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Logo of GYCSE 2018: Focused - When All Else is Blurred

Breaking the Blockage

Michelle Doucoumes

Description

This session will look at how to creatively connect during your devotions and experience personal communication with God that goes beyond the ceiling.

Presenter

Michelle Doucoumes

Assistant Professor of Business at Southern Adventist University

Sponsor

Conference

Recorded

  • October 20, 2018
    2:30 PM
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Well there have been thank you so much for the chance to be here thank you for the chance to take time to learn about taking time with you to figure out more about how we can connect with you now we can break through some of the barriers that we face in our connection with you and just improve that relationship and learned just pray that you would lead and guide in this and that it would be your words and the things that you want shared would be the ones that are shared it's a lot I just pray this and thank you in Jesus. So it was a Sunday afternoon and I was heading to a meeting with some students a student group that I work with and I was hungry I had not gotten to eat lunch yet so I was stopping to get some wonderful Chinese food on the way to this meeting and I had this thought in my mind that one of the students specifically I wondered if they had been able to eat lunch I know the student and sometimes they're really busy and for whatever reason the thought was just in my mind you should ask him if he needs lunch so I texted him didn't get anything didn't know anything should I get him once not get him lunch and I just felt like you know I should get him lunch so I got extra food to bring Did I get extra food for everyone no I don't know why I thought so civically that this one person might need lunch it was very interesting because I walked into the room and just as I walked in the other students were telling the student you know you really should go get some food. Because it turned out he hadn't eaten breakfast or lunch and then I was like Hey I actually brought you once and it's like well thank you how did you know I don't know and one of the other students said you know that's what happens when you have personal devotions. Well you thought about that and I thought that was a really interesting conclusion to come to that they would think that I had known to bring the student food because I had personal devotions now I have to say I did a personal devotions that day and there was never any voice of the Lord that said you should bring food for the student nothing had happened that hadn't even been in my mind that time when I had my personal devotions But is there something about our personal devotions that is meant to really connect us with God in a way that we would not be connected otherwise in a way that is going to change not just that part of our life but how we live our life Jaring the day and if so how do we get that connection and how do we grow that connection and that's what we're talking about this afternoon I have a question for you Do you feel like your connection with God is everything you would like it to be. All right someone said no or they wouldn't be here that's a probably but right I don't think any of us would answer that yes we think it's everything we'd like it to be yes. It's a good point right and for those listening on the recording what she was saying is that basically if we get an idea to do something good why not do it right whether that impression was from the border just from our own head it's not going to hurt to do something good and that's a very good point we're going to come back to that a little bit as well but we read of people in the Scripture who had this walk with God I will say I wish I had. Think of people like Abraham right Fisher talks about Abraham as a friend of God He knew God so well that he knew when God was telling him to sacrifice his son even though that would normally not make sense how did he know that right people like Moses who could see the God and have an understanding of God that not many people had people like Joseph whose faith persevered under so much trial people like David if you read the Psalms and look at the intimacy between David and God I realize wow this man really had a walk with the Lord I don't even put Enoch up there right the guy was translated because he walks so closely with God and we think of the early Christians people like Paul the Apostles the early church and all the amazing things that they did and I think about this and say well why is my life not quite like theirs how did they get their life to be like that and I read an interesting quote about this and 7 volume of the testimonies page 33 and says what the Lord did for his people in that time this is in the context of the early church it is just as essential and more so that he do for his people when Today all that the Apostles did every church member is to do so do you believe that God wants you to have a devotional life and a connection a filling of the Holy Spirit with Him That is just as strong and more so as even the apostles and some of these great men that we read about in scripture I believe that I do believe that I can't say I am there to that yet but I believe it and so then the question is why don't we what things may block us in that and certainly I'm going to look at more in the session how do we break that blockage and have that really close relationship with God This is a picture of the Berlin Wall has anyone been to Berlin. Been there been there I was just there recently a couple weeks ago for the 1st time and it's interesting the story of Berlin East and West Germany the divisions there and this whole wall was built not just a wall but a wall with watch towers and a 2nd wall and some places landmines and guard patrol and all of this just to keep people from weaving East Berlin East Germany and escaping into the West and so very much a blockage and they talk a lot about when I was there they were celebrating the reunification or the time when the wall came down when basically they were allowed to freely cross and people just came out and with their own hands and hammers to start whacking down this wall there's some session sections of they preserved