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Logo of GYC 2017: Arise

3. I Don't Get It

Sean Nebblett Natasha Dysinger



  • December 28, 2017
    2:45 PM
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This message was presented at the G.U.Y.Z. twenty seventeen conference arise in Phoenix Arizona for other resources like this visit us online at W W W dot. Org. So this morning for those of you who were not here we covered very briefly just the rudiments wide to have devotions we discover that there are a whole. Whole spectrum of reason the status of oceans but some of the strongest ones are the number one the whole point of devotions devotion itself should be thought of as an action and not just a you know any venue to my devotions in the morning the active ingredient in devotions in the morning is in fact devotion. And so why should we have devotions in the first place where we listed a number of reasons we won't go through all those right now but some of the key ones obviously communion we were created for communion we were created to be loved by infinite God and it is that moment of setting aside everything else in the world strangely dim and fixing our eyes on Christ that you know brings us into close contact with him and allows him to pull off that miracle so many reasons why that was this morning the first session then we discussed what to study and briefly discussed studying stories studying themes or topics studying books studying authors. And we find that weaved through that whole. All the options you know that we have to in approaching scripture the story is kind of our recurring theme because God seem to it seems you know when Christ was here he taught predominantly three stories and it seems to me that the reason why is that a story packs in more than just the words and we know that because stories have kept giving since he spoke them even now and we can read a story today and it means something more and different than it did yesterday so first session of this afternoon we're going to kind of switch into again more of the practical elements how to study so we touched on what to study how to study and some of this will will kind of dovetail into what we discussed this morning but first let's ask the presence of the spear with us. Father in heaven here we are again thank you so much for this opportunity that we have to spend concentrated time seeking you letting the world and the cares that so often surround us just letting those go for a time and dedicating some time to our Bibles and Christian fellowship we just ask that your spirit would speak powerfully in this place that you would take control of the discussion that we have that you would plant the seeds of truth into each one of our minds and then let that truth spring up shoot bear fruit for your glorious supreme Jesus name Amen amen right now before we dive into how to study I just wanted to throw out a somewhat of an answer to this question I said we would start with this is the question came in last segment what do you do if despite every effort at surrender and commitment your devotion is still on satisfying and flat is something wrong with your spiritual life is something wrong with you. I'll refer back to the analogy I used regarding the farmer and farming as the question is farming hard is growing and the answer is yes farming is hard is growing vegetables hard no growing vegetables actually isn't hard preparing the soil keeping it soft keeping it watered keeping the weeds out that's the hard part the seeds grow by the power of God not by my arse so our duty when it comes to devotions is to create an environment where God can do what God is good at and what we can't do because it's you know special thanks to ministry of his spirit so in reference to this question. What do you do what do you do if despite all your efforts and surrender and commitment your devotion still seem unsatisfying and flat I would I would say my it's an illustration of use before some of you probably heard it before also my siblings have spent most of the They've been spending my older sister brother in law and their two little ones have been spending six months of the year in Africa on there and one of the things that they do is they. As they're serving we've had a you know that we've had the opportunity to go over there and spend some time with them and in there. They were once upon a time the Democratic Republic of Congo we went and visited them there and one of the things that was just a fly in your face if you ever visit Africa for an extended period of time is the sheer number of cute little kids with stomachs out here now in the West. You know we know this condition as malnutrition and we would consider them to be starving in truth most of those little kids have full stomachs. Many of them don't OK but most of the little kids that you see on the street they have full stomachs but what's their stomach for. White rice and white rice. By itself is actually not enough to sustain human life so they never grow as tall as we do in certain parts of Africa now we would look at them and say you're starving you have a problem and you need to fix it and yet for them for the little ones themselves they're happy as larks because their stomachs are actually full so they have this sense of satiation I don't need any more food and yet we look at him and say you're starving starving and not hungry is that possible I think of the same. Another similar scenario for a number of years before she died we had the privilege of taking care of my little grandmother my mother's mother and she had advanced and advancing dementia and of course with that kind of disease process you just start to lose more and more body function as the years go and as the years go on and in fact you can get to the point we don't know all of how this works because it's kind of get hard to get into a brain like that and really understand but as as the years go on you can actually get so bad you forget how to be hungry. And you forget how to eat and not just that you forget like the mechanics of eating like you can't get your food you forget what eating is for. Or so it seems so when taking care of old grandma she just you know she got to the point where her disease process is very advanced it was all mother could do and my sisters could do to keep weight on her and they did a masterful job of keeping weight on her all the way to the end but that's because the day was basically one long mealtime you're going to take you know one bite open open open open OK got a bite of food there but it would just go in and she would just sit there