Summary: A series called MyLife: Improving Your Profile. Basically, it’s a series looking at the phenomenon known as MySpace and using it as an extended metaphor to moving us closer to the heart and mind of God.
This message was originally given at Element3 Church in Tallahassee FL. To download this message’s corresponding PowerPoint, audio, and artistic elements for free please visit www.element3.org
Reading from God’s word, 1 Kings 17:17-24
Some time later the woman’s son became sick. He grew worse and worse, and finally he died. Then she said to Elijah, “O man of God, what have you done to me? Have you come here to point out my sins and kill my son?”
But Elijah replied, “Give me your son.” And he took the child’s body from her arms, carried him up the stairs to the room where he was staying, and laid the body on his bed. Then Elijah cried out to the Lord, “O Lord my God, why have you brought tragedy to this widow who has opened her home to me, causing her son to die?” And he stretched himself out over the child three times and cried out to the Lord, “O Lord my God, please let this child’s life return to him.” The Lord heard Elijah’s prayer, and the life of the child returned, and he revived! Then Elijah brought him down from the upper room and gave him to his mother. “Look!” he said. “Your son is alive!” Then the woman told Elijah, “Now I know for sure that you are a man of God, and that the Lord truly speaks through you.”
The pathway to ownership is a journey.
Will you guys pray with me? “Dear Lord, I just pray as we continue looking at the story that you have entrusted and given to us about Elijah and we look at our lives and wonder how we are ever going to transcend where we are to where you’ve envisioned us to be, that you will give us strength and conviction, that you will give us courage to face those things that need to be faced; that your grace will cover us and ultimately that you will call us into your presence so we can experience you wholeheartedly. We love you Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
So, we are in week 4 of 6 week series called MyLife where we are looking at a metaphor of the phenomenon of MySpace. We’ve had Lindsay come up each week and she’s been working on her profile. If you don’t know, people on MySpace spend a lot of time working on their profile. What they are trying to do is project a certain kind of image to the world. I think that in our own lives, in our real lives, that we spend a lot of time trying to project a certain kind of image. Unfortunately, for us who are followers of Christ, many times that image that we are working on to project to others does not resemble the profile or the vision that God has for our lives. So, we’ve been going through and trying to figure out how we can close that gap and try to grab a hold onto the life and vision of the life that God has for us. We have been looking at Elijah. Today, we are continuing with Elijah’s story in chapter 17:17. It’s kind of neat, the place that we are in that we get to review in this new narrative, this new part of the story, kind of where we’ve been in the past 3 weeks. Then, we are going to launch off into another story to really help us grapple with this idea of ownership and what does it mean to be owned by God and to take ownership of the vision that he has given to us for our lives.
Message Point #1: It is about God; not about us. (MyLife as a Worshiper)
As Steve O. was reading, it’s really interesting, we were going along and if you remember last week, this widow and her son are going to die of starvation because of the famine. Elijah came in and a miracle happened. She gave her first to God and a miracle happened that God sustained her and her son through multiplying what she had to make it last so they wouldn’t die of starvation. So amazing things are happening. They are going right along and then one day, her son gets sick and he dies. Now, it’s kind of interesting at this point. She makes a mistake that many of us make. In fact, she makes two assumptions and they are both wrong. First, she said “oh, man of God what have you done to me? Have you come here to point out my sins and kill my son?” Now, the first thing is, she thinks that it’s all about her. This whole thing that’s going on in the world is revolving around her. That’s her first mistake. Her second mistake is that God killed her son. God allowed him to die, but He also sustained him. God didn’t hit him with a lightening bolt and kill him. In her world and in her grief, all these emotions are going on and she’s not seeing things very clearly. I think the same is true many times for us, especially when we’re going through adversity. All this stuff starts to go around us and we start thinking is the world against me? What’s God doing? We start to think that everything has to do with us. Back in L.A., when I was in college, I went and saw a lot of kind of avant-garde plays and things like that. One play that I went to was really fascinating to me and I think it’s kind of a picture of this in a lot of ways how we live our lives. The play was all about this person who everything was about them. In fact, whenever they entered the room, the whole world would become evident. This person was actually going through life and constructed a whole world, but really they were truly alone. Many times we live our lives like that. That you know what, when I leave a room, everybody ceases to exist, there’s nothing else going on. When I walk into the room, everybody pops back up. Intellectually, we probably don’t think that, but a lot of times we live our lives that way. We even approach God that way. If we were really going to be honest and true with ourselves, that a lot of times we think it’s about us and not so much about God. We think, what is in it for me? What did I learn? How am I going to make my life better? But, the truth is, it’s not about us. It’s about God. God is about bringing glory to Himself. Not in a sinful way or an egotistical way by any stretch of the imagination. God is the creator of the universe and He created each and every one of us for us to have a relationship, a right relationship with Him. To open up the pathway so we can experience God in all his glory and because he is so glorious, it draws us to worship Him as the one, true God. So it’s interesting, all this is going on. This widow is like, why is all this happening to me? Why did you come? Why did you do this? What is going on?