Summary: Part Three from a series of messages titled “The Waiting Room”: discovering what God reveals to us in these moments of waiting.
The Waiting Room
We began a series titled the Waiting Room with the purpose of discovering what God reveals to us in these moments of waiting.
Romans 8:28 (NIV)
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Now I want to add one of my favorite verses:
Psalm 66:10-12 (NIV)
For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. 11 You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. 12 You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.
Today we’re talking about Refining Moments. In the past two weeks:
- Acknowledged God’s Supreme Authority
- Quiet, Still and Humble Ourselves
Today we see this period of waiting, as period where God is refining us, tweaking us and making minor (or major!) adjustments in us
The Process of Refining Silver
- Extreme heat burns away the imperfections
Allowing God to refine us is not something we are eager to get in line for, because it’s work!
But one thing I have learned from my time in God’s Waiting Room is that God won’t move us out or forward until we do.
1. Refine Your Spiritual Discipline
This is where I believe allowing God’s Refining Process begins.
2 Timothy 1:6-7 (NIV)
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
I see this verse in three parts:
1) A call to fan the flames (the embers are hot!)
2) Reminder to be bold with the Love God gives us
3) To be self-disciplined
That last part is the one I want to focus on. I do this because I think in it is the key to fanning the flames spiritually in our own lives.
What is the feeling you get when you hear the word “Discipline”? For me growing up, it was not a fun word. It was a word that I heard when I was in trouble for something I did wrong.
• the controlled behavior resulting from such training
• activity or experience that provides mental or physical training
- (verb) train oneself to do something in a controlled and habitual way
self-discipline: doing these things on your own w/out any outside prodding
When we look at these definitions, self-discipline as seen in 2 Timothy is more about “training ourselves” to make habits from the Fundamental Spiritual Disciplines, so that we can foster growth spiritually!
The process of refining ourselves spiritually, we’ve got to start a spiritual fire!
Hebrews 10:22-23 (NIV)
Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
It is impossible to “Draw Near to God” and walk away unchanged. I will be as bold to say that if you tell me you’ve drawn near to God and you feel like nothing happened, then you did not truly draw near.
False Appointments (Not Drawing Near)
- Hollow Traditions (Worship, Communion)
- Empty Prayers
- Reading God’s Word w/ an Agenda
- Giving Expecting a Return
If you have allowed any of these to become your definition of Drawing Near, your Waiting Room is self-imposed. You put yourself in a space that God will not communicate or move in your life.
Draw Near because you long to be closer with God, not because a pastor motivated you, or worship made you feel good, or a bible study really motivated you. Be self-disciplined! FEED YOURSELF!
Return to the Basics
- Continuous Prayer Dialogue (Be real!)
- Read God’s Word Expecting Only His Words, not your answers
- Worship out of adoration
- Give because God gave to you
Fan the flames!
2. Refine Your Heart
When we Draw Near to God he begins to reveal the imperfections in our own hearts
Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT)
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
I think it’s noteworthy that in the verses just previous to these David is bemoaning whom he considers evil in that their actions promote hatred for God.
Can you imagine having HATRED for God, not because you’re an atheist or don’t like religion, but because of the sin in your life? Most of us can’t, because we don’t always see our sin as “that bad”, but it is!