The book discussion of Finding Church continues on our discussion forum with Chapter 12: Not Made With Hands. I’m getting ready to leave for Israel, but let’s start this chapter and see what we can discover over the next couple of weeks. This is one of my favorite chapters. How do we learn to trust God’s efforts more than our own. This is the key to being fruitful and fulfilled in his kingdom. It won’t make us couch potatoes, because we’ll be more active than ever, but not with our own futile efforts, but cooperating with the way he is making himself known to us and people around us.
Here’s Paul’s story in Philippians 3:3-9 (emphasis mine): For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh — though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ — the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.”
How do you think God accomplished that in Paul? Is it something he learned at a seminar or in the school of hard knocks, where is own best effort could not work the works of God? God has often in my life led me to the end of my own efforts and because I’m a fairly capable person that took a while. I finally gave up trying to make anything happen and instead follow the simple nudging he puts on my heart. The difference has been amazing.
How is this happening in you? How are you losing confidence in your abilities and finding more joy cooperating with this?
Excerpt from Chapter 12:
But his temple keeps rising. Each added person only reflects his multifaceted glory with more accuracy and will confound the wisdom of the world by the power of its love and the simplicity of its life. Wherever people are learning to live in his love and love others, the temple rises. Whenever people learn to listen to him instead of the manipulative voices of religious leaders, the temple rises. However people find ways to work together by laying their lives down in kindness and generosity, the temple rises.
You can find the discussion board here and see the list of topics we’ve covered. You can start at Chapter 1 and work your way through, or just join us in Chapter 12.