End of My Rope Four Questions
Just wanted to say how cool I thought Sunday services were yesterday at the Old Mill Campus. Week 4 of Where's God When... I'm at the end of my rope? These scenes are taken from the life of David in his Twenties found between chapters 19 and 25 of the book of 1st Samuel. David is coping with life on the run from Saul. Many people mentioned that the 4 question test at the end of the message was really helpful. Just thought I'd swat them out to you here. Feel free to write me back this week and let me know if any of this actually holds up to life on the Bender!
Here are the questions and my descriptions of them in the message:
1) Ask: Is it an escape hatch, a trap door or a pathway to God?
-In order to cope with a threat that hits you, be careful how you respond. Your reflex reaction might actually make your situation worse. If what you’re about to do is only going to have to be undone later you better wait till God gives you more help.
-Sometimes the escape hatch really is best – because it will get you out of the way of harm or compromise.
-Sometimes what seems like a difficult path is exactly where God is going to meet you. You may be looking at years and years instead of days or months of difficult circumstances! Are you braced for that?
2) Ask: Is my "self-talk" resulting in godly self-leadership?
-Realize that when you're dealing with difficulty, you are especially susceptible to the cynicism and criticism of others. What are the messages you’re telling yourself? Are they true?
-Develop the habit of going to God in prayer and getting the Mar-Nephesh – the bitterness of your soul – worked out with him. Replace the Mar-Nephesh with honest conversation with God. Get your eyes off your circumstances and onto God’s attributes.
-Once you are back on your feet, leading yourself in right thoughts about God, others and yourself, God can use you in others lives like he really wants to.
3) Ask: Am I fighting the right enemy with the right weapon?
-When David first came to Nob, he asked for Goliath’s sword! He could have so easily used that same sword to take out Saul when he had the opportunity.
-What weapons did David actually use in dealing with Saul? The weapons of a well trained soul – the goodness of his own character – his faith in God - the truth about Saul and the situation.
-Are you just as careful fighting your battles? Trials can make it so tempting to mislabel our real enemy and transfer to that person all the disappointment we feel when they really don't deserve it.
4) Ask: Is Jesus truly with me in this?
-If I'm not convinced that God has a right to let bad things happen to me or those I care about, I'm probably not going to understand what Jesus' sufferings have to do with mine!
-But if we can let go of that, God can open our eyes to see how suffering might have a purpose.
-Jesus really does understand what it’s like to suffer unjustly. He wants you to see that he took the very things that cause you pain onto himself when he suffered. so that you can find hope and healing. Jesus is with you today, let him in and welcome him into what you're going through.