Reading: Hebrews 6:1-11
Text Galatians 5:16
(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!
(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.
(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
(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!
(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!
(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
Chorus no 215
COLLECTION & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Song 862 (TUNE 248)
TESTIMONIES & CHORUSES
Prayer Chorus no 205
Song 487 (TUNE 832)