THE FORWARDS/BACKWARDS SPIRITUAL LIFE

Reading: Hebrews 6:1-11

Text Galatians 5:16

 

     INTRODUCTION

 

(a) Some years ago, we were returning  home  from  the  borders area, whenever we were hit by a blizzard.

(b) We were only going at about twenty miles an  hour,  trying  to  see where the road was, but the snow and wind gave the impression that that we were travelling at high speed!

(c) Phillip  thought  it  reminded  him   of   Star   Trek,   and   the starship Enterprise going through a meteorite storm at high speed.

(d) But really we were getting no-where fast!

 

     POINT 1

 

(a) There are many Christians who give the impression of speeding along on the Christian pathway, and yet if they  take  a  honest  look,  they haven't actually got anywhere!

[*] An absent minded motorist was driving the wrong way up a one-way street, when he was stopped by a policeman who asked, "Where do you think you're going?" "I can't actually remember" he said, "but I must be too late, as everyone seems to be on their way back!"

(b) Some actually are going backwards instead of forwards.

(c) It can happen, sometimes because they are unwilling to obey  what  they  know are God's rules! Or God has revealed His will to them, and they've   been unwilling to obey! Or perhaps there is a certain sin in their life that they are unwilling to give up!

(d) Whatever it might be, it all has the same effect: -  The  closeness of  their  relationship  with  God  is  affected,  they  stop   growing spiritually, and they end up in a kind  of  spiritual  wilderness,  not

knowing where they are going, like the Children  of  Israel,  in  the wilderness, going round and round in circles!

(g) It has the effect of killing  off  any  spiritual  desire  for  the things of God,  and  commencing  that  slow  slide  which  leads  to  a backslidden life.

 

     POINT 2

 

(a) So often we say that it is so easy  to  slide  down  the  spiritual slope, and so difficult to climb back up again - the further you slide, the harder it becomes, even to get back to where you  were,  let  alone

advance!

(b) There are some of course, who appear to have dug in their ice-pick, and appear to be holding on for dear  life  -  and  getting  no-where!

(c) If we're just holding ground in the same place, then we are failing in the spiritual concept which the Bible  teaches,  that  of  CONTINUAL SPIRITUAL MOVEMENT AND GROWTH! This determines whether we are  spiritual  GIANTS  or MIDGETS.

(d) Here's something I read,

"Keep challenging yourself! The moment that you become satisfied  with yourself or with your work, that moment you begin  to  slip  backwards.

Challenge your thoughts, your actions and everything you achieve.......

Keep challenging yourself! You can rout every pigmy of your  nature  if you will but decide to do so!"  (Christians Daily Challenge - page 1)

(e) We've got to be honest with ourselves, and ask the question -

"How far have I grown? How far have I matured since  the  time  I  was saved??"

(f) If the answer is a negative one, then we must be willing to face up to the reason we are not maturing and growing spiritually!!

(g) Then we must ask ourselves if Jesus  means  more  to  us  than  the reason we are being held back in our spiritual life!!

(h) If we allow anything, or anyone to become  more  important  in  our lives than God, then that automatically becomes our new god!

When God says in the ten commandments," Thou shalt have no  other  gods before Me!"  HE MEANS IT!

 

     POINT 3

 

(a) You'll  remember the parable Jesus told, about the wise man who built his house upon the rock, whilst the foolish man built his  on the sand, and when the weather turned nasty, it didn't take a genius to

guess which house fell down!!

(b) Foundations in your life and mine are no less important!

In Hebrews 6:1 we are reminded that we cannot proceed  spiritually  and build in our lives, unless the basic foundations have been properly and permanently laid!

(c) What it says is that there are some people who never get  past  the foundation laying stage! THEY JUST KEEP DOING IT OVER AND OVER   AGAIN!

So obviously their building is not going to get very far!

(d) What are these foundations?

 

REPENTANCE! That's being truly sorry for our sin and turning  our  back upon it.

But of course, some people just keep allowing themselves do  what  they know is  wrong,  and sinful,  and  live  in  a  constant guilt/repentance relationship with God.

I remember on one occasion illustrating it like this:

If I were to start off a car journey to Glasgow on a  very  icy  night, wouldn't it be very foolish to come home and restart the journey  every time I had a little skid??

Yet that is exactly what many people continue to do in their  spiritual experience!!!

 

DISOBEDIENCE! There are those who know what God requires of  them,  but are unwilling to make that sacrifice!! So they are quite simply STUCK!

God can take them no further  until  they  are  willing  to  jump  that hurdle! It's a bit like a horse refusing to jump a fence.

Until it does, it can get no further!

 

FAITH! There are so many who seem to go through their experience asking in their hearts  CAN HE - CAN'T HE  questions about God's ability!

Yet so often, those same people have seen the mighty Hand of  God  move in their own past in answer to prayer!

Sometimes they pray to God  in  desperation,  and  then  in  their  own impatience, do things which make it impossible for God to answer!

Today they are positive that God's will is one  thing  -  by  tomorrow, they'll be just as sure that it's something else!!

Maybe they'll even have a course of action in their mind, and they're waiting vainly for God to confirm something that is their will, and not His!

 

     CONCLUSION

 

(a) My dear friends, God is not the author of confusion, but it is only as we learn to live close to Him, that we come to know His will for our lives!

(b) He has the plan for your life all mapped out! Are  you  fitting  in with it, I wonder??

(c) God's Holy Spirit, works for the  CONSTRUCTION  of  your  spiritual building!!

(d) However, the Devil efficiently and effectively, works for it's DESTRUCTION  - if we allow him!!

(e) As we've thought around these things, I wonder has the Holy  Spirit revealed to your heart, things that need attention in your own life??

The opportunity is yours to put these things right just now!

 

  

 

MEETING PLAN FOR HOLINESS MEETING

 

Song  179                                        (TUNE 742)

Prayer Chorus - 216

Prayer Time

Chorus no  215

COLLECTION & ANNOUNCEMENTS

SINGING COMPANY

Song  862                              (TUNE 248)

TESTIMONIES & CHORUSES

BIBLE READING                        

SONGSTERS

MESSAGE

Prayer Chorus no  205

Song  487                              (TUNE 832)