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Cutting Through the Noise

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Cutting Through the Noise

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Review

The state of mental health in the U.S.
The Teton Dam failure
Satan is an agent of chaos, God is an agent of order
The pathway to peace: starts with prayer!

Today

We’re going to the same text, but we’re going to read on a bit...

Text

Philippians 4:4–9 NKJV
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Reasons for Lack of Peace

Peace We Don’t Have - Because It’s Out of Our Control

We face circumstances that are out of our control at times. Sometimes the Lord has placed us there. Sometimes, it’s simply due to the actions of others.
And there we are.
But… it’s still somewhat in our control. Somewhat. Because we can pray.
And so, it is with great insistence, honesty, and care for your soul that I say: Many are disturbed due to prayerlessness.
This sermon series is as much about prayerlessness and the high costs of it as it is about prayerfulness and the peace that comes from it. So, please recognize this is not a “get-your-hazelnut-cream-laced-cup-of-coffee-and-find-a-cozy-corner-and-enjoy-a-heartwarming-sermon-on-peace” kind of series.
If the Spirit has its way, your heart will not be warmed, but instead SET ON FIRE. Your cozy corner will be transformed into an altar of prayer; your coffee cup will be filled with tears.

Peace We Don’t Have - Because We Have Allowed It

Sometimes we don’t have peace because of a situation outside our control. But other times, a lack of peace is due to our own actions.
Remember me talking about being held back by our past? We put on the wall what God has thrown away!
I want to talk about some things we allow to hold us back. To rob our peace.

Controlling The Noise

Voices

The Bible speaks of many voices that there are in the world.
In the set of scriptures I’m about to read, Paul is talking about when someone begins speaking forth in tongues in the church. And in the middle of what he is saying, there is an interesting verse we find:
1 Corinthians 14:6–9 NKJV
6 But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching? 7 Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played? 8 For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle? 9 So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air.
Now listen!
1 Corinthians 14:10 NKJV
10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance.
There is not one single voice or influence out there that does not carry with it some sort of significance. It’s either “of good report” or it is not! Remember our text...
Philippians 4:8–9 NKJV
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
So, all other things amount to a great deal of “noise” that will work to weigh us down and rob us of our peace.
Now, let me talk about some of these “voices” or these “noises” today… some things that can speak and destroy your peace.

The Noises

Firstly, let me use some Scripture that is going to speak to each of the areas I am about to address:
Luke 6:43–45 NKJV
43 “For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
If you feed the tomato plant of your life kerosene, what is going to be the state of your plant? It’s certainly not going to bear fruit… but it’s life in general is going to be rotting.
Our heart is much like a blender. What we take in affects the state of our entire heart.
Anyone ever take a Home-Ec. class? I was in one once where we were using blenders to make smoothies. Had all of this fruit laid out to choose from. And the goofy people I hung around thought maybe we ought to “think outside the box”. You know, sometimes that phrase is good… other times… you got something bad coming your way! All I know is, someone reached for an egg. Another reached and got everything bagel seasoning. And then someone committed the cardinal sin… SARDINES.
Let me assure you… what came from the blender into the glass… was not as bad… as what regurgitated forth...
But we came to a pointed conclusion that day, and it was sort of a joke for the rest of that semester: “SARDINES DON’T BELONG IN SMOOTHIES!” Somebody’s peace was zapped that day!
And just like sardines don’t belong in smoothies, there are some worldly things that have no place in our heart! They corrupt the heart! They zap your peace! And they cannot end in a good result.
The reason that some people find they cannot pray right or worship right on Sunday or Tuesday or Wednesday is because it’s difficult to find that place of communion with the Lord when throughout the week you’ve taken into your heart a concoction of worldly flavors that God does not approve of!
SARDINES DON’T BELONG IN SMOOTHIES!!! There are some things that we’ve got to deal with. Set up some barriers from and replace them with prayer and devotion with God.

