” Mark 16:15 and “make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19.

If we answer this call, it will transform the world – and us.

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