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The Science of Surrender

Jason Sliger

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Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Jason is a former full-time evangelist with Amazing Facts, now pastoring in Northern Michigan. He and his wife, Midori, have two children, Evangeline and Christian who are 3 and 1. His greatest desire is to have an experience like Jesus and be part of helping others be like Him too. He enjoys playing with his kids, photography and, when he can find time, playing the guitar.

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  • August 5, 2017
    11:30 AM
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Father in heaven. We come into your presence this morning. Seeking a blessing. In the wealth of knowledge that is in your word. A father without. The Holy Spirit. All the searching that we do well amount to nothing. So Lord we ask that the spirits presence would have a very close to us. And that you would take the lifeless words that I speak and breathe life into them. That you would take the message through your Holy Spirit and apply it to our minds. Father we want to be with you in the kingdom of heaven. And it's for this reason that we search the Scriptures. Lessons father we ask. For prayed in Jesus name Amen. Our sermon this week is entitled The science of surrender last week we began a study on the concept of surrender and what that looks like in the Bible we looked at a lot of different aspects to surrender in our time together last week but one passage that really stands out from that study is a passage from the Old Testament story in the book of First Kings Chapter twenty and verse four where we find a political surrender that takes place between two opponents the Bible tells us that bin hey dad goes and he makes war against Israel and in that battle that takes place they have the wicked king A had makes a surrender to Ben Hey Dad and in that surrender the Bible records the very words that they had spoke to Ben Hey Dad and in those words I believe we find the heart and soul of what it means to be a converted. In a had as he stands before Ben BEN Hey Dad the conquering general the victorious kingdom he says this in chapter twenty and verse four and the king of Israel answered and said My lord Oking according to the Ice Age I am done and all that I have a had made a complete surrender to Ben Hey Dad He did not hold back anything he said I am done and all that I have it wasn't a partial surrender it wasn't a quarter surrender it wasn't a half surrender but it was a complete surrender an unreserved surrender that was made and although that was a political surrender between two kingdoms I believe we find their record it's the very essence of our attitude that we should have as converted seven the advantage as we pray to God my Lord O. King I am done. And all. That I have. We don't make a partial surrender to God for partial surrender is not a surrender we don't make a quarter surrender or have surrendered to God When we come to him I am the line and all that I have dear Lord Thy Will Be Done Not my will but thine be done we are told in the book evangelism page three hundred seventeen Satan does not want anyone to see the necessity of an entire surrender to gun what the state not want you to see. The necessity of an entire surrender to God No if the devil doesn't want you to see something. You think it's a good idea for you to see it. Why doesn't the devil want you to see the necessity of an entire surrender to God you know it was some of us maybe we kind of think that surrender is kind of on the side here but it. Cording to her she says it's a necessity it's something that's in parroted to our salvation she goes on Satan does not want us to see or want anybody to see the necessity of an entire surrender to God when the soul fails to make this surrender sin is not for saken the appetites in the passions are striving for the mastery temptation confuses the conscience so that true conversion does not take place I believe with all my heart that those who experience an absolute surrender my lord O. King I am dying and all that I have that they had experienced what she calls a conversion experience which means that those who have not made the surrender to God and absolute surrender to him that they had not experienced true conversion. Said last week. We can have a head full of theoretical knowledge we can be able to spout off all the right answers we can have you know years of uninterrupted attendance at church and hold multiple positions within the church but if we haven't experienced an unreserved surrender to God we have missed out on having that true conversion experience and although the Lord may use us as unconverted Christians to lead others to Jesus if we fail to experience that conversion ourselves we will miss out on the most important thing and that is reunion with Dawn in the kingdom of heaven. That's from the mount of lessons page one hundred forty one says this the greatest battle that was ever fought by men is the surrender of self to the will of God What's the greatest battle that you ever fight. The surrender of the will of your will surrender of self to the will of God It is the greatest battle that you will ever fight. In our time together last week we talked about how when it comes to surrender you can't even do it on your own Jesus says I am the vine you are the branches he that bided to me and I know him the same bring forth much fruit for without me you can do you can even make a surrender on your own all you can do is pray and say Lord I am willing to be made willing when the Lord comes and says this is what I want you to do through the impressions of the Holy Spirit do you remember what the two words were that we do that we say to maintain our surrender Yes Lord my child I want you to live this way yes Lord my child I don't want you to say that yes Lord my child this is the way I want you to go YES LORD my child I want you to go make this wrong right yes Lord my child I don't want you to eat a certain way yes Lord this is the way we maintain that added to that of surrender to God by simply saying Yes Lord I am willing to be made willing in our scripture reading the small and we looked at Paul's description. Of absolute surrender Romans Chapter six in verse sixteen if you choose to turn their. Romans Chapter six. And verse sixteen I like the way. Just this translation read it it's a good way of reading it but I'll read to you from the King James version it says no you not that to whom you yield yourselves servants and this is why I like justice translation because the word servants was translated as that you catch it slaves know you not that to whom you yield yourselves slaves or servants to obey His servant yard to whom you obey whether of sin and to death or obedience and to righteousness did you know. That there is nothing that you can do to change the fact that you are a servant. You are a slave there is nothing you can do to change that. But the good news this morning it is this. Yes you can choose who's your master. Would you say amen to that you're either one of the other you can't you can't steer it there's no neutral ground here there's no Switzerland if you will it's either one or the other we either yield ourselves or surrender ourselves as servants or slaves to God or we yield ourselves or surrender ourselves as servants of Satan it's one or the other and when God comes to the impressions of the Holy Spirit and says this is the way I want you to live your life when you say yes you are yielding yourself to God and saying he is my master but when the Holy Spirit comes in impresses with you this is the way I want you to go this is what I want you to say or not say and you say no to that you are yielding yourself or surrendering yourself to be a servant of Satan. There is no middle ground it's one or the other and I don't know about you this morning. But I think I would rather have God as my master than the devil any day. The devil comes along with those temptations and he tries to get us to think that he would be a much better master to serve that the devil is there that God is too arbitrary too strict too difficult whatever it may be it comes up with all these excuses why but we know from our heads and in our study of God's Word that God is a much much better master and Satan is and he did. It as I thought about this concept of surrender a little bit more. When it comes to having and maintaining this absolutes unreserve surrender to God. There is one thing in our lines that will derail us every time. One thing that will derail you and. Three time in maintaining that constant surrender to God and this isn't revolutionary it's not going to be mind bending or mind blowing this morning but that one thing that derails you every time. Is yielding to sin in your life. Would you agree. I mean I kind of just said it Paul even says it right you know when we yield ourselves servants to God It results in obedience when we yield ourselves as servants to Satan it results in Sin Sin is the thing that derails us every time from maintaining that absolute surrender but the good news this morning is this that we don't have to succumb to the Satan to Satan's temptations would you say amen. That wasn't a very good Amen. Are we in a group of people who've experienced victory over the devil a man. First Corinthians Chapter ten in verse thirteen you'll go there with me very quickly in your Bibles one passage that you are familiar with that's going to launch us into our study first Corinthians Chapter ten and verse thirteen the Bible says this Paul talking here he says there has no temptation taken you but such as is common to men simply put Paul is saying whatever temptation you struggle with there are other people that struggle with that same thing. When it comes to the when it comes to the idea of surrendering our lives to God We are not the only ones a struggle with that everybody struggles with maintaining that surrender it's a constant battle of surrendering our will to God is going to be here in just a few moments there had no temptation taking a bus such as come in a man but God is faithful with somebody say amen but God is faithful who will not suffer to be tempted above that you are able but will with the temptation also make a way of excuse that you may be able to one bear Here's the wonderful promise in that passage of Scripture that I've claimed many times God promises us that with every temptation that comes our way there is. As a way of what did you catch it with every temptation that comes our way every ten Taishan that the devil is trying to use to derail us from maintaining our conversion experience of surrender. The Bible promises us that there is a way of excusing from that temptation so oftentimes in my own personal life I will say Lord you promise that there is a way of excavate in this bible promise so where is the way of excuse I don't try to find it myself I just say listen you said it show me where it is and there are number of things that God has shown me in my walk with him and you've probably stumbled over these things in your own spiritual journey as well so I'm here just to kind of do a little reminding in our spiritual journey the small I want to share with you three things very quickly in our time together three things that provide a way the excuse when the devil comes to derail us in our absolute surrender to God tries to steal away from us that conversion experience that is so precious to us that we want to hold on to it three things that will help us to maintain that surrender now what I want to share with you in these three things this is our part OK So we have to as as Christians we got to understand what our part is and what Gaunts part is OK There's a small part that we have and a lot that God has I must share with you three things this is our part and then I'm going to talk a little bit more about what God's part is the first thing that I