Summary: Wars are only won when God is ahead and the head!
Illustrate Humor: Listening--Two men were talking over coffee one day. One said: "I’m concerned about my wife. She talks to herself a lot these days." The other said: "Mine does too, but she doesn’t know it. She thinks I’m listening.”
Is Worship primarily about God listening to us, or us listening to God??
Sermon Study 300 – WHO’S AHEAD OF YOU
~ Deu 1:28 Where can we go? Our brothers have made us lose heart. They say (except Joshua & Caleb, Numbers 13), ’The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there.’" Deu 1:29 Then I said to you, "Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. Deu 1:30 The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, Deu 1:31 and in the desert. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place." Deu 1:32 In spite of this, you did not trust in the LORD your God, Deu 1:33 who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go.
~ Exodus 13:21 - By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.
Illustrate Humor: Psychological Conditioning of monkeys -If you put five monkeys in a cage and hang a banana on a string at the top of the cage with a ladder leading up to it, before long a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana.
As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the monkeys with cold water. After a while, another monkey will make an attempt with the same response -- all of the monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Keep this up for several days.
At this point you shouldn’t need anymore cold water. If, later, another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it even though no water sprays them.
Now, remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.
Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm.
Replace the third original monkey with a new one. The new one makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well. Two of the four monkeys that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.
After replacing the fourth and fifth original monkeys, all the monkeys which have been sprayed with cold water have been replaced. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs.
Why not? "Because that’s the way it’s always been done around here." – The POWER of discouraging influence.