"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..." - Romans 12:2

Conform – to act in accord with the prevailing standards, attitudes, practices, etc., of society or a group; to be or become similar in form, nature, or character.

Transform – to change in form, appearance, or structure; metamorphose. To change in condition, nature, or character; convert.

(‘Metamorphose’ would be a crippling bananagrams word.)

I’ve felt recently that I left my metamorphosed mind in Hangzhou. There I was a teacher, a mentor, a friend, and a teammate. Everything was intentional and adventurous. Here, I am a middle-class white male who is unemployed and taking 10 hours at a JuCo. Everything is normal and ordinary.

God recently graced me with the past two months to think about my intentional life in China and where it was headed (and when I say ‘graced’ I mean that I had absolutely nothing to do for two months). I was trying to keep up with my DBS studies-alone-because my team was spread out all over the country. This became a season of impatience, frustration, and self-loathing.

Blinded by self-righteousness, I didn’t understand the ‘detox’ God has been leading me through. I was convicted by a few simple words:

“The righteous will live by faith.”

I understood then that I had unknowingly set obedience above faith. That my relationship with God is not measured by my successful iWill’s, but by my willingness to trust. I have no students, no one to mentor, no close friends, and no “team”, yet He is faithful. He disciplines those He loves, and I am reminded how much He loves me.


  • measure my obedience by my faithfulness and trust (attitude), not by the results (works).
  • remember His faithfulness in times of worry.
  • pray that He will increase my faith this week.

Prayer Requests:

  • I need a job. Who doesn’t?
  • Past teammates in China (Stan, Julianne, Kevin, Benjamin, Bonny)
  • Leadership of our country
  • Wisdom

One response

  1. Dude, I’m stoked that I found your blog. This is great. I’ll be back often.

    One drawback of the DBS format is that it can be a slippery slope into legalism. This was a good reminder that our works flow out of our faith- and that faith is first. Perhaps we should not call it “Obedience-Based Discipleship,” but “Discipleship Based on Faithfulness.” That would bring the focus around to faith producing obedience.

    Great thoughts.

    September 3, 2010 at 12:45 PM

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