looking at you and you like chew it chew it and swallow chew it and swallow and it was just a fight you know all day long my poor little Gramma So you know I got to the point in at the very end of her life you discoursed she didn't she didn't she didn't know what she was and she apparently she didn't feel hungry anymore because I'm looking at my grandma and saying Gramma got heat you're starving to death he's starving to death but again didn't know it how is that possible when the case of the African You can be starving to death and not know it because your belly is filled with something else that I think is one of our primary spiritual problems we live in a land of spiritual and otherwise plenty and plenty of other stuff too and what we are really truly deeply hungry hungry for is this connection but there are other things that we can partake of that mimic the kind of spiritual. Satisfaction that comes from real communion one of those is stimulation This may be one of the reasons why if you read like a child guidance. Just some some very interesting and very potent things to say about. Children and highly stimulating circumstances and circus shows and all this kind of stuff the reason one of the reasons for this is that we can literally be hungry. In the backup we are literally hungry for God we were created to be connected with God we were created to have a walk and talk and and love and live relationship with god us and got together and then of course to fall broke that up so now we're literally walking around half of what we were intended to be less than half because God is by far the bigger half who are literally walking around and so we have this hunger and we feel that hunger the world is eager to fill it this is why there is such a thing as marketing and advertisement campaigns they're all appealing to innate human need human hunger. Well if they can market me something they maybe I don't need what would really satisfy. I need Jesus but if I spend enough time on Facebook today I want to think about Jesus and I don't realize I need Jesus does that make sense so I had an interesting experience and I know I was somewhat I'm rambling on and on at an interesting experience probably a little but I know that it was a couple months ago I was working on a very highly intensive writing project and I just needed to be done and I wanted to get done and in the midst of it was more than a couple months goes probably a year or something I don't know in the midst of that my concentration I thought OK fine what I really need is zero distractions like if I if I do nothing else and I give attention to nothing I can I really can get this done but I just need your distractions and furthermore this is a project I'm working with working on with the Lord Jesus and so I want to have I want him to have unhindered access to me so just for this time I'm going to go to media fast right we've all kind of done that before probably but I decide not just a media fast I'm going to go on a fast I'm not going to email I'm not going to literally I'm just going underground for ten days and so I did and sure enough I had I had time to spare that I had not reckoned But you know it was even more incredible to me than the time I had to spare because I wasn't exactly I mean I already wasn't a stared Instagram for three hours a day person. I thought well I'll save the ten minutes that I usually look at Instagram in the morning or whatever and I'll save. You know I might save ten minutes in the afternoon and what we did I'll be great I'll save twenty minutes I saved a lot more than twenty minutes because I realize that. You know when I look at them again. And get lost on me getting hooked on Instagram because Instagram is not really the point here there's a deeper point but I realized that in my five minutes of you know looking at Instagram catching up great I have discovered that you know three of my friends are eating the same thing for lunch I discovered that so and so I was out skiing today I discovered that you know I don't half and a half a dozen other innocuous things and then I'm move on but in the back of my head is among other things there is no snow on the ground there's no snow on the ground I live in the park this El Nino La Nina I think whatever it is this year I don't know what it is but I don't pre-heat it because I want to ski and I'm going skiing since I was you know whatever and then this is the background what I come from that came from Instagram by you know by extension and is there anything wrong with that No but here's The Point two days of saying no more Instagram no more you know e-mail no more I'm just going to focus on this project right in front of spend extra time praying etc I suddenly it was as though I woke up and I could hear it wasn't until the background noise was gone that I realized how much background noise I had in my head and that background noise was threatening not just my attention span but also my affections while it was there so just the you know just by virtue of my having background noise which again was completely innocuous stuff harmless just by virtue of having that background noise in my mind when I sat down to read my Bible I'm still reading Bible plus background noises having sense. Suddenly to set that aside I wasn't even thinking in those terms is why it was such a miracle to me to set those things aside for a different purpose because I was like I don't have the twenty minutes a day I'm going to use those twenty minutes a day for this project instead see how quickly I can get done suddenly I was getting you know twice as much done in a given day because when I sat down to read my Bible my Bible just came alive and when I sat down to write it was as though things just jelled in my mind again not saying God would do this necessarily every time but what I am saying. Is that this may very well be a reason why we try and try and try and try and want and want and want to have a more vibrant experience want to be getting something out of our. Out of our Bibles in in truth I'm just telling you if my belly is already full of white rice I don't care how good the law is on yes I'm just not hungry I can pick up my Amazon you know he's so good but I can't eat I can't deeply partake So again that may or may not be that's one facet of the answer to this question. What do you do have despite all your efforts surrender to mend your devotions are still unsatisfying and flat Jesus said when the first things he said in the mountain member Blessed are the poor in spirit rest of those you sense their need and then right after that he says most of those who