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Logo of Michigan Camp Meeting 2018: As a Witness, Matthew 24:14

Part 2 - Understanding Personal Problems

Dick Bullock

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A study of practical Biblical principles that give victory in common everyday struggles.

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Conference

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  • June 19, 2018
    3:15 PM
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Our Father and our gods. We have so much to be grateful for that you would even bother with us after all that we have done to you and yet you love us with an everlasting love. And you have given us the most wonderful gift you could give so that we might experience the fullness of life Lord only you know the strength of the enemy and how ruthless ias and I thank you for being willing to become as one of us made like your brother and your sisters in every way and I thank you for holding firm to the faith so that the enemy has been defeated I ask that you would take your word and break it to each one of us according to our needs you know us individually and father let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight and instructive as we share together in Jesus name we pray Amen. I want to begin with to God inspired statements and I want to see what conclusions we can draw from them you're familiar with the 1st one at least John 1010 the thief does not come except to what. To steal and to kill and. How many of you want that thief to come no none of those things are very positive in my book. But I have come Jesus says that they may have what what kind of life abundant life. There may be some of us here to day that it's been a long time since we've had abundant life we've existed and we've gone day by day but this abundant life that Jesus is talking about is something that I'm interested in how about you and he came for that very reason. We were designed by our creator to experience an abundant life cild with purpose you ever wonder what your purpose is. Filled with meaning with hope with joy with peace all of those things that make up the abundant life even though that was our design when sin entered this world it kind of changed everything good in the entrance of sin brought misery heartache despair death hopelessness all of these things just because of what Yeah but let's define that sin I mean to bring that much horrible stuff it must have been a huge sin right what was it what was it that brought all that. Eating a piece of fruit now come on on a scale of $1.00 to $10.00 how big is eating a piece of fruit. If it's the fruit that you were told by God not to eat how big is it. You know here's something we need to understand there is no such thing as a small sin. Now there are sins about small things but no such thing as a small sin let me illustrate it for those of you who are parents. Had toddlers you can identify with this you know little Johnny is about 4 or 5 and and he gets angry and any picks up a book and and it is angry says he just throws it down on the floor now in light of all the problems in the world how big is that. You know not very much and that says Johnny that's not appropriate Would you please pick up the book and he does this I mean going to do it now are we dealing with a big thing. No such thing as a little sin their sins about little things but every sin is a huge issue because it's a rebellion against them. And if we read the Bible correctly that's not a small issue we need to understand that because how many times have we said oh this is just a little thing right. Jesus came into the world. As one of us made like us in every way tempted in every point just as we are tempted that ought to encourage you so much yet without. And it came so that we could have at least the option of an abundant life he came. So that we shall know what the truth and what will truth do for us now this is such a familiar verse we skip right over it but this is a valuable verse the question that we need to ask ourselves is how badly do we want to know the truths how many of you like the truth how many of you always like the truth. Didn't think so. But if we want that abundant life what must we have what must we also want. And the truth can be painful at times can't it. But it's only the truth that will set us free and yet even though that's why Jesus came and we have the truth we have the word we can quote a lot of but yet for many of us even as Christians wife seems to be more filled with guilt fear anger emptiness then joy peace and hope right. Something's missing and we're all on a search constant search sometimes to find. Meaning in life we look for it in so many places pleasure wealth things you name it relationships all of these things looking for some meaning life must have meaning but in the end all of these things do what leave us just as empty and unsatisfied as before. So we turn to the promises of the Bible how many of you have done that in the moments of despair. I hope you do but if we're going to be honest and I'm not I'm in this crowd as well how often we turn to the promises of the Bible and they only seem to mock us you experience that they don't work for me they work for others and we marvel at all the wonderful stories we hear and of people in the books that have been written and we say I wish I could have that and it doesn't come. They fear the anxiety the emptiness remains and so what we often do and what I did for many years in my own life I settled down with a form of godliness without knowing the power of godliness in my life I did all the right things. For all the wrong reasons hoping at least that it would get me an entrance just inside the the pearly gates I didn't have to walk the golden streets with me inside. That's a pretty empty spot to be now for our 2nd statement This comes from the little devotional book My Life today from the writings of Alan Light the true principles of psychology are found where what principles of psychology why that's that we can stop right there and we could have quite a discussion couldn't we the true principles of psychology are found where friends how many of the founding fathers of psychology were Christians. Let me know if you find one and yet where do we go whose