Is Squirminess a Spiritual Gift?

09.19.21

Order

Sunday, September 19, 2021 

Opening Audio (10:15am)

Spotify – Not In A Hurry Radio

#1 ONE Video #1 (5:08)

  • Call to Worship

            Thrive (Casting Crowns)

Live/OnLine

  • Prayer                                           Rick
  • Music 1                                          Abbie & Billy

            Mighty To Save                           Fielding & Morgan

  • Story                                             Online-Jaimie

In Person- Peyton

  • Music 2                                          Abbie & Billy

            Be Thou My Vision                      Hull & Byrne

  • Message        ‘Squirminess’          Rick
  • Music 3                                           Abbie

            Show Me Your Ways                   Russell Fragar

  • Community                                    Rick
  • Benediction                                    Peyton
  • Sharing the Peace                          Rick

Closing Audio

Spotify – Not In A Hurry Radio

Voices & Words

Prayer

God,

O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it. Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you. God, may we gather this morning in your light. May we permit your light to permeate the darkness. May we see truth.

Amen. Psalm 139:1-12

Music 1

Mighty To Save

CCLI Song # 4591782

Ben Fielding | Reuben Morgan

Verse 1

Ev’ryone needs compassion

Love that’s never failing

Let mercy fall on me

Ev’ryone needs forgiveness

The kindness of a Saviour

The hope of nations

Chorus

Saviour He can move the mountains

My God is mighty to save

He is mighty to save

Forever Author of salvation

He rose and conquered the grave

Jesus conquered the grave

Verse 2

So take me as You find me

All my fears and failures

Fill my life again

I give my life to follow

Ev’rything I believe in

Now I surrender

Chorus

Saviour He can move the mountains

My God is mighty to save

He is mighty to save

Forever Author of salvation

He rose and conquered the grave

Jesus conquered the grave

Bridge

Shine your light and let the whole world see

We’re singing

For the glory of the risen King

Jesus

Shine your light and let the whole world see

We’re singing

For the glory of the risen King

Chorus

Saviour He can move the mountains

My God is mighty to save

He is mighty to save

Forever Author of salvation

He rose and conquered the grave

Jesus conquered the grave

Close

So take me as You find me

All my fears and failures

Fill my life again

Our Story

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

No, it’s not there.

Why don’t you read it this time, maybe I missed it.

I don’t think you did, but here is goes – Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

No, it’s not there. There is no gift of Squirminess.

Maybe he mixed it up and meant to point us to the list before, “fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these.”

I’m pretty sure that he didn’t mean to say that those things were gifts from the Holy Spirit.

Well, I just going to subtly leave the zoom meeting so no one will notice I’m gone. This could get awkward.

You are going to just leave me in this uncomfortable situation, these people are staring at me!

Well don’t get all squirmy. That is just going to make it worse.

As I see it, we have two choices. One is to take the easy way and just leave, just assume that this whole morning is a mistake and that squirminess is not really a spiritual gift. Or, we can try to figure it out. Maybe that is what this is all about.

Seeking, Searching, and Finding. Letting awkward moments like this push us to find truth instead of just accepting things that are not necessarily true.

It is either that or we could just take a pen and change it to “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, squirminess, and self-control.

I think it fits.

I think your right

Music 2

Be Thou My Vision

CCLI Song # 30639

Eleanor Henrietta Hull | Mary Elizabeth Byrne

Verse 1

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart

Naught be all else to me, Save that Thou art

Thou my best thought, By day or by night

Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light

Verse 2

Be Thou my wisdom, Be Thou my true Word

I ever with Thee, And Thou with me Lord

Thou my great Father, I Thy true son

Thou in me dwelling, And I with Thee one

Verse 3

Riches I heed not, Nor man’s empty praise

Thou mine inheritance, Now and always

Thou and Thou only, Be first in my heart

High King of heaven, My treasure Thou art

Close

Thou my best thought

By day or by night

Waking or sleeping

Thy presence my light

Message        ‘Squirmishness’

Today we begin our new series entitled ‘Uncomfortable.’  I was recently told that this Series title itself causes discomfort. That is understandable. Our human nature naturally seeks comfort, we crave to be with those who make us comfortable, we avoid those situations and people that make us uncomfortable. Being comfortable is often the primary factor in the friends we have, the clothes we wear, the leaders we follow, the path we take, the places we live, the structures we live in, the people we live around.

