Tuesday, March 22, 2011

God In Us—What's He Doing?

After looking at three verses that speak of Christ in us and of His being formed in us (Col 1:27; Gal 4:19-20), in our second session we asked how He becomes noticeable and productive in and through us. If God is in us, wouldn’t it be great to find Him there? As I see it, there are a few essentials: we’ll have to believe He’s there; we’ll have to believe He’d like to do something from there; and we’ll have to look for Him there. He who is within us is our hope for anything great, so we want Him to be active. Right?

2 Peter 1:3-4 tells us that the way to escape evil, corrupting desires is to “participate in the divine nature,” and since we’ve now received His nature (literally, His "genetic") as our own, we’re compatible with Him. Participation with God (particularly on the inside) is now normal; we’re set up for it! And the fantastic news is that He has no problem with temptation or evil desires, so what we want is Him working within.

While that can occur in a number of ways, a very common way to find Him and connect with Him is during His conflict with the flesh (Gal 5:16-18). It’s His fight, not ours. So during inner turmoil, we sow to the Spirit (not to the flesh), and we reap His production of Christ in us—the fruit of the Spirit. Resolving inner turmoil is not the high goal of life—knowing God is. In sowing to Him who lives in us, He will block the evidence or behavior of the flesh that comes through us (Gal 5:19-21) by producing the evidence or behavior of Christ (Gal 5:22-23).

Sowing (or "scattering") to the Spirit is not at all complicated either. Any little thought toward Him ("What are you doing, Holy Spirit?"), any question or comment directed to Him ("Anything you want to do here, Spirit?"), even a complaint toward Him ("I don't like this, Father!"), and you're actually sowing to the Spirit. And if you do that, he promises to produce life in us—the life of Christ (Gal 6:8). And, being formed in us, He becomes obvious, especially to you.

It’s amazing(!), and it's the best thing in life—knowing and experiencing God and His life in us!

(This is a summary of what I taught during the third session at last weekend's retreat. It is also found in my book primarily in the fifth chapter: The Demolition Derby - Why Do You Feel Like You're a Crash-test Dummy? You can see and order “God’s Astounding Opinion of You” at http://lifecourse.org/Ralphs_Book.html, or through Amazon, Christianbook, and your local bookstore. I’ll post a sum of the final session tomorrow.)

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