Sunday, January 10, 2010

What is the One Thing I Desire from God This Year?

"Happy New Year to all of you...I pray that you are exceptionally blessed in this new year!"  How many of you would say you are a little relieved to see 2009 go?  Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch told his church that his staff, in general, is on a 21 day fast at varying levels to start the year.  He asks if there are prayer needs out there for his members.
Craig opens his message with Isaiah 43:18-19, which says, "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."   Craig suggests that this verse applies to many people who had a rough year. 

How many people have a new years resolution?  "By Valentine's day, 75% of you will have given up."  Why is it that  so many of us have good intentions, but we are unable to follow through?  It might be because your intentions are not God intentions.  What Craig urges us to do in this message is to listen to the spirit of God who will speak directly though you and will show you the "one thing" he wants to do through you. 

Today, Craig is going to ask 4 "One Thing" questions to help us determine the "One Thing" God would have us do this year.  Craig asks God what his one thing is every year.   See, when there is a decade of "One Things" every year, your life can dramatically turn into a God driven life.  The first question is;

1) What one thing do you desire from god? 
Psalm 27:4 says, "One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple."  This is what King David wanted.  His one thing.  There may be a person in your life who isn't a christian.  Some of you have have a stronghold or an addiction or something that keeps you from fully worshipping God.  Others of you may look at your marriage and see that your marriage is not what you want it to be.  Your one thing may be your wanting God to deal with some so-and-so.  Maybe you want God to slow things down for your job because you are missing out on life.  You may desire God to change your heart.  You may want to live by the graces of God. Maybe you just need satisfaction from God. 
Years ago, Craigs "One Thing" was the same as King Solomon's.  He wanted wisdom.  So, God pointed him to Proverbs and every day, month in and month out, Craig read the a chapter from Proverbs (the book has 31 chapters, so it works out well each month). 
2) What one thing do you lack? 
In Mark 10, A rich man came to Jesus asking what he needeed to do because he couldn't fully experience God.  Jesus looked at him "in love" (which gives the notion that God shows us what we lack, but does this out of love) and said to sell everything so that he could follow Jesus.  The man walked away because he couldn't release his wealth.  There are many of you who over a period of years, God has shown you the one thing that is lacking in you, but you refuse to embrace it or to do anything about it. 
There was a friend of Craig's who once read the Bible every day, but then stopped reading and grew further and further away from God.  So what is your one thing?  Many of you have been wrestling with tithing. This is where God might say to you; "Do you really believe me or not?  Others of you drift in and out of sin.  There are lives that are falling apart because no one will speak into their lives. 
Years ago, Graig and his wife lost a group of friends. One couple got divorced, another couple moved away and the spouse of another couple had to be removed from the church staff.  Craig and his wife were bleeding inside because they had lost these connections.  Then, they found themselves going through life without a close group.  It was a God burden because they truly lacked friends who could help support them.  So, they took it upon themselves to get involved again with a community group.
3) What one thing do you need to let go? 

What one thing holds you back?  Philipians 3: 13-14  talks about how Paul wanted to truly know God. ...Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Years ago, Craig was in Colorado and he saw a slack line, which is like a tightrope only not "tight".  Well, Craig decided to try and cross it.  The guy on the other side yelled to Craig that he had to let go of the tree before he could cross.  Craig let go and immediately was thrown to the ground.  The secret to crossing the slack line was to focus on the tree on the other side.  The christian faith is a lot like that.  We have to focus on Jesus.  We have to focus on the goal.  if someone hurt us and we are hurt, we can't dwell on the past.  We have to forget the past and press on.  Craig was talking to a friend who was beating himself up because he had compromised his values sexually with his girlfriend.  What is the one thing we need to let go? 
4)  What one promise from God do you need to claim? 

When David was annointed by Samuel to be the next king of Israel, he was a young man.  God told Samuel, I do not look to the outside of a man but rather in his heart.  As soon as David was annointed to be king, it was still a long road of back and forths.  For instance, when Saul was after David, David chose to hide among the Philistines.  He said to God, "there are so many things I do not know right now.  There are so many things that have turned out bad, but this one thing I know.  that my God is for me.  I am trusting Him.  I am not afraid of what mere man can do to me.  For some of you, God will give you a promise and it will sustain you. 
It was in the early years of the church and Craig was down because the church had outgrown his leadership capabilities and so he cried out to God.  It was in that year that God said "my strength will be made perfect in your weakness".  So now, and for the last 10 years, God has been building the church through Craig's weakness.  What one promise do you need to claim? 

There are so many promises God can give us.  Here are a few.  God promises to meet every need you have.  God can meet your finanical needs. God said He will provide a way out for any temptations you may have.  God can create in you a sense of having forgiven you.  God promises to make everything work for the good of those who love of Him   He will be with us forever.  He promisese to give strength to the weiry.  He says he will give us joy.  He says he is the good shephard and he will guide us.  He will give us peace beyond our understanding.  God promises to give us power to defeat satan.  God promises that we are more than conquerers.  God promises us eternal life through his son Jesus.
There are some things I do not know, but I this one thing I know; My God is for me.

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