theories. The true principles are found in the Bible and then I list 3 things I want you to notice there that's all part of the quote man knows not his own value number 2 he acts according to his unconverted temperament of character because what because he does not look to Jesus both the. Author and the finisher somebody ought to get excited about that how many of you have tried to be the author of your faith and hope that the Lord would finish it. How many of you have let the Lord offer your faith and then you say I think I can take it from here I love this verse of this passage because he is both the what the author and the finish sure of our faith he who comes to Jesus he who believes on him and makes him what. His example realizes the meaning of the words to them gave he watch power for what. POWER TO least make it through by the skin of your teeth one more day power to become what. Songs and daughters of God wants is not an incredible statement. Now according to the statement who are best suited to help others with personal problems. Somebody that knows the Holy Scripture every church ought to be a community counseling center and every member ought to be a counselor. And the world would be much better if that were the case and most of the other counseling centers were shut down now there is wonderful people in counseling centers and I'm not against all counselors but if this statement is true who is best suited to help people find answers to personal problems. A Christian counselor who knows the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Scriptures. Why why are they best suited. Because the true principles of psychology are found where in the Scriptures That's right the information we have in the Bible concerning the nature of man and the source of all our problems is really quite impressive this statement summarizes are 3 basic problems right there were highlighted we don't know our value we act according to our own converted temperament of character and we don't look to Jesus as both the author and the finisher of our favor. Now to understand how we got into the situation we need to go back to the very beginning and the way God designed us and let's go back to further to Genesis chapter 126 through 28 and here we find what we were designed for and I know this is so basic but you know I think it was cornflakes some years back had an advertisement that I really like he said Taste them again for the 1st time until like that that's pretty clever and some of these passages are so familiar we need to taste them again for the 1st time then God said Let Us make man in Our image according to our likeness let them have dominion over the fish of the sea over the birds of the air over the cattle over all the earth over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth so God created man how. Sad depressed anxious were. No in his own image in the image of God He created him male and female he created them then God bless them and God said to them Be fruitful and multiply fill the earth and subdue it have dominion over the fish of the sea over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves on the earth and because it's such a familiar passage it's easy for us to miss something of great importance in this passage there is a 1st in this passage. Of firsts for the 1st time a change in creation story anyone notice what that is what's at us. Yeah well he made us of the animals male and female and but he made it to humans yes. OK they were there it is to 1st but let's look a little deeper on day one notice what God does day one he created right and how did he do it he spoke and after the thing existed what did he say. And it was good and there was evening and there was morning the 1st day and the 2nd day God said he spoke and the thing existed and he said what it is very good and evening and morning the 2nd day and that went on the 3rd day the 4th day the 5th day but this is the 6th day what changes. He forms in me didn't speak us into existence but he formed man and then he said it is very good and there was evening and morning the 6th day. No here's here's a 1st here's a 1st the the pattern the rhythm is interrupted and God does something with Adam and Eve that he has not done with any of the rest of his creation. He talks to them he talks to them Now why does he talk to us and not the trees in the grass and the animals and the birds and the and the fish. I know but have you ever had a dog they know what you say when you talk to them right there is something significant here friends. When God does something different we should ask ourselves why why did God talk to Adam many because they were designed differently than the rest of creation. God knew that even though they were perfect people living in a perfect relationship with himself they could not figure out life on their own they could not figure out life on their own they were created we were created to be dependents God had to explain to them who they were you're in charge he had to explain to them what they were to do care for the garden dress it keep it he didn't say any of that to anything else did it not that's recorded he had to tell them how to live in order to experience all that they were created to be Don't miss the significance of that it's what made us different from the rest of creation that we need a god to talk to us. Now this is before sin this is fresh from the hand of the creator what made us difference Ah we had free will yes I'm going to list just 3 of them we were created for fellowship with God. And as such we were given communication skills that no other creature was given these abilities were not given primarily to encourage human relationships they were given so we could know and understand God our Creator only as we properly understand God's can we properly relate to each other and the rest of creation true or fall so it begins with understanding God it's only then can I get along with the rest of you. I mean I'm all right but I'm not sure about some of you. Got it I'm going to hedge my bet here because who knows what you might do to me right and I get hurt. Now this this is significance The 2nd thing we were created to be interpreters we were given the marvelous ability to think and to reason we take in information about life all around us and then