Summary: This is a review of the first four messages in the series
TITLE: Overcoming the Grasshopper Complex, Looking Back
TEXT: Various, Philippians 3:12-13
I think that it is fair to say that the Christian life is not a cake walk, it is a long distance marathon. The goal for every believer is to finish the race that God has marked out for us. It is God’s plan that we finish well, finish strong, and finish victoriously.
The tragedy is when runners fail to complete the race, either due to fatigue or by failing to follow the rules and take short cuts, thus disqualifying them from the prize.
IN recent days I have been made aware of friends who have fallen short of the finish line and have been divereted due to choosing to take short cuts and stopping serving Jesus all together. When this happens not only does it leave a black mark on the testimony of believers, but it breaks the heart of God as well.
While we were at camp, the evening speaker, Alton Garrison read a quote from the book “Un-christan.” It is a summary of a survey that was conducted to determine if there is any difference in the lifestyles between Christian followers and the non-Christian world. I warn you, that the results concluded that there essentially is no difference in the conduct and lifestyle of evangelical Christians and non-believers.
Here is the survey,
19% BA watch MTV, the music channel/ 24% non believers
24% of believers were divorced/ 23% non believers
23% of believers bought a lottery ticket in the last week/ 27% non christians
24% of believers Have given money to a homeless person/ 34% non believers
3% of believers filed a law suit against someone in the last year/ 4 % non believers
76% watched pg-13 or r rated movie in the last week/ 87% non believers
35% of believers say to get ahead sometimes you have to cut the corners!
These are born again professing believers in Jesus Christ! How can this be you might ask? They have fallen shport of the finish line. They have chosen to stop short in their race, and not move forward.
For many Christians, they fall short of their God given challenge for fear that they do not have the sufficient strength or resources to succeed. This fear is what we have termed as the “GRASSHOPPER COMPLEX” It is a fear which paralyzes believers in their walk of faith.
However, we need to be reminded that, as followers of Jesus we have been given everything we need to run the race marked out for us and to overcome any obstacle the Enemy places in our way.
According to Joshua chapter 1, We have been given God’s eternal promise to guide us,
“I will give you every place where you set your foot”( v.3) God’s promises are our assurance that victory is possible. Furthermore,
We have His daily provision to sustain us, ‘BE strong and courageous…do not let this book of the law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful”(8-10) And finally,
We have God’s abiding presence to encourage us. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
In other words, we have all the resources at our disposal to be successful and victrious in our walk of faith. In fact, the Bible says, God…has blessed us I the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. ( Eph.1:3)
So NO Christian is barred from his or her ‘promised land. We have the assurance from God’s word that
3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. ( 2 Peter 1:3)
So the question then becomes, ‘How do I tap into these resources?
As we again look into the life of Joshua we find an example of a person whose testimony was one of conquering and advancing in the faith. His life of obedience reminds us that when God’s word is tested, HE is found faithful ( Lutzer p.33)
If it were possible to sit down with Joshua and have an exclusive interview with him, what would be some of the questions you might want to ask? Well, to start, I would want to ask, ‘Joshua ,How did you do it? How do we apply the promises so that we can get out of our rut? How do we overcome the grasshopper complex?