Preaching: Alexa Brill
Date Presented: Sunday, June 18, 2017 & Monday, June 19, 2017
Scripture Reference: Isaiah 12:1-3
Sermon: Navigating through a Spiritual Rut
I don’t need a business plan to go to God. You don’t need a business plan to go to God. We don’t need a business plan to go to God. we don’t need such big words in our prayers and we don’t need to feel embarrassed or ashamed of the words we do have to tell God. Everything we have to offer will never compare to what has been offered to us but we need to be comforted in trusting that that is okay. It’s the times we forget to allow grace in that we feel ashamed and turn away from God because we don’t want him to see the ugly. God does see us and he does want us to talk to him, to be there and be present.
Our scripture today tells us that there will be a day for God’s people to sing and praise him. Those people are us. We are not Christians by accident. We are called to be and we make the choice to live like Jesus every day. If we aren’t doing that then what are we doing? Some days being a Christian can really be exhausting and maybe even hard. This is the easy way out perspective no matter how true it feels. This perspective of it being exhausting and hard doesn’t challenge or correct our wrong doings. It allows us to sit back and think that we “deserve” a “break” from being good because we are tired or it’s so hard that we can’t do it at all. In this mindset, we don’t see that God gives us grace and love to get through the days that are harder for us. We could just assume we are doing our faith wrong and give up – it is better to find yourself in a spiritual rut than to realize you ran away and gave up.
We are meant to be ministers not messiahs. Yes, go out and live for and like Jesus, but allow for the service to be tender and out of heart rather than a checklist you need to get into heaven or insurmountable pressure to be the next messiah. It is a hard balance: knowing that your work is enough and the constant call to do more, but this balance is worth trying to figure it out. Being a Christian is exhausting only when we let it be a chore and we cease to see it as a privilege.
We’ve gotten through the first verse, now what about the anger in our scripture? Yes, there are days that we are angry with God and we can be angry with ourselves but that never does any good. God is the one that turns away his anger to forgive us. If it were left to us to be the first to turn away – we wouldn’t. We would hold grudges and we wouldn’t be saved. You see forgiveness countless times in the Bible, but the ultimate one is when God sent down his only son to wash us clean and forgive all of us for our sins, which there is plenty out there. We have to trust that God will provide and know that he will always turn away his anger first. Even when we know this, we still hang on and fear the possible what if. What if God doesn’t love me this time, what if I go without God for a longer period of time. What if all of this is wrong?
Take pride off the table and let Jesus save you because you need it – we all do. We will never know all the answers to the big questions that make us feel small. The truth is: You can’t have grace without Jesus. God has the power to take everything away: the good and the bad. With all of this power he chooses to love us and share his strength to make us confident and strong to go out into the world and love others back. As grace washes over us it makes even more sense that we are called to the WELL of salvation (or to fresh water). A well of water and refreshment.
“With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”/ As fresh water brings joy to the thirsty, so God’s people rejoice when he saves them.
God’s word is perfect. Let this be your call to action. It embodies happiness with a tender but stern command to be active in faith and pursue Jesus. It feels good to draw water from the wells of salvation – it should and will feel that way. God is good all the time and all the time God is good. It is joyous to be in faith. It is no question whether or not I will draw water from the well of salvation; I will and I hope you join me. How could you possibly hold back joy when you are with Jesus?