Summary: Frustration and disapointment in ourselves and the habits that can result. Even those who we think are the most spiritual, can fall to this torment. This was presented to a breakfast ministry for the homeless Sept 1, 2002
Good morning. I want to first thank you all who were here last week. You invited God to join us here and he came with bells on. What happened down here last week was something I’ll remember for quite some time. As my wife put it, it evolved into something that was so unstructured…but organized. And only God himself could have pulled that off.
And for those that stayed through to Sunday School and then the worship service, it just kept going on. We experienced almost 5 hours of God’s intense presence here by the time it was all said in done. A new mark was even set at Sunday School. My understanding was that it was the first time that the men outnumbered the women.
This Church has got it going on. You watch what God is going to do with this church in the upcoming years. And we may be meeting here in the basement…but this ministry is going to be a part of the foundation of a new Mt. Zion.
I get worked up even just thinking about it.
But you know, for as much as I got worked up over last week, it caused me just as much frustration this week. As much as we stepped back last week and let god take over, I was starting to do just the opposite as the week rolled on..
Ellis asked me to take over for the next couple weeks as he was going to be out of town. I started to let it all get to my head as the time approached to start studying for this message. I started to think that it was me that really got things going last week. That it was my message, my delivery…me,me me. And here I was being asked to take over and do it again.
And I was going to zing you with another one too. I felt that I had placed the bar, but that I could do it again and do it better. I showed you last week that Hell did in deed freeze over…but this week I was going to show you how we could put a little heat into heaven…I was going to be hot…on a roll.
But you know something happened along the way. I forgot to ask God for guidance. I forgot the very basic principal of being a servant of God….talk to him…pray. I spent the last two days being totally frustrated because I couldn’t replicate what happened here last week. The very thing I was telling you about getting your "Buts" out of the way, I was letting mine swallow me. But I….
Finally last night I broke down and said…But God….
And he answered….
He pointed me to Paul. The rock of faith. A man who suffered ship wrecks, persecution, and imprisonment because he was led to preach God’s message. The one man second only to Jesus that probably shaped the history Christianity more than any of his other contemporaries.
He answered by saying that I wasn’t alone. That Paul himself had been frustrated as well. Frustrated and disappointed in himself.
In a tongue-twisting torrent of words , worthy of any Pepper that Peter Piper may have picked, Paul lays out his disappointment of his present life as a Christian. He acknowledges that he daily has the opportunity to do good in the eyes of God – in fact he wants to do good in the eyes of God because he is thankful that God brought him to believe in Jesus as his Savior. However, he is ashamed of where his spiritual life is and confesses…
(14) We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.
(15)I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
(16) And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good
Paul is confessing that many times he is confronted with circumstances where he knows exactly what the right, God-pleasing thing to say or do would be – but then he’s startled when he does something different than what he wanted to do or says something other than what he wanted to say.
John Ortberg, in his book The Life You Always Wanted, explains it quite well.
"I look in on my children as they sleep at night, [and] I think of the kind of father I want to be. I want to create moments of magic, I want them to remember laughing until the tears flow ... I want to have slow, sweet talks with them as they’re getting ready to close their eyes. I want to chase fireflies with them, teach them to play tennis, have food fights, and hold them and pray for them in a way that makes them feel cherished.