Deep: Guidance


Author: Jill Gentle Date: Sunday, May 4, 2014 Campus:

This week Jill talked through the subject of Guidance and introduced a new word, “Hesomist”! The questions and transcript are below. Enjoy!

Questions
Encourage each other with the challenges that have been set over the past 9 weeks in this DEEP series. What has been easy to put into practice? What has been hard?

Read again 1 John 2v27. What d you understand by the final sentence ‘Remain In Him’?

In practical terms, how can we put God first in our lives?
“Jesus the Hesomist”
Sunday 4th May 2014 (Jill Gentle)

Summary of today: We will spend some time recapping (had a gap with Easter, Big W/end, etc). Will then spend the rest of the time look at our new DEEP topic for today.

Title – Jesus the Hesomist
Jesus was a HESOMIST” Not pessimist, not optimist, but hesomist. New word just made up. Taken from Mark 29v30. “Love the Lord your God with all your HEart, SOul, MInd, STrength.
HE – Heart. Centre of our emotions. Those things that break our heart – talk them to God. Those things make our heart miss a bit and happy. Take them to God. Involve God in your heart choices. Without love, we cannot have a relationship with Jesus.
SO – Soul. With all your prayer. Involve God in your feelings.
MI – Mind. With all your intelligence. Involve God in your thoughts.
ST – Strength. With all your energy. God wants strong, persistant love – in easy and tough times.

The above is the key message of our talk today. Will explain more as we go along.

SLIDE 1 – OVERVIEW OF DEEP SERIES SO FAR

Disciplines are basically good habits that bring you closer to God. You might have created or want to create good habits in your family to bring you closer together – ie eating meals together, family days out, date night. Or you have probably created good habits in your job to help you work more efficiently, i.e. no emails in your inbox, always go out for a walk at lunch. What habits are you creating in your life to bring you and God closer together? It’s worth investing time in. Good habits in our spiritual life can help us get closer to God. Good, consistent habits for the long-term, not phases, but long-term habits. A joy, not a duty. A help, not a hindrance. We all have habits. I do. My husband does. Children do. Church without walls – every Saturday morning 6am.

ASK What are they? So far, we have covered 9 disciplines (people to guess)

Giving
Meditation
Study
Simplicity
Fasting
Prayer
Solitude
Submission
Service

In May – 3 topics remaining (Confession, Worship, Celebration) (4 including today)

ASK – What were the challenges set? Can anyone remember? Do we need to be reminded of the challenges? These are some of the challenges… It’s worth even starting small.
Study – Devote one day in the next 3 months to study God’s Word (19th Feb). (16 days left to make that one happen).
Solitude – Set aside a place at home/anywhere, to go and not be disturbed when spending time with God.
Service – Begin a day by asking God to bring someone to you, who you can serve, using what you have already.
Fasting – Fast 1 day a week over the next 6 months
Simplicity – Review our lives in terms of clutter, priorities, etc.
Meditation – Do it.

Don’t have the time? It’s not really no time. It’s what I choose to do with my time. It’s the choices that I make with the time that I have. We all have lots of time. God created enough time for us to do what we need to do. He decided that 24 hours in a day would be sufficient for the dreams, plans, he has for each of us to fulfil. I have the same amount of time as Richard Branson, as the Queen, as David Beckham, as Charles Wesley as Jesus as xyz. Name someone who has done amazing things in their life – you have enough time as them…. Name someone else….We all ever only have/had 24 hours in each day and 7 days a week. So, it can’t be time. Time is enough. God created it so that 24 hours is enough. CAT (choices, attitude, time) Time isn’t less now than it used to be.

It’s not time, it’s what I choose to do with my time. I choose to make the time to clean my teeth, to have some lunch, to check my emails, to see what is happening on FB just in case there is some urgent thing I need to know about. I don’t struggle to make the time for these things – I just do them without thinking. I don’t have to go to a 4 week training course to help me find time to check fb, or help me find time to read my emails, to help me watch my favourite programme on I player, to sit and play with my children or watch my children when they are sleeping.

My point: We make choices as to what we will fill our 24 hours each day with. But the things that we choose that will aim to take us deeper with God will not always be easy to do- they will probably be very difficult to maintain, keep up and consistently carry on doing. Because, just as much as we are pushing into the things of God, the Devil is wanting to push us away from God. The Devil prowls around looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5 v8). (not some place, some thing, some activity, some country, some town, some city). Just as much as we are wanting to push in on these things, the Devil is wanting to push us out of them. Feels like a battle.

The spiritual disciplines take discipline. Let’s be in charge of our time.

