Summary: In this reworking of an important sermon from 2003, Dave points out six things that must happen in order for a person to live a life blessed by God.
Living the Life God Blesses
Wildwind Community Church
March 30, 2008
Today I’m going to re-preach one of the most important messages I have ever preached at Wildwind. I originally preached this about three years ago, and will probably preach this sermon quite regularly as long as I am here. This sermon is called Living the Life God Blesses. The six things I’m going to share with you this morning come from my observations of the areas in which people seem to struggle the most often. These are not areas of obvious sin like lusting, lying, stealing, and things like that. People know when they’re struggling with those things. The things I want to talk to you about today are more subtle than that – areas where we can tell ourselves lies, make ourselves believe our motives are good and pure, and really be doing nothing more all along than spinning our wheels spiritually.
Psalm 1 paints a picture for us of the life that is blessed by God.
Psalms 1:1-6 (NLT)
1 Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.
2 But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.
3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
4 But not the wicked! They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
5 They will be condemned at the time of judgment. Sinners will have no place among the godly.
6 For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.
What this shows us is that God blesses a life that is lived in a certain way. If we live our lives that way, we will experience the blessings of God. If we do not, we will not experience God’s blessings, and this is true no matter WHAT behaviors we might be engaging in. See, our behaviors can be evil or they can be good and we can still not be living a life God blesses. We can do good things for bad reasons, right? But if we are living the life God blesses, there will be a purity of our lives and behaviors. This is because God looks for a person living a certain way with a certain kind of heart.
This morning I want to show you six areas where we often go wrong in living the life God blesses, and what we can do about each one. For each item I have stated first what we must do, and then what we must stop doing if we are to find ourselves able to do what we must do. Let’s dig in.
The first thing that must happen if you are to live the life God blesses is that you must realize that the joy is in the journey. In other words, you must stop waiting to arrive! I believe that God has placed a restlessness in the hearts of human beings that keeps us forever searching for something, forever sensing that we still haven’t quite found what we’re looking for, forever expecting that one day we’ll find something, become something, do something, and find ourselves safely home – that with that thing we found, or became, or did, we will have arrived, and we will experience a sense of satisfaction – a sense of knowing that we have found our heart’s true home.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
God has placed within us a recognition of our place in the scheme of things. Most people innately understand that God exists, and we instinctively know that there is a place we came from and a place to which we are going. But at the same time, the scripture says that we cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Our sense of eternity is vague; we have this sense of something huge waiting for us around the bend – but we don’t really know what it is. And because this sense is so vague, we keep looking for it in this life! And we do that because we don’t understand eternity – we can’t fathom how things really are.
1 Peter 2:11 (MSG)
11 Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul.
So this is the answer to this difficulty. We keep trying to get comfortable in this world. And the more we try to be comfortable, the more we find ourselves feeling restless, anxious, waiting for something that never seems to come. That’s because if our lives are controlled by God and his purposes, this world is no longer our home. We are just passing through. We must get used to the restlessness in our spirits and realize that it was put there by a God who is drawing us to himself. God-seekers here today, God is drawing you to himself. He is drawing all men and women and children to himself. That restlessness you have in your soul, that sense that maybe all is not quite as it should be – that’s a God-shaped hole in your life that will never be filled until it is filled with the presence of God – and never completely filled until you stand in the presence of God, face to face.