These are some notes from Tim Chester’s Enjoying God seminars at Word Alive 2019. They are by no means a complete record of the seminars, and are my notes – so may not completely reflect what he was saying.
They were helpful seminars, and the book is also helpful and goes into more detail. I wasn’t 100% convinced by everything, but in general it was a helpful lesson in growing our enjoyment of God.
Our [objective] unity with God in Christ (which is all God’s work) is the basis of our community with God in [subjective] experience. Therefore:
- An incentive to live in faith – we will enjoy God in Christ more.
- And assurance – when we sin we fall back on our objective union with God.
When facing struggles, don’t ask, “What must I do?”, but rather, “What am I to learn from this struggle God has allowed me to face?”
In every pleasure we can enjoy the Father’s generosity.
In every hardship we can enjoy the Father’s formation.
Ten lepers were healed by Jesus but only one returns to say thank you and enjoys communion with Jesus. The impulse that drove him back? Gratitude! The power of thankfulness.
Lifting our eyes from gifts to the giver leads to seeing all good things as part of our relationship with God. “God’s fatherly sweetness.”
God the Father uses bad things in this life to discipline us and to weaken our attachments to this world and strengthen our attachment to him.
The number 1 reason I don’t enjoy God more is not enough repentance. [A whole new meaning to the Fun Factory at Prestatyn Pontins as Tim Chester said!]
The disciplines of repentance:
- Repent of every sin
- Repent of every temptation – say a decisive NO
- Repent every day
- Repent every week
How Jesus was in the Gospels is how Jesus relates to us today. So as we read the Gospels we see how Jesus related to people then, and that is how he relates to people today – to me today.
Hebrews 10:11-14: What is Jesus doing now? He’s sitting at the right hand of God the Father, work complete, “busy doing nothing”! He is interceding for us by his very presence so our act of faith is to lift our eyes to Christ. So what do we do now? To earn our salvation; to impress God; to impress other people; we are busy doing nothing! “It is finished!”
Prayer is miraculous. It is a sign of the Spirit at work in us, and is amazing when we think of who we are approaching.
Don’t just read the Bible for more information but to hear the voice of God. Pray for the Spirit to help you as you read. And then pray as you read based on what you are reading.
Most groans are backward looking because things are not as they were. Christians also groan looking forward, because things are not what they will be!