want to suggest to you this morning. That will help you in your course to maintain a surrender to God and be and fulfill your part in victory over sin is using the gift. Of prayer. Amen. Now if you were to set a timer. And time throughout the day. How much time you spend in prayer. And how much time you spend talking about other people. Issues. Over that time or look like I'm not asking you to answer that OK. If you to set a timer and time how much time you spend in prayer versus how much time you spend thinking about worldly things what with those timers look like. This and we know a lot of good religion inside of our heads but let's be honest many of us don't practice it the way we ought to. And when we start talking about prayer some of us sit there in the pews and our eyes glaze over and I'm not talking about anybody in particular right now because I don't see anybody with glazed eyes but sometimes the tendency is to do that oh I've heard this before I'm just going to check out at this point but then we wonder why are we struggling in our spiritual life why isn't the church growing Why hasn't the Lord blessed me with a Bible study contact that has made the decision to become a seventh they had then is to become a member of God's church why do I have so many issues in my family why do I have so many challenges it's because often times that we haven't been exercising the A.B.C.'s of Christianity. And prayer is one of those things now there are two types of prayer the like to suggest to you this morning that we would do well to exercise and gaining the victory over sin that derails us in our absolute surrender to gun the first type of fear that we might pray is when I'd like to call and yell and spread what I call it. On your thinking for ambulance. Or you think I don't know what you're on thankful for them but I don't want to be in them are you all with me here this morning but I thankful that they're there but I don't want to be in an ambulance because an ambulance means that there is and what an emergency right now there are times when we come into a spiritual emergency it's a spiritual crisis if you will and at that time we need an Dillon's prayers we need to pray at that moment in the time of that crisis when our flesh is warring against us and are our mind in our bodies wanting to go one direction in the spirit is pulling us. In the other direction we need ambulance prayer at that time because we are in a spiritual emergency and we're about to have a spiritual heart attack and die. But as important as ambulance prayer is I think there's a better way not that we shouldn't use that. But it's what I like to call preventative for what I call it. Not when you think of preventative. What do you really think of you know you think of something new when you exercise prevention you're trying to keep something from happening so preventative prayer is a prayer that is prayed to keep something from taking place now let me tell you something this morning every one of you that are sitting in this sanctuary know your area of weakness your spiritual area of weakness you all know it you've gone over it many times you've fallen into it many times we we know are areas of weakness so let me ask you question Do I need to wait until my flesh is warring to pray about that area of weakness yes or no should I. That's not good stewardship that's not good spiritual stewardship if you will if I know my area of weakness which we all do why shouldn't I be spending time praying about that before the flesh gets engaged and it's drawing me away away from the inclinations and desire that the Holy Spirit has for me if I know that area of weakness I should be actively praying about God helping me in that area every day maybe even multiple times throughout the day that God would give me the victory whenever the devil tends to bring that area of weakness into my line or you all with me yes or no. Preventative prayer that we think about preventative for there's two things that you should remember. The first thing is this when you pray in a preventative men or you need to be specific about what you're praying about what you need to be. Specific none of these general prayers when it's talking about when. Talking about preventative prayer there are times for general prayer there are times when we just have a a blanket prayer where we just kind of cover everything over maybe you're in your family circle or you're in a church or something like that there's a time for that type of prayer but when it comes to preventative prayer between me and God I need to lay it out just as it is Lord this is what X.Y.Z. I'm struggling with these are the reasons why this is why I'd like it talk to the Lord about it lay it out there for him you're not hiding anything from him just do it lay it out there and be very specific in what it is that you are asking for the second thing that you need to do is you need to be persistent you need to be what persistence you need to be specific in preventative prayer and you need to be persistent pray for that thing over and over again don't just pray for it once a week don't just pray for it once a month don't just pray for once a day but pray for all over and over and over again that God would give you the victory in this area when the devil brings that temptation your way go with me to the Gospel of Luke I want to illustrate this for you very quickly here Luke Chapter twenty two. And verse thirty nine Luke Chapter twenty two beginning in verse thirty nine. Bible says this verse thirty nine and he came out that is Jesus came out and went as he was Want to the Mount of Olives and his disciples also followed him and when he was out the place he said unto them pray that ye enter not into one temptation and he withdrew from them about a stones cast and kneeled down and pray. What did Jesus tell the disciples to do in the in the garden of get seventy. Pray that you would. Enter not into temptation was the temptation then or in the future. Now for. They had the temptation