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By Pablo Giacopelli
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I had the opportunity last week to speak to thousands of people in China where I spent twelve days sharing the message Dad has given to me.
As I spoke to many people before and after each engagement I could not help but to sense that the majority struggled along in their spiritual journey. Please understand that what I am referring to here by "struggled" is not circumstantial as much as it is experimental. In other words it was not the hassles they experienced but the impact they had on them and how they felt.
I sensed that somehow with each obstacle there was a lot more that was challenged in them and it had to do with their identity. You see for many of them they have been told that the children of God are victorious and they rarely lose. They had heard over and over that those that serve God are blessed and they lack nothing. Yet as they looked at their lives they couldn't help but notice that this was normally not the case and this unfortunately led them to somehow believe that they could not possibly be sons and daughters. If they were they would have much more, experience victory far more often than they did, but most importantly they would not feel so detached from this God they serve.
While I get this as I too have often experienced these illusional performance related feelings, today I am beginning to understand that there is a distinct difference between those of us that are able to allow the impact of circumstances to bring healing and freedom into our lives and those of us that are destroyed but the impacts we suffer. The more I meditated on this the more I realized that the difference came down to whether our spiritual experience is one of a convert or as disciple.
A Transformational Relationship
You see converts through much persuasion have become convinced in their minds of the truth and have therefore put their hand up and decided to try and follow Christ. Disciples on the other hand have been and continue to be transformed by the truth in their hearts, which leads them into a relationship where they find their true identity in Christ. When the challenges come they are standing on a rock and therefore are able to negotiate the circumstances from a secure identity and rest. Converts instead are standing in a puddle of quick sand where they spend most of their lives fighting so they don't drown. When the troubles come they see them as yet another test to pass in order to prove themselves, and who they have been told they are. Yet in reality most of the time all these troubles do is emphasize further what they already falsely believe and feel about themselves most days.
Today I am beginning to wonder that perhaps we were never meant to be asked to put our hands up, after all Jesus never did. Perhaps coming into the reality of Christ was meant to be a journey where we are all allowed to join others at our own pace. Perhaps this was the way that was meant to show us that instead of us trying to fix ourselves and others through our courses, we were actually meant to allow ourselves the space and time where God would inspire trust in us through a relationship with him. A relationship that would begin to lead us towards the inner healing we all so desperately look for and need and in time transform us into secure disciples.
Today one thing is for certain and that is that Jesus asked for disciples and not hand raising converts, even if we are fascinated by them because they add to our performance based religion.