We continued the Soul Revolution series at Gateway Church in Austin. Lead pastor of Gateway and author of the book Soul Revolution, John Burke shared at the McNeil campus, and Bruce Gilson, founding South Campus pastor and Technical Arts Director, spoke at the South Campus. Here are some of their ideas:
“As we’re doing this 60 day experiment in faith, learning how to pay attention to the moments of life, listen for God’s quiet promptings in our thoughts, and radically respond — maybe some of you are getting stuck. The God who created the Universe, who thought up the powerful forces of nature, the intricate workings of the human body, the powerful capacity of human ingenuity is powerful enough to do anything.
Maybe you’re not experiencing His Power in your daily life. Your iphone or android still goes off every 60 minutes at work, but the only power you feel is the powerful urge to throw your phone! These reminders—whether getting a text, hearing a tone, seeing a wrist reminder—they’re their to interrupt our habit of ignoring God, and instead learn to tap into His power to help us along the way of our daily lives. If you’re not really experiencing His power, here’s what you need to understand. God doesn’t give His power like we would imagine. He doesn’t overwhelm or overpower our will with His power. The reason is because that wouldn’t get God what He wants. He wants our love, our trust (another word for faith)—and a mutually loving relationship can only develop if He works His power through our willingness.
Soul Revolution is based on Jesus’ last words, recorded in John 13-17. Look how he describes this:
‘Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves…he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father…15 If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever….’ – John 14:11-16
Jesus demonstrated perfect connection to the Father. Yes, He had an unfair advantage, He was 100% Divine in nature, but (and don’t miss this) He was also 100% human. Scripture tells us He faced every struggle, every temptation, every experience of a painful, hurtful, evil world that you could ever experience. He took your sin, your pain, your shame on Himself to set you free. He gets you fully. Jesus has been where you’ve been, but he’s also been where you have yet to go! To every person who believes, or trusts in him, His Spirit is with you forever.
God’s Power in you = Spirit’s Potential/Your Resistance.
If you have trusted in God’s forgiveness offered through Christ, if you’ve opened your heart to God then God’s Spirit is with you as a Helper to help you and empower you all along with way. If you want to see the Spirit’s potential fully realized in a human life, go read about Jesus. Jesus had zero resistance to God’s will. Jesus said something amazing. He said you can do the same things. Jesus’ wasn’t actually about healing every disease, or removing every obstacle, or making life into a tasty ice cream sandwich. Jesus’ mission was to restore lost, broken, hurting humans back into a loving relationship with the Source of Life, so they would become loving restorative agents of others. I have seen God do that in 1000s of lives in miraculous ways, and I’ve seen him doing it in me. That’s what Jesus meant by greater accomplishments than He did. His Spirit works through willing men and women, boys and girls, all over the world at the same time in a far greater restorative
God’s power to help us doesn’t come like we expect. You can’t control God’s power or His Spirit, but you can lower your resistance enough to do the next right thing – to take the next step forward in faith. God gives us what Bill Hybels calls ‘power along the way.’
God doesn’t display His power to prove anything to us or to others. He displays His power through willing people as we seek to love God and love others by lowering our resistance to take the next step, then the next, then the next, even without understanding how it’s going to work. That’s when we get to look back and say: “How did that happen? I didn’t see God’s power beforehand, but I can see it clearly now.”
God’s most interested in how we deal with people. He cares about our work too, and He will help us there. Loving God by paying attention, hearing and responding leads to loving people God’s way. That’s often where we need His power most. This is why Jesus said:
‘If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. Settle matters quickly with your adversary….’ – Matthew 5:23-25
God doesn’t want you going to church, giving, serving, yet continuing in broken, unreconciled relationships. As you follow His Spirit’s promptings, He’s gonna try to help you to do all you can to live at peace with everyone.
Not everyone will live at peace with you, but if you will do what God’s asking to try to reconcile or make things right, you’ve done what God expects and you can be at peace. Here’s a little test to check yourself. It is called the grocery aisle test. Imaging your turning the corner in the grocery aisle you see that person where amends have not been made, where hurt still festers, where apologies were never extended, forgiveness never offered. What do you do? You do a 180 and quickly go to another aisle to avoid them, right? Do the grocery aisle test: is there anyone who would make you turn around right now? If
so, good chance God’s Spirit’s is going to speak to you about that. You don’t have to have the power to figure out how. Just start moving in the direction His Spirit leads, and you’ll find power along the way.
God wants to help you with the difficulties and challenges you meet along with day. That’s why scripture says:
‘Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 24 Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. Colossians 3:23-24
God wants you to do you job well, with all your heart. As you do it with Him, talk about it with Him over every strategic decision, every investment, every logic problem or coding challenge as if He’s your boss you’re serving. Not only does that honor him, but you’ll find it helps you too. It doesn’t mean he makes it easy, or you don’t have to use your brain, or even struggle and labor.
The LORD says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.’ – Psalm 32:8-9
So this week, with every 60 minute reminder, or every time you see your wristband, let every work challenge and every relational interaction cause you to pause and say “Lord, I’m doing my work for you. How am I doing? Is there anything I’m missing? Is there anyone in my office I need to make relational amends with?” Talk over all your decisions at work and ask Him for His ideas, His thoughts.”
To watch or listen to the entire message, go to www.gatewaychurch.com/podcast.