Disciplined in the Desert or Delighting in Dessert
|2008-07-27||1 Cor 10|
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Ps 84:5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, Whose heart is set on pilgrimage. 6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
They make it a spring; The rain also covers it with pools. 7 They go from strength to strength; Each one appears before God in Zion.
I. Winning Believers Discipline themselves to Please God
9:19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more;
9:24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
9:27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
II. God is Not Pleased with Most Folks in the Community of Faith
10:1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
Mt 7:14 "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
A. Lusting after our comfort and security is evil (especially at the expense of doing God’s will and fulfilling His purpose for us)
6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. (Num 11 meat; 14:22 KB)
Rm 7:7… I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, "You shall not covet." Rm 6:6 & 11; Gal 2:20; 5:24; 6:14 Deadly Desires
Don’t cultivate an appetite for things that aren’t good for you nor profitable (produce something of eternal value)
Extinguish “Deadly Desires” by being “transformed by the renewing of your mind” to experience “the perfect will of God” Rm 12:1-2
B. Idolaters look to someone or something other than God (including themselves) for their needs and significance (Num 25:2)
7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play." (Ex 32:6 calf)
Col 3:5 put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry Eph 5:5
When we look to something other than God for our needs and wants, we’re rebelling against God, saying we’re more good and wise than He
C. Immorality (sensual indulgence) is an escapist drug that deadens the despair of failing to delight in God
8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; (Num 25:9 Moab Phinehas)
1Cor 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists will inherit the kingdom of God.
Indulging in temporal desires and instincts is living like a dumb animal. Planning, sacrificing and saving for eternal bliss is divine.
D. Doubting/Rejecting God’s purpose and provision for us only makes the difficulties worse
9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; (Num 21:6 to die & manna)
Mt 22:18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why do you tempt me, you hypocrites?
Those who fake a relationship with God are always fussing about trivialities rather than following the Truth (and will get bitten!).
E. Complaining about the way (wisdom) or timetable of God blinds us to the cause of the consequences we don’t like
10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. (Num 16:41 Korah)
2Sam 22:31 As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
Blaming God and others for our failure to fulfill the prerequisites is the surest way to cut ourselves off from God’s blessings.
III. It is always Possible to Please God as we embrace His Provision and Purpose
11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry (meeting your needs independently of God)
2Tim 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
23 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. 24 Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being. 31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. Will baptism/assembly membership/Lord’s Supper protect craving NT believers from discipline and disinheritance any better than it did in the OT?
2. Why do we have problems trusting God to meet our needs and desires? Can we have wrong desires? How can we fix that?
3. What’s the most effective way of dealing with temptation: succumb, resist, deny, flee, kill/sacrifice, re-channel, transform, or???
4. How does one live with unfulfilled desires? If a desire doesn’t go away, is it from God? How do contentment and complacency differ?
5. What can you honestly say that God has provided for you? If nothing, why not? If you’re dissatisfied, why? Is God making a mistake?