We were not created to live in the Kingdom of Me but the Kingdom of God. We were never meant to do life alone; God invites us to do life with Him.

However, we all to often we try to do life on our own. Greg Hawkins refers to this mentality as living in the ‘Kingdom of Me.

“I know how to live in the Kingdom of Me; I know how to be self-centered. The invitation to come out and be with God and live in His Kingdom is scary. The invitation is not to come out of your box and be alone, the invitation is to do life intimately with God every moment of every day.”

Answering that invitation means slowing down, letting go of our illusion of control, and partnering with Him.

“What I found myself saying is, okay, I’ve got to do this today. Then I said, wait a minute – we are going to do this. So my day is about, what are we going to do today? We have this work to do, we’re going to do laundry, we’re going to mow the grass, we’re going to go to the grocery store, we’re going to talk on the phone, etc.”

The shift from ‘I’ to ‘we’ needs to occur in order for us to experience true intimacy with God and allow Him to take up complete residence in our lives. Greg expands on this truth,

“That shift, for me, is an intimate shift. It’s not ‘this is me and you’re out there God.’ But the invitation is to have Him truly take up residence and for us to give over control.”

To fully receive the invitation of intimacy with God, Greg says that we can practice the spiritual discipline of slowing down.

“The discipline has to be what it says in the scriptures, be still and know. So we create the discipline to slow down, to be still, and recognize that He’s right here. He’s not in the chair across the room or next to you in the car, He’s in you; His spirit dwells within us. If we’ve invited Him in, that’s intimacy.”

“That has been very powerful for me and when I feel alone and scared have to just slow down; I have to be still, and remember He’s here and sense His presence to slow everything down.”

Greg L. Hawkins is the former executive pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, where he served alongside Bill Hybels for over twenty years. He currently serves with Max Lucado and Randy Frazee on the leadership team at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas.

An invitation from God
Also on this edition of Neil Stavem
Leith Anderson on church and culture

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