Final point – We can talk and talk and talk about DEEP, but nothing will change in our lives, in our hearts, in our individual walks with God, if we don’t actually say I am making a choice to make this part of my life and keep it part of my life. Be disciplined about these things. That’s where the name comes from. These disciplines take discipline.

Let’s be the change we want to see ☺

What new habits are you creating in your life as a result of this series?

Are they disciplines or habits? I like to call them habits. What habits are you creating in your life as a result of this? We had a discussion in our ladies group about habits and how long they take to form and how you form a habit.

Takes 66 days to form a habit. Research has apparently shown that a habit is best formed for the long-term when it is linked to another habit in your life. So, you decide to start flossing your teeth, do it straight after you have cleaned your teeth. There starts your habit. Whilst you are doing something else, i.e. whilst sweeping the floor, whilst hanging out the washing pray for your neighbours, whilst drinking your first cup of tea/coffee of the day, read your Bible. The first time that your child/children have their nap in the day, then go and pray. When you take your socks off the line, pair them. After you have cleaned your kitchen floor with bleach and water, pour that down the toilet to wash your toilet too. (from our ladies group habits). If you drink a glass of red wine, follow it with a glass of water. Lunchtime at work – grab your Bible. Don’t rely on post it notes on the fridge or alarms on your phone which bleep when it’s time to read your bible. Think of something you do already and follow it with the habit you want to create in your life. Trigger that new action with an existing automatic behaviour.

Spiritual Habits Take Discipline. We can do it. Say I can do it.
SLIDE 2 – Introduction to the habit/discipline for today – the 10th in the series

________________ dog
Girl __________
_______________ me oh though great Redeemer

Topic today – Guidance. How does God guide us? It’s an important part of our walk with God. We all want to walk in the plans that God has for us right, so how do we do that individually and together as a church….? How do we know individually (and as a church) that we are walking in God’s best for us.

SLIDE 3: DECISIONS, DECISIONS, DECISIONS

We make loads of choices every day. Research estimated that an average human being in US makes 35,000 decisions a day. What to wear. What not to wear. Where to put these chairs. Whether to go down H3 or H4. Whether to ask for directions or not. It is a seamless brain process, that we can be unaware of our decisions being made. To move church buildings or not. To have another coffee or not. Some of them are sort of automatic, some are conscious. But even the automatic ones will have probably been influenced by what we have taken in over our years of life and opinions of us. All the time we are making decisions – some big, some little.

Be encouraged, be confident and stand strong that God can and will guide you. Read 1 John 2v27. He can influence each choice we make. John was writing this to believers at the time. True today. Put yourself in the passage and be confident in this “But I have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within ME, so I don’t need anyone to teach ME what is true. For the Spirit teaches ME everything I need to know, and what he teaches is true – it is not a lie. So just as he has taught ME, remain in fellowship with Christ”. True for our church – corporately, God can guide us as GUV in MK… (the storehouse, the building). If we don’t know, we just remain in God.

HS lives in you and can guide you (any guidance from God won’t be against what the Bible says). Dreams, visions, advice of others, the turn of circumstances (doors opening/closing), showing things in the scriptures, through influencing our conscious and our inside gut feelings. Hearing God’s guidance isn’t as straight forward as this. We need to be guided by God’s Word. Not words, pictures, etc, etc. Can rely on the Bible more than anything else. The Bible is our sword.

The Bible tells us that God can lead us, but it sometimes doesn’t seem that straight forward – we face difficult choices and don’t know what to do. Often, we let other things influence the decisions we make (whether we realise it or not). Who influences what you say? What you do? Choices you make? We don’t live this life in isolation. Mum? Dad? Husband? Wife? 4 yr old son? God? Ex? Peer pressure from friends. Probably a mixture of people, experiences, etc. Maybe we don’t even know who exactly influences our decisions (sub conscious). Not seeing what God sees in us, but we are seeing what other people expect of us. But the more of God we take in, the more God will take over (our decision making).

Are you people pleaser or a God pleaser? (Paul in Galations 1 v10) Dont pls other people to the point that you are not obeying God. God wants us to help people, be nice people but he wants us to do it as he is led by the HS. Don’t be nicer than Jesus. Heard a sermon once that said believers today are far more polite, tolerant, understanding and respectful to the wicked than God is, e.g. – Christ’s disciples asked Him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard [Your] saying?” (Pharisees were some of the religious leaders at that time, e.g. vicars) (Mat. 15:12). We might think – Quick, apologise! Ask for forgiveness! Tell them you are sorry. How did Jesus respond? He said to ignore complaints of unbelievers: “Let them alone. They are blind guides,”(Mat. 15:14).Where’s the compassion Jesus? Today, many Christians may condemn Christ’s attitude as unloving. Jesus knew he only had 24 hrs in his day and didn’t waste time with things that weren’t his job to do.

