Life with God Through the Spirit 2

Life with God Through the Spirit 2

Text: Rom 8:7-13; Ps. 103; (Is. 40)

Watch on YouTube HERE

Introduction: You Cannot Develop a Healthy Spiritual Life on Your Own!

  • The Holy Spirit brings us into contact with the life and power of the risen Jesus and his Father in their dynamic relationship of love.
  • My Conversion is the Beginning, Not the End of this Life with Jesus.
    • The new spiritual contact between my spirit and the source of all true spiritual life is essential to cultivate if I am to grow deeper and develop a mature spiritual life in Christ.

 Explore the Text: The Spirit changes our Minds & Deepens Our Understanding.

 Rejecting God: The Mind of the Flesh is Hostile to God & Does Not Submit to God.

  • The Problem: Suppressing the knowledge of God formed by life in God’s created universe.
    • 1:18-32 describes the decline and destruction of the human mind.
    • Warped ideas about God are quickly rejected: Increasingly people become focused on the flesh, the world, & the fulfillment of every desire.
  • The Personal Result: A Dark Desire—seeking my way, my kingdom come on earth.
  • The Societal Result: A Dangerous Culture—Increasing destructive moral decline.

Desiring God: The Mind Formed by the Spirit Desires to Know God.

  • Are You Open to Knowing God as He is in His Revelation to Us?
  • Growing up in church, we may know some things about God, but we may never develop a mature knowledge rooted in a living relationship with God.
    • We may talk & argue about God.
    • We may be very serious about church growth and activities.
    • In Contrast: The life of walking intimately with God, talking with him about our lives together, authentically expressing an awareness of his presence, and with deep gratitude & joy thanking & praising Him for our life together.
    • For many in churches, this seems strange or an impossibility.
  • The Important Question in Is. 40:18, “With whom will you compare God? To what image will you liken him?”
    • Does thinking about God evoke praise, awe, wonder, fear, and gratitude?
    • My shrinking ideas about God have little relationship to the real God.
      • How many of us will say things, “I like to think of God…”
    • The smaller my thoughts about God become, the more the world becomes a primary focal interest. My mind is increasingly divided.
    • Politics, entertainment, games, sports, and even images of sex and violence become something I seek.
    • I become too busy and distracted for God to reach me without something dramatic happening. Then God has my attention until the crisis passes.
  • God’s Living Word is Person-forming and World-forming. 55:6-11
    • We need leaders whose minds and hearts are alive to the Spirit and who are determined to live their lives based on God’s truth.
      • Servant leaders who are moral leaders and leaders of thought and action wherever they serve.
    • The Spirit uses Scripture to guide us in this way of life with God.
      • Open vs. closed concepts for our growing knowledge.
      • God wants my full, sustained, and focused attention.

Praise the Lord My Soul (Ps. 103)

  • As my thinking about God improves, I become a person who increasingly glorifies and worships God.
    • As the Spirit changes & transforms your thoughts about God, they more accurately relate you to the personal reality of the true & living God.
    • A lifetime of relational learning as you change, grow, and adapt.
    • Your thinking about God will never be greater than the reality of God.
  • As My Mind is Transformed, God’s Word Shapes My Understanding, My Emotions, and My Will.
    • Increasingly, my life becomes full of praise and adoration.
    • I constantly remind myself of who God is and I freely talk to others about God as I would someone I love and whose company I enjoy.
    • I can describe his character with confidence.
    • I am filled with awe and wonder that he loves us.
  • I recognize the reality of his kingdom, and I hear and obey his word & will: my reunited heart, mind, and body desire that his will be done.

Conclusion: No Quick Fix! There is a lifelong process of learning to live with God.

  • Wednesday Night Gregory and I will discuss two kings’ contrasting responses to God’s word in 2 Kings 22-30 and Jeremiah 36.
    • Josiah (2 Kings 22-23:30) seeks God and takes action toward societal reform including the destruction of idols. When he heard the scroll of the law read, he repented and deepened his resolve to serve God.
    • Jehoiakim (Jeremiah 36) arrogantly cuts up the scroll and throws it into the fire.
  • Extra Assignment: Study Peter’s example of the gradual process of Spiritual Transformation in the presence of Jesus and through the work of the Spirit.
    • Read the 4 gospels and take notes and start seeing your story there with Peter and Jesus—see Peter as an individual and as a member of a group chosen and invited to follow Jesus because they were immature and needed to learn from Him the life in the Kingdom.
    • Read Acts 1-15, and pay attention to how God through the Spirit is now building on the foundation of Jesus 3 years with Peter.
    • Read 1 and 2 Peter to see how he thinks with his readers about the nature of this life with Jesus and the graceful but often gradual process of spiritual transformation in Christ.
    • Read Chapter 5: The Nature of Life in The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard, esp. pp. 70-74 entitled “Stages on the Spiritual Way: The Case of Simon Peter”

About The Author

Related Posts