Acquiring the G.P.S. Signal
Experiencing God – Part 6
February 11, 2007
Pastor Michael Dean
In order to be rightly oriented to God and His work, we need a God-centered life.
24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
The definition of sin is self-centered living instead of God-centered living.
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
Want a good example of sin? People take longer to vacate a parking space when they know someone is waiting. Penn State sociologist Barry Ruback observed 200 exiting drivers in a mall parking lot. When no one was waiting for the spot, the average time it took for a driver to back out was 26 seconds. When someone was waiting, the average time increased to 31 seconds.
When the waiting car blew a horn, the time it took to back out was 43 seconds.
Ruback attributes this orneriness to our "territorial instinct to defend our space."
I'd call it simply "sin," a sign that we need to be restored to wholeness.
Song – Search My Heart
Living a God-centered life means focusing on God's purposes, not our own plans.
8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered
Faithfully following God means submitting to Him and waiting upon Him for clarity in purpose.
13 “If my people would but listen to me, if Israel would follow my ways, 14 how quickly would I subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes!
Placing ourselves squarely in the hands of God is difficult because it is so hard for us to give up control of our choices. And we know that submitting to God's will can be a hard and perilous thing! But without our willing submission to him and a ready conference with his will through prayer and meditation, all of our choices fall at last to dust.
"Thy will be done - 'To let the inner take precedence over the outer, the soul over the world' - wherever this may lead you."
-Dag Hammarskjöld, Markings (London: Faber and Faber, 1964), 82.
Understanding what God is about to do where you are is more important than telling God what you are about to do!
God's desire is for us to adjust our lives to Him so He can do through us what He wants to do.
13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
God's revelation to you is always an invitation for you to join Him in what He is doing.
39 You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
God is about reconciliation! If you ever wonder what God's will is – consider what He sent His son here for! To reconcile a lost world to Himself!
Read 2 Cor. 5:11…..
If you want to do great things for God – quite trying to make up stuff and just start doing what God is already doing!
A good employee is one who learns his or her boss. They can anticipate what is next without having to ask simply because they know the way their boss works and what their boss would like done. ….. So it is in our relationship with Christ and His work in the world.
One difficult key for us to learn is waiting upon the Lord – Trust Him and His timing.
Remember when Michael Jordan left his baseball career to return to basketball and the media riot that awaited him in Chicago? Reporters, cameramen, everyone with great anticipation. "His Airness" has returned! How many points will he make? Fifty, 60, surely 70. Michael is a superhero; he can do anything. But he didn't have a good game. Of course, his poor game would be a good game for anyone else. But after the game he was asked, "What happened, Michael?" He said, "Everyone had such high expectations, and I didn't want to disappoint them. I wanted to deliver. I put so much pressure on myself. I couldn't fulfill it. I didn't let the game come to me."
Maybe we're not letting the kingdom come to us. In our desperation, we're out there scrambling to find it. If we would do less doing, and more being and reflecting and appreciating, maybe the kingdom would find us the way that God intended.
14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
James T. Laney, President of Emory University, wrote an article in 1976 entitled "To Will" where he makes an important distinction between two different forms of active willing:
This leads us to think that our will - our capacity to order and direct and intend - is primarily an agency of domination or shaping. In the Scriptures, however, the emphasis is less on the will seen in these forms than on the will understood as our capacity to be attentive, to direct our attention, to listen. Hence the recurrence in the Psalms of 'waiting' upon the Lord. The posture here is not passive, but is inwardly alert. We are told that they who wait upon the Lord in this sense will renew their strength.
Maybe some of our exhaustion in the church derives from our confusing these two meanings of will - one the active ordering and directing of others and things, and the other an active ordering and directing of our own attention. Only the latter enables us to be receptive and to be nurtured. It alone finally determines the quality of our lives. The classical term for this kind of activity of the will is prayer.
We should not judge the importance or relevance of an assignment according to human terms.
Our job is to tune into: