The Submissional Life // Matt Tebbe

living in submission, leading from below, loving as mission

Spiritual Formation Axiom #1 – God is Always Present and at Work

Thought it might be good to put out some assumptions I make about spiritual formation in the local church. These are – as all things kicked around on The Submissional Life – in process. Would love to have dialogue.

Spiritual Formation Axiom #1: God is always present and at work.

This has two corollaries:

1. He doesn’t “show up”…he’s always showing up. Rather, he’s up. Period. It may be better to say we wake up to his activity as more and more of his kingdom comes in our life by faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus says, “I am with you always to the end of the age” and comes to us as one who stands at the door and knocks – he is always coming in love to invite us into love. (Ps 139; Matt 28.20; Jn 5.17, 19; Acts 17.27-28; Rev 3.20) God is present. 

2. He is at work especially in our messes, storms, and crises…at those places where life seems unmanageable, unpredictable, and uncontrollable. When all hell seems to break loose in our lives, this is ground zero for all heaven to break loose in our lives. It is a severe mercy – a difficult grace – to be led to the place of deep surrender at the end of ourselves. Welcome the struggle – invite God into your messes. (2 Cor 4.8-12; 6.4-10; 11.23-30; 12.9-10) God is at work. 
So, if this is true for spiritual formation in Christlikeness – If God is always present and at work – I have a question I’d love to dialogue about:

How do we talk about and understand spiritual warfare (i.e. the work of The Enemy) if we believe God is always present and at work? I understand that Gen 50.20 and Rom 8.28 are often thrown out there to describe how God super-intends…but…a pastoral question: How do we know when to pray against the Evil One and when to embrace the struggle and meet God in the midst? Or – is the question an unnecessary dualism?



Categorized: Leadership, Small Groups, Spiritual Formation Axioms Tags: