Sermons

Summary: Starting a new series of talks on prayer I begin with some personal struggles and encourage the congregation to desire to be in the presence of the God.

As we drove home from Hampshire on the M25 last Monday I heard something smack into the windscreen. About ten minutes later Moira noticed the sun glinting off a crack in the windscreen and over the course of the next ten minutes or so we watched the crack slowly growing. By the time we stopped at Cobham services the crack was a good 20 cm and so I decided to make a phone call. Having never been in a car before where a crack in the windscreen was growing before our eyes I just wanted to get it fixed and quickly so I was caught off guard just a little when the lady at the windscreen company said, “No problem Mr Pidgeon we can book you in for Friday afternoon.” I said, “But what about the growing crack?” She said, “It’s not a problem. Even if the crack grows from one side of the windscreen to the other you’ll be OK. Lots of people go around for months with it like that. You’ll be fine.” And so we drove home a further 50 miles and the crack continued to grow.

Yes it’s true. We got home and we were OK and four days later we got a lovely new windscreen, but the fact is it was more than enough to fail an MOT; it was obscuring the driver’s vision, and it had continued to grow by the day. You’re not meant to ignore it!

We live in a world that is cracked and broken but a day will come when God will renew the whole of creation. In the meantime, God was speaking to me through our cracked windscreen because many of us have cracks in our lives and those cracks have been allowed to grow. It’s as if we’ve convinced ourselves that it’s not a problem. The crack may be visible for all to see, and it may be growing by the day, but we look out at the world and we see that other people go around for months if not years if not a lifetime like that. The wisdom of the world says, ‘It’s not a problem. You’ll be fine’; and we continue on through life with cracks growing day by day. These cracks are typically anger, resentment, lies, lust, unfaithfulness.

What cracks are there in your life? What cracks are obscuring your vision? What cracks are causing us to fail when compared with God’s MOT – the Maker’s Original Template?

Part of becoming Christian – becoming like Christ – involves having the mind of Christ. God desires to refit us with the mind of Christ. God wants to refit our desires, refit our attitudes, and refit our love.

God is repairing and removing cracks in my life – cracks that I’d allowed to grow; cracks I had watched grow and develop. One of those cracks under repair is my life of prayer and I want to invite you to join me on a journey of repair, of healing, of renewal and restoration. It’s not OK to look at the cracks in our lives, our personalities, our ambitions, our attitudes and to think, “Well, I’ve been like this for years now. Loads of people go around like this.” It’s not OK! God has the Maker’s Original Template in mind for you!

I believe God is speaking all the time but we’re too often distracted or too noisy to hear or to see what He is saying to us. There’s a lot of noise in the world, in our homes and even in the church – too much noise; and I sense that some of us are tired and weary. Some of us are watching cracks grow in our lives and Jesus says to us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yolk upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11: 28-29).

“Come to me” says Jesus. It’s a call to all of us. Jesus invites us into His presence and he is here now, present by his Spirit. Yes he loves us as we are, cracks and warts and all – but he loves us too much to leave us as we are. God does not want our vision of Christ, our vision of the world, our vision for His Church, or His vision for our lives obscured by anything; and that includes money and tower repairs!

There was a point during this year’s New Wine Summer Conference when God was dealing with a crack of stubbornness in my life - calling me to humble myself in His presence. One morning around 8 a.m. as I was heading off for a team meeting I was acutely aware of the need to bend my will to His. God was calling me to bend the knee, bow before him – and I knew this would mean a change of thought patterns and an end to some bad habits. We’ve all got bad sinful habits and it was time to deal with some of mine – but I was being stubborn. However, God did not give up on me. As I walked past a tent a Father was clearly trying to arouse his sleeping son inside. He said quite loudly, “Neal. Neil! Kneel!” I knew without a doubt that God was calling me to kneel in His presence but I wanted to keep hold of my independence. However, the Lord continued to speak. As I entered our team marquee one of my colleagues was tapping away on her iPhone and she said loudly to her phone, “O, come on!” Was it coincidence?

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