Words have tremendous power. When used effectively they have had the ability to sway nations, captivate hearts, stir believers to great valor and take God's people on journeys of deep and lasting emotion. This is God's design. Indeed, God called his son Jesus, the greatest force for change in all history, The Word.
Sadly, for many believers, sometime during their adventure of following Christ, many of God's precious words have become mundane and lost their ability to take them deep into God. Something alarming has happened to the words at the heart of our Christian faith. Words like Life, Heaven, the Mystery and the Kingdom to name a few. For example, when did we start thinking that Heaven was primarily the place we go when we die? Or that the abundant Christian life meant being prosperous? Or that the mystery of the Christian faith cannot stir and amaze our hearts? When understood correctly these words have the ability to change our lives and provide ever deeper glimpses of a loving Heavenly Father.
This should come as no surprise. From the beginning of time God intended to have a deep communication with his beloved creation, a communication so personal that its end result would be the dispensing of God himself, through Christ, into each of us. To that end throughout Scripture, the Lord introduces us to wondrous truths, full of meaning and carrying an invitation to realms of experience found only in God himself; truths captured in words like the Word of God, the Cross, the Church, and the Spirit. These profound words and the meanings they carry were designed to bring us into an ongoing relationship with God. But do they?
Over the years the power these words have to show us the way to life with God has been greatly diminished. These words of truth have become too commonplace in our Christian vocabulary. We sing them, pray them, and use them often without plumbing their depths. Though we assume we have understood them, that is not always the case.
Why is that? For one thing, for us to gain a deepened understanding of the meaning of these words is a threat to God's enemy. They have the power to invigorate our walk with God. God's enemy has an intense interest in stealing that power away. In fact there is an unrelenting tendency for the words of our Christian inheritance to be watered down and ultimately stripped of their deep meaning by our culture, by our enemy and if we are not careful, in our own religious use. The fact is that as our wondrous God-spoken words are co-opted by the world around us, the realm of experience they point us to becomes nothing more than a faint memory or a distant hope.
American Christianity has sometimes been described as a mile wide and an inch deep. Books like Why Men Hate Going to Church argue that most American men find attending church to be spiritually unchallenging. They are bored by what they encounter there. Could this be related to a shallow understanding of words like those above and a lack of connection to the experience they offer? Could the truths that they stand for have been watered down or trivialized?
This book will direct you back to the richness of your Christian inheritance; to enjoy what is rightfully yours. Realize that we are on a journey not after just the truths themselves, but also the experience with the Father and the Son that they invite us into. This journey requires a believing heart. You will be challenged to rethink how these truths have been handled. You may find that they have been used to fortify Christian squabbling or prop up doctrines rather than used to find a gateway into fellowship with our God. If you will push past those interpretations that have divided believers over the centuries, you will find yourself in a sweeter place nearer the heart of God who loves you.