Sunday Morning Podcast February 27, 2022. Bro. Dave Goble. Pastor
This is the last sermon of our series “The Journey from The Destination.” We started 7 weeks ago discussing a journey from the destination of our own making. By now if you’ve been following along, you kind of know what we mean by that. You know we get to places in life, and we’ve invested a lot in ourselves which is natural. I hope you do. And that investment in ourselves takes many forms, but we want to be careful that what we invest in leads us first and foremost to a greater awareness of God. Otherwise the investments we make in ourselves might well cause us to get to certain destinations in life, but they’re destinations of our own making. And we think that, that is where we are meant to be and stay. What we’ve been asked for you to consider, is that perhaps in those destinations, ..we are not meant to stay there. But rather we’re meant to journey on, and look at the gospel life as kind of a journey, instead of a place that we come to. Now I realize when we said this, that we’re meant to have milestones in our lives. One of the greatest milestones that anyone can ever have, is the moment when the Lord convicts them, and they are outside of the ark of safety. That they are yet a sinner, and that He yet has salvation for that person. That’s the first milestone often that a person should experience. So that’s a kind of destination isn’t it? That place God brings us to when He saves us. Then we realize then that we are the greatest enemy. There was a cartoon character that I’ve seen, and it’s something like “I have seen the enemy, and it is I.” And we realize that, and also realize God has healing for that as well. That He can do business with this turmoil and roil that is inside of us, and He can take up residence in our heart. That’s a milestone, ..and so forth.
But you know we need to be careful,(and I learned it again this past week), that we don’t make destinations of our own making. Because as we’ve said, “what you bleed and die for, you will be loathe to change.” Which means if something is so important to you, and you have really sacrificed to obtain it, you’re not going to want to change it. But if God needs you to change it, ..now you’ve got a problem. Because you got to a place where this is a destination that we have made of our own making, but God needs us to move from there. Now that becomes very, very difficult. Which is part of what we’ve talking about, “How do we get through destinations of our own making, and back on the journey that God wants us to be on? ” Last week we considered what a great privilege we have as human beings, to become more self aware, ..to know myself as God knows me. We were in 1Corinthians 13, and Paul talked about seeing through a glass darkly. We talked about how that might be better said, “we see by virtue of a mirror, but not clearly, but dimly.” And all that that implies. And this journey, if one of the greatest things we can understand, is that we become more self aware, ..we see ourselves, ..we see our faults. In James it says that “we confess our faults one to another.” Part of the purpose of that is that we might be healed. Not just physical healing, but emotional healing, spiritual healing. We are willing to confess and accept our faults, ..we talked about that. All of this is meant to get us to a place where we become more self aware, but even that can become a destination if that’s all we end up at. This morning we’d like us to continue on, and ultimately we want to become more aware of God. That’s our thought this morning. “The Journey From the Destination-Part VII” – “The Awareness of God.” We’d like you to consider, “How close are walking with God?” If we are simply substituting religion for real salvation, we need to ask ourselves “Am I really aware of God, ..in my everyday walk and life with God?” Is God infused in me? If we’ve been just muddling along, there’s a better experience than that.
TEXT: 1 Kings 17: 7-16,
1 Kings 17:7-16
7 And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.
8 And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,
9 Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.
10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.
11 And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.
12 And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.
13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou has said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.
14 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.
15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.
16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah.
This was a time of drought. Just like we are now experiencing here. We need to be sure we are walking with God, for that is where our safety, surety, future, and help is found. We must not allow anything, ..personalities, bitterness, hang-ups, etc. to interfere! God performed a miracle for this widow woman, to sustain her, her son, and Elijah because she obeyed his counsel. That’s why you need to walk close to God! This prophet walked so close to God. He had such confidence, but was no different than you and I in this sense. He had such confidence that God would do or say what He said He would do, that he could tell this to the woman who was going to make her last meal and die that she should depend on God, and He would save her! And He did! The reason Elijah had such confidence, was because he was a walking testimony who was infused with God! I hope we can be like that as often as possible. This infusion allowed God to solve this problem in a moment. Elijah was a man just like us, subject to the same things we are, yet used by God in this miraculous way.
17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good: there is none good but one, that is God.
19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
This man came running up to Jesus no doubt sincere, wanting to walk with God, but was not yet fully aware! Not yet aware of what in his life would prevent this from happening. We need to know what our “hang-ups” are. We need to be aware what would keep us, or prevent us from walking closely with God. Jesus wanted this young man to know that he had constructed a destination of his own making. Jesus was asking this young man to move from that which although partly from good things and ideas, did not include things that he needed to move from. We need to be able to empty ourselves so God can fill us. We need to submit to the trial, and not flee from it. We need to put God first. This will lead us to an awareness of God! Even a person that loves God, can find themselves discontent in a moment of time. And if we are not careful, we might try to construct schemes to become happy. Example, if ones decides they are not happy where they live, they will find someplace else, or not happy with their job, and look somewhere else, and etc. These things involve constructing a scheme to create happiness within ourselves. We think if we change something about our situation, it will lead to happiness that I seek.
That is not what God is teaching us in these scriptural stories. If you don’t feel there’s an advantage, or don’t appreciate the value of being filled with what God has for you, then when you are asked to give up something, it will feel like a punishment. Feeling like “you’re always being asked to give up something, or that you are always the problem. Being asked to empty self, and being tired of that, never seeming to get anything back. So after a while, to me Christianity seems just loss.” “Meanwhile my situation at home, work, with my neighbor is not getting better. All ‘I’ feel is loss. ” And the reason one would feel this way, is they are not gaining the advantage of being filled with God. When you are always emptying yourself, you will look to be filled with something else. Because God is not actually filling you. Christianity is not just a list of things that we don’t do. More than that, Christianity is a list that we now do. Christianity is more about putting on what God has for us. Otherwise Christianity will become a hard road to us. What we get rid of, we didn’t need in the first place. But what the Lord gives us, and fills us with, we desperately need! It makes this life enjoyable, and you can now see what you couldn’t before. Because the Lord puts some things on you, and we are spoiled for the things that we put off. We no longer want those things. Why? Because we put on something that’s better! So the question is, what have you put on? Are you willing to put on, what the Lord wants you to put on? Otherwise we are constantly struggling to create schemes for our own happiness, and it won’t work. I can either submit to the trial, or protest. .
The Journey From the Destination – VI I The Awareness of God