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Help for the Directionally Challenged

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May 25, 2008                                                                                          SD21

Help for the directionally Challenged.doc                                                        File: G2

Help for the Directionally Challenged

Fourth in series on the Believers Senior Partner

I have always prided myself on knowing where I am and where I am going when it comes to geography or traveling.

      Even as a kid I loved maps and traveling.

            I liked geography and could usually tell where the general points of the compass were no matter where I was…

So I pride myself on knowing how to get anywhere!

      Like most men I never ask for directions…

I have been known to stop and a gas station to see if they have a map on the wall by which to orient myself…but ask for directions???

Now my wife on the other had has no problem asking for direction…like…where did we park the car???

She is directionally challenged!!!!

But listen to what God says---Isaiah 53:6

“all we like sheep have gone astray…”

PPT  We're all directionally challenged

 … some just don't realize it yet!

"We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way…"

We march through life as though we know where we're going and we can make it on our own … until the direction we're traveling turns into a dead end … and we finally humble ourselves and ask for directions!

Jesus knew His followers were directionally challenged … they weren't equipped to travel through life on their own (none of us are) … they needed a traveling companion (and so do we)!  A guide!

When you are some place you have never been before (perhaps even in a foreign land) it is nice to have someone along who knows the territory!

In the journey of life we need a guide to help us navigate successfully around all the obstacles that try to keep us from our ultimate destination…

And the guide we need is the Holy Spirit—Our Senior Partner…

      Last time we discovered He is our Prayer Partner and can teach us what to pray for and how to pray

      Today we can learn that He is our guide…

If we're willing to admit that we're directionally challenged … there's help for us in the person and partnership of the Holy Spirit!

So men!!!!  Are you ready to ask for directions????

There are 3 things the directionally challenged need to know if they're to navigate life successfully —

 

PPT  1. The promise of a guide!

Look carefully at the promise of Jesus in — John 16:13

"But when He, the spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth…"

Note carefully that —

Jesus promised His followers more than guidance … He promised them a guide! "He will guide you…"

Let me illustrate the incredible difference between guidance and a guide with a simple question —

If you were suddenly dropped off in the middle of an uncharted jungle and you were given the choice of three tools — a compass, a Thomas Brothers map, or an experienced, personal guide — which one would you choose?

If you're smart … you'd choose the experienced personal guide!  Or risk staying perpetually lost!

Which (sad to say) is what all too many people have chosen in the jungle of life!!!!

When I was in Israel we had a guide…who not only knew where to take us and how to get there…he gave us incredible insights into the places we visited…offering knowledge and history and inspiration about the places where Jesus walked and lived when he was on earth

He was more than a “get-us-there” guide, he was a teaching guide…it made the trip all the more enjoyable!

Which brings us to two things you need to know about guides—two important qualities about guides:

PPT  1. Good guides know where they are going

How many of you know that following someone who doesn’t know where they are going doesn’t make much sense…

      Bumper sticker:  “Don’t follow me, I’m lost!

      Good guides have been there before!

PPT--  Key — When it comes to life … there's only one guide who can successfully lead us into our tomorrows because there's only one guide who has already seen our tomorrows … that guide is the Holy Spirit!

Life is a labyrinth of choices of journeys---there are so many ways to choose…

Some of you will be graduating from HS this week and soon heading into the world on your own—your parents will not be there to watch your steps and offer guidance…you need a guide and you need to pay attention to Him…

The Holy Spirit is that guide and He wants to give you direction in your life…lead and teach…

A lot of you are graduating from 8th grade and going inot the High School world where some many of you will be vying for attention and affection and discovering your place in the new order of HS. You will be tested…you will be teased…

      Who will you listen to when it comes to deciding who you want to be like…what group you want to be accepted in…what gang will control your actions…

      You need a guide!!!  Someone who knows you, loves you and wants what is best for you!

Trust the Lord!  Lean on the presence and power of the Holy Spirit

      Seek to be filled with the Spirit! 

He will give you the strength to stand!

Psalm 32:8 (NLT)
8 The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.

Good guides not only know where they are going

PPT  2. Good guides know whom they are leading.

