Friday, January 31, 2020

How To Experience God In Your Life

Experiencing God is probably the most influential Bible study that I have ever participated in. I have led the study several times, including once in Haiti.  The concepts and truths in the study shaped the way I view my life in Christ and has helped me to see God at work in me and around me.  Some friends and co-laborers have agreed to co-lead Experiencing God using Zoom which is a cloud-based Video Conferencing application.  Zoom can be used using WIFI or even on a smart phone by calling in.  So what is my point? Not to impress you with my IT acumen. I still struggle with emojis and am not sure what an Avatar is.

To refresh myself and to encourage whomever might read this, for the next seven devotions, I am going to share the seven spiritual realities, that are at the core of the Experiencing God study, in a “Readers’ Digest” version.  Google “Reader’s Digest” if you are not familiar with it.  Let’s get started.

REALITY 1. GOD IS ALWAYS AT WORK AROUND YOU.

King David alluded to this truth in Psalm 139.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” Psalm 139:7-12

All too often we live our lives as if God were in Heaven far away, uninvolved in the affairs of this world.  We all know that Jesus is going to return, but until then, we act as though God has abandoned us to do the best we can. The truth of the matter is that we cannot escape the presence of God.  There is no place I can go to hide my sin, not even in my thought life. Jesus said that if you look at someone with lust in your heart or hate someone you are guilty of adultery or murder in your heart. The Bible says that we should confess our sins – that is to say we are to agree with God that we have sinned.  God is all around us and is the judge of our hearts.

But on the other side of things, He is at work in the world and will reveal Himself – act on our behalf – if we will but seek Him out. If we only will have eyes to see. Do you remember the story of Elisha’s servant.  Recall Elisha followed Elijah.  I remember that because “J” comes before “S”.

When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ And Elisha prayed, ‘Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha..” — 2 Kings 6:15-17

God is all around us. The Apostle Paul prayed this for the Church in Ephesus and for us.

I (Paul) keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.” – Ephesians 1:17-20

The point is that there is a spiritual reality that we need the Spirit of God for us to see.  That God is at work all around us and He wants us – you and me – to join Him in that work. Our new life is so much more than simply being saved from Hell, attending church on Sunday, thanking God for the food we eat, and hoping He will somehow make our lives better by escaping all hardship, loss, or suffering.  He wants to use us for His eternal plan and purpose.  He wants us to join Him – He doesn’t really need us, but He wants us anyway.  Incredible as that may seem to you – it’s true.

To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” – Jude 24-25

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

1 comment:

Darrell said...

I'll say it again Mr. Elgin. Your devotions have been an incredible encouragement to my spiritual growth. Thank you, Darrell