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Summary: I am the reason it’s hard to follow God.


Why it’s Hard to Follow God

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Pastor Brian Matherlee

We borrowed a GPS for our vacation. We were going to visit DJ and Heather Williams in Louisville and John and Carol Hawkins in Galesburg, Illinois. These two places were unfamiliar and we were grateful to have the GPS. It’s great, but it can get confused.

I had borrowed it a couple of weeks prior to go to my friend’s funeral in the High Point area and after talking with a local pastor found that it had taken me a few miles out of the way. On the way back I had to make a detour and it kept trying to tell me to turn into somebody’s driveway to go back where there was an accident.

GPS technology has been used by the military for decades. When Korean Air 007 was shot down for accidentally straying into Russian Air Space, President Reagan authorized the use of GPS for all civilians. It was meant to keep airlines from suffering a similar fate of straying into places they shouldn’t be.

I started thinking about how I am sure I know the way too often. I certainly need God’s guidance in every aspect of life. We all do. I may think my local knowledge of the situation is better than the Lord’s and yet I’m looking at land marks right in front of me while God has the whole world in his hands. He sees the beginning and the end of my journey.

Maybe it would be helpful if we were reminded why we tend to go our own way.

Why is it hard to follow God?

I am the reason it’s hard to follow God.

Three examples of why we lose our way:

1. Delay

Exodus 32: Moses & Israel at Mt. Sinai

a. People were tired of waiting on Moses & God

b. We can’t dictate timing to God…why would we want to? He knows all things and loves us supremely.

c. This is why Judas turned away

2. Desire to Do

2 Kings 5:1-18

a. Namaan’s story-he wanted to do something more heroic than dip in the water

b. The problem is not doing things

c. Scripture tells us to produce fruit; to make disciples; to serve others; faith and works (James)

d. The problem is why we do what we do

e. If we do anything at any point out of a desire to “earn” it, we separate ourselves from grace.

f. This is why the Pharisees missed Jesus. All they could see was their observance of the law.

g. The Apostle Paul has much to say about this…faith or observance of the law….living under law (and any group can come up with their own laws) is easier than living by grace.

i. We know what the rules are

ii. It makes us feel a sense of ownership and satisfaction.

iii. We can justify ourselves.

3. Denial

a. Matthew 16:24-26

b. Disowning oneself

i. write yourself out of your own will

ii. no more claim

iii. as if you were dead

c. This is why the rich young ruler turned away.

d. This is where more of us are at than we might think.

i. We want our way

ii. We want our preferences

iii. We want our comfort, ease, what we have worked for

iv. All the time, energy and talent of a child of God is God’s to use and pour out—for life.

Following God is a choice…not just one time, but for all time. We must follow God trusting in His grace to supply and guide.

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