Sunday, February 10, 2013

Fight the Feelings


“Same but different”

1 Peter 2:11-12

Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and will give honor to God when he judges the world.

Our loyalty should be God’s truth, his way of life, and his dedicated people. Because we are loyal to God, we often will feel like strangers (aliens) in a world that would prefer to ignore God.

What does it look like to be an alien, to be different, to be weird for God?

  • Some think, if I just blend in and not stand out maybe I can avoid some persecution
  • You must know, you are God’s chosen person—you are NOT an accident
  • He has given each of us a plan and a purpose—Jeremiah 29:11-12 For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen.
Lets break down scripture:

 Abstain (keep away from/Restrain oneself from doing or enjoying something) we need to continuously, habitually, everyday—stay away from sin.

 Sinful Desires (worldly desires) = whatever makes me happy at whatever cost

  • Sinful desires will provide momentary pleasure—then it will start taking its toll. Then you physically begin to carry it mentally and emotionally until you can no longer focus.
War = temptation keeps coming everyday. There will never be a day I wake up and not be tempted. The temptations that trip me up the most are the ones that are going to come at me the most

Soul—my entire body. War against every part of me: mentally, spiritually, physically—to the point you literally feel like you have been beat up.
*Challenge: Fight against your feelings because:
            1) they are your enemy
            2) our friends need us to fight those feelings
Don't give into your feelings such as this song...

Following your feelings will lead you into:
            1) slavery NOT freedom
            2) insecurity NOT peace

The worst advice ever…”follow your heart”

Jeremiah 17:9-10
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”

God makes it clear why we sin—it’s a matter of the heart. Our heart is inclined toward sin from the time we are born. It is easy to fall into the routine of forgetting and forsaking God. But we can still choose whether or not to continue to sin. We can yield to specific temptation, or we can ask God to help us resist temptation when it comes.

We think we want “freedom” where no one tells us what to do, but it is guaranteed if you follow your heart it will lead you into bondage.
Bondage: The state of one who is bound as a slave

*Only trust the Word of God, not your heart! Find scripture to back up your feelings.

Our friends and unbelievers need us…
Don’t write people off because they misunderstand Christianity; instead, show them Christ by your life. The day may come when those who criticize you will praise God with you.

My friends watch my life, they need to see: Authenticity NOT Perfection
Authenticity: true to one's own personality, spirit, or character

Unbelievers think God is only here to judge, but take a look.
Visits from God in the Old Testament:
1)      to bring judgment
2)     to rectify
3)     to bring grace and mercy

Visits from God in the New Testament:
1)      to bring grace and mercy

God doesn’t want us running around stressing about this world, but to have peace. When God comes down in mercy and grace—that they (unbelieving friends) will be ready to accept him. I have so much to do with my unbeliever friends by how I live my life.

God wants me to focus so much on him that I don’t get distracted from this world. He doesn’t want me to worry all the time because THIS world is NOT my focus.

Don’t get caught up in chasing worldly desires and consumed with them so much that you lose sight if what’s most important. Our goal should be to take as many people to heaven with us as possible.  We should live our life based on our TRUE home, not our earthly home.

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