hunger and thirst after righteousness they will be filled there's the promise we're back to the you know the farming scenario if you're hungry and you go to Jesus I promise you'll be satisfied if you're not hungry and you go to Jesus the first prayer out of your mouth and mine should be give me a hunger and thirst after righteousness and then my first set of choices should be OK enough white rice know why rice for this ten days for this next year for the rest of my life Prince. What is that we're training you know our lives are just we're there full to them and you squeeze any one of our lives out in the just the running who in this room is not incredibly busy but what are we trading a few short years here first is a turn and. I really I mean school is is is is great and this is how God often leaves us to you know prepares to fulfill our calling but let's not forget that in this moment literally I'm going to say something really radical OK in this moment. If I can't go to school and be a Christian in spirit and in truth I'm choosing Christian I'll come back to school sometime later I'll take six years to get done with my associates degree and I'll come out the other side a Christian and if Jesus shows up halfway through glory be I don't have to finish. The alternative is start down that crazy train and never get off. And miss it because when Jesus does stand up and walk out of the room when the latter rain does begin to fall we're just consumed with our you know our little world and our little set of priorities and lo and behold we're missing out on what's most important All right so in the closing portions of the last seminar that we did before lunch we were going to talk about praying through Scripture and we ran out of time so I'm going to cover that briefly before we continue on with this subject matter because I think it is such a powerful thing and it has made such a big difference in my life so we talk about prayer as a part of our devotional experience I think all of us know you know hey I need prayer as a vibrant part I know we have another seminar in prayer by Pavel going. Find it afterwards listen to it's going to be powerful I know but in the meanwhile we cannot just talk about devotions that out at least touching on the subject of prayer so what is your prayer in the morning connect with your devotions What does that look like it is so easy for us to fall into the habit of it becoming somewhat repetitive and wrote because of the fact that yes God does beat back to us he does speak through His Holy Spirit to our conscience however while we are maturing in the experience of recognizing and understanding God's voice sometimes there can be a bit of a fog between you know was that not speaking to me or was my only. Idea that popped into my head and we can become confused between those two things God has given us so much subject matter for prayer in between the two pages of this the covers of this book. So how how meaningful would I find it let's give a practical example how meaningful would I find it if. Using my wonderful husband as an example again if at the end of every day you know I didn't see him throughout the day but at the end of every day I knew that he was on the other side of this this door and he would come and he would listen on the other side of that door and I would be like oh sweet you know I has a great day today and you know I went and I saw so and so and this amazing thing happened and. So I also had a concern such and such need to happen and would you help me with that and you know I love you so much you're so you're so special to me and. Anyway so I'll talk to you tomorrow and I never heard anything back how meaningful would that relationship be and see this is the struggle that we as humans often have with prayer because while we're maturing in the experience of let me understand God's voice speaking back to my heart it can feel extremely one sided and how long do you sustain a one sided conversation for right. Across that we don't address God that way but across the barrier of not being able to fully perceive you know you speaking to my heart how do you sustain a good connection with him where it's meaningful praying through Scripture is one of those ways because God has spoken to us in the pages of this book and you know what it's quite a bit of subject matter and if we decide to read through this book in a year it's quite a bit of reading it's quite a bit of rain so God has given subject matter and this is one of the things that has been incredibly powerful my life turn in your Bibles to some one thousand well just give an example of this and you can do this all throughout the Bible but I find it particularly meaningful in Psalms because in the book of Psalms God has given us this like this entire book of inspired prayers that we can pray to him. And the fact that he has given us these inspired prayers that we can pray to him is itself the guarantee that he is prepared to answer those prayers he's like OK ask this ask this pray this prayer this pray this pray this pray this because all of those things he is imminently prepared to respond to our requests so we have that in the book of songs all of the Bible really but let's let's use some one thousand is an example and I love some one thousand because you know as long as chapter in the Bible but it's broken up into these very convenient verse sections so you can take just one verse section as the beginning of your devotions as you as a prayer meditation at the beginning of your devotions or you can take two sections or three sections but whatever you can take maybe a piece or you can take a different song Psalm thirty two is an exceptional song for this someone there's So you know so many songs that you can do this for so let's say we're I'm going to pray through the first section of Psalm one nineteen OK blessid are the undefiled in the way that I can immediately make that the subject of prayer Lord and my undefiled and I covered by your blood Lord take my heart you cover me with the blood of Jesus I want to be under file before you and that opens the door to a whole subject matter of being covered with the righteousness in the blood of Jesus and how he saves us from all sin right who walk in the law of the Lord Lord I want to walk in your lot today will you show me will you remind me today when I'm when I'm beginning to stray when I'm becoming distracted when I'm thinking about something else and I'm beginning to depart from your law will you speak to me will you at that moment call to my heart and remind me that those who are undefiled in the way are blessed Will you