Media

Social media is dialed into what you are about. Therefore, it is dangerous to the heart.
Your interests are tracked. Your likes and dislikes are noted, and then you are delivered what that social media company thinks will draw you in. And that last phrase is the real problem here. “Draw you in.”
Well… see that’s exactly what Jesus would like to do. Draw us in.
And not only is it a problem of how we spend our time, it’s a problem of what methods they use to draw us in and consume our time. It is absolutely 100% proven that Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feature sexualized images of the opposite sex for the person who is viewing their news feed. Which is why there are reports from people that it seems like their News Feed is becoming more and more of that all the time.
And if we’re not careful, we become de-sensitized to these things.
I can say much the same of television. Which, today, is much more than channels on a TV. It’s Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Disney+.
Don’t misunderstand me today. I’m not trying to preach that you shouldn’t own a television. That’s no different than preaching “No more knives, since people can get cut.” But you better believe I’m preaching that you shouldn’t watch what you know you shouldn’t watch...
And that goes for music, as well. Some of the things we allow kids to listen to… it’s simply shocking.
I’ve got Scripture...
Psalm 101:1–4 NKJV
1 I will sing of mercy and justice; To You, O Lord, I will sing praises. 2 I will behave wisely in a perfect way. Oh, when will You come to me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. 3 I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me. 4 A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know wickedness.
There’s A LOT out there that should not be seen. There’s A LOT out there that should not be heard.
So, it’s pretty simple… don’t keep watching. Don’t keep hearing. Sardines don’t belong in smoothies. Why are you robbing your peace? Why are you robbing your prayer life???
Let me show you how serious this thing is. First of all, these people aren’t concerned with your peace, spirituality, or general state of mind. Never have been. And they could care less about your kids, too...
Here is the headline this week: “Disney Workers Planning Walkouts Over Florida Law That Bans K-3 Students From Being Taught About Sexual Orientation” - The Daily Wire
Hmm.
First of all, this law in Florida is completely justified. Completely understandable.
But second of all… Disney. Isn’t this the company that generally has gotten it’s massive income from sparking joy in the lives of children? And… let me get this straight… this company… is horribly opposed to kids in grades K-3 being taught about whether they are gay or straight or transgender or bisexual?
I don’t think you’re all that concerned in what makes kids laugh...
This is the company that once brought such timeless classics as Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and others.
And the employees have done walkouts and protests and stopped working in some cases. Claiming Disney hasn’t done enough to support the LGBTQIA+ community...
Okay, are you ready? Here’s the next headline this week… “Pixar Reinstates Same-Sex Kiss Scene In New ‘Lightyear’ Film Over So-Called ‘Don’t Say Gay Bill’

“Murmurers”

The Lord wants our speech to be wholesome.
I return to our text:
Philippians 4:8 NKJV
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
After the Exodus from Egypt, the people started messing up when they began “murmuring”.
Murmuring shows a heart that has been corrupted, but it can also corrupt the hearts of those who will tolerate it.

Your Flesh

Our flesh, if we allow it to control us, will become a sardine in the smoothie of our life.
Our flesh must be crucified.

Your Schedule

Being “busy” is often somehow admired. But truly, we often clutter up our schedule.
Let God have your calendar. Just as we mark off and designate days, evenings for certain things we need to do, weeks for vacations we have, we must mark off and designate time for God, because if we don’t manage our time, other things and people will.

The Replacement

Prayerfulness

I’ve got an uncomfortable prescription today: our answer is to remove things that weigh our spirit down, and to add what mounts up our spirit on eagles wings. We need to become prayerful.
Our greatest danger is letting the “urgent things” crowd out what we view to be necessary. Lesser priorities seek to occupy the place God once held supreme in our lives. And we are all the poorer for it.
What we need to do… is let “church-going” become “church-being”. We need to let “having good church” become “being the Church”. And we cannot be the Church without being prayerful.
I’m going to read some powerful quotes I’ve compiled regarding prayer. I hope that they move you greatly:
“My soul’s conviction is that prayer is the grandest power in the entire universe, that it has a more omnipotent force than electricity, attraction, gravitation, or any other of those secret forces which men have called by name, but which they do not understand.” - C. H. Spurgeon
“The more praying there is in the world, the better the world will be, the mightier the forces against evil.” - E. M. Bounds
“Where there is much prayer, there will be much of the Spirit; where there is much of the Spirit, there will be ever-increasing prayer.” - Andrew Murray
“There have been revivals without much preaching, but there has never been a mighty revival without mighty prayer.” - R. A. Torrey
“The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray!” - Samuel Chadwick
I am making a verbal call tonight for someone to, in the urgency of their spirit, grab the nob of noise in this world that invades your ears, turn it down… and then grab the nob of your prayer and start turning that thing up!
IT’S TIME!
You need to find some peace? Your peace is going to come as a by-product of what I’m instructing right now! Start removing some noise! Start igniting your prayer life!

Conclusion

Prayerfulness Will Cause You to be Used

A Gift for the Ferrell’s

Pray and Trust God!

It’s Time to Set Up Some Guards Around Our Devotion

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