This message was preached on Sunday, May 20, 2018.
Do you have everything figured out in life?
Do you know what you want out of life?
At your age, you haven’t had enough time to do either of those
You can’t possibly have figured everything out
Even most grown-ups don’t have things figured out
Yet, there is enormous pressure to have everything figured out, isn’t there?
What you’re going to study
What job or career you’re going to have
And if you haven’t figured these things out, there’s something wrong with you
The other thing is, it feels like you have to figure these things out all by yourself, doesn’t it?
Sure, you have people around you giving their opinions
But ultimately, it’s your life, and at the end of it you’re still on your own
What can we learn from today’s passage?
Today is Pentecost. It was the day that God gave the gift of the Spirit to the first followers of Jesus
It meant that the followers of Jesus would not be alone, but that they would have the gift of the Spirit
That is what I want us to reflect on
What does it really mean to have the Spirit in our lives?
I realized something from today’s passage: “for we do not know how to pray as we ought”
Real prayer is expressing what’s deepest in our hearts to God
It’s not about what I’m consciously thinking, but rather being connected and in touch with things that are deepest in our hearts
So it doesn’t even have to be words, but just a sense of what’s going on inside of me
Often, we don’t even know what’s deepest in our hearts
We’re often too distracted to know what’s there
Or we’re too scared to know or think about it
Whatever the case, because we’re not in touch with what’s deepest in our hearts, we don’t know how to pray as we ought
This is why with the Hi-C and the executives, I always ask people to reflect on what it is they’re going through, because being in touch with what’s deep in your heart is so important in life
Those who live being out of touch with what’s deep in their heart is not living an authentic life
You know what that is? Putting on a front that’s not really reflective of who they truly are
People who front are either hiding what’s underneath, or running away from it
Because who you truly are is what’s deep in your heart, not necessarily the front you present to the world
But can we really figure all of this out on our own?
That’s a lot of pressure, to figure out who I really am deep in my heart
Here’s the amazing news that comes to us today: you are not alone
“The Spirit helps us in our weakness” (slide) – where we are out of touch with what’s deep in our hearts
(Slide) We don’t know how to pray as we ought, “but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words”
In other words, the Spirit reveals to us what is deep in our hearts
With sighs too deep for words
See, most of the time we can’t even articulate or express what it is that’s in our hearts, and that’s okay, we don’t even need words
God knows what’s in our hearts, and God searches our hearts
God’s Spirit then comes in and expresses that for us, reveals to us what’s in our hearts
All we need to do is let God in and search our heart
You don’t need to have everything all figured out
The very first step in the spiritual journey is admitting that you don’t have everything figured out
When we can be honest about that, we can stop frontin’
We can then ask the Spirit to come in and search our hearts and reveal to us what’s in our hearts
When we are connected with the Spirit, the Spirit will start to change how we think
The Spirit will give us courage to stop frontin’ and be more in tune with our real selves
The Spirit will open our eyes to see things differently and in a new light
The Spirit brings about an alternative reality – it helps us see the world in ways we never did before
And when you see things differently, new paths and possibilities open up
This world in many ways is all about frontin’
It’s so hard to be in touch with your real, deepest self
We care so much about how we look to others, or how others will think about us
In the past, I was so concerned with how people saw me
I wanted to be respected and admired
If I kept thinking that way, I never would have imagined myself being a youth pastor
But because the Spirit slowly changed how I thought and saw things, this path opened up for me to be your pastor
And now I’m so blessed because of it
I feel like the luckiest person in the world to be your pastor and develop this deep relationship with all of you
When you can admit that you don’t have things figured out, and invite God to come in and lead you, slowly but surely, you will start to see things differently
And by seeing things differently, new paths and possibilities will open up for you
This is the great mystery of the faith journey, and the most exciting part
This is the great news: that you don’t have to figure things out all by yourself, because you are not alone
God will lead you, God will guide you
God will reveal what is truly in your heart and what it is that you really want out of life
And without realizing it, God will lead your life for good, according to God’s will
God will slowly lead you according to God’s will
You don’t need to have things figured out for yourself!
God will unfold God’s will in your life
1 Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? 12 Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Let us ask God to give us the gift of the Holy Spirit, because this is how you will live the life you were meant to live, in deep connection with the One who created you
Let us open our lives to be led by this amazing God, and let’s live exciting lives guided by God’s Spirit
You are not alone. The Spirit of God has been given to us! Who can stand against us!