"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Experiencing God -- chapters 8 & 9

God Takes the Initiative -- The author gives examples of those who lived God-centered (Joshua and Caleb) vs. self-centered lives (the ten spies), and urged us to focus our lives on God's purposes not our own plans. We should see things from God's perspective instead of our own distorted ones. When God wants to do something in the world, HE takes the initiative and comes to talk to somebody. Look at the examples of Noah and Moses, Gideon and Paul. "You never find God asking persons to dream up what they want to do for Him." This is helpful to me: I don't have to figure out what to do for God. I can abide in Him and wait for HIM to instruct me if He chooses. Since God is God and we are not, we should adjust our plans to suit Him instead of thinking that God is going to adjust Himself to suit our desires. We will only be fulfilled when we get this straight and follow His ways.

We should look around and see where God is working. When He opens our spiritual eyes to recognize this, we should assume God wants us to join Him. Don't start getting self-centered, but ask God to reveal what HE wants you to do. Be careful to distinguish God's initiative from our selfish desires. "A selfish life will have a tendency to confuse its selfish desire with God's will. . . . In seeking God's direction, check to see that prayer, the Scripture, and circumstances agree in the direction you sense God leading you." Keep in mind that the Holy Spirit's leading will never be contrary to the Word of God.

From George Mueller we learn things that helped him distinguish God's will: sincerely seeking God's direction, waiting patiently on God until he had a word from God in the Bible and looking to the Holy Spirit to teach him through the Bible. The things that lead him to mistakes in knowing God's will were lack of honesty of heart and uprightness before God, impatience in waiting for God and preferring the counsel of men over the teaching of Scripture.

The author suggests we should get our hearts into such a state "that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Nine-tenths of the trouble with people generally is just here. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the knowledge of what His will is." Next he doesn't "leave the result to feeling or simple impression," but seeks the will of God in connection with the Bible and takes into account providential circumstances.

God Invites You To Join Him -- The author reminded us that God is at work around us and reveals Himself to us when He is ready for us to join Him in His work. He tells us not to fret because sometimes God takes years preparing our character and developing our love relationship with Him. Because we often want to DO something, we get impatient, but God is not in a hurry. I have a hard time waiting so this was a good reminder.

We should remember things that only God can do and identify those things happening as God working around us.

Things Only God Can Do -- draw people to Himself, cause people to seek after Him, reveal spiritual truth, convict the world of guilt regarding sin, convict the world of righteousness and judgment.

Remember what God initiates, He completes.

No comments: