Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Staying Connected to God

As Christians we don't get to live "normal" live. -- John Eldredge

I would think that the most obvious question at this point is: "what is normal?" And the most obvious answer would most likely be: "like everyone else." How are Christians not like everyone else? They walk with Jesus.

There are several ways we could explore this.
  • The drive for happiness.
  • Personal ambition vs. God's mission.
  • Sacrificial love.
However, we will look at the context that the above quote was in. Which was the daily abiding in Christ, the moment by moment conversational relationship with God. One metaphor of this connection is a branch on a vine. It is this connection that provides life and the power to bear fruit. Another metaphor of this connection is a shepherd and his sheep. The sheep listen to the voice of the shepherd, following him and his directions.

There are several passages of Scripture (don't stop praying; walk in the Spirit; abide in Christ) that give many people the feeling that walking with God is a continuous, stream of consciousness, moment by moment conversation with God, where his children get instructions for everything.

In my small group last week, we discussed this some. How is it supposed to look? How are we supposed to engage in it? (Caution! Facetious example ahead! "Good morning, Father. What a wonderful day you have given us. Please, I need to hear your voice this morning. Should I shower today? Should I go to work? Should I wear black socks or white socks? One of each! On my ears!")

Followers of Jesus live connected to the Father of All. He is trying to speak to us far more often than we realize. And we ought to be seeking him far more often than we do. And if we seek him, we ought to seriously obey what we hear. (Maybe that's why his family does not seek him more? What I don't know, I don't have to obey.)

In the context of the above quote, Eldredge cites someone saying that he wanted to just go to Hawaii for vacation, and he did not want to ask God about it.

  • What do we understand about how God views our heart ... and our happiness?
  • What do we understand about how God views growth, maturity and personal decision making? Does God trust us and expect us to grow to the point where we can make our own decisions about what color of socks to wear?
  • Suppose you did ask God about your vacation, and he said "Don't go to Hawaii. Go camping at Shenandoah." Maybe you go to Hawaii anyway ...
    • and you get to enjoy the lovely Class-5 cyclone.
    • or you miss the inner healing from trauma you suffered as a child.
    • or you miss the family from Lima, Peru, and God will need to find someone else to be a catalyst of revival through out South America.
We can play "what-if" games until the cows come home. But we do need to come to some type of understanding of when and how to seek God, to hear his voice, for direction. If someone cuts us off in traffic, we don't need to seek him as to whether we should be patient, or whether we should lose our temper.

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