Summary: As we prepare to enter into an intense time of prayer and discovery together, I want to share some thoughts with you this morning. This message has been adapted from Rick Warren.
Message Adapted from Rick Warren:
If you will take out your outlines, I heard about a bumper sticker one time that said, “Life is too precious to waste”. But how do you do that? How do you prevent wasting your life? Well, the Bible says this in Ephesians, 5:15-17…Let’s read it aloud together, “Be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do.”
Now notice, you might want to circle the word “careful”. It says, “be careful how you live”. Now the opposite of careful is what?…careless. It says, don’t be careless. Literally in the Greek here it means “don’t stumble through life; don’t just drift through life”. Think it through, know what you’re here for, know your purpose and it says there, “make the most of every opportunity, be wise” and then it says, “try to understand what God wants you to do”. If I would ask you to be honest, how many of you would say, you really would like to know what God wants you to do with your life? How many would say it? I think most of us, if not all of us. Well, you’re in luck…because starting next week, we’re going to look, intently, for 40 Days at what God wants you to do with your life. It says “don’t be foolish, be wise. Know what God wants you to do with your life”. Now, we’re going to look at the five purposes that God has created you for and it’s going to be quite a journey.
But before we do, I just want us to think for a second about three important questions of life. They’re there on your outline: What does God want? What does it take? and why should I do it? Really, if you would have boiled your life down, those are the three important questions of life.
Question #1: What does God want from my life?
What does that mean? What does that take? What does that involve and why should I do it? We’re going to look at these today. First, what does God want from you? Well, when you read through the whole Bible, you can summarize it in a couple of words. You can write this in - He wants my whole life. He wants my entire life. There is not a single verse in the Bible, not one, that says you can be a Christian and live your life any old way you want to. It’s just not there.
God wants all of you. He doesn’t want 10% of you, He doesn’t want 50% of you, He doesn’t want 99% of you – He wants all of you. Now God is very clear about this; there’s no mystery in it. Look at what the Bible says in Romans 6:13, ”Give yourselves completely to God since you have been given new life. And use your whole body as a tool to do what is right for the glory of God”. Circle the word “completely” and circle the word “whole body”. It should be all of you. C.S. Lewis once said, “The only thing Christianity cannot be is moderately important”. If it’s really true, then it deserves everything you’ve got. If it’s not true, you shouldn’t be here right now. The only thing Christianity cannot be is moderately important. It’s either all, or nothing. It’s either true, and that should determine the rest of your life, or you should just chuck it and go do whatever you want to do.
There’re still a lot of people trying to sit on the fence. Because they say, “Well, I don’t know what God wants me to do”. Well, look at the next verse: ”This is what the Lord your God wants you to do: Respect the Lord and do what He has told you to do. Love Him. Serve the Lord your God with your whole being.” There’s that word “whole being” again. A lot of people try to sit on the fence. They say, “Well, I’ll serve God in my spare time”. It’s like I have this pie – I have my social life, and I have my career life, you know I have my family life and over here my retirement life and over here I have my spiritual life - as if your spiritual life is one part of the pie. Wrong. God’s the whole pie. He wants the whole pie to be under His control. He doesn’t want to be pigeonholed and you say, “You know God, I’ll give you 10% of my life”. He wants it all. He wants your whole being.
Now, there’s a myth that says that you can do it all, you can have it all, but you can’t. You have to give it all to God. Look at the next verse; let’s read it aloud together, ”No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money”.