Quest For Wholeness – Forgetting the Past Podcast 6 – Transcript

Podcast 6

Pat

Welcome to Podcast 6 in our QFW series. I hope you are learning what it will take to enter your promised land of wholeness.  My daughter and Counselor, Taylor Draughn is with me again today as we continue to identify important elements of our quest for wholeness.

Throughout our recent podcasts we have identified the need to disconnect from our link to the past whether good or bad. In our last podcast, we specifically looked at Northern Israel’s need to disconnect from their link to the evil leadership of the first king of the divided kingdom. We saw how the sin of that one king, Jeroboam, poisoned all the kings and the people of the Northern kingdom of Israel which ultimately led them in a cycle of sin that continually increased.

Today our podcast will focus on this statement:

  • Small concessions have deadly direction and reflect a divided heart.

James 1:12-15 – When tempted no one should say God is tempting me. For God cannot be tempted by evil nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown gives birth to death.

James 1:12-15 – shows that progression of sin –

  • Temptation – not sin
  • dragged away and enticed by our own evil desire
  • desire is conceived
  • desire gives birth to sin
  • and sin grows up and gives birth to death.

That is progressive no doubt, but I want to make sure we recognize the danger of small concessions.

Taylor, why don’t you talk to us about what you see in James 1:12-15 with small concessions

Taylor

In the last podcast, I talked a lot about desensitization and how the process starts when you have a diminished response to something that you considered negative. I gave the example last time of cursing and how when we are younger it is a big deal to hear a curse word, but as you get older that shock factor leaves. I believe that James 1:12-15 is a great example of how desensitization works and the dangers that it leads to. Like we talked about last time, this process is slow and steady, and it involves making slow concession. This process doesn’t start with someone making a huge decision that affects their life; it starts small. The last part of the progression is death so desensitization is a big deal that people in this world obviously downplay.

Another important aspect to this process is that when you sin you make a decision and there is no way to get around the fact that when you make a decision that are consequences, good or bad. I have seen many people blame God or be angry at God about the state of their life right now, but the fact is that God isn’t to blame for where they are at, they are.

Obviously there are situations in life that aren’t based on a decision that we made, but we still have to live with how it affects our life, such as a life threatening illness.  That is not the situation we are talking about right now. The situation is when somebody makes an active decision to go against God’s will for their life. Another important fact to recognize is, even if you turn back to God after realizing the negative decision you made, there will still be consequences. You are forgiven but you still have the consequences because He wants you to learn from that experience.

Pat

That is so true. God is always using the experiences of our life to teach us and He is always teaching us for our good!

  • So, let’s go back to our focus statement:
  • Small concessions have deadly direction and reflect a divided heart.
  • Remember the story of Caleb
  • He whole heartedly followed the Lord
  • Wholeheartedness not perfection

Israel’s divided heart ultimately led them on a path of small concessions that had deadly direction.

We see that in 2 Kings 17:18 & 22-23

2 Kings 17:18 – Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight; there was none left but the tribe of Judah alone.

2 Kings 17:22-23 For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them, until the Lord removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away from their own land to Assyria, as it is to this day.

  • Israel’s small concessions led them to a place of total captivity –
  • The Lord was so angry with His people and that He removed them from their Promised land and from His sight.
  • Sin consumed one generation after another until total captivity.
  • That can happen in any of our lives and our families.

Taylor

After hearing about how sin consumed one generation after another in Israel, it made me think about how us as women and mothers have a profound affect on our children.

