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Stay on Track

God's Promises  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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As you trust and rely fully upon God, He promises to bless and guide you.

Notes
Transcript
Introduction
A few weeks ago I went to get my eyes checked. I needed a new prescription. But the surprising part was when the doctor told me I had cataracts in my right eye. He said “You’re kind of young for cataracts.” Great!
Life is full of unexpected events! Some are unwelcome and some are pleasant.
On Thursday, April 23, Adam and Naomi told us they wanted to get married on Saturday, May 2nd, leaving us only 8 days to prepare. Totally unexpected! We were happy to do it. It was a blessed day!
We all understand the fact that life is unpredictable
In your lives…
Bad doctor’s report
Get laid off
Adult child develops a life-controlling addiction
Unexpected furnace replacement
Disappointing tax refund — or worse, tax bill
Suffice it to say - “Life is unpredictable” when you are a mere mortal. It’s just the way it is.
We need a promise to stand on in the face of life’s unpredictable events.
Here’s our promise for this week (Promise Box Cards)
Proverbs 3:5–6 NIV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
No matter what you face in this life...
TRUTH: As you trust and rely fully upon God, He promises to bless and guide you.
Transitional: “He will make your paths straight.”
White Board: Here’s your life’s path, anything but straight. You start here, when you are born. The goal is Heaven. But your path isn’t straight…it’s full of curves and crazy squiggles.
An unexpected event throws you off course
You make your way back
You give in to temptation
You find a great friend that helps you back on track
You listen to a bad teacher
You get into a healthy church
up and down…here and there…on the path and off the path. You usually are aware of the goal and the way you should be going but you lose sight and veer off course
What do you need?
You need a STRAIGHT PATH — the quickest line between two points. Always up…ultimately Heaven
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart”
Trust = confident expectation, reliance on the integrity, strength, and ability of a person or thing; confidence
How many people do you trust 100%? There is an erosion of trust in our society. We trust fewer people, less often.
Some companies have had to pay a lot of money in lawsuits because of false claims
Kellogg when they said eating Rice Krispies improves kids’ immunity
New Balance when they said wearing their shoes would help you burn calories.
Cigarette ads that claimed smoking was good for everything from weight loss to reducing coughs.
If people, or companies let you down, do you expect God to let you down?
TRUTH: As you trust and rely fully upon God, He promises to bless and guide you.

FULLY TRUSTING GOD PUTS YOU ON HIS PATH

Trust is built on history
Trust in people comes with time and consistency
When you continue to trust God even in the hardest of times, He changes your perspective
Instead of focusing on your present, focus on God’s past…His track record.
some people demand proof before they trust God
Trust is belief plus confidence
Trust is believing God is working, even when you can’t see it.
A preacher named S.M. Lockridge wrote and preached these famous words about trust:
He's the one who made us. It is He who made us and not we ourselves. The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork. No means of measure can define His limitless love. No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shoreless supply.
I’m telling you today, "You can trust Him."
· No barrier can hinder Him from pouring out His blessing.
· He's enduringly strong and He's entirely sincere.
· He's eternally steadfast and He's immortally graceful.
· He's imperially powerful and impartially merciful.
· He is God's Son.
· He's the sinner's Savior.
I'm trying to tell you church, "You can trust Him."
He does not have to call for help and you can't confuse Him. He doesn't need you and He doesn't need me.
· He's unparalleled.
· He's unprecedented.
· He's supreme.
· He's preeminent.
· He's the miracle of the age.
I'm trying to tell you, "You can trust Him."
He can satisfy all your needs. He supplies strength for the weak. He's available for the tempted and the tried.
· He sympathizes and He sees.
· He guards and He guides.
· He heals the sick.
· He cleanses the leper.
· He forgives sinners.
· He discharges debtors.
· He delivers the captives.
· He defends the feeble.
· He blesses the young.
· He regards the aged.
· He rewards the diligent.
I'm trying to tell you, "You can trust Him."
· He's the key to knowledge.
· He's the wellspring of wisdom.
· He's the doorway of deliverance.
· He's the pathway of peace.
· He's the roadway of righteousness.
· He's the highway of holiness.
· He's the gateway to glory.
You can trust Him.
· He's the master of the mighty.
· He's the captain of the conquerors.
· He's the head of heroes.
· He's the leader of legislators.
· He's the governor of the governors.
· He's the Prince of princes.
· He's the King of Kings.
· He's the Lord of Lords.
You can trust Him.
· You can't outlive Him, and you can't live without Him.
· Pilate couldn't find any fault in Him.
· Herod couldn't kill Him.
· Death couldn't handle Him.
· And thank God the grave couldn't hold Him.
There was nobody before Him, and there will be nobody after Him. He has no predecessor and He'll have no successor. You can't impeach Him, and he's not going to resign. You can trust Him.
There's no God before Him and there will be none after Him. We can walk out of this church knowing that God is trustworthy. You Can Trust Him.
Transitional: Trust God always in all things…and stay on His path.

LISTENING TO GOD’S VOICE KEEPS YOU ON HIS PATH

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
In all your ways submit to Him
Question: What does it mean when we say “all”?
Have we redefined what “all” means?
When we say all, we mean most or some. We hold back what we want to keep. We give some and pretend we are giving all.
All can’t really mean all, can it?
Listen to God by surrendering ALL to Him
The Message says it this way:
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go…
Listen to God by trusting Him with all your heart
In our “do what I want, when I want,” do whatever makes you feel good world, it sounds crazy to say “I’m all in for God…everything!”
Too busy, other things to take up our brain power and emotional energy
Even in the church culture, we’ve slowly evolved to a place where halfway commitments are the norm
One of the first places it shows is in church attendance
People are giving less and less of their time and energy to God, His Kingdom, and His Church
The average American church goer who considers themselves a “regular attender” now attends about one out of every three weeks.
If you missed 2 out of every 3 football practices, you’d be kicked off the team
If you missed 2 out of every three dance classes, you wouldn’t be in the show
You show up, because you don’t want to miss the rewards that come with being there
When it comes to church, it’s different.
Honestly, do you think attending one service out of every three weeks is an all-in commitment?
Could that be considered a commitment by any definition of the word?
I’m concerned – not because there is a magic amount of church attendance that makes you good, but because we are less committed than ever before.
I’m worried people who are trying to be life-long followers of Jesus are not even giving an hour a week in pursuit of that goal.
I’m concerned that as evil in our world increases, we are responding by lowering our commitment level. That doesn’t make sense, does it?
“Since the enemy is fighting the church, let’s spend less time, let’s lower the bar, let’s drop our commitment level. Let’s fight a more difficult battle by easing up. Maybe if we lower our commitment level, and give God less, He’ll respond with more help.”
I’m trying to figure out how that relates to:
Prov. 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6in all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make your paths straight.
This is a creeping crisis throughout our culture.
I am determined. We are not going to be a passive group of half-committed, low energy, part way, convenient Christians.
I’m going to call and push and challenge you to a higher level.
Why? Because I want to build a faith in you and in this church that is capable of withstanding difficult times. Wishy-washy, half-hearted, low commitment, part-time followers won’t survive hard times. Just doing business as usual isn’t enough.
…people, listen to God and trust Him with all your heart —
Listen to God and do not lean on your own understanding
When you trust God with all your heart and refuse to prop yourself up by your own understanding you will discover...
His plans for you finances, relationships, family, and future are way better than your plans
If you can’t trust that God’s plan is better than yours, you won’t be able to trust Him will all your heart
Here’s something we can be sure of:
Trust is not only believing that God will do it, but also allowing Him to choose how he will do it
Instead of trying to force God to bless us according to our specific desires, or expecting Him to do the miracle exactly like we envision, why don’t we try trusting Him with all our heart?
CHALLENGE
What does it mean to trust God with all your heart and to acknowledge Him in all your ways?
Maybe God is telling you to trust Him with your finances
Tithing, missions, helping others
Being a good steward-time, treasure, talent
Maybe God is speaking to your heart about your church involvement
The ministry we do here is designed to help us all mature in Christ, over time.
Spiritual growth doesn’t work very well if you only come to church when you feel like it or it is convenient.
If you only come every three weeks, you are not going to grow…and if you are not growing, what are you doing?
A lot of people say “You don’t have to go to church to be a Christian”
True, but how many Christians are making a real difference in isolation from other believers?
Maybe it’s time to trust God with your business
Maybe some of you desperately need to trust God in your marriage or your dating relationships (or lack thereof)
For some of you, it’s way past time to begin trusting God with your plans, goals, and dreams
Perhaps it is time for you to trust God with your habits
Developing good habits
Deliverance from bad habits
Proverbs 3:5–6 The Message
Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Where are you struggling to surrender it all to God?
What does “all” mean to you right now?
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