what do we do with that information we interpret it right we run it through all our filters and and we live according to our interpretation of those facts but just like Adam and Eve were dependent upon God's word to accurately interpret our world. We can't figure it out on our own right anyone got this world figured out on their own. Good we're all in good company anyway whether it's good or not when we say God designed human beings to be interpreters. We're getting at the heart of why human beings do what they do our thinking. Conditions our emotions right our thinking conditions our sense of identity our thinking conditions our view of others are thinking conditions our agenda for solving life's challenges we were created to be interpreters that's why we need a framework that will help us arrive at a valid interpretation so we can respond to life appropriately and only the words of our Creator can give us the proper framework that you hear that only the words of who can give us the proper framework. I'm a pastor so I can say this it's not only the words of your pastor it's not the words of your parents it's the words of who are. The Creator that give us a proper interpretation of life so make sure your pastor your parents your teacher whoever it may be is filled with the words of God in their instruction that makes sense. Number 3 we were created to be worshippers worship is not just something we do worship defines who we are this is this is really the the motivational core of our being we were created to worship and we are driven to worship something or someone. All humans all of us are worshippers the difference between us is a matter of who we worship this statement so I want you to just put in your mind some central love commands our allegiance and directs our behavior some central love Singular Singular commands our allegiance and drives our behavior now we're getting close to the roots of all our problems aren't we or all our solutions what is that central love that drives us for Adam and Eve everything in their life revolved around God's. His presence his purpose his revealed will we don't know how long they lived in the Garden of Eden before they listen to the voice of another counselor according to criminology of the Scriptures he estimates anywhere from 30 to 60 years. So it could have been wow we often think of it in the matter of a few weeks right. Probably not probably not you think well 60 they're getting kind of old now skip that I mean there's a lives lived how long 900 say I'm in they were just teenagers still after 60 years so they could have been there for a while and as long as their lives revolved around their Creator there was nothing that marred their joy in their peace the emotions that we experience so much today guilt anxiety depression anger lost self centeredness all of that was foreign to Adam and Eve they didn't know anything about those. Until the entrance of another voice another counselor was heard in the garden and here's what that counselor said we're familiar with us but again don't miss the deeper meaning Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made and he said to the woman has God indeed said You shall not eat from every tree in the garden and the woman said to the serpent We may ate fruit from the tree of the garden but the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden God has said You shall not eat it nor shall you touch it lest you die. Then the serpent said to the woman you shall not surely die for God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be open and you will be like God knowing what is good and evil. So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food was it was everything God made very good OK was a tree the fruit good for food Absolutely. Did God make poisonous fruit. Probably not it was all good but he just said arbitrarily to let them know they weren't the owners only the managers that tree is mine where is that tree of life now in heaven that Tree of Life came out of the Garden of Eden was God special tree that he had designed for them the other tree the forbidden tree he had created I suggest probably nothing wrong with the fruit except that God said don't do it don't eat it but she saw that it was good for food and pleasant to the eyes a tree desirable to make one wise she took of its fruit and ate she also gave to her husband with her and he ate and then the eyes of both of them were opened and they knew they were naked and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves covering Now I want you to notice the content of the serpents counsel here or to Adam and Eve he takes the same set of facts that God has given to them right the 2 trees and he gives them a different interpretation Eve stands in one of the most important moments in the history of the universe she stands at the very place where you and I stand almost daily if not daily you can almost feel the breathless silence of the universe as it waits to see how even is going to respond to this new interpretation. Will she follow the counsel of the Creator. Or the counsel of the serpent to whom will she intrust her life. Where was she seek to find her meaning and purpose what will she believe about God and His character and his plan while that she's faced with this new interpretation the drama recorded I mean these are the questions that the universe is is watching to see how they'll be absent this drama recorded in Genesis 3 gets to the very core of human existence because friend Satan is not just selling Eve some fruit from the best tree in the garden that's not what it's all about he selling or something more fundamentally appealing than just a new flavor of fruit. What's the selling or she is selling her he is selling her telling her that if she eats that fruit she will be independently Why how was she created to be dependent upon God's and his counsel how many of you like to be dependent how many of you prefer independence Oh week how many of you are telling me the truth. We love our independence Zoe don't you tell me what to do I mean that's why I'm 18 now mom that. He's selling her the idea of being independent he's saying you will be like God knowing good and evil you won't need God to tell you how to live your life what he's basically saying is however beautiful God's revelation