Summary: Have you lost it? Here's how to get it back.
SERIES: IT: Finding It, Keeping It, and Sharing It
(freely adapted from Craig Groeschel’s It: How Churches and Leaders Can Get it and Keep it)
“DO YOU HAVE IT AND DOES IT HAVE YOU?”
We pick back up this morning in our series: IT: Finding It, Keeping It, and Sharing It. The first message was “What is it?” We defined it this way – “It is what God does through a rare combination of certain qualities found in his people.” Those qualities are: 1. A passion for his presence 2. A deep craving to reach the lost
3. Sincere integrity 4. Spirit-filled faith 5. Down-to-earth humility 6. Brokenness
Our second message began a study of the traits that marked churches that had it and for us to learn how we can develop those traits in our congregation The first trait was a God-given, God-breathed vision and we said that “You Can See It Clearly.” The second trait was the importance of teamwork and we said that “We Experience It Together.” The third trait was innovation and we said “You’ll Do Anything For It.” The fourth trait was about sharing the gospel because ‘You Want Others to Have It.” The fifth message was about failure being necessary to success and we said that “You Fail Toward It.” And the sixth message was four weeks ago and it was about sharing with others because when you have it, “You Share It With Others.”
This morning, each one of us needs to answer the questions, “Do I have it and does it have me?” Are the six qualities mentioned just a few minutes ago evident in your life? Is God working in you and through you to accomplish his purposes?
In a sermon, John Ortberg told about Max Depree. For many years, Max Depree was the CEO of a Fortune 500 company called Herman Miller. Depree is also known for his books on leadership and his service on the board of trustees of a seminary.
Because of his experience and wisdom, Depree was often asked to speak on the topic of leadership for different companies and organizations. At one event, someone asked Depree what was the most difficult thing for him personally to work on in his own life. His response was, “It’s the interception of entropy.”
Entropy is a term from physics. It is the process in which everything left to itself has a tendency to deteriorate and wind down.
Does the phrase “spiritual entropy” describe your relationship with Jesus Christ right now? At one time, you were much closer in your relationship with him. You used to love to talk to him in prayer. You used to love to read his word. You used to love being with his people. But life has interfered. The worries and struggles of this world have come between you and the Lord. Other things have become more important. There is distance in your relationship. Things have cooled off in your spiritual romance.
Have you noticed that new believers often have it? They’re “unreasonably” excited about Christ. They think God is always speaking to them (and maybe he is). They see everything as spiritual (and they’re probably right). They believe Jesus might return soon (which he very well could). Everything they do is focused on him.
They have it.
Then some more “mature” believer decides to help them to grow up. “This is just a phase you’re going through,” the mature believer explains. “It’ll wear off.” The seasoned person might describe how Moses once experienced God’s presence and glowed. But the glow faded. And the longtime passionless Christian inadvertently talks the new passionate believer into surrendering it and becoming like the rest of the dull Christians you and I both know (and sometimes are).
The Righteous Brothers used to sing about losing “that lovin’ feeling.” Are you singing a similar lament right now? Do you need to humbly admit, “I’ve lost it”?
Be honest. Do you have it? Do you have that something special that is from God and for God? If not, do what you need to do to get it back. Cry out. Plead with God, Give it back! Give it back to me in a way that I’ll never lose it again.
If I could put it in a bottle and give some of it to everyone, I’d do it in a second. But God is the one who gives it. And he seems to give it to those who want it – or more precisely, to those who want him and his will. Maybe it’s time for you to ask him for it; for him to become the true center of your life.
I want us to look together at a passage of scripture that deals with this very problem. It records the very words of Jesus as he looked at one specific congregation in Asia Minor and gives his assessment of their situation. It gives us some important principles in correcting our own.