One of my favorite things about ministry is the chance to “by faith, try stuff.” Some people talk about formulas for success, but God wants us to engage with Him in relationship, not just check boxes in our schedule. After all, “neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow” (1 Cor 3:7). Other religions put the control in our hands and our relationship with higher powers is strictly transactional—if we perform certain rituals, things will go well.
God doesn’t want any of that! He says “stop bringing me meaningless offerings” and “return to me” (Isaiah 1:13, 44:22). He’s interested in a relationship. My team has been studying a book called “With” by Skye Jethani, and have been learning about the 5 postures we have toward God. We often try to live “over” God by exchanging the living Lord and just keeping the principles and life strategies of the Bible. Other times, we live “under” God as if He’s waiting to zap us if we don’t legalistically do everything right. Then our consumerism kicks in and we live “from” God, like he is a butler who exists only to meet our desires. The most tricky, though, is life “for” God, where we spend so much time doing good things that we lose sight of the actual relationship “WITH” our first love (Revelation 2:4).