Spiritual Pursuit - Proverbs 2:3; Matt 7:7 & Luke 11:9
Intro.: In our “crying out and lifting up our voices”. We find that God has a sort of soft spot. He is tender concerning our spiritual poverty, persistence and hunger. Jesus related a story in Luke 11:5-8 that illustrates persistence. We are all familiar with the next two verses.
READ: Luke 11:9-10. The friend in the 1st passage gave bread not because the other man was a friend, but because he was persistent. He refused to give up and stop asking until he got an answer.
I. God wants us to pursue Him
A. God loves to give us good things – READ: Matthew 7:7-11
1. But He wants us to ask and seek
2. He wants us to pursue our desires
3. He is not being stingy or manipulative
4. He is being a good Father
B. When we are seeking Him, we are communicating with Him
1. When we communicate with Him, we are deepening intimacy
2. His desire is that we intimately know Him
NOTE: So, when we pursue our desires, we also fulfill God’s desires!
C. The story of the two friends proves God’s point
1. Obstacles can be overcome with consistency and persistency
2. This is true in most of life’s situations
a. In marriage
b. In business
c. In your children’s lives, etc.
NOTE: God’s principles don’t just work within the boundaries of church life. They are designed to be applied to every situation in life.
D. God uses difficult circumstances to teach us to “cry out”
1. Obstacles produce perseverance, patience & self-control
2. We learn how to overcome our “self-sufficiency”
a. By learning to ask for help
b. As a result, we begin to practice “God-sufficiency”
NOTE: We learn to ask God for “bread” as we need it, as often as we need it.
II. What is “God’s perfect timing”?
A. We live in a passive society, even in the Church
1. We tend to wait for God’s perfect timing…
a. …to release prophecies
b. …to receive healing
c. …to witness
d. …to pray
1. “I don’t feel the unction to pray”
B. There are 3 things that keep us spiritually immobilized:
1. A fear of man
2. A lack of faith
3. Our wrong ideas of sovereignty
READ: Isaiah 64:7a (NKJV)
C. We can have as much of God as we want!
NOTE: Those who can’t live w/o God, don’t and those who can live w/o God, do… It’s that simple!!! Remember: your spiritual hunger will determine your spiritual depth.
III. God honors the “asking, seeking & knocking crowd
A. Matt 7:7 and Luke 11:9 are both rephrases of Proverbs 2:3
1. Each verse really communicates the same concepts
a. As we answer God’s call to actively pursue Him,
b. As we seek to lay hold of Him,
c. and as we seek the knowledge of God… He will give us
what we desire, what we long for
Concl.: Many of us are sitting around with 20 year old prophecies. It’s so easy to become disappointed, disillusioned, burned-out and even bitter when it seems like God hasn’t come through like we expected.
What we don’t understand is two-fold:
1. God wants us to actively pursue, not passively wait on, His promises to us
2. His ultimate purpose is to draw us to Him in hunger
Paul longed for a deeper revelation of the knowledge of God
READ: Philippians 3:12-14
NOTICE: “press on”, “lay hold”, “reaching forward”, “press toward”
Looks like “Spiritual Pursuit” to me…