OTD's BSSM Weekly: Transformation, purity and connections
BSSM - Semester Two - Week One
How are you doing? Have you answered that question honestly recently? I believe it is important to be conscious and honest about how you are doing as often as you can.
I am doing great and I am thankful. I’m also very expectant. My donation purse clinked some more last week and I’m just over 25% into my initial goal of $2334. I’m looking forward to more! School started last week and I got an extension on making that initial payment, so that is a great gratitude point.
Week one was a blast. I’ve got a few things to share from it. Let’s take the dive in.
The Transformed Mind
A few days ago, my friend asked if there was still a pandemic. It was a valid question because outside of the few memes I see on Whatsapp from time to time and mentions of praying about it on prayer calls, I’d ask the same question too. What you let into your mind will ultimately affect your reality and how you respond to the world around you.
In this teaching by Bill Johnson (which I’ve discovered to be, perhaps, his favourite topic), he highlighted three key ways we complicate our lives that stem from the mind and heart. The practice of the opposite of these things is important to receiving the word of God and having a transformed mind.
We complicate our Christian life by entertaining ideas from other sources outside of God. This leads to a war in our souls as we try to decide what’s right and what’s wrong. The first temptation ever recorded came from questioning what God said. (Genesis 3). Immediately the question was entertained, the eating of the fruit became logical. Do you also notice that the competing words usually contains what God said too?
Think about some things you learn in psychology or books on human relationships. They always contain principles that can be found in the Word, with such subtle and slight variations that dilute it progressively. Only with strong discernment can they be identified.
Key - Don’t entertain anything other than what God has said.
We complicate our lives by not treasuring the word and acts of God, pondering and meditating on them in our hearts.
Key - Read the Word. Hear the Word. Meditate on the Word of God and His wonders. (Luke 2:18-19)
Unbelief complicates our lives and keeps us from hearing clearly what God says. (John 12: 27-30;37)
Key - Position your heart to hear God with humility and a sense of awe.
The Purity Story
This session on purity was so engaging. I was drawn into the story Kris Vallotton told and the entire teaching gave me a new perspective on staying pure or staying a virgin until marriage.
I don’t even want to tell you about it. I found a video where Kris Vallotton shared the same message at Jesus Culture in 2015. If you’ve never seen it, you can here:
The goal of relationships
From my previous posts, I revealed that one of my areas of growth in this new phase of my life is building healthy and covenant relationships. I thoroughly enjoyed my Life Foundations class this week for that reason.
One thing that’s true about learning is how much power there is repetition. The repetition of hearing (Isaiah 28:23), the repetition of meditating on it (Joshua 1:8), and the repetition of doing it (Luke 11:28). And so, while many of the things that were shared in the class were things I’d heard before, they still struck places in my heart. Here are some of them:
The goal of relationships is connection. If there is anything other than connecting, the relationship is already heading towards major problems. It’s not about being right or wrong. It’s about enriching and keeping your relationship.
Trust is essential to building relationships. Without trust, you won’t be able to open up to other people or allow them to open up to you in a healthy way.
Shame is lethal to trust. Shame manifests in different ways. One of the ways in men is that they take an attitude of “I can’t do it” and for women, they take the attitude of “Do it all. Do it perfectly. Never let them see you sweat”. (From Brene Brown - https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_listening_to_shame?language=en)
The cure for shame is in confessing our sins or the subject of the shame, both to God and to members of our community. (1 John 1:9; James 5:16)
Living a ‘forgiven’ life is a vulnerable life and requires constant surrender.
Bitterness erodes trust. It usually starts as genuine pain but continues to grow as you nurse it with a victim’s mentality.
The cure for bitterness is to become admit to being hurt when you are, feel it, and address it. Then, learn to let it go. One of the analogies Bill Johnson used in the class on the transformed mind is to see offence as a bee landing on you. You’d immediately swat it away to keep it from stinging you.
God built us for reconciliation and connection
You can’t have a connection without understanding and we get understanding by seeking to be interested and curious about the other person’s perspective. Curiosity leads you to discover more about the person and builds passion.
Criticism and judgment kill connections. The cure is to cultivate thankfulness in relationships and surrender how right you are.
It was a truly loaded session and I listened to it at the right time because I’d just gotten irritated by something simple someone did. It helped me instantly reframe my mind.
Before I close, I’d like to share the Bible Project’s new projects (haha). They’ve recently launched an App, which you can download from any App store. They also started the ‘Classroom’ last year, which provides Theology School level of teaching in a very simple and engaging way. Tim Mackie is the key facilitator. You can check both out on their website - www.thebibleproject.com.
Finally, I’ll leave you with a song that’s been on repeat for me for a few days now.
Have a miracle filled week!
Love and love,
For King and Kingdom