As I occasionally do I am going to share an article from this week’s edition of Relevant Magazine. In the last few days we have read about people being desperate for snow plows, warmth, food, parking places (with and without a chair), and maybe even a few parents desperate for school to start again. But today I read an article that talks about being “Desperate for God” which is a term I have heard used over the years and thought that it reflected a huge desire to have a close relationship with the Lord but after reading Graham Cooke’s article in Relevant Magazine I am rethinking ever using the phrase again. Read what he says about the phrase and how it can be misunderstood:
A while back, I was visiting a friend of mine named Steve. Steve has two young daughters, who were 4 and 6 years old at the time. Steve had to leave the room to take a phone call, and while he was out of the room I overheard the 6-year-old tell the 4-year-old they were “going to church tomorrow.”
Without missing a beat, the 4-year-old said: “We don’t go to church, we are the Church. That’s because we are in the Kingdom.”
And the 6-year-old asked, “What’s the Kingdom?”
“The Kingdom is the rule of heaven here on earth,” said the 4-year-old.
When you hear conversations like this one between children, you realize there is no “junior” Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit that can talk to an apostle can talk to a 4-year-old girl.
That 4-year-old gets that the Church comes out of the Kingdom. The Church is governed by the Kingdom.
A lot of us live the other way around. We see the Kingdom as something that comes from the Church. From this perspective, the Kingdom only happens sometimes, if the Church is doing its job right. God will show up occasionally, and then He disappears until He decides to stop by again.
But, in Jesus, God doesn’t just “show up” anymore. Instead, we have God living inside of us. We are in Christ and Christ is in us. It’s the difference between what I call a “visitational culture” and a “habitational culture.”
Cooke closes his article by saying that “desperate” is how people feel when they are not sure if they are ever going to get what they are seeking. He highlights that desperate just does not truthfully describe God anymore than “going to church” describes what the church really is. Cooke says, “I am not remotely desperate for God. I’m too busy just being delighted in Him.”
God is where we are all the time. We do not have to run to God because he is not running away. Emmanuel, God with us is who Jesus Christ is. Sure, we sometimes have to slow down and look for where God wants us in a certain situation, but be certain that in your most joyous and desperate time God is with you through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
To read more of this story, click here.
Our New Years Sermon Series will continue in spite of tornadoes and snow. This Sunday we will talk about being Physically Fit for God in addition to Spiritually and Financially Fit and hopefully closing out the series Feb. 7 with Getting Fit in our Relationships.
As a result of congregational input from the Financially Fit for God Sermon we are sponsoring a four part class on Financial Fitness with several financial experts. This series of workshops is OPEN to Anyone! You may invite your neighbors, coworkers, children, grandchildren and yourself. This is a great opportunity being afforded us absolutely FREE! We will even have the Consumer Credit Counseling Service leading the final night. The amount of information you will receive would normally be provided at a fee but Janet has arranged the workshops FREE of charge. Please do not ignore or miss this opportunity.
Topics included: How to Read a Credit Report, Identity Theft and Password Protection, Budgets, Saving, and all of the CCCS Services.
Financial Fitness Workshops (attendance at all is recommended but not necessary)
February 18, Feb. 25, March 10, March 17
7-8:30 pm @ Dorsey Emmanuel UMC
See you “as the church”!