HANDOUT FOR THE SERMON: THINGS THAT GET IN THE WAY OF OUR PATH. September 17th, 2023, 9:30 a.m. Manchester, TN
INTRODUCTION: The Bible describes a life as a follower of Jesus as a person on a journey or a path. There are many scriptures that allude to the idea of “your path” or that “we are pilgrims” or that “we belong to a different kingdom.” Scripture: Psalm 23:4, Psalm 119:105, Hebrews 11:13, Hebrews 11:16, Philippians 3:20.
As we journey along, things happen. Sometimes things happen because of our own actions. Sometimes things happen because of the actions of others and sometimes the unexpected suddenly surprises us. Life can be difficult enough but then it gets even harder, and we feel we can no longer hold it together. We feel the burden we bear has become just too much and we decide we want to give up! There are so many “issues” in life. You have your worries, your hardships, your trials, your health, your job, your school challenges and then the money issues! Just how much can you handle; how much can you carry! Then add on top all the hurtful and negative things you must deal with! Can you identify with such things?
How long can you put up with it? How long can you carry it? One hour, one day, a week, a month, a year, or many years? These issues of life end up being extremely heavy.
Illustration: A Glass of Water. How heavy is a glass of water? Yet over time the glass of water seems heavier and in fact the longer you carry it the heavier it gets! Carry it an hour, a day, a few days, a week, a month, etc. Did you realize it gets heavier the longer you hold it? Always remember, put the glass down!
It is at this point I suggest to you the encouraging words of Psalm 23:5-6 “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, you anoint my head with oil, my cup runs over, surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
The question to us all is: “Are you willing to put your problems, your burdens on His table and leave it there?”
LESSON: 1. OBSTACLES IN OUR PATHWAY. In our study today I want each one of us to look inward in the deepest places of your heart and identify the difficult things you are carrying. Let us consider these things as not so big, not so bad and not so heavy!
Some typical preacher advice I have heard: Well, YOU JUST NEED TO….pray more with expectation, read God’s word daily seeking direction, surround yourself with good people, journal things or join a prayer group or find a good podcast to listen to.
We often complain to others, “You just don’t know how heavy my issue is, plus I am too weak to carry this because it is just too heavy!” Did you know if you give your problem to God – the weight of your problem doesn’t matter. If you give it to God, then YOU are not carrying it anymore! So it is not about the weight, it is about your unwillingness to trust in God and wait on the Lord! Our problem is that we focus on the wrong things: the weight of the issue and my ability to carry it, resolve it or conquer it! What you need to do is: GIVE IT TO GOD so you don’t have to carry it any longer.
Matthew 7:24-29 The two houses. The good house did not fall because of what the house was built on or what the house stood on. We must absolutely stand on the Lord Jesus Christ and not on our own abilities or strength. We as humans are always comparing things, we even compare houses-my house verses your house. It is not about you or your strength or your ability to carry it, it is whether you give it to God to carry.
2.WE NEED SEE AND UNDERSTAND THE GREATNESS AND GRACE OF GOD. God is strong enough to deal with any problem. His grace is strong enough to help you. His goodness makes Him choose to stay near you. God is dependable enough to be there for you and hold anything you can not hold or carry. God is always there to hear your cry! We must understand it is about believing in what God can do. Are we willing to surrender it all to Him? His strength is so much greater and stronger than ours.
Scripture: Matthew 11:28-20 The Yoke Test. Your belief in what God can do. If we are weary, turn to Him. He will carry it as we are yoked to Him. He promises rest and relief. He tells us His yoke is easy and light!
Scripture: Philippians 4:3-4 Rejoice in the Lord. Our joy is IN HIM and not in our surroundings or things of this world. God can give us peace. God can guard you heart and mind in Christ. So be careful from being overburdened, burnt out, being isolated with your problem. Give it to Jesus.
Scripture: Philippians 4:6-7 Your need to pray. We have no reason to hold on to worry and anxiety. We get anxious over what we cannot solve or resolve. So what does God tell us?
Scripture: Philippians 4:13 Do you really know what this verse is about. “I can do all things.” Is that TRUE or FALSE for you? Can you? Ephesians 6:10 We are told to be “strong in the Lord and in the power of His strength.” Our strength will fail us, but the power of His strength will not.
3.DEEPLY AND INTENSELY STAY IN GOD’S LIMITLESS POWER. Our need to trust in God is great might during times in our lives, especially when….
• HARSH LIFE SITUATIONS. Matthew 6;25,31,34 “do not worry” is repeated three times.
• INTENSE TEMPTATION 1 Corinthians 10:12-14
• DEEP SPIRITUAL DESPAIR, Ephesians 2:1-10