This week, Miles outlined two types of relationships with God: an intimate, interactive relationship, or one in which you push Him away and do not allow Him to speak into your life because you are seeking a religious formula or system.
What changes do you need to make in order to transition from being led by man to being led by God?
1. Distinguish man's sin from God's patience. 1 Samuel 8:1-4
In this passage from Samuel, the people of Israel do not want to be under the rule of the judges appointed by God. They insist on appointing their own king to rule them.
There are times in your life when you will get mad at God because of what someone else does. Maybe you've been hurt by a Christian, so you cheat yourself out of a relationship with God. Humans will continually disappoint you because they make mistakes, but that is not God's fault. It is not God's direction to hurt you.
2. Distinguish between being led by a judge and being led by a king.
In the time of the book of Samuel, kings were chosen by man, influenced by man, and empowered by man. A judge was chosen by God, influenced by God, and empowered by God. God doesn't want you in a kingdom, but in a relationship with Him.
Do you want to walk by faith or simply have a predictable structure to follow? God wants intimacy with your soul - full access to your secrets, your pain, your dreams. He wants to help you and whisper suggestions for you day by day. Your faith is measured by how quickly and completely you obey God. Do something by faith and see what miracles happen!
3. Investigate the actual benefits of being like everyone else.
In 1 Samuel 8:9-10, the people reject the leadership that God has appointed for them. Instead of being set apart under God's rule, they want to be like everyone else and just have a king. God's response is to remind the people that the king will not be a desirable ruler and will take their resources for himself.
The devil comes to rob, cheat, steal and destroy. John 10:10 If you follow him and allow him to run your life, the outcome will be harmful to you.
Some of you may be choosing to live like everyone else, indulging in a sinful lifestyle instead of being set apart for God. You come to church on Sunday, but you don't want to allow God into any other area of your lives. Seeking after sin will not satisfy your needs. Pastor Miles compared this to putting your hand in a flame; the longer you keep it in there, the more it will burn, the more damage you will have, and the harder it will be to heal.
4. Submit to the one true God and not the many false voices.
Don't follow the crowd; follow God. If you have been drifting from God and relying on yourself, it's time to jump in with both feet! Start doing the things you should: serve your spouse, tithe, pray, deal with the sin issues in your life.
If you are a "religious Christian" or "cultural Christian" just going through the motions, it's time to fully surrender to God and let Him have his way. God wants an opportunity to love you as only He knows how.