God today is looking for tranformational Christians – disciples who are channged and charged on a daily basis and who want to change the world. Changing the world has always been Jesus’ intention and He does so by changing the hearts of people one at a time as His people walk in power by obeying the Great Commission and going into their daily world giving hope to the people they meet – the same hope that is in their lives and that makes them attractive and different.
We are told that many people followed Jesus during His three years of public ministry before His crucifixion and resurrection. Multitudes followed Him. They saw that He had something they wanted and, more importantly, needed. They saw, in Him, “life” – the very life and nature of God His Heavenly Father. John 1:4 states, “In Him was life and the life was the light of men.” The life of God in Him was the light that shone out from Him.
Jesus then tells His disciples, including us today, “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). To have this life that is light to those living in darkness – to be transformational disciples going into all the world – we need to do as Jesus did.
What did He do? He put His own oxygen mask on first. When an airplane is in trouble and the cabin pressure is decreasing quickly – oxygen masks drop from the ceiling panel. Instructions before the flight starts tell us that when this happens put your own mask on first before you help someone who cannot do it for or by themselves. This is because you need to have life-giving oxygen yourself first to have the strength and the mental capacity to help someone else. Put another way – you cannot give what you do not have.
Becoming a transformational disciple will not be easy for some. We have been trained and conditioned to function as caregivers with a maintenance orientation for a defined group or building, rather than transformers who change hearts, lives, and cities – even nations. Responding to this call – this churchquaking call – will require most of us to retool from being Christians who care for other believers, to transformers of hearts and minds.
Jesus knew it would not be easy to be this kind of leader so He spent a lot of time on His own spirituality. He knew the principle that you can’t give what you don’t have. In John, chapter 17, the early church records how Jesus prepared Himself to be able to help us all become transformers in our own way – He prayed and first prayed for Himself. Interesting!
On several occasions, Jesus demonstrated His need to put on His own oxygen mask first by withdrawing from His friends. He knew He could not give what He did not have. So, throughout His ministry He took quality time away from other people to be with His Father. To give us what we needed – He needed to care for His own relationship with His Father God.
Let me repeat – the first thing He did in John 17 – His High Priestly Prayer (the real Lord’s Prayer) was to pray for Himself. He put on His own oxygen mask first.
Want to be a transformed and transformational disciple of the Lord and shake your world? Put on your own oxygen mask on a daily basis. These are the people the Lord is going to use.