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Posts Tagged ‘Blackaby’

Reality 1 – God is always at work around you

God has always been actively involved in human affairs throughout history. Because of our sin, he is working to bring about redemption to those of that have rejected him. He wants to reconcile us through Christ so we can have a loving relationship with him. If we don’t open our spiritual eyes to what he is doing, we will remain blind to his presence.

I’m going through my second round of this study called Experiencing God. I am doing it with a men’s group and my young professionals group. Last week was more of an introduction. This week is reality one of the seven realities. It tells us that God is always at work around us. God was always at work in the life Moses from when he was a child to when he was in exile. God has provided me with many things like a good church and community so I can answer his calling for me. I am thankful he still uses me and I don’t want to forget what he has done for me in the past. I just want to be obedient to him so I can experience him more.

 

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A few years back I got to do the Experiencing God study with a life group that I was a part of. It was life-changing for me. I have been attending a men’s group at Cornerstone Chandler and they are going through an updated version of it with the whole church. I felt this is a good study for me to do to kick off 2017. We are also doing this study in my young professionals group. So I get double accountability while doing this series.

A God-Centered Life 

The Bible is God-centered. The Bible is designed to help you understand the ways of God. Then, when God starts to use your life in the same way He worked in Scripture, you’ll recognize that it’s God who’s at work. Below are the Seven Realities that identify ways God works to involve people in His activity.  (Hebrews 11)

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  1. God is always at work around you.

  2. God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real and personal.

  3. God invites you to become involved with Him in His work.

  4. God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways.

  5. God’s invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.

  6. You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing.

  7. You come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His work through you.

Below is a teaching video from Pastor Linn Winters on vimeo that will guide you each week of the Experiencing God study.

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El Roi

In Genesis 16, we see that Sarai gives a slave girl (Hagar) to Abram to bear him a child because she didn’t believe in God’s promise for herself to bear a child. After Hagar gets pregnant, Sarai begins to get jealous and Hagar flees her into the desert. She cries out to the Lord and Jesus appears before her:

And the angel also said, “You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’), for the Lord has heard your cry of distress. This son of yours will be a wild man, as untamed as a wild donkey! He will raise his fist against everyone, and everyone will be against him. Yes, he will live in open hostility against all his relatives.” Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.” She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?” So that well was named El-roi (which means “well of the Living One who sees me”).  

El-Roi – the God who hears and sees. I once did a study of the names of God. For me, it helped me get a bigger and broader perspective of who He was. I know during many times of distress, God has come through for me and these names are a reminder of how He is always there for us. Experiencing God has a whole section devoted to the names of God. In fact, earlier this year I had a day that I was really hurting and just couldn’t get myself out of bed. In that moment, I got an email from Tom Blackaby telling me he was praying for me and my kids. Now he isn’t an angel, but at the time that email was a huge source of encouragement and enough for me to acknowledge that God was with me in that moment (Tom is a Pastor and the President of the Experiencing God network and had been following my blog). I now call him my friend.

So we can rest and know God is always with us and that he listens to our prayers and feels our pain. These different names are a reflection of how amazing He is.

In my distress I called to the Lord;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears. 

Psalms 18:6 

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I have made a new friend recently through the Christian network. Dr. Tom Blackaby serves as the Director of International Ministries for Blackaby Ministries International. He also once served as senior pastor of North Sea Baptist Church in Stavanger, Norway and is also a writer and a musician. His father Henry Blackaby wrote an incredible book called Experiencing God. When I was in the middle of the Experiencing God study, Tom reached out to me when he heard my story and we offered to pray for each other. We have been corresponding via social media since. He is a wonderful man and father and I look forward to meeting him someday.

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