6-Week Series: Against All Odds

Sermons

Summary: Around here, I really don’t use my GPS a lot. It is hard to get lost going from Magnolia to McComb or Magnolia to Hammond. But when Anne and I went to Nashville about a month ago, we didn’t turn off our GPS.

INTRODUCTION:

Around here, I really don’t use my GPS a lot. It is hard to get lost going from Magnolia to McComb or Magnolia to Hammond. But when Anne and I went to Nashville about a month ago, we didn’t turn off our GPS. We needed it to go from one place to another because that town is one of the most confusing towns to drive in. I believe that they had three interstates and they all connected, and you went from one to the other wherever you went in Nashville. And when you were getting off the interstate, you didn’t know if you were to exit to the right or to the left because exit ramps were sometimes on the left side of the interstate and sometimes on the right side. And all that confusion make me appreciate the GPS I had on my phone. I don’t believe we would have survived Nashville without it.

And it made me think, this life is just as confusing as Nashville. We must make decisions all the time without all the information we need to make the best decision. Let me give you a couple of examples: like which job do I take- how do you make that decision after just a couple of interviews; is this the person I am to marry and spend the rest of my life with- how do you make the decision you are going to spend the rest of your life with him or her even if you have been together for a year; where am I supposed to live- how do you know that this is the house, this exact location, this school district, these neighbors where you are supposed to be live. It would be nice if we had access to Divine Directions because we got a hold of God’s Divine GPS.

Well, in my personal Bible Study the past several weeks, I have been searching for God’s Direction and I think I found the Scripture that leads me to God’s GPS. Let me show it to you. And I am going to make this the central Scripture on which this whole series revolves around.

Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)

9 In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.

I want you to see the contrast that God showed me. You and I focus on plans. Plans involves dates, times, places, and duration. We are looking at the big picture. That is how we want to look for directions from God. Show me the big picture, God.

But that Scripture tells me that God’s GPS does not compute plans; it computes steps and small distances. And I think what happens is that we don’t connect to God’s GPS a lot of times because we are looking for something bigger than God’s GPS is going to give us. To plug into God’s GPS, we need to be looking at something smaller…steps.

So, I began to look at steps because I have become convinced that God gives us direction through small steps. And I discovered that I am making use of God’s GPS if I am walking upward.

I want us to look at two Scriptures-one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament:

SCRIPTURES

Proverbs 15:24 (NIV)

24 The path of life leads upward for the wise to keep him from going down to the grave.

Philippians 3:14 (NKJV)

14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

POINT #1

IF I CHOSE TO FOLLOW GOD’S GPS AND THE STEPS THAT HE IS ASKING ME TO TAKE ARE UPWARD STEPS, THEN I NEED TO KNOW THAT HE IS ASKING ME TO REMOVE THINGS FROM MY LIFE THAT HINDER ME FROM SERVING CHRIST.

Paul tells us in the Scripture that we just read that he realized that God’s GPS was telling him to take steps upward. Paul tells us those upward steps are not easy steps; in fact, he says that they are met with pressure; they are forced steps. They are meet with resistance. I picture in my mind the weatherman who is trying to walk forward in a hurricane to give us a picture of what he is up against.

What Paul is saying makes sense, because if you are going upward, you are always going to be met with resistance. But if you are to advance upward, you must get rid of some things that hinder you from advancing forward.

And Paul describes that a little earlier in that same chapter. Listen to what he says:

Philippians 3:7-8 (NKJV)

7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.

8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ

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