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July 9, 2019 1:00 am
And I want you to come of emerging a scenario with me in the scenario is of a man who is happily married to a woman whose physical and emotional companionship.
He cherishes them and values. Now this man is a professional who enjoys his job and his lifestyle.
He lives in a nice home in his children are doing okay well at school and they bring a lot of joy. All in all everything is going well in his life until he received an invitation to attend his 20th college reunion which he attended at the reunion, he discovered many of his former classmates were earning considerably a lot more money than he does. Others have executive jobs that sends them all over the world and visiting some exotic parts of the world.
Some of his former classmates are married to women who are more educated than his wife, Brenda more attractive than his wife becomes very obvious that a good number of his fuller classmates who did not outshine him in their academic achievements now have much higher status, both social and profession in society now on ask you this. What is he thinking for the first of the following week. What is his attitude when he goes home. He has a sense of failure seemed to begin to eat him up. He begins to sense and question his self worth.
The begins to show signs of resentment toward his wife, and above all, he now harbors a secret animosity toward his successful fellow alumni know he actually entertains private thoughts for their setback or even the minds on ask another question.
Did you make less money than before. He attended the reunion very has his wife suddenly changed physically or emotionally. Now has his job description changed now. What has changed over the weekend.
His attitude nothing else change except that whatever peace and contentment. He had were lost over the weekend. What happened he has become infected with a deadly virus called envy and one of the most serious symptoms of that virus of any very is the loss of peace. The problem that our hypothetical friend here does not have sufficient antibodies to win the secret war that is going to dog him for a long long time. No wonder Proverbs 1430 says a heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones that virus causes people to resent other people who have what they do not perceive they do not have is not a virus that is exclusive to those who have nothing. No, not one better. Not necessarily caring, you have the king of Israel had everything he was the wealthiest man at that time, but he out of envy looked at a piece of land that is owned by a poor man by the name of Naboth and he wanted it simply because it was adjacent to his huge land and he pouted and his salt until his wicked wife, Queen Jezebel wanted to kill this poor man neighbor in order to satisfy the envy of her powerful husband. So it doesn't necessarily mean those who are envious of the people who have nothing. There are some people who have plenty yet envious and with those eyes. I have seen people around the globe who had so little, and yet they are contented they are at peace with God and have the peace of God, and I rejoice with somebody else get blessed please him the right envy has nothing to do with what you have, but envy is a delinquent dating virus envy is an incapacitating virus envy is like a cancer that causes men and women to regress to childhood attitudes will regress to childhood expression, even godly King David when he was infected with this virus of envy.
It caused him to commit adultery it caused him to commit murder and on until he repented his own words he had not peace in his life envy always causes strife and loss of peace. Make no mistake about it, write it down. In fact, the Greeks had a goddess named Iris RS was the goddess who incited people into strife that comes out of envy.
In fact, that is why the New Testament writers while they do not name her by name in the New Testament, in the writings they are constantly warning the Christians against strife that comes out of envy and jealousy.
Why, because they knew that this is how you can lose your peace. But then there's another virus that infects many people, God's people that virus produces the same results as envy.
This particular virus is called anxiety. By the way, before I get any further on this.
I want to give you my definition of anxiety. Okay because I know that there are a lot of definitions this dictionary definitions and I'M going to give you my definition so we know what were going from here.
Okay is abusive definition of anxiety. Anxiety is a preoccupation with the unimportant things in life and the false reasoning that if those things are attended to life would be wonderful honor of Peter.
Anxiety is a preoccupation with the unimportant things in life and the false reasoning that if those things are attended to. Life is going to be great the material about Mary and Martha, Mary and Martha were sisters both love the Lord Jesus both sought to please the Lord Jesus. Both were believers yet. Martha became preoccupied with talking of that perfect meal for Jesus. I mean, it had to be a perfect meal that spotless house that immaculate appearance. Man, it has to be done just right is cooking back then was the way to a man's heart and those not the case.