is it's not really necessary for you can rely on your own ability to think to interpret to understand and to apply what you see. You don't need to be dependent upon God you can handle life on your own in that the core of our problem right there this was the attraction that led to the fall and it's the same attraction that leads us to our falls every time every time to follow the counsel of the serpent We have to do 2 things only 2 This isn't a hard lesson just to number one we have to deny God and His revelation of Himself as our Creator and counsellor deny that he is the one who defines our identity in purpose that's the 1st thing we have to do if we're going to follow the counsel of the serpent The 2nd thing is we have to deny our own nature how we were designed to live in function that's a pretty profound thought. Let us think in when Satan comes tempting you not with some forbidden fruit but with the option of being independent. Sink through these 2 things you have to do before you can give heed to the serpent I have to divine deny God and I have to deny my very existence my purpose my own nature and then ask yourself Do I want to try that so write these down in the halls of your mind these 2 these 2 points. What sane offers as a crutch is as a. Credible option is really no option at all when we look at what we have to do is it no option at all Adam and Eve were created for a certain kind of existence the same existence that you and I are created for and that is what all were you created for one this. With the creator that's right they could not live successfully outside of that design and friends yet this is what they were about to try and what millions of us have tried since then does it work. Then you one here have a story they'd like to share with us of at least one example of where it does work it doesn't what were the results of this attempts to live independent of God and come up with our own interpretation to find our own meaning and purpose in life somewhere else other than at the feet of their creator what were the results the primary result was a fundamental shift in the very nature of man which led to a fundamental shift in how we interpret life Romans chapter 121 to 25 points this out it puts it this way although they knew God they did not what they didn't glorify Him as God nor were thankful all but became futile where. And their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened professing to be wise they became what fools and they exchanged the truth of God for what. And they worshiped and served created things the creature rather than the Creator who is forever bless that pretty much summarizes a dub. They had a perfect character before the fall yes. They were. Did they know that no. So we really couldn't blame them good wing if they didn't know did they know that I know but what did they know. They knew that they came from the hands of the Creator not this other counselor in the garden right and yet friends here's the sad part Jesus came that we might have life and have it how and we know that and we know what Adam and Eve that opposite of love as you've just explained is self-centered. What is it that holds us here why do we keep going back to that self-centered mess and don't tell me just because we're human. There's a more fundamental reason and some central love controls. Our worship. There's another long yes but thanks Peter God. Who gives us the victory right rebellion is the end borne tendency to give in to 3 lives. Autonomy I have the right to do what I want when I want to do it. Number 2 self-sufficiency I have everything I need in myself so I don't need to depend on or submit to anyone else Number 3 cell focus I am the center of my world it's right for me to live for myself and do only what brings me happiness that's what rebellion brings those 3 lies autonomy self-sufficiency and self focus these are the 3 lies of the garden the same lies that Satan has whispered in generation after generation unwilling ears how much many more lies has he added to those 3 over the centuries how many. And if you boil them all down. They're all those story autonomy self-sufficiency self Oh are you going to get excited you only have to remember to same sex as warning if you want to rebel against God You only have to remember 3 lies this is easier than you thought right it's not that hard. The lust of the flesh the lust of the. Pride of life and the last of the eyes you're right. These 3 lies lead us to think of ourselves 1st climb over any God given barriers between ourselves and our desires because we want control we want to make up the rules we want to be able to change them whenever it suits us you central later we like Satan's interpretation of life that we can be like God knowing good and evil for ourselves we are capable of ruling our world according to our own desires and I want to tell you something right here in terms of counseling we all have been in churches or currently in churches and you know the pattern somebody is in church and then you begin to notice they're not there quite as often right and you start reaching out to a woman and they have all these excuses right what do you know is going on at that point they're listening to another counselor right and understanding this lesson will help you be able to get to the root of their issue now they may not like you telling them they may not like the implication but at least they will know how or where they are and where they're headed and how to come back but this is the issue don't buy into anything else they'll tell you all kinds of excuses been sick for a while and you know I'm just and do you know the new preacher that we got I just can't identify with him as well and on and on and on they go No it's the story one of these 3 or or all of them. These 3 lies deny our basic design as human beings we were not created to be autonomy we were designed to live in submission to gods to live for His glory to reflect his image and to live outside of that design will never work look at all the problems that came into the garden after Adam and Eve listens to the voice of the other counsellor you find all of those in Genesis 3 rebellion against authority self-seeking guilt fear shame coverup pride hiding blame shifting is not my fault the woman you gave me men been