Friday, February 7, 2020

Life with God (Sermon December 29, 2019)

Going Deeper
by Pat Russell

“Life with God” – Psalm 63:1-7 

Pastor Bruce Spear

With this sermon we are going to explore some ways to answer Pastor Bruce’s question: “YBH =Yes But How?”  How do we develop a life with God; how do we earnestly seek Him; how do we feel our hunger, thirst, and desire for him?  Much of the answer to those questions is about putting yourself in a place where you are open to meeting with God. He does not force himself on you; he waits for you to open invite his presence.  So, let’s take the scripture passage from today and do just that…

Suggestion one:  Psalm 63:1-7 expresses the psalmist’s deep desire for God. Read the psalm over slowly. Let yourself feel the words in your body.  There are many lovely feeling words in this psalm.  For instance, remember what it felt like for you to “earnestly seek” someone or something.  Now let yourself earnestly seek God. Sit quietly.  When you sense that you are finished with one phrase, move on to another.

Suggestion two:  Read the psalm to familiarize yourself with it.  Read it again slowly.  See if there is a phrase to which you are particularly drawn.  Hold that phrase in your mind and spirit as a quiet prayer. Simply be still with those words.  Don’t try to analyze them, but if you have a picture come to mind, enjoy that picture.  After you are finished, maybe you would like to journal what God put in your mind and heart.  Or draw a picture. Or sing a song. Or take a walk.

Suggestion three:  Pastor Bruce talked about ways to help with a distracted mind.  Pick one of his suggestions and experiment with it as you are spending time with God.

1.      When you get distracted, say the “Jesus Prayer” over and over or say even a small part of it, like his name –“Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner.” You could create your own “Jesus Prayer.”

2.     Pick a Fruit of the Spirit and dwell on it – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  When you realize that you are distracted, immediately go to your word. Imagine hungering for this “fruit.”

3.     Carry a piece of hard candy or a raisin with you into your time with him.  When you get distracted, pop that raisin into your mouth.  Slowly repeat this series of words from I Corinthians 13 – faith, hope, love; faith, hope, love while you suck on the sweetness in your mouth.  Let the words become the “sweetness” of Jesus in you.

Suggestion four:  Make your sacred space where you can meet God on a regular basis – a favorite chair, in front of a certain window, a closet space, in front of a picture or a candle, while walking.  Then plan a time when you best meet with God.  Go to your sacred space like going to a coffee shop to meet with your dearest friend. Talk to him; listen to him; wait for him; simply be with him.  

In all of these suggestions remember what Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it shall be given you; search and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you.” He wants to meet you, sometimes simply to be with you, not to always tell you what to do or say.  Simply BE with him.

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