Letting go and letting God
The results from following our own understanding will often separate us from God. Seeking out simple pleasures and gratification of the flesh instead of building God’s kingdom and tending to the needs of the spirit can reduce our sensitivity to the spirit. The spirit is present, but often times many are not listening or paying attention. Our hearts may become dry or empty and we try to fill that emptiness through worldly activity. This activity can builds a callous over our hearts reducing our connection with God.
God calls us to another activity. God calls us to open the door of our hearts and tend to the spirit within us for guidance, love, and peace. The primary purpose of this group to engage with the Holy Spirit in and around us, in God's truth and love toward peace. God is clear about what is most important, “love God” and “love your neighbor.” Together with study, meditation, self-examination, communication, and commitment to this primary purpose we can seek to build God’s character. The Holy Spirit can shape, teach, and connect us closer to God.
Our sinful understanding of how to perform and act will be with us prompting and probing. We ought to practice standing firm in tending to the spirit and guarding ourselves from this temptation. Each day there may be many battles experiencing victories and losses with temptation. Let's focus continually on our victories as we increasingly grow closer to God through improved attempts to better align with God’s character. Each day progress ought to be the goal understanding that only God is perfect. Taking simple achievable steps toward the solution each day with the spirit is our way toward spiritual development.
As we meet together we can share our journey practicing the greatest commandment “love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.” This process of honestly sharing our struggles, failures, and success can assist our individual and group inward development and spiritual healing. We can learn how our thoughts and feelings influence us into decisions and actions. We can face ourselves honestly and share about our personal experience. Our experiences are neither right nor wrong. We are not bad people trying to be good, we are God’s people seeking spiritual healing and development. When one of us suffers, we all suffer. When one of us is stronger, we are all stronger because God calls us all together toward spiritual unity.
We must carefully guard ourselves from thoughts which hinder our progression one day at a time. Inactivity and neglect toward spiritual growth is damaging. Faultfinding in others ought to be avoided. Attention toward our own thoughts and that which guide us toward practicing God’s character ought to be our first focus. Fear, selfishness, resentment, shame, idolatry, and dishonesty exist and we ought to be aware of them as we shift our focus toward God’s grace. With sin in our peripheral vision and God’s character in our central vision we move forward tending to the spiritual needs of ourselves and others. The cup is not empty or full, it is both. We can rebuke gently with a pure heart and conscience lies and deception as they develop. Jesus and the apostles were fully aware of sin’s presence while guarding themselves carefully each moment of every day. We ought to do the same with the heaviest focus upon ourselves. Before rebuking anyone we ought to have the right heart and mind.
The only requirement of attending this group is a desire to build God’s character and progress toward it. This spiritual progression over time ought to demonstrate increased honesty, humility, and a willingness to serve each other. Patience, forgiveness, mercy, love, and peace working together with justice and truth are the building blocks toward our spiritual growth and safety. God calls us into the practice of love and discipline. Thy will, not mine, be done.
1. No one person has authority, together we form the body. The unity of the group is essential. Each of us ought to share honestly, vote honestly, without influence of others, and with love behind every action. Each group ought to govern itself.
2. No paid positions. Three month reserve is suggested for rent. Groups are to operate on bare bones, own minimum property for operation.
3. Groups are self-supporting declining outside contributions. Individual members of the group may contribute voluntarily. The group must be kept pure of outside motives.
4. Committees or separate entities to make the spiritual work possible may be hired.
5. Groups ought to avoid outside controversy. Politics and businesses are of the world, not the spirit. We ought to keep discussions of outside controversies and non-transformational material away from discussion and debate within the group including theology. Such differences often create separation and division in purpose. Instead we ought to focus on building our similarities in utilizing Godly character as we transform more into God’s likeness.
6. Groups are to be open to anyone seeking to love God with all their heart, soul and mind; to love their neighbors and build in the fruit of the Spirit. Repentance through humility and with a contrite heart is often required.
7. All should be welcomed equally avoiding favoritism or prejudice. Everyone has an equal vote on all group matters, but they ought to attend regularly (regularly may be defined differently by each group).
8. God’s decision on the group is best decided with a unanimous vote; however, two thirds ought be sufficient; all participants ought to have an informed conscience prior to voting. Patience ought to be practiced as we are moving at God’s speed instead of our own. It’s better to grow together slowly with a pure heart then to push through agendas with others unheard, misinformed, and mistreated. Love, mercy, and peace are always the goal.
9. Our personal experience with our spiritual transformation ought to be our focus in sharing with others. We ought to recognize that each of us has our own path, but we all work toward building similar Godly traits, principles, and character.
10. The group ought to focus on building each other up collectively in a similar manner done individually. The tools used to transform us individually ought to be used by the group collectively. Taking a regular group inventory and setting new group goals can be beneficial in improving the fruit of the spirit produced by the group.
11. Minority opinion ought to be heard by the group with an open mind and loving heart.
12. We ought to remind ourselves and each other to avoid gossip. Any rebuking out to be done gently and in love. If our hearts are not able to do it in that manner than its best not to. Addressing spiritual damage with spiritual damage does not create spiritual healing.
13. For the purposes of love and humility we ought to avoid talking about God or the group with those who oppose God or the group. We present ourselves to others with love, humility, kindness, patience, perseverance and other Godly attributes which speak volumes over time. We let God’s character working through us convince others the quality of our group. If we are serving God with all our heart, mind, and soul we will grow in the spirit and it will be evident before others. When others become interested we may speak boldly and gently with love about our experience.
Prayer: Pray (as the bible demonstrates) to be rescued from temptation, for strength, courage, peace, and wisdom.
Self-examination: Seek removal of character of fear, anger, shame, and self-defeating thoughts which guide us into destructive activity. Seek out implementation of Godly attributes; love, mercy, forgiveness, patience, gentleness, justice, truth, perseverance, and service.
Confession: Confess negative or damaging thoughts, actions, and desires. (confess to another person, self, and God, use discretion for safety and care)
Repentance: Set goals toward building Godly character or principles. Create clear steps toward achieving the goals.
Meditation: Be inwardly watchful toward our heart, mind and soul ensuring our love toward God.
Service: Serve the group in love and participate in others transformation in prayer, sharing, and demonstration.
Use prayers and supportive messages to guide thinking away from sin and toward God.
Destructive Isolation: We ought to engage with others daily in productive conversation staying toward Spiritual productivity. Isolation is often motivated by selfishness, resentment, and fear. It can be difficult to engage in love, kindness, forgiveness, mercy, patience, caring, and compassion while avoiding people. We were created for fellowship of the spirit.
Justice: Speak honestly and gently what comes from the heart and spirit. Keep an open mind for other's views. In humility become willing to let God work through and in us for growth. We watch for favoritism, pride, fear, anger, lust, envy, selfishness and greed. Our attention ought to be on the spirit in each of us.
Set Goals: God wants us to increase in him and to be more like him. Therefore we ought to set our hearts and minds on developing God's character; love, mercy, forgiveness, service, compassion, peace, patience, gentleness, endurance, perseverance, truth, and the like.
Demonstrate for others: As we grow with God we are to be the light for others in words and demonstration. In sincerity, truth, love, and service we mentor for others using our experience. Our success and failures encourage and support others as they experience similar success and failures. Our struggles and difficulties once viewed as problems can now become support to others as they experience the same thing.
Read Godly instructive verses each day and retain in thought a goal for each day.
Share fear, frustration, doubt while being willing to take steps toward solutions.
Share spiritual praise, faith, hope, joy, courage, and strength reports with each other.
Practice truth, sincerity, love, compassion, patience, and peace in everything.