  • This is a really scary notion for a lot of us, and I think it should because this is a huge responsibility that God has put on us. The fact is that everything we do, good or bad, affects our children.
  • One thing that I have seen with parents that simply does not work is the notion that you do as I say but not as I do. Everybody knows that when children are younger they try to copy everything their parents do, but it doesn’t stop in early childhood. When you tell kids to not do something, but you are doing it yourself, your argument is completely invalid for them even if we are talking about something that is legal for you and not for them.
  • If you want to have children that are strong Christ followers, then you have to live it out everyday. Obviously there will be times when you fail, and that is an opportunity for you to teach children a valuable lesson, which is to ask for forgiveness. This is a wonderful lesson for children to learn and they will have healthy relationships later in life because they have been taught and have seen how forgiveness works.
  • Another aspect to this is that you as parents can do everything you can to be a Godly parent and live life as a Christ follower, but that will not take away your child’s ability as they get older to make their own decisions. You can do everything you can, but at the end of the day they will have to make their decision to follow or not follow Christ, and the decisions they make doesn’t reflect how good or bad you parented.

Pat

Those are very important points for us to realize when parenting, realizing that we are striving to pass down a godly heritage to the generations that follow us.

      • Looking back at our Scripture story about Israel, we see that:

God’s people were linked to their past and caught in a cycle of sin that took them away from their Promised land to a place of total captivity. (Vs. 18 and 23)

      • God is mercy and His mercy endures forever.
      • 2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
      • God is not about bringing the hammer down so to speak, He is about bringing people to repentance and He is way more patient than we are.
      • From Jeroboam’s reign to the captivity of Israel was about 275 years.
      • God put up with a lot. He was long suffering with His people.
      • We can’t start looking at the fact that God removed them from their Promised Land and not look at how merciful God had been.

Taylor

Isn’t that wonderful news! Our God wants to see us come to know Him, and sometimes that means making us miserable until we comes to the point of realizing that we need Him. The first part of the podcast is pretty heavy, and it can sometimes leave you feeling convicted (which is a good thing by the way). But then you see that even when we are far from Him, He shows us mercy and waits on us to turn towards Him. His mercy gives us hope in so many ways. It lets us know that the family member we have been praying for for so long, God loves them and He is actively working to bring them back to Him. It also lets us know that when we get caught up in this cycle of sin His mercy and loves is always there to pick us up when we look to Him. His mercy propels us forward to have faith that God is bigger than any circumstance that we can see.

Pat

Great points to remember as we step into this next portion of Scripture.

2 Kings 17:24 – 29- Then the king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Ava, Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they took possession of Samaria and dwelt in its cities.And it was so, at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they did not fear the Lord; therefore the Lord sent lions among them, which killed some of them. So they spoke to the king of Assyria, saying, “The nations whom you have removed and placed in the cities of Samaria do not know the rituals of the God of the land; therefore He has sent lions among them, and indeed, they are killing them because they do not know the rituals of the God of the land.” Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, “Send there one of the priests whom you brought from there; let him go and dwell there, and let him teach them the rituals of the God of the land.” Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the Lord. However every nation continued to make gods of its own, and put them in the shrines on the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in the cities where they dwelt.

Remember 2 Kings 18 and 22-23 – The Lord was angry with His people and removed them from their land and from His sight.

      • God used a pagan king – He used His enemy and the Israelites’ enemy to remove them because they were completely consumed with sin. They had walked away from God and all His ways.
      • This is a bad place for any of us to be because then we are walking out of the protective covering of God.

Taylor

      • God’s protection for us is a huge blessing we receive as Christ followers. This obviously doesn’t mean that we will never have a difficult time or trials to face, but as Christ followers, we can know that in everything we do, we are no longer walking alone.
      • This also involves us having the ability to speak into the darkness and having the power to push the darkness back. With God and his covering, we are protected from Satan and his schemes, and we have the ability to push him away.
      • We sang a song at church yesterday and one of my favorite lines of this song is that “I am going to shout your name until the walls come falling down”. How awesome is that that we have the ability to bring down walls in our life and others. This ability obviously doesn’t come from our own abilities but from what God has gifted us since He has come to live inside us.
      • There is also the knowledge that Satan will not win in the end.
      • We also know that what really matters is eternity, and Satan can never take that away from us.

Pat

Let’s go back to the fact that:

The Lord was angry with His people and removed them from their land and from His sight.

      • Zech. 2:8 –Israel was the apple of His eye – He promised He would deal with those who touched them
      • We read in – 2 Kings 17:24-29 this story about the Assyrian king and pagan people that God used to remove His people from their Promised Land, but at the same time, we see God deal pretty harshly with that king an people.

And it was so, at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they did not fear the Lord; therefore the Lord sent lions among them, which killed some of them. (2 Kings 17:25)

God sent lions. Why? Because they did not fear God.

His purpose for sending the lions was that even the Assyrian king and pagan people would know Him.

      • God will do whatever it takes to have relationship with man no matter who they are. 
      • Hardness of heart because of sin – may require extreme measures
      • Patchez’s story

Notice what the king of Assyria did in response to the lions.

The king of Assyria sends for one of the priests who had been removed from the land of Samaria.

      • I think the Assyrians may have had the same problem that is spoken of in 2 Tim. 4:3-4.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 – For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

      • They wanted to hear what they wanted to hear so they sent for one of the Israelite priest who was one of God’s chosen people but was living according to his own desires and will.
      • When we want to continue living according to our own desires we can get really good at finding people to tell us what we want to hear.
      • Wouldn’t you say that is true Taylor?

Taylor

      • Definitely! It is natural for us as human to surround ourselves with people that believe similarly to us, because we don’t want what we believe to be tested. I think this is a good thing when we have a close circle of strong Christians around us, but even in a Christian circle, should be people willing to call you out when you are making negative decisions. One thing that you have to realize in this situation is that what these friends are saying comes out of a place of love and what they are telling you is to better you. It is never easy to be called out, but people that are willing to speak truth into their friend’s life I would consider that a true friend.

Another aspect to this is that when we are doing something we shouldn’t, we often surround ourselves with others who will justify what we are doing. How many times have you seen

      • people make a huge change in their life and they dramatically change the people they surround themselves with? This can be good or bad changes.

I don’t believe that it is ever a bad idea to have people in your life that test what you believe, because it is important for us as Christians to know why we believe what we believe.

Pat

So they spoke to the king of Assyria, saying, “The nations whom you have removed and placed in the cities of Samaria do not know the rituals of the God of the land; therefore He has sent lions among them, and indeed, they are killing them because they do not know the rituals of the God of the land.” Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, “Send there one of the priests whom you brought from there; let him go and dwell there, and let him teach them the rituals of the God of the land.”

      • They identify the problem based on Rituals
      • The reality is – They did not want to know God.
      • They wanted to do what they needed to do to get the lions (God) off their back.
      • I can’t tell you how many times in ministry I have seen someone hit a desperate time, like a marriage falling apart or kids in trouble or maybe even disease and the one facing the desperate time turn to God, but only for a season. Kind of like to Assyrians – they just wanted to get the lions off their back, but they really did not want to know God.
      • Once everything smooths out or blows over, they are right back to business as usual – living life apart from God – because their original seeking Him wasn’t ever based on a desire to know Him and have relationship with Him.

Taylor

I have definitely seen that happen as well. I have also seen people that God has completely and radically changed their life.

So what is the difference? The difference depended on the motives of their heart.

It is very easy to turn to God when we have a tragedy in life. It is not nearly as easy to develop and grow a relationship with God, because it takes work and time. The first scenario is just wanting God to answer their prayers, and the second one wants that as well, but they also want to know the God that they are praying to. The individual in the second scenario will be the one that in good or bad times their hope and faith will be in the Lord, and they will be able to enter their promise land; the person in the first scenario will not enter their Promised Land even if their prayer is answered.

Pat

The truth is the pagan nations were taught the truth. They were taught how to fear God. They heard the truth even from him.

      • I get the feeling that the priest came in and told them something like, “This is what God says and this is what we do.”
      • What God said and what they did were 2 different things.
      • So we see the Scripture says, They feared God yet continued to make their own Gods.

