Posts Tagged ‘experimental living’

The Great Experiment

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010 by James Flynn

Have you ever met someone who was terrified of making mistakes?  We have that fear in us to some degree—no one likes to mess up.  You get laughed at.  You feel like a fool.  Your face turns several shades of red and you get all choked up.  You know what it feels like, because you have been there just like me.  But for some, it goes far beyond that.  Fear of failure can literally paralyze you. You feel frozen and unable to make decisions.  The cure?  An attitude adjustment.  Life is meant to be an adventure, and any good adventure gets its thrill from things not going exactly as planned.  God never designed life to work perfectly or even to be predictable.  As my friend Pastor Mark Batterson at National Community Church say “Everything is an experiment.”  Life is a Spirit-led experiment to discover more about God each day.  Jesus said life would be just that.

At the Last Supper, Jesus told the disciples that the Holy Spirit would be daily at work in the life of the believer, gently leading and guiding us (John 17:17; 14:21,26). Jesus made the disciples aware of God’s master plan to send the Holy Spirit to dwell with each of us so that He, the Spirit, could translate life, circumstances, and their context into meaning. This kind of experimental living was advocated by Henry Blackaby and Claude King in their book “Experiencing God.”  Blackaby and King outline seven essential “realities” of experiencing God in our daily lives:

  • God is always at work around you;
  • God pursues a love relationship with you that is real and personal;
  • God invites you to become involved with Him in His work;
  • God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways;
  • God’s invitation to work with Him always leads you a crisis of belief that requires faith and action;
  • You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing;
  • You come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His work through you.

 Blackaby and King’s theology is experimental Christianity at its best. It takes into account the sovereignty of God and His lordship by conceiving of a God who takes the initiative in executing His purpose in our lives before we are even aware. Purpose is grounded in His love for us. This experimental approach to living is not an invitation issued by us to God, asking Him to bless our work, but rather an invitation extended to us by God to join Him in what He is already at work doing, thus requiring our submission and obedience.             

Life is unpredictable because God has made it that way.  You can spend your life trying to control things so they will turn out “just right.” Or, you can make provision in your heart to realize that things often will not work out how you expected and that is what gives life its zest.  Stop being so uptight about the way life is.  Learn to relax and yield control to God.  When the wind blows, it is the oak tree that snaps because of its rigidity, but the more humble palm tree that bows low and bends, still standing after the wind is gone.  Bend or be broken.  Bow when the wind blows.  Approach life this way, and you might just rediscover the wonder of your relationship with God, forgive yourself for mistakes God forgave long ago, and look forward to the next “adventure” that comes your way!