give me that blessing of enabling me to walk in your way Blessed are those who keep his testimonies Lord give me a love for your testimony you see how there is like so much subject matter in these verses and how we can pray about how that applies to our heart and it will be just as powerful today and tomorrow and the next day and the next day because these prayers can always grow they grow with the human until we reach the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ none of us are there at this point so we have so much subject matter so so one thousand specifically is a wonderful meditation for beginning. Your devotions with I think because it's specifically speaking of God's word God's law his dad his judgment it's entire meditation of love toward the commandments the statues the judgments the Word of God and that's all we want in called Get into our own hearts and so I love that the beginning of my devotion is just taking one section you know one of those verse sections and just going through it praying through it so that my my can be washed with the word before I even get to the point where I'm you know wrestling through some other subject and trying to figure out some other passage so that my heart is starting out with a love for the Word of God not only Psalm one thousand all through the Psalms crazy through the Psalms if you struggle if you feel like your prayer life is kind of dryness like you know it's God saying to me what am I saying you know I already covered my necessary topics and am done and what else Muslims to pray about now this is a perfect thing go to the Psalms and find their unlimited subject matter for your prayers. Hello I'll read one of the questions that came in between times if you lack the imagination to visualize in your mind what is happening in the Bible due to how your mind has been affected by movies etc. And now you've given up certain media but you still cannot develop imagination to immerse yourself in the Bible story how do you proceed from that point the Bible is not entertaining and nothing you can do to help your mind to say nothing you can do will help your mind see the amazing stories I bring this up because it is dovetails halfway between this and what I just finished saying and that is this it is absolutely certain that if our minds are accustomed to being hyper stimulated which is the norm nowadays especially with these things which is why the experts are now telling us American College of Pediatrics like don't even do it don't let them see screen until they're at least six years old and every time I get on the airplane it's another two year old doing something on the i Pad I'm thinking. And the brain will get about as strong as an i Pad But as we know two years in and i Pads ready to be replaced. Hardly hardly run an app anymore. So it's absolutely East true that if we you know there is a price to be paid for that kind of just visual onslaught that the brain gets so amped up that it's a custom now to a high level of stimulation and stimulation simply is not a replacement for satisfaction and yet it dulls your your your sense of dissatisfaction that makes sense and because it does and it's directly connected with. The pleasure center of the brain all this kind of stuff you just you get a double mean hit and oh yeah that's that feels better than it felt five minutes ago and so we keep going back to it if that is your situation which that is most of us most of us could certainly use a bit of a reset so that you can we can enjoy the scripture more if that's your situation than I'm so your brain needs to heal and one of the things necessary to kind of I would say there's two things necessary to help kick start the brain one is like what I was talking about just the hard and fast OK I'm going to be a little bit ridiculous about this and not only I'm a going to look at Instagram and Facebook but I'm just and I'm using my phone I mean I'm not going to do you know envious period of time whatever that is obviously it's going to be summer if you're in school during this period of time I'm just going to take a complete just complete abstinence a complete fast and is that going to feel bad Yeah in fact. Media addiction is such a thing that you can live Jim it Lee get withdrawals like you can legitimately get the aches and the pains and the shakes and headaches from not yeah literally from not having access to your device. In that situation the brain needs to heal and the brain is going to take you know an extended period of time to heal but two things will help you number one is that commitment to being hard and fast and just saying OK this really is going to hurt but a gentle say a gentle taper or gentle weaning just means you'll be a little deficient but you're still getting your fix we're trying to do is stop the brain from getting it's it's fix this is kind of addiction science the second thing there is. OK And any of you ever heard the term brain plasticity before OK this is a neuro scientific term brain plasticity is the ability of the brain to change there's a gene genetic marker that turns brain plasticity on and off when you and I were eighteen months old brain plasticity was flipped on all the time. And what that means is the brain is in a state of everything is important so everything they see everything a little child sees smells hears the brain is registering that is important information important information important information important information this is why the brain is just exploding in learning. After you get to be about three years old the brain is like you know important information and so it starts to filter the the the gene that turns plus the on off switches it to off and now the brain will only switch into plastic mode under certain circumstances this is one of the other reasons why I had that whole blurb about the. You know my black car this morning the brain likes to learn with stories it likes to learn with pictures and so because it likes it it switches on the plasticity gene and suddenly you start remembering when it's time to study for finals Unfortunately the brain usually switches off the plasticity gene because it's like you're not off you know deterrence this is not important I will never have to know this again after tomorrow and so you sit there trying to force feed yourself what the brain does not want what's the lesson in this for us at this point well in order to help you hard reset the brain going to need two things scientists have discovered that the the elements that turns plastics incidentally plasticity is harder and harder to turn on the brain gets pickier and pickier as we get older because like I know all that already you know I don't need to know but there is one and there are several things that turn it on and off but the one under our control is volition by which I mean I want if you want something bad enough so bottom line if you want something bad enough your brain will open up to get it. But it has to be a this is an all in kind of I Want It That makes sense so we're talking about OK My brain is just. I have literally movie scenes playing twenty four seven three sixty five in my brain and so the Bible's not interesting that's that's hard. What you're going to what I'm going to have to do in that situation is number one cut off the source you know stop feeding that part of my brain and number two I'm going to have to put my brain hopefully into a mode where I can start to change again to change away from you know what I have been thinking about obsessing about and enjoying this whole time into a different mode altogether which means. One way to do that for example would be. Replacement so into my mind comes this you know thing or it's a snitch of a song or it's whatever went into my mind comes out think my prayer would literally be Lord remind me tap me on the shoulder or balk me over the head when I start doing that same thing again without thinking remind me of what I have determined to do remind me of what it is that I most deeply desire to do God's faithful to answer that prayer when I was younger than I am now. OK when I was very young my mouth never stopped and then once I got old enough to figure out that sometimes people don't want to hear your mouth going all day long then I stuck to my mouth at least half the time but my brain kept going so in the back of my mind there's just all these I had I have long you know on chapters three hundred sixty five some epic drama in the in my brain and I'm just you know scrubbing the toilet right but but in my brain is the full cast of characters and costumes and it might as well have been a movie and that happened without me trying write I I'm pretty sure I was addicted. And so I literally would slip into this mode without think I was doing the dishes or what I'm just mumbling under my you know dialogues going back and forth and I should have I don't know. In my Anyway if I want to chris and i probably a screenwriter I suppose anyway or a novelist so I was like what is obviously this is come to the point where I almost dependent on it now what am I supposed to do well. I can I can you know I can tap you on the shoulder and then be proactive I knew that I had a problem every time I went to the to the sink and I'm just moving my hands and none of the rest of he's actually doing anything productive my mind was just so like OK new plan I have to figure out something else to do when I go to the sink and I decided OK Well there's plenty of people in the world who have plenty of means maybe I'll pray I'll pray for a specific person instead of you know when and whenever the Lord reminds me your mind your mind wandering come come come come castles castles and knights can wait to come whenever the Lord reminds me I will replace instead I will I will publish fully pray for X. Y. or Z. these people you know they didn't last very long because I think the devil figured out that X. Y. and Z. were getting paid for a lot so he's like OK switch tactics in addition I would say you know if Shawn's talking more about the aspect of you know turning away from the overstimulation and replacing it but I will additionally say if what we were doing earlier in the previous session where we were going through you know you know as Jesus passed by in the death of Moses if adding that much color and that much you know connection into a Bible study into a Bible story if that is foreign to you then while you're trying to wean yourself you know off of you know hyperstimulation of the brain and back onto the plane word of God then I would say you know let let the conflict at the age of Ceres be your best friend when I was talking about really describing you know Moses turning around and walking away in silence and alone that was a direct quote out of some prophets I didn't come up with that you know in my own wonderfully creative mind so there's a lot there now of course we can repeat your ex improv is. His words turned around walked away in silence on. And be done so we don't have to necessarily enter into that either but there is so much color in those books they are amazing books they are amazing books a lecture let them be your best friend God gave them to us as a gift for a reason because I think he knew that we would be a hyper stimulated age All right so moving right along thank you for all the the questions if we don't cover all the questions will definitely we've got you now so we'll just text you back your question later if we don't get to it in the next session or two OK but I'm not OK. Other favorite message methods I'll just throw this out here so there are creative things that we done with our devotions lately that are just have been really super exciting and super fun too and so. One of those is we read sweet sweet honey and I when we wake up in the morning first thing we do is she usually reads me a song out loud and I read her the proverb of the day whatever the date is so we get a solid proverb and that's kind of our together little you know worship thing and. You know I think why I like it the most because I don't like getting a bed in the morning specially when it's cold so when it's cold and the alarm goes off and then it's like oh I still have four minutes we're going to have one Psalm and one proverb to get my feet on the floor the licious But anyway. Fun little things like that another thing we've done. Is lately OK you know at the last session the white estate released a whole new trove of previously unpublished and white stuff manuscripts and did you know that while they did and among the things that they released you'll just. I have had a real blast going through some of that some of that material and in particular you'll see there was a couple in our earlier sessions a couple references from sermons and talks I have had a lot of fun reading in my sermons and talks and I think one of the reasons is when she wrote she wrote very. You know when you write you write and then you edited or you think about it and you know and then when you talk it's literally just it's a lot more unfiltered right Ellen White was a lady with some personality let me tell you. And it comes through loud and clear in places like sermons and talks and manuscripts and stuff so have some have some fun with your devotional you know with your devotional time your devotional experience and read some of the long side with you know your things reading the Bible or whatever read one of those other early writings in life sketches full of incredible history fascinating fascinating stuff sermons and talks just for and it's from one thing to another sermon takes you know I don't know twenty minutes to read and just really really fun now we want to. One of the main deterrents as it were to. Bible study in general seems to be especially New Testament study people think oh no it's just complicated I can't I can't understand it I don't I don't get it I have no I have no idea I you know I tried to read Romans and Romans just I can't do it so I obviously need to buy more commentaries on Romans or I need to buy a pastor needs to tell me what is going on in Romans I just can't I can't get Romans way too complicated. I want to teach you to quick. That's the word I'm looking for quick back tactics that's exactly the word to quick tactics that I have employed with a significant amount of success. I mean I have a bit of a background in theology but this you can do without any background in theology or knowledge of Greek or Hebrew and the first one is what I call reverse diagramming reverse diagramming This is particularly helpful when you're dealing with Paul who's writing and his sentences run on and on and on and they're full of dependent clauses right so he says something and then because of this who did this and where for this and by the time you get to the end there is no you have no clue what you know what he was actually saying at the beginning like where is the main clause I don't even know so classic example that would be if you want to if you will just do this really quick and show you how it works and you have to quicken two were dead in trespasses and sins where in in times past you walked according to the course of this world according to the prince of the power of the air the spirit that now work with in the children of disobedience among whom also we had all our conversation in times past in the lust of the flesh fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind and were by nature children of wrath even even as others Hala lujah. You had the quick and I mean I I would just look at this and I would start to glaze over an especially if i'm sorry if I'm assigned to read like two for devotions today you guys it's just not going to end well if you if you just take this at face value and try to absorb it that way here's one trick that I have found that works every time every place where you see a little. You know a punctuation mark of some kind of comma someone colon name not every place basically the cut his longs is that all one sentance. I actually think that's all one sentence OK So you want to cut his sentence in pieces every place where there's a comma or something and just take the clauses one of the time OK So that would look something like this you at the quick and dead in trespasses and sins where in times past you walked in corn to the course of this world in the Prince of the power of the air the spirit the now work in the children of disobedience among whom you also had conversations that are all about. Now I'm going to take these. Again we noted that Paul often goes through long strings of in these making dependent statements where he's he's making statements that just kind of expanded downward So for example the fourth bullet there. A moment or the fifth among whom will who's the whom Well yeah everyone from above there is the whom and suddenly he says whom and then below whom is is expanded even more so you've got just words exploding and ideas all over the place and what to do is a tactic that works for me split in pieces in fact if you have a pen and paper this is sometimes even easier write out the verse each clause by itself take a pair of scissors cut them each out lame out on your desk and then flip them around if you take dependent clauses and and decode those first then suddenly the part before makes sense instead of you getting lost down a rabbit hole you start at the bottom where the baby bunnies are and then you come out into the light that makes sense so what that would look like with the fusions too is something like this first we just make a statement we're by nature let me show you the decoded version there are those who are by nature children of wrath that's the last the last down here. OK Anyway. Oh the first one and were by nature children of wrath even as others that was the last line of one through three so it would turn into a statement there are those who are by nature children of wrath their conversation is of the lust of the flesh fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind that same Spirit works in the children of disobedience therefore the children disobedience are these people whose conversation is of the last of the flesh fulfilling desires and part of the etc These are children of disobedience you are one of them you also are a child of disobedience they are dead in trespasses and sins by extension you are dead in trespasses and sins but God has a solution does that make a little more sense then what did before try this you don't have to learn Greek or Hebrew as long as you can recognize a comma. Put them around another. Another. Exercise. That all started to forty five or three forty five we start we started at two forty five to forty yeah OK. Skipped you skipped my partner earlier so I'm back to that. Go ahead and then I'll throw in this yeah OK yeah so here's something we're going to talk about earlier before the reverse diagram but it's OK wherever it fits in so one part of it is OK how we study the stories you know the books this that you know maybe reverse the eye a grounding of these difficult passages we're trying to represent our minds around it. But another very key point is. The mindset that I am in when I start studying So one thing that I began to notice as a pattern in my devotional life was it since I was small I don't even know what age five maybe four my mother was very thing in my book My parents were very faithful about us having our devotional time Praise the Lord for godly parents and so they would every day when I wake up first thing I did was devotion so that became very ingrained habit OK so to this day I wake up was the first thing I do where is my bible so I read usually I read Ellen white stuff on my phone I always read my Bible out of my Bible just because there's a lot of studies that point to us being able to get better attention when reading out of a book as opposed to from a screen and he sides this actually is a Bible. And this actually is and i Phone. So when reading our Bible. It's nice to read your bio it's had its at all possible so and plus with your Bible you can mark I encourage you mark your Bible if you are one of those that like everything to look very tidy and you don't want circles and pencil marks and all this stuff you can be like my husband if you want to go visit his Bible afterwards you can come see it is a macula the way he marks is in macular looks perfect mine not so much but when you express onto the pages of your Bibles look at his give us his word for it's a letter to us we are allowed to interact with it respectfully of course but we are allowed to interact with it we will remember more OK So the mindset that we come that we approach the Word of God with I began to notice in my life that because it was such an ingrained habit. To go to sleep. Or where my Bible. Second peer reading through OK OK. I got a better. OK And I would approach the Bible as a familiar friend you know all kow want to read this OK I mean I enjoy them at a fire by yeah but it's kind of a body you know it's something I do every day I read it. That's not what the Bible actually is Bible something much more remarkable than that so something I've tried to do is to before I just return I will start reading to actually get into a mindset where I understand who it is that I'm coming to spend time with and to learn from because this is his articulated will this is the articulation of his character that I'm reading I don't need to be reading it like Oh right OK so sometimes when I wake up I try to take a few moments just to to pray but to pray in a sense of picturing OK here in my little me sitting on my bed or wherever I am and I just begin by trying to picture OK heaven what is heaven like is there stuff you know carelessly tossed around in the streets is there you know somebody didn't pick up their clothes or papers lying around is that going on in heaven OK trying to picture heaven as we're talking I know I have not seen Not Your her but try to picture heaven as we're going through this so I try to picture OK heaven I try to picture what the Bible describes you know heaven where God is and where is thrown the way it describes I try to picture that in my mind and the more I try to picture that you know I start feeling a bit small then I try to picture you know. Coming down you know these amazing gold corners pillars out still the small when you when they're praising God in everything I try to picture little me coming here and coming to where there is you know cherubim and Sarah familiar names mean burning ones mazing amazing like come there and I'm like OK it's my time to speak to the king and they know that I'm coming because he's told them I'm coming and they are the ones that you know Paul the doors backing of course we don't know exactly how this was but just enter in so we can have the right mindset of knowing who we're speaking to so I try to just picture come in there the door is opening I step in the doors close behind me with a soft click and it's just me and the God of the universe you know. Feeling small ha but then I picture how God is willing for the sake of his children to get off his throne and come down and take our hands and says and say How did you sleep how is your How's your day what do you have lined up not that he doesn't know but that he cares once I'm in that frame of mind where it's like little me in the courtroom in the throne room doors clicking softly behind me just me and a holy God I'm a particular god powerful god affectionate God mindset a submission I don't come in there and I'm like well what would you think you were doing about such and such no that's not them is not the mindset at that moment a submission be reverence I respect the Bible's not just my buddy the Bible dictates to me I learn from the Bible it is my teacher I am student and lastly affection This is not just some dictator up on his throne dulling us you shall do this you shall do that you shall not do this no it's the God that's willing to get off his throne take our hands in his and say How did you sleep. Tell me about your day tell me the things you want help with tell me to encourage me do you want to know how much I love you that's the guy we're doing with so when we come to the Bible let's not just below and it's an easy trap I understand it is it is one of my besetting things in my devotional life I just come to the Bible and start studying and because I do have a lively imagination for stories of the buy I can get all you know lost and I was talking about earlier about the dust in the thing everywhere flying and rocks coming up and Jesus walking by and there is the blind man who I get excited about it right so I do have a lively imagination that can enter into the Word of God but at the same time we're not just here to be imagining a imagining what's there we're here to come and yes enter in but to learn and be taught and be loved that's why become to the word God that I've never heard her give a particular description before but it's quite like my if. In my mind when I get to the throne room quote quote I am I'm I'm a three year old boy in footy pajamas with a teddy bear under my arm like you know and and God is God Almighty but he's like what's your teddy bears name you know credible that is the God we serve that God through that's the God we need to know that's the god we're willing to die for not one that's just like oh shalt thou shalt not he does say that I shout and shout that but he says it because he loves because he wants relationship with us and because he knows better than we do what's going to help us and what will not be right so last last point for this session and then hopefully we'll get more questions I'll take the same if you choose to do a different passage but we're already kind of kind of got this so they'll speed things up a little bit we've discovered that there's this class of people there are children of wrath and they are the spirit that works in them is the spirit of disobedience they have their conversation that is their lifestyle is the last of the flesh they are in the world and we are among them we are one of them but God is quickened us that's the essence of efficiency one through three there's another way that you can approach difficult passages like this though and that is. Or maybe it's a related way to approach difficult passages like this and that is harking back to what I was saying this morning about pictures and stories the pursuit of. You know finding pictures and stories