When our oldest son Caleb was a toddler he became very opinionated about the clothes he would agree to wear. To get him to get dressed he resisted anything less than ‘comfortable clothes.’ It was a daily battle until he and Andrea came to an agreement that he could always wear either comfortable pants, or a comfortable shirt. I think his first job out of law school was acceptable once he found out that they had a strict ‘comfortable clothes’ policy.

Desiring to be comfortable is natural, it provides a mental and physical easiness in our existence. However, a priority of comfort can also be a restrictive burden in our lives. Faith often discomfort. The very definition of faith ‘the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen’ (Hebrews 11:1) is anxiety inducing just to see it in written form. To tie our belief system merely to that which we hope for, and to center our core on that which we are unable to see is not a badge of security, nor does it seem to be a comforting guarantee. But this the definition of faith, it is an unknown, it is a risk, it is a promise, it is uncontrollable, it is uncomfortable.

The risk of being uncomfortable is that we often seek to find comfort in the midst of our discomfort. In seeking difficult truth, we strive to find someone else to seek and search for us. We want a hero that can give us all the answers so we do not have to dig for ourself. We seek to easy accept a version of truth from others and we want to make them the source of our unshakable and unquestioned truth – then, relieved of the burden, we want to then stop and be comfortable. We rest on our Billy Grahams and Jerry Falwell and their descendants. We  choose pastors of large churches, successful writers of Christian Books, often times we even hand over the governance of our perceived truth to politicians and political pundits.

However, true truth and  foundational faith cannot be outsourced, it is a personal endeavor, a personal journey…and it can be, and often is, very uncomfortable to let go of those crutches we use to avoid being uncomfortable.

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”

― M. Scott Peck, Road Tess Traveled

This new series is going to take us to some bible stories and teachings we have traditionally entrusted to others. We are going to be stretched as we release their answers of others, and the defined truth we have consistently outsourced – the questionable truth, which we have never questioned, that which we have allowed to be come rock solid in our hearts and minds. Possible errant ‘Christian theology and interpretation’, that we have failed to pursue a full investigation. We are hopefully going to be led to allow the Holy Spirit to show us those elements of our faith, of our truth, of our comfort that are untrue, inaccurate, and not really as comfortable we we have deceived ourselves into thinking.

One more thing, somewhat of a technical notation:

The Rabbinical tradition, meaning the thought process of the Rabbis, specifically before Babylon conquered Israel and Judah, was that the Torah, specifically the first five books of our Old Testament which we often cal the books of Moses or the Pentateuch, was revealed in two parts, one was the written part and the other was the oral part (also known as the Mishnah). The written part was the basics of the law God gave to Moses and the Oral law, often referred to as the ‘Border wall around the Torah,’ – God’s continued narrative and illustration of the Law.

An example: The written law said that we are to not work on the Sabbath, the oral law said don’t walk too far because that was similar, and could easily lead to, work.

Prior to the exile, the rabbis refused to write out the Oral law because they feared that the cautious restrictive nature of the narrative would become legalistic teachings used to control, judge, and condemn.

Whereas the written law was written for our own good – ‘rest on the sabbath’; the oral law was then an effort to keep us from the brink of violating the written law, ‘don’t drag a stick, it is a lot like plowing a field.’ It is important to recognize that much of what we use as a tool of condemnation was originally given, by God, to be a loving caution given to keep us from the edge…to keep us from judging others, condemning others, and even hating others.

After the destruction of the temple and the exile, the Israelites no longer had the temple, a place where they would be taught the Oral Law, so, the rabbinical official policy was changed out of necessity. The Oral law began to be written out in the same manner as the Written law so all could hear and learn.

This morning we begin by looking at the Spirit’s tool in the midst of our uncomfortableness – our discomfort – Squirminess.

Following creation, in the garden, Eve stood admiring the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. We can only speculate why she was staring at the forbidden tree, especially when there were so many other beautiful, unforbidden, trees available to look at. Now, as she stood there the cunning serpent began to speak to her,

‘Are you sure you cannot eat from that tree?’ The serpent asked.

