The word of God was not merely written to be read. The living book was written to be consumed, digested, and manifested. At THE GATHERING, we've been on the journey to discover how to feed ourselves, recognizing that we alone are responsible for our spiritual formation. We alone are responsible for creating the environment for God, or as Jesus said, "Be careful how you hear!" After getting our bearings, we tore straight into Judges 1 this past Wednesday. We started with a little context, which you can see here:
After establishing the context, we compared the similarities between the time of the Judges with our generation. We started pulling apart Judges 1, realizing what happens when one is apathetic, indifferent, or partially-obedient to God's commands. We saw the example of a nation who tried to disobey God, attempting to make their enemy work for them in forced labor. God had given them assured victory during the days of Joshua, but they chose defeat and bondage through partial obedience. We saw that partial obedience is always disobedience.
We jumped through some cross-references, seeing why it was such a big deal that these tribes didn't drive out their enemies. (Exodus 23:31-33; Deuteronomy 7; Joshua 23:1-13)
After observing and interpreting, we jumped to the application for our lives today through looking at Romans 6. We determined that there were three groups--those who are actively killing sin in their lives; those who were trying to be master over sin by making sin work for them; and those who have just given up, allowing sin to run rampant in their lives. We looked to Romans 6 to see what our relationship to sin should be like. Realizing that the work of the gospel was to realize that we can't do it on our own, surrendering again to the cross, and allowing Christ to live His life through us. Killing sin is not about trying harder, but about recognizing our position in Christ--dead to self and alive to Christ.
God did some pretty cool stuff in the hearts of those who were at THE GATHERING last night. At the end, a time of response and worship was given to allow the truths of God's Word to soak and sink in. The opportunity was given to allow the Holy Spirit to shine the light on sin, apathy, and indifference to the Word of God.
Confession of sin took place.
Freedom took place.
The gospel of grace shone brightly in the lives of people within the room. Even today, as I reflect on conversations I've had, the Holy Spirit continues to work. Amazing what happens when people begin to feed themselves!