Summary: Start with some weak reasons and finally talk about the main reason why people fail to connect with God (Title, outline and material from Dr. Tim Clinton & Dr. Joshua Straub's book, God Attachment, chapter 7, pg. 95-110)
When I was a boy, my mother had a cookie jar much like this one. Most of the time it was filled with cookies. My mother would sometimes tell me not to eat any cookies before dinner because it would spoil my appetite. Well, I remember on time when I didn't listen to what my mother told me. I climbed up on a stool so that I could reach the cookie jar and very slowly removed the lid, being careful not to make a sound that my mother might hear. I reached into the jar and got a hand full of cookies. Just at that moment, I heard my mother coming. I quickly tried to pull my hand out of the jar, but it was stuck. I pulled and pulled, but it was no use! My hand was stuck in the cookie jar. My mother walked into the kitchen and there I stood on the stool with my hand hopelessly stuck in the cookie jar. "What are you doing with your hand in the cookie jar?" my mother asked. I answered, "I know you told me not to eat any cookies before dinner, but I was so hungry and the cookies looked so good that I just couldn't resist. Now my hand is stuck in the cookie jar." "Let go of the cookies," my mother said. When I turned loose of the cookies, my hand easily came out of the cookie jar!
Need a cookie jar. Taken from Sermons4Kids at: http://www.sermons4kids.com/cookie-jar.html
I’ve made having God in our lives sound so wonderful. Last week we sang hymns and I liked this one: Days are filled with sorrow and care, Hearts are lonely and drear; Burdens are lifted at Calvary, Jesus is very near. Burdens are lifted at Calvary, Calvary, Calvary; Burdens are lifted at Calvary, Jesus is very near. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4, NIV.
Let’s be honest there are times even as Christians when we have a hard time connecting with God and experiencing that comfort. However, think about life without God, without any comfort and having our burdens lifted!
“God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.” Acts 17:27, NIV. Since this is the case why don’t more people seek to connect with the one true God?
Thesis: Start with some weak reasons and finally talk about the main reason why people fail to connect to God
Some have hard time connecting to others so have hard time connecting to God
Last time we talk about attachment theory and how our relationship with our parents affects our current relatiosnhips and our relationship with God. Talked about anxious and avoidant
Let’s expand on that some. Really 3 ways to deal with attachment issues when our attachments needs (safe and secure base) are threatened.
1. These people feel like they need to earn God’s love. The challenge with this group is that they never feel like they measure up. They strive in pursuing God and pleasing Him but deep down they are anxious and afraid. They fight to keep their connection with God. When feelings of closeness begin to wane, they redouble their efforts to win God’s approval again.
2. Another group has an arms length relationship with God. This group feels connected to God until things fall apart. When that happens, they close God out and wonder if he is really capable of being there for them, because he seems so distant. This group is avoidant or others and God. They want to flee from relationships and a deep, rich relationship with God really isn’t on their radar screen.
3. To introduce this group, going to talk about discipline. When we were children our parents disciplined us. This might have been the point when we felt unconnected to our parents. Now, if our parents loved us they disciplined us. In much the same way God disciplines us as talked about in Hebrews 12. When I was growing up, I earned and deserved every discipline that my parents gave. The people in this group did not earn or deserve the discipline and actions that were done to them. I am talking about people who were abused emotionally, physically or sexually. Their abusive home environment was not a comfort but a source of pain. They believe that people are unsafe. This pattern spills over into their relationship with God as a fearful type, a God who is distant, cold and hateful. This group will try almost anything to connect with God, but they seldom feel close to him. This group freezes when they try to connect with others or with God because they are unsure of what to do.