This is my first blog mentioning theSHIFT, which is the whole reason I started this blog anyway. Last night was theFirst step in Pursuit, which is the Community Group I'm leading. theGroup is unique in that we're tackling a really strong subject that is a little over my head. The first study was about theChase. We basically discussed that in our "pursuit" of God we bump in to this dilemma of realizing that it's us that is actually being pursued. The discussion (with 14 people) was amazingly engaging for the first night, so much so that some of my points were unnecassary or overlooked but I wanted to go over them in detail here.
- First it's important to note that the dynamic of theChase is entirely applicable to our whole journey with God in Christ. When we take steps toward Him in anything, bible reading, fellowship, devotion, etc.; we must realize (as Paul does) that in us is very little good in and of itself, and the real miracle of Christ in us is that He is the God magnet that pulls us back to our creator.Think about that it's completely relieving to know that it no longer matters that i "work" to impress God but instead we, through the Spirit, "live" for Him. (Galations 2:19-21)
19-21What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn't work. So I quit being a "law man" so that I could be God's man. Christ's life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not "mine," but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.
Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God's grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.
- Another interesting part of theChase is the way it affects us. If we realize that it truly is the God of reality that is chasing us it gives us this crazy ability to trust that we're going to be okay. We won't be without trouble, but we should be without fear.
- If He is pursuing us there is a likelihood that we're playing this peculiar game of Hide & Seek with Him. We hide behind a lot of things, (we had good teachers, Gen. 1-3) fear of man, trying to impress people, "religious" duties, unworthiness, the list goes way on. he is still seeking us out, and it is only when we expose ourselves and come out in the open "neked and ashamed" that He can start the mending process, if we refuse to do this the consequence may be that we never become fully capable of relationship and that's a sad thing.
- anyway thos are some main points i may have glazed over last night, stay tuned for next weeks update, this whole thing is completely crazy.