Shared as a prayer focus at youth group 5/20/2018
I use to not like when people would talk about sin. I thought it was negative. I would rather them focus on love. I just thought, “tell me how much God loves me and how we should love one another.” The problem is that if we only focus on love and we leave out talking about sin, that leaves me and you without the true reason behind the motive of why Christ came to die. The reason was sin. The motive was love. He came not just to cover my sin but to obliterate it. God so loved the world that He gave his only Son. To take people who are so prone to commit sin, who want to sin, who feel so strongly at times that we are compelled to sin. God in His Mercy sent Jesus, who is the sinless son of God, to be our substitute. That means Jesus died in your place, as you, so that you could be free.
I was coming out of the church the other day and I said, “I feel weird, off, like I don’t belong here. ” Have you ever felt that way? Scripture tells us that out of the mouth the heart speaks. That’s in Matthew 12. It also says, in Proverbs 4, to guard your heart because out of it flow the issues of life. We have to get better at listening to what is coming out of our mouths. What we hear coming out of our mouths can tell us what is happening in our hearts.
Sin is a separator. It is subtle. It is stealthy. Sin slowly rips the fabric of our souls from God.
Proverbs 4:23-27 Above all else, put a guard (keep watch and make every effort to pay attention to) on your heart because out of it flows the springs of life.
Did you know that the Colorado River flowed unhindered for thousands of years and then in the 1920s, states in the west started diverting and damming up the river to divert the water to big cities? They rerouted water to big cities like Los Angeles, Phoenix, and San Diego. This human feat of engineering was seen as a great success but what has happened in the places the water used to flow. Where there once was beautiful trees and lush grasses and wildlife. There is now dry ground where there was so much life. Sin and the effects of sin are like dams that are diverting the spring of life in your heart from your soul.
So what can we do about it?
We have natural tells to help us live life:
Thirst tells us that we need to give our bodies of water.
Hunger tells us to feed our bodies some food.
Exhaustion tells us we need to give our body some rest.
Our soul has tells too.
- When it feels empty were thirsty for the filling of the Spirit of God.
- When it feels disconnected and lost we are hungry for more of God.
- When it feels anxious we are tired and we need the peace of God.
We need an upgrade of how we see sin. Sin is anything that separates us from God, who is our very life. So, the enemy of our souls will use anything to cause separation. He will use little snags, tiny whispers, and small doubts. Those things don’t have to become massive in our hearts and lives. We have to do something about it!
If we are going to have to deal with it then we better know what to do.
When we sin we essentially build dams in our hearts. When we have been hurt and hold on to our anger, sadness, or pain we diverting the good flow of water away from us. When tragedy happens in our lives when our once well-watered areas, that could have helped us, are gone. If we sit down and don’t do anything to return the water, we let our souls die. Discouragement, sadness, sorrow, and loss takes us over. Next time life shakes us with earthquakes in the soul. Pay attention and hear what is coming out of your own mouth. It is the state of our own hearts. It’s time to bust down the dams and get the water flowing again.
But here’s the thing, When it comes to taking care of our hearts if we just want a quick fix or a feel-good experience rather than actually wanting the God of Life we have a problem. Only God can fix hearts!
– Tweet that!
God is the giver Who is your life. The one who walks along with you. Remember Adam and Eve, God walked in the cool of the day in the garden with them. They did not thirst. They did not hunger. They were not exhausted. You have to decide! What is it that you want more than just to walk with God? Where have you stepped off the path with Him into doing your own thing? How have you tried to figure this thing out on your own? Have you sensed the shakiness of your heart? That shaking is the thirst of your soul. The emptiness you feel, tells you, that there is a dam in your heart. A dam that only God can remove!
Once we become aware we must receive the gift of grace again, not get saved again, but received the gift of grace again.
How do we do that?
Prayer! It is a doorway to God’s heart but not just any prayer will do. It’s only the prayer of repentance. David, in Psalms, called it the broken and contrite heart. God does not want sacrifice, he doesn’t want you to say, “God I will give up this if you give me that?” or an offering, “God I will give you this, if you will give me that?” The prayer of repentance says, “I humble myself to you, God. I am a mess without You. I can’t do this on my own. I need you. Forgive me for trying to be the God of my own life. I have drained my life dry and made my heart barren. God take down the dam in my heart. Restore my soul!”
Then let Him show you the dams. Name every one. Let the water flow!
Thanks for Listening,