Dojo Session #2b: Nurturing Spiritual Hunger [TRUST]

Challenge:

:: Prayer: “Lord, what about my life do you want me to trust you with?”
:: Prayer: “How do you want me to do so?”
:: OBEY

Overview:

Intimacy with God is hard to teach. Because intimacy is something to be experienced, not learned. You can never collect enough data on jumping out of airplane or savoring a slice of tiramisu or enjoying the bliss of being in love. So how is knowledge and experience bridged? It’s bridged by trust.

And the truth is that we can’t love without it. We speak often about “loving God” being at the top. But how can you love someone you can’t trust? The lack of trust will always keep you at a distance. And for many of us who claim to follow Jesus, it’s the exact thing that’s been keeping us from really experiencing God.

Trust [in relation to God] essentially means this: I put my possessions… my worth… my life into your hands. And I will follow your leading over my own. Even Jesus had to do it. Mark 14:36, Jesus says:

“Abba Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

My own little paraphrase is this:

“Daddy, you can do anything. If it were up to me, I’d like not to die. But your way is better than mine.”

It’s a very human moment for Jesus, one we’ve all been through and will encounter again in our lives. When God whispers into our ear and asks, “Will you trust that my way is better than yours?” Will we trust he’s knows what’s best? Will be embrace whatever he’s got whether we want it or not?

If you were Jesus, you wouldn’t want to die either. But why did he die? In Hebrews 12 it says that he did it for the “joy set before him.” What does that mean? Maybe he did it because he knew that his death would bring life to the ones he loved. Or maybe he did it because he just wanted to do what his father told him to do. Maybe both… either way he made a decision. And his decision was that he trusted that God’s way was better than his. And because of that we live.

If you’re going to experience Jesus… you will need to follow him. If you’re going to follow him… you will need to trust him. Go places that you may not always want to go. Do things that may not always make sense. Believe in things that may not have happened yet. But in that you will experience God and the breadth of his character and the depth of his love in ways you may never have before.

It’s a hard teaching – but the essence of Jesus, what he did, what he’s about, his call for us is this:

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”

Essentially it means this:

“Following Jesus… trusting him… will lead to your utter destruction. But your utter destruction will lead to life. Life for you and for those around you.”

Blessings to you this month as you hear his voice and begin to ruthlessly trust him with everything that you are.

Questions? Comment!

Generosity Challenge

Our heart has always been to find ways to live out the Gospel of Jesus and find tangible ways to love our city. With the way we’re setup, we have the latitude to allocate a larger percentage of our funds back out to loving and serving people. We tried version 1 of this challenge last year with varying level of success. This year we’ll try again and use the money that God has blessed us with to bless others. Here are the guidelines and parameters:
GENEROSITY CHALLENGE v.2
>> Objective: To find ways to “act justly and love mercy” [Micah 6:8] within the community that we live.
§ Practice hearing God’s voice and being generous;
§ Develop an eye for people who are poor, marginalized, neglected, under-privileged;
§ Find creative ways to make our resources matter to those who need it; and
§ Put our faith into action.
>> Summary: Each person in the group is expected to give towards the challenge – if you tithe regularly, use
your October and November giving and put it towards the challenge. Total up the amount for the group and Haven will match what you’ve collected up to $5,000. Listen for what God wants you to give and give it.
The hope is NOT that we would just donate money, but that we’d pray, seek God’s heart and see our local
community through his eyes. Find opportunities to tangibly love those around us and use the money to
serve people. The goal is always to love God and people.
>> Suggested Pathway:
1. Pray – Pray for God to see people who are marginalized,
neglected and experiencing injustice.
2. Investigate – Investigate the needs of these people.
3. Discuss – Discuss tangible ways to serve, love and
empower these people.
4. Devise – Devise a concrete plan [objective,
costs/materials, date, required personnel].
5. Pray – Pray for God to revise, adjust and provide in
regards to the plan.
>> Sample Ideas [not limited to]:
§ Building Handicap Access Ramp for People
w/Disabilities;
§ Establish and Resource a Computer Lab for a
Community Center in an Under-Resourced
Neighborhood;
§ Helping to Renovate a Food Bank or Shelter; or
§ Prepare and Give Out Street Survival Kits for Homeless.
>> Other Parameters:
§ If project requires, Haven may provide more funds upon request.
§ You may choose to donate some money to a charitable organization – however do NOT donate more than 50% of it. Use a significant portion to put you into your community.
§ Invite in your friends/coworkers to join in your challenge.
§ Compete Project by March, 2010.

Our heart has always been to live out the Gospel of Jesus and find tangible ways to love our city. With the way we’re setup, we have the latitude to allocate a larger percentage of our funds back out to loving and serving people. We tried version 1 of this challenge last year with varying level of success. This year we’ll try again and use the money that God has blessed us with to bless others. Stories to come of how God will use and challenge us. Here are the guidelines and parameters:

GENEROSITY CHALLENGE v.2

Objective
: To find ways to “act justly and love mercy” [Micah 6:8] within the community that we live.
  • Practice hearing God’s voice and being generous;
  • Develop an eye for the poor, marginalized, neglected, under-privileged;
  • Find creative ways to make our resources matter to those who need it; and
  • Put our faith into action.
Summary: Each person in the group is expected to give towards the challenge – if you tithe regularly, use your October and November giving and put it towards the challenge. Total up the amount for your house community and Haven will match what you’ve collected up to $5,000. Listen for what God wants you to give and give it.

The hope is NOT that we would just donate money; but that we’d pray, seek God’s heart and see our local community through the eyes of God. Our heart is to find opportunities to tangibly love and serve those around us and catch a glimpse of God’s heart. The goal is always to love God and people.

Suggested Pathway
:
  1. Pray – Pray for God to see people who are marginalized, neglected and experiencing injustice.
  2. Investigate – Investigate the needs of these people.
  3. Discuss – Discuss tangible ways to serve, love and empower these people.
  4. Devise – Devise a concrete plan [objective, costs/materials, date, required personnel].
  5. Pray and Listen– Pray for God to revise, adjust and provide in regards to the plan.
Sample Ideas [not limited to]:
  • Building Handicap Access Ramp for People w/Disabilities;
  • Establish and Resource a Computer Lab for a Community Center in an Under-Resourced Neighborhood;
  • Helping to Renovate a Food Bank or Shelter; or
  • Prepare and Give Out Street Survival Kits for Homeless.
Other Parameters:
  • If project requires, Haven may provide more funds upon request.
  • You may choose to donate some money to a charitable organization – however do NOT donate more than 50% of it. Use a significant portion to propel you into your community.
  • Invite in your friends/coworkers to join in your challenge.
  • Compete Project by March, 2010.

Questions/comments: info [at] ihaven [dot] org