Summary: Full lives. Full social calendars. Full houses. But if we are honest, most of us are also full of famine! Why?
Pt. 3 - Refusing Rations
I have challenged you to examine your own level of passion, pursuit and hunger for God. I told you that I believe we as a movement - Christianity - we are in the midst of a famine. However, I want to tell you that I believe the famine has come to roost and taken up root in Passion. Here are some of the symptoms I said reveal this fact ... the glazed over eyes, lack of passion, participation or anticipation for worship, lack of concern, lack of action, lack of obedience to the Word, lack of any discipline when it comes to study, treating gathering, as commanded by Scripture, as optional and low on the priority list. All signs of a famine. I can feel it. I can see it. I also told you this famine is a direct result of the plague of plenty. We are so blessed that we take for granted what we have. We long for yesterday thinking it was better and we become incredibly picky because when you have plenty you begin to become more concerned about preference than presence. So the type of worship song, the preference for style, etc. cause us to turn away as if it won't sustain us. I asked you an incredibly important question . . . What if manna is still the means by which God desires to fill you. Our desire for fish when God is still using manna could cause us to starve while pushing away angel food cake!
But I also told you that I also believe the famine is in its early stages and we can take steps inside this body and personally to stop it. We can take steps to stop the long term terrifying implications of it. Which brings us to today. I want to talk to you about one of the keys to stopping a famine before it becomes wide spread and fatal.
One of the key issues when folks begin to live in or experience famine is become acclimated or content with rations. Forget the fact that Jesus said "I have come that you might have life and life more abundant." Forget that Jesus said, "Greater works you will do!" Instead, because we have been famished a little morsel, crumb, or taste is all we expect, desire, and really want. Just enough to get us by from Sunday to Sunday. In the process we have dismissed and discarded authority, dominion, power, and overcoming.
We must realize that God does not feed people that are not hungry. In fact, Mary sang a song when she is told that she will give birth to Jesus that speaks to this . . . He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. Those that are hunger are filled. Those that are self sufficient become self reliant and end up empty. Jesus would later say . . . Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness! In other words, you are not blessed if you are not hungry. Remember . . . Jesus responds to those that are hungry with a miracle of multiplication. Right in the middle of a sermon He stops and deals with hunger! No hunger - no miracle! No hunger and we become satisfied with rations.
Our church will grow in proportion to our hunger. We will grow at the speed of hunger.