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Summary: Debunking the myth, if I am spiritual enough, life will be easier.

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MYTH: If I am Spiritual Enough, Life will be Easier

Series: Myths: Exposing the False Beliefs that Bind Us

Brad Bailey - April 7, 2013

Intro:

Examples of famous myths that have brought negative consequences.

Myths untruth... a fable... an idea that develops over time but is actually not true.

Broadly defined as "a widely held but mistaken belief."

Jesus said that 'the truth will set us free.' We naturally associate this with the big truths of who

God is and such. But he was often confronting the religious leaders and the ideas that they had

formed as tradition. The truth is that we can have many religious ideas that can bind us.

A sincere Christian + false beliefs = A disillusioned Christian

False beliefs or distorted ideas about life and faith can lead to discouragement and

disillusionment.

• Some may can turn away from God...and play the rebel...where they justify doing what they

want.

• Some can just keep a level of basic faithfulness...but the heart grows detached.

• But we can also grow into a deeper and more dynamic life with God.

> Because disillusionment can actually be part of a healthy process. The word dis-illusion

means 'apart from-illusion.' Illusions are not solid. To be disillusioned means to disconnect with an

illusion and find what is solid. [1]

> That is our goal - to mine the myths and so we can more fully enjoy the truth ...to discern

what is false in order to grasp what is firm and foundational.

Today: If I am Spiritual Enough Life Will be Easier

At first glance this may strike us as true. In some regards it does bear truth. But it is an idea...a

belief....that can become misunderstood...tragically misunderstood.

It shares similarities with ideas such as:

"The Center of God's Will Is the Safest Place to Be."

"I Should Expect God to Make Me Happy."

After all...it is the American way... 'the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of... happiness.'

And naturally we might assume that if we have a relationship with Christ who has come to reveal

God's love and forgiveness...we should certainly be the happiest. The Bible speaks of having the

'abundant life'...and being able to 'rejoice always.'

We may not think we ARE always happy...but think we SHOULD be...and we presume such

happiness means enjoying an easy life..

We are all going to experience hard circumstances in this life... whether financial, physical.

relational, emotional...and we will wonder....what they may reflect about ourselves...about God.

At times you may see others as so much happier.... and your thinking "I'm just not feeling it."

Everyone else seems to be like happy golden retrievers.... while you feel like the tree sloth.

Or the idea is even given more outward expectations... and could be extended into the idea that:

"I Should Expect God to Make Me Wealthy, Healthy, and Happy."

American culture has developed a view which is often referred to as the Prosperity Gospel.

...sometimes also referred to as the “name it and claim it,”... “health and wealth,” beliefs. [2]

It declares that God has promised health, wealth and happiness for those with the appropriate

“faith” and “obedience.”

It's presumed that since God has the ability to provide anything...do anything...and loves us....we

should presume that he wants to give us everything.

If we are now connected to the eternal realm....we can call upon His eternal will - and claim by

faith all that God wills for us.... wealth, health, and happiness.

After all... God speaks of blessing his people...

Deuteronomy 29:9 (NIV)

Carefully follow the terms of this covenant, so that you may prosper in everything you do.

Some would suggest that's a promise we should claim.

This (and similar verses like Deuteronomy 8:18 and 28:1,13) are often used to show that God wants

to give material blessings also nowadays.

So what's wrong?

1. This Scripture like the others, is not a formula for wealth...it was a general principle about

God's intent to see a faithful people be able to make a home in the promised land.

The small nation of Israel was only able to survive amidst so many other and usually greater and

stronger peoples through God’s provision in both spiritual and material ways. It's very clear that

God wanted to be able to help establish his people in a good land... provide for their needs....but that

the real goal was their faithfulness...not 'an easy life' which would cause turning from God.

The writer of Proverbs understood the significance of how material resources can effect our lives.

Proverbs 30:7-9 (NIV)

"Two things I ask of you, O LORD... give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily

bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the LORD?' Or I may

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