of falling asleep but I'm going to tell you something this morning that temptation was small in comparison to what they were about to go through. And Jesus knew what the disciples were getting ready to go through and so he told them in prayer in it too to prevent them falling into temptation he said right now before the temptation comes right now what did he tell me do. Pray that you enter not into temptation and another gospel he said because the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak now the disciples follow his advice yes or no. Of course they didn't and what happened. They were offended because of Jesus that night and the Bible says they were scattered like sheep without a shepherd because they didn't use preventative prayer. Many of us are stuck in and humans mode our law our spiritual life is a constant crisis we go from one crisis to the next and in between we're sleeping in between the crisis and and the crisis is what creates the need for a spiritual walk with the Lord when I'm suggesting to you this morning that the crisis should not be the motivation the fact that Jesus died on the cross for you want you to be in the kingdom of heaven should be what motivates us. And when the crisis comes we have we will have spent ample time in prayer to God and He will give us the strength to get us through that hour of trial now I wondered to myself what would have been the outcome. With the disciples if they had followed Jesus is advice. What would have happened with the disciples now we don't know we all we can do is theorize but if they had followed his advice to pray that they enter not into temptation and they spent the same amount of time in prayer that Jesus prayed what would have happened I don't know but all I can surmise is that they would have been victorious. Now if you continue reading the story and. Matthew you can read it Matthew twenty three as you look at Jesus' prayer in the garden of get seventy wall familiar with Jesus' prayer was specific was it not let this cut passed for me nevertheless not my will but thine be done. And Jesus was persistent he prayed that prayer three times in his prevented to prayer in the garden to get seventy Jesus was specific and he was persistent in his prayer and I believe as I mentioned to you last week I believe that the Garden of get seventy is where our salvation was purchased Yes Jesus died on the cross but that prevented the prayer that Jesus prayed in the garden was what gave him the strength to go through the trial that he was about to go through for the next forty eight hours. Now let me ask you this. What's what would you do what would you more desire. Emergency care or preventative medicine. There's no question about it every one of us here this morning would say preventative medicine but that's not the way we live our spiritual life many times. Right if we want physically preventative medicine Oleson Physically I'm glad that there's an ambulance in case something happens but I'm doing everything I can to live a healthy life so that I don't have to get back in the back of that box car and be driven to the hospital now if something happens I'm glad it's there in an emergency but I'm going to do everything I can to keep myself I did there by living a healthy life and the same should be true for us spiritually we should do everything we can to stay out of the back of that spiritual emergency truck it's there for us just in case but if we live that preventative spiritual life train those preventative prayers we will oftentimes find that the hours of spiritual crisis are not as bad as they could be. So we're going to live a preventative life physically we should live that oh. Also spiritual. So the first thing I'm suggesting to you this morning to help keep you to do your part rather in keeping your attitude of surrender is using the gift and the tool of prayer the second thing I want to suggest to you this morning. Is this. The second thing that will help you incidentally let me say this before I mention the second thing. How difficult is it to sin when you're praying. Ever tried it. Is it easy to sin when you're praying yes or no. It's not why. You all know why right because you're thinking about spiritual things. You see we've got it we've got to get our minds off of the temptation and Lord's giving us tools to get our mind off of the temptation but he's not going to use that tool for us God is not going to pray for you he's giving you the tool for you to use it yourself to get your mind off of that temptation and when I pray it makes it very difficult for me to yield and submit to that temptation Incidentally the second thing if you use it will make it difficult for you to sin as well and that is what I call Bible memorize ation what I call it. Number one for air number two Bible memorization Now listen I meet people all the time who have a variety of excuses why they can't memorize the Bible and I'm going to suggest to you this morning that on your way home from church to throw those excuses out the window. Leave them on the road as you're driving home because I don't think that there's any valid excuse for why you cannot memorize the Bible if it takes you a month to memorize one verse you will be better at the end of that month than you were at the beginning of that month would you say amen Bible memorization let me ask you a question How easy is it for you to sin. You're quoting the Word of God. Can you do it it's awfully difficult if you're going to try I don't suggest that you do but it what you're doing is you're making it difficult for yourself to submit your mind to the control of Satan and you're making it easier for yourself to submit your mind to the control of God The Bible tells us the I word have I hid it in my that I might not against you there you go you already have your but one Bible passage this morning. Let me tell you something every good Seventh Day Adventist who has gone through bible studies in Bible prophecy seminars and sad to school and church has probably a dozen or more passages already memorized that they don't know anything about. You start making a list you'll come up with passages rather quickly but the Bible says the word have I hid in my heart it doesn't say the word of a hit in my phone. It doesn't say the word have I hid it in a book it doesn't say the word have I hid it in my morning worship journal it doesn't say that I word have I hid in church it says that I would have a head where it's not going to do any good for you if its here and not here are you all with me he says that I would have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against the as we hide God's word in our hearts we're making it awfully difficult for us to submit to Satan's temptations think about this if you have just two Bible verses memorized. And that temptation comes your way and you start quoting those Bible passages that's five minutes. But you are quoting the Word of God when you are being tempted as I can to make it more difficult for you to submit to that sensation. Sure is what if you had a chapter memorized five to ten minutes maybe in twelve minutes depending on how long that chapter is. You have the whole chapter memorized and boom the devil comes to you with that area of weakness and you start quoting that Bible passage inside of your head isn't going to make it easier or harder for you to submit to that temptation it's going to make it harder for you you see we got it we've got to use these tools we are so familiar with these things we've heard them over and over again yet we wonder why we struggle with temptation because we're not putting them into practice we know it here but it hasn't become part of our lives yes and I think most of us here this morning probably have Revelation Chapter fourteen versus six through twelve the three angels message most of us probably have eighty percent of that already memorized because we've heard it so many times take the ten commandments Exodus Chapter twenty most of us here this morning probably already have seventy five eighty percent of that already memorized you might just need to go there kind of brushing up a little bit and boom you have that whole section stuck inside of your head Psalms twenty three how many times have you heard some shepherd twenty three we've heard it dozens of times maybe even more than dozens of times you might just need to brush up a few very few words here and there and boom you've got another chapter inside your mind go where you are ready got some of it memorized and then brush it up and you'll find that you have a lot more in your brain than you thought you did. But here's where things kind of are we going to get put the Seamus Christians. Muslim young men. Just as a side note. Most Muslims are not bad people just in case you're wondering. Amen. Yes there are a few extreme radical people out there that do crazy things but that does not make all Muslim people bad. Contrary to what you might hear in the world today but most many Muslim young men. As a rite of passage. Will memorize the entire Qur'an. How much of it. You think they believe in their book. Takes them three to five years to memorize the entire Qur'an. That's committed that's the version. That has thirty books The Koran has thirty books one hundred fourteen chapters six thousand two hundred thirty six verses just as a context. The New Testament as just shy of eight thousand verses in it so it's roughly about the size. Of the New Testament and they will commit three to five years of their life to put their religious book inside of their heads can you see why when Muslims look at Christianity they see it as a bankrupt religion. Christians talk about their God They say they prayed to their God and that they believe in this book called The Bible yet when they look at those Christians many of them can't even quote the Bible many of them can even take a Muslim to a passage of scripture about Jesus and what he has done for us and they say hang on a second here what kind of commitment is it to this type of religion that they say is the God of everything this cannot this is not a true religion to them but it makes me wonder. If we had the commitment to the Word of God that they have to the commitment of their Qur'an maybe some Muslims would see that Christianity is not a bankrupt religion. But it is life everlasting. Listen it's not about what we can do it's what we want to do if we want to commit scripture to memory we can do it. It's all a matter of what we want to do so number one prayer number two what is number to memorize the Bible let me share with you the third thing that you might find a little odd or different than what you've traditionally heard. When it comes to gaining the victory over temptation and the third thing is using the tool of singing what I say singing How would you like to sing. How would you like to sing when other people are listening. Some of us don't mind that. But most of us like to hide behind the congregation don't way you know I know my talents and that's not one of them we might say we'll let other people have better voices do the singing of a singing is a tremendous tool that God has given to us to battle temptations that may come our way we're going to sing our closing here in just a few moments but I want you to think about the words in Him number three hundred thirty take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to the take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for the take my lips and let them be filled with messages from the take my will and make it done it shall be no longer mine what is that a song of. It's a song of commitment it's a song of surrender it's a song of consecration of giving all over to the Lord and when you are battling with temptation you start singing those types of songs and I want to tell you something when you get to the end of that song you'll find that that temptation has drifted away. Because what you think about is what you become as a man thinketh in his heart so is he what about him Number six zero six three zero six draw me nearer draw me nearer Precious Lord there's a phrase in there and my will be lost in the one fantastic prayer fantastic song for us to sing here number three our way holy line what better thing could you say when you're battling with temptation I'm holy Dein or not part I am dying and all that I have him number three hundred eleven I would be like Jesus what a great song to prayer saying when you're being tempted to do something wrong I will be like. Jesus I will be like Jesus this is my song I Will Be like Jesus if Jesus didn't yield to temptation neither will I say amen deacons are going to pass something out here in just a moment they're going to go ahead and pass it out I've got a a quote that I want to share with you and I want you to actually have a physical copy of this so you can underline you can write on there you can do whatever you want you can take it home reread it whatever it may be but I want to kind of share with you the other side of this we looked at it from the Bible we look at something here from the Spirit of Prophecy that's going to actually back up what we've already studied in our Bible together this morning but incidentally let me mention this while they're passing this out here in our home we have a little tradition on Sabbath mornings as we are getting ready for church mostly during. Breakfast time. We have three C.D.'s and watch them play one of them and their C.D.'s of scripture songs not be the first to say that they're not the most you know they're not going to make the top twenty OK but it's Scripture and the goal for the spiritually minded person is to commit God's word to my heart to memorize it to put inside of my mind when I was at high school during the week during our morning and evening worship during the week we would sing what we called scripture songs they were scripture puts music and many of those songs that we saying when I was in high school I still have them inside of my mind and I can bring them back in the time of temptation in the time that I'm strong and I can start meditating on the Word of God and we oftentimes do this in our family I want this these passages to get stuck inside of my kid's head so that when they get older they have that resource to be able to use when the devil comes their way they have the Word of God to be able to quote as they have memorized it at the breakfast table if you're interested in any of those C.D.'s you can let me know I'd be happy to burn a couple copies for you so that you can listen to them and can. It's God's word to memory as well three things we looked at this morning prayer Bible memorization singing these are all tools that you can use to combat the enemy when he tries to derail you from your committed consecration and unreserved surrender to God OK you have the statement in your hand we're going to go ahead and work through this this is from mine character and personality Volume two page five hundred ninety five you can mark it up take it home whatever you need to do to it underline it pin it up on your refrigerator keep it in your Bible wherever you think it would be most helpful she begins by saying this if Satan seeks to divert the mine now I would say when Satan because it's not if it's when right. But she says if Satan seeks to divert the mind to the low and sensual things whether the next four words. What are they. Bringing it back again and place it on what eternal things now let me tell you something this morning that is your job. That's your part she says if Satan tries to divert your mind she says bring it back again and place it on that which is good how do we do that how do I When Satan tries to divert my mind how do I bring it back again I just share with you three ways of doing that through prayer we can bring our thoughts back through bible memorization we can bring our thoughts back through singing good Godly scriptural songs we can bring our thoughts back through Bible study we can bring our thoughts back so she says when Satan tries to divert your mind to low and central things bring it back again and place it on one. Eternal things now let me ask you question if you don't have eternal things in your head can you bring your mind back to that yes or no you can't so you gotta have something there to be able to bring your mind back to you see many of us or some of us have an experience where we had that in a children's story that little container. And in that container we have you know five pieces of wisdom inside of our head right and the rest of the containers completely empty and the devil looks at that container he says wow look at all that space that I can put stuff in. So he gets you saying Mom tired I'm going to sit down and watch the T.V. for a little while tonight so he fills up all that blank space with worldly things and it dilutes the spiritual see what we want to do is we want to take that container instead of having five six ten words of wisdom in there we want the whole container full of words of wisdom so that the devil does not have any space to put his stuff in would you say amen. Bring it back against Jesus. Then she goes on she says when the Lord see the determined effort made to retain only pure thoughts he will attract the mind like all what when the Lord see us when the Lord looks down and he looks at his children and he sees their determined efforts I mean as you question when you are determined to do something is that easy or hard. It's not always easy to be determined it's not always easy to do something when you are determined to do it because often times people are pushing you the opposite way but when the Lord sees that you are determined to set your thoughts on things that come from above to retain pure thought she says he will attract the mind like a magnet that's his promise that's his part I can't do that God the one that does the attraction so my part is to bring my thoughts back again once I do that through the tools that God has given to me then it's