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Summary: In our busy, noisy culture, it is important that we learn how to quiet down our hearts and get alone with God, so we can hear His "still small voice."

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Illustration-video, Michael Phelps-winning Olympics

Introduction

I have been talking about the importance of living our lives w/purpose, thoughtfully, not haphazardly.

Eph 5:15 Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), AMP

2009 is a year when we are going to

experience an increase in God’s presence and

will be many opportunities- hear God speak.

In Lk 8, Jesus- speaking to the crowds in parables.

Parable- story designed to communicate-spiritual truth

Disciples- ask for- explanation- Jesus says to them …

Lk 8:10

He goes on, explains the parable- and then says …

Lk 8:18

Take care- look at w/intent, contemplate

take heed KJV

pay attention NLT

consider carefully NIV

God- calling us into deeper spiritual maturity/stability.

Just before the inauguration- called, then President-elect, Barak Obama, and asked him if he could reinforce the message concerning the importance of growing spiritually. He was very obliging and in his inaugural address quoted 1 Cor 13:11 … when I became a man, I did away with childish things.

There you have it … in the mouth of two witnesses.

Difficult Days Ahead

We may be living on- edge of the end of the end times

Many- under spiritual attack today- enemy- trying to- invalidate, marginalize, and destroy God’s people..

It plays itself out in many ways in the natural, but it is the enemy trying to take us out of the game.

Last week- Men’s meeting- talked about courage.

This is a season when we need spiritual courage.

Courage- mental/moral strength to resist danger.

Josh 1:2-3

Everywhere you go- I am going to give you the land-

but you are going to have to go there to get it.

Everywhere you go there will be an enemy …

who wants to stop you from being all God has called you to be.

Josh 1:6

It is going to take courage to allow God to work in us His cross and to stand against temptations/enemy.

Josh 1:7-8

One of the primary vehicles through which God speaks to His people is His Word.

Josh 1:9

Key to success- knowing/holding onto God’s Word.

We cannot ignore the seriousness of the spiritual climate in which we are living today.

We must step into a …

greater understanding of God and His ways,

what He is doing in the earth today, and

how that affects you/I and how we live.

Run the Race To Win

During last Olympics- we saw some pretty amazing feats as athletes competed for gold medals.

Many people got excited over Michael Phelps as he took 8 gold medals in last Olympics.

How does a man/woman get to that point where they can compete in the Olympics?

It takes …

self-control in eating,

diligence in studying technique and strategy,

and hours of practice.

Why would anyone exert this kind of effort?

Because they love the thrill of the competition

and the opportunity to be number one.

For every man/woman that made it to the Olympics, there is a 100 sitting around watching on TV

that have comparable gifts and talents but never made the effort to use them.

Joshua- ordinary man called to an extraordinary task.


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