…so there I was in Mr. Roundy’s 8th grade Social Studies class. Bono and I wrestling with the existential dilemma of not yet finding what we were looking for. As I tuned out the droll voice of the teacher my mind wondered to the “its” that might bring satisfaction.
If there is one thing I’ve learned since 8th grade it’s this: The “its” don’t satisfy. In fact nothing carnal satisfies! It may momentarily pacify, but it can never provide lasting satisfaction. Money comes and money goes. Even the newest houses need constant repair. Children grow up and move out and despite what Jerry McGuire says; even your spouse can’t complete you. So it is with mere information. It’s just not enough. I was completely surrounded by information about God. What I didn’t realize was that information does not satisfy. It is only the revelation which produces transformation which satisfies! That is the nature of the spirit-centered life (or The Life as I call it). The Life is the result of a transformation which produces an eternal satisfaction.
Shakespeare once wrote, “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts,” (As you Like It, Act II Scene VII). Each part man plays is a transformation. Transformation is the initial truth and the final act of this epic play which God has set in motion. Transformation is the key to unlocking The Life. This blog is not meant to give you information about God. That would be worthless. This blog is written to open your spiritual eyes to a revelation which, if acted upon, will lead to a transformation. That transformation will ultimately lead to the only true source of satisfaction! Transformation is the prerequisite for satisfaction.
Have you ever stopped to really read John 2? It’s the miracle of water which Jesus turned into wine. Now I’m not here to argue the legality or permissibility of drinking wine. And I’m not gonna sit here and tell you it wasn’t really wine, but some high grade Welch’s grape juice. Don’t get sucked into the minutia and miss the true point. Get past all that. That’s not really what’s important. The powerful truth that is revealed in John 2 is that Jesus’ first miracle was a miracle of transformation. The first demonstration of his power was to demonstrate that in him is the power to change things at their core; to shift the center of their existence!
Personally, I don’t think this is a coincidence. Think about it. Of all the things Jesus could have done he chose to demonstrate his transformative ability. Jesus only taught what the Father told him to teach and did only what he saw his Father do (John 8:28, 12:49-50). He changed the water into wine first because it was the Father’s will (John 6:38). The Father wants us to know that he wants to transform us. The miracle of turning water into wine is a prophetic picture of the transformational shift from existing in a soul-centered mortality to living in the true abundance of a spirit-centered life!
If you’re reading this chances are good you have received the light. The transformation from death to life has begun. Your life has changed. You’re not who you were and you don’t want to return to who you were. You’ve responded to the call, but now what? This is point where many inadvertently begin to digress. You see, confession isn’t conversion. It’s merely the first step. In Matthew 16:16 Peter confessed that Jesus was, “…the Christ, The Son of the living God.” (NKJV) Yet, Jesus prophesied to Peter that he would betray him and went so far as to tell him that when he had been converted he was to strengthen his brethren (Luke 22:31-32). The remaining steps of this transformative journey can be summed up in two words…cultivating oneness. Oneness is the essence of the spirit-centered life. It is the key to lasting transformation. Oneness ushers us into The Life.
As I said this journey for me began in eighth grade with the heart cry, “there must be more!” For many years I wandered in the desert, looking for the “it” that would satisfy. I could attribute my wandering to the emptiness of religion, the disillusionment stemming from dashed expectations, the hypocrisy of the Church, the fact that I was abandoned by my earthly dad as a baby or any of myriad of modern pop psychobabble excuses. There may be an element of truth in all those things, but it would only be surface level and really would only be a convenient excuse. No, the truth of the matter went much deeper and had nothing to do with anyone else’s failures or wrong doings. The truth of the matter is this: I wandered in the desert because at my core I was rebellious! I wanted to do things my way and have God make things work out. I didn’t want to be told what to do. I had been raised in Church, surrounded by the truth. I had confessed Christ, but never really been converted. I treated Him as an addition to my life, not the true source of my life. I never had experienced the power and joy of a spirit-centered life. I had lived on water and never tasted the wine. Ultimately, I had never embraced oneness with Jesus…