In this sermon Kirrily shares on how we can surrender to the Spirit and follow the way of the Spirit in our lives, she refers to Ezekiel 47 where a prophetic river of life is mentioned, a river flowing with the Spirit, and she encourages us all to dive on in!
Sermon preached by Kirrily Smeallie on Sunday August 28, 2022
05/02/23 – John 12:20-33 Following Jesus & Intro – by Tim Giovanelli – The Farewell Discourse Series – Manly Life Church Podcast
- 05/02/23 – John 12:20-33 Following Jesus & Intro – by Tim Giovanelli – The Farewell Discourse Series
- 29/01/23 – The Glory of Christ – Greg Beech
- 22/01/23 – Luke 15:1-8 God's Heart for the Lost – by Lani Daniel
- 15/01/23 – 1 John 4:11 Friendship In Church by Tim Giovanelli
- 08/01/23 – Philipians 3:17-4:4 Stand Firm in 2023 – by Peter Brooks
Thinking about the 10 year anniversary coming up
Started hearing a few stories
Gios journey… grateful for their YES…
Personally, we feel grateful we’ve said YES to join this church, this team, this journey….
This morning I want to talk about our YES to the Lord.
The title of this message is YES.
I’ve never regretted a time I’ve said YES to the Lord.
My YES’s to the Lord have been my best YES’s. Those YES’s have taken me on the most fulfilling journey’s. Not journey’s void of challenge or pain, but journey’s that have meaning and purpose, that fulfil the yearning in my heart to express my love for God. Those kind of journey’s are the ones that free our hearts because we’re doing what we’re designed to do, worshipping God with our lives.
If I’m honest, I’m also aware of times I’ve said YES to myself, my own plans and have asked God along for the ride…
It’s a different posture isn’t it… we’re out front, going ahead and hoping God helps us with our plans… this can only get us so far… then we stop and look around and feel a void, feel a dissatisfaction, feel frustration, boredom maybe…
OR God’s ahead, leading, walking with us, he takes a step, we take a step, he takes a step, we take a step… and we find ourselves in places of in places where the only way forward is by faith so we have no choice but to stay in step with the Holy Spirit.
It’s one or the other…
Robert Ferguson says:
THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS IMPOSSIBLE. IF IT WERE SIMPLY DIFFICULT, WE WOULD ATTEMPT IT AND FAIL; BUT SINCE IT IS IMPOSSIBLE, WE CAN SAFELY GIVE UP AND THEREFORE SUCCEED.
The only way to live the Christian life in it’s fullness is to fully surrender to the Lord.
Jesus puts it this way in Mark 8:34-35:
34 … “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.
It’s not very popular to be a YES person, but with the Lord it’s the only way it works. It’s our posture of SURRENDER that allows the Holy Spirit to move in and through our lives.
And there’s no time like the present to adjust our posture with the Lord – to say YES to the Lord – just YES – not YES to something or someone – just YES – YES in
our heart, YES in our spirit, YES to trusting God regardless… when we position ourselves to say YES to the Lord, it allows us to be LEAD by the Holy Spirit step by step in to His good, pleasing and perfect will. And there’s no posture more freeing,,,
For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
(2 Cor 3:17 NLT)
A few chapters later in Mark, Jesus had an encounter with a young, wealthy man who had a fairly comfortable life, he upheld essentially good morals and values to the best of his ability but obviously felt some sort of void, like there was something he should be doing different in life to feel secure in his salvation with the Lord.
17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
…. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’[d]”
… he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
What Jesus is really saying to this young man is:
– that’s great that you know how to live essentially right, but I can clearly see that you treasure what you have more than me
– that you use them as your security instead of me
– that your hope is in them and not in me
– that your faith is in your wealth and status and not in me
– you can either stay in that place of right-living, comfortable living – but the fact that
you have more than most and you’re coming to me needing assurance, security and
hope… that suggests that what you have isn’t fulfilling you, that you want for more,
that you have a void
– and I need your YES before I can lead you in to the fulfilling life, the purposeful life,
the life of freedom, the certainty in your heart of the eternal life I know you yearn for…
Jesus SEARCHED this man and could see that His faith was in what He had not who Jesus was
Jesus knew he needed to BREAK the stumbling block to His salvation
And then, He could SEND him in to the real life of faith in Christ He was called to
In our surrender let’s be bold enough to allow Jesus to SEARCH us, BREAK our stumbling blocks and SEND us in to the life of faith we’re called to.
