Alex Hardt August 21 Why am I Here?
Last Sunday Pastor Alex challenged us to examine our hearts. His question was, what is keeping you from fully committing to God? Scripture tells us that our purpose is to glorify God in all we say and do. Our memory verse from Psalm 86:12 “I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart. I will glorify your name forever.” The week before we had Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” So if our purpose is to glorify God, what is keeping us from doing just that?
Alex points us to 3 things that are roadblocks to our achieving our God given purpose. The first is pride. Proverbs 16:18 in the Message “First pride, then the crash— the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.” We all let our pride get in the way at times, but do we let it become such a problem that it is keeping us from doing what God wants us to do? Are we trying to do things “my way” or “in my own power” so much that we are blocking out God? As Americans I think we have more trouble with this than other cultures. We are fiercely independent and want to show others we can stand on our own 2 feet and get it done. However, Alex pointed out that God wants us vulnerable and open to His leading His way. I am reminded of Cheryl Summer’s favorite verse in this regard, Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” God wants us open and willing to follow His will not the ways of the world.
The second hindrance to realizing God’s purpose for our lives is control. We do not want to relinquish control of our lives to anyone, even God. Giving up control involves trusting the guiding person, in this case God, to do what is best for us. God’s Word tells us there are multiple blessings in store for the one who gives up that control and is obedient to God. Luke 11:28 ““Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” God promises blessing to those who hear His word and step out in obedience. John 15:10-11 goes a bit farther in explaining the blessing “ If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” God promises that obeying Him will keep us in His love. I love the proof of His keeping us in 1 John 3:24 “The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.” We will know He is with us because His Spirit is within us! Later in 1 John 5:3-4 we are told “ In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” Living a life of surrender, walking with Jesus and being filled with His Spirit will give us victory to overcome the world! How great is that?
Alex listed the third thing that can keep us form realizing our purpose is fear. This I can attest to personally. In fact fear lead me to search scripture and write “Fearless Living’. Fear can be devastating and debilitating and it leaves one floundering without direction. Doesn’t that sound like what Satan wants for us? He wants us sucked in by the world’s values and ineffective for God. He cannot take away our salvation (John 10:29*), but he can render us powerless. Fear is a major tool on his belt. Proverbs 29:25 tell us “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” James 4:7-8 tells us “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you.” God promises us that if we resist Satan, he will flee from us and God will draw near. We need to resist the fear and cling to Jesus. I love Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” God promises to be with us always. What have we to fear if God is with us? 1 John 4:4 “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” Praise God!!
I pray that some of the above scriptures will help you to focus on the hindrances Satan is trying to erect in your life. Reject them and claim your allegiance to God and seek to walk with Jesus each day. Seek to be vulnerable before Him, surrendered to His leading and trusting in His ways. Know without a shadow of a doubt that God does all things for His glory and our good! He is a good Father and we can trust Him always.
*Once you belong to Jesus, you cannot be taken away. Depend upon His promise and claim it in your life. Praise God!
John 10:28 “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
John 6:39-40 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
Painting a New Perspective | Why Am I Here?
Sermon series, "Painting A New Perspective." Today Alex teaches from 1 Corinthians 3:5-9.
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