Thursday, May 11, 2017

Experiencing God 20 Year Later

This past spring, I facilitated a group of three ladies through the Experiencing God workbook.  It was a wonderful experience that I wouldn't trade for the world.  These three ladies and I, two of whom had studied with me multiple times before, built a relationship that was unlike any I have been honored to be a part of in past organized Bible studies. There were some very REAL conversations had around that table!

We were even inspired to create our own t-shirts to represent this new found vulnerability:
To say this was a sweet time of fellowship just doesn't seem to do justice to the experience.  I believe it could best be described as 'Koinonia' - fellowship, intimate partnership, or as the workbook describes it "...the most complete expression of a love relationship with God.  When you live in this kind of love relationship with God, you will have the same quality of loving fellowship with other believers." 

I had been a part of this same study over twenty years (and three churches) ago.  As we came to the close of this study I realized how many truths from back then are still part of my faith today (though I couldn't have told you where they came from until I completed the study again).

So here are a few of the truths that struck a chord with me this go around and that I want to hold on to:
  1. Ask probing questions to discover God's activity around you. (pg. 84)
  2. God made us mutually interdependent, that is why we need the church body. (pg.128)
  3. I want my heart's cry to be like David Livingstone: Lord, send me anywhere, only go with me.  Lay any burden on me, only sustain me.  Sever any tie but the tie that binds me to Thyself.  (pg. 166)
  4. Spiritual adultery -- "following a method instead of depending on God." (pg. 173)
  5. In God's kingdom, how you do something is as important as what you do. (pg. 216)
  6. A sign of health in the body of Christ is how quickly one person hurts and someone else feels the pain.  (pg. 223)
  7. Regularly ask your spouse spiritual questions. (pg. 255)
    • What has God been showing you in your quiet time lately?
    • Has God placed a particular burden on your heart as you have prayed? etc.
Looking back, there was a tremendous amount of growth in my faith the last time I worked through this material.  My challenge this time is to remember that it is God that brings the growth and to be willing to wait patiently for that next growth spurt.  I didn't recognize it during the last one...and I might not realize it happening even now.  I need to trust that He is more concerned that I have an intimate love relationship with Him than with what I do for Him as a result of this study.

Have you ever retaken a Bible study?
What was your experience like?

I would love to hear!

No comments: