Messes, Dirty Laundry, and the real Christian life Part 4
Hebrews 11:1-3, 32-34
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation. By faith we understand that the entire universe was
formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen. How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets. By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight.
Let’s talk about Samson
On one hand he…
Killed a lion with his bare hands Judges 14:5-9
Killed 30 Philistines 14:19
Caught 300 foxes tied their tails together and burned all the grain fields 15:4-6
Killed a bunch more Philistines 15:7,8
Escaped from ropes and killed 1000 Philistines with a donkey’s jaw bone 15:14-17
The Gate Gaza –carried a 5-10 ton gate carried it 36 miles up 3200 feet higher Judges 16:3
Escaped from bowstring, ropes, and loom Judges 16:9,12,14
3000 killed in the temple of doom 16: 28-30
Then on the other hand he…
– Disobedient to his parents
– Decides to marry and ungodly woman
– Compromised to follow the customs of the world rather than God in the wedding set up
– Has lust issues and frequented prostitutes
– Lived with Delilah
– Arrogantly assumed because God’s gifts were still on him that God was giving his approval
Rocky theme music plays as Samson comes on the stage in a Rocky-esk style (new york tough guys accent)
I’m number 1! I’m number 1! No one can put me down…lions I tear them apart with my bear hands…Philistines…I took out a bunch here and then another bunch there…here a bunch there a bunch everywhere a bunch, bunch of Philistines….I’m good with foxes too…Noah had nothing on me…I gather those things up two by two, handling them with kit gloves of course (Pausing realizing people aren’t getting his joke…)he explains…you see young foxes are called “kits” so I would handle them with Kit gloves…oh forget about it! I took the foxes tied them together with a lit torch and burned all the fields of the philistines…people will learn not to mess with me…speaking of foxes I keep trying with the ladies and it never seems to work out…that is until now….Delilah WOW what a looker…just because she’s a philistine… don’t judge me….we have played this game she wants me to tell her the source of my strength so I said weave my hair into a loom…busted the loom, tie me up with bowstrings busted right out of them…tonight if she asks again…I think I’ll tell her the truth (Rocky music plays again) that’s my song, running late got to go…she said she’d keep an eye out for me…
Be honest… most of us battle with pride at times – either blatant pride where we are just arrogant or hidden pride where we are at time passive aggressively controlling people and situations through our “Don’t worry about me, I’ll be OK” attitude
What are the real dangers of pride?
- Broken relationship with God
James 4:6 “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
2) No room for God
Psalm 10:4 The wicked are too proud to seek God. They seem to think that God is dead.
Proverbs 13:10 Pride leads to conflict;those who take advice are wise.
Proverbs 28:25 He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife, But he who trusts in the Lord will be prospered.
5) Putting our trust in all the stuff of life
Proverbs 11:28 He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage.
Is there a good pride?
Ecclesiastes 3:22 “…there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work”
Feeling good about all that the Lord has done through you and in you
– your accomplishments at the job, at church, in your home
– taking pride in your children just for who they are
– taking pride in your growth and maturity as a human being and a Christian
These are things that keep you focused on what God is doing in and through you.
We see the very real danger in pride in Samson’s life in one simple verse
What do you think was Samson’s real weakness and why did he become weak?
Judges 16:20 When he woke up, he thought, “I will do as before and shake myself free.” But he didn’t realize the Lord had left him.
God desires to bless us and change the world through us. Pride can blind us to fulfilling God’s plan…we can literally be walking through life and not realize that God has left us…we think everything is God but we have walked outside of His protection and even placed ourselves in a position of being opposed by God
Though the Lord is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud.
But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
1 Peter 5:5
Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
I want God’s care…how about you?
I want God to bless me…how about you?
I want God pouring out His grace on me…how about you?
How do we recognize pride in our lives? Here are some signs
– If we get offended easily
– If we are jealous of the accomplishments of others
– If we are angry that others haven’t noticed “what we do”
– If we hold unforgiveness
– If we are not serving others…we feel that is for others to do
– If we always demanding our own way
Why are those things bad?
Well God can’t have any part in that and if we are living with any of these things active in our lives we may be like Samson and not even realize God has left us (not that He has left us but His blessing and protection are no longer on those areas of our lives because they can’t be)
We have a lot to be thankful for and prideful, in a good way
– we live in an amazing nation
– we have food on our table or a way to get it
– we are seeing the Lord move in very powerful ways
I want us to nurture what the Lord is doing here and we can’t grow as family if pride is in the way…we can’t be effective in touching our region if pride is in the way…we can’t act as god(s) we need to allow God to be God and if we do we will see
If we walk and live humbly we will see God’s… support, encouragement, blessing, open doors, wisdom, provision, we will prosper, most importantly we will know God is with us and for us!
Let’s see what God will do…going to do things a little differently today. I am going to pray and the worship team will lead us in some worship I don’t want you to come to the altar right away…I know we are seeing some amazing things happen here and I know the Lord is working on all of our hearts..so please take a moment in closing worship to allow the Lord to search your heart…not because he is angry at you but because he wants to bless and promote you but you have an area of pride that He has been wanting to deal with…and now will if you will allow it