Summary: This is part of a series on what we need from God. This looks at understanding God by doing what God’s word tells us and exoeriencing purpose by obedience to His Word.
What I really need is..
Purpose and Understanding
We have for several weeks looked at what we really need from God.
The first week was a no brainier, it was God. It was that we needed to spiritually grow in our relationship with Him.
Last week, we looked at security.
We are living in troubled times, the news is depressing.
The things people do are horrible.
The bottom line is that if we are to have security, it will be by putting our trust in the promises of God’s Word, and that God has the final word for eternity.
Are you beginning to see the thread, everything that keeps us up at night as concerns, everything that is necessary for our walk with God, it comes from God.
The thread that keeps us together is God. No shortcut.
This morning we will look at purpose and understanding.
Purpose only as a springboard to understanding. Because purpose will be a sermon of it’s own.
How do we rightly understand God?
How do we know what purpose we have, so we can understand what we are to do with it?
How do we even begin to try to understand why bad things happen to good people and bad people have good things happen?
If God rules everything, then why does He allow bad things to happen?
I do not claim to be an expert on this issue, but I believe God’s word gives us some answers if we will look for them.
Turn to Isaiah 1:2-20.
Isaiah the prophet is talking about the nation of Israel.
Split into two separate kingdoms- Judah and Israel, with two kings.
Talking about the wickedness that’s taking place.
V3- “But Israel does not know, my people do not understand”
v4-“ Ah, sinful nation, people laden with iniquity, offspring who do evil, children who deal corruptly, who have forsaken the Lord, who have despised the Holy one of Israel. Who are utterly estranged.”
V18- NIV- Come now, let us reason together.
V18-NRSV- “Come now, let us argue it out”
The only way to reason with God is,:
God speaks, you listen, and then you pray that God gives you the understanding.
I like the NRSV, God says argue it out, bring me the hurts, troubles, , misunderstandings, and pray that I give you understanding.
It happened in Israel, it is happening today. We have lost our reverence for God.
People more concerned what others think than what God thinks.
TThey have watered down His Word to say what they want it to say and wonder why God doesn’t give them understanding.
The news sickens me as we destroy each other proclaiming that it is a war about God and truth
.John Wesley from this Scripture included two of his general rules.
1. Cease to do evil; learn to do good.
2. Do no harm; do good.
Why would you ever have to write these as rules? Because even 100 years ago, we were heading away from God.
Let me try to lay this out this morning.
Were looking at understanding God, but we have to understand purpose first.
We were created to worship God- Israel didn’t get it right, we do not either. We would rather exalt ourselves.
We were created to do God’s will- we have to have it our way. You deserve it. Fight for what you want, even if it is wrong.
We were created in the image of God. We live like our fallen nature instead of living the redeemed life by the blood of the lamb.
Then we come to God and claim we do not understand what He is telling us.
God is trying to speak to us. He is pointing us to life changes.
What God, I cannot hear you. Like we have selective hearing.
But when a crisis hits our lives. God where are you? Why don’t you hear my plea?
I. You will never have understanding until you start listening to God.
If you are talking, you are not listening. Teachers teach, students listen.
Average studies show that people are only tuned in about 25 % of the time. The other 75% of the time they are thinking of something else. People say they are bad with names. The reason most don’t remember names is not because of their memory. It is because they never heard it. They were so focused on what they will say or how they look, they did not pay attention to the name.
There is a reason that James says slow to speak, quick to listen. There is a lot of people with nothing to say. The problem is, it takes them a lot of words to say nothing.
Dr. Zimmerman says
Talking is sharing, but listening is caring