So today I blog my sermon notes, which is different for me cause my filter during church is usually absorbing stuff from the Holy Spirit “for me”. But Last week’s sermon from Pastor Randy was phenomenal, and deserves an overview.
This is a powerful statement: (btw, I love the idea that the word “powerful” evokes, it literally means full of power, flippin genious)
“Once you stop listening to people, it’s only a matter of time before you stop listening to God”
There is a slippery slope we risk in closing off others, God desires us to be open, yeah we’re gonna get hurt, but more importantly we’ll be available when the Holy Spirit brings those who truly need us.Here’s the dandy, that’s not even the point of the message; that was an aside (crazy right?)
There are four stages that Christians grow through, the trick is to continue growing through them and not to get stuck without maturing.
These four stages are: Give Me, Use Me, Search Me, and Take Me.
Give Me –
- A selfish motive for self preservation
- This stage, while a necessary starting point, can be a trap
- Involves the immature state of desiring and seeking all rights perceivably owed to the receiver
Use Me –
- A selfish motive for self promotion
- This place helps us understand the work involved in growing while babying us with praise and notoriety
- Moves us into a phase where being noticed is as important as the work itself. In the faith it’s expecting promotion along with performance. Paul teaches that we move on beyond our glories and our failures into what God wants to do right now. Jesus teaches that the full reward for our good work is experienced in praise, if we are praised by men we are paid in full, if we go unnoticed and God gets the credit He repays us Himself. (this isn’t an injunction against being noticed but instead a surety that being noticed isn’t something worth getting hung up on)
- Moving beyond this point requires great sacrifice and self denial infringing on our “rights”. This death-to-self is violent, the old-man will not go silently, he is a fighter (his life is at stake)
- God is overly-concerned with our character and inconsiderate of our comfort (he will do whatever it takes to build you, His desire is a passionate and genuine relationship)
o You don’t get passionate by passivity
o You don’t get genuine by going the easy way
Search me –
- The first step into a selfless motive of self-examination
- Growing up involves seeking God’s opinion about us and setting our won opinion aside. Self examination is necessary but ultimately untrustworthy (Psalm 139:23,24) this level of maturity leads to the crucifixion of our pride, and a continual place of Brokenness where we share in Christ’s glory and suffering (Romans 8)
- True repentance is born in this stage
- Blame will not work here, blame will hinder [bring to a stop!] the process God is bringing me through
Take Me –
- Loss-of-self motive that affirms God’s sanctification process in us
- A secret is found in having the knowledge and right of royalty and still taking on the place of a servant. Do not lift me up, give me the strength to lift others.
- The complete abdication of self is a life altering state of awareness
- At this place God becomes more than a force to be “reckoned” with, and steps into the place of Master.
- Another secret (I know I need to stop calling them secrets, I’m working on it) the advance of ministry (my ministry) begins in this place. No matter the age or level of training, our submittal in this phase automatically brings us the weight of ministry