Series (Distractions: Can’t See the Forest for the Trees)
Sermon Title: Help! I’m in my own way!!
2 Cor. 4:4 (NLT) Satan, the god of this evil world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe, so they are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News that is shining upon them. They don't understand the message we preach about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
Mark 4:7 (NLT) Other seed fell among thorns that shot up and choked out the tender blades so that it produced no grain. (See Mark 4:18-20 for explanation)
- The god of this world uses blindness (smokiness) to keep people from the reality of God’s love, support, honor, accompaniment, etc.
- Just because Jesus heals us from this blindness doesn’t mean that Satan no longer attempts to bring us back into a place of blindness.
- When we don’t know Jesus, the enemy uses spiritual blindness.
- When we don know Jesus, the enemy uses distractions
- This is subtle because we are often distracted by things we want, like or believe we need or are entitled to.
Anxiety: Often caused by an agenda this is ours and not God’s. It is placing an importance on something that isn’t important to the purpose of God.
The cares of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for nice things (none of these is bad or ungodly)
We need to get on the same page as the Father re: His priorities for our lives.
Choke: Strangle completely; crowd out; to drown; stifle; squeeze breath out; obstruct oxygen flow; suppress & seize.
►The cares of this life, (Stress & Anxiety)
- We’re living in trying time right now
- Stress is a killer and the leading culprit in _____ disease that claims millions of lives and costs billions of dollars in treatment.
- Culprit (fear, anxiety, indecision): Overwhelming issues for which we see no solution…this pressure weakens our immune system, causes insomnia, give room to degenerative diseases.
Examples of people who suffered stress/anxiety and it clouded their judgment & ability to perceive God’s plan: Elijah; Timothy; David (#d the troops). Fear/Anxiety caused them to forget their Source.
How to reduce stress:
- Foods: Spinach, oranges, oatmeal, salmon, soybeans, pistachios, avocado/guacamole, almonds, warm milk (skim or low fat)
- Regulate serotonin and cortisol levels so as to reduce stress
- Sleep: We weren’t built to function 24hrs a day. We are not computers/machines. We need to shut off.
- Shut off devices: pagers, iPhones, texting, email, facebook, twitter.
- Find what you enjoy: reading, travel, movies, walks, gardening, puzzles, family, etc. and do it!!
- Get accountability for your dreams and aspirations because unrealized potential is a real source for stress.
- Find consistent people to talk to
- Get professional therapy
- Get some pastoral counseling
- Work to start a support group here at church
Jesus’ response to this:
- Cast your cares on me, I care for you.
- Remember the sparrows
Luke 12:6-7 (NLT) "What is the price of five sparrows? A couple of pennies? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. 7And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are more valuable to him than a whole flock of sparrows.
- In Mark 4 we worry and think that “things” and status can fulfill and direct us. Let’s us this fast and a time to identity and address fears in our life.
- We cannot wait for systems to change before we have peace! We must find peace in the truth of Jesus message. This is a hallmark of Christian maturity: peace & joy!!
- We must develop a healthy theology for *miracles, *prayer, *suffering & *community
Psalm 55:22 (NLT) Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
- Remember the Holy Spirit is our paraclete (helper alongside). Seek the Holy Assistance this week.