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God’s Not Formulaic

This post comes forth from a conversation that I had with my roommate a couple of nights ago. It won’t necessarily have any deep philosophical or theological information contained in it; and there really won’t be any deep mysteries of the universe revealed, but it’s something that was furthered quickened in me as we were speaking. While we were conversing about various topics, the same thing kept rolling around in my spirit. So with that in mind, I will tell you that this post is more directed at me and a truth that I needed to remember that night. It’s perhaps one of the hardest things I’ve written, because it stepped on my toes and I was trying to be careful about stepping on too many others.

God made us individuals for a reason; He also put us in the place He put us for a reason. I was born Philip Stasyszen for a reason, and that reason is to first and foremost have a relationship with and to live to glorify God. If I accomplish nothing else in this life, if I die without anything else to my name, that would be more than enough. Too often though, I find myself searching for a system, a formula as it were for walking out faith and seeing a move of God; when in reality, it is God I should be seeking out for instruction.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. (Psalm 32:8)

Keep in mind that as I write this, I know that God can use other people to speak into our lives; and I have received many timely words from others. I know that we all have spiritual leaders that impart His word and wisdom to us. I also have received much from great men of faith that have their lives recorded in various writings; and it is good to look back on those things and learn from and be inspired by them, however; we shouldn’t only rely on the experiences and words of others as our source of God’s direction. Many over the years have found God and experienced His glorious move and have shared their experiences; and that is awesome, because testimonies are a source of encouragement and help build the faith. We can certainly learn principles from those things and live by the principles that we learn, but we cannot sacrifice relationship for a particular formula. We’ve all heard it said that God does not fit in a box; just because He has used something to move someone else, doesn’t mean the same will be used for another. The same can be said of our own past experiences; we can remember how God moved in our own lives and be tempted to go back and try the formula to find the same result; but unless God has said to go back to that well, we’ll most likely be disappointed with the result.

Even a great Godly leader like Moses wasn’t immune to this. After God had used him to lead his people out of slavery and bondage, he had to keep going back to God for fresh words and direction. In Exodus 17, the people were really thirsty; and since they were in the desert, there weren’t a lot of drinking options around. Moses took the people’s plight to God and was instructed to strike the rock with his staff; He complied and instantly, a miraculous stream of water came flowing out. The people were once again astonished and amazed by God’s move and were able to drink until they were satisfied. Many years of wandering later, the people were again thirsty. Moses again took their petition to seek a move of God; and once again, God spoke a unique word. Instead of striking the rock, this time Moses was to speak to it. But Moses acted on His past experience and struck the rock, God in is mercy still made water spring forth; but kept Moses from entering the promised land with the people because he didn’t follow the new word that He had given to him. Whatever reason(s) behind Moses’s action, the fact was God wanted to move in a new way but Moses tried to make it work the old way.

I say all that to say this, God wants to speak to us everyday of our lives; and while we don’t have to look to Him for little things such as what kind of toothpaste to buy, we should always be ready to hear His quickening. No formula that we can devise from a past move of God, either in our life or someone else’s, should ever replace the relationship He longs for us to build with Him. Remember Jesus wants to know us and be known by us. He gave us this warning to focus on knowing Him above everything else.

Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ (Matthew 7:22, 23)

God help me to know You and be known by You more and more each day. Let me not just depend on the words and experiences of others to drive my expectation of Your moving. Let me not put a formulaic thought of You above a relationship with You. Let me live each day hearing Your voice, for “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

Once again, I have spent this blog preaching to myself, but I hope someone else received something as well. Don’t go looking for a formula, find your relationship with Him and He will lead you to where He wants to move.

6 Responses to “God’s Not Formulaic”

  1. Whew…that was a deep post bro’ and a great encouragement to continuously seek Him. Thanks you!

  2. In Acts too, the early Church received visitations and were filled again with the Holy Spirit. It’s so funny that we would ever think we had reached the end of God, as if He did it one way a hundred years ago or even yesterday and now that’s the only way He’ll do it. As I heard one minister put it, we have a lot of people looking for principles without knowing the Prince. Without Him, they are rules and instructions that will bring a measure of blessing, but with Him, with relationship, He will open the floodgates of heaven and delights to do it. Good stuff, Philip! I’m with you. Go ahead and preach. 🙂

    • philip says:

      Thanks for the encouragement Jason! Yeh Caleb said something today in response that we try to find formulas to lead to Him, when He made it as simple as seek Me and you shall find Me. Thanks for your thoughts!

  3. I just read that Exodus passage the other day… think God’s trying to tell me something! 🙂
    Thanks for the reminder to seek out His voice daily for fresh words from Him.
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