Lights go out in the auditorium. Everyone is quiet. Then slowly through the speakers comes mysterious and beautiful choir music. Angel-like song lingers for several minutes and when it stops the promotional video for the tour comes on to reintroduce the topic of the evening. Watch the video below:
“OUR LONGING FOR SOMETHING MORE AND OUR BLINDNESS TO WHAT GOD INTENDED US TO BE”
Ted Dekker is an eye opener. I had the insane privilege to see him speak at the National Community Church in Washington DC yesterday. The passion and deep earnestness in which he spoke drove home his point about how we are essentially the same, not in gender, race, financial status or physical stature, but in our longing for something more and our blindness to what God intended us to be. Yet he approaches it, not from a theological or philosophical point of view, but in a practical application. Shifting our thinking to make it real to the common person which he does so effortlessly in his novels.
I have read about 10 of his 30+ novels, but I had never seen him in person until yesterday. His novels are so engaging and thought provoking that I knew I was going to enjoy hearing him speak, but I was not prepared for the depth he was going to drown us in. He did not present his ideas with much philosophy or academic intellectualism so that it was difficult to process. Rather, his ideas were laced with such humorous, fun-loving, and playful stories that you couldn’t help but sit engaged throughout his whole talk.
“IF YOU CUT IT OFF, YOU’RE STILL GOING TO BE YOU, RIGHT?”
His main point is wrapped in the idea of our physical bodies are merely costumes. He encouraged everyone to look at their hands. He said a hand is a part of your physical existence, but if you cut it off, you’re still going to be you, right? He went on to explain that if you loose your whole arm, or all your limbs, or even your mind, you’re still going to be you. This point drove home his point that our bodies are merely costumes that we will wear for a short time on earth and leave when we pass into eternity.
God created us as spiritual beings that have ONE father. YAHWEH. And each one of us are his children. There is nothing that can separate us from that aspect of us being His child.
“A FATHER DOES NOT STOP BEING THE KID’S DADDY.”
When a child is learning to walk and falls down, a father does not stop being the kid’s daddy. He does not disown the child when he/she trips and scrapes a knee. Neither does God the Father disown his children when we stumble and fall.
He brought up the Prodical Son story in the Bible and took time to expand its meaning to include the second son who was unhappy with the father’s acceptance of his prodical son when he returned. Both sons were guilty in their own poor choices. However, the Father loves them the same because that father-son bond remains between them.
He talked about how this view of your physical existence will eliminate fear in your life. When you understand that you are a spiritual being with a physical costume, our choices change. Our fear of being humiliated in front of people disappears because our identity is in the fact that God is our Father and our physical costume doesn’t count for much of anything in comparison.
“COULD A FOX HARM AN OX?”
Another story he told about a fox and an ox paints a beautiful picture of God. Dekker said if a fox were to attack the ox, would the ox be harmed? Yea, it could bite its ankles and such. How about if the ox was as big as a hill? Could the fox harm the ox? How about if the ox were as big as the field? How about if it were as big as the jungle, could the fox harm the ox then? What about the whole world, solar system, galaxy or universe? The fox would have no way of even creating a nuisance for the ox. So it is with God and troubles that fall on his children. Just as God is spiritual in nature that took a physical form through Jesus Christ, we are spiritual beings that only hold a temporary stake in the physical world.
With this in mind, what’s the big deal if someone doesn’t like a project you do at work? Who cares if someone looks down on that beat-up van you drive around? Who gives a rip if you can’t write stories like Ted Dekker? If your blog post only gets 20 views will I be discouraged? As a believer in the one true God I have confidence and joy to see the world in a new light. My fear of people and their opinions, or even their physical abuse, should that come, is gone.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Our light is not little. When our spiritual us sidelines our physical us, the result is something beautiful: freedom in Christ.
Ted said one thing that will definitely stick with me for quite some time. He explained, “We are not a physical body that has a spiritual experience every now and again. Rather, we are spiritual beings that are wrapped in a physical costume for only a time.”
How would this realization change your life?