Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ordinary Failure [James McDonald]

I have listed to a whole lot of sermons over the past several years, but this one takes number one in my book, so I thought I’d share some of what I am learning. Funny how I was drawn right to this one.

"Ordinary Failure"
James McDonald

1.)    Prosperous times produce passive wills.
  • Notice that this is taking place in the spring—this is the time when battles are fought since they cant be fought during winter because it is rainy season. Thus, David’s kingdom is prospering since God promised He would give them victory in battles.
  • Normally, David always goes off to battle with his men, but this time he stayed back. Why??
  • Well, most likely he was tired, lazy, unengaged, passive and struggling. We can even see this when David gets up off the couch in the middle of the afternoon—he must have been sleeping or laying there getting lost in his thoughts. It’s not normal to sleep in the afternoon, especially for someone in his position.
***Few of us can handle the temptation of inactivity.
o       You start thinking about YOURSELF, asking questions like:
o       Do I really like my life?
o       Do I want a new house?
o       Maybe I need some excitement?
o       I think I am sick of my wife—I need a new one.

o       Thus, I must be proactive in my walk with God. Moral failure such as what took place in David’s life does not happen all of a sudden—it is simply revealing a whole lot of passivity and failure over a long time. Man, I see this play out in my life over and over again.

2.)    Passive wills produce overpowering emotions.
  • Obedience first—then joy will come.
  • TRAIN- The engine must be obedience and our feelings the cabuse.
  • The devil is a roaring lion, just waiting to devour us…all he needs is a little too much free time, a little indifference, a little depression, etc.
  • THIS IS A WAR!!!
    • We must have a war-time mentaility—get by on less and sacrifice more. You don’t have time to think about how YOU feel in a war.
    • You must FLEE from your enemy. That means you literally run the opposite direction!
No human has the strength to resist such over-powering emotions.
ENGAGE YOUR WILL!! Call a friend…get on your knees…worship.
  • We must deal with sin as it exists in our minds before it shows up in our behavior and hurts others. Oh, this is SUCH SWEET TRUTH!!! Do you HEAR THIS?
  • Proverbs 25:28 reminds us to “rule over our own spirits.” A city without walls is dead.

3.)    Overpowering emotions produce perverse thoughts.
  • When David heard that Bathsheba was “a wife” he should have fled…but he didn’t.
  • We must stop our thoughts from becoming actions.

4.)    Perverse thoughts produce private sin.
  • When we dwell on desire, yielding is just a matter of time!!
  • So we go through a process something like this:
    • WHY? If you only knew my past…if you could even begin to understand the pain I am in…if only you knew what happened. We all have a million “whys” to our sin.
    • HOW? When you have a why, you will find a how. I’ll just stay out a little later…I just leave when it gets dark…I just tell her I’m here and go there.
All of this is in isolation. David is away from home and doesn’t get the counsel he needs.
  • We must remember, God is not mocked. Proverbs 26:27 says whoever digs a pit will fall back into it. He gave us free will—He will allow us to chose life or death.

5.)    Private sin produces public consequences.
  • You can be sure of one thing—your sin will find you out!
  • When the weight of the sin becomes greater then the shame of being known, you will tell someone.
  • One day, we will all have to give an account…He knows us, even the motives of our heart which man might never know.

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