Posts Tagged ‘1 John’

Sermon Recording: Relating To God

Ok, so I changed my mind on what I was preaching about this past Sunday.  As I was working on the sermon I realized that I needed to say something else before I could say what I was going to say… “say what?”  Well, I’m just saying.  So what did I say?  If you weren’t there I invite you to take a listen to the sermon link highlighted above.  If you were there, here are some of the highlights.

We say we want to hear from God, but I wonder if we really understand what we are asking.  Have you ever had someone ask you a question and as you start to answer they tune you out.  They don’t really want the answer, they want appeasement, justification, anything but to hear the truth of the matter or to enter into any kind of dialogue.  Perhaps my question itself reveals some of the problem of our “hearing” from God too.  You may notice that the question implies that we only want to hear from God because we are seeking an answer.  Is that the case with most of your dialoguing with God?  What is it we are looking for?  Why do you want to hear from God?  Why do God’s words matter to you?

I think the heart of the matter boils down to the word relationship.  How we communicate with one another has a lot to do with the kind of relationship we have with one another.  I have met people in my life who have only wanted to know me for what I could offer and not for the person I am.  I have also met people that I only wanted to know them for what they had to offer.  We have all done this.  It is not always wrong nor is it always right.  The point is that essentially those relationships are boiled down to commerce.  Think of a vending machine and the relationship you have with it.  If it has what you want, you like it.  If it does not, it means nothing to you or frustrates you.  If it takes your money and gives you something in return, best of buds.  If it keeps returning only your old wrinkly dollar, it is a dumb machine that deserves a good kicking.  How often do we turn our relationship with God into this very kind?

Think for a moment about a good relationship.  Hardly anyone gets involved with someone with the hope that they will only do what I want to do or vice versa.  Never once have I entered into a relationship where I was hoping that I lost all sense of identity.  Boy, wouldn’t it be great if I never had to think for myself again!  If we do not want that kind of relationship with people, why do we think that it is that way with God?

We can admit that we want to hear from God, but so few of us are ready to be in the kind of relationship where we can respect the God we desire to hear from.  We have established in the past that God does desire to speak with us, but we must be in a position where we know his voice.  1 John 4 says that we are to love one another as God loves us, that we are to abide with God.  In other words we are called to make our home with God and he with us.  For us to hear God well we must be in intimate relationship with him.

When I first came to the church I am now serving, I would joke with some of the people on our worship team telling them to never try to guess what I am thinking.  Mainly because they did not know me that well and I do not think like most people think. (I am non linear).  My wife, on the other hand, knows me well and I am amazed at how well she “gets” me.  It is because we are in a healthy relationship with one another.  How can we hear God if we are not in a healthy relationship with God?

I go into further detail in the sermon, but I would leave you with this; what are the ways you foster a healthy relationship with God?  Feel free to share some of those ways as well.

Music for this Past week:  We went a little retro.

  1. Not To Us
  2. Did You Fell the Mountains Tremble
  3. I Bow Down
  4. Here Is Love

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