Yielding to a distraction will ALWAYS lead to consequences. Last week, a distraction led me into a car accident. Oh how I buy the lie that there is a little more room to engage in something else that is outside of the present mission. Multi-tasking used to be an in word – that you were a hard worker, a super worker, do it all. Ummmmm, it is more like unnecessary risks are taken, will overcommit, be unfocused.
Giving in to a distraction is gambling with your first commitment. That first commitment is the one that should command your attention, engaging all of you – not empty promises, not left overs, not when you ‘feel like it’. Procrastinating with your first commitment can cost your life or the life of someone on the journey with you.
The first commitment requires nurturing with a whole heart. Taking your ‘eyes’ or heart or mind off of the first commitment can become habitual and eventually what seemed so natural and easy to manage will become a heap of mess. Using my strength only will result in many heaps. But guess what? God IS faithful. There is no guesswork. We have what we need to know to commit to freedom and maturity in Him. But, we have to keep our eyes on the road.
Characteristics of a Spirit Filled Life
Ephesians 5:18-21 18 Don’t get drunk on wine, which produces depravity. Instead, be filled with the Spirit in the following ways: 19 speak to each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; sing and make music to the Lord in your hearts; 20 always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 and submit to each other out of respect for Christ.
• Speaking ≠ Silent
• Singing ≠ Crying
• Giving thanks ≠ Ingratitude
• Submitting ≠ Rebellion
Satan’s strategy – Scarcity vs. abundance
1. Try to get you to think of the fact that God should give you everything. Genesis 3:1 – The snake was the most intelligent[a] of all the wild animals that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say that you shouldn’t eat from any tree in the garden?”
2. The idea that there should be no restriction in the perfect plan of a good God. Darkness is believing you need time for yourself. Have the same attitude as Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:1-8 Your life in Christ makes you strong, and his love comforts you. You have fellowship with the Spirit,[a] and you have kindness and compassion for one another. 2 I urge you, then, to make me completely happy by having the same thoughts, sharing the same love, and being one in soul and mind. 3 Don’t do anything from selfish ambition or from a cheap desire to boast, but be humble toward one another, always considering others better than yourselves. 4 And look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own. 5 The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had: 6 He always had the nature of God, but he did not think that by force he should try to remain[b] equal with God. 7 Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had, and took the nature of a servant. He became like a human being and appeared in human likeness. 8 He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death— his death on the cross.
3. Focus on God’s Restrictions instead of his provisions
To Answer: What about taking care of me first?
• Romans 8:29 – Creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice—it was the choice of the one who subjected it—but in the hope
o God desires for us to conform to the image of His Son who died for us
• Luke 9:23 – 23 Jesus said to everyone, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow me.
o No negotiating picking up Jesus’ cross – forget who you are outside of Him
• Matthew 6:21, 24, 31, 33, 34 – 21 For your heart will always be where your riches are. 24 “You cannot be a slave of two masters; you will hate one and love the other; you will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. 31 “So do not start worrying: ‘Where will my food come from? or my drink? or my clothes?’ 33 Instead, be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things. 34 So do not worry about tomorrow; it will have enough worries of its own. There is no need to add to the troubles each day brings.
o David recreated himself by being in the Word
When you only think about what you don’t have, then that will become your focus and you then lose your abundance. The scarcity vs. abundance situation and Satan’s Strategy situation happens in the soul section (heart).
We try to make a bad thing look right. When we think…, we do wrong. Genesis 3:6 – 6 The woman saw how beautiful the tree was and how good its fruit would be to eat, and she thought how wonderful it would be to become wise. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, and he also ate it. – Eve began to examine the fruit. Only she could convince herself to do wrong.
Anytime I choose things from MY WAY, there are consequences.
My motives, beliefs and values play into my decision making.
• God’s Way → Benefits
• My Way → Consequences
o We even stay in a commitment because we think our consequences are placating God. It isn’t.
o We are in a situation when we find ourselves constantly complaining about the circumstances.
A promise from God
• Joel 2:18-25 – 18 Then the LORD showed concern for his land; he had mercy on his people. 19 He answered them: “Now I am going to give you grain and wine and olive oil, and you will be satisfied. Other nations will no longer despise you. 20 I will remove the locust army that came from the north and will drive some of them into the desert. Their front ranks will be driven into the Dead Sea, their rear ranks into the Mediterranean. Their dead bodies will stink. I will destroy them because of all they have done to you. 21 “Fields, don’t be afraid, but be joyful and glad because of all the LORD has done for you. 22 Animals, don’t be afraid. The pastures are green; the trees bear their fruit, and there are plenty of figs and grapes. 23 “Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice at what the LORD your God has done for you. He has given you the right amount of autumn rain;[a] he has poured down the winter rain for you and the spring rain as before. 24 The threshing places will be full of grain; the pits beside the presses will overflow with wine and olive oil. 25 I will give you back what you lost in the years when swarms of locusts ate your crops. It was I who sent this army against you.
• You have to recognize your motives were out of rebellion and repent to Him with a pure heart
• Romans 8:28, 29 – 28 We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him,[a] those whom he has called according to his purpose. 29 Those whom God had already chosen he also set apart to become like his Son, so that the Son would be the first among many believers.
• Once my focus is changed, God can make any relationship work. The change has to come from me first. When you get into “I”, the focus is my way. When you focus on God, you toughen up and you don’t think about the hurt and pain.
• SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND THEN HE WILL TOUGHEN YOU
Romans 5: 1-5 Now that we have been put right with God through faith, we have[a] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 He has brought us by faith into this experience of God’s grace, in which we now live. And so we boast[b] of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory! 3 We also boast[c] of our troubles, because we know that trouble produces endurance, 4 endurance brings God’s approval, and his approval creates hope. 5 This hope does not disappoint us, for God has poured out his love into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit, who is God’s gift to us.
• We are made right in God’s sight through faith; peace with God is through Jesus
• Through our faith in Christ, we face a bright tomorrow
o When? In problems
o Why? They produce patience
o Why? Character is developed and there IS hope
o Result? No disappointment – being able to rise above every circumstance
Romans 12:2 Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.
• The mind MUST be transformed.
• Your mind functions the same, the output is related to the new nature (freedom, maturity in Christ) or the old nature (habits, reflexive behavior).
• The transformation process means you now know the Word of God AND you now have a CHOICE whether to do right or what you want to do.
II Peter 1:2-11 May grace and peace be yours in full measure through your knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.3 God’s divine power has given us everything we need to live a truly religious life through our knowledge of the one who called us to share in his own[a] glory and goodness. 4 In this way he has given us the very great and precious gifts he promised, so that by means of these gifts you may escape from the destructive lust that is in the world, and may come to share the divine nature. 5 For this very reason do your best to add goodness to your faith; to your goodness add knowledge; 6 to your knowledge add self-control; to your self-control add endurance; to your endurance add godliness; 7 to your godliness add Christian affection; and to your Christian affection add love. 8 These are the qualities you need, and if you have them in abundance, they will make you active and effective in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if you do not have them, you are so shortsighted that you cannot see and have forgotten that you have been purified from your past sins. 10 So then, my friends, try even harder to make God’s call and his choice of you a permanent experience; if you do so, you will never abandon your faith.[b] 11 In this way you will be given the full right to enter the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
• Know Jesus better and better
• It is overthinking I need other things to have a better life