Yes, I said preposition NOT proposition. Although I suppose they could both apply since God has a proposition for you and for me. But I digress...Have you ever thought about the difference between living life for God versus living life with God? STOP, for just a moment and reflect on that question. What difference could that preposition make in your life?
Think about your marriage, your children or a significant friendship. How fulfilling would that relationship be if you only did things for that person and not with them? Most likely that relationship would become a burden for you and would not be very affirming for the person on the receiving end. Being together, doing life together, sharing thoughts, hopes and heartaches are elements that help create intimacy. The same is true in our relationship with God.
You’ve heard the statements, and perhaps even said them yourself: “I want to live my life for God”; “Because of what Christ did for me, I want to do great things for God”; I’m sure you can think of others. While those heartfelt expressions of commitment are not wrong, they can distract you from God’s greater desire for your life – to live life with God, in restored relationship to him. Living life for God can lead to a life of doing, performing, earning. Living life with God leads to relationship, intimacy, delighting in him and experiencing his delight in you. Acts of obedience and service to others will flow out of this life of intimacy with God and will be empowered by his love rather than your own strength. Experiencing intimate, loving, interactive fellowship with the God of the universe through the saving work of Christ...now that’s a proposition you can’t ignore.
Today, find one way that you can take a step in the direction of living your life with God. Not sure? Ask the Holy Spirit to inspire you. Still not sure? Read a few examples from fellow travelers. Then, let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear about it! Related resources are also found below.
I asked a few pastor friends the following question: “In your daily life, what are 1 or 2 examples of how you live your life with God?” Here their responses...
Trevor Hudson (Methodist pastor and author from South Africa) “The waking up moment has been important for me. I like to turn my mind towards God as soon as I can, give thanks for the day and ask God to be with me in all I do. Another moment for me that is important is that moment when I am with people. I seek to be aware of God's presence in each encounter through the day and to discern how I can live out my faith with them.”
Kai Nilsen (Lead Pastor at Peace Lutheran Church in Columbus, Ohio and a member of both the Renovaré Institute faculty and the Renovaré Ministry Team) “As a pastor, it would seem obvious that I am intentional about living my live with God. But it takes conscious and intentional forethought. My daily routine varies (a complex system and four kids contribute to a never ending variety in my daily life). But, most often, I seek to begin my day immersed in who I am as a child of God. That can take many forms. When I am crazy busy and would lean toward lack of focus, I spend more time in quiet and solitude. The Breath Prayer (saying the words, "Breath of God," when I inhale and “Renew my life” when I exhale) has been a consistent companion. When I sense my mind needs to be challenged I use that morning time to read. When I feel disconnected with the “Great Story” I will use that morning time to read and reflect on scriptures. I try to be aware of what my spirit needs at a given time and be flexible in my approach.”
- The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
- Renovaré Spiritual Formation Bible “Brief Overview of The “With-God” Life” pages xlvi-xlvii. Check out "Look Inside" in the following link: http://www.amazon.com/Bible-Compact-Trade-Renovare-Resource/dp/0061834963/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1420249749&sr=1-1&keywords=renovare+spiritual+formation+bible