Let’s face it. Our world offers lots of distractions. Some of them are even good things. Like jobs. Friends. Family. Children. Christian activities.
When Jesus told his disciples to Follow Me he asked them to abandon everything familiar and travel on a physical as well as spiritual journey.
I’ve had the privilege of being part of Seth Barnes’ book launch team for Kingdom Journeys: Rediscovering the Lost Spiritual Discipline. And I’ll tell you, it’s not for the faint of heart. Or the comfortable Christian. If there is such a thing.
Kingdom Journeys is a book about surrendering all to God. It’s about leaving. Leaving the comfort of your home and becoming broken by the brokenness of the world. As Seth shares, “If I hadn’t abandoned the comforts of home, I would not have experienced the challenges that enabled me to discover new truths about God, his world, and myself…without the physical adversity and pain of a physical journey, I would have missed important lessons along the way.” For Seth it took a physical journey to complete a spiritual one.
Isn’t that essentially what Jesus did? He gathered his team and led them on a physical journey around Judea for several years and even commissioned them to lead their own journeys without him.
According to Seth Barnes, “God gave us this concept of sacred, intentional travel as a means of finding our way back.” We need to find our way back because we often get lost in this world with all its trappings.
As Christians, we are somewhat used to the upside-down principle. The least will become the greatest. The first will be last. If you want to be like Jesus you must die to live. And so on. After reading Kingdom Journeys, I understand the message better: “In the end, the leaving is the finding.”
As Christ followers, we are called to make disciples. “God doesn’t ask us to innovate, but to imitate.” Seth goes on to say, “disciples are not born, they are developed; through a holy partnership between God and the teachers he provides.” Our world is asleep. And as Seth points out, “if we are to awaken a generation, discipleship is key.”
Kingdom Journeys reminds us that to go deep with people, you need to physically be with them. Which brings us back to the focus of this post: We can’t be fully transformed in our own backyard. We need to journey.
Seth talks about the need to journey for longer than a short-term mission trip. Those, he says, can be more like “spiritual vacations than Jesus-centered kingdom journeys.” A good reminder that we need to abandon the comfort of our culture and enter the places where the poor, broken and lost are. Unable to rely on comfort, our dependence upon God helps shape us into our true selves.
Kingdom Journeys was downloaded over 22,000 times last week which made it number one on Kindle in the Christianity & Evangelism section. If you’re considering buying Kingdom Journeys (which I highly recommend-unless you are satisfied with the status quo), you can purchase it here. And as an extra bonus, Seth is giving away over $80 worth of bonus books including discussion questions for Kingdom Journeys as well as many other books he has written. But hurry, the special promotion ends October 13th!
For more information about Seth Barnes check out his site here.