a workshop by Paul Sewell
How do you relate to God?
Many of us have been taught by well-meaning Christians to live life “Under God” or “for God.” These approaches have some truth in them but still fall short of the abundant life Jesus offers. These ways might not be the most helpful or the truest way to relate to God.
I believe the best way to relate to God is not “under” or “for” but “With Jesus.”
This is a workshop on how to live your everyday life “with Jesus.”
When I was a new follower of Jesus, I was in a church that emphasized living life “under God.” Here is how I understood it…
I don’t want to live life my way. I want to live my life God’s way. I just need to read my Bible so I will know right from wrong, then just do what is right.
The more I read the Bible and the more I know, the better off I will be. God will be pleased and this will keep me under God’s hand of blessing.
This is living life under God.
The main thrust of many churches is to move people from living “over God” or “without God” to living life “under God.” (Then the next step is to get the whole nation “under God” so that God will bless us again.) The typical approach is for the pastor to read the Bible and decide what is right and wrong. Then tell everyone else to follow it.
Jesus had something interesting to say to the religious leaders of his day about this. He said,
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” (John 5:39-40)
Of course reading the scriptures is a good thing, but the reality is that many people are reading the scriptures and totally missing Jesus. They are reading the book and missing the author of the book. That is what Jesus is talking about here. He is inviting all people to come to Him and live “with” Him so that we may have life. This is the heart of this workshop.
Later in my spiritual journey, I got a passion for God’s mission for the world. This is when I started living life for God.
I understood that I needed to sacrifice my life and my comfort for God. I needed to do whatever I could to advance His Kingdom. I was doing it for God and for His Kingdom.
Many churches are trying to move people from living under God to living for God. It sounds like this… You need to get out there and reach your neighbors. We need you to serve in the children’s ministry. You need come to our prayer gathering or go on a mission trip.
Think about all that God has done for you. Now you need to serve Him. Do it for God!
Life “for God” is often framed in terms of duty, obligation, and pressure.
In 2015 I was so busy living “for God,” I totally missed how much pressure I was putting on myself and then on other people. I was becoming frustrated and impatient with those around me and treating them poorly. I wondered why they weren’t doing more and sacrificing more “for God.” I was working 70+ hours each week “for the Kingdom.” I was traveling often and leaving my wife at home with our young son.
One moment during this season got my attention. Elisha desperately needed help at home with the baby, and I was walking out the door for another meeting (as usual). I told her that my meeting and my sacrifice was “for the Kingdom.” She threw something at me across the kitchen and gestured at herself, our little son, and our home, and said, “This is the Kingdom.”
Wow. In pursuit of living “for God,” I was totally missing the beautiful life He had given me.
Not only was I missing the rewarding life with my family, I had actually lost the fruit of the Spirit.
“The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
In my driven pursuit of life “for God” and “for His Kingdom” I was not marked by these fruits. My life looked quite the opposite of those fruits. But God was gracious and kind and compassionate to me (even when I wasn’t). He led me into a new way to relate to Him. He led me on a new path and into fresh life “with Jesus.”
I am so happy to live connected with Jesus and to see the fruits of the spirit return in my life. Now I have a passion to help others in their journey as well. I would love for you to reflect on your life for a moment.
Have you ever related to God in one of these ways: “under God” or “for God”?
Have you ever been taught the “under” or “for” approach to God by well-meaning Christians?
I have lived it myself and I have heard it taught quite often.
Now I want to be a voice for an alternate approach that I believe best matches the message of the Master. That is life… “with Jesus.” This is the invitation Jesus offers to the world and to you right now, to live “with Him.”
In this workshop, we will cover these topics:
- How to live life with Jesus in everyday life
- The rich and rewarding life that flows out of that
- Where “under God” and “for God” fall short in practice
- When you aim at “with Jesus,” you actually get the desired outcomes of “under” and “for”
- Practices on conversational & listening prayer with Jesus
- Reframing your decision making from “right & wrong” to “good & true”
How it works
Here is what one participate of this workshop said…
It went so well, we are offering it again.
The next workshop will take place with Paul on Zoom on:
Sunday, July 30, at 6:00 – 7:30pm EST (5pm central)
This workshop is one stand alone 90 minute meeting. There is no ongoing or weekly commitment.
To create the best possible environment for learning and coaching, I am making this workshop:
- Limited to 12 people, &
- FREE of cost (like all my courses and workshops are now).
There is no prep work required for this workshop. Simply log onto zoom at the appropriate time and I will guide you from there.
The format of the workshop is 30/30/30.
- 30 minutes of teaching from Paul
- 30 minutes of self-application and small group discussion
- 30 minutes of large group discussion
Registration is open
The last two workshops filled to capacity and went to waitlist. Since the spots are limited, go ahead and register so I can save you a seat.
Update: 8 slots remain open.