Right now I understand that. I'm glad it was a standard of perfection back then. But you know there are right now actually, there are many parts of the world where cooking is really the standard of perfection and I'll forget what you look like if she cooks good. She's married could just take my word for here. I am absolutely amazed of how of late, the number of secular journalists and the number of secular writers who have been searching so hard for the peace of God, they don't define and that's why they don't explain it this way.
They searching for what is the inheritance of every believer in Jesus Christ. It is amazing to me just watch with those eyes and ears, and understand what I'm trying to definitely give her some example. Not so long ago Harold Kushner on PBS is what he said on courting word for word teaser tomorrow morning. If every woman in America wakes up feeling good about her appearance. The American economy would collapse all industry that are built on the notion that women are anxious that they will not be lovable.
Unless they measure up to some standard of perfection" but I will give you his conclusion in a minute. Amanda does not claim to be a Christian is what he concluded by saying he said I hope you all know that the women who are really attractive to men are not the ones who look like fashion models.
It is the women who feel at peace with themselves and who are not obsessed with their weight and figure that they cannot even follow conversation and of course I got out in writers. What about men.
I was thinking about men I couldn't find a court could find what I found something the guys I wanted to listen I wanted to listen I found the caption that said it all far better than I can.
Here's how to read and unselect ongoing logical have it on my desk. Talk about anxiety and loss of peace is a caption said God put me on earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I'm so behind. I will never die in the Chicago Tribune issue of June 6, 1997 I columnist by the name of Robert Samuelson, said the following is it we Americans are addicted to anxiety. We deplore it and claim to resisted but we actually crave it and pursue it aggressively. We overscheduled ourselves and our children and try to cram even more activities into the day and then the long column concludes by saying all the driving and the comparing infuses America with vitality at the same time creates what may be our largest national deficit. Peace of mind. Secular writers looking for the peace that passes understanding, which is yours and mine by birthright second birthright.
The world is desperately looking for peace that only we, God gave it to his children, and yet, from what I read it all the statistics that most of God's people live alive of anxiety and envy. Just like the rest of the world little difference. Martha was so preoccupied with the unimportant, while Mary sought to spend time with Jesus at the feet of Jesus to learn from Jesus monitors preoccupation with the unimportant things because to have both envy and anxiety and loss of peace. Now if you want to follow that storytelling through chapter 10 you followed with me now to probably some of you later say what does he know about cooking and housekeeping.
Here is understand that it is time consuming. I agree I will not fuss but not if it keeps you away from Jesus, man. I don't care. The 16 hour day or the sports channel or whatever you do, if crowds Jesus out of your life. You are wrong. I'm telling you right now on the authority of the word of God now tried to imagine Martha cooking a strong army and she was cooking up a storm. She was working frantically and getting more and more frustrated as she was cooking and looking at her sister here, corner of her eyes sitting there living from Jesus and she's cooking a wagon meeting at making the Braden instead of slaving over the top of an unfeeling government wouldn't try to get the fire going and gritting her teeth so hard to do is about to explode. The sister of my neurologist and she she is so insensitive and when she doesn't care. Jesus would get a decent meal or not. I mean she doesn't care if Jesus sits on a clean floor or not. She doesn't care about about perfections and appearances like I do and all the sister of mine, she just too spiritual for her own good skulking away in her anxiety caused her loss of peace and finally she lashes out at Jesus.
Some say something to my sister to do something useful with her life just drum some common sense into her. She's not a perfectionist like man that's terrible. Jesus don't you think Sharon but he was nuts. But let me tell you couple things about perfections you love me enough to hear it and I love you enough to tell it to you like a kitties to be whipped with his dad and his concern that Hudson won't hurt you both on the same place.
Couple things about perfectionism and not and it doesn't matter how you rationalize it doesn't matter how you spiritualize it on to tell you couple things about it.
It will give you officers still give you permanent headaches.
It will give you a heart attack. He will give you aches and pains. It will give you a loss of sleep. It will take away your peace. I heard about this gardener who absolutely kept an immaculate garden, he's probably more on his knees than he is standing up and taking care of that gardener was the most beautiful garden he could ever see in one year. It grew full of dandelions. I mean, he tried every product and every method known to mankind he can get rid of them. Finally he wrote to the Department of Agriculture and he told him everything he did all the details and and finally asked the question, what shall I do next and then came the answer from the Department of Agriculture.
