Life is one successions of challenges in which we constantly feel like “I’m not ready for this.”
1st illustration: Elementary School. I remember the first day I walked up those steps to Premont Elementary School in a small south Texas town.
2nd illustration: Football Practice.
3rd illustration: Called to ministry and pasturing a church at 19.
4th illustration: Getting married and having first child.
Life is a succession of challenges. It can be overwhelming!
Ø What do you do the day you find out your job is being eliminated due to downsizing?
Ø What do you do the day you get the call because you find out your child just went nuts on you?
Ø What do you do when you find out your top client has just decided to move his business to a competitor?
Last week I asked you three questions:
1. What signals is God sending you right now?
2. What signals are you sending?
3. How is Jesus coming to you now?
You find yourself in a mess, and you ask, “How did I get into a mess like this?” Fact is, life can be overwhelming at times. If we’re not careful the devil can step in and make you feel even worse by telling you that you’re unusual or specially disadvantaged. So, to start, we’re going to look at a few Scriptures that tell you that you are not odd or different. A lot of other people have felt exactly what you feel.
Acts 166 Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. Acts 16:6-10 (NIV)
GOD HAD A PLAN FOR PAUL’S LIFE.
GOD HAS A PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE – AND IT’S BETTER THAN YOUR PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE.
13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us. Acts 16:13-15 (NIV)
THINGS ARE GOING WELL SO FAR.
16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” Acts 16:16-17 (NIV)
Seized and Dragged
Beaten with Rods
Thrown in Prison
1) What gets God’s attention?
2) Doors flew open and chains came loose.
3) Everyone’s chains came loose.