blaming the women all along the woman says it's not my fault it's the serpent that you created blaming it back on God We have a breakdown in communication and an orientation this is a shift of the nature nature there you are mentioning an orientation toward desire and feeling instead of obedience to God's word and I'm not going to make any apologies for that word obedience I know that's supposed to be a dirty word in its legal list ik but that's what we were designed for. And to try to live outside of that is never going to work we'll come back to that a little later you may say Well Pastor Yeah I understand all that in Genesis 3 that was back then in the garden but the conflicts that I'm dealing with today they're not about some forbidden fruits in a garden that's true but the issues are the same the only thing that's changed is the fruits the issues are the same as noted earlier where we were by design creatures of worship if we will not worship the creator we will worship what else Romans 121 the creature. The creature whether it's us or whether it's other others and this change in the motivational core of our lives from the worship of God to the worship of self is the root of all personal problems let me say something that may sound simplistic This may be the part that some of you will will not like me anymore but that's OK I want you to wrestle with it and see if it holds true there are only 3 sources of personal problems how many you know friends we haven't even have used up all the fingers on one hand yet have one this is a one handed job 2 things to know if we want to rebel against God 3 lies 3 sources of personal problems number one personal sin living outside of God's design for us we don't often see this as a cause of our problems because where interpret in life according to our perspective rather than God's but. According. To the Bible here God tells us how many things work together for good how many is all. You're serious how many of you have had things in your life happen in your life that should never have happened to you. What does that Scripture say. Or does it say all things what. How many of you have had things happen in your life that should never happen to you you want to read that verse again. I'm aware I've been a pastor for 30 to 33 years there's not much that would surprise me anymore but if God's interpretation says All things work together for the good. What does that mean. Even those deepest darkest moments God has been there working for ones for the good. Of those who love Him The Bible also tells us to rejoice how often. How often as always then he gets even more specific this is not my favorite verse I've had to wrestle with a too often and how many things give thanks. In everything give thanks for this is what doesn't the interpretation of the enemy sound a little easier at this point let's be honest than it sounds easier you know what I like about this verse and 1st US alone eons 5161718 look at it who's speaking here God is and he tells us to give thanks in what. Doesn't God know that not everything is worth giving thanks for Doesn't he know that if he knows that then why is he telling us to give thanks and everything because he's working all things for good you know what it's excites me and it changed my whole perspective and it really helped me and many issues that I've wrestled with. If the creator God of the universe and knows the end from the beginning that's all knowing all wise all powerful if that God tells you to give thanks for everything what does that mean it means there is something to be thankful for in what. Everything I had a lady come to church so like city I was there for about 10 years precious precious god just a big hearts 2 kids a boy or girl about $8.00 to $10.00 or somewhere in there. And wanted to be baptized we studied baptised and one day I got a call she said Pastor I need to talk to you I live 50 miles from the church and I couldn't drive in at that point I said I'll talk to you on the phone or we can set up an appointment and she says I just can't get rid of it and to make a long story short she had dated a boy in school junior high good friends of the family. She came from a home single mom and and didn't fit in very well with others in the school was a little slow a little difference and boyfriend broke up with her and that was a real heartache but she was best friends with those 2 sisters and one day she wasn't feeling well and she would often go to their house wait for mom to come home and then walk on over to her house or pick her up at the friend's house and Anyway one day that boyfriend after it broke up. She wasn't feeling well and so she had gone to their house and the older sister took the car to pick up mom for more and he drugged her into the bedroom and and violated her and then blamed it all on her and you know what kids are like at that age junior high and you know they like to paint the story a little different in the story got around and she was just just devastated couldn't see him didn't I had to change school this was so fearful of going even out of her house to go into the store grocery store with a mom for fear that she would see him and she was telling me all the sources pastor I have struggled with this for years and I don't know what to do and I said well what if you tried well I went to counseling at the school and I said that didn't work did it no. And then I told my counsel that I wanted to meet the boy and tell him that I forgave him and they wondered why and I said because I just felt the right thing to do and I said that didn't work either did it and she said no she had her own 2 kids was still that year that as an adult living in that same neighborhood still afraid to go out of her house less she would run into him and this was this was decades later I said you really want freedom she said I do are you willing to do anything I said she said Yes I said all right I want to take out a piece of paper and I turned shared with of this verse and I said I want you to write on the top 10 things I can think God for for that event that happened years ago that day now listen you don't say something like that unless you're ready to prime the pump with a few examples she said to Watts and I said yeah I want you to write down 10 things that you are grateful for