Get used to it though something is the special things that you can change. Remember, anxiety is a preoccupation with the nonessentials of the nonimportant keep my definition in mind your number in the last message we saw how the apostle Paul was able to say listen, I have learned to do with pointed but also have learned to do with little doesn't make any difference to me. It's $100,000 or hundred dollars in time to make a difference to me. My goal, my heaven and Jesus and his kingdom. Nothing else is going to come between us. Doesn't matter. Listen to a Jesus at the Martha versus 4142 of Luke chapter 10, number three from the new English translation for two beautiful verses, Martha, Martha, you are fretting and fussing about so many things and only one thing is necessary. Mary shows what is best and shall not be taken away from her. Hope you do this exercise tomorrow morning wake up and visualize everything you have taken away from you, I mean everything. Just visualize it with us on this can happen to everyone of us back in the early 60s made 50 also. This happened in reality when Nasser nationalized all private businesses. People literally wake up one morning all their business rather dear friend has a large shipping magnet literally everything was taken from middle of the night at St. Jesus saying here saying that in the final analysis, what you will, for God and for his kingdom is what really matters. All the other things are just things that are not important what Jesus is saying here is that he is giving you a license. He is giving your permission is given you permission to be anxious about one thing and one thing only in life.
That said, that is, you ready for your salvation, your salvation, that's only one thing you can be anxious about your say what would Jesus tell us to do that because he knows what you anxious about your salvation you gonna live a life that is pleasing to him alive.
Disobedience to his word is the only thing is why Paul said fulfill your salvation with fear and tremble. Salvation is happened is happening and will happen is not something you just took care of back then when you're not here is a raise and you walk down the islands all over no you commit your life to present moment on your growing in Christ, if you're not growing in Christ you are not growing at all, not standing still. Either you are dying your regressing one thing and one thing only needful he said everything is and this is only one thing it cannot be taken away from you. Everything else he can leave behind somebody else is going to come and run it so one thing that will produce lasting and everlasting fruit. Everything else in life is not worth being anxious about something about anxiety and why destroys your peace, anxiety either usurps God's prerogative to provide for you or make you doubt that he cares for you and for your tomorrow. Now let me just clarify something soliciting his it is he telling me and I just go back lie in the wait and wait for Jesus to come back.
No, that's not what I'm saying. Not one bit. Those of you who normally work with Ms. enough you know what I believe about work. God expects us to work hard.
God expects us to work diligently. God expects us to work wise way. Of course, God expects us to be faithful with the resources is giving us the gifts is giving us the talents is giving us the time that is given us. Of course, that goes without saying, but that's different from anxiety. Don't mix the two together.
Anxiety is practical atheism. Yes, you heard me right. It is practical atheism and tell you that many people in the church of Jesus Christ today who are practical guests that are professed Jesus as Lord and Savior limited to their practical atheists. Why is it practical atheism because it counts something more important than God because it seeks to drive security from things other than God himself. God is at the center of every single day of your life.
Your part is going to be turned upside down when God is in control.
You will cast all your anxiety upon him. When God is in his proper place in your life you will sleep like a baby is what CS Lewis said I wanted to listen to this. It's a magnificent court.
He said God designed the human machine to run on himself and that is why is just not good. Asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about him. Let me illustrate what I'm desperately trying to tell you. Many years ago, a captain of a large vessel that was going from Liverpool, England to New York and on the money.
The people in the vessel were his whole family." But halfway one night when everyone was asleep.
A sudden squirrel arose in and the wind came sweeping over the water, striking the vessel almost capsized everything that was movable tumbling down and crashing and the passengers became acutely aware that they are in imminent danger. Everyone was alarmed and and so amendment.
