Summary: Probably, each of us can relate to the fact that at one time or another we have been stuck in the mud. Every time we tried to move forward, like quicksand, we would find ourselves in the same place…sinking deeper and deeper. No matter how we tried to enco
STUCK IN THE MUD
I. Stuck in the Past
D. Wrong choices
II. Illustration: I’ve always heard that pigs loved to wallow in mud and even in their own feces. I’ve learned that this is a myth. Sometimes, when I’m traveling, I see pigs rolling around in the mud. Though my perception of pigs were that mud was their primary playground, I learned that they rolled in mud because of the need to stay cool. Pigs don’t have sweat glands, and are prone to hyperthermia. Pigs, then have a need to stay in the mud, but we as humans do not need to be stuck in the mud.
Have you ever been stuck in the mud? I was getting ready to go to work and I accidentally, of course, backed my car into a puddle of mud. The more I tried to get out of the mud, the deeper I found myself embedded in it. I was frustrated, to say the least. I couldn’t go forward, and I certainly couldn’t go backwards. I was stuck. It was embarrassing to have to admit defeat, but if I wanted to get out of the mud, I knew I must seek help. I couldn’t move my automobile by myself. Finally, after hours of trying, I had to call a tow truck to literally pull my car out of the mud. We, too, like I did, must have help to move forward.
III. How to move forward
Introduction: Probably, each of us can relate to the fact that at one time or another we have been stuck in the mud. Every time we tried to move forward, like quicksand, we would find ourselves in the same place…sinking deeper and deeper. No matter how we tried to encourage ourselves, nothing seemed to help. I know, because I have been there. I know how it feels to be stuck in the mud.
Our study today, prayerfully, will encourage you and help you to move forward in your walk with Christ, in your personal life, your job, your marriage and your relationships. The question is: How do we annihilate this cycle of staying in the mud, of remaining in the past? What can we do to go forward to a more successful life, a more fulfilling life in Christ? It is difficult to be successful when we are in the mud. It is hard and almost impossible to have a meaningful relationship, a good marriage when we are stuck in the mud. It is not easy to have an intimate, a loving relationship with Christ when our hearts and mind remain in the past.
The first thing we want to address is: Stuck in the past.
I. Stuck in the Past. Let’s go to Gen. 19:23-26. When you find it, shout Amen! Let’s read: “The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar. (24) Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; (25) and he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. (26) But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”
We can see from this passage that Lot’s wife was stuck in the mud, stuck in her past. She had a wonderful life as far as the world goes. Materialistically, she was astute, she was wealthy. I believe she was probably a social butterfly, and very prestigious. Listen: Her husband, Lot, too was hesitant about leaving such a prosperous life.
Look at Gen. 19:16. It reads: “And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.”
Listen: Lot had become so accustomed to his lifestyle that he didn’t want to leave it. He didn’t want to abandon the wealth and comfort he was accustomed to. The Bible says, “he lingered.“ In other words, he hesitated. He pondered. He didn’t know whether to go or to stay. His hesitation means that he wanted to remain in the past. What about you? Before we become high and mighty, and judgmental about Lot, what would you do? Are you willing to leave your comfort zone, your stuff, your things and follow Christ?
Go to Matt. 19:29. When you have it, say Amen! Read:
“And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” (Matthew 19:29)
What will you choose? Hold on to stuff? Hold on to your past? Stay in the mud? Or will you let go, and follow Christ?