lessons that God has taught you things he has done in your life as a result of that day isn't that what that verse is telling us let's get let's get real with it and I want to says and she said I can't even think of one and I said you have 2 precious children a boy and a girl I said has that experience years ago made you a more cautious mother with your own children she said Yes I said there is number one number 2 she had just a compassionate heart she just compassion for the hurting I said you will reach people that I will never be able to reach you know my ministry I said has that experience made you more aware of the hurt that other people carry made you more compassionate person and she said yes it house I said there's a number to know when you finish the other 8 Give me a call and tell me what happened and it was about 4 or 5 days later she called. And there was a whole nother person on the other end of the phone. She said Pastor it's gone it's gone and I said what's gone she said that that fear it's gone I don't care I it it it just laughed and I said Tell me about it well I did what you told me to do and I started writing down I said share those things and she shared she had come up with some marvelous things more than 8 you see when we buy into God's interpretation it changes our own view right. And we can take verses like this is hard as it is and I know some of you are really struggling right now perhaps but God has said that that's his interpretation no matter what the enemy is thrown at you he is able to take it and turn it for good and you could be a better person today then you could have before that happened if we accept his interpretation you'll change your life. It's not my favorite verse because I'll be honest with you I don't even like to set around with my piece of paper with one through 10 on the side at some of the things. But if I'm going to be honest with Scripture and honest with God I have to do that and it has never failed. Never fails. And we give you one more verse in this line you know it James 15 count it what all what oh well what's coming what's following. When you fall into various trials Why should we count them for joy because you know that the testing of your faith produces what patience and patience is to have its perfect work right for what purpose that you may be perfect and complete What's the last part say. Lacking of how many of you here today would like to be in that condition perfect complete and lacking absolutely nothing. And you shall know the truth and the truth well what but we don't always like to pursue truth do we because sometimes we fear it will hurt too much and friends if James $12.00 to $4.00 is what you call hurting then bring it on I'll take that kind of her age or you with me however if I value a comfortable easy life more than being perfect and complete in Jesus I'll be doing far more grumbling than rejoicing when trials come and this mind can lead us into all kinds of foolishness and discontent. You know how foolish we can get when we grumble instead of rejoice I'll give you just want to example you're familiar with God's Son the bread of heaven in the Bible called that manna what you remember to call it Angels food. God sent Angels food to his people in the wilderness and they were so foolish they thought that was a real trial I mean that ridiculous to the Israelites there it was a trial why because they were not focusing on the menu of Heaven they were focusing on the menu of Egypt. Personal sin a major source of the problems in our life the 2nd one is demonic activity or possession and I'm not talking about the activity that comes because we deliberately give demons access to our life. By listening to demon inspired music and watching demon inspired movies and playing demon inspired video games or other games that's not what I'm talking about here that falls in the 1st category personal sin I'm talking about demonic activity comes when all the forces of hell a re themselves against us because we are out eg standing the kingdom of God an example of this would be that demon possessed girl at Philip who followed Paul and Silas shouting these men are servants of the most high God telling you the way to be saved these men are servants although it would not just drive you batty and Paul finally had enough of it and he rebuked it. And the Spirit came out of our personal 7 demonic activity or possession and the 3rd one organic illness what do I mean by organic illness physical or mental problems that can be medically tested and treated there's an organic organic cause to it. Now here's where I want to tread softly but clearly. Some would like to add a 4th cause. A 4th source of personal problems and that would be inorganic mental or emotional issues but I'm going to suggest that cannot be the case because emotional problems are not the cause of personal problems they are the results of personal problems if a person is struggling with mental issues they may need to get a complete physical to see if there's any organic cause perhaps the thyroid isn't working properly perhaps they're suffering from low blood sugar that affects their their emotions and other things there may be some chemical imbalance but if there is that's an organic illness right. Something that could be tested and treated however if there is nothing physiologically wrong them with them it is not a mental problem that drugs can treat it's a lifestyle problem we were designed to have meaning and purpose in life and this can only be found in that personal obedient relationship with God Those who look for meaning apart from that relationship with God in His Word are bound to crash Jesus told us that Matthew 7 a very familiar passage whoever hears these sayings of mine and does them I will liken to a wise man who built his house on what now what does that wise man do. He hears and what put some men to practice there is the obedience That's right and when the floods came and the winds blew and the rains beat upon that house what happened to that house it stood firm because it was founded on what's the Rock of Ages cleft for May but everyone who hears these sayings of mine and does not do them doesn't like that interpretation to let's try a different interpretation what happens when the storm beats against their house it falls