2016.02.07 – Jesus the Messiah
A sermon from Heights Church. More information at HeightsChurchMN.org
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. (Ps. 32:8)
We cannot “will” our way to following Christ. We surrender and then determination to follow will come after devotion.
“God does not want obedience as the fruit of our willful determination. God wants surrender as the choice of the heart. For what we long for in our heart we will pursue with the totality of our being — not simply with the resolve of our will.” (David Benner, Desiring God’s Will, p. 76)
With clenched jaw and tightened fists I simply can’t repeat, “I surrender” enough to actually surrender. If the goodness of God is to come into my life, it isn’t by my will. It’s not my “effort” in some way, meaning I will “get it done or else.”
My “effort” is to willingly surrender my moments to the Lord and then invite him into those moments. I can’t be in “this” moment and then think about what God could do in the next moment. I must invite him into this moment… and then wait. Allow the Spirit to come in and do with that moment as he wills.
We need to move from “willFULLness” to willINGness.” Surrender. It’s not our “great efforts.” It is his divine goodness.
Allow God into your moments. This moment.
“Our ambivalence about surrender to God is based on the illusory security of the kingdom of self in relation to the apparent risk of the kingdom of God. God terrifies humans. In the words of Louis Evely, ‘He is total self-denial. He is entirely directed toward another… He knows no rest, no satisfaction, no withdrawal within himself.’ We, on the other hand, have a deeply ingrained tendency to rely on ourselves. We want love without sacrifice — without the risk and expense of the surrender of self-control and determination. God cannot accept such a bargain.”
— David Benner, Desiring God’s Will (p. 39)
Here are the BIG questions I am tackling this week as I prepare for Sunday’s message:
Why are you in church?
Why are you calling yourself a Christian?
Why do you claim to follow Christ?
John 6 will be my text. As we continue in our MULTIPLY series, and then with that look toward Lent, these are HUGE questions Jesus has for those who “follow” him.
This discussion on “The Table” podcast is worth an examination.
One of the key questions proposed in this podcast is “good law.” What do we assume about “law” and changing law?