Topic 16: How does God work?
Question: Based on what you know from the Bible & other sources (including Theology Matters reading), how do you think that God works in the world & in the life of the Christian? (Be sure to do more research into the issue. If the group cannot come to a consensus, feel free to have different group members each express their own opinions.)
Throughout the Bible there are many different examples of how God works in the lives of humans. Many people often look at these examples and see them as miracles that happened long ago and simply do not occur anymore. Other people choose to believe that the works of God are some sort of myth or unrealistic story. However, the Bible and several other books prove that God still works very actively in the lives of Christians today just as he did many years ago. This paper will explain the many different ways God chooses to work in our lives and how He continues to shine through Christians each and every day.
When trying to find examples of how the Lord works in the lives of humans, what better place is there to look then the Bible. After doing much research, we have discovered that Gods word is expressed and his work is done in a variety of different ways. However, as a group, we feel that there at five essential and vital examples of how the Lord working in peoples lives located throughout the bible. Each example is a completely different illustration of God putting his touch on our world.
To begin with, God works by answering our prayers. In Ephesians Chapter 3 verses 20-21 it states “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” This passage is just simply saying that the Lord, our God is able to do things far beyond our power. He can exceed all human expectations and go beyond our imagination. All glory must go to God, because he is the one who will always be there for us until the end of time. Although our prayers may not always be answered at the exact time we want or the exact way to expect them to be answered. As Christians, we should always remember that God has all the power and His work will be done through our prayers. It may not always be the way we expect but God knows what is best for all of us and He has proven time and time again that His work will be shown through the prayers of His Christian followers.
Another great example in the book of Ephesians of God working in our lives is in chapter 6 verses 10-12. In these verses the Bible says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” This verse is astonishing to me. It is saying that together as Christians we are going to face many evil and sinful situations. But if we stand strong for the Lord and use His word and His spirit as armor that we cannot be defeated by evil. This is promise from God saying that if we are strong in the Lord then he will be strong in us. This example was true during biblical times and is still true in today’s world. The Lord is our shepherd and he will forever watch over his sheep and protect us if we just stay strong in our faith. This promise is an amazing display of God working in our lives.
The Bible gives us a perfect outline of how to live our lives the Christian way, God’s way. Studying the Bible is another way that we can allow our Heavenly Father to enter our lives. The Bible is a great tool for us to use in order to become closer to Him and reach further into His word. As we study the Bible for ourselves, we must understand that the Word of God is perfect book that was created to guide us through our lives and live for Christ. By reading His book we will allow Him to speak to us and set a guideline for our lives. It is explained clearly in 2 Timothy 3:16-17; “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” These two verses are just another example of how God works in our life. A common misunderstanding is that God will just automatically show up in our lives if we are Christians. That assumption couldn’t be more wrong. Even though becoming a Christian is the first important step of living the life God has planned for us, it is not the only step. God expects us to do things to keep that faith strong and to express it to others. By reading the Bible, we gain more knowledge of Him and what he expects from us. By doing so, we open our hearts and minds to the Lord and allow him to enter and work in our lives. That is why reading the Bible is such a special part of our relationship with our God.
The Lord also works in our lives when we are at our worst. When we as humans feel as if no one is there for us and no one cares. Sometimes we get the misinterpretation that since we are Christians that nothing bad can happen to us, that just because God is abundant in our lives that we are invincible. However, that not the case. God uses suffering to help strengthen our relationship with him and other Christians. If things were perfect all the time then we would never experience overcoming obstacles first hand. He puts problems in our lives not to break us down, but to build is up. The old saying “what doesn’t kill me, will only make me stronger” can never be truer then in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Even though it may seem sometimes that we are all alone, we must remember that God is always with us and when no one else can help us, he truly can. Use your times of hardships to increase your faith in the Lord and strengthen your soul. There are going to be certain obstacles that you cannot overcome alone, but that is why God wants us to realize that he is always there to help. When the going gets tough, get with God. Sometimes these are the times where his work is most visible. As said so in the book Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Lewis says that God is our savior and he will never give us more burden then we can handle.
Last but not least, another amazing way God shines down from heaven into our lives is through the words of other Christians such as preachers, ministers, and Christian leaders. It is clearly stated in Luke 3:3 that Jesus went from city to city and spread the word of His Father. The people listened and became enlightened within the Lord. He changed the lives of sinners forever just by speaking His Word to them. Now obviously we live in the A.D. era. Even though Jesus does not literally or at least visibly walk our streets and preach His Word, we still can hear what he has to say through preachers and ministers all around the world. The Lord has given the gift of preaching too many people. These people are essential to a prosperous Christian life. Some of the best ways to visibly see the Lord at work is to go to church and watch him work through your peers and hopefully through yourself as well. That is one of the reasons why going to church is so important. Some people ask; do you have to go to church to be a Christian? The answer to that question is, absolutely yes. Church is an outstanding way to hear the Lord speak to us in a variety of ways. That is why, no matter what the conditions are, no matter how bad you are feeling, it is important to try and get to church, because that day could be the day that God is speaking to you specifically. Hearing the teachings of God through another person is just another amazing way our Savior works in our lives.
Hopefully this paper provided several different examples of how the Holy Spirit can work in the lives of Christians today. It needs to be understood that God still performs miracles and still works in people’s lives just as much today as he did in the biblical times. Some people say that just because He isn’t raising anybody from the dead that He isn’t working in His Christians lives. For one, who’s to say that He hasn’t raised anybody from the dead recently and secondly, He performs far more miracles each and every day then we could ever imagine or understand. There are Christians all over the world that could go on and on about how God works in their lives. Faith goes a long way and we must have faith in our God in order to feel His hands being placed upon our Christian life. The bible says to trust in the Lord with all our heart and with all your might. That is what we must do each and every day and He will continue to provide for us and show His everlasting love in our lives day after day.