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Self Opposition - You Can't Find Your Future Looking At Your Past


Good Morning Beloved,

Thank you all for joining us today,

Heavenly Father,

Today we pray for those who are among us
and for those who were, for whatever reason
unable to join us

For those who are without shelter, food
and the basic necessities of life, we all take for granted
We pray for those struggling with addiction and illness
mental illness, depression and anxiety

For these are not forgotten by You
and are precious in Your sight

Lord, help us to see others as You see them
that we might turn away from the person asking for spare change
the person sleeping on the bench at the park, or on the sidewalk

Break our hearts O Lord, for that which breaks Yours
that we may become, more like Your Son Jesus
In Your name we ask and pray
Amen

The Bible clearly states that all have sinned. It is my nature to sin and it is your nature too. None, no not one, of us is untainted! And it's because of sin, we’ve all hurt ourselves, we’ve all hurt others,
and others hurt us too.

If we are always looking into the past at our short comings and failures, our lives as sinners
If we are always holding on to that which we need let go, attempting to stay connected with very people who once brought us down
That once was involved in sinful activities with us

If we are always looking behind us we can never see what God has set before us.
Not to mention all outward factors; bills, jobs, family, broken relationships, politics, and there is a huge battle that rages within our minds and lives.

Now, let me just clear this up ahead of time,
YES! Salvation does solve the problem of our relationship with God. NO! It doesn’t dissolve all the problems in our lives.
However, a new life in Jesus Christ does open the doorway to the SOLUTION, but only by walking through that door and pursuing the Word of God, that way those problems finally reach RESOLUTION.

God doesn't give us a magic genie lamp for us to rub, granting us three fixes for our problems.
God does give us His Son, His Word, His Holy Spirit to redeem our sins, direct our lives, transform our hearts and minds, that ultimately resolve the issues we face.
But we too must do our part, by reading His Word, trusting Him, praying and believing in Him. 

The farther away we run, the worse the destruction becomes. As exciting as the outside world appears, the Father’s house is where real life and love are experienced.
The world is the illusion; the Father’s home is the reality.

I'm sure many of you have heard the expression “time heals all wounds.” Unfortunately, it just isn’t true! Time often makes things much worse! Wounds that are left untended fester and spread infections throughout the entire body. And time only extends the pain if the problem isn’t dealt with!
WE NEED RECOVERY, or we just repeat the cycle.

"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12:1-2

You cannot build a healthy, lasting relationship if you're still holding on to an old one.
You cannot overcome sinful habits if you continue to do them.
You cannot keep dwelling on the past, and expect to have a bright new future.

Yet, many of us continue to do the same things, the same way and expect something to become better!
Let me just say, if you do and dwell on the very things that once brought you down, they will bring you down again.. and again.. and again!
The main reason so many people turn away from God is they can’t stop living in the past.

"I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvelous works. 

I will be glad and rejoice in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High."

Psalm 9:1-2 

I've entitled this message: 
Self Opposition - You can't find your future looking at your past

We're going to talk in this message about how to handle the hurts, habits, and hang-ups that mess us up in life.

"I have seen his ways, and will heal him;
I will also lead him,
And restore comforts to him
And to his mourners.

“I create the fruit of the lips:
Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,”
Says the Lord,
“And I will heal him.”

This promise contains four parts of the recovery that God wants to accomplish in your life:

If you’ve been hurt, God wants to HEAL you.
If you're confused, God wants to LEAD you.
If you feel you can’t change, God wants to HELP you.
If you feel no one understands, God wants to COMFORT you.

The fact is, life is tough. Isn't that true?
We live in an imperfect fallen world. We're hurt by other people and we hurt ourselves and we hurt other people. We make bad decisions, effecting not only ourselves but those we love. And in doing so, we and others suffer. Some emotionally, some spiritually, and physically. Because of bad decisions, we stay in relationships that are deficient of God, His love. We allow abuse, effectively teaching our children, this is acceptable. Therefore they themselves, make bad decisions, developing wrong attractions, ultimately choosing the wrong types of relationships. And the cycle continues...

So this message is for everybody.
Everyone in here today has some room for recovery, unless you've lived a perfect life.
But if you haven't lived a perfect life, if you've ever been hurt, if you've ever had a hang-up or a habit that you'd like to get rid of, you need recovery.

But look, the good news is this: regardless of the problem you need help recovering from, whether it's emotional, financial, relational, spiritual, sexual or anything else, the steps to recovery are always the same.

The first step to real recovery is to understand the CAUSE of the problem. We also need to understand the CONSEQUENCES of the problem, and finally we need to discover the CURE for the problem.

THE CAUSE OF MY PROBLEM IS MY SINFUL NATURE!

I think the apostle Paul says it pretty well in Romans chapter seven:

"For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I doIf, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practiceNow if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me." 
Romans 7:14-20

Short version: I end up doing the things I know are wrong and do not want to do. And the things I know are good, I do not do.

The Bible has a word for this tendency toward self-defeating behavior, it's SIN!
I'll be the first to acknowledge, my sinful nature has and continue to get me into all kinds of problems. I do things that aren't good for me and I don't do things that are good for me. I even occasionally respond the wrong way when I'm passionate about a conversation, or upset, frustrated and yes, even hurt and it just increases the hurt, rather than lessening it.
I try to fix problems and often when I finish they are worse than when I started.

"There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death."
Proverbs 14:12

Behind all of my problems, however, is a sinful attitude!

