Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Experiencing God

Sunday before last we started a new class on Sunday afternoons for teens and their parents using the Experiencing God study.

The study follows Moses and his journey and relationship with God to illustrate how God works through us and how God interacts with us, his people.

The defining principle behind the study is that God's will is ever present around us and that He wants us to know what His will is.  It's not supposed to be a cosmic secret from a distant being, but a shared plan (NOT in whole, but in direction) with those He loves (us!).

Consider these 7 realities of Experiencing God (the italics are my commentary):

  1. God is always at work around you.  God's plans aren't sporadic thoughts separated into single events.  God's work is the intertwined lattice work that weaves through every event of every life.
  2. God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real and personal.  God Love you.  God loves YOU, messed up, imperfect, stressed out You.  Not only does He love you for you, He loves you just as much and in the same way that He loves Christ, His one and only son - someone with that kind of love doesn't desire to stay at arms reach!  God's desire is for a deep, meaningful, love relationship with you!
  3. God invites you to become involved with Him in His work.  The most important thing to take from this is that it's Not the other way around!  God invites You to become involved in HIS work - you can't come up with the plan yourself and then ask God to bless YOUR plans!
  4. God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways.  This is big... "God speaks" - do you believe that?  Because He does.  I know this because He tells us He does.  I hear at times that God USE to speak through dreams and visions, burning bushes, etc. but not anymore (that was then, this was now).  Consider this:  God often used those tactics in the Old Testament.  Then early in the New Testament times God used Christ on earth to convey His message and His will.  And then after Christ ascended... then what?  God didn't simply stop talking, no!  Perhaps He doesn't use dreams and burning bushes, but do you know why?  It's no longer necessary.  In the Old Testament this was a necessary means of communication (God needed to talk to His people but His people [with Very few exceptions] can not look directly on the face of God), however, after Jesus' death upon the cross, we were sent God's very spirit to live within us - our advocate/counselor/guider/Holy Spirit [John 14:16-21].  We now have the Holy Spirit living inside us that guides and directs us, that communicates with us, it is that still small voice inside that speaks to you through God's Word, that feeling inside that people often mistake as 'conscience' or the 'good voice'.
  5. God's invitations for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.  When God calls us to something, He asks us to DO something.  When God met with Moses in the burning bush, God called Moses to Him, to a place where men did not go and live to tell about it!  When God gave Moses the 10 Commandments, God could have met Moses in his tent for breakfast, but instead, God asked Moses to come to God - Moses had to move!  When God told Moses to go get His people out of Egypt, did Moses leap at the opportunity?  NO!  Moses made all kinds of excuses:  he didn't speak well, they wouldn't believe him, he stuttered, God had the wrong guy.  God didn't pick Moses for his attributes.  God picked Moses and THEN fitted him to God's purpose.
  6. You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing.  See #3.  YOU must make the adjustments to be on the same page as God.  You can not lasso God with your prayers and drag Him on to Your page.
  7. You come to know God by experience as you obey Him, and He accomplishes His work through you.  You can't truly begin to Know God until you obey Him.  And you can't have truly obeyed Him until you have made major adjustments in your life to to join Him.  And you can't have truly made major adjustments in your life to join him until you have faced a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.  so.... have you?   Think about it.

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