Maturing Toward Wholeness in the Inner Life
The Original 40 Tweets
1 – A governor, evangelical Christian, had a very public extra-marital affair. What causes such breakdowns—when deeds contradict profession?
2 – Jesus spoke of another kind of life, different to what humans typically experience—one permeated with meaning, fulfillment, integrity, joy.
3 – Jesus made astounding claims about the life he offers. It is like water to the thirsty, bread to the hungry. It is life in abundance.
4 – The life Jesus described was eternal in quality as well as duration. He came to restore to humans the ability to share God’s life with him.
5 – Jesus: This is eternal life, that they know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent (John17:3). Eternal life is knowing God.
6 – What was Jesus talking about? To many he seemed out of touch with the “real world.” But Jesus was speaking about a deeper, Unseen Reality.
7 – Jesus said the life he came to bring is not found by searching the human ideas and traditions all around us. It comes from another Source.
8 – Jesus spoke about the kingdom of God—the sphere in which God rules. This was the central subject in his teaching. He said it was “at hand.”
9 – Jesus said the kingdom of God (of heaven) is available to all, right now, here, next to us, all around us. And it is profoundly desirable.
10 – Jesus: The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. A man found it, sold all he had and bought the field Matt 13:44. Smart man!
11 – Who was this Jesus making such claims? Where did he get his information? People said he spoke with authority. “No one ever spoke like this!”
12 – If God’s unseen Kingdom is open to everybody, right now, two questions arise: 1) How does one enter? 2) Once in, how does one live there?
13 – Jesus said we enter God’s Kingdom 1) by choosing to turn from our old ways (repentance) and 2) by relying on him (faith). He is the door in.
14 – Entering God’s kingdom, we experience his Presence—the most fulfilling, life-giving thing we have ever known. We want to remain there 24/7.
15 – But we quickly find that to turn from our old ways takes more than willpower. Many of our old ways are deeply entrenched destructive habits.
16 – We try hard to change. We rely on our own strength. Our own strength fails us. The end result is discouragement, failure, quiet desperation.
17 – A tragic misunderstanding among Christians: Teach someone how to act and willpower will enable him to do it. The failures are all around us.
18 – It is widely accepted that the Christian life will be characterized by failure. Is this really what Jesus and the apostles taught?
19 – Inability to live God’s ways in our own strength refocuses us on the second question: How does one learn to live with God in his kingdom?
20 – We live in God’s kingdom the same way we entered—we turn from our own ways and rely upon Jesus. But we need to be taught how to do that.
21 – Jesus is known as Savior and Lord. We must also come to know him as Teacher. “You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right…” (John13:13).
22 – Having announced that God’s kingdom was now available to all, Jesus called disciples. In discipleship he taught them the ways of God’s rule.
23 – We can understand discipleship as apprenticeship. In apprenticeship we have 1) a master 2) apprentices (learners) 3) skills to be mastered.
24 – In discipleship 1) Jesus is the Master 2) we are the apprentices (learners) 3) the skills to be learned are how to live in God’s kingdom.
25 – Much Christian teaching tells me how to behave. But behavior is largely an expression of character—the person I have become on the inside.
26 – What I really need to know is how character is re-formed—how the inner life can be re-shaped toward Christlikeness. Jesus knows how.
27 – To change behavior, Jesus did not focus on behavior. He focused on transforming character. He said to grow good fruit you need a good tree.
28 – On the cross Jesus forgave his killers. How did he do it? Super-human willpower? Or was he just the kind of person who forgives his enemies?
29 – In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus was not moralizing but describing—describing how people behave who have hearts re-formed under God’s rule.
30 – God’s ways become my ways as Christlikeness is gradually formed in me. I become the kind of person who prefers forgiveness to bitterness.
31 – Living in God’s kingdom is living under God’s rule. Living under God’s rule is living in God’s Presence. In God’s Presence I am re-formed.
32 – God created me for his Presence like he created fish for water. God’s Presence is my true home. Why then do I find staying there so hard?
33 – Barriers within block or hinder me from abiding in God’s Presence; e.g., 1) guilt 2) deeply entrenched destructive habits 3) inner wounding.
34 – Guilt is the easiest of these to remove, though it tends to receive the most attention. Guilt is removed by 1) the truth and 2) the cross.
35 – I must first tell myself the truth about my sin. Then I can tell God the truth about it (repentance) and repent to those I have wronged.
36 – Having told God the truth about my sin, in prayer I bring it to Christ on the cross. His cross has power to remove every effect of my sin.
37 – Removing destructive habits is more difficult. Jesus leads me into a life-long process of dying to the self life and living in his new life.
38 – Inner pain can block my maturing into the person I am in Christ. Sin, mine and that of others, wounded me. Healing comes in God’s Presence.
39 – Christlikeness is formed, not in the mind, but in a Relationship. Dallas Willard: I am with Jesus to learn from Jesus how to be like Jesus.
40 – Discipleship to Jesus produces inwardly transformed people. I am inwardly transformed as I learn from Jesus how to live in God’s Presence.
Copyright © George Miley. All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in whole or in part by any means, including graphic, electronic, or mechanical without the express written consent of the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in articles or reviews. To obtain permission to use this material, contact us.