Summary: If we are going to sustain our faith, we need to guard against some deceitful myths.
• SLIDE #1
• I hope the past three weeks have been a blessing to you as you strive to deepen your relationship with Jesus.
• We could have easily ended this series last week excited about going into a season of spiritual training where you studied your Bible, prayed more and really tried your best to practice the disciplines of solitude, submission and service.
• What I’ve learned from my own experiences and from listening to so many Christians is that inspiration, and a plan is not enough.
• It is so easy to get off track in life. Did you know the Bible is replete with stories of people who got off track with God?
• It began with Adam and Eve getting off track with God over the temptation thing, and so God banished them from the garden of Eden.
• All civilization gets off-track with God, so He flooded the earth.
• Abraham gets off-track with God and has a child with Hagar, his wife’s maidservant (at Sarah’s insistence) instead of trust God.
• Moses gets off-track and is not allowed to enter the Promised Land.
• The entire Old Testament is one incident after another where God’s own people get off-track and lose their way, it seems as though they spend more time off-track than on!
• Staying on-track in our relationship with God can be a challenge.
• “Why would we expect to be any different than many of the great men and women of God throughout the Bible?”
• God uses the phrase or some derivative of the phrase “DO NOT BE AFRAID” AT LEAST 366 TIMES IN THE BIBLE.
• It is really easy to get off-track, even with the best of intentions.
• Have you ever gotten off-track spiritually? I am not talking about a full-on walking away from God, but that you just did not feel close to God?
• If you have or if you are in the heart of this situation now, today is for you!
• When God wants to build, Satan wants to destroy. If you’ve just started the habit of studying your Bible and praying each morning, you need to know the devil hates that.
• It would be a lot easier if the devil just walked around with horns and a pitchfork and yelled at you while you tried to read the Bible (actually, that would be kind of freaky).
• But you would know it was him. The enemy is really much more subtle and deceiving.
• I want to spend the rest of our time walking through four subtle myths Satan will try to discourage you and your growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
• The first myth to avoid is…
• SLIDE 2
I. The “I’ve lost that loving feeling” myth.
• This is a myth that plagues and eventually ruins many relationships, both with God and in marriages.
• In Revelation 2:1-5, John has a couple of things to about this subject.
• SLIDE #3
• Revelation 2:1–5 (HCSB) — 1 “Write to the angel of the church in Ephesus: “The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand and who walks among the seven gold lampstands says: 2 I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil. You have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and you have found them to be liars. 3 You also possess endurance and have tolerated many things because of My name 4 But I have this against you: You have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember then how far you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.
• Remember, God wants to build; Satan wants to destroy. When you start developing the spiritual disciplines you need to grow, you will be under attack.
• There are times where we just do not feel close to God.
• We are not as excited about God’s Word, we are not excited to spend time in prayer, the things of God maybe have grown a little stale.
• The church at Ephesus at one time was a powerhouse for God, but over time, they lost their fervor for God.
• Somewhere along the way, the church lost its love.
• It can so easily happen in any relationship and when it does, look out, Satan has a great time with you!
• In verse 4, the word LOVE is the word Agape, which is deeper than just emotions. Agape love is not just about a feeling. It is the kind of love that God has for mankind.
• In the midst of serving it can be easy to quit loving if our focus in not fixed on Jesus.