Come Get What You Need April 21, 2013

April 23, 2013

~Based on a sermon by Pastor Kevin R. Dudley

Isaiah 55

It seems obvious to say that everything we need in life has been made available when you’re talking to a room full of Christians. On Sunday April 21st, as I tuned my heart into the word that being delivered by Pastor Kevin Dudley I will admit that I assumed that I knew the ending before he began based on the title of his sermon. But as he opened I was pleased to have my expectations shattered. I often joke with my friends that the Dudley trio (Pastor Dudley, Pastor Gail and Minister Alex) sneak in my house at night and dig through my diary, and so when Pastor Dudley opened by saying that we are all searching to fill an empty place that can never be filled by anything of this world, I was alarmed, intrigued and suspicious all at the same time; he had done it again! I, only speaking for myself, can admit that I often get myself caught up in striving; I fight day by day to get by and feel no sense of accomplishment as I move from one moment to the next, but that feeling is what I think I need. I imagine I’m not the only one who sets out day after day searching to plug that emptiness inside; some of us do it by looking for a career and a fancy title, some of us try to fill it with another person or relationship, others with cars, their kids, hair styles or clothes.  The list is endless and pointless all at the same time. Pastor Dudley declared that there is nothing in this world that can fulfill that emptiness and so God calls us, just as He did the Israelites thousands of years ago, to come and get what we need.

This life will many times bring us to a place of brokenness as we search for what will never be found. We spend our days working and our nights in temporary satisfaction only to make ends meet and to feel a short term sense of happiness that can and is promised to cease from us. As we wear ourselves down day by day we exhaust our energy and our focus is no longer on pleasing God but is now on maintaining those temporary feelings of fulfillment and survival.

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Our lives today are no different from the lives of the people of Israel thousands of years ago. And just as God spoke to them then, He calls out to us now; “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!…” (Isaiah 55:1) Our God is a life giver. He knows us and he knows what we stand in need of. He is calling us to “come and buy and eat.” He wants to provide us with the things that we need and even the things that we want so that we will focus on pleasing Him. In the selected reading, Isaiah is telling the people to come and get wine and milk, without money and without cost. Why waste your money on that which won’t bring about real satisfaction? Come and get it for free. God has given us life and He knows us from the inside out, even down to the number of hairs on our heads He knows us. That is good news! It told me that I no longer need to stress or worry or try because God knows what I need. So rather than invest my efforts and energy in trying to make things go the way I think they should go, I can relax and focus on my Life Giver; “Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?” (verse 2 NIV) when God has given us so much life. Pastor asked the question, “when is the last time we’ve oriented our lives around what God has given and not what we’ve earned?” God has given us the bread of life – Jesus Christ, and He is all that we need. We can start live on Him; we no longer to seek that which has been before us all along.

nothing. “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.  Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.” (verses 6&7 NIV). God knows what this life will bring for each and every one of us. He knows when we will fall into sin before we even do it, and likewise He knows the moment that will overcome sin. Our life does not depend on us. Having been raised in a denomination of Christianity that exerts energy on rules and laws I hesitated giving my life to Christ as an adult because I didn’t feel like I was “ready.” I remember talking to Pastor Gail maybe two days before being baptized and she asked me, “When are you ever going to be ready?” In my mind the answer was easy, when I get married of course. Then the burden of living a worldly life will have passed and I can be a good Christian woman like her. God checked me quickly and told me that I will never be good enough but He wants me just as I am. He desires to save us, we don’t have to worry about coming to God ready because we can’t. A fish can’t be saved from drowning; if God expected us to be ready, He would not have chosen to sacrifice His one and only son…He would have just waited for us to get ready. Come to God as you are, He saved.

God and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.” (verse 13 NIV). God has the power and desire to change our circumstances for His glory. He can take any situation and turn it around in a way that leaves us no choice but to celebrate His name. By the power of prayer we have the capability to have our situation transformed and we have a Creator who desires to do it for us. I often find myself getting easily caught up in things…I fixate on something and get myself almost completely wrapped up in to the point where I begin to allow it to become me; but today I rejoice in knowing that my transformation is taking place and I don’t have to get caught up in the things of this world. He changes things –the things inside me and the things around me, so I thank Him and worship Him.

Pastor Dudley ended his teaching with a question that I am still answering and will pose to you, the reader today: For all that God has always been and will forever be to us, a life giver, a life saver and a life changer, what will you do with it? I would like to think that we will relax and let go in the peace that has been given to us; no longer wasting our resources on that which is not bread and cannot satisfy, no longer waiting to come to God when we feel we have it all together and no longer staying stuck in the same cycles of destruction when God is seeking to perform an awesome transformation inside each of us and in the circumstances around us. 

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