but they were so eager to go through they just started breaking it down and very little of the wall is left today what breaks down the walls in our life what is it will strip your tells and Hebrews 412 the Word of God is living in powerful and sharper than any 2 edged sword piercing even to the division of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow and is a discerner of thought and the intense of the heart the Word of God is meant to break down those walls and our connection with God so we can really have a union with him but does it all ways work like that or have you ever felt it was a little dry when you're reading your devotions like maybe this is supposed to be the sharp sword in your leg is there a power button here somewhere. To like turn this on it's not quite working the same way I mean I'm reading it but what are they doing in there still this stuff going on in my life so I want to look with you at 5 areas 5 principles that I have found have helped in my life in my devotional life and to talk about those with you this afternoon. Number one the power of 1st thing what is the 1st thing that you like to do when you wake up in the morning. Someone raised the phone. You're admitting it and I know it is true right many of us they have our phones beside our beds we wake up we look at what time it is what the weather is what's going on if we have new notifications of messages have come up all right what else what do you do 1st thing when you get up. Shower good thing to do right went out. Drink water helps wake you up when it's. All right so we do different things and I know that not all of us are morning people but there is a power in what we put 1st in this I'm not just talking about what we put 1st in the day but what we put 1st in our lives I have found this to be a bigger challenge than even waking up in the morning when that is do I spend time with God when I'm busy when I'm stressed if I have a lecture to prepare if I have a test to study for for some of you when other things are going on what do I put 1st how do I do that in my life and tell you about experience that I had with this there was a time in my life that was especially busy some of you may be going through that right now and I was convicted though that I really wanted to improve my relationship with God and I wanted to not just be making excuses about it anymore and just doing the minimum with it and so I came to the conclusion what if I decided that I was going to put God 1st no matter what even if that meant I'm a teacher even if that meant I had to walk into class and look like a fool that day because I was not prepared or in your case it might be kind of bad grade on a tester to get something done I said what would happen if I really truly committed that this was going to come 1st regardless of what happened to other things and I was tested in this area I will tell you because I made that decision and sure enough stuff would come up and I remember one day I'm like Lord I don't have time to be having my devotions right now I don't have time to be doing this I'm not prepared I didn't get this ready I've got to go in like an hour I've got this going on I've got to teach this thing and I will tell you that over and over again interesting things happened. Ugur the Lord sometimes I saw I would spend time with him and then something that would normally take me an hour or 2 to prepare it's like 10 minutes it came together I don't know how that and I really don't know how it happened not every time did it go perfectly I will not say that this is not an excuse nation there are times that we just procrastinated and you gotta take what comes to you but I will say this when I made that decision I have yet to have an instance where I put God 1st and he allowed me to just come Politi fail and look like a fool the Lord will come through for us but do we trust him enough to put that 1st I have found that having time for God is more of a matter of trust than anything else do I trust God if I haven't had enough sleep to spend time with him do I trust God If I'm not done with my homework to spend time with him do I trust God if I'm just my mind isn't there if I don't feel like it do I trust God to spend time with him. And there are some things that help in specifics some of you do better in the morning some of you do better in the evening who are morning people here. All right who are not morning people here. And so honest confessions I am not really a morning person either and I would encourage you to take your time and it can be morning or evening are really the best I found as both there are some things that work better for me in the evening and some in the morning in the evening I like to take more time to pray we're going to talk about prayer maybe journal it's a good time for me to just unload my thoughts with God and talk with God in the morning however my mind is fresher to actually read and study whereas at night I'm more tired and so think about what you do when there are things you can do both in the morning and the evening I found that both work some of you might have a hard time in the morning and that's shorter but I do think there is something though to having some morning time it's interesting how the Israelites were given an exodus 16 food called manna Do you remember this and they had to go out and they had to gather the manna but when was the manna there it was there in the morning it's really interesting as the day would get hotter the sun would melt the manna and it would be gone and they would have no more and they'd have to wait till the next day if you missed it and I think there is a spiritual principle there with our devotion that there is something about the beginning of the day before I've looked at my phone before other things crowd in that God can speak to me in ways that you can't later and so I strongly encourage you put the phone somewhere else or make a covenant you're not going to get on there until you spend time with God or start doing homework or doing anything else because there's a silence inside that doesn't happen once things get going in our day. So whatever time you say that you want to spend just stick with it start making that a habit in your life one thing that helps with this is going to bed early I know this is our thing to do but the truth is if you're struggling with your devotions in the morning it starts the night before if I haven't slept well then it's hard to get up and then it's not quality and I like their lawyer please human falling over sleeping in the middle of devotions and so you can even purry for God to wake you up this is a dangerous prayer you know ISIS if it went to a seminar where someone was talking about prayer and praying for God to wake you up and how God was waking her up at like 4 in the morning whatever in the morning and I remember thinking that's a bad idea I am just not going to pray that prayer and I didn't but I was wanting to pray and trying to get closer to God And wouldn't you know it I started waking up early in the morning and I did not pray for that. Or that's not fair I know. But it could have been in the sun Oh you can pray and God can wake you up and God May and be where because he might not wake you up at the time you would have picked to be woken up. But you know a prayer partner call you in the morning this can be helpful what you end your day with falling asleep thinking about your devotions or as I mentioned spending time with God in the evening for me really sets me in a better frame when I wake up as well to have devotion so that prayer time in the evening as well pick thing is just just get up. It's got to be for most of us out of our bed when we have our devotions if you live in a dormitory I used to sit in the hallway in my bowl of cereal and have devotions in the hallway if you have more space now I actually have found a big difference in my devotions from having them outside when the weather permits like to have them outside on my porch sit on my porch swing and talk to God out there it's nature and it's getting out for some of you may actually do better taking a shower 1st and then here awake to do them but. Do something and be able to spend that time with God and it will become a habit you know the habits typically take about 3 weeks to form when you've been doing something consistently for 3 weeks it starts becoming familiar another 6 weeks it becomes comfortable and if you skip a day then just get back on track but give it 3456 weeks and your body will start to adjust and you'll start to become a habit will start to become easier so if you leave the seminar you like I'm going to spend time with God more and then it's really rough for the 1st we don't give up. Our bodies take time to retrain themselves and it does get better and so make it a habit and stick with it that can help with devotional barriers number 2. In addition to the power of 1st things on talk about the power of a person this is something that I have seen big time in my life so we've been talking about getting up and I already mentioned that I'm not naturally a morning person and this illustration is not about devotions it's actually about exercise so I mean getting up to do my devotions is hard enough but you try to get me to get up even earlier to exercise in the morning this does not happen I mean I love exercise as well but if it's later in the day OK but to actually get up but there is one time in my life that I got up consistently to exercise in the morning do you know why it was and. What was that. First thing you were exercising with OK we got it so this is the deal confessions I was in college I had a boyfriend we didn't get to spend a lot of time together and the time we could spend together his idea was that we would go like walk in exercise early in the morning and would you believe it I actually did it and I somewhat enjoyed it I did not enjoy getting up in the morning but I enjoyed it because to be honest because of the person that I was doing it with. And it's a big thing that I realized in our devotions is our devotions are not just about a habit or a discipline they're about a person and am I connecting with a person during my devotions that this idea of quality over quantity. The worst time I would say the hardest time in my spiritual life was actually a time when I was having personal devotions for probably 2 hours a day not ridiculous. How in the world could you be spending that much time with God and still having a horrible spiritual time while tell you what was going on I was trying to read my Bible and I would study it I would listen a sermon. But honestly at that time in my life I was just really struggling with God Truth be told I was even working in ministry that time and a vandalism school in Arizona and people were look up to me for spiritual guidance right and they didn't know that it was hard for me and I don't want to tell people because I thought they'd look down on me you know for struggling even though I was trying to close to God but it wasn't really working very well and I felt like if I told people that they probably like give me an Ellen White quote tell me to have more faith you know if you've ever felt like that so I can't really share my struggles as people are just going to judge me and that's how I felt probably wasn't true but that's what I thought and I finally came to the conclusion at that time I was like you know I think I know a lot about God but I don't know God I know tons about God I grew up in the church I learned about God I serve God I believe in God I believe in all this stuff but something was really missing at the heart level I started to realize I'm like I don't really I. Love you Lord but I am not in love with you if I'm just honest with it and then I thought you know well if this is all there is to Christianity then maybe it's not working for me now is a very difficult time in life because I thought well I knew all I know enough to know that if I just leave God and do dumb things in the world that that will not be a good idea and solve life on the other hand what I'm trying to do now with God is not working either slow not just stuck not working there not work in there and it was pretty miserable and finally. You know God used a friend of mine to sit down and say Michel what's really what's going on how are you. And I started to share in a real way what I was going through with the Lord and thankfully this friend started to also relate some experiences that he'd had as well and what had helped him and his own journey to know God and get to know who God was and it kind of started something inside of me it didn't change overnight but it started to change especially my devotion to life I kind of stopped what I had been doing and I just started my devotional life to really ask God Who are you I just want to know who you are and I was searching for that and I was listening to that and sermons and what I was reading some stuff from back to the basics I started reading about the life of Jesus again I started reading books like desire of ages and just asking myself why I like who is God and who am I and some of those really basic things and you know it didn't happen overnight but I saw God start to work as I started to seek him not just to know knowledge but to really know God and to ask myself about who he is and search for that in Scripture and with my heart God started to work in that and that brought me to the place where I finally felt able to truly give myself to God again and I realized that things had built up due to life due to resentments due to issues going on walls build up we don't even realize till all the sudden we're doing things for God but we don't realize we're really far away and so it may take sometimes in your devotions going back to your basic core who is God who in my how do I really seek to know who he is if you're not sure I recommend starting in the Gospels. Starting in some of those accounts like the desire of ages and really asking those fundamental questions of things we always hear is Christians but maybe we don't know in our hearts and it started to change my relationship with God It fundamentally changed my relationship with God My relationship to ministry to a wife and I look back now and that was the best thing that ever happened I'm a Christian experience at the time it was the worst thing that happened I'm a Christian experience but it brought the best things and so if you're struggling in your relationship with God right now I encourage you that's not a sign to give up but the Lord may be calling you to a hole that he wants filled but he wants you to know him in a way that you don't know him now and he wants you to seek for that so it's about a person. And people are different in how they connect with God as well I did want to add this I asked on Facebook and also some of my students in class about how they connect with God and some people connect a lot with God with music back can be a thing some people even write songs take scriptures and make them into songs or listen to music through journaling I'll talk about this more but this really is one that helps me to write out that nature we mention getting outside I have a friend who said you know when I need to talk to God I go well in the dark to the biology trails and I just walk and talk with God little freaky but. Maybe for some others if you figure it's great but just being with God in nature studying with others that can help to some people do well with art drawing painting a picture of what you're reading in a story making that graphically understandable how you process while you're doing during the sermon and I don't judge you because I know for some of you that really helps to make that more real right talking out loud. And even research one student told me when I asked this question yesterday about how they connect with God They said you know I like to look at different philosophies like non-Christian ones and then prove them wrong and that builds my faith. And so I get that better right and so really searching it because it makes you dig and find out what you believe and why and so different things appeal to different people so don't be constricted into just one thing I just read a chapter every day in the Bible I just read this thing that we're going to talk more in detail in the next section with Janell's though about how to study the Bible more deeply so these are more general things things that can be good in your devotions and then Janell's going to pick this up and say area how do I actually dig into my Bible and know how to understand it better and apply it. Number 3 in addition to the power of 1st things in the power of person I really believe a lot in the power of prayer I'll tell you story about the power of prayer in my life and in my own journey there was a time a few years back where I was in January and the world administration does like a 10 days of prayer you might have heard of that it's a 10 day period where they encourage people to get together and pray and pray every day for those 10 days so I wanted to do this and I had some friends who were going to do it with me but 1st some reason all of them only wanted to do 5 days I don't know what So we would get together we prayed every day for 5 days and then they all quit and I was like I want to finish this 10 days and soul I decided that I was going to just do the other 5 days on my own and I had actually never prayed like that before or let me tell you about my prayer life confessions of that right so I was pretty good at reading and studying but I was not good previous to this about prayer if I was not praying with other people my mind wonders very quickly anyone really. In my mind I'm like praying or and then all of a sudden I'm thinking about the situation and I'm thinking about work and school and I'm thinking over here and so I would pray but when they talk about things like sweet hour of prayer I did not understand this like how can you really focus and pray for an hour. And so I started I knew this but I wanted to finish these 10 days of prayer so for me what helps me is writing so I started journaling and I was praying and I would do the same things we've done in a group so we'd done in a group kind of a popcorn style United prayer where we would go through praises and then confessions and then requests and then at the end Thanksgiving and so I just started doing that myself and with my journal and I would journal out to my praises to God and then my confessions different things like God was oppressing upon my heart which were even more real and raw because no one else could hear me and then my requests and praying for myself praying for other people and then the Thanksgivings at the end and I found your writing takes a little longer than an hour would go by and I couldn't believe that I'd just been praying for an hour some of you may not write Instead it's better for you to like talk out loud or do something else I don't know but what I noticed more than that was what started to change in my devotional life in fact when those days were up that 10 day period I didn't stop that I continue doing that for a while for a number of months might have oceans became a little lopsided it's like I would be praying for the vast majority of the time and then at the end I would be actually like studying the Bible or reading scripture for a very short time but the weird thing was that when I would read the script reach Scripture it was so powerful it's like I had prayed and poured out my heart to God poured out requests to God and then God would just guide to write what I needed to read that day in there I was. And that balanced over time I don't say it's always like that all prayer and no scripture but I think at that point in my life it was almost as if my soul was just thirsty like if you had a lot of food and no drink and you're just thirsty I think that's what it was there's a lot of knowledge in no prayer and it's interesting how gospel workers page $254.00 says prayer is the breath of the soul it is a secret a spiritual power no other means of grace can be substituted in the health of the soul preserved and so there was a time where I was like I was drinking in prayer because I just hadn't had this and God would speak to me about my life about other people I just started hearing God and being in tune with God in ways that I had never been before even though I've been having my devotions and spending time with God and I encourage you to try this if you've never really spent consistent time in prayer like thinking. Come fessing to God asking God what's in your heart that needs to be made right putting those requests praying for other people thinking God through things if you do this I challenge you do it for 10 days and see if it does not change your devotions. If your devotions are dry this may be something that's lacking maybe there's a lot of food no water no breath it needs that in order to thrive in Philippians $46.00 to $7.00 Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God and the what the peace the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus and so think about that pray for others as well James says affective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much try praying for other a big thing I've been studying about is how Satan loves to get us stuck on ourselves. So if you're stuck in yourselves and your issues and what not in your prayer time pray for other people see what God does we know our focus shifts try praising God One of the biggest things that has helped me is praising God because I started to realize that praising God is what builds faith because I'm praising God not just for what he's done but I'll praise God for what he's going to do thank you lord I praise you that you are going to work out this situation at work I praise you that you already have an answer for that person that I've got an issue with praise you that you're out of work and some of those life so fake God not only for what he's done but what are you going to do what he's promised I praise you that you promised that you will never leave us for or for sake us claim the scriptures as you pray and it's even more firm because we know we can believe them because God already said it and maybe get a prayer partner that's interesting because John L. and I are doing this budget Noel has actually been a prayer partner to me and back in the summer we would pray together almost every day for a while and I know that it blessed my life and really helped to make that real as well so if you're struggling maybe find a friend and say hey would you pray with me for the next 10 days 20 days 30 days even 40 days and see what happens in your life with that and I know that we definitely saw things happen and so I got answer prayers too and other people's lives let me praying for family members and like they'd start having spiritual interest and stuff would happen or praying for different work situations and stuff would happen and so there is power and also coming together in prayer as well acts of the apostles as there are many who those striving to obey God's commandments have little peace or joy this lack in their experience is the result of a failure to exercise faith. And how is it relatable we just read that peace comes when we're praying faith comes and we're praying these are the things that increase our faith in so pray pray with someone as well Number 4 the power of patience they say the patience is a virtue but it is not one that I claim to have or enjoy having We don't like waiting do we waiting can be a very difficult thing when we're trying to connect with God whom are trying to see answers and we don't necessarily wait waiting is even hard when we're doing our devotions this is a concept that really hit me in the book education says many even their seasons of devotion fail of receive the flail of receiving the blessing of real communion with God they're in what 2 great haste with hurried steps a press of the circle of Christ loving presence Pozen perhaps a moment within the sacred precincts but not waiting for counsel they have no time to remain with the Divine Teacher with their burdens they return to their work these workers can never attain the highest success until they learn the secret of strength do you want to know the secret of strength they must give themselves time time to think to pray to wait upon God for a renewal of physical mental and spiritual power so this is the next thing that I would say maybe we read maybe we pray maybe we spend time with God doing that but how much do we spend time actually listening I know for me even my prayer in devotions can be very one sided. I speak to God about all the things on my list and this and then I read but am I taking the time just to let God speak we just sit there and meditate on the A single I'm not talking about like Eastern meditation where you like empty your mind and all of that stuff no they are mine is focused on Christ we spend time with him 1st and then do we just let him talk and I encourage you never devotions maybe have some time where you're not trying to do anything but say. What would you like me to hear from you today what do you want me to take away from what I've just read what I've just studied talk more about how God speaks in our next session but just having the time to like I do that ministry of healing says we must individually hear him speaking to the heart when every other voices hushed in quietness we. Wait before him in the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God He bids us BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD Let me ask a question though when we do this how do you know it's God telling you something how do you know if you ever had those impressions and you're like I was the god is this not. Am I going crazy. Over here said sometimes it really doesn't really matter if it's an impression to do something good just do it not going to hurt there are other things we kind of wonder I remember one day I was doing Bible work at the time and I was in the parking lot of the church and for some reason I cannot make a decision about where I should go next should I visit this contact or that contact should I go knock on doors over there over there and I was just in this really indecisive place and I sat there and OK Lord what do you want me to do that. And the only thought I had in my mind was to go to the Wal-Mart at the corner of King and story and I thought that's a ridiculous thought why would I go to law Mart I don't need anything from Wal-Mart to be doing my work why would I get a little dirt in literally was a strange thing I didn't really know but I said well I can't think of anything else to do so I'm going to go to Wal-Mart so I hole up at this Wal-Mart not sure why and I walk into it and lo and behold right there as I come in is one of my Bible study contacts in Wal-Mart I do not know why you know how that works apparently at that time I guess that was the Lord there have been other times when I have better at ever thoughts that have not necessarily worked out like that and I don't know that that was the Lord or not the Lord but here are some things that will help to test that when you're listening to God 1st of all remember that God's word is what speaks to us the most 6 testimonies 393 the Bible is God's voice speaking to us just as surely as though we could hear it with our yours and so often how God speaks is as you're reading Scripture and having your devotion those things are more sure than just walking around and having some random thought in our mind lots we don't know but if it when it comes through Scripture that that's a good thing the other thing is tested according to Scripture if you're having a thought that is not according to scripture it's not the Lord so if you're having this thought like oh shit should I marry this person I mean I know they're not a Christian and what not but I think the Lord told me to marry was not the Lord if it's not according to God's Word if it is opposed to God's word than don't assume that that's God's voice God doesn't contradict himself and so. Measuring it according to God's word and listening in God's word but we are told in John 13 that the sheep hear his voice and he calls them in leads them do believe God wants to speak to us when we're listening Well one thing that I've learned and this has been difficult Has there been things in my life where To this day I'm not really sure what it meant and how God is going to work some things that I've felt God said as I was listening but I know this and that is we will continue to hear God better and clearer the more that we know him the more that we know him when we're 1st getting to know someone it can be difficult to hear them as well or at least understand them as well but is there anyone that you know really well maybe your best friend and a sister mom and something happens and you look at them I know what you're thinking. I know what you're thinking you know them slowly I know what you're thinking. And even then sometimes we're wrong but research shows more often than not we're we can be right. And the more we know God the more we've been searching with God and reading Scripture and getting to know his character I think the easier it is to discern the impressions that are from God and not because we can realize all this matches with who got is and how that just doesn't sound like God we're not going to be perfect at it but the more we know him I believe the easier it gets and the more will see these things in the HOF the silence about voice which never fails to answer in the hushed in Silence of the sorry that soul sold that voice which never fails to answer the cry of human need will speak to our hearts and that's been a big thing to me the fact that when we really need it and we really cry out to God he does promise that he's going to speak to us and he's going to be there thoughts on the Mount of blessings page 84 he might not always tell us what we want to hear he might not always answer all your questions right then but he will be there and he does speak to us when we need him so taking the time to listen to God and pursue a relationship and number 5 the power of surrender. Each power to surrender right I almost label the slave the power of persistence but I actually realize that I don't think that's the best way to determine human explain it the power of surrender could it be that sometimes we are not connecting with God because there is something between us and that maybe it's sin that we know that we're still staying in and we're not letting go of maybe it's bitterness over things that have happened in life and what not or disappointments in life that puts a wall between us and God Maybe it's a doubt. Maybe it's resent. Since its core tends to be rooted in unbelief and pride and those things tend to come into our lives through stuff that happened maybe there's been stuff that happened in your life that was difficult maybe you lost someone that you cared about you don't know why God was in there maybe you were wanting something to God to do something for you and he didn't feel like God let you down and you know we don't have all of those answers always Right now there are unfortunately some things we don't understand till eternity but at the same time I average. That if we're seeing a wall between us and God It might be because we put it up there we're protecting ourselves because we don't want to get her to read don't want to get let down or I'm afraid to pray for this because a lot of God doesn't come through and what's going to happen in my life and we're promised a ministry of healing page for 74 in the future life the mysteries that here have annoyed and disappointed us will be made plain we shall see that our seemingly unanswered prayers and disappointed hopes have been among our greatest blessings you believe. That there are some times where we may be putting a wall with a God because we don't feel like God's done what he should have done and we're disappointed by God and God's like someday are going to understand that I was actually blessing you you don't get it now what you're going to get it someday early writings 1000 of pride and selfishness related side 5 minutes would remove most difficulties this quote as rock to me when I have issues going on and I'm worried that I do at this and that and I can't hear God because I'm so busy running in my own mind spiraling this that the other are told that look if we really laid it down surrendered it to God put down our own pride in our own self 5 minutes most things would be resolved. I've seen those works for civically remember I had to have a difficult conversation with someone and I was thinking about it what am I going to say and House is going to go and the Lord specifically the impression that I got as I was having my time with God was don't worry about all of that just worry about being in tune with me and I'm going to resolve this and I tell you that conversation went better than I really could have planned had I made all my points and figured out all my stuff and figured out how to resolve it in words like the biggest thing is is your pride laid down do you have the right attitude to go into this and then God spoke and God worked so maybe if we're not seeing God work and it's kind of a wall there God may be calling us to say Will you put down your pride will you put down your ideas will you put down your own self self which gets in the way of so much and let me work in your life and the story that I kind of want to wrap this up with is interesting Lee the story of Jacob remember when Jacob wrestled with the angel he's coming Esau is coming with an army he's thinks he's going to be killed he's out there in the night wrestling with who he thinks is an enemy who's actually got he's wrestling with God and he prevails patriarchs and prophets tells us Jacob prevailed because he was perseverance and determined his experience testifies to the power of importunate prayer the greatest victories are those victories that are again in the audience chamber with God when earnest agonizing faith leads hold upon the mighty arm of power. Picture Jacob wrestling and I tell you what I use like I said I almost labeled this section persistence because I've read this many times I said See we've just got a persevered when we don't see the answer is when it's not going right we've got to hang on but I found out recently that there's actually a different word picture on how Jacob won this battle do you know what really happened after Jacob wrestled that night and this is interesting to me some thoughts of them out of blessings page 62 so as not until he fell crippled and helpless upon the breast of the Covenant Angel did Jacob know the victory of conquering faith and receive the title of a prince with God Jacob realized in the morning when his hip was touched that this was God but he was wrestling and instead of wrestling the picture that we get in Spirit of Prophecy as that Jacob finally surrendered he fell on the breast of the angel and then he says I will not let go until you bless me it wasn't like he's hanging on wrestling I will not let go until you bless me instead Jacob finally disabled falls like grabbing Jesus who is wrestling with I picture him just hugging him falling on his breast and say I'm just going to let go until you. And nothing else we remember for this our walk in our devotional life with God to a clean the God like that. I've come to believe that has a real persevering prayer it's not fighting with God to do what we want it's not fighting with God So we have a relationship but it's coming to that point of surrender of realizing I can't fight this battle but I'm going to fall on you and I'm going to stay with you until you bless me because you promised in your guide. And so that's why they appeal today we're going to pray in the will take a break before our next section but do you want a relationship with a god that is so powerful that God can bless your life that God can fill you with the Holy Spirit and use you in powerful ways and if so are we willing to hang on to God to surrender to God and let him do that in us so I would like you to bow your heads and let's pray Father in heaven thank you that you are a God who wants to be known by us you want to be known by us as a person as someone real in our lives as our Savior and our Father and our older brother and our redeemer and Lord forgive us when we let other things get in the way maybe it's our business our time our stress I know it's happened to me even this week and Help us Lord to spend time with you to know you for who you are to spend time in prayer with you to take time to listen to you well most of all today I want to pray that we would surrender to you that if there are things in our lives we know what they are that are blocking us from connecting with you that you would take them now more you know I realize that even this week now even this week part of a block of us because there been some stuff that happened that I was like a little bit bitter about and you want me to lay that down Lord help us to lay down our selves our selfishness our pride our sins our burdens on you right now we're going to pray that for anyone in this room who realizes that. And I pray that in laying down we would be like Jacob not fighting in our own strength but simply clinging to you for all that we're worth saying I will not let. Let us not let go and thank you for the promise that we don't you are going to bless us and I promise and she says. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W audio verse or.

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