We struggle with ways to maximize our relationship with God. When we worship God from afar we will not truly understand who God is. By following God from afar we will find ourselves stranded. We need to understand that God desires to have a very personal and intimate relationship with us. When we work on that relationship, we can stay off of Gilligan’s Island. That was the basic message that Pastor Jeff preached to us Sunday.
First a quick snapshot of the sermon as typed out on my iPhone during the service. You would be better off hearing it. If you are in Omaha, be sure to visit Flatland otherwise, visit their website and download the podcast.
Rev. 3:16 – Christ stands at the door and knocks. He comes in but like an empty house we need to furnish the home – we need to build our relationship with Him.
God has wanted to inhabit mankind from the beginning In Eden man walked with God, saw Him and talked with Him face to face. Sin changed that.
God inhabits places that are holy. In the Old Testament, God inhabited the tabernacle/temple. But to access God one had to go through all kind of ritual and ultimately only the high priest could actually enter into God’s presence. God changed all that through Christ. He ripped the veil that prevented people from entering the Holy of Holies
God wants us to pursue Him. We are on a journey to discover who He is. He is right there with us.
1 Cor 6:19 temple we are for God to inhabit.
Outer court , holy place, holy of holies God inhabits the holy of holies.
Don’t settle for second place – pursue God just like Jason Lezak pursued the Olympic gold medal in the 4 x 100m medley relay, swimming his heart out, beating his personal best time for the 100m by a large margin.
So how do we maximize our relationship with God?
- Hunger after God Matt 5:6
- Persevere through hard times James 1:4
- Humble yourself to God’s truth James 1:21-22
- Determine to never give up. Hebrews 12:1-2
I was challenge by Pastor Jeff in several ways but I think the word “pursue” is what stands out to me the most. We can not sit back idle and expect our relationship with God to grow and mature. Our relationship is just like my tomato plants sitting out on the patio. If I don’t actively water them, make sure they are bug free, are in the sun, and have proper fertilizer, they will die. The rain may come occasionally to keep them barely alive and rather wimpy tomatos if any but if I tend to them actively, I will get nice tomatos.
I am sitting here looking at the four points above: hunger, persevere, humble, never give up! They seem to be burning themselves into my brain and my heart. I need to never be satisfied with where I am in my relationship with God but hunger for even more. Even when I am struggling, I will persevere in following God. I need to bow to God’s truth and obey His ways out of my love for Him and desire to serve Him. I will never give up in this pursuit, no matter what life throws at me for I know He waits for me at the finish line even as He runs along side me, cheering me along, and providing help and comfort that I may continue running.
- Escape from Gilligan’s Island: A Good Game Plan
- One World, One Dream: Intro