Summary: A man is not what he SAYS at church on Sunday! We ARE what we BELIEVE!
As A Man Thinks in his Heart… Proverbs 23:7
Intro.: A man is not what he SAYS at church on Sunday! We ARE what we BELIEVE! Let’s dive into the heart of things: what do we really believe about God in secret? We are lulled into a false sense of security because we have read the Bible or can quote a few verses. How many times have you been reading scripture and you speed read through a section because you already know what it says? In truth, we have not grasped the depth of Scripture, we simply have information. So often we demonstrate to others that we’re doing all the right things, but the power of knowing the things of God is not written on our hearts.
I. The greatest issue the church faces today is unbelief (wrong belief)
A. This is a serious heart condition
1. Brought on by believing lies about God’s nature & character
B. Unbelief is reinforced by everything the world produces
1. It destroys the true foundations of biblical faith
2. Many people haven’t ever verbalized the battle they endure
3. Worse yet, some don’t even realize that their unbelief exists
NOTE: Many church going people are practical atheists. They can sing the songs and quote the verses, but they do not manifest a true knowledge of God or a desire to even pursue it. Therefore His power is absent from their experience.
QUOTE: Stephen Charnak in his book, Existence & Attributes of God, describes it this way, “…All outward impieties are branches of an atheism at the root of our nature… Those, therefore, are more deservedly termed atheists, who acknowledge a God, and walk as if there were none, than those that deny a God, and walk as if there were one.
C. Paul told the Colossian church what to pursue: READ Col 2:2-4
NOTE: Paul’s purpose in calling them to the knowledge of God was to enable them to not be deceived by what others told them about God.
II. The Way We Are
A. The church must identify the issues that keep us impotent
1. This is nothing new, most of our issues have been identified
2. All of the seminars, conferences and “How to…” books
B. We need to go to the next step: CHANGE!!!
1. We treat spiritual needs like New Year’s resolutions
a. Gym memberships explode every January
b. Diet plan memberships explode each January
c. Plans to read the Word, give the tithe and attend church
activities more faithfully also explode each January.
d. But just like the first two, they trail off by February.
REMEMBER: Last week I said that the god of most contemporary Christians is not the one true God at all. He is a weak, impotent, hap-hazard man upstairs who’s just glad that we show up for church each week. That is both heresy and deception. Here’s the true image: God is the all-knowing, ever-present, all-powerful, holy, merciful, unconditionally loving, righteous Creator of the universe.
C. Many Christian’s hearts and lives are divided
1. We say things that don’t reflect our heart (see sheet)
a. Our mouths can speak truths that don’t reside in our hearts
b. We are out of touch with the reality of eternity
c. We are spiritually malnourished because the truths we hear
have been run through the filter of someone else’s unbelief
d. We feast on the regurgitated half-truths of someone else’s
Concl.: We’ve bought into lies concerning the majesty, the power and the awesomeness of our God. These truths must be restored. If not, the impact of the Gospel on our spirits is significantly weakened and the call to live sacrificial lives is ignored. We must begin to wage war on our unbelief, on our distorted understanding of God and on our lack of true knowledge of Him.
We can fight back by pursuing God through prayer, fasting and meditation on the Word of God. When we do these things, the enemy’s power is weakened and our lives begin to manifest the life of Christ. Here, we will step out of our comfort zones because we know that God will back us up. Remember: As a man thinks, so is he.