We had a great weekend service at Mavuno Church a couple of weekends ago. Prashan Devisser was our surprise guest speaker. Prashan is the President of Sri Lanka Unites which is a movement founded to bring about reconciliation in post war Sri-Lanka. At 28, he heads the 2ndlargest youth movement in Sri Lanka and the fact that it’s a Christian based organization in a country that holds a little over 10% Christians as well as facing some pretty strong anti-Christian boundaries is no small feat.
I got the chance to hear from him during last year’s Fearless Summit and it was by far one of my best highlights from last year so I’m joyful he came this year as well. He talked about Desperation. I thought it was the perfect way to kick off this month’s sermon series, #FantheFlame.
Before I get into that, I read a story last night about a young student who asked his spiritual advisor, “Master, how can I truly find God?” The teacher took the student out to a river which ran by the village and asked him to step in. The student did and all of a sudden the teacher put his hands on the student had and held him under the water. A moment passed and the student was thrashing and beating his hands upon the air and the waters. Still, the master kept him under. Finally he released the student and as he came up, lungs aching and gasping for air, moments passed and the teacher said to him, “When you desire God as much as you desired to breathe the air you just breathed, then you will find God.”
I love this imagery. It opened my eyes to the fact that I keep asking God, why am I still stuck here, wanting more but not experiencing more. Still living in the fruit of yesterday’s victory and as a result not just experiencing today’s mediocrity but all the trials and failures in my Christian life that come as a result of this passivity. Today as we sung “I surrender” at service, I realized I hadn’t. As Prashan spoke about ignoring God’s call to greatness and instead choosing comfort and security and building on our Plan B, plan C, plan D, I realized that was me.
Let’s forget the world’s definition of desperation as it pertains to relationships and empty pursuits and think about it in heavenly terms. You see, desperation fuels passion. If I’m desperate for God, it leads to a passionate pursuit of Him. A passionate pursuit of God leads to a passionately lived life. That’s what I want. I don’t want to just go through the motions, good grief! I wanna live!
Prashan added that desperation isn’t solely about our own pursuit of God, but our pursuit for God to move on behalf of other people. We should be as desperate for others as we are for ourselves. That’s another thing to pray about. “Lord, give me a cause to be passionate about. Make me a person who is desperate to see You move in the lives around me.”
The question I'm yet to answer is, what about people who say, "I feel like I'm desperate for God, I do my best to show Him I am, but why am I not seeing a change in my circumstances? Why can't I wake up tomorrow morning and be the Paul of my generation?" So we'll talk about that as the answers come in.