By Bill Gaultiere
The teaching to “believe and do” typically ends in dead religion. There is so much more to life in God’s world! Jesus leads us on a journey of becoming fully alive. He is our model, our Living Blueprint. He is also the fuel for our journey.
In our new book, Journey of the Soul, you discover Jesus’ life, pray with him, and love with him. You learn how to participate in his intimacy with God that brings you resilient joy and the power to give lovingkindness to everyone.
At the start of the book we take a deep dive into the Gospel of Luke, which puts special emphasis on the Son of God’s personal development as a human being. We meet Jesus of Nazareth as the first disciple of Yahweh as he models the stages of faith that the CHRIST model maps out for us. Paul refers to this as developing the faith of Christ (Galatians 2:20, YLT). We’re cultivating his kind of faith-trust in God. Notice how we’re keeping the humanity of Jesus connected to his divinity.
Jesus is the definition of the CHRIST stages we unpack in our book:
In Luke Jesus shows Confidence in Godat an early age. He developed a loving relationship with his Father in heaven through people who cared for him, especially his mother, who treasured him and pondered his significance (Luke 2:19, 51).
As a boy in Help in Discipleship, our Lord grew in strength, wisdom, and favor with God and people. His parents and others (like the synagogue leaders in Nazareth) helped him learn to worship God, read the Scriptures, pray, and serve others (Luke 2:40–52).
During these hidden years he may have encountered what we call The Wall. He enduredmanual labor for many years (Luke 3:23), persecution in his hometown (Luke 4:28–30), and unfair expectations from his family (Luke 8:19–21). Yet through these trials, he loved others with joy.
Jesus was renewed in the stage of the Inner Journey, which features times of less outward ministry activity. For instance, he was baptized by John in the Jordan River and had a special experience of grace as the heavens opened and he heard his Father speak defining words of blessing, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22).
Back at The Wall, he battled Satan’s relentless temptations for forty days. But with help from the Holy Spirit, Jesus used his time in the desert to grow deeper in the Inner Journey stage through practicing disciplines of solitude, fasting, Scripture meditation, and abiding prayer. He fostered increasing intimacy with his Father, clarified his ministry calling, and resisted Satan by resolving to do God’s will (Luke 4:1–13). Even during the years of his busy ministry, Jesus often withdrew to be alone with his Abba, who was the source of his compassion, wisdom, and power (Luke 5:16).
In much of the Gospel of Luke, we see Jesus in Spirit-Led Ministry. He listens for and follows his Father’s directions for ministry. He teaches people from God’s Word with the confident authority of having lived it out personally (Luke 4:32). He heals the sick and feeds the hungry (Luke 4:31–5:26; 8:26–56).
In the second half of his Gospel, Luke shows our Lord in the stage of Transforming Union. Jesus embodies God’s compassion for the disadvantaged and despised: ethnic minorities (Luke 10:25–37), women (Luke 10:38–42), lepers (Luke 17:11–19), widows (Luke 18:1–8), little children (Luke 18:15–17), beggars (Luke 18:35–43), and tax collectors (Luke 19:1–10).
On the journey of the cross Jesus re-encounters The Wall and moves through it into the full flower of Transforming Union with God by forgiving those who abused him and blessing everyone (Luke 23:32–43). With his last breath, Jesus relinquishes himself into his Father’s hands to reconcile us to God (23:46).
The CHRIST stages mark out your journey. They give you language for your feelings and faith so you can discover your current home stage. You discover that for each stage there are particular Scriptures, spiritual disciplines, and songs that are likely to cultivate the intimacy with God that is your fuel to do good work and love other people well.
This article is submitted by David Rimoldi of Soul Shepherding. Soul Shepherding is a Missio Nexus member. Member organizations can provide content to the Missio Nexus website. See how by clicking here.