This is the first message in the Animate series which focuses on making ourselves free and available to commune with God. Transformation comes from spending time in the presence and glory of God.
This sermon was part of our Animate adventure series that ran from April 19 to June 14, 2009.
The supplemental content that accompanied the series was designed to be gone through in groups.
You can download the entire booklet here.
Greg opened by raising the question of why the typical Christian’s experience doesn’t seem to be as transformative and powerful as what we read about in the Bible. Specifically, he wondered, “Why doesn’t it all feel more REAL?”
Three approaches are common, but not particularly helpful:
- The “try harder” solution. While there is effort required, our effort alone will not get us to transformation.
- The “just wait on God” solution. Yes, we need God to work in us and through us, but we also have to cooperate with God in this.
- The “need more information” solution. While information can be good and helpful, it doesn’t lead to transformation simply by acquiring it.
Greg pointed us to 2 Corinthians to see another way forward. When we turn to the Lord, there is a “veil” that is removed and we are able to experience God in new ways. We are able to see the light of God, experience the glory of God in new and transforming ways.
Some may be concerned that this way of experiencing God with the use of our imaginations seems like a New Age practice. The fact is, using all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength is exactly what Scripture calls us to do. Using our whole selves to behold the glory of God includes using our imagination.
Greg encouraged us to locate a meeting place in our mind/imagination where we can connect with God more concretely. This starts by submitting our whole selves to God and asking the Holy Spirit to guide us to a place that would serve us well for this purpose. Once that place becomes clear, then ask the Holy Spirit to help you to see or sense the presence of Jesus in that place with you. Greg encouraged us not to try to “do” anything, but rather, just be present with Jesus in that holy place that God draws you to.
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