Unfollow Your Heart
Pastor Amie Dockery
Sunday Sept 2, 2018
Main Idea– The Bible teaches to not be double-minded. We should not have doubts about where God is taking us. Satan wants to see you second-guess yourself. Draw closer to God and He will give you specific communication.
Include God in your initial planning process
- Oftentimes, we only go to God in prayer when we need something.
- However, we should include God - through prayer – when we are planning and considering all things.
- If we don’t include Him in the earliest stages of our plans, we will eventually have doubts about what we are doing.
- Satan loves it when we become double-minded, and second-guess ourselves.
- It’s difficult to be intentional – to be convinced about what we are doing – when we are divided by doubt because we didn’t include God in the planning process.
- James 4:8 – Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
- If we do not have a close relationship with God it is likely we will lack confidence about our purpose and role in life.
- James 1: 5-8 – If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; for he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Camp around the tabernacle
- In the desert, the tribes of Israel were camped in proximity to the elements of the tabernacle for which they were responsible.
- The tribes were given very specific directions by God as to how to handle the parts of the tabernacle during times of assembling and disassembling the structure.
- In order to know how to do their jobs, the tribes had to be in close proximity to God.
- Later, the tribe of Zebulun steadfastly followed closely behind King David because it had faith David was the king, and was effectively leading.
- Close proximity to God means more specific directions.
- Leadership involves specific directions. Move closer to God and you will receive more specific guidance. You will become more useful in the Kingdom’s operations.
Proximity is determined by priorities
- To move close to God will mean you will need to move away from distractions.
- For example, the tribes camped close to the Ark of the Covenant were responsible for preserving and caring for the Ark.They could not be distracted by other things.
- God will not interrupt if you have put distractions in your life. You won’t hear from God if you are giving attention to other voices and “noise.”
Ask, seek, knock
- The voices and “noise” in life waste our time by getting us to seek after other things. Worldly voices, and our fleshly tendency, cause us to run from one thing to another in search of something just out of reach.
- God’s order is different. Matthew 7: 7-8 – “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
- God’s order is:
- Ask Him first, and you will receive from Him.
- Seek the right door to knock on.
- Knock on it until it is opened.
- Jesus is not quoted in Scripture as having said, “pray for open doors.” Rather, we are to knock on a door because we have been sent to that door with something to offer those behind the door.
- Doors that easily swing open likely represent someone who is trying to sell you something. Rarely is there true opportunity behind an open door.
Knock with persistence and confidence
- God will send you to a door of opportunity because He has already given you something to share.
- Do not become doubled-minded, doubting where God has sent you simply because the door does not immediately open.
- Doubt will cost you valuable time, effort, and worry.
- The Apostle Thomas is famous in history because he doubted what the other disciples told him about the resurrected Jesus.This doubt temporarily kept him from experiencing joy and fulfillment.
- John 20: 29 – Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
- In that verse, the word “blessed” is really the Greek word “makarios.” Makarios means “an overabundance of joy and happiness.”
Believe in what you haven’t yet seen
- In the above verse, Jesus was saying that great, sustained, joy are experienced by those who believe in what they haven’t yet seen.
- Resurrection and multiplication are what God has for us.
- Continue knocking on the door to which you have been sent, knowing that you have something valuable to give when it is finally opened.
Faith to believe is a gift
- Faith is not a feeling we conjure ourselves.Faith is a gift from God.
- Ephesians 2: 8 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
- Jesus’ conversation with Thomas was a straightforward conversation between two men.
- We, today, can have the same kind of conversation with God if we have drawn close to Him in relationship.
- God has given us the essential faith by which we are able to communicate with Him.
- Intentionally invest your effort in getting to know God better.
- The best way to draw closer to God is by regularly reading the Bible and learning more about Him.
- As you learn more about God, the Holy Spirit will guide you in your conversation with Him.
- You will then be able to include God in every aspect of your life; including the early process of planning each step of your life through prayer.
Reflective Questions for Unfollow Your Heart
- Why, do you suppose, many people only go to God when they have a request?
- Can you give an example of somebody who received something because s/he was already in close relationship, or proximity, with something?
- In your own words describe the “ask, seek, knock” order of Matthew 7: 7-8. What new thing have you learned about life from Pastor Amie’s teaching of those verses?
- What is one thing you can immediately do to begin camping in closer proximity to God?