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Eager Openness To The Spirit’s Movement

“We are given to excess in opposite directions. Either we shy away from the supernatural, or we expect its manifestation on demand. Perhaps the balance lies in an eager openness to the Spirit’s movement, an anticipation of his presence that listens for the sound of blowing wind but never shakes the tree to get the leaves moving.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Finding God, Chapter 4, “Supernatural Passion” p. 60

Questions for Reflection:
• Are you more prone to shy away from the supernatural or demand God reveal Himself in a particular way?
• What shaped that inclination in you?
• How does that tendency protect you from the risk of allowing God to be God?
• Would you be willing to lay down that form of control in order to open your heart to the Spirit in a deeper way?
• Is there a specific concern which God is asking you to wait with openness in His presence regarding the movement of His Spirit?

Spiritual People Live To Advance The Kingdom

“Spiritual people love. They have the wisdom to understand whatever is getting in the way of the Spirit’s working, and their motivation is not self-serving. They live to advance the kingdom for God’s glory.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, The Safest Place on Earth, Chapter 6, “Why Unspiritual Community is Unspiritual” p. 49

Questions for Reflection:
• How would you and your daily life priorities be changed if you lived to love others and advance the glory of God?
• What’s stopping you from that?
• What beliefs about God are directing your heart and thoughts to keep you stuck in self-serving motivations instead?
• What might happen if Jesus were the Person you most wanted to know and love and find joy in?

Every Other Good Thing In Your Life

“Approach God as the ‘first thing’ in your life, as your most valuable treasure, the Person you most want to know. Admit that other people and things really do matter more to you right now, but you long to want God so much that every other good thing in your life becomes a ‘second-thing’ desire.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, The PAPA Prayer, Chapter 2, “Introducing the PAPA Prayer” p. 10

Questions for Reflection:
• What has been brought to the surface in your heart through this season of global upheaval and uncertainty?
• Are there ways that you see you’ve been pursuing “second-thing” desires before God Himself?
• Offer to God whatever has been stirring, and ask the Holy Spirit to use this time to deepen your love for Jesus.

A Sacred Place Of Vulnerability And Authenticity

“At its core, the church is a spiritual community journeying together toward God….

“When members of a spiritual community reach a sacred place of vulnerability and authenticity, something is released. Something good begins to happen. An appetite for holy things is stirred. For just a moment, the longing to know God becomes intense, stronger than all other passions, worth whatever price must be paid for it. Spiritual togetherness, what I call connecting, creates movement: Togetherness in Christ encourages movement toward Christ.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, The Safest Place on Earth, Chapter 3, “Spiritual Community: What It Is” p. 22

Questions for Reflection:
• What conversations have you had recently in which you had a deep awareness of your dependency on God to stir life in both you and the other person?
• Rather than trying to say the “right” things that help others move closer to God, in what ways can you offer a genuine, present companionship that stirs desire for God?

It’s Not Easy, but It’s Worth It

“It’s time we paid whatever price must be paid to become part of a spiritual community rather than an ecclesiastical organization.

It’s time to build the church, a community of people who take refuge in God and encourage each other to never flee to another source of help, a community of folks who know the only way to live in this world is to focus on the spiritual life – our life with God and others. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Our impact on the world is at stake.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, The Safest Place on Earth, Chapter 2, “It’s Not Easy, but It’s Worth It” p. 20

Questions for Reflection:
• Has this season of quarantine impacted your identity as part of the church?
• Where do you see opportunities to move away from identifying the church as an organization and toward building a spiritual community?
• What barriers do you see to living with God alone as our refuge?
• In what ways is our impact on the world at stake when we seek salvation from other sources of help?

What We Really Want Is A Better Life

“It is not our habit to wait on a hidden God to somehow work out a masterful plan to bring glory to Himself. We prefer a different version of waiting. We follow biblical principles or seek counseling to get our kids straightened out, to make our emotions more pleasant, to cause our relationships to be more satisfying. What we really want is a better life.

Many voices in the church, perhaps most of them, speak to that desire….Only a few voices direct us to worship, or call us to a new level of trust. Only a few invite us to experience spiritual conversations in a spiritual community.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, The Safest Place on Earth, Chapter 2, “It’s Not Easy, but It’s Worth It” p. 18-19

Questions for Reflection:
• In what ways are you avoiding being quiet before God?
• What do you fear, which makes activity more desirable than waiting on God?
• Take some time today to find the grace that waits for you in being present with God.

Become One The Way He And The Father Are One

“We need a safe place for weary pilgrims. It’s time to put political campaigns and ego-driven agendas and building programs and church activities and inspiring services on the back burner. We need to dive into the unmanageable, messy world of relationships, to admit our failure, to identify our tensions, to explore our shortcomings. We need to become the answer to our Lord’s prayer, that we become one the way He and the Father are one.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, The Safest Place on Earth, Chapter 2, “It’s Not Easy, but It’s Worth It” p. 19

Questions for Reflection:
• During this time of global suffering and enforced isolation, how are you engaging the opportunity for silence and waiting before the Lord?
• What hunger for true community is stirring in your heart?
• Where is the desire for control competing with the opportunity to trust and love in new ways?
• Take some time to read John 13-17, Jesus’ final conversation with his disciples prior to his arrest and crucifixion, taking note of what He longed to see lived out among His followers.