Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Seeking God's Face

"God doesn't want us to do devotions; He wants us to be devoted" - Erik Willits

God doesn't want us to have habbits of seeking his face, but we should be unconciously habitual - inspired by Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

What is your reaction to these statements?

8 comments:

  1. Keith, i did say that! Good memory. And i still believe it!

    i think the big thing is there our "spiritual habits" , "spiritual disciplines" whatever you what to call them, maybe "devotions" are not just things we do to make ourselves feel like good little Christians. But rather these acts of devotion are a part of our life that is devoted to Christ, not the whole.

    I like the O. Chambers inspired quote. It's good stuff.

    have you ever read Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard?
    Great little book and he really gets to the heart of why we DO the disciplines. Check it out!

    Yea, good stuff! important stuff.

    Grace and peace
    Erik

    www.erikwillitsblog.com

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  2. I haven't read Willard, but I did read Spiritual Disciplines by Richard J. Foster. I believe they are quite similar. Also a recommended book!

    One thing about looking at our "qt" (Quiet Time, this is what my youth group called it in Schaumburg) as "devotions" is that it can become very legalistic. If we see our qt with God as a part of a devoted live, we can live freely as devoted followers.

    Quiet Time with God out of legalistic obligation fosters a closed heart. When we are seeking God's face out of love for Him and in response to His love for us, we can truly be changed by Him!

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  4. My question is: what is the practical difference between being devoted and doing devotions? Do you think these two lifestyles look different to an outsider as far as actions are concerned,or is this an internal shift that is imperceptible to an outsider?

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  5. Joel,

    I think those questions are ones that James (1:22-25, 2:14-26) discusses - the idea of faith along with works leading to salvation. Devotions really only require faith - i.e., I read my Bible, I believe the words it says; I pray to God, I believe that He hears me. Being devoted, on the other hand, requires that you both believe and act on what you believe. "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." This lifestyle ought to be noticed by outsiders. Francis Chan made a profound statement in his book Crazy Love that I think applies very well to this topic: "Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers."

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  6. Excellent point, but this gives me two more questions: 1. Does this lifestyle look different for different people (i.e. should my devoted life look like Keith's devoted life)? 2. Is/should there be any rational appeal to unbelievers (would we have converts at all if there was no appeal to sense and reason)?

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  7. I want to address your second question firstly. I think that our devoted lives should have some sort of rational appeal to unbelievers. Not the spiritual disciplines themselves, but the lives that we live as a result of spending time in the presence of God.
    Jesus drew crowds to himself because he was different than culture. I have found at Best Buy that people talk to me because I listen to them (which is different than most).

    Spending time in the presence of God changes us. Our lifestyles will be attractive to unbelievers. Simultaneously, however, they will be in opposition to sinful choices.

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  8. Joel + Keith,

    1, thanks for the link. 2, I can't believe Erik Willits is being quoted. 3, He is speaking the truth.

    The devoted life of the Jesus follower is a life lived according to the foolishness of the cross and inspired by the Spirit. That life appeals to those yet to follow. Read: it loves.

    Is that posture of love rational? Yes. But reason cannot contain it. Does it 'make sense' to those who are yet to be followers of Jesus? Yes and no. But if you believe in prevenient grace it just may.

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What do you think?