Monday, August 4, 2008

It Stinks To Be Stuck - PART ONE

Alright it's time to blog again - I have been swamped, and unable to write for a little bit - BUT I'M BACK WITH A VENGEANCE!

This is a five part series about being stuck in life - Based on the Hebrews 40 year adventure in the desert on the way to the promise land!


(Hebrews 3:12) See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.

(Hebrews 3:13) But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.

(Hebrews 3:14) We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.

(Hebrews 3:15) As has just been said:"Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion."[2]

(Hebrews 3:16) Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt?

(Hebrews 3:17) And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert?

(Hebrews 3:18) And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed[3] ?

(Hebrews 3:19) So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

Heb 4:1 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.

Heb 4:2 For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.[1]

Heb 4:3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, "So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest.' "[2]

Heb 4:4 And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: "And on the seventh day God rested from all his work."[3]

Heb 4:5 And again in the passage above he says, "They shall never enter my rest."

Heb 4:6 It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience.

The bible tells us that the Hebrews Children where headed for the promise land… they where headed for that place where the land of milk and honey flowed .

That land of blessing…

The promise that God had procured for them. It was approx an 8 day trip….. However it took them 40 years! Talk about going the long way around! Shee

40 years they wandered through the desert
40 years they wasted time going around in circles…

40 years of the same scenery

How frustrating it must have been to be so close… yet never reaching their destination…

Do you ever feel that way? Like you're so close but just not quite there? Like you have been looking at the same ole scenery for way to long?

I want to talk to you about reaching the promise land, because perhaps you have left Egypt(so to speak)… You have accepted Jesus Christ as your savior, you have accepted the Lord as your king – you’re a follower of HIM… There has been powerful changes in your life, but yet, you feel stuck

You're stuck in the desert, you feel stuck, you act stuck, why, you look stuck!

Maybe you came from a family that is stuck, and they passed their "stuckness" on to you and you... well if things don't change you may pass your "stuckness"(Yes, I know that's not a word) onto your kids!

You don’t want to be stuck, you don’t like to be stuck, but still you are stuck, and you feel like you just might die stuck.

You feel like: I'm gonna die stuck in this place, I’m gonna die stuck with this face, I’m gonna die stuck!

and I don't have to tell you: it stinks to be stuck

I want us to look at the things that keep us stuck

Cuz the same things that kept them stuck in the desert, are the same things that keep us stuck today. We'll look at one element that keeps us stuck per article and work our way through

#1 Murmering

(Exodus 14:11) They said to Moses, "Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt?

(Exodus 14:12) Didn't we say to you in Egypt, 'Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians'? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!"

(Exodus 14:13) Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.

(Exodus 14:14) The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."

They had already seen God move in mighty ways – yet they have become grumblers, complainers and murmers

In case you don't know – nobody, including God, likes a complainer

Complaining is bad

Complaining and grumbling keeps you stuck!

Some people all they do is complain. They have and maintain a poor out look on life, all they can see is the bad, and are quick to share how rough they have got it! It is poor me the moment they awake and they stay that way day after day after day.

hen you murmur and complain you are in effect telling God
  • Your plan and your work in my life is not satisfactory!
  • I don’t care for your way of doing things!

When we complain, we focus only on what’s wrong. Things may be mostly fine but complainers only talk about the problems, annoyances and peeves they perceive are ruining their lives!

The problem with being a complainer is your perception of the situation will look a lot worse than it really is. You'll actually retard or impair your ability to correctly view your life, and the challenges that come your way.

Another very serious issue is science has discovered that complaining is actually habit forming. You actually training your mind to look at the negative. Listen to that for a moment. It is a proven fact that the mind forms its own habits, it own cycle of thought.

Now we can break these cycles of thought but it takes purposed thinking to do so, it is not the immediate subconscious tendency(praise God - we can form good God like habits of subconscious thought too) I said all that to say this - the more you complain the more subconscious habits your are creating - this means your thought tendency will be that of depression, frustration and defeat!

That’s why Paul tells us to think about the good things

(Philippians 4:8) Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

My favorite section of this verse is "if anything is excellent or praiseworthy"

If anything is excellent or praiseworthy - it gives me the impression that even if we have to dig down for something that is praiseworthy... scrape the bottom of the barrel for something praiseworthy, if there is "anything" at all- we need to think about that one thing!

(Exodus 16:2) In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron.

(Exodus 16:3) The Israelites said to them, "If only we had died by the LORD's hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death."

In Jude the Bible talks about wickedness and it says:

(Jude 1:16) These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.

How ironic that grumbling and fault finding is listed among wicked deeds - further more we are reminded again in Philippians

Ph'p:2:14: Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

Psychologist Martin Seligman showed the world in his research that people who see the world in a positive light have a long list of advantages - let me name a few :

  • They live longer

  • They’re healthier

  • They have more friends and better social lives

  • They enjoy life more

  • They’re more successful at work

All this just by thinking positive! How much more should we than world have the ability to THINK POSITIVE?

Tired of being stuck - I want to challenge you this week to refrain from grumbling and complaining - When the tendency arises - SHOOT IT DOWN with the power of the Spirit - whose tendency is life, love and faith...

Time to get "unstuck" one chain link at a time and from this day forward - you no longer grumble - you no longer complain - in fact you need to be the grateful and positive person you know~