Going against the Flow
Have you ever tried to swim against the current?
Big Idea: Going against the culture is normal for followers of Jesus.
Scripture: Matthew 7:13-14 NLT – 13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.
In what ways do we go against our culture?
o Choose God’s ways over the world’s ways
§ John 14:6 NIV – 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
§ Isaiah 55:6-9 NLT – 6 Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. 7 Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously. 8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. 9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
o Choose to live in Purity
§ 1 Peter 1:14-16 NIV – 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
§ Romans 12:2 NIV – 2 Do not conform 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.
§ Unhealthy Patterns
· Manipulation, Deception, Lying
o Ephesians 4:24-25 NLT – 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. 25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.
· Substance abuse
o 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NLT – 19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
· Living in Panic and Fear
o 2 Timothy 1:7 HCSB – For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.
· Confusion - Feelings driving identity and decisions
o 1 Corinthians 14:33 ESV – For God is not a God of confusion, but of peace…
· My standard is the standard – idolatry – becoming your own god
o Judges 17:6 ESV – In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
o Malachi 2:16 NLT – “For I hate divorce!” says the Lord, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife.”
o Choose to Focus on the Truth
§ God’s plan is always the best plan!
· John 10:10 NIV – 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
· Philippians 4:8 NIV – 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Where are you swimming with the current rather than with Christ?
o 2 Timothy 4:10 HCSB – 10 for Demas has deserted me, because he loved this present world
o Memorize: Romans 12:2
o Evaluate: Am I going with the flow and missing out on God’s best for my life?
o Action: Choose to go with God’s word rather than the patterns of our culture.