Quest Introduction

Quest is a strategy for following Jesus Christ resulting in life change. We all know what it means to follow lifeless patterns that disappoint and leave us craving for something better, something beyond the ordinary. Only God can provide the extraordinary life we seek.

The Quest for a joy-filled life in Christ requires radical shifts in our thinking. We live in a culture that considers itself “Christian,” but relatively few experience God the way God himself intends us to. There are reasons for this tragedy:

  • Some people are religious but have never entered into true relationship with God. The illusion of intimacy with God is a real and present danger.
  • Others have been reborn spiritually but are defeated in their day-to-day walk with God because they expect too little from God and his great plan for their lives. They possess horribly flawed concepts of God and his plan for them.

On the following pages you will encounter the Quest paradigms.[1] These paradigms serve to realign our minds with foundational, biblical truths that will free us to walk forward in deep, intimate relationship with God.

Exchanging old ways of thinking for new ones does not come easily. Some of you will no doubt have to wrestle with some of these liberating truths and search the Scriptures to be convinced in your own minds. Rehearse these liberating truths until they fill your thoughts, dictate your speech and direct your actions.

Allow me to illustrate just how difficult it is for us to change our viewpoint! A few months ago, an elderly widow offered me a twelve-year-old car in exchange for doing some odd jobs around her home. I agreed to help her and was happy to receive her gift of a car. She warned me, however, that the fuel pump had given her problems and that she had already replaced it twice in recent months. She described the symptoms to me so I would know what to look for.

Shortly after obtaining the car, I took it in for an oil change at a quick lube shop. In the process of checking over the car, the attendant discovered that the radiator cap would not hold pressure. So, we replaced the radiator cap. But now that the radiator held pressure, the pressure revealed that the radiator itself had a crack in it and was leaking coolant. With the weak radiator cap, the crack in the radiator had not been evident.

As crazy as it sounds, we discovered that the cracked radiator and not the fuel pump had been the problem all along. The fuel pump for this car is at the back of the car in the gas tank. The radiator is in the front of the car under the hood. These two parts represent totally different systems. One wonders how the mechanics ever concluded that the problem was the fuel pump. They had “fuel pump” on the brain and couldn’t see beyond it.

Like those mechanics, many of us have assumed things about God that blind us from seeing what he’s really like. With false assumptions about God we cannot possibly cultivate a joy-filled relationship with him.

Put yourself in the place of those mechanics for a moment. They had spent many hours and charged significant fees to replace the fuel pump twice. With so much invested and with such great conviction that their diagnosis was correct, the odds that they would simply change their minds (paradigms) to see a new solution were against them.

The same may be true for us when it comes to our paradigms about God and how we relate to him. We have much invested in our current paradigms and to admit we have been wrong all along takes a great deal of humility and courage. And a whole lot more is at stake than the proper functioning of a car! Please don’t allow pride or fear keep you from experiencing a rich and growing relationship with God! Enjoy your Quest!

[1] Paradigms are patterns of thinking or the way we personally view life. God’s Word urges us, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2