with what a great crash right those who build their lives on the shifting sands of self and worldly pleasures sooner or later discover that all meaning they sought in life has evaporated it's gone King Solomon can tell you all about that read the book of Ecclesiastes. And he had all the money all the money and that you and I won't even see and 10 lifetimes what he brought in every year just in the gold. He had the wealthy have the wisdom e out everything else and he tried everything to find meaning in life and what was his conclusion to the whole matter if your God give glory to him right for this is the whole duty of man goes right back to Genesis the purpose we were we were created for when I say all activity I'm talking about all let me get specific going to work each day fixing a meal doing the dishes cleaning the house knowing the lawn doing your homework raising a family running errands helping a neighbor the list could go on all of those things that we think are meaningless interruptions to an otherwise full day that we could have a people would just leave me alone all activity is important all activity that God has given us as a responsibility that's where we should find our meaning in life but what kind of world do we live him I've got to get away from the kids I want to get away from the house I want to get away from the work I want to go out in and just relax and have fun and it doesn't last very long doesn't and evaporates these are God given responsibilities that provide an opportunity for me to practice faithfulness in the little things and he that is faithful in the little things if you want bigger responsibilities God has promised to give him to us but what must we do 1st he has been faithful in the little things God says what I can trust you with some bigger thing. So perhaps one of the reasons we're frustrated is because we're not faithful yet in the little things of life hoping for our big day in the sun to come and it doesn't come and we get more and more frustrated friends just start being faithful and what God has given us and that will grow. Those are build their lives on the shifting sands of self and worldly pleasure begin thinking and acting in the short term they stumble from one unsatisfying experience a relationship to the next finding no fulfillment no lasting joy no peace. And as a result they become delusion depressed bitter the short term solutions which they had depended on are no use in solving the problem of ultimate meaning in life and now they've exhausted all known resources they've painted themselves in a corner they're not out of touch with reality rather they are out of resources to deal with reality they have come to an end of themselves with no place to turn so they cease functioning because they don't know how to function meaning. Such a person is often described as having a nervous breakdown. Or an emotional breakdown I want to go on the record here that there is no such thing as a nervous breakdown. If you had a nervous breakdown and I came in I pinched you real hard what response would I get see your nerves are working just fine didn't take them long to get that message to the brain in the brain to send it to the mouth to say something is out of nervous breakdown No it's not that's a false statement nerves don't break down and if someone comes to you and they look like they've been run over by a Mack truck and just dragging along his SO WHAT'S WRONG Oh if you have an emotional breakdown says no you don't sister your emotions are working just fine Look I'll send you our. Emotions don't break down. It's that we've come to the end of ourselves our resources we've painted ourselves in a corner we don't know how to respond meaningfully we stop responding. Because we don't know how to do it meaningfully we've tried to interpret life on Rome and I'm not trying to make light of that friends I just I want to illustrate it so that it's clear all true principles of psychology are found where in the Scriptures look at 2 verses that show the stark difference between building on the rock of God's word and building on human desires or feelings oh so that one up for you you're responsible leading living leads to what. Your rational thinking that's right although they knew God they didn't glorify God as God they're thinking became futile their thoughts were dark and professing to be wiser became what. Fools That's right look at Isaiah 263 you will keep in what what kind of peace perfect peace whose mind is stayed where. Honey you because he trusts in you were going to be dealing with out tomorrow any word he works here anyone like to worry how to get rid of your worry that's that now gives you a little heads up of where we're going without when all right. How long will that perfect peace last as long as your mind has stayed on hand that's right friends according to our designer The only real meaning and purpose in life is found in a loving trusting relationship with God and I like the way the introduction in the book desire of ages says that how many of you have ever read that intro in the book of desire most of us at least most people I know skip right over. But. Here it is in the hearts of all mankind of whatever race or station in life there are inexpressible longings for something they do not now possess how many of us identify with that when we've had those rights this longing is implanted in the very constitution of Man by who a merciful God for what purpose that man may not be satisfied with his present conditions or attainments whether bad or good or even better God desires that the human shall seek the best and find it to the eternal blessing of his soul but Satan by wily scheme and craft has perverted these longings of the human heart he makes men believe that they use this desire may be satisfied by what pleasure wealth by ease by fame by power but those who have been thus deceived by him and how many of them have been they number myriads find all these things Paul upon the since leaving the soul and what condition as barren and unsatisfied as before it is God's design that this longing of the human heart should lead to the one who are alone is able to satisfy it the desire is of him for what purpose that it may lead to him the fullness and fulfillment of that desire let's go back to where we started