Summary: The primary source of our failure to be externally focused Christians and an inside out church is found in the tension between the development of the inward life the saint and his outward life.
1. I have been talking about letting God turn us inside out.
a. Most of my emphasis over these past few weeks has been about letting God use you, about getting your focus off of “your wants and desires” and paying attention to what God is doing and how He wants to change the world through you.
b. Last week we spoke about a few of the barriers (fear and loss of comfort zone) and about “getting out of the boat” so we can join Jesus on this great adventure and make a difference.
i. Everyone wants to make a difference…don‟t you?
c. Some of you have been listening intently, hanging onto every word, getting excited about making a difference in our community.
i. Others of you have been squirming uncomfortably, looking for the exits when I talk about establishing relationships with people who are different from you and I, or when I talk about moving outside of our walls and into the community.
d. So today, we are going to look at the primary source of our failure to be externally focused Christians and an inside out church.
2. The source of this struggle is found in every generation, in every church and in every Christian.
a. It is a tension between being and doing,
b. It is a tension between the development of the inward life and the outward life,
c. A tension between the passive and the active.
d. Between being in the world and of the world.
e. This tension still exists and demonstrates its fruit or lack of it by the minimal impact the church is having upon our culture and the relevance we give our community.
3. Mark 1:32-38 When evening came, after the sun had set, they began bringing to Him all who were ill and those who were demon-possessed. 33 And the whole city had gathered at the door. 34 And He healed many who were ill with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He was not permitting the demons to speak, because they knew who He was. 35 In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. 36 Simon and his companions searched for Him; 37 they found Him, and said to Him, "Everyone is looking for You." 38 He said to them, "Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for."
a. After an extremely busy day in Capernaum we find Jesus rising early the next morning (probably between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m.) to spend time with His Father.
i. Jesus most likely was physically exhausted but He saw a need for spiritual renewal more than physical rest.
ii. So at a time when others might seek sleep and rest for their bodies, He found a quiet isolated spot where He could receive guidance from His Father.
iii. He went off to be alone with His Father and it was almost as if he was saying, "Lord, if I‟m going to have another day like the one I just had, I‟m going to need help. I need your power. I need your strength. I need your input."
iv. Jesus knew that if He was going to meet men and be giving out He must first meet with the Father.
b. Then, when the disciples woke up they went to find Jesus because the crowds were already gathering wanting to be healed. It appears that Simon Peter had big plans for Jesus that day. He interrupted Jesus‟ prayer time and said, “Lord everybody is looking for you.”
i. Peter made the same mistake many of us make. He wanted to plan the daily schedule according to what the people wanted to do rather than what the Father wanted.
ii. They were probably disappointed when Jesus told them He was not going back into the city, but on to the next town. His main ministry was to preach the gospel and not to heal the sick.
Bob Higgins Page 2 6/17/2007
From there He set out on a preaching tour in the synagogues throughout Galilee. God‟s will was for Jesus to branch out and preach in other villages. And in order to be faithful to God‟s plan for his life, he had to turn down opportunities in other directions. Sometimes, saying ‟yes‟ to God means saying ‟no‟ to people.
c. Here comes the 10 million dollar question: How did Jesus come to realize this and why did He choose to do this?
i. The answer? He heard the Father, He had spent time with Him so that he knew His will for the day ahead. He was singularly focused because He had heard His Father‟s voice and will, and He was empowered and fully charged (like a battery) to do the work ahead of Him.