This year has been nothing short of a process. From struggling with who I was and almost having my marriage fall apart, to realizing the my own black selfishness. I had to go down to the bottom of a deep, dark pit in order the see the pure light of Christ. I know, now, that He put me down in that pit for a reason and that the reasons would reveal themselves over time. Christ showed me a way out of the pit and asked me to walk along with Him and just listen. Over the course of this year, I can look back and see the path He has taken me on. And like Christ, the journey has been anything but ordinary.
We are to be like Christ, but what is it to be like Christ? I didn't realize, at first, that this was the question I have been asking ever since He first took me by my heart. The earlier months of the year went something like this. Desire. I kept hearing the word desire and I had no idea why. But, everyday the word just kept coming and it only got louder. If you have been following Manturity for a little while now you will know about my series on Desire. I came to realize that because I started walking with Christ, I had actually started to 'delight' in Him. (Psalm37:4). I came to realize that life wasn't about my own selfish desires, but rather it was about asking God what I desired. I went from praying 'what do I desire God?' to 'what would You have me desire God?'. That shift made a massive difference in my view on desire. It put desire in perspective and made me less interested in the meaningless things and more interested in the meaningful things. I also began to realize that I wanted to be a true Man of God, or a Man Like Christ.
In continuing my desire to be a man more like Christ, I moved my focus to 'influence'. I really didn't understand this shift at first, but I went with it anyway. I began to think about the ways things influenced my life, behavior, emotions and so on. I wrote about music, friends and work. But God was saying more, He wanted me to take the idea of influence and persuasion further. I didn't understand what He meant by 'further' till more recently. See, Jesus had a style that he did life different than anyone that has ever lived. Jesus never said the "normal" thing and never responded in a general way. He always had a reason behind His motivation. He had a way of making people think and challenged people to do the right thing by their own means. He could be in the toughest of situations where there seemed to be no way out and He would simply surprise everybody. His style of influence is enchanting to say the least.
If I truly desire to be more like Christ, than I need to know his personality. John Eldredge's newest book, Beautiful Outlaw, couldn't come at a better time. This book gets into the wild personality of the risen Christ. I also started reading another book called 'Split Second Persuasion'. This is not a Christian author, but it gets into the origins of persuasion and influence. I am only a few chapters into each book, but they go together in a great way. Lessons from Jesus Christ himself and a hard look at how God designed influence in us since birth.
When I saw the path in the distance, God pointed to the path of desire. And in going down that path I have seen the fruits along the way of making Him my desire. But God demands more of us. As the path of desire is conquered, I can see in the distance the path of influence. The path to the deeper understanding of how to lead and speak like Christ. The path of desire was made of soft grass with only a few hills. But I have already started on the rocky, more rugged path of the personality of Christ. This is what it takes to be a Man Like Christ. To continue to seek more, to continue to work harder no matter the challenge set before you.
Our God is a God of Process.....