Summary: Stirring a fresh passion for relationship with God.
Dakota Community Church
July 6, 2008
Last week we watched the latest Nooma and talked about saying yes to God and His will for our lives. This week I want to look at one aspect; I would say the central aspect, of His will for us, relationship with Him.
Many of us learn about it for the first time right after we have responded to an alter call. A councilor takes us aside and prays for us and then begins to explain what life in Christ is all about. Some version of how to have a relationship with God is quickly taught to us; “From now on you will have to pray every day, read the Bible every day, and go to Church every day and twice on Sunday.” Another prayer is offered and we are on our way as new creations in Christ.
I wonder what percentages of new believers go on from that point to experience intimacy with God? How many just morph into casual church attendees? How many just adopt a few strong moral behaviors, or begin voting for a different political party?
This morning I want to get into the pursuit of intimacy with God! I want to stir up dormant gifts, and I want to fan into flame some smouldering embers!
We do get tired at times do we not? The battle seems to be too much for us.
This is what walking with God is like:
Read 1Kings 17:1 – 19:18
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
In three years we see Elijah: bold in proclamation, hiding being fed by birds, coming under the result of his proclamation, taking provision in an undesirable way, accused of not caring, supernaturally used of God, defeating the enemies of God publicly, running from the Kings wife and asking to die, being fed by the Spirit again as the journey is too much and hearing the call to continue on and finish the call.
It is a challenge to keep on at times.
In revelation the Spirit is encouraging the Churches to get passionate, He says that they have endured hardship and not grown weary but have forsaken that first love element of the faith. Remember God compares this Christian experience to a marriage.
You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.
Are you feeling a loss of passion? Are you overwhelmed on the journey; is it too much for you?
A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
Here is what I want to see resurrected in us:
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.
1. Accept, store up, turn, and apply.
- Accept my words.
We’ve heard it all before; haven’t we?
I have been around this mountain too many times Dan. I’ll only crash and burn again in a few days.
The first step is to accept the condition you are in and accept these words of encouragement. There is a cycle to this walk with God. There are times of battle, times of refreshing, times of brokenness, times of healing and yes there are times of renewal!
Maybe you don’t want to accept these words from me.
The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.
You only have to eat the bread and meat; you don’t have to eat the raven!
- Store up the right things.
Once you accept the word, you have to look at what was being stored up in its place.
We all fill our tanks in one way or another, we do the things we do to get along in life.