God's part he attracts the mind like a magnet you've seen magnets for right you know the closer they get together the what. If you haven't seen magnets before. Let me tell you the closer a magnet gets to one another if you got them going the right direction the stronger the pool become it's so you can think of your mind over here as one magnet and God over here as the other magnets and when I bring my thoughts back when I pull them back in the Devils trying to pull in this way and I bring them back through spiritual things the closer I get to God The stronger the what the srong are the pool until this it connects together and then I have the mind of Christ at that point so she says that he will do the attracting he will attract the mind like a magnet that's a promise and then she goes on he will purify the what. Who does the purifying God's doing the purifying he will then purify our thoughts let me tell you something this morning. I believe that it's a great greater miracle of God to purify the thoughts of man than it was to raise Lazarus from the dead. Specially in the days that we're living in. And Christians are subjected to the same thing when it comes to degrading thoughts that take us away from God next paragraph she goes on she says this. The first work of those who reform is to purify the what. What's our first work. What is it. Our first work. When you say something's The first work when you do that. When you do it. You do it first right it's the first thing that you do if it's the first work in a line of things that need to be done that's the first thing that you do but oftentimes we don't do that she says the first work that those who would reform are the first work of those who would reform is superior Farai the why. The imagination now the imagination is a wonderful thing you can use it for good this morning in our breakfast time as we were eating our breakfast I was talking to the kids about what they look forward to when they get to the kingdom of heaven and they were talking about how you know that the houses that are going to be built on the animals that are going to be there and all that kind of stuff that we've talked about before their imagination what heaven is going to be like we talk about that oftentimes in our homes and that's a good use of our imagination but unfortunately the devil understands how powerful the imagination is to sway us one way or the other it has a direct hold upon our feelings and so he tries to get in there and get our imaginations and set them on things of the earth instead of things on heaven. But she says the first work would be to reform and purify the imagination right this passage down Second pretty in chapter ten a verse five won't turn there but you're familiar with it it says this casting down imaginations and every high thing that exulted itself against the knowledge of God and bringing it into captivity every thought to the obedience of price we think about something who's a somebody who's captive what you refer to somebody who's a captive. What a slave remember we're all slaves. We're all servants the question is who is my master and if I choose to have God as my master then the Bible tells me my thoughts need to be captive to his will that means that I won't think about things that Jesus wouldn't think about I wouldn't talk about things that Jesus would not talk about that I would not do things that Jesus would not do my thoughts are captive to the will of God. Then she goes on she says this is the mine. Is led out in a vicious direction it must be what's the next word there it must be what what do you think of when you think of restrain. When something is being restrained does it want to be restrained or not. When we were driving over here from Fremont Midori said to me you know what I think of when I think of the word restraint I said what she said I think of a toddler. Those of you there parents understand that right restraining a child there wanting to do something you KNOW YOU CAN ALSO thing an animal that's been caught they are restrained they're struggling to get free because they want to go one way or you want to take them in another way the Bible to she's telling us that the thoughts need to be restrained if the mind is led in a vicious direction it must be restrained you've got to pull it back you've got to restrain it to dwell upon pure and what elevated subjects' when tempted to yield to a corrupt imagination then freed to the throne of grace and pray for what. For a for strength from heaven Listen you cannot restrain your thoughts to dwell upon pure and elevate it subjects' if pure and elevate it subjects are not things that you often think about. It just doesn't work it can't happen that way but when pure and elevated thoughts are things that you choose to think about on a regular basis when the temptation comes your mind will naturally want to go in that direction rather than in the ungodly way. And then she concludes by saying this in strength of God The imagination can be disciplined to dwell upon things which are pure and heavenly would you say amen to that that's a promise that's a promise that we can have disciplined minds that will think on pure and holy things but I'm going to tell you again you can't have a mind that thinks on pure and holy things if your mind is constantly thinking upon worldly things. It just doesn't work that way I don't know you know the definition of a. Sanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result you've heard that before right and sometimes we live in insane spiritual experience we keep doing the same thing we keep you know digesting the same worldly stuff and we keep expecting something different to happen and we get spiritually discouraged by that we become spiritually insane and some of us may need to be admitted into a spiritually insane asylum because we've just we drive ourselves spiritually mad because we want to live this way but we constantly keep feeding ourselves this way and we expect something to change now not