and appalling the pestle is much more difficult than in the book of Genesis or the Book of Acts or the Gospels. Because Paul was not writing a story book when he wrote the book of Romans however there is plenty of there actually is plenty of imagery locked in these passages and often if we were able to you know wrestle through the the wording to see the imagery it sticks just that much better. Now to make a little disclaimer here and that is. There is a difference between type and into type there is a difference between the reality and the metaphor. The reality is comprehensive metaphors by definition are limited so don't you know don't build in your mind Prideaux pursue a metaphor and figure out and think all I have figured out all there is to know on this topic because you know I know this one story I know a metaphor a pick a mind picture in a sense can give us an insight into a story but then there's always more so let's take for example the fusions two one through three again. If I were to ask you to play a OK you know you've probably seen if you have played that game where you may be get someone tells you a sentence or a word or phrase and you have a piece of paper and a pencil and you're supposed to translate that phrase into Pick a graph of some kind and you can't use any words you play that game and then you give your paper to someone else and they're supposed to turn it back to words. You can pull you can play I say a almost a related I don't I want to call it a game because we're not playing with Scripture but you can do a similar exercise in your mind especially with Pauline passages for example you have the quick into were dead in trespasses and sins if I was to stop and try to build a mind picture you know what would that mine picture look like I could leave you to think about this for an hour that to be super fun fact maybe next year we should just give everyone paper and see what happens with the two. But I'll just tell you my my rough picture. Since we have like literally three minutes here you at the Quicken two were dead in trespasses and sins so I'm trying to. Wrap my mind around this dead dead in trespasses and sins OK so I'm in something and I'm dead. Next question what am I in what is that death look like next verse wherein in times past you walked OK so I have obviously I'm not in a coffin Did you catch that because I'm walking I'm in something and I'm dead but it's not a coffin it must be bigger because I'm up and walking so obviously also this is not sarcophagus King Tut kind of death some other kind of death where in times past you walked according to the course of this world according to the prince of the law of the power of the air the spirit the now work in the children of disobedience OK So obviously I walking I'm walking in disobedience but the verse says that I'm dead dead in trespasses and sins the picture that comes to my mind is a castle the castles name is trespasses and sins I'm walking around inside but I'm dead but if I'm walking around inside I think I'm alive that makes sense that's us walking around thinking I'm alive and there might be many this is this would be further extrapolation there might be many reasons why I inside the castle might think myself alive might think myself free it's possible my eyes have been put out. So I actually don't see the walls under sitting there thinking. I can see the birds you know I mean I can hear the birds and I can feel the breeze so therefore I must be free No indeed I'm not free in fact I might be entranced questions and sins and what is the you know what do you think would be God's priority what you think would be God's intention for a child of his dead in trespasses and sins Well if you keep reading and again we don't have time to crack into the whole Romans thing but again I mentioned earlier that he is of the Romans efficiencies to is packed especially one through ten is packed with Romans six seven eight in fact some of that you find exactly the same idea just said in slightly different words so basically if you were to follow this you know progression you can build again these are not just words on a page you can build you see yourself you see yourself stuck in transgressions and sins and yet you're walking around so you know by default you think you're alive you're not alive and in fact you can you can read all the descriptors than is to continues going on here we finally get the you know we get the answer we get deliverance Where does deliverance come from Deliverance comes from being in Christ how do we get to be in Christ we get to be in Christ by faith and where do we god. Romans both say the got raises us up well how does that happen apparently we get airlifted out of this place like literally there's no way out of trance transgressions and sins trespasses and sins except up up to be in Christ with Christ sitting on his throne it's better so you know I've just I can see it now but you can see it a little bit too so my encouragement would be to you a secondary tactic it sounds a little bit more complicated and again remember just because you've read three verses of scripture and started building a picture in your mind doesn't mean your picture is theologically sound you've got to keep reading because initially I would have said I'm dead in trespasses and sins I'm in a coffin next verse invalidated that whole picture so make sure that if you start painting a picture in your head try to put the pieces together of this you know run on sentence make sure that your your mind is still open to correcting that picture as Scripture itself will and the broader and broader you get finally eventually what you see as the gospel every single time when you get far enough away from any verse in Scripture far enough to take in more and more of the context you'll see the Gospel the same beautiful gospel over and over again and that is ultimately what changes and transforms lives All right let's pray and it will send you on your way Father in heaven thank you so much for Again another hour to spend together with SAS that. Things that we have shared would be a blessing and encouragement to those here listening and that ultimately your name would be glorified in our lives just like. This message was recorded at the G.U.Y.Z. twenty seventeen conference arrives in Phoenix Arizona. G Y C A supporting Ministry of the Seventh Day Adventist Church seeks to inspire young people to be bible based Christ centered and so when Christians to download or purchase other resources like this visit us online at W.W.W. dot Gyi see Web dot org.


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