READ BOX

They were afraid of God, but that is where it stopped. They had no desire to know Him. How does that relate to us today? Are we like them? Do we want just enough of God for Him to call the Lions off and then right back to the things that are self seeking and satisfying to us. Do the judgments of God really make a difference in our life? Do they cause us to seek the One behind the judgments?

Taylor this is a hard and heavy lesson, but we can’t spend our life looking at only the things that make us feel good, because what makes us feel good makes us comfortable and change never takes place in our life if we are too comfortable.

And the reality is, that we need to be changed from a life that is apart from knowing and fearing God Because knowing and fearing God is for our well being and is how we experience our Promised land of wholeness.

I think it is very interesting that the Scripture shows the progression of their sin as connected to their fear of the Lord.

1st they were taught how to fear God so we see then that:

      • 2nd) They feared God and appointed priests to sacrifice for them.
      • 3rd) They feared God yet served their own Gods.
      • 4th) They ­feared not the Lord, nor follow the commandments that God had commanded.

I hope we can see that the lions are a picture of God doing whatever it takes to have relationship with man.  He will use whatever means to get our attention and for each person and each situation that may look differently.

Taylor

One more thing to acknowledge before we close out – was how the priests represented God. They were God’s people but they weren’t living like it. In reality they were living just like the pagan nations that God used to remove the Israelites from their Promised Land. There is a danger of representing God to others like the priest and the chosen Israelites.

The fact is that we are meant to look and live differently from the world, and there will be times that the world doesn’t like us very much because of that. There will be times when this will be very difficult for us. For me, it was early on in college.

      • In high school, I had a very close group of godly young women that I spent the majority of my social time with, so I didn’t struggle with this then. When I entered into college, it was difficult because most of my friends went to several different colleges, and there were several times where I felt like there was something wrong with me because I was so different from almost everybody I was around.
      • The thing that changed for me was finding another group of friends that loved Jesus and loved me. There will be times that we will feel different because we are Christ followers, and that is because we are. Jesus Christ was different from everybody else and He was never fully accepted, and so we shouldn’t expect much different.

Pat

Absolutely Taylor! That is an awesome word to close out our podcast. We know this was not an easy message, but easy is not always best. We are looking to bring truth and see you experience the best God has for you.

Let us know how this helped you. And remember, if you are local and need help walking through a difficult time, Taylor is a wise counselor and works at the Christian Counseling Center at White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ in West Monroe. You can contact either of us through the web-site at www.onfire-minsitries.org.

Be blessed and be encouraged in the good things God has planned for you on this quest for wholeness.

The Fear of the Lord

Proverbs 1:7 & 29; 2:5; 8:13; 9:10; 10:27; 14:26-27; 15:33; 16:6; 19:23; 22:4; 23:17; 29:25

2 Kings 17:7-18

God and His Word were ____________________ to His people and ________ are.

The Progressive Cycle of Israel’s Sin

1.   They would not ____________ Him. (vs.14)

2.   They _________________His statutes and covenant. (vs.15)

3.   They_____________________ idols and pagan nations. (vs.15)

4.   They __________ ________ the commandments. They _________, ______________, and

__________________ other gods and practiced excessively __________________ evil

      ways. (vs.16-17)

Small ________________ have deadly direction and reflect a _______________ heart.

(James 1:12-15)

2 Kings 17:18 & 22-23

God’s people were ___________ to their past and caught in a __________ of sin that took

them away from their Promised land to a place of total ____________.

The Lord was angry with His people and _____________ _____  them from their land and from His ___________________. (Zech. 2:8 and Lev. 25:23)

2 Kings 17: 24-41

God will do _________________ it takes to have _________________ with man no matter ____________ they are.

The king of Assyria sends for one of the _______________ ___ who had been removed from the land of Samaria. (2 Tim. 4:3-4)

2 Kings 17: 29-33

1st) They were taught how to __________________God. (vs.28)

2nd) They feared God yet _______________________  to make their own Gods. (vs.29)

3rd) They feared God and appointed priests to ____________________ for them. (vs.32)

4th) They feared God yet ____________________ their own Gods. (vs.33)

5th) They ­______________               the Lord, nor follow the commandments that God had commanded. (vs.34)

Podcast 6

Focus Statement: Small concessions have deadly direction and reflect a divided heart.