if we want this we've got to put away that so that we can have the better thing. But the good news this morning is that our minds can be disciplined to think on pure and holy thoughts. No doctrine. No prophecy. No teaching that specific to Seventh Day Adventists. Has any value to us as Seventh Day Adventists if we haven't first experienced genuine conversion. We've made ourselves comfortable by the fact that we can say all the right things we've made ourselves feel comfortable by the fact that we are doing a lot of good and as I mentioned last week I mention it again this week God will use unconverted people in his work he did with the disciples and he'll do it in the last days but that doesn't mean that he'll save those unconverted people. And it would be a shame for God to use us to win people into His Kingdom and then for us to miss out on the very thing that we are inviting other people to. We can't get so caught up in what we're doing and what we know that we forget who we know and why we know. Again. I challenge you with the statement in First Kings Chapter twenty and verse four my lord okaying according to the ice saying I am dine and all that I have. I want to invite you the small. To make that commitment to the Lord. And say father all that I have. Is yours. My mind. The words that I speak the money that I earn the time that I have everything. That I own. I give it to you. For you to use at your disposal. I don't want to hold any of it back don't want to be a half baked Christian it's only partly surrendered which isn't surrendered at all it's really a miserable life when you live apart be surrendered life. And so I can I challenge you this morning with this commitment. Father. I am dying and all that I have and if there's anything in my life. That is keeping me from making that unreserved surrender to you. I'm asking you Lord to show me what that thing is. Because I want to put it on the altar and burn it. Not asking you to enter into this lightly. But I'm really asking you to think about it. I think our church is poised. To be really used by God. But we need the Lord to take us over the edge. We have members who. Willing hearts. We have people in our church that have talents for God. We have what it takes. But we need the Lord for the power of His Holy Spirit to take us over the edge. And the only way that's going to happen is by experiencing conversion. I and the I. And all that I. God has blessed this church. Not because of what we've done but the spider sense. And I believe that God can bless this church much more. And I want to see what that looks like. In two months we're going to be opening our doors and inviting people to come to our son. Wouldn't it be great by then for us to be a church that is consecrated and sold out to God. And God could say listen here is a church in Michigan. That is completely surrendered to my will and whatever I ask them to do that's what they're going to do. Whatever individual I go to and I say this is what I want you to do this is how I want you to live this is what I want you to say it whatever I ask them to do through the impress of the Holy Spirit that's what they're going to do here's a church that will do it send the Holy Spirit send them open the doors of heaven and poor out the blessings upon them my people need to hear the message that these people have. Would that be wonderful. I believe it can be a reality. But the Lord is waiting for us to have it out with him in a prayer closet. And say Lord show me as painful as it may be I don't care oh painful it is but whatever is Lord show me. I'll give it to you. Whatever attitude it is whatever it is. I'll give it to you Lord. And I'll leave you to figure out what the results are going to be I'm just committed wholeheartedly to you and your desire. That you desire and I ask you to join me and kneeling in prayer if you can those of you that can kneel just make that commitment in your heart to the Lord the Lord understands. Father in heaven. We come to you as a church family. Here in our family worship that we have once a week. Father we recognize. Our utter dependence upon you. Lord we recognize. Our need. Constantly being a whole Levi. A father as we kneel before you. As a family. We were telling you Lord this is what we want. Individually. We want it Lord. So that we can have it collectively as a church. Father we yearn we long and we hunger to have the gates of heaven opened. And blessings to be poured down upon us because we can be trusted with the power that is invested in the Holy Spirit that we would take no glory to ourselves. That we would not seek to. Hinder or hamper the work of the Holy Spirit in a new way in any way that we would only see the good. That was around us. Over. Father you know our hearts the spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is so weak. And Lord this next week as we as we have it out with you in our prayer closets as we wrestle together with you oh God show us what it is that we have not surrendered to you. Make it as clear as day. A father we may wrestle with it. I pray that you would give us the strength from above. To lay that thing on the altar. Say Not my will but thine be done. Father we want to. Be used by you. To share the gospel to these precious souls that you're going to bring to us. In our Bible prophecy seminar. Lord we don't want it to be like any other seminar. We're not satisfied with the status quo any more we are asking for heaven's blessing to be poured out in abundance. And may we look back father at this time. It's a spiritual high point in our walk with you. Bless us Father help us. Help us I pray. Thank you for hearing this prayer. Thank you for answering. Because we prayed according to your will. In the Almighty and powerful in. This media was brought to you by audio first a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about your first or if you would like to listen to more sermon leave to visit W W W audio verse or.

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