During the last half of 2019, Father began to highlight the theme of the riches of Christ in such a way it began to transform the way I saw everything. Although that may sound like an exaggeration, viewing life through the lens of the all sufficiency of Christ in every situation has continued to transform the way I approach God, self, relationships, mental/emotional health, money, ministry, calling, the church and our assignment as believers with global implications. By grace, I hope to have the book competed later in 2022. This is the intro to the book:
Unsearchable: A Journey Into the Riches of Christ
In 1998, on the back of a beer mat, an ex-British paratrooper named Karl Bushby sketched preliminary plans to walk the first ever unbroken path around the world. It would be an unprecedented 36,000 mile trek called the “Goliath Expedition,” beginning at the southern tip of South America traveling north through Central and North America– then crossing the Bering Strait, the harsh Siberian expanse, Russia, Europe and back to his hometown of Hull, England. There have been a small handful of men and women (including the amazing 57 year-old Rosie Swale-Pope that ran around the world in 5 years) who have traversed the approximately 15,000 mile journey around the globe, but the Goliath Expedition would be the longest and only unbroken footpath around the world. Beginning in 1998, Bushby traveled approximately 17,000 miles by 2006 before being detained by Russian border officers after crossing the Bering Strait. This would prove to be just the beginning of more than a decade-long delay of border and visa issues to cross Russia and Eastern Europe. He is still working to complete his journey as of 2022.
Like Bushby, my wife and I love walking, hiking, traveling, sightseeing and exploring, but we have never dreamed of trying to walk around the world. But, if for some reason we had the resources and ability to walk the globe, taking in majestic waterfalls, mountains and sights for the rest of our life, we could only cover a small portion of the world. As a matter of fact, if we researched a list of all the places we wanted to see and experience in North America alone, we could spend the rest of our lives walking (or even driving and walking) and still not see them all in our lifetime. That is the very definition of “unsearchable.”
In Ephesians 3:8, the apostle Paul says he was given a life mission to proclaim the “unsearchable riches of Christ.” In 2019, the Holy Spirit increasingly highlighted that phrase to me and I began to see the theme of His sufficiency for our redemption, completion, and equipping through the riches of His grace. Over the course of 2019, I spent extra time in Ephesians and Colossians making notes on different facets of the sufficiency and riches of Christ that are transformational for individuals and their local communities even stretching to global impacts.
Most people attribute their security and sense of well being to their natural state or sum of their resources, but it became apparent to me that, as believers in Christ, we are the wealthiest people on the planet completely apart from the status of our bank account. To take it even a step further, if we attribute our state of wealth or well-being based on the abundance or lack of our material possession or our natural state, we have already missed apprehending the riches of Christ.
Interestingly enough, while Father was teaching me about the riches of Christ, it was a difficult time for our Kingdom community (my day job is pastor). For various reasons, many around us could not wait for that season to be in the rear-view mirror so we could move into a new year and season! Little did we know we were about to face global challenges unlike anything in history due to global travel, commerce and interconnectedness from internet and mass media. At the very same time my eyes were being opened to see Father’s goodness, provision and grace like never before; we were with faced with mental, emotional and spiritual challenges that would test everything Father had been sharing with me concerning the all-sufficiency of Christ. The end of 2019 and 2020 came with interpersonal heartbreaks, looming financial challenges beyond my ability to resolve, my family huddled and praying together in our basement as a tornado passed over and damaged our house, pastoring people during great unrest, fear and anger along with my own fears, mental anguish and anger, the loss of norms, securities and most difficult of all, the loss of dearly loved ones. We are still grieving crushing losses in our community over the past two years as many of you are as well. I can look back now and see that those trials didn’t diminish the truth of His all-sufficient riches but only proved them to be an unshakeable, beautiful reality.
This book is part teaching and part testimony of the “unsearchable” riches. Ephesians 2:6-7 says it will actually take “ages” for Father to show us the depths of the riches of His grace and kindness expressed to us through Christ Jesus. It might be the longest, most epic “family movie night” ever, but I am sure we will not want to leave our seats!
My prayer as you read is, by grace, you will begin to see and experience the “incomparable riches of his grace” (Ephesians 2:7) in greater ways than ever before.