1/ SEARCH ME
David’s prayer in Psalm 139:23-24
23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
This has got to be the gutsiest, most vulnerable, frightening prayer inviting this level of
scrutiny in to our most personal places.
Prayer is sacred communication. Interestingly, praying real and personal prayers leads us to discover that the Lord is real and personal, and so kind.
Asking God to search us and waiting to hear his response is real prayer.
God will respond to this kind of prayer – this kind of prayer will bring loving conviction, gentle
correction, maybe a life redirection, it might change the way we see ourselves and others.
*It might reveal sins we need to ask forgiveness for
*It might reveal our fears
– what we fear the most reveals where we trust God the least – might be fears around our marriage, finances, the safety of children, failing, missing out on something, not having enough, our health
It’s worth discovering what these fears are…
The pathway to our greatest potential is often straight through our greatest fear (in faith).
Faith propels us forward through our fear and in to God’s ways.
To please God, serve Him, honour Him, live for Him – you can’t be driven by fear, but lead
by faith to overcome those fears.
2 Tim 1:7 Paul encouraging protégé Timothy…
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-
He knows Timothy’s pathway through fear and timidity is to surrender in faith to the power of the Holy Spirit in Him.
If we have fears lodged in our hearts, they will stop us from trusting God with our YES
Let’s allow God to expose them this morning and surrender to the power of God at work in us to begin to move us forward in faith.
2/ BREAK ME
Charles Spurgeon says “Whenever God means to make a man great, he always breaks him in pieces first”.
Such an encouraging quote
It’s about being honest before God about things that aren’t right in us and allowing Him to do His redeeming work on our areas of brokenness.
Christianity is not a religion for the self confident. It’s about understanding we are all
2 Cor 12:9 NLT “His grace is all we need. His power works best in our weakness.”
Breaking is something we may fear – we try and hold it together, push on, cover it over, but
there’s power in our fractures
Breaking can be as essential for our growth as it is to a baby bird cracking away the shell
around it? Or a butterfly coming out of it’s cocoon?
***PIC ON SCREEN – Many of you know the Centuries-Old Japanese Tradition of Mending Broken Ceramics with Gold
It’s called Kintsugi, meaning golden seams. Kintsugi is the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold — built on the idea that in embracing flaws and imperfections, you can create an even stronger, more beautiful piece of art. Every break is unique and instead of repairing an item like new, the 400-year-old technique actually highlights the flaws as a part of the design.
And really, this is what God does – in the process of repairing our fractures, He actually
creates something more unique, more beautiful and more resilient.
We don’t have to hold it together – we can invite the power of the Holy Spirit to work in and through our broken lives for others?
We don’t have to live controlled, over avoiding everything potential harm – we can pray for strength to walk through whatever we face.
It’s a courageous, audacious, faith-filled prayer “break me” which comes from a deep well of
Brokenness is basic Christianity – it’s the gospel message, dying to sin, our pride, our past,
our flesh, our fears
If we have pride lodged in our hearts, it will stop us from trusting God with our YES
3/ SEND ME
In the book of Isaiah we read that God was looking for someone through whom to carry out
a special mission.
Isaiah 6:8 NLT Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to the people? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me.”
When we become available to God, he might ask you to go to Africa as a missionary but it’s
more likely he’s going to ask you love those you work with at (Westpac) or…
He might ask you to sell everything and give it to the poor, but it’s more likely he’ll ask you to
manage wisely give generously from what he’s given you.
Full submission leads to simple and small God promptings which might may you think, why
don’t I get to do something big, but the simplest acts of love often lead to the biggest
changes in life.
Small spirit lead steps often don’t get much attention or support.
Sometimes radical spirit lead steps get misunderstood, they don’t make sense, they take
extraordinary faith – moving to a new city, starting a new ministry, launching a business,
fostering a child, giving extravangently…
You’ll say YES if you’ve built your faith muscle up with the small things – momentum comes
as your YES’s to God become more frequent.
Life becomes a daily thrill of being used by God – as a reflection of His grace – as a conduit
of His love and goodness.
