Summary: A message exploring our God-given longing to be whole hearted. Inspired by Mike Bickle’s "The Seven Longings of the Human Heart."
("Jesus Freak" – D.C. Talk Music Video)
Okay, so it’s not a real Christmassy song, not to mention rather dated. . .but, what’s your answer? What would people think if they knew that you were a Jesus Freak? Or maybe the first question to be asked is, are you a Jesus freak? Hold that answer in your mind, and bounce back to it from time to time as we look at God’s word this morning.
Now, this may come as somewhat of a shock to many of you, but I’m a fairly opinionated individual. I tend to be one of those people that almost always falls on one end of the teeter-totter. There are not too many thing you could ask me about, ask me if I like or don’t like, that I’m going to say, “Eh. Can take it or leave it.”
Contrast of my extreme likes and dislikes:
- Love Deserts/Hate Vegetables
- Love Yankees/Hate Red Sox
- Love "The Amazing Race"/Hate "Dancing with the Stars"
- Love Food Network/Hate The SciFi Channel
Other people are more middle of the road in their likes, loves and passions. Not quite as defined. Can pretty much take or leave just about anything.
But regardless of your general personality make-up, there is one area where almost all of us struggle with a passionate, black and white, wholeness of heart, sold out kind of love - our relationship with God. Living as a Jesus freak.
Introvert or extrovert. Opinionated or reserved. Gregarious or melancholy. As we look at ourselves, and most of the other Christians around us, I think most of us would agree that when it comes to our walk with Christ, we often feel like our devotion, our allegiance, our love is less than it could be. Is lacking something. We have given Jesus our heart, but have held back a piece that keeps it from being whole.
And the result is that many of us want to shy away from teachings of Jesus such as, “Whoever is not with me, is against me.” (Matthew 12:30) It makes everything to cut and dry. Too black and white. We find ourselves saying, “Yea, I love Jesus, but I’m not some kind of fanatic. I don’t have to talk to others about it, wear a scripture verse on my t-shirt, or have bumper stickers all over my car to be a Christian.”
So we argue against the extreme, when truth be told, we struggle to even live up to the moderate. Maybe we don’t have to lift our hands when we sing, but shouldn’t we at least be aware of the words we are singing? Maybe we don’t have to give $5 to every homeless person we pass, but shouldn’t we at least touch the lives of the poor in our community in some way? Maybe we don’t have to memorize the totality of the Scripture, but shouldn’t we at least read God’s word on a regular basis?
There is a psychiatric diagnosis known as Dissociative Identity Disorder. It is a personality condition where a single individual evidences two or more distinct identities or personalities, each with its own pattern of perceiving and interacting with the environment around the person. It is not the direct result of substance abuse or another medical condition. It is a personality disorder, originally called Multiple Personality Disorder.
It is different than schizophrenia in that is not a fracture of the normal functioning of the brain, but a fracture of the actual elements that make up a person’s personality.
And to some degree, spiritually, it is a condition that almost all of us struggle with. We desire our identity to be found in Christ, but we find it in the world. We desire for our joy to come from the Lord, but it comes from things of the flesh. We desire to be wholehearted in our devotion to God, but truth be told, our Christian personality is often dissociated from our day to day life.
There is room for a little personal exercise there on your outline. Throw out sleep. Of the hours left in your week, list out the top 5 things that consume your time during the week. The 5 biggest time hogs. Now, reflecting on those. . .put a G (for God) or an F (for flesh) next to each one indicating which of the two personalities it most feeds.
Here’s how it looks for the average person. About 15 minutes a day on phone calls and emails. About 15 minutes a day caring for family members. About 25 minutes a day on some kind of educational activity. 45 minutes a day on some form of shopping. An hour and 20 minutes a day on meals. Roughly 3 hours a day on television or on-line activities. 20 minutes a day of exercising our physical selves. And on average, less than 8 minutes a day volunteering or participating in some form of a religious activity.