Dumb things good Christians Believe
Dumb things good Christians Believe
