“Six Roadblocks to Spiritual Growth”
- “Spiritual growth” is something that every child of God and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ should desire to have. It is also a requirement of God.
- Spiritual growth is stopped when a “roadblock” appears.
- A “roadblock” is something that pops up unexpectedly that prevents you from going where you want or need to go. A “roadblock” is also something that pops up that stops you from doing what you doing what God has called you to do or something that you desire to do for God.
- In our message today I believe that God wants me to help you to see roadblocks that stop your spiritual growth.
- I believe that many of you are stranded on the hi-way of life because you have come to roadblocks and do not know how to get around them.
- First, we need to recognize the roadblocks…
I. No Spiritual Hunger
A) Are you blessed / happy?
- God’s desire is that of every parent is blessed. The parents want their children to be happy. God wants His children to be blessed (happy).
- Jesus tells us in His sermon of Matthew 5:6…Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
- Jesus is the “Bread of Life” which will feed you when you are hungry.
- The Holy Spirit is “The Water” that quenches your thirst by helping you to understand the things of God.
- These words of Jesus contain 2 things…
- A statement – What is the statement? Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: You will be happy if you desire deeply to do the right things, hunger for His word, and follow His commandments.
- A promise – What is the promise? “…for they shall be filled.”You will be spiritually filled and filled with the knowledge of God and a right relationship with God.
- David’s example for us in Psalm 42:1… As the hart (deer) panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. 2) My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
B) The absence of spiritual hunger
- When you do not hunger and thirst after righteousness and the things of God it means you are “content (satisfied with the way you and things are).”
- How many of you are happy in your marriage? How many are happy with your spouse? How many are happy with your friends? How many are happy with your work? How many are happy with your church?
- If you are in a position of unhappiness, you need to ask God to light your fire because your wood is wet. In other words, you need to pray and ask God…
- To help you be excited with your life, your spouse, your work, etc.
- To give you a desire for the word of God.
- To create a desire in you to fellowship and love His people (members of the church)
- To help you remove the bad spirit that keeps you content (satisfied) and to replace it with a righteous spirit that will help you to press yourself in becoming a better person.
- We must realize that our body without the Spirit of God is dead. You may ask, “How do I know if I have God’s Spirit in me?” The answer is given in… James 2:24…Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
- An explanation of verse 24 in James 2 would reveal to us that the works (Godly things you do) a person proves to God that they believe in Him and His Son.
- 25) Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? The story of Rahab starts in Joshua 2 and tells us of a harlot named Rahab who was given salvation by believing in the God of Abraham and showing God that she was His child by the acts of kindness in helping God’s children in need. They were not actually children but they were men who needed to escape being tortured and killed and she could help them escape and did.
- 26) For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
- Barnes Notes on the N.T. reminds us… “If good works do not follow, it is clear that there is no true and proper faith; none that justifies and saves. If faith produces no fruit of good living, that fact proves that it is dead, that it has no power, and that it is of no value.”
- True happiness will never come to people who do not show “true faith” by their lack of works that prove they believe.
A) Words that mean “lazy” in the Bible
- Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “lazy” as 1) Not eager or willing to work or exert one’s self. 2) Slow and heavy; sluggish
- Being lazy is not a good thing, nor is it Godly.
- God abhors (hates)
- Being lazy is like having a disease. If you have it, it will eventually kill you faster than normal.
- One of the words in the Bible that means “lazy” is the word “slothful.”
- Proverbs 15:19 The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns:
- Proverbs 18:9…He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster. This verse tells us that if you are lazy you waste all that surrounds you and is in you.
- Another word for laziness in the Bible is “idle/idleness.” Look to Ecclesiastes 10:18…By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.
- Another word for “lazy” in the Bible is “sluggard.”
- Proverbs 6:9…How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?
B) How do I cure my laziness?
- Several years ago I prepared a S.S. lesson for our members who had issues with laziness. Do you know that none of those people came to that class and are struggling in their life to succeed at anything. All they had to do is wake up a little earlier and learn what God’s word says about laziness.
- That lesson is on our website by the way.
- Realize first, if you don’t make things happen, things will happen to you
- You must take action in order to be healed from laziness.
- Push yourself. Start on something you should be doing. You don’t have to do everything now. Take baby steps at first, then adult steps. Use it and discover the joy of productive living.
III. Unpacked Baggage
A) Dragging unconfessed sins around with you
- Why do you suppose that the Israelites who left Egypt ended up in the wilderness for 40 years?
- They were dragging their sin with them. The more weight you drag behind you, the less likely it is that you will reach your destination.
- Many of you today are not maturing or experiencing spiritual growth because you are carrying around a bunch of excess baggage.
B) How to get rid of my baggage
- You may think you can “manage” your sin, but it is more powerful than you are.
- You can’t move forward while carrying a load of shame and addictions.
- It is time for you to repent, confess your weakness to God and be free.
IV. Fear of Change
A) Change for the better
- Many of you are convicted of the Holy Spirit to start doing something here at SBBC because you are frozen in your tracks. You have not got past step one.
- Nothing will keep you in spiritual limbo like “fear.”
- Fear paralyzes people. Some people keep their dreams inside them for years and end up taking them to their grave.
- If you want to grow, you must take risks. Don’t let your fear of failure ruin your chances for change in your life to be a better person.
- Don’t let your fear of others criticizing you stop you from trusting in the God who is bigger than all those things.
- Remember the verse… Philippians 4:13…I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
V. Shallow Relationships
A) Who are your friends?
- Who are you hanging around with? Do they also have spiritual problems that keep you from growing, or do they help you with the problem?
- Abraham had to separate from one another due to differences in their faith and the goals they had set for their life.
- Lot’s goal was to satisfy himself while Abraham was fully surrendered to God’s goal for him.
- If you spend all your time with people who are focused on self gratification or self pleasure, you will be just like them. Your life will be fruitless for Christ. Worse than that, your works will be as “wood, hay and stubble.”
- 1 Corinthians 3:11…For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12) Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13) Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14) If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15) If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
- If you want to move forward spiritually in 2020, don’t expect your so called friends to follow you.
- Many people do not want God’s presence. Don’t let them drag you down. Be willing to find new friends who will support you in your spiritual growth.
VI. A Religious Spirit
A) What is wrong with being religious?
- I personally do not like being called “religious.” WHY? Because the word “religious” means that you believe in a god or God. The word “religious” is not distinctive in its description.
- I prefer to be called a “Christian” because it is distinctive in its description of my faith.
- Religious could mean that I worship the stars, the earth, or budah.
- Christian means that I am “Christ like” and I worship His Father (God).
B) We should have the Spirit of God
- Moses recognized two men that were called of God to do His work in Exodus 35:31…And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship;
- Our desire in the N.T. age is to be Christ like after we become baptized… Matthew 3:16…And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
VII. How Do I Start Growing?
A) Turn around
- What do you do when the road you are traveling has a roadblock? You have to turn back and find a way around the roadblock.
- Turning around from these roadblocks is like Isaiah says in Isaiah 30:15…For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.
- To “return” means to go back. To “rest’ means to rest upon God.
- Let us close with Paul’s words to the church at Rome… Romans 8:1…There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
- Are you ready to start growing? Act now!