charles nick

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Forgotten God (Chapter 5)



By  Charles Nick     2/03/2012    Labels:,,, 



A Real Relationship.

In chapter 5 of Forgotten God, it seems that Chan starts by asking the question, "do you serve God as a stressed-out, guilt ridden slave or as one of his beloved children?"  Granted, the term slave still fits and sometimes we are stressed-out, Christians are not above this, but we don't rest in that and that is where the Holy Spirit comes in.

He then contrasts this question to being 'known' by God according to Galatians 4:6-7, 9:

(6-7) - And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”  So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

(9) - But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?

Some questions of Chan's to ponder:
  • Have you ever thought about what it means to be known?
  • Do you know God or just know about Him?
Something I think of the idea that we are all created in God's image, but we are not all his children.  This is a very difficult concept to grasp, but God is a just and holy God so his judgements on those of us who choose to go against are not 'unfair' as some of us would like to ponder.  As God's 'image bearers' we see his holy stamp on us in a unique specific way and have a special place in this world that the rest of his creation never received.  This brings a heavy responsibility of how we treat others.  They are born sinful, just as we are, but they are image bearers of God.

Chan then brings in Romans 8:15-17 to continue to defeat the idea of living a fearful live in slavery as believers in Christ.  He then shifts to two possible potential obstacles 1) Comfort and 2) Volume.

Comfort (Maybe Your Life Is Too Safe)
I once heard this statement, "comfort and equilibrium is the beginning of death."  I definitely agree, we almost begin to die when slip into a life of pure comfort and avoid risks at all cost.  When we take risks and test our faith in God by stepping out on our faith, trusting him, and following where we think he is leading us (confirmed by the boundaries of scripture) we then feel uncomfortable and unsafe.  When you don't know clearly what the next step is, it is scary.  When was the last time you really and honestly didn't know what to do next?

This is a place where God seems to refine us by pulling us out of our comfortable little lives.  Safe in the corners of our existence, quiet, not getting our hands dirty we drift through life in chapters of our lives hoping not to be in that place again.  We don't want to 'not know what to do.'  It is obvious, I know, but why do we ignore scriptures call on our lives about being uncomfortable?

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you - 1 Peter 4:12

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,  for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing - James 1:2-4

Peter almost makes fun of you for thinking that trials shouldn't happen to you in your life and James helps you wake up and see another perspective of what trials are really doing.  I think the heart of this is that we are trying to rely on ourselves for the answers at the fork in the road and not God's Holy Spirit.  We fear trials primarily because we don't have control, but when did we really have control in the first place?

Chan asks a hilariously obvious question, "Why would we need to experience the Comforter if our lives are already comfortable?"

Duh?!  If you are already comfortable, why do you need a comforter?

Do we purposely throw ourselves in danger's way to experience that closeness?  Um....no, but there are some major thoughts to share here.  We are not called to live 'safe,' but when are called to walk in danger then do it.  Hastily and foolishly endangering our lives is not what God is asking from our testimonies, just a trust in his purposes and will for our lives.

Volume (Maybe Your Life Is Too Loud)
Great opening question by Chan; when was the last time you had an uninterrupted conversation with anyone?  Or how about, "when was the last time you were not distracted or multitasking?"  He mentions Jesus' constant fight to pray alone with the Father (Mark 1:35) and partially mentions the famous Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God."  This is a Christian virtue, to phase out the world, not merely for relaxation's sake, but to connect with the one who created you.  If you told your wife you love her wouldn't you spend time with her?  God isn't your wife for sure, but the principle is the same: relationship.  If we truly love and follow God, won't we mimic Jesus' example and strive to find that time to love God turning our hearts heavenward...and through the one he gave us to effectively communicate (the Holy Spirit)?

Are you his temple?  I often wonder about the implications of being God's temple.  What happens when I sin?  He grieves.  He doesn't leave like some mystical being controlled by our whims, he grieves.

The "promised" Holy Spirit
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us...so that we might receive the promised spirit through faith" - Galatians 3:13-14

We are adopted as children and can pray as Jesus taught us to...Father.  Not just to a 'friend' or a 'god,' but father.  Wow.

When is the last time you sought God with all of your heart?

I'll end with my notes for a Bible study we did on this chapter:


A Real Relationship.

Do you serve God as a stressed-out, guilty slave or as one of his beloved children?
Read (being known by God) Galatians 4:6-7, 9
Ask - What do you think it means to be known by God?
Ask - Do you know God or just know about Him?  What’s the difference?
Discuss - Stop living fearfully – read Romans 8:15-17.

Two potential obstacles (Comfort and Volume)

1) Comfort (Maybe Your Life Is Too Safe)

Discuss - When was the last time you experienced a trial where you really and honestly didn't know what to do next?
Discuss - 1 Peter 4:12 (trials are not strange) and James 1:2-4 (consider it joy…)
Discuss - Why would we need to experience the Comforter if our lives are already comfortable?  (...If you are already comfortable, why do you need a comforter?)
Read the short story of the missionaries (pg 107 – para 3)

2) Volume (Maybe Your Life Is Too Loud)

Ask - when was the last time you had an uninterrupted conversation with anyone? 
Ask - When was the last time you were not distracted or multitasking?
Discuss - Jesus' constant fight to pray alone with the Father (Mark 1:35)
Discuss - Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God." 

Are you his temple? 

Ask – what are the implications of being God's temple?
Discuss - Made in God's image, but now his temple.  (possibly discuss the old covenant vs the new covenant)
Read - Galatians 3:13-14 (…Christ redeemed…so that…receive..spirit).
Discuss (pg 112) - Don't let your personal baggage keep you from enjoying this intimacy. Prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) - No condemnation in Christ (Rom 8:1)
Ask - When is the last time you sought God with all of your heart?


-charles

» » Chapter 1
» » Chapter 2
» » Chapter 3
» » Chapter 4
» » Chapter 5
» » Chapter 6
» » Chapter 7

About Charles Nick

Having fun inventing cool stuff that you will use one day | business consultant | ex-NASA ISS loggy | aspiring speaker | musician | Third Wave Water | The Wright Cup | Douvalis Labs

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