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When God Seems Inattentive

When God Doesn't Make Sense  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Just because God is silent doesn't mean God is absent.

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WHEN GOD DOESN’T MAKE SENSE—WHEN GOD SEEMS INATTENTIVE
WHEN GOD SEEMS INATTENTIVE
Why does God allow things to happen? There are times when we think we could do a better job than God is as we look at what is happening around us.
Warn you—Series may frustrate you. Won’t like. No steps. No quick fixes. May not feel better. Glad came to church?
No steps. No quick fixes. May not feel better. Glad came to church?
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3 stories in NT—Inattentive, Late, Uncooperative. (Andy)
Feel God’s ever been Inattentive, Late, Uncooperative? (HNV)
You prayed and seem like God was uncooperative or late
Christians make more difficult in regards to getting their favorite parking spot, financial blessing, promotion:
Preachers like me—Miracle stories (Prayed).
Friends are blessed and barely serve Jesus if at all: Job love, Happy marriage, $ blessed—I’m better person.
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What do you do when God seems INATTENTIVE? Silent when you pray?
•Key thought: JUST BECAUSE GOD IS SILENT DOESN’T MEAN GOD IS ABSENT.
Just because you don’t feel Him doesn’t mean He isn’t with you.
GOD IS ABSENT.
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John the Baptist (Jesus’ cuz): Prophet: Animal skins, locusts, honey: Prepare, Repent!
Hero among common people because he didn’t take anything off of anybody and told the truth
no matter what which is what got him in trouble with King Antipas
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Context: Herod Antipas married—Fell in love with Bro’s wife: Herodias
Divorced wife, married bro’s wife—JTB called them out!
Herodias—wife hated JTB! Herod Anitpas has JTB arrested because he believed JTB to be a holy man.
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17 For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had
him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother
Philip’s wife, whom he had married. 18 For John had been saying to
Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19 So
Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she
was not able to, 20 because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing
him to be a righteous and holy man…
Mark 6:17–19 NLT
17 For Herod had sent soldiers to arrest and imprison John as a favor to Herodias. She had been his brother Philip’s wife, but Herod had married her. 18 John had been telling Herod, “It is against God’s law for you to marry your brother’s wife.” 19 So Herodias bore a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But without Herod’s approval she was powerless,
Mark 6:17–20 NLT
17 For Herod had sent soldiers to arrest and imprison John as a favor to Herodias. She had been his brother Philip’s wife, but Herod had married her. 18 John had been telling Herod, “It is against God’s law for you to marry your brother’s wife.” 19 So Herodias bore a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But without Herod’s approval she was powerless, 20 for Herod respected John; and knowing that he was a good and holy man, he protected him. Herod was greatly disturbed whenever he talked with John, but even so, he liked to listen to him.
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John’s faithfully serving God—Announced arrival of Jesus
Don’t follow me—Follow Jesus—Unworthy to untie—Baptizes people in the Jordan including Jesus
Arrested, put in prison for doing what’s right! Surely Jesus rescue!
Arrested, put in prison for doing what’s right! Surely Jesus rescue! He stood up for Jesus and so Jesus should stand up for him, right? Jesus instead kept doing His ministry and didn’t send 9 foot tall angels to free JTB, etc.
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Question: Do you think John stayed strong in his faith or struggled?
Human—Second thoughts about Jesus. He started asking questions.
2 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he
sent his disciples 3 to ask [Jesus], “Are you the one who is to come, or
should we expect someone else?”
Matthew 11:2–3 NLT
2 John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, 3 “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?”
Miracles for strangers—not for him. Turned water into wine, healed the lame, blind and mute.
Maybe I was wrong because you haven’t come for me and free me from prison.
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4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The
blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed,
the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the
poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”
Jesus—Are you the one? Doesn’t respond—Of course I’m the one—Break out!
Matthew 11:4–6 NLT
4 Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen— 5 the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.” 6 And he added, “God blesses those who do not fall away because of me.”
Die for you—all you’ve got! Come yourself and talk to me! You are doing
all this stuff for other people and you don’t have anything left for me?!
So John continues to wait while Jesus continues His ministry.
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Party palace—Drunk—Herodias’ daughter Salome dances—purity of mind hoping it was Ballet but maybe a sensual dance, etc.
King—drunk and loves everyone and starts showing off—What do you want?
Teenager: Pony, iPhone, Tickets to a popular artist! Girl asks mom, Herodias—Head of JTB
Girl asks mom, Herodias—Head of JTB
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What we think should have happened espcially if you have never heard the story before:
Happens? Earthquake—Angel—Blinds Herodias—All fall dead
Music builds—Walks thru smoke—Blue face (Mel Gibson)—Freedom
Gets the keys to the city
Meets & marries a gorgeous animal skin model who also eats honey and locusts—Suburbs—2 kids and a dog named Herodias.
But that is not what happened even though earthquakes and jail cells flew open at other times and places.
This is what did happen:
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This is what did happen:
26 The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner
guests, he did not want to refuse her. 27 So he immediately sent an
executioner with orders to bring John’s head. The man went, beheaded
John in the prison, 28 and brought back his head on a platter.
Mark 6:26–28 NLT
26 Then the king deeply regretted what he had said; but because of the vows he had made in front of his guests, he couldn’t refuse her. 27 So he immediately sent an executioner to the prison to cut off John’s head and bring it to him. The soldier beheaded John in the prison, 28 brought his head on a tray, and gave it to the girl, who took it to her mother.
28 and brought back his head on a platter.
Jesus had power to rescue John—He didn’t.
Where is God? This isn’t the kind of Christianity we are accustomed to in the US. Not the praise report we were expecting.
Here’s what did happen:
John’s desire was fulfilled—Prepare the way of the Lord
More importantly—God’s purpose was fulfilled (the blind will see, the deaf with hear and the Gospel will be proclaimed). Just not according to John’s plan.
“Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that
prevails.”
Proverbs 19:21 NLT
21 You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.
Many are the plans in your heart but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.
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Current personal situation
*** Jordan----Bible College/Choices ***
We knew God called our son into ministry when he was young. Multiple people recognized it.
He went off to bible college to start preparing for what God has called him to do.
Shortly after he goes off to bible college, we find out things are not as they seem.
During high school, he lied to his mom and me including other people about a relationship he was having.
He justified his lie because she is a proclaimed Christian. It took a long time for my wife and I to work through the lies and move on.
See, we had a plan for our son and we thought he had the same. Go to Bible College, get involved in ministry, graduate and move on to get married, etc.
Right now, we are trying to understand the reasoning behind what is happening. Just as we think we have figured things out or learned how to deal with something, another issue comes to light.
We find ourselves trying to make sense of all of this. Why is this happening? Why is he making the choices and decisions he is making even though it is directly against what he has been taught and how we have raised him?
We have to remember our plans are not important but God’s purpose is. I don’t know what God’s purpose in this is. I do know that God’s Word is true.
Proverbs 19:21 NLT
21 You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.
prevails.”

