Sermon "Skill in Your Hand & God in Your Heart"

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Do I Know What I Want?

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4
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Do you know the 4 second rule? No, not the one about how far you have to stay back when driving behind another car. The other 4 second rule. You know, where if you are eating something, and you drop it, you have 4 seconds to pick it up before it becomes contaminated and germy. Yeah...that 4 second rule.

I first heard that when I was a kid, and I have to admit that not only did I believe it, but I lived by it. I mean I could be eating just about anything, and could drop it just about any where, and I felt like as long as I grabbed it up within 4 seconds, all was cool and safe. But I had to get it before the 4 seconds were up. (Oh, yeah also..don't forget the other part too. You had to kiss it and hold it up in the air for God to bless it...then it was all good to eat.)

I think about it now and realize how foolishly amazing it was that someone came up with this rule; and even more so that I and others believed it and practiced it (there are others of you who did this right?....). I mean I'm not sure why exactly we thought that rule would hold true. Did we think it took 5 seconds for the oil in hair to activate before the one on the floor would stick to our food? Or had it been tested that germs are pretty hard sleepers and it takes a while for them to wake up and crawl on our spilled meal? No I think that is yet one of many cases in life where our knowledge follows our desires. See I wanted that ice cream or that lollipop or whatever it was so badly that I allowed my mind to believe in such a crazy rule. I let what I wanted shape what I knew.

Spiritually speaking, we do that all the time. We have desires that can come just as natural to us as breathing, and whether or not they are wrong or sinful, we tend to shape our thinking around what we want. For example, you may really like to drink; and I don't mean sip, I mean "drank". You like to party and get drunk and have fun. (Don't feel bad; I used to too) But you also want to go to church and have a relationship with God. So how do you reconcile that? Well, you take scripture from the bible about Jesus turning water into wine, or where it says a little wine is was recommended for stomach ailments, and you use that to twist what you know around what you want. In spite of God's word telling us to "be not drunk with wine wherein in excess.." (Ephesians 5:18), you feel completely ok with your drunken tendencies.

The writer of Psalm 37:4 is telling us that we should first "delight [ourselves] in the Lord...". That means when we place our lives in His hands, we must put our desires at His feet. Then as we grow in Him by studying His word every day, what we want starts to line up with what He wants. In a true Christian life that follows Jesus, we seek to know God's word, and then what we know will shape what we want. What we pray for will be changed because as we get to know God, we will start to want what He wants for us.

So the next time you are staring down at the flooring and counting to 4, ask yourself the question, "Do I know what I want?".


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