You can watch the video here.
We live in the information age, and our concepts of how to change are usually skewed a bit by not being in touch with our own hearts. Both the marketing world and the church have adopted an informational approach to personal transformation. Recently, marketers concluded that people are not buying information, but they are buying transformation… That little tidbit sounds deep, but it just resulted in more information about transformation. In the marketing world the recipe is free articles, blogs, video series, social media clips, newsletters, etc. In the church world the information is exported via preaching, teaching, television, books, podcasts, etc. In fact, the disciples produced by the church (to date) are very prone to preaching – That’s the only mentoring model they know.
Our headquarters Bible verse for “information transformation” is:
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 NIV
Know the “Truth” – We translate this verse as receiving intellectual knowledge through an information exchange. The problem is that it doesn’t change anyone and we’ve missed the point of the verse. Before we get in touch with our hearts, our only paradigm is knowing truth with our mind… which is really just a list of rules. Let’s just state the obvious. For the religious, truth is intellectual and legal. For the Christian, knowing the truth is personally knowing the Spirit of Truth (big difference). Having a relationship with the Spirit of Truth is far from memorizing or meditating on a list of rules or even Bible verses. The Bible is true, but the deeper revelation is that its truth is alive. It’s the only book that reads you.
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:6-7 NIV
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:16-18 NIV
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. John 16:13 NIV
Ramifications – Our competence to transform our own lives or to help anyone else doesn’t come through sharing intellectual information – that doesn’t even change minds (political or religious debates are a great example). We all change when our hearts are touched, and that only happens through relationships of love. The letter kills but the Spirit gives life… to our hearts.
He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant- — not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Cor 3:6 NIV
When the truth is preached in the gospels or Acts, it is always accompanied by some kind of miraculous sign or gift of the Spirit. Why? Hearts only change when we encounter the person of truth. It’s easy to refute a logical argument, whether it’s true or not. It’s impossible to refute the presence, power and love of a real person. Our hearts are simply looking for the real thing… the Spirit of Truth with a tangible manifestation. A logical argument or a Bible verse that appeals to our mind has never changed anyone.
For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers… 1 Cor 4:15 NKJV
There are a lot of people around who can’t wait to tell you what you’ve done wrong, but there aren’t many fathers willing to take the time and effort to help you grow up. 1 Cor 4:15 Message
Implications – Biblical transformation comes from the inside out. It starts in our hearts and is facilitated by connecting with our own hearts, the heart of God, and the hearts of other people. The new age movement is premised on intellectual recipes for transformation and spirituality… everything but the person of Jesus. It doesn’t work in the long run.
Religious zealots are made in classrooms – their desire is to preach to the mind and control the fruit. Disciples are birthed in relationships; their desire is to love, connect, listen, team and change from the heart. Disciples have a basis to trust what God wrote in another person’s heart.
…always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth — men of depraved minds… 2 Tim 3:7-8 NIV
Additional information is a reservoir from which we reinforce our current trajectory – it’s called self-righteousness. But our hearts are put on a new course when we encounter another heart. Our hearts learn relationally from examples we know and experiences we share.
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:30-32 NIV
My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. 1 Cor 2:4-5 NIV
Covering and accountability are terms that we use to keep others in line with our mental idea of right and wrong. This regimented approach to righteousness creates servants who disconnect from their own hearts. When we finally do connect with our own hearts, we set people free by helping them get in touch with what God wrote on their heart. The liberty of having your own dream in the Kingdom is the freedom to pursue the desires of your own heart instead of serving another man’s vision. It creates sons who are not afraid to ask for “whatever”. Its byproduct is entrepreneurial creativity, networks of relationships, prosperity, generosity and ministry. It’s a life that works and is fun… and ultimately much more holy and pure before God.
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other. John 15:15-17 NIV
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 21 What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit? 1 Cor 4:20-21 NIV
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking (rules), but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (relationship), 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. Rom 14:17-18 NIV
Bottom line – Change is not easy… it takes time and friends who connect with your heart. This is what it sounds like. The “experience” of knowing that Jesus and your friends believe in your dream and won’t let go makes all the difference. It’s not just theory and theology; it’s relationship and it’s how the Kingdom works. God and I have the same dream for the Kingdom in our heart. We’re excited about the same things.