This weekend Pastor Chris talked about the temptation of following good principles in life without actually engaging God. Some people feel like God is somewhere “out in the distance” and just expects us to follow certain steps in His indifferent absence—but nothing could be further from the truth.
What’s the most beneficial self-help book you’ve ever read?
WHAT DOES GOD WANT US TO HEAR?
For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh — though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. (Philippians 3:3-6)
Make a list of all the ministry-related things you’ve been involved in during the time you’ve been a Christian.
Which of these did you find the most fruitful or satisfying?
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith — that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:3-11)
What changed Paul’s perspective on his past accomplishments for God?
Paul’s spiritual resume after he became a Christian would have also been impressive. What would have changed for him in regard to how he viewed these accomplishments?
Have you ever put a lot of energy into a ministry-related project only to end up feeling empty? If so, talk about what happened.
How has your motivation to do things for God changed over the years (if at all)?
WHAT DOES GOD WANT US TO DO?
Make a list of a few things you can do to move forward in your spiritual growth. For example,
“Here are four things I can do to discover my spiritual gift.”
“Here are three steps to a more consistent prayer life.”
“Here’s the next, most responsible thing I can do to resolve an ongoing problem.
Contrast what these efforts would be like if you viewed God as a mere depositor of these steps with God as an active participant in them.
WHAT DOES GOD WANT ME TO DO?
Implement the steps you outlined above, with your mind, heart, and soul committed to engaging God through the entire process.
Be ready for the Holy Spirit to nudge you in a slightly different direction, or perhaps to make a significant pivot to accomplish different goals.
When you’re finished, think about how the exercise impacted your relationship with God.
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