Summary: The song made Jude famous. However, the most important Jude is often overlooked. Hey Jude, what do you have to teach us?
Hey Jude - Pt. 4 - Discouragement
It is a single that The Beatles released in August of 1968. The song is more than seven minutes long and spent nine weeks at number one in the United States. This song is frequently included on professional critics' lists of the best songs of all time. The chorus remains locked in our subconscious. This Jude is famous.
Over the last few weeks we have been rocking out another single. This one is the single, self-titled chapter book in the Bible that seems to fall almost unnoticed before the much sexier, mysterious, attention grabbing book of Revelation! This Jude can be read more quickly than the song can be sung. It is a short, concise poignant book, written by Jude the brother of James.
In this short book, Jude examines and exposes the 4 specific attacks that our enemy used against the church of Jude's day and is still using in our day: Deception, Distraction, Divisions, Discouragement.
So in Week 1 we dealt with deception. According to Jude the enemy will try to deceive us into license. Jude calls it "The Way of Cain." The enemy tries to get us to let license override any standard, any absolutes so that anything that feels good must be God. He tries to convince us to establish our own measure of what is right. We become like a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah. The 2nd deception attaches to the first and it is tolerance and inclusion so that we begin to call evil good and good evil. We are challenged to accept everything in the name of tolerance and we become forbidden to apply any godly standard to our lives.
In Week 2 we talked about distractions. If the enemy can't deceive you he will try to distract you so that you begin to pay attention to things that don't matter. We become sidetracked. We become double minded. We allow things that shouldn't be our focus to cloud our focus so badly that we forget who we are and what our mission is supposed to be! I tried to remind you that are chosen. You are set apart. That is who we are. I tried to remind you what we are supposed to be about. Our mission is simply and exclusively to know Him and to make Him known!
Then last week we dealt with the 3rd attack. He dealt with division. If the enemy can't deceive you or distract you he will get you to get involved in divisions. He will get you to separate yourself from people that God intended you to be connected to. Because he knows those people were God ordained components in your journey to your destiny and if he can divide you he can conquer you. So complainers don't just talk they kill. What you choose to say determines whether you are cooperating with the devil or with God. Cliques may comfort you but they destroy us! How much time and energy is wasted on dividing things that don’t further the kingdom? I am glad we don't deal with divisions here at Passion! I am glad we are together. I am glad that black folk are comfortable setting next to some white folk and vice versa. We are in the unity of the Spirit. We are in this together. No divisions here in Jesus' name! We are just living here together like we will live together in heaven!
So let's wrap this up today. Jude reveals that if the enemy can't deceive you, distract you, or divide you then what he will do is send this last and perhaps most deadly of attacks. When we are spiritually prodded we will guard against deception, distraction and division. But with a fake, painted smile on our face week after week we will endure and accept discouragement. We never seem to understand or discern where this internal attack originates and so we find ourselves for no apparent reason . . . discouraged. From the outside it would appear that you should be encouraged but you are down in the dumps. Your spouse treats your with respect, your kids aren't shooting up or messing up, your job is stressful but fulfilling, you are surrounded by friends, your church is doing its level best to provide you with an encounter with God on a weekly basis and to equip you to deal with your daily life. However, with all of that going for you still you seem to been down in the dumps, ready to curl up in a fetal position, pull the covers over your head and turn off the lights. You can't seem to shake it off or rise above it. Discouraged but not sure why? Doom and despair even though the sun is shining. Grumpy and unapproachable. Sulking, stepping on your bottom lip, and overcome by dark clouds in your own mind! Jude recognized this might happen. He knew that when you wake up to the dire condition of the day the enemy would try to bring in discouragement. Listen: