Up, In and Out

One of our ‘GRLC Guiding Principles’ relates to the question: Where is God already at work?

This is a very helpful question when it comes to the practical outworking of our day to day discipleship. What is God doing and how do I join Him in what He is already doing? These are key questions, but how? How can I find out where God may be at work in my world, where I live, where I work, in my community?

Where is God already at work?

The following is taken from Henry and Richard Blackaby’s book “Experiencing God”:

(1) God is always at work around you (UP, IN & OUT)

He never sleeps. He never slumbers. He doesn’t go on holidays or cease to be tuned in. He’s always alive, always active, and always inviting you to work out his purposes in, around, and through you.

(2) God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real and personal (UP & IN)

In Scripture, God is often portrayed as the one who pursues, the one who initiates and approaches us to invite us into a thriving relationship with himself. He loves you, regardless of whether you believe you’re lovable or not, and he wants you to experience the joy and awe of knowing him personally.

(3) God invites you to become involved with him in his work (UP, IN & OUT)

When you discover this truth for the first time, it’s a bit mind-blowing. God not only forgives us of our sins on the basis of Jesus’ death and resurrection and our faith in him, he goes on to include and involve us in living in His kingdom starting right now, and bringing the reality of His kingdom to earth.

(4) God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal himself, his purposes, and his ways (UP, IN & OUT)

We are never left in the dark concerning God’s will. He reveals it through his inspired word, the Bible. He unveils it to us by the presence of the Holy Spirit. We hear him in prayer as he reminds us of his truth. We hear him through the wise counsel of others. We see him at work in our circumstances. Every form of hearing from God must always be submitted to what God has said in Scripture.

(5) God's invitation for you to work with him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action (UP, IN & OUT)

When you know what God is doing, and you know how he wants you to be involved in his work, you have a decision to make. And for a disciple of Jesus, the only true option is “Yes, Lord. What’s next?” Saying “yes” will almost always cost you in the form of time, money, convenience, or comfort. But saying “no” costs even more.

(6) You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what he is doing (OUT)

It doesn’t always mean changing jobs or moving away. But sometimes it does. Saying “yes” to God will always require us to do some pruning in our lives, to orient our hearts more properly toward God and the good news of living in His kingdom and not our own. To join him requires me to worship him and not myself, him and not my own dreams and ambitions, him and not my own comfort and happiness.

(7) You come to know God by experience as you obey him, and he accomplishes his work through you (UP, IN & OUT)

In other words, knowing God and doing his will is a repetitive cycle. I see and hear Him. I decide to join Him. I am transformed and I watch Him work. When I see Him work, I trust Him more and decide to join Him. Over time, my personal, experiential knowledge of Him grows as I obey Him.

Experiencing God & Moses' example

The experience of Moses beautifully portrays how God works in a person’s life.  His early life and call to ministry are described in chapters 2, 3, and 4 of Exodus (you may want to read those chapters). Other passages show how Moses came to know and follow God’s will.  Moses’ experience at the burning bush clearly illustrates the way God invites people to join Him in His work.  Henry and Richard Blackaby could have chosen any number of other people, such as Noah, Abraham, Esther, David, Mary, the disciples, or Paul. The following looks at this process and how Moses experienced each reality.

Each of the 7 points above represent an invitation, but they are also potential barriers for us:

  • Is God really at work?
  • Does God love me in a real and personal way?
  • Does God really want me to join him in what he is doing?
  • Does God speak?
  • If he does will he speak to me?
  • Do I have the courage to join
  • God in what he is doing?
  • What if I don’t want to make adjustments in my life let alone major adjustments?
  • What if I am struggling to obey?

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