A good guide will know the limits, the personality, the interests, talents and abilities of the person they are leading…

A good guide chooses the right path based in the experience and abilities of the person they are leading…

If I went to Yosemite and said, “I want to climb El Cap.”  A good guide would start asking me questions…what mountains have I climbed before?

      Mt. Whitney…

      “Which trail, the south trail (for hikers) or the north east route for climbers…

That guide would soon learn that I have never actually used ropes to clime any mountain…He would see by looking at me that I am not in the greatest of physical shape…and then he would suggest that he lead me on a hike to the base of Yosemite Falls… a 1 mile, level hike…

Key — That's the kind of guide the Holy Spirit is … no ones knows us better, no one understands our capabilities and liabilities like the Holy Spirit — He tailor makes our course in life because He knows who we are … where we are … and who we can become!

If we're to navigate life successfully … we need to claim —

1. Jesus' promise of a guide!

There's a second key for us … we also need to understand —

PPT  2. The Process of Guidance!

We need to know how the Holy Spirit guides us!

There are several key ways the Holy Spirit offers us the guidance we so desperately need in our daily world

PPT  A.  The Holy Spirit Guides Us Through—God’s Word (BIBLE)

There are two primary ways the Holy Spirit uses Gods Word in our life”

1. He reveals the Word to us—as we read He reveals specific truth that must be applied to our life.

2. The Holy Spirit reminds us of God’s Word—in living every day we meet circumstances that demand our attention and choices must be made—He can bring to our mind the principles of God’s Word that can give us the guidance we need right then…

But here is the KEY!  You have to get it in you before he can get it out of you…

You have to read it and study it in order for it to have the desired effect in your life!

PPT  B.  The Holy Spirit Guides us through godly people

Proverbs 11:14 (NKJV)
14 Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.

Proverbs 12:15 (NLT)
15 Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.

It is just smart to seek the advice of godly people before making major decision—financially, business, relationships, etc.

No one can make your decisions for you … but seeking other's input is incredibly important and can save us a lot of headaches and heartaches!

Let me offer you some key questions you should ask before you ask or act on someone's advice:

  • What is their reputation?
  • Will they keep confidences?
  • Do most people acknowledge this person's integrity and spiritual maturity?
  • Is he/she mature enough to disagree with you, to tell the truth even when it hurts?
  • What is his/her track record as a counselor?
  • Did any previous advice work out for you?
  • What experience does this person have with the issues at hand? (If they don't have kids but have advice for raising yours ... proceed with caution!)
  • How well does this person know you?
  • Do they know your strengths and weaknesses?

PPT  C.  The Holy Spirit guides us through personal promptings

Rather than trying to define this … let me illustrate it with a true story shared by Tony Campolo — Tony writes:

“There is a Pentecostal college near Eastern College where I teach. I am not Pentecostal, but I talk so fast that I think they think I'm speaking in tongues, so it works out okay.

One day they invited me to speak at a chapel service. I like speaking there because they're a dynamic, happy people, and I enjoy being with them. Just before I spoke, eight guys took me into a back room of the chapel and got me down on my knees. Then they laid their hands on my head and prayed for me. That was good. I need all the prayer I can get.

There was only one problem. These guys prayed a long time. That's usually okay too, but the longer they prayed, the more tired they got. The more tired they got, the more they leaned on my head. I want to tell you, when eight guys are leaning on your head, it doesn't feel so good.

One guy wasn't even praying for me. Instead, he went on and on praying for somebody named Charlie Stoltzfis. He shouted, `Dear Lord, you know Charlie Stoltzfis. He lives in that silver trailer down the road about a mile. You know the trailer, Lord. It's just down the road on the right-hand side.'

I felt like saying, Knock it off. What do you think God is saying — What's that address again? Anyway, he went on and on. 'Lord, Charlie told me this morning he has decided to leave his wife and his three kids. He told me he was walking out on his family. Lord, step in and do something. Bring the people of the family back together again.'

