Just about the time I post last week’s stuff from Jim Groth, here comes this week’s. Enjoy!
And remember, folks, feel free to post up comments. I want to know what you think! Here’s Jim:
I really am enjoying these lessons on “Experiencing God.” I have a few thoughts about Unit 2, Day 4 and Day 5.
First about Day 4, on page 44, point number 5, Blackaby states “The relationship is the key to knowing God’s voice, to hearing when God speaks.” All well and good, but what is the key to an intimate relationship?
They key to an intimate relationship is faith. First, we must believe that Jesus actually died for us. We must trust in his eternal provision. We must believe we are secure in Christ. We must believe we actually are new creations. We must believe who we are, in Christ, regardless of our behavior and short comings. We must count on God, and not our behavior. We must never expect God to look favorably upon us because we are “doing good and not doing bad.” We must never live in a way where we are seeking to appease God. We must truly be at rest in Christ. Finally we must always believe that God loves us, not because we are faithful but because he is faithful and trust worthy and he says he loves us. It is when, through faith, we know he loves us and has our best interests at heart, then and only then, can we experience a truly intimate relationship with him.
Next we must believe he actually wants to, does and will talk to us. But often false humility masked as thinking we are unworthy, (even when he says he has made us worthy) directs our minds from his communication to our self-deprivation that says he will not talk to me. The thing that stands in the way is not God’s failure to talk to us but our failure to believe he does. We often fear what God will tell us to do, and miss the joy of simple love that comes from him directly to us through talking to directly to us. Before God gives us specific direction he will give us the heart for it as well.
One other point comes up in Day 5, on page 45, where Blackaby states God is not often seen coming and speaking to people just for conversation’s sake. Once again, although that may be true, God is not often seen doing this, I think the implication that he doesn’t often do this is false. Biblically, he is not seen doing this because what the Bible conveys is the most monumental conversations God had with specific people in bringing about his will. But it also conveys, although not always the specifics, that many Biblical characters were in daily, even hourly conversation with God. The Psalms certain imply this as well as terms like “He walked with God.” Not all of God’s communication with us is just giving us our directions for the day. Most often it is simple encouragement, in love.
This brings us to point 1 on page 46 where we are to mark the following statements true or false. Statement one says, “God speaks to me primarily so I can have a devotional thought to encourage me throughout the day,” Blackaby scores this as false. The answer is actually true. In a true intimate relationship with God, his primary conversation to us is formed in daily encouragement and love. It is his primary desire for each of us, you and I to have, on a daily basis, devotional thoughts that encourage us throughout the day. There is so much in the world to defeat our joy and rob us of our intimacy with God. We need this encouragement daily. In fact, it is only then that we are able to perceive the weighty matters of his personal direction.
More next time, God willing — Jim