Letters from the Fire5 Keys to Working with God
# The Keys to Working with God God’s Way vs. Our Way
1 Correcting Faulty Paradigms:
a. World view/Perspective is ThatGod is Subject, We are Object:God is the center not us! God-centric perspective with limitless resources. God often breaks down our faulty paradigms in order to free us and draw us closer to him. We really have no idea how to relate to a holy God and tend to disengage when things don’t work out. Our perspective is bent towards viewing ourselves as the center and being in control.
b. Relating to God and the World Means We Must Die So He Can Live in Us:We need to relate to God on his terms not ours. Relating to God involves a certain “death,” a removal of our sandals. We need the Holy Spirit to circumcise us and sear himself into our humanity so we are imprinted with him. Our humanity pulls us to relate to God/world on our own terms where we formulate explanations, answers, and faulty assumptions to make sense of things so we can move on. God is OTHER.
c. Renewing Our Minds: It means giving God time to get through to us, and not allowing our disappointments/frustrations to immobilize us when he does speak. Our culture places a heavy emphasis on our ability to use our minds to judge reality and make reasoned decisions regarding our lives. Our minds need to be illuminated by God as they tend to curve inward and take even good things/values and make them demonic. This involves spending time with God and allowing him to drain out parts of us that are twisted and damaged. Renewing our minds also means that even though we may experience disappointments/frustration as we relate to God, we are yet able to remain open when he does speak (we don’t get bogged down into immobility by our past experiences).
d. Indwelling and Choosing to Trust the Word:Aligning ourselves with God’s reality means we can’t trust anything but his word. To indwell means that you must die to your feelings because they are not the truth. Like driving a car, you choose to go by what the instruments tell you. The word clears the board. You start with the word, not your subjectivity. We need to align ourselves with God’s reality instead of aligning ourselves with our brokenness (our reality). Part of aligning with God involves agreeing with his word and practicing his presence. Another part of aligning with God is learning to track with him and keep pace with him.
e. Praise: Choosing to Align with God and His Purposes:Improving our ability to hear God by surrendering to his lordship. Sometimes praise feels irritating because it doesn’t jive with our circumstances or what we feel. Praise in actuality is an uprising against the devil and what is “not true.” It is an active choice to align with God and his word. When our hearts are aligned with God then we can hear him. Praise has more to do with him and less to do with us working at it.
f. Prayer Transformed: Aligning our prayers with God’s prayers (instead of what we think he should be doing), tracking with him and joining in on what he is already doing (instead of starting something new on our own). Prayer becomes powerful and dynamic when we enter into the river of God’s prayers and join with him in intercession and in those activities he initiates instead of us. The focus is on God - tracking with him and being sensitive to his leading. The truth is that God is already at work in people’s lives, we just need to find out what he is doing and plug into that.
g. Allowing God to Take Control: It means we learn to track with him at his pace to join in what he is already doing. Time is outside of one’s control – a farmer has to work with nature to produce fruit. There is a pattern of planting, tending and reaping. A God-centric perspectives means that God is in control and we need to track with him and allow him to heal our internal clocks. God can also transform time to suit his purposes (i.e., stretch it or condense it).The more we try to control time the less time we seem to have.
h. Stop Working at Cross Purposes with God, Instead Find Your Destiny and Purpose in Him: This is achieved by allowing his word to grow in us. Destiny and purpose are planted into us when we receive Christ. We need to facilitate the growth of his word in us until it gains weight and density in us. God also seeds us as our husband to fulfill his covenant of fruitfulness. Oftentimes we like Abraham must be brought to “0,” turning our eyes from our barrenness to “the one who is able.”
i. God Is the True Destination We Have Already Arrived At: The question is whether we get to the next stop with him or without him. We have already reached our destination in God. The focus in no longer on getting from A to B but on getting there in “thick time” rather than “thin time” which means getting there on his terms rather than our own.We feel the pressure to get from A to B and get frustrated when there is no movement.
2 How God Chooses to Relate to Us:
a. When We Have Immediate Needs and God says “no.” When faced with an immediate need sometimes it seems like God rebuffs us and says “no.” God is a judge and wants to set things in order and heal the diseased places in us. Otherwise, just the need is met. This requires that we remain engaged with God despite fears of disappointment/rejection. When the frame of relating to God changes and we open ourselves up to whatever God says, a second wind allows God to reset us.How we respond to “no’s” determines our level of maturity. The world says to utilize alliances, resources, and take things into our own hands (chariot time/thin time).
b. Stoppages and the Sabbath:When God stops us in our tracks. Setbacks are times when it looks like God is refusing to go where we want to go. They cause us to question whether God is a God who really takes us there. We shrink back and experience convulsions and discomfort (caused by God’s goodness impacting our brokenness). Stoppages are the means God uses to heal us. God interrupts us and imposes his lordship with the Sabbath. Waiting on God is a death. The cure is painful, but in the midst of the breakdown we look for a particle, a seed. We get a feel for the ark on our shoulders. We feel the pressure to move in thin time (to move at our personal velocity) rather than thick time. In the process our hearing is confused with our own agendas, which are projected onto God.
c. When God Brings Us to Zero:The painful end of ourselves and any other options. God often brings us to the end of ourselves in the “valley of Acor.” It is there where we are trapped and see no way out that God, the “1” adds himself to the equation and changes everything by opening a window when all doors have been closed.
d. This Isn’t About You:How God relates to us with expectation rather than empathy. While God often seems to lack empathy in how he relates to his people, the truth is his ability to empathize with us is absolute. Yet when our hopes and expectations are dashed and we find that we don’t really know this God we serve, then what? He doesn’t always answer our questions or speak to our disappointments. Our tendency is to wallow in the quagmire of our minds, finding explanations for our disappointments in order to make ourselves feel better. It takes being able to recognize God when he does show up and act upon his word. As we do so he pulls us out of ourselves and reminds us that our lives are meant to be about him not us (please refer to section 1c).
e. The Offense of the Word The word of God is often offensive to us in that it demands that we die to ourselves and take a deathly risk. Jesus often offended the Pharisees and challenged them by the things he said. However, without the renewing of our minds we are incapable of discerning which direction God wants us to take and instead go by what seems logical and reasonable rather than stepping out into the supernatural/miraculous by faith. (Based on the sermons of Michael Koh)
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