Sunday, April 8, 2018

What's Keeping You Away From God?

Psalm 29
Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings,
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
    worship the Lord in the splendor of his[a] holiness.
The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
    the God of glory thunders,
    the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
    the voice of the Lord is majestic.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
    the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon leap like a calf,
    Sirion[b] like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord strikes
    with flashes of lightning.
The voice of the Lord shakes the desert;
    the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord twists the oaks[c]
    and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
    the Lord is enthroned as King forever.
11 The Lord gives strength to his people;
    the Lord blesses his people with peace.

       As a believer, I think about the times in my life when I was far from God and what influenced me off of His path.  In today's blog, I want to mention a few of these temptations to not only keep ourselves on the right track, but to help the lost with their struggle to hear God's calling.
       My Pastor said today, "Most people reject Christ, despite all the evidence, because they know it will cause them to make a change in their life."  Jesus said in Luke 9:23-25 "Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?We can sum those verses up into one word, 'Surrender.'  Surrender sounds like a defeated move, but with Christ it is your most powerful move in life.  It is choosing to follow Christ...over the world, over your sinful nature's desires, above your own will.

       What are some influences that try to sway us from accepting and following God's will?

1] Mediocrity--Acceptance of sin, without a desire for spiritual change or growth
2] Weakness-- Letting unanswered prayers make us think prayer life is not worthwhile
3] Worry-- Being consumed with daily problems and pressures turns you more to self than         God dependency.
4] Wealth-- Focusing on getting ahead materially, more so than spiritually; consumption vs        Creator
5] Pleasures-- Going outside the realm in which they were intended by God
6] Fear-- Lack of trust in God separates us from God and creates chaos in our lives.
7] Our Past-- Guilt from memories of former sins makes us feel that we are unforgivable          and unworthy to be in a relationship with God.
8] Peer Pressure-- The desire to fit in with the crowd for fear of missing out.
9] Pride-- Thinking too much of yourself and too little of God
10] Bitterness-- A hardened heart is resistant and defensive to change.

James 1:21   "Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you."

Keep listening for the “still small voice” If you are weary on life’s road; The Lord will make your heart rejoice If you will let Him take your load. —Hess