Summary: Why dependence on God is necessary and how it can be found and developed.
Series: “7 Spiritually Healthy Habits”
Perth Bible Church Sunday, October 25, 2009 AM
Rev. Todd G. Leupold
Health sure seems to be a 'hot topic' these days, whether one is talking about insurance, government plans, H1N1, what to eat or not to eat, etc. Just a couple of weeks ago, Rach & I finally bought our much belated B-day gift for one another: Wii Fit. If you're not familiar, this interactive game starts off by having each person enter certain information and take a few tests using the 'balance board.' It then calculates your “Wii Fit” age, which is meant to be a measure of your physical fitness. I was first. My biological age is 39. My Wii Fit age was determined to be 45. Ouch! But it gets worse . . . Rach was next. She's 41, but her Wii Fit age was determined to be 32. I will NEVER live this down!
When you're done laughing at me, think for a moment: what do you think would be your Wii Fit age? OR, what if there was such a thing as a “Wii Spiritually Fit”? How well or poorly would each of us rate in our TRUE spiritual fitness and maturity?
We spent several months this year examining 1 Corinthians and what God teaches us about being a healthy and holy Church. For the next 7 weeks, I am going to ask us to consider what Scripture teaches about being a spiritually fit and mature individual. Specifically, each week we will be looking closely at one of “7 Spiritually Healthy Habits.” Better understanding each of these habits will allow each of us to better measure our own spiritual fitness before the LORD. At the same time, it will also provide us with the specific exercises and tools we need to greater and more consistently apply in our lives for greater and sustained individual spiritual fitness.
This morning, we will begin by meditating upon the Habit of Dependence on God.
SCRIPTURE: PSALM 42:1 - 43:5
I.) DEPENDENCE ON GOD IS NECESSARY
Jackie Mason once quipped: “It's no longer a question of staying healthy, it's a question of finding a sickness you like.”
Someone else remarked: “My allergy tests suggest that I may have been intended for life on some other planet.” My source doesn't credit the speaker, but I think it must have been Tom Hobson.
Even spiritually, in these sin-corrupted bodies living in this sin-infested world, this has a ring of truth. No matter who we are, how long we've been a Christian, what we've done to grow, none of us this side of Glory will ever stay disease-free.
This means, to be fit, we must have . . .
A.) Awareness of Thirst
Psalm 42:1-3, 5
Illustration: Indian Parable – boy searching for God
Spiritual thirst is created by . . .
1.) Memories Ps. 42:4,6
When we feel weak, incapable, unworthy, or just outnumbered and & we dwell on such things, it dehydrates our spirits and leaves them parched.
Remembering and focusing instead on the joy, victory, certainty and strength we have previously had in fellowship with God will remind and reassure us and that only He can quench our spiritual thirst.
2.) Isolation Ps. 42:9
Sometimes, often when we least feel like it, we need to just separate ourselves from the other voices and get completely alone with God.
Sinclair Ferguson writes: “Any major change in our lives can have this effect of making us feel distanced, disoriented, useless, and purposeless in our Christian lives. . . God wants to teach us lessons that we cannot learn in fellowship. In our loneliness and separation, we learn to look to God, trust in God, desire God's presence. We discover that in the past we have relied too much on the encouragement of others and insufficiently on the Lord Himself. While before we knew God (quite legitimately) through the help of our fellow Christians, now we must learn to know Him in isolation from them.”
(“Spiritual Longing,” Hearthcry! Issue 47, Summer 09. Life Action Ministries. Adapted with permission from Grow in Grace, The Banner of Truth Trust, 1989.)
B.) Awareness of Danger Ps. 42:3,9; 43:1-2
In this world and in this flesh, there is danger all around us at all times. Sometimes within, sometimes without.
Our spiritual health and fitness will be determined not by how much or what kind of danger we encounter, but by how we respond to it.
When we feel overwhelmed and in too deep, where will we turn; where will we look for help?
Our nature is to turn away from God when we no longer easily see or feel Him and instead turn even more to ourselves or others. When we do this, however, we just become that much more vulnerable, that much more spiritually dehydrated and therefore weaker and closer to defeat.