So many influences in our lives. We can take advice from people and then blame that person. I did what you said and now look what you’ve done… (Not their fault, but my bad choice). Don’t just do things because everyone else does/someone tells us.

If we are wondering how God will guide us, this is very clear in the Bible. The more of God we take in, the more God will take over. Not necessarily hear God on every single decision, but we will take on the very likeness of Christ, we will have God’s heart, we will have God’s desires. Our decision making begins to be in line with God’s choices for us.
SLIDE 4 – PUT GOD FIRST

So far: We’ve looked at (i) the fact we make lots of choices and (ii) the fact that we can be confident that the HS is teaching us the right choices and (iii) that we have lots of influences that can confuse us.

Remember – 1 John 2 v 27 ended with this – Remain in Fellowship with Chist.
Lots of scriptures reinforce this. Here are two others:

1 John 2 v 27 – 27 But as for you, the anointing (the sacred appointment, the unction) which you received from Him abides [[a]permanently] in you; [so] then you have no need that anyone should instruct you. But just as His anointing teaches you concerning everything and is true and is no falsehood, so you must abide in (live in, never depart from) Him [being [b]rooted in Him, knit to Him], just as [His anointing] has taught you [to do]. (Amplified Bible)

1 John 2:27
Living Bible 27 But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, in your hearts, so that you don’t need anyone to teach you what is right. For he teaches you all things, and he is the Truth, and no liar; and so, just as he has said, you must live in Christ, never to depart from him.

Ps 37v4 – Delight Yourself in the Lord/Keep company with God (Message)/….and He will give you the desires of your heart. There is a mystery around this because we find that what God wants and what I want becomes one. Prayer changes us and our desires and our interests and our priorities and our choices, more than changing the situation.

Matt 6v33 – Seek God first….then all these things will be added on to you.

Put God first – what does it look like?
Well, imagine these scenarios… What if someone told you to….

Put your job first. I had just got a really brilliant new job and wanted to do my very best and some friends advised me just to put my job first. I would know what they mean – go in early, stay late, make tea for everyone, pop to the supermarket that evening, to buy biscuits for the meeting the next day, really impress my boss my taking time to do my work well. Thoughts about how I can do better in the day and in the evening.

Put your husband first. Maybe someone at pre-marriage course advised me to put my husband first. What kind of things might that involve. Pair his socks for him, make breakfast in bed before you make your own. Put little notes in lunchboxes.

Put your children first. Read them 10 stories at bedtime because they are loving it, when I only feel like reading one. Go to kick a ball at the park, when I have had no sleep the night before. Think about them, put effort into spending time with them.

If someone says to you – you need to put your job first OR put your wife first OR put your children first, we know what that looks like, we know what they mean.

If someone says to you – put God first. I think we know what that looks like. What we need to change. This series has aimed to give us some answers.

That’s what the whole idea of guidance is about – put God first, put God first, put God first. So God takes over. Decisions aren’t difficult because you and God are on the same projects.
SLIDE 5: FINALLY, TWO QUESTIONS

We’ve looked at decisions, influences, the truth in 1 John that God can teach us and looked at various passages which encourage us to live in, never depart from, seek first, delight in God (i.e. put Him first).
Question One:
If Jesus was sat on one of these chairs today, what question would you ask Him?

Here’s one question asked by someone in the Bible….

Question – People came to trick JC (Mark 12v29) and ask what is the most important thing to do in this life of ours is this – of all you have said and told us what is the most important commandment we should put first?

Answer – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and with all your strength”. Not to make people happy, not to be a good person, not to work hard and earn lots of money, not to love our parents, not to love our children, but to put God first. All other things will flow from this.
Question Two:
What ist are you?

Jesus was a HESOMIST” Not pessimist, not optimist, but hesomist. New word just made up.
HE – Heart. Centre of our emotions. Those things that break our heart – talk them to God. Those things make our heart miss a bit and happy. Take them to God. Involve God in your heart choices. Without love, we cannot have a relationship with Jesus.
SO – Soul. With all your prayer. Involve God in your feelings.
MI – Mind. With all your intelligence. Involve God in your thoughts.
ST – Strength. With all your energy. God wants strong, persistant love – in easy and tough times.

“Love the Lord your God with all your passion, your prayer, your intelligence and your energy” (The Message)

Being a hesomist then leads to us seeing God’s guidance in our lives. Don’t do it the wrong way round – don’t focus on the guidance first, but focus on the love for God first. Don’t focus on what you want from God first, but focus on just giving him a bit of time first. Don’t focus on what you want to get out of a relationship with God, but focus on spending time with Him.

You might be a pianist, guitarist, artist or optimist. Whatever you are, make sure you are a hesomist.
END

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