All this while, I'm kneeling there with eight guys leaning on my head. I'm asking myself, `When is this guy going to knock it off, so I can get these Pentecostal preachers off my head?' He kept going on about Charlie Stoltzfis leaving his wife and his kids, giving God reminders that he lived in a silver trailer a mile down the road on the right-hand side.

Finally, the prayers were over, and I went to the pulpit and preached. After I finished I got in my car, drove to the Pennsylvania Turnpike and headed for home. As I drove onto the turnpike, I noticed a hitchhiker. Now, I know you're not supposed to pick them up, but I'm a preacher. Whenever I can get anybody locked in as a captive audience, I do it. I stopped and picked him up.

We drove a few minutes, and I said, `Hi, my name is Tony Campolo. What's yours?'

He said, `My name is Charlie Stoltzfis.'

I couldn't believe it. I got off the turnpike at the next exit and headed back. He got a bit uneasy with that. After a few minutes, he said, `Hey, mister! Where are you taking me?' I said, `I'm taking you home.'

He narrowed his eyes and asked, `Why?' I said, `It's because you just left your wife and three children, right?' That blew him away — `Yes! Yes! That's right' — with shock written over his face. He plastered himself against the car door and never took his eyes off me.

I drove off the turnpike at the next exit. Then I really did him in, as I drove right to his silver trailer. When I pulled up, his eyes seemed to bulge as he asked, `How did you know I live here?' I said, `God told me.' I believe God did tell me.

We got out of the car, and I ordered him to get in the trailer. Half shaking, he answered, `Right, mister. Sure! Sure, I'm going in.' When he opened the trailer door, his wife exclaimed, `You're back, you're back.'

He whispered in her ear, and the more he talked the bigger her eyes got. Then I said with real authority, `The two of you sit down. I'm going to talk, and you two are going to listen.' Man, did they listen! That afternoon, I led those two young people to Jesus Christ.

Today, that guy is a preacher of the Gospel out in California."

The personal promptings of the Holy Spirit can come in dreams, visions, prophetic words, inner stirrings … what's important is that we — test every prompting by the Word of God to make sure that it doesn’t' contradict what God has already revealed!

1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 —"Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil."

 

PPT  D. The Holy Spirit Guides Us Through — Circumstances!

Sometimes God closes a door … sometimes God opens a door … but be very careful in using circumstances as the determining factor in assessing God's will!

Circumstances will serve to confirm the leading of God in your life---they never stand alone as a method for divine guidance.

There is one more key to successfully navigating through life with the Holy Spirit as your guide:

It has to do with…

3.  Our Participation in Guidance

The question comes:  How do I get the guidance of the Holy Spirit?

There are two things you must do to be involved in the process of guidance…

A. YOU MUST ASK FOR IT

James 1:5  “if any of you lacks wisdom let him ask for it…

The Holy Spirit won't force His guidance on any of us … direction is given to those who desire it!

 

B. YOU MUST ACT ON IT

Romans 12:1-2 — "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will."

When we do what we know … we'll know what to do!

In other words —

If I don't do what God has already told me … I won't hear any further directions … God's will is progressive in it's unveiling!

When I was having trouble hearing from God and feeling close to Him he seemed to speak into my soul these words:  “Go back and do the last thing I told you to do.”

All of us are directionally challenged.

We need a true guide

      We have One in the Holy Spirit

            But we must ask for directions and then be willing to follow them…even if it seems that he is telling us to go a totally different direction from what we “feel”

How many of you today need the Holy Spirit to be your guide???

      Acknowledge your need

      Ask for help

      Do what you know is right

The Believer’s Senior Partner—Part Four

HELP FOR THE DIRECTIONALY CHALLENGED

“All we like sheep have gone astray,

each of us has turned to his own way.”

                        Isaiah 53:6

1. THE                                           OF A GUIDE

 

  • Good guides know                        they are going

  • Good guides know                  they are leading

2.  THE                                          OF GUIDANCE

  • The Holy Spirit guides us through                                   

  • The Holy Spirit guides us through                                   

  • The Holy Spirit guides us through                                   

  • The Holy Spirit guides us through                                   

3.  OUR                                               IN GUIDANCE

 

  • We must                        for guidance.

  • We must                       on the guidance we have.
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