Summary: Spiritual Transformation series based on the book by Donald Whitney: 10 Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health
How's Your Spiritual Health?
Sermon One: Do You Thirst For God?
Sermon series based on the book by Donald Whitney: Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health
Also referenced in this sermon is chapter two of Thirsting After God by Keith Price
Prepared by Thomas A. Gaskill for Sunday May 22, 2011
Just the other day I went to see my medical doctor that my physical health could be examined. They checked my temperature, blood pressure, red and white blood cell count, sugar level, cholesterol, uric acid, etc.... After receiving my test results the doctor wrote out a couple of prescriptions to help facilitate good health and also told me to eat right, exercise regularly, get plenty of rest, (and play golf). He told me to breathe deep for a minute six times throughout the course of the day. He told me to take a good multivitamin and drink plenty of water. Probably many, if not all, of you here today can relate with my experience. It is good and necessary to take care of our bodies if we desire to live a long and productive life.
Here's my question for you: “How's your spiritual health?” Have you had a spiritual checkup lately? What would the doctor find if he or she were to examine your soul? Listen to these diagnostic questions for our spiritual health presented to us by a doctor of ministry Donald Whitney in his book entitled Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health:
1.Do you thirst for God?
2.Are you governed increasingly by God's word?
3.Are you more loving?
4.Are you more sensitive to God's presence?
5.Do you have a growing concern for the spiritual and temporal needs of others?
6.Do you delight in the Bride of Christ?
7.Are the spiritual disciplines increasingly important to you?
8.Do you still grieve over sin?
9.Are you a quicker forgiver?
10.Do you yearn for heaven and to be with Jesus?
These are well put diagnostic questions for our spiritual health. Today, I will be focusing on the first of the ten questions: “Do you thirst for God?” Do you desire Him, yearn for Him, want Him? Do you seek Him?
Read Psalm 42:1-2 (Amplified Version)
Everyone is wired to thirst for more. But not everyone's thirst is healthy. Dr. Whitney says there are three kinds of thirst:
Thirst of the empty soul
Thirst of the dry soul
Thirst of the satisfied soul
1.Thirst of the empty soul
a)unconverted natural person without the Holy Spirit who thirsts after:
money, sex, power, houses, lands, sports, hobbies, entertainment, transcendence, significance, education
Always searching and never resting. Turning from one pursuit to another
b)Keith Price in his book Thirsting After God calls them mirages:
The mirage of pleasure:
entertainment, fun, drugs, alcohol
The mirage of power
always want to climb higher up the corporate ladder. Fail to recognize that true power is found in submission to Christ.
The mirage of possessions
“The more we have, the more we want! And the more we get, the more we leave behind. Neither getting nor leaving can bring joy.”
The mirage of knowledge
Being a know-it-all just alienates friends.
The mirage of change
Change jobs, houses, hobbies, spouses thinking the fault lies outside self
The mirage of pursuing my inner self
Being self-centered never results in lasting happiness; it just puts makeup on the wound to make it appear better than it is.
Keith Price asks a couple of penetrating questions which has been slightly reworded to fit this sermon:
Has the mirage been chased truly thinking it would bring fulfillment? Or could it be a deliberate effort to avoid facing God?
2.Thirst of the dry soul
a)The converted born again believer who has tasted that the Lord is good and knows what he or she is missing
b)Dr. Whitney lists three ways a Christians soul becomes arid:
“The most common is by drinking too much from the desiccating (dehydrating) fountains of the world and too little from 'the river of God'”.
In other words, the soul becomes dry as the Christian becomes conformed to the ways of the world instead of being transformed by the renewing of the mind (Rom. 12:2).
Instead of satisfying our thirst, the world's fountain is like acid that eats holes in our souls making them harder and harder to fill. Has anyone ever tried containing gasoline in a styrofoam cup? It doesn't work! We are the same – God didn't create us to be fulfilled with sin but only with Him. God created us in His image so we would thirst for Him and He alone can satisfy.
What seems like God desertions/abandonments.
We know from Hebrews 13:5 that God will never leave you nor forsake you.
This feeling of desertion is sometimes experienced by those going through tests, trials, and difficult times.