Summary: Series of three sermons about living life with passion toward God, our families and our friends.
Stonebriar Community Church
November 10, 2002
“So, What are you waiting for?”
One of the things I’ve long realized the potential for, but have recently felt in my own life on an ever-growing scale, is my disconnection and waning passion regarding some things I once held very dear.
It’s not been done with any malice, or unfortunately even with any real thought…it just sort of crept-up on me. I, and in all likelihood you, am finding in certain areas of my life that I have become unknowingly contented with just getting by. Kind of floating down the river of life at the mercy of the currents and the winds. I find that discontenting, and, at times, very frustrating.
I sense that it’s not really that our standards have changed, or that striving for excellence in how we do things has any less of a priority, it just that we have become overwhelmed with the demands on our lives to the point that, sometimes, just getting by is the best we can offer.
As I look into your faces today I know the nature of some of your lives. The demands, the pressures, the great desire to do well, and the frustration of being unable to fulfill that desire because of life’s demands. Sometimes the demands that I speak of are good things: Ministries, providing for your family, raising your children, relationships, necessary recreation. But often, even in those important areas of our lives, we have settled for just getting by.
As you know, the Bible is a practical book of answers to real-life problems. It is God’s instruction manual on how to “do life.” It is as relevant today in the lives of believers as the day of its inspiration by the Holy Spirit. So, if we’re using practical truths, our application needs to be practical as well. In my mind, it does us no good to hear something on Sunday that we cannot use from Monday to Saturday. God’s way of doing things should be a 24 hour, seven day a week practical application.
Given that, I’d like to speak with you today about four areas in our lives where our passions must be engaged again to reach the potential God has for us. Where “just getting by” will no longer be an option. Where the desire to engage these areas with passion will produce the excellence that removes the frustrations you and I feel when we know we’ve done it halfway. You need to hear what I’m saying this morning. This is not an exercise in trying harder or jumping through some religious hoops. We cannot do this for ourselves. Our skill-set will not accomplish this, nor will or self-determination. This is about God reordering and rekindling our passions. This is clearly a “God-thing.”
I have learned that “just getting by” in these areas has long-lasting negative consequences that will not only impact the quality of our lives, but will also rob us of the joy that God has for each of us.
Body of Sermon
The sermon today is titled “So, What are you waiting for?” It applies to four areas of our lives that I believe God has called us to step out with faith, passion, and a full engagement. Those areas are:
1) Our Spiritual Lives
2) Our Relationships
3) Our Work Lives
4) Our Recreation
I have come to realize that the time I have here on earth is, according to James, nothing but a vapor, a morning fog. Listen to the words of God in James 4:13-16:
“Look here, you people who say, "Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit." 14 How do you know what will happen tomorrow? For your life is like the morning fog--it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. 15 What you ought to say is, "If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that."
It stands to reason that if we do not know how long God intends for us to live, and that we have no choice in the matter, then the life He does give us must be lived with passion. For the sake of common understanding, let’s look at the definition of the word “passion.” Webster’s dictionary defines passion this way: “Strong, deep, often uncontrollable feeling, especially, love, hatred, or anger.” According to the dictionary, being passionate is being excitable, strong or vehement, as a feeling or emotion.” Now that we have a common understanding, let’s take a look at that first area in our lives.
Our Spiritual Lives
One of the passions that can get lost or misplaced over time is our passion for God. I don’t mean that we don’t love Him or pray to Him, or even worship Him. It’s the manner in which we do those things. In talking with many people over the years I have found that, unless you are intentional, the longer you have been a Christian the easier it is to lose your passion for God.