Summary: A sermon on spiritual dryness, lack of enthusiasm, lack of growth, and desires (Material adapted from Ruth Barton's book, Sacred Rhythms, chapter 1 entitled Longing for More)
U2 sang these lyrics: You broke the bonds and you Loosed the chains Carried the cross Of my shame Oh my shame You know I believe it
Sounds great, about Jesus but then they sing: But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
Don’t jump to conclusions or judgments here. Have we ever felt that way?
There has to be something more. I am missing out on something in my Christian life.
Next week planning on speaking about spiritual dryness. Good introduction to that.
The same old practices in our Christian life just don’t seem to have the same punch they did have. The prayers, the Scriptures, the church services, communion, loses something.
When this happens we need to go to God and be honest about where we are and what we are feeling. We need to think about what we want from our relationship with God/ Christ.
We want salvation. Very important, but can be much more to our relationship than that.
There are times in my life when I can say, “These are the moments I will remember on my deathbed and say, ‘That was what I was meant for.’”
There are other times in my life when I am aware of my brokenness, and a longing for real, fundamental change groans within me. In one season of my life I experienced a betrayal so deep that for quite some time I was almost paralyzed. I had the normal feelings of rage, sadness and grief, but there was an even deeper longing- the longing to be healed.
When was the last time we had a longing? A longing for love, a longing for more of God, a longing to live our lives as they were meant to be lived in God? When was the last time we felt a longing for healing and fundamental change groaning within us?
No, no, we need to silence our desires and not dwell upon this. After all desire can be a bad thing. Are not my desires full of human deception and sinful urges? What if these desires overtake me and propel me down a path I ought not to go? Worse yet, what if I find those desires within me and let myself really feel how deep they are ingrained into me, only to discover that those desires cannot be met?
There are several places in the gospels where Jesus asks people questions that helped them to get in touch with their desire and name it in his presence. Questions like, “What do you want? What do you want me to do for you? Do you want to get well?”
Thesis: Let’s look at 3 of those places in the life of Jesus.
Mark 10:46-52- Blind Bartimaeus
We don’t know how long Bartimaeus had been spending his days begging by the side of the road, but on this day Bartimaeus heard that Jesus was passing by, and he saw an opportunity. Perhaps Jesus could do something for him that no one else had been able to do. Perhaps Jesus could do what he had been hoping for and dreaming of for so long.
But it was noisy and crowded in the city that day, and it would be hard to get anyone’s attention, let alone Jesus. In order to get Jesus’ attention, Bartimaeus had to reach deep within, and cry out from his desire.