James 1:12-15 – shows the progression of sin – (Temptation is not sin.)

      • dragged away and enticed by our own evil desire
      • desire is conceived
      • desire gives birth to sin
      • and sin grows up and gives birth to death.

James 1:12-15 is a great example of how desensitization works and the dangers that it leads to.

Another important aspect to this process is that when you sin you make a decision and there is no way to get around the fact that when you make a decision that are consequences, good or bad.

* God isn’t to blame for where we are at, we are.

Remember the focus statement and remember the story of Caleb. Caleb whole-heartedly followed the Lord. Remember that wholeheartedness does not mean perfection.

Israel’s divided heart ultimately led them on a path of small concessions that had deadly direction.

      • (2 Kings 17:18 & 22-23)
      • Israel’s small concessions led them to a place of total captivity.

The Lord was so angry with His people and that He removed them from their Promised land and from His sight.

      • Sin consumed one generation after another until total captivity.
      • That can happen in any of our lives and our families.

The fact is that everything we do, good or bad, affects our children.

      • When you tell kids to not do something, but you are doing it yourself, your argument is completely invalid for them.
      • If you want to have children who are strong Christ followers, then you have to live it out.
      • Another aspect is that you as parents can do everything you can to be a Godly parent and live life as a Christ follower, but that will not take away your child’s ability as they get older to make their own decisions.

God’s people were linked to their past and caught in a cycle of sin that took them away from their Promised land to a place of total captivity. (Vs. 18 and 23)

      • God is mercy and His mercy endures forever.
      • 2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

 

2 Kings 17:24 – 29

        • God used a pagan king to remove His people from their land because they were completely consumed with sin. They had walked away from God and all His ways.
        • This is a bad place for any of us to be because then we are walking out of the protective covering of God.
          • Zech. 2:8 –Israel was the apple of His eye – He promised He would deal with those who touched them
            • And it was so, at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they did not fear the Lord; therefore the Lord sent lions among them, which killed some of them. (2 Kings 17:25)

God will do whatever it takes to have relationship with man no matter who they are. 

The king of Assyria sends for one of the priests who had been removed from the land of Samaria.

          • 2 Timothy 4:3-4
          • When we want to continue living according to our own desires we can get really good at finding people to tell us what we want to hear.
            • They did not want to know God.
            • They wanted to do what they needed to do to get the lions (God) off their back.
            • Once everything smooths out or blows over, they are right back to business as usual – living life apart from God – because their original seeking Him wasn’t ever based on a desire to know Him and have relationship with Him.

 

The difference depended on the motives of their heart. It is very easy to turn to God when we have a tragedy in life. It is not nearly as easy to develop and grow a relationship with God, because it takes work and time.

The pagan nations were taught the truth. They were taught how to fear God. They heard the truth.

          • What God said and what they did were 2 different things.
          • They feared God yet continued to make their own Gods.

They were afraid of God, but that is where it stopped. They had no desire to know Him. How does that relate to us today? Are we like them? Do we want just enough of God for Him to call the Lions off and then right back to the things that are self seeking and satisfying to us. Do the judgments of God really make a difference in our life? Do they cause us to seek the One behind the judgments?

The Scripture shows the progression of their sin as connected to their fear of the Lord.

1st) They were taught how to fear God so we see then that:

2nd) They feared God and appointed priests to sacrifice for them.

3rd) They feared God yet served their own Gods.

4th) They ­feared not the Lord, nor follow the commandments that God had commanded.

I hope we can see that the lions are a picture of God doing whatever it takes to have relationship with man.  He will use whatever means to get our attention and for each person and each situation that may look differently.

Notice how the priests represented God. They were God’s people but they weren’t living like it.

We are meant to look and live differently from the world, and there will be times that the world doesn’t like us very much because of that.