We Desperately Need God’s Active Presence…

Have you ever had a gnawing sense that something was missing that used to be there? Have you ever done really well spiritually in a particular area and then all of a sudden realize you’ve stopped doing so good? Ever felt the Holy Spirit gut-punch you in a sermon? Well, that was my experience this past Sunday morning. Matt Rawlings was preaching on The Nature of Spiritual Gifts. Wow! Did he do a good job! I’m going to e-mail him to get all of the quotes he used (since, I’m his secretary, that shouldn’t be to hard :)!). But, the Scriptures, quotes, and points that he brought out were very challenging. Matt preached on 1 Cor. 12. The whole chapter! You can view his outline, application questions, and mp3 sermon HERE. But, I’ll probably be blogging about it some this week too. Matt started with this quote:

“Biblical illiteracy and theological naiveté have reached epidemic proportions in the church today. But more than knowledge is needed. Mere doctrine won’t suffice. What the church needs is truth set aflame by the power of the Holy Spirit. What the church needs is the divine energy of God Himself bringing what we know to bear on how we live and how we pray and how we love and how we witness.” – Dr. Sam Storms

The message was a great reminder of things I know, but so easily forget. Here are some things that stuck out to me:

  • The pursuit of the gifts of the Spirit is a commandment for every Christian.
  • God chooses to give us gifts of His grace.
  • Spiritual gifts are not things. It is God Himself we are pursuing, expression of God working in us.
  • Do you expect God to continue to work in spectacular ways…The God of the Bible is still the God of today. He has not changed, though we act practically as if He has changed.
  • We should pray for the manifest presence of God. We are weak that He may be strong.
  • Correction of improper use does not mean to stop using, but proper use.
  • Every member has a part to play. The body will not be strengthened unless every part participates. Without diversity the body is not edified.

In short, I was convicted that I do not actively pursue God’s presence. I do my devotions, I worship Him, pray to Him, read about Him, do my best to glorify Him. Am I asking for and passionately pursing God’s active presence? No, not really. I do some, but it’s more out of obedience, not because I really want to. It’s a command of Scripture and it’s a wonderful place to be. There is nothing as sweet as God’s presence. It’s really very foolish and stupid to not actively pursue my Heavenly Father. It was a very convicting, but very encouraging sermon. I look forward to delving into Scripture and my notes this week! I’m sure there will be more to come.

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