Sunday, 27 April 2008 00:00

Think Movement (Part II): The Spirit Always Takes the Lead

Matthew 5:6 (ESV)

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

As we come to the last four messages on Soul Talk we enter into the essence of how souls are transformed. It is when God's people take the opportunity to love somebody enough to listen carefully (think beneath with vision and passion), probe deliberately (think story), and wait patiently for the soul to find genuine satisfaction in God alone. This last step is what we call movement and what Jesus calls a hunger and thirst for righteousness. If we lead a soul to desire anything less than God, we engage in Self Talk, not Soul Talk.

  1. Self Talk looks for a moment of blessing that produces happiness.
    Over coffee, in small groups, from pulpits, or in seminars—a problem is discussed. A problem such as divorce, depression, or discouragement. Something isn't going right. The focus during Self Talk immediately becomes "solution." What can we do about it? How can we discover God's plan for making things better? Without realizing it, we reduce God's glory to His provisions, and not His person. We live for His blessing.
    1. We are a blessing obsessed culturewhich in reality is a self-obsessed culture.
    2. We think God's Spirit was sent to give us happiness that blessings bring.
      An authentic experience of God is in danger because of a sense of excitement. It is not always the plan of God for His people to always experience the blessing of joy or happiness. Sometimes He breaks us and empties us to experience Him.
  2. Soul Talk looks for the movement of the Spirit that produces selflessness.
    There has been a radical reversal of the ancient form of Christianity in our modern day. We assume that the Spirit is moving toward giving us the good life (as we define it) more than growing Christ in us—or making us more into the image of Christ Himself. When you speak Soul Talk, you speak a language that gets the focus off of secondary things (a restored marriage, a reconciled relationship, a better job, etc.) and places the focus on the primary thing of the soul hungering and thirsting for God Himself. Thou madest us for Thyself, and our heart is restless, until it rest in Thee, Augustine. Genuine soul satisfaction is not found in blessings from God, but in a passion for God. I am poor in Spirit (Matthew 1:3), I mourn over sin (Matthew 5:4), I am meek (Matthew 5:5). By God's grace (which produces the above), I hunger and thirst after knowing Christ. "By his doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us... righteousness" (I Corinthians 1:30).
  3. Soul Talk is wrapped in mystery, while Self Talk is revealed in method.
    An intimate, personal relationship with Christ brings to the soul genuine satisfaction.
    1. Satan tries to deceive you into believing that you can make your own satisfaction.
    2. The world will try to persuade you that they have found true satisfaction.
    3. Religion will try to show you how to achieve satisfaction through a method. The purpose of Soul Talk is to help the soul understand how the Spirit detaches us from dependence on blessings by letting us feel the pain of losing them and having to face how strong our spirit of entitlement is. Then the Spirit helps us discover the empty space in our soul that no second thing could ever fill—only God Himself.

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