Faithlife
Faithlife

Restricted By Your Own Affections

Notes & Transcripts

Mentoring Manna:  Restricted by your own affections

© 2003 Pastor Keith Hassell

MM00003

 

Restricted by your own affections (2 Corinthians 6:11-18):  “O Corinthians!  We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open.  You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections.” (v.11-12)  The reality is, we can be restricted in our walk with God by our own affections.  We can be restricted in the discipleship process when our hearts are restricted by outside influences.  Paul’s heart was “wide open” to working with the Corinthian saints.  He desired to help them grow in their walk with God.  However, he detected a restriction in the relationship.  He could not disciple them without their openness to him.  The thing that restricted the Corinthians was not a desire on Paul’s behalf, but restrictions in their life that prevented them from being open to the full measure of the discipleship process.  Paul then addresses the wrong attachments and associations that keep the relationship with him from taking place:

1.         Being unequally yoked together with unbelievers (ungodly partnerships or close friendships)

2.         Fellowship with lawlessness (hanging in a rebellious atmosphere or crowd)

3.         Communion with darkness (spending time enjoying sinful activities)

4.         One accord with Belial (Living in agreement by word or action with the “lawless one”---the one who lives by what is right in his own eyes rather than by the law of God)

5.         Having part with an unbeliever (influenced by ungodly relationships)

6.         Agreement with idols (putting anything before God)

What does Paul say that our response should be?  “Come out from among them and be separate” and then we will experience the relationship as a child to our Father God.  When we are willing to lay aside the restrictions in our affections and give ourselves totally to God, we will truly be “God’s people.”

 

Application:  The opportunity to be one of the Lord Jesus’ disciples is before us.  How many of us are hindered in our walk with God because of unnecessary restrictions in our lives?  When we do not make a relationship with God our Father the central focus of our lives we find that other things will take its place.  When we once walked with God in a close relationship and backed away for whatever reason, we no longer spend the same amount of time in prayer, studying His word, witnessing, serving, meeting with other believers, or simply enjoying His presence.  Other things rush in to fill that vacuum.  We now have built relationships with people that do not promote our walk with God. We now make excuses we never made before.  Being sold out for God now seems a little extreme.  Others seem to do all right living a less committed life, “Maybe we should just chill a bit.” (Does this sound COLD to you?).  We are backing out of ministry that we once held dear.  Our vision has dimmed.  As it dims, our vision for other things increases.  We now watch things we would never have watched before.  We are listening to music that does not focus our heart on God.  We are going places we never thought we would go.  We are doing things we never thought we would do.  We are saying things we never thought we would say.  We are spending the time we once spent with other believers on our own pursuits.  We spend money on hobbies and material things that we now feel obligated to use and care for.  Rather than getting rid of them, we invest more in them, and sacrifice even more of our time with God.  The godly testimony we once had before the world and before our brothers and sisters has slipped away.  We are apathetic in our hunger for God and no longer feel the urgency to live for God.  We are so entangled with other things that it is hard to cut them off.  They have become a part of our focus and routine.  To make matters worse, we honestly don’t care anymore although we would never be honest enough to tell anyone!  Anyone who challenges us to live for God is an irritation and bother.  They just don’t understand.  If we really want to be one of Christ’s disciples, then we have to do what it takes to “come out” from these entanglements.  It is not easy and there may be a lot of pain and sense of loss involved.  However, the reward is a true relationship with our Heavenly Father.  Isn’t the sacrifice worth it all?

 

Prayer:  “Heavenly Father, may our hearts be open to You as Your heart is open wide to us.  May we embrace the discipleship process in following You.  May we not allow sin, pride, compromise, or excuse to keep us from experiencing a living relationship with You, our Father.  Please grant us the grace to repent of our sin and the determination to come out from among those things that have restricted our hearts.  May we truly reflect the heart of one of Your children in order to know You as our Father and to fear You as our God.  I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen!”

We love you!

 

Pastors Keith & Sheila

Grace Fellowship

P.O. Box 260

Rusk, Texas 75785

(903) 683-6550

 

www.gracefellowshiprusk.com

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