Most people just sprung out of their births and and and it began to get dressed in the captain's little girl. Eight years of age woke up crying what's wrong. They explained to her about the storm and the danger therein. She asked another question. She said his father on deck said yes father is on deck within a matter of minutes. She put her head back on the pillow and she was sound asleep in the midst of the storm.
Next time you're tempted to be anxious.
Next time you begin to lose your peace. Next time you begin to fret, asked the question is father on the word of God is gonna scream back at your said yes he is on deck envy and anxiety are very dangerous weeds that threatened to choke off the fruit of the spirit. Special piece special piece I want to give you some pitfalls of trying to have peace that is not the peace of God, and I have heard it through the years. There are some who would say if I have X number of dollars. I'll have peace, though some would say man if I get married I think I'll have peace. There are some who would say if I accomplish certain things in life.
I would have peace. I have known people say if I just go and live on the remote island somewhere all alone away from people I would have peace all Lisa pitfalls why because they would lead to false peace all yes it is a false peace is a temporary peace but false peace is even more dangerous than no peace at all, not because God is against peace, no, no, no… I miss that point, but he is a holy God and he will grant his peace only on the basis of his righteousness, and that is why peace is a fruit and as we saw in the last message you cannot manufacture fruit you cannot hang fruit on the tree. You cannot bring fruit from outside your circumstances or events in your life know the fruit comes out of the nutrients it flows through the tree. It is not external it's internal and it comes from the spirit filled life back in the days of the prophets, Jeremiah, and Micah false preachers and false prophets were preaching false peace peace without God.
In fact, they made a slogan out of it and here's what Jeremiah said to them, the God speaking through Jeremiah chapter 6, verse 14, there will be no peace while I Lord this is because, in fact, like our day. That's my own addition. People were making a God out of peace and there were trying to heal the part of the nation. Superficially, then, are trying to find out the real root of the problem they trying to block all rent and God said, no peace. Isaiah is more blunt and he said there is no peace, as the Lord to the wicked. You can try to escape anywhere in the world.
You can try the tranquilizers you can seek new experiences you can have more things you can accumulate more money but you will not have peace. Apart from being daily. Filled with the spirit of God. It is a daily thing.
It's a daily operation is a daily surgery. First you have to have the peace with God before you able to have peace with God. And if you've never committed your life to Jesus Christ.
You do not have the peace of God, because you don't have peace with God and until you come in repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. You cannot have peace with God, you are at war with God and until that is taken care off. You will continuously have war not just with God, but with everybody else when you have the peace of God, your life will be peaceful in the midst of turmoil. Your life will be peaceful in the midst of all the storms of life lesson problems are a part of life we all have them, your life will be peaceful in the midst of trouble and grief and pain I have been there many times with this as I conclude this is a true story a couple who were alarmed that the condition of our society.
They undertook a serious study of all the inhabited places islands on the face of the globe. The goal was very simple. Find the most peaceful place of outermost serenity on the face of the year. That was the goal in the study.
Finally, they found they really found it and they went moved there and they built the dream home. In fact, the following Christmas. They send their pastor a card with a picture of their dream home and said zero.
This is it. We found it was in the Falkland Islands. Six months later it became a war zone as Great Britain and Argentina fought it out. Jesus said, peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you not as the world give do I give let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid, shall we pray, take a moment and examine your life, what kind of peace do you have or no peace at all to have the peace of God, because you have peace with God is trying to pretend the false peace will last apostle Paul said examine yourself is Jesus at the very center of your daily life or they just pay him homage over a meal and on Sunday take all his blessings rejoice in them and forget about the blessed you will not have peace under those conditions you might have a temper, peace, but not a permanent peace say Lord I want your peace. Help me to be filled on a daily basis with your Holy Spirit, that I may indeed bear the fruit of the spirit of God during the search of our hearts. You know us through and through.
And you know how we are prone to losing our peace and misplacing it when we allow anxiety and invade all kinds of things come into our lives.
Teach us a fresh have to have this daily peace for this in the mighty name of Jesus that I pray, amen. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael. You sat recently featured on leading the way. If you'd like to know more about us, please visit LTW.org that LTW.Ward