‘Right’ she said, ‘Do not eat it, don’t even touch it, or we will die.’

This was Eve’s moment of squirminess. She had named the command from God ‘Don’t eat it’ this was the same as the written law, then Eve had added her own oral law, maybe this was a recommendation from God, ‘Don’t even touch it.’ It was the protective fence around the tree. In saying this to the serpent, she was receiving it as her own reminder. The question from the serpent was used by the Spirit as a gift, an opportunity to ground herself in God’s truth, ‘Don’t eat from that tree.’ This momentary gift, became a moment of squirminess when the serpent challenged the instruction of God, ‘You won’t die,’ he laughed. She stood with the gift of squirminess, just having reminded herself of the law, and after taking a moment to stop at the proverbial gate of the wall around God’s truth. For Eve, this squirminess was a gift, it was a moment to choose God’s strength to grab ahold of God’s truth.

Squirminess is our moment of choice, our opportunity of free choice. It is the moment when the Spirit provides us the reminder of truth and shows us the boundaries we need to observe (for our own good).  We then can choose to dismiss the gift, or we can choose to let this gift of squirminess lead us into a seeking of truth, a stronger faith, a renewed journey of searching for God.

Squirminess is our opportunity to follow God, however, the longer we are choose to stand in the midst of the squirminess the more uncomfortable we may get. Squirminess will either strengthen us or we will allow let it destroy us.

Our challenge, in the midst of truth, of sin, and of faith, is to listen for those moment of discomfort, those moments when we squirm.  As we hear the teachings, practices, and interpretations of truth, as taught and seen in others, it is our responsibility to listen for those moments of discomfort, to look for those times of our own squirminess and to respond by seeking and searching for truth.

How comfortable are you? Have you mastered the art of ignoring your own squirminess. Have you given away your own obligation of defining truth by giving any the opportunity to think to someone else.

Let’s Pray.

Music 3

Show Me Your Ways

CCLI Song # 1675024

Russell Fragar

Verse

Show me Your ways

That I may walk with You

Show me Your ways

I put my hope in You

Chorus

The cry of my heart

Is to love You more

To live with the touch

Of Your hand

Stronger each day

Show me Your ways

Verse

Show me Your ways

That I may walk with You

Show me Your ways

I put my hope in You

Chorus

The cry of my heart

Is to love You more

To live with the touch

Of Your hand

Stronger each day

Show me Your ways

Close

Stronger each day

Show me Your ways

Community

  • Community
  • Dirty Hands Day – Next Saturday, September 25, 9am to noon, bring gloves, tools, etc.
  • hin·nê·nî  (Here I Am) – Bible Studies resume in October (7 weeks) Survey closes tomorrow. Link at GFNorman.com
  • Next Sunday – ‘Are We Ready for a Copernicus Revolution?’
  • Covid Update/Thanks

Benediction Blessing

For it was God who formed our inward parts; it was God who knit us together in our mother’s womb.

It was God who fearfully and wonderfully made us. Wonderful are God’s works; by those works we know God very well.

Our frame was not hidden from God as we were being made in secret, we were intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

God’s eyes beheld our unformed substance. In God’s book is written all the days during which we were formed, long before any of those days had yet existed.

How weighty are God’s thoughts towards us. How vast is the sum of the moments God thinks of us! We can try to count them but they are more than the grains of sand on the beach; regardless of where we are, God is still therewith us.

May God know us and know our heart; may God test us and know our thoughts.

God, see if there is any wicked way in us, and lead us in the way everlasting.

(Psalm 139:13-18, 23-24)

Closing Peace

May God’s grace, peace, joy, love, hope, and squirmishness, go with you.

And also with you.

Let’s take God’s instruction to open the doors of our hearts and minds into the marketplace and the public square. Let’s go to show the world that the Kingdom of God is near, let’s go and bring peace along with us to share, let’s go speaking words of the Father, let’s go expressing gratitude for all we’ve been given, let’s go letting the world see the Incarnate Response of God. Let’s us go taking advantage of all our squirmish moments. Let’s go!

Published by rickanthony1993

Husband of Andrea, Father of five, pastor of Grace Fellowship Norman OK.

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