the thief comes only to do what steal kill and destroy Jesus came for what purpose. We can have life and have a more abundant friends we have just 2 systems that we can choose. One system has God as its counsellor it interprets life through the lens of God's word and responds accordingly regardless of how we feel right the foundation of the system is a trusting obedience to God The result is an abundant life filled with all the fruit of the spirit love joy peace patients power you know all of that the other system comes from the devil the father of lies and its foundation is what Follow your heart your like God knowing good and evil you're a big girl a big boy you can choose for yourself God understands he loves you anyway Satan knows the power that comes when we walk in obedience to God and He does everything he can to keep us off of that path one of his most successful ways is to get us to think that we cannot do something if we don't feel right and I'm going to close with this little arguments or a scenario just to put that in perspective we get the doing in the feeling how many of you felt that it would be hypocritical for you to do something if you really didn't feel like it yeah all right so husband and wife headed for divorce they come to a pastor or a counsellor and then they say well you know I guess our marriage nothing left of it no love no feelings no nothing and of course I hope the pastor will agree that divorce is the best option for them however if he is a biblically oriented pastor rather than a feeling oriented pastor he'll say something like this Well I'm sorry to hear that you're wanting to get a divorce I guess you'll need to confess your sins before God and learn how to love one another. And their reaction is going to be one of astonishment but they protest we told you we don't feel anything for each other any more I understand but that is irrelevant God says you must love one another and when you learn to do this the feeling of love will follow love is not a feeling 1st it begins with obedient living Jesus said that where your tray's your is what's the rest of that there your heart will be also so when you start tracing your wife then your feelings will soon follow and when you start to raise your husband your feelings will soon follow what I said What do you what do you mean You mean we have to try to love each other contrary to all our feelings exactly right well would not be hypocrisy no that would be obedience to God who commanded Husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for whole I couldn't love her that way the husband says well the pastor says and let's start out a little lower level God commanded you to love your neighbor as yourself and she just happens to be your closest neighbor. Oh I don't think I can do that either pastor All right let's begin at the lowest level Christ commanded love your enemies. You see there is no escape from God's command to love even toward an enemy the 2 of you must repent of your scent and by the help of God learn to love each other even if you began loving as enemies I'm going to love my enemy Well love is not a feeling 1st love is not getting but giving God so loved the world that he gave his son he love me he gave Himself for me as Christ loved the church give yourself up for her and when you learn to give yourself your time your money your interest you'll eventually experience the feeling of love. Well perhaps but it still seems hypocritical No it's never hypocritical to obey God you've fallen into the trap of the devil in thinking it is every morning contrary to my feelings I get up get dressed and go to work does that make me a hypocrite. No guess not what would make me a hypocrite Well I suppose if you want to round braggin that you loved to get up in the morning precisely Now if a Scripture commands you give of yourself and concrete ways to your enemy and you care for the needs even though at 1st you don't feel like it does that make you a hypocrite I guess not what would if I said I felt like doing it you're right so you think it is not hypocrisy to work at love at all that's the law of Satan who wants you to rationalize your desires to not give of yourself to one another and then excuse your failure with the protests that obedience to God without feeling is hypocrisy I like that I think it summarizes a pretty well we also have a song when we walk with the Lord in the light of his words what a glory he sheds on our way away what do his good well he abides with us still and with all who will trust and obey not a shadow can rise not a cloud in the sky but a smile quickly drives that away not a doubt nor a fear not a sigh nor a tear can abide while we watch you believe the song. But we never can prove the delights of his love until what. All all on the altar is laid for the favor he shows and the joy he beast has for those who will trust and obey. Well that's about it for a time. If you have any questions I'll stay by as long as anyone wants to say bye and ask them questions here's your handouts right here on the corner let's have a word of prayer Father you've challenging the spirit of deeply today and we're just going to be honest you know our thoughts anyway it doesn't feel very good there are some issues that you pick the scab on and and perhaps some of us aren't too happy about that but your word is clear and I want to thank you for your eternal patience in dealing with us as stubborn as we've been and again Father I pray that as we go our separate ways that you will lead us to some quiet little time with you and we may need to pull out several sheets of paper and start listing tin things we're thankful for for things that have happened in our lives and we don't know where to begin but your spirits you have promised to teach us to give us to lead us into all truth and we ask that you would do it because we want to be abundant living Christians. Not only for our own life but so that we can be a witness to others Thank you Father for hearing us thank you for your glorious word in Jesus' precious name Amen this media was brought to you by audiotapes a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio version or if you would like to listen to more sermon Please Visit W W W dot audio Verse dot org.

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