Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Forgotten God Highlights

I suspect an area that God desires growth for me is my relationship with the Holy Spirit. A lot of what Francis Chan writes in his book Forgotten God resonates with me.  I'll simply share a few of the pieces I highlighted as I read.

Jesus Himself said to His disciples, "It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you" (John 16:7 NIV). So Jesus is basically telling His disciples, "Yes, I was with you for three and a half years, but it is better that I leave you and the Holy Spirit comes to you"

Yes, I think that is a cool thought. What we have can be even better than what the disciples experienced.

"He who searches hearts know what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God." I don't know about you, but I find the thought of the Spirit of God praying for me according to the will of God extremely comforting.

Yes, very comforting.   I often find I don't know how best to pray for something, but I can learn to pray along side the Spirit.

The church becomes irrelevant when it becomes purely a human creation. We are not all we were made to be when everything in our lives and churches can be explained apart from the work and presence of the Spirit of God.
Fair questions:

If the Spirit didn't show up during our gatherings, would anyone notice?

To those who observe my life, is it obvious that a supernatural God is at work?

The fruit of being led by the Spirit of God includes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These attitudes and actions will characterize our lives as we allow ourselves to be grown and molded by the Spirit. The Spirit is our sanctifier (2 Cor. 3:18; Gal. 5:22 - 23)
Yes, and easier said than lived.

"So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church" (1 Cor. 14:12).
Yes, seems like a good place to start.

We all have to answer the question: Do I want to lead or be led by the Spirit?
Hmm... we may all have the Spirit with us... but who is leading?

Because the fact is that if you were in step with the Holy Spirit, listening to and obeying Him, you wouldn't sin (Gal. 5:16) In any given moment, it is impossible to live in the power of the Spirit and sin at the same time. Sin is wholly opposed to everything that is of the Spirit. They really are mutually exclusive and totally contrary to each other.
The struggle is to let God reign or let self reign... that is a consistent theme in our Scriptures.

In the book of Philippians, Paul writes "Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure" (2:12 - 13). I love the apparent contradiction in this passage. Paul says in one breath, "Work out your salvation," and in the next, "It it is God who works in you." The both-ness here doesn't allow us to escape with a simple conclusion. Yes, it is God who works in you. And, yes, there is work for you to do. Yes, the Spirit empowers you to do the work. And, yes, you do the work.
So yes, I enjoyed reading this book.  Some good information.  But as Francis Chan also emphasizes... the point isn't just to understand stuff about the Holy Spirit... the goal is to grow and live with the Holy Spirit, and learn to listen and follow His ways.

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