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Romans 8:28 NLT
28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
This situation is not a top priority problem as many of us may be facing more difficult situations such as a loved one battling cancer, loss of job, loss of a loved one whom you may have even prayed for, etc.
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YOU DON’T HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE PLAN TO TRUST GOD’S PURPOSE.
TRUST GOD’S PURPOSE.
You don’t even have to like the plan to understand God’s purpose.
This situation is not a top priority problem as many of us may be facing more difficult situations such as a loved one battling cancer, loss of job, loss of a loved one whom you may have even prayed for, etc.
Prayed someone—Died, Worked hard—Lost job, Depression, Migraines.
We never interpret the goodness of God through our circumstances but we interpret our circumstance through the goodness of God.
We know God is good and He will always be good.
We are asking: What’s the plan? When God is saying to us: Trust my purpose.
My faith is not in my plan (this is how I like to see it happen)—My faith is in God’s purpose!
God’s ways are not our ways!
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Jesus in the garden—God if there is any other way—My God—Why?
My God, My God—Forsaken, silent, show me, inattentive! Not My will (plan) but Your will (purpose) be done.
The disciples’ plan wasn’t fulfilled but God’s purpose was!
Don’t have to understand the plan to trust God’s purpose.
Don’t put your faith in your plan but in God’s purpose.
Silent—Inattentive—Because God is silent—Doesn’t mean he’s absent!
Remember: We never interpret the goodness of God through our circumstances but we interpret our circumstance through the goodness of God.
We don’t understand the plan of our son right now but we are putting our faith in God’s purpose for him which isn’t always easy but it is necessary.
Pray for those who have something in their life that doesn’t make sense right now. Something that they want to be different right now.
We know God is good and He will always be good.
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