In our sinful nature, people WANT TO BE GOD! We want to decide what's right and what's wrong, not only for ourselves, but for others. We want to call the shots and make our own rules. And by this sinful nature, we want to put ourselves at the center of the universe, be our own boss and live our own way. If something feels good, then we want to do it! And we certainly don't want anyone else telling me what to do with our life or how we should act. We are in effect, attempting to do what's called playing God.

It's all about our need to control!
And the more insecure we are, the more we're driven to control. We not only want to control ourselves, control other people, and control our environment. And we are driven by our sinful nature to do this … that's called playing God, and it is mankind’s oldest problem! 
CONTROL IS THE REAL ISSUE!

We want to control our image. 
We want to control what other people think of us; we don’t want them to know what we are really like. So we wear masks and deny our feelings, hoping to impress them, most often people we don't even know. Why am I afraid to tell you who I am? Because if I’m honest and you don’t like me, And me is all I’ve got!

Parents try to control kids, kids try to control parents, wives try to control husbands, husbands try to control wives. Friends try to control other friends. Are there office politics in your office? Do countries try to control other countries? Absolutely! We use lots of tools and plans to attempt to manipulate and control each other! We use guilt, fear, praise, rewards, the silent treatment, anger, moods, etc. It's all about our need to CONTROL.

We also try to control our pain. Trying to avoid it, deny it, escape it, reduce it, postpone it. People try to postpone pain in many different ways. We try to postpone our pain by eating or not eating, by getting drunk or smoking or doing drugs or by getting in and out of relationships. Some develop some kind of compulsive habit to try to control your pain. Or become abusive, angry, critical, judgmental or depressed to hide your pain. There are many ways in which we try to control our pain!

And like Israel, who didn’t say they remembered their bondage, their beatings and the murder of the family, they remembered the things they had they brought them no gain whatsoever.
They forgot the hardship of how for 400 years they cried to God for deliverance and when it came…. they desired bondage over freedom.
    
"We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!”
Numbers 11:5-6

I'm fairly certain, many of you can relate to this.
You forget about the all abusive behavior, whether emotional, verbal and physical and remember only what you perceive as "good". Failing to recognize, it was only ways to gain control over you.

When you continue to live in the past, you will never find your future!

"Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
Genesis 3:9-10

Have any of you ever played the game Whack a Mole? You play with a mallet, you hammer one thing down and another pops up. That's kind of like life, isn't that true? We beat one compulsion and another one pops up. We beat down one problem and another one pops up. We beat down one conflict and another one pops up. It's so frustrating because you can't get them all knocked down at the same time. The frustration you feel is the symptom of a deeper problem that you have not dealt with – you’re not God, and when you try to control things, it doesn’t work!

"When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long."
Psalm 32:3 

Beloved, denial takes an incredible amount of energy! We try to hide our pain by keeping busy because we don’t like the way we feel when we slow down! So we run from pain by constantly being on the go with work, hobbies, sports, or even church! Ask yourself: “What is it that I’m really running from?”

"For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah
I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah"
Psalm 32:4-5


When we attempt to control everything, the only thing we can be certain of, is that we're at some point, going to fail! You need to be honest and open about your weaknesses, faults and failures. In fact, our family and church needs to be a safe place where real people can talk about real problems, real hurts, real hang-ups, real habits, and not be blown away by our judgmental attitude! We are a family of fellow sinners and strugglers, and rest assured, there's not one person in this entire place that has it all together. We're all weak, in different areas and we all need each other. To encourage, to pray for and when possible, to reach out a helping hand, sometimes, that's figurative, and sometimes, it literal.

"He who covers his sins will not prosper,
But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy."

Proverbs 28:13 

In Closing....

"I am weary with my groaning;
All night I make my bed swim;
I drench my couch with my tears."

Psalm 6:6

There are two things we would all do well to realize and accept:
1. God is God and we are not God.
2. Because we are not God, any attempt at trying to control ourselves, other people and situations completely futile and ultimately wears us out!
God did not create us to be His General Managers of the Universe.
Beloved, that position has already filled!

Throughout our lives, we all learn various coping mechanisms that seem to work for a period of time when we need to get attention or block out pain. But as time goes on and the years progress, these same ideas confuse and cloud our view of the truth, our perception of ourselves, and our expectations of those around us. The longer we hold on to them, the more unrealistic and distorted they become, eventually growing into denial!

“Because from the least of them even to the greatest of them,
Everyone is given to covetousness;
And from the prophet even to the priest,
Everyone deals falsely. 

They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’
When there is no peace."

Jeremiah 6:13-14

It is by the very nature of our humanity, that we never change until our pain becomes greater than the fear of change. We don't change when we see the light, we change when we feel the heat; when things start falling apart! God whispers to us in our pleasure, but He shouts to us in our pain. Pain is God's megaphone. It’s a warning light on the dashboard of life.
Not to shut down but to let it motivate us to get help and face the issues!

The first step to our recovery, is we must realize and admit to ourselves, that there is a problem.

"Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us"
2 Corinthians 1:9-10

Beloved,
Life doesn’t deal us a bad hand, it is our bad decisions that ultimately determine the outcome of our lives.
Bad decisions bring bad company and bad company, brings bad habits.
There is never a good future until we leave the past alone.
The only hope to have for a better future is God!

And now May the Lord bless you and keep you;
 
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you

The Lord life up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
 
Now and forever, in Jesus' name
Amen

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Brian Monzon Ministries

The Brian Monzon Ministries

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