God Stories

God is active in every story, and as such, He is often the invisible Character. Part of being a follower of Christ is becoming more and more acutely aware that God is a part of every aspect of our lives. That God is moving, crafting us, showing us grace and mercy; that God is with us in joy and sorrows, in victories and defeats. 

People may doubt the claims of the Gospel, but the one thing they can’t doubt and can’t deny is its affects on your life. That’s why your story is so important. Your story is your sharing of your faith. I have known many folks who carry a heavy burden around their understanding of sharing the Gospel with others. They have been taught that the Gospel is a set of words that describe what Jesus did for us, and how God views us. They have been taught that the Gospel is a solution, primarily to the problem of an angry God and a damnation effect. I categorically reject this idea. And I come back once again to God – the invisible source Love Character in all of our stories.

I think a Christian spirituality that allows us to discover God in our stories and share God’s love as it is revealed in Christ creates a space for imperfect, grace-filled living which God uses to free us from obligations like the typical notion of evangelism; because the sharing of our faith becomes the living of our story. Most folks know the saying attributed to St. Francis, “Preach the Gospel continuously, use words if you must.” I would augment it slightly and say, “Preach the Gospel continuously by living your life!”

If God really is in every story and every story really is a God story, then I think we can become people without coercive rhetoric or anxious didactic. We would no longer have to convince people of our perspectives, but simply allow our stories to invite people into the “everything” that is God’s presence. So the good news is actually that every story is God’s story! If we believed this, I wonder how that would affect the way we include others in our faith experience?

Here is a video we used in my community to help people recognise that their story is a God story.

It would be a mistake to hear in this writing the idea that we are to live perfectly, and that somehow if we just live “right” people would see God in our stories. Quite the opposite is true.

People get a glimpse of God, not in our moral perfection, rather in the way we embrace our failures, our sorrows, our hopes and our disappointments. The story of “Christ with us” is a story that reveals we are not alone, not abandoned – we are not forgotten – no matter what is transpiring in our lives! The God story is told through the inclusion of everything in our stories.  

Are you able to recognise God in every facet of your story? I think God is.

 

  • http://www.Day8Strategies.com Dave Daubert

    I want to start this comment by saying that I agree with the most of what the author has sdtated. Recognizing God’s presence in every story is a key part of what brings life and vitality to faith. In fact, the inability to see God in daily life and in a variety of circumstances seems to lie at the heart of the church’s decline. Rather than helping people meet and follow a living God, the church has taught doctrines (often not very well) about a God who did something long ago and who we trust might do something again sometime in the future. In the mean time, many churches imply that we are simply on our own with a dash of Holy Spirit here and there to guide us when we run into a problem. However, I would go a step further in this matter than the article. In the teaching work I do, we say that in our baptism “we have been put on notice.” In other words, the grace we are promised as we are united with Christ (Romans 6) is also a commitment by God to be an abiding presence in our lives. As such, we are put on notice that God is present and alive in each and every aspect of our lives. A sacramental and missional understanding of this means that we are now instruments of Christ’s work in the world. Not only is God involved in our stories., by discerning God’s work and desire for the situations in which we find ourselves, we are called to shape the nature of God’s influence and work by our acts of faithful discipleship. We not only discern God’s presence in our stories – by our faithful response we shape God’s involvement in our stories and the story being written about our world. A sacramental and missional understanding of an active and present God is more than recognizing the story as it unfolds, it is partnership with the author (God) to co-write the next chapters together.

  • http://thebridge-cu.com Ron S

    Amen both to Sean’s article which is great, and to David’s comment extending the challenge to recognize that we not only join the story, but also need to know that we are invited to be delighted to become a part of the story God is writing in history.

    One further extension, it was very freeing when I began to see that the Biblical writings that God (with human co-laborers) has saved for us are also a library of genuine human experiences with God. All of the issues of inerrancy and human limitations begin to fall away when we see that God is always willing to enter into our limitations and push their boundaries as God incarnates God’s purpose and story in his people. The Bible is an amazing record of this great “God story” in action. This has freed me to love the Scriptures, and God’s desire to speak yet again through them today, more than ever before.

  • http://www.sapphireskiesforever.wordpress.com Crystal Glenn

    Sean,

    Thank you for your article. I enjoyed reading it and I agree with you. Though I will admit that at times , I have been blinded by my hardships and was not always see GOD in the midst of my story. When I look back, I see GOD and his grace all throughout. I have been made a stronger person. Because I know what you have shared is true, I too aim to share GOD through my walk. Keep on movitating.

    Crystal
    AKA
    Sapphire Skies Forever


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