Sermon by Pastor Linda
Welcome to Strait Gate church!
How many times have you wondered if you are really in God's will? Do you know what God wants from you and what he expects? Do you know what decisions he wants you to make in your life so that you can have a victorious life in him?
I want to share with you all an article written by a very talented lady......
~AN OPEN DOOR~
Have you ever went up to a house or building and the door was opened? It leaves an eerie feeling doesnt it? You have second thoughts about knocking and just walking in is TOTALLY OUT OF THE QUESTION! When I encounter such experiences I often say, "Somebody has got to live to tell the story and I prefer it be me" and then I get to stepping. There's just an uneasy feeling about opened doors because you never know what's on the other side and most of the time we really dont want to find out. So we stand outside calling for the person rather than go in.
Let's take this spiritual, there's a spiritual point to every natural situation and not a natural to the spiritual but the majority of the time we relate natural to our spiritual and scripture plainly states that "they who worship Him MUST worship Him in SPIRIT and TRUTH", it doesn't say in "Spirit and Natural". As children and daughters of God we pray for break throughs, we pray for healing, financial blessings and all of the above and God as our Heavenly Father so very often OPEN DOORS for us! But when we see the opened door we tend to go natural and start having eerie feelings, we start feeling uneasy and become afraid to see what's on the other side of the door. We stand outside yelling, "God is this you?", God if this is my answer please give me a sign", Hello God are you there", we're steadily calling out to God and never stepping foot in the opened door.
God always open doors for His children, we're just usually hesitant to enter, and in being hesitate to enter we so often see others with what we requested of God for our lives simply because we walked off and somebody else was passing by saw the opened door and decided to walk in (they asked of the same or less) but because they were in the spirit and not in the natural they were blessed beyond what they asked of our Heavenly Father. Arent you tired of others walking in your opened doors?, arent you tired of seeing others with what you know God said you can have as well? Well I encourgage you to stop and pray the next time you see an open door and know that it's of God.
All rights reserved-Melissa Sutton - use with permission of Author only
Keeping that in mind, let's look at Isaiah 38:1-5, shall we?
"About this time King Hezekiah became sick and almost died. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to see him and said to him, "The LORD tells you that you are to put everything in order because you will not recover. Get ready to die." Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed: "Remember, LORD, that I have served you faithfully and loyally, and that I have always tried to do what you wanted me to." And he began to cry bitterly. Then the LORD commanded Isaiah to go back to Hezekiah and say to him, "I, the LORD, the God of your ancestor David, have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will let you live fifteen years longer."
I've read about this event before. Hezekiah was going along nicely, but when it came time to die, he panicked. The translations say, "cry bitterly," "wept sore," "cried hard," and "great weeping." Not exactly tears of joy to join his maker, or tears of submission to God's seemingly unpleasant will.
He wanted to live so badly that God relented. I think of times when our children beg us for something that we know is not in their best interest, but we permit it so they can learn the lesson from life if not from us. Oswald Chambers warns:
Always make a distinction between God's perfect will and His permissive will, which He uses to accomplish His divine purpose for our lives.
God's permissive will gave us Manasseh, and in the end God was glorified. But look at all the pain and suffering that occurred in between! The streets ran with the blood of the people Manasseh killed. Is the nature of humanity and our sin such that it HAD to happen? Not necessarily. As Job said, "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." Job ultimately did question God, but he did not ask Him to change His mind. Hezekiah wanted his own will in preference to God's. I can't help thinking that like Hezekiah, I have failed that test many times, praying for my own will instead of God's.
Have you prayed to God at times to let you do certain things that you think is in your best interest? The thing is, God knows the future! He knows what lies ahead and he knows what obstacles we might encounter if we get our way and not God's. That is why, when we pray, we need to pray "Not my will, but thine be done". Just as the Lord's prayer instructs us to do, we must always seek the will of our heavenly Father.... because HE knows what is best for us and what we can and cannot handle. Sometimes....if we persist, God WILL allow us to go ahead and do it our way! Then when we mess it up and copme crying to him, there he is to pick up the pieces and show us a better way. Oh how much pain and agony we could have avoided had we but come to him and sought his will for our life!
So, my friends... The next time you think you must 'have it your way'... remember you are NOT at Burger King, and God knows best! Amen?
Dear Heavenly Father....
We come to you asking that you give us perfect peace..that you show us your will for our lives; and that our will be broken down so that we realize your will is best. We love you, Lord and give you praise and glory..