If you’re willing.
The bible is literally full of stories of unqualified, inadequate, unprepared people called by God to do something extraordinary…
He calls the willing. He calls the surrendered.
Where are you at?
Ezekiel 47:1-12 NIV is an incredible, prophetic passage of scripture bearing many meanings, one which may be applied to our journey of surrender to Jesus.
It describes a river flowing from the temple (the place of God’s dwelling) to bring life and healing to the people, to the land. The vision reveals Gods heart for a broken world and the gift of the river of life that flows out to heal our broken hearts and our world.
The source of the river is God’s empowering presence, the Holy Spirit – flowing from us, through us.
I’ll pick it up from verse 3:
1-2 the water was trickling from the temple…
3 As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits[a] and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. 4 He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. 5 He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross.
In our journey:
Ankle deep – when we’re ankle deep in a river, we feel the cool of the water but we are not pulled by it
– maybe we’ve received Christ but haven’t ventured beyond that place of salvation, there isn’t yet that personal walk with Jesus
Knee-deep – when you’re knee deep, you begin to feel the pull of the river, but you are in a position to stay where you are or yield to its power
– Maybe here we walk with the Lord to the level that’s comfortable, we don’t have to (get changed) to walk with him at tis level
Waist deep – when you’re in waist deep, there’s a willingness to yield to the power of the river. When waist deep in water, half of our body is hidden in the water. Those looking on see as much of the water as they do of the you.
– This is a special place in the Christian journey, the river is beginning to take us
In over our head – Here, we have reached a place in the river that it is impossible to stand in. We have to surrender and swim in the current of the river and depend on the direction it is taking us. We are saturated. It has covered our entire being and caused us to change.
– Complete surrender. We are swimming in the water of the Spirit who brings life and growth and colour and transformation…
6 He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?” Then he led me back to the bank of the river.
7 When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river.
8 He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah,[b] where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh.
9 Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live.
10 Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds—like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea.
11 But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt.
12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”
The power of God’s life-giving presence heals and transforms.
When the Spirit flows the barren become fruitful, the empty become full to overflowing, the dry are quenched, the wounded are healed, the dead are raised to life.
As this water can reach even the depth of the Dead Sea, the lowest depression on earth, it can also reach down to the deepest places of our despair and bitterness and bring hope, redemption, restoration.
As the Spirit flows, people start to see and believe in Jesus
11 But the marshes and swamps will not be purified; they will still be salty.
Salt to heal and purify broken, messy lives.
12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow along both sides of the river.
Where the Spirit flows there’s provision.
What if we all waded in a little further?
Let’s not stay lured in a false sense of comforts and security when the only security is with the one that wants us to wade out a little deeper. The one who created us in His image, who sent His son to die for us, who sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in us…
ALTAR CALL – Maybe you’re searching your heart right now, knowing you are not connected to Jesus and there’s no real relationship there…
It’s time to say YES to Him for the first time in your heart right now…
After the service – prayer team
… At times the Lord needs to stir our nests to make our comforting things uncomfortable. To remind us that if we’re putting our security in anything but Him, we’re insecure.
A scripture in Deuteronomy reminds us of how a young eagle learns to fly…
Deut 32:11 Contemporary English Version
The LORD was like an eagle teaching its young to fly, always ready to swoop
down and catch them on its back.
This is how young eagles get their flight training – they are born in to a very comfortable and safe nest, padded and insulated with down from their Mother – meals are flown in fresh daily.
But the day comes when their very survival is threatened if they stay in this place of comfort.
So the Mother Eagle makes the welcoming and safe nest uncomfortable and unwelcome -she shakes the nest, blowing the comfortable padding out and tears up what she carefully provided to nurture the baby eagle then she carries the eagle outside of the nest and into the wind.
This is where the young eagles learn to fly – because you can’t try your wings if you’re sitting in the nest. We like sitting in the nest. She releases the Baby eagle in to the wind and lets it fall and then swoops down and catches it over and over until it learns it has wings to fly…
And I believe there’s some people here who need to know that you might be feeling uncomfortable, you know you need to surrender. The Lord has got you. You can trust Him.
He’s calling you out of your nest and in to quite a different life.
Luke 22:42b NLT “…not my will, but yours be done.