Last weekend we began a sermon series called Seeking. If you missed the first message in that series, be sure to catch it below.
In this series we are talking about spiritual disciplines. That is, the practices we do in order to discover more of God’s heart. Disciplines such as prayer, fasting, service, etc. all seem very spiritual. Many of us recognize, at least outwardly, that these appear to be important for Christians. The practical reality of these can be a very different thing.
Look at what the Psalmist says:
Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. 2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. 3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. -Ps. 73:1-3
The writer laments that, though he seeks God, he doesn’t feel that God is moving on his behalf or in his life. Do you ever feel that way? You go to God in prayer, you offer him service and sacrifice, you feel that you’re doing good things in order to appeal to God, but you feel that you get silence at best or, worse, it seems everyone around you is better off.
Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence. 14 All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments. -vv.13-14
I love the Psalms because it’s like getting to peer into an impatient, near-sighted, messed up soul just like mine. But then, like the biblical authors, I get a chance to step back and assess my life as I read. When I do, I recognize that I’m often after things which I think are good and maybe even spiritual, but they aren’t necessarily aligned with God’s heart. I haven’t been aligned with wanting to know his heart above all else.
When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply 17 till I entered the sanctuary of God… 21 When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, 22 I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. 23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel,and afterward you will take me into glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. -vv.17; 21-26
Did you catch that? Everything seemed frustrating, confusing, and on the verge of giving up… until he entered the sanctuary of God. When he entered into God’s presence to seek God and God alone, only then did he see Him as a trustworthy, good, faithful, ever-present Father.
My prayer is for you and me to do the same thing in our seeking.
I believe I’m seeing God moving and guiding us here at White Oak in new and exciting ways. I want to share that with you! Be sure you are registered and attending our Vision Night. The first one is the Sunday, Sept. 18, 6-8pm followed by our second one on Sept. 25.
There are close to 400 registered already! I want our entire White Oak family to be there as we experience a very special night together and prep ourselves for a movement of God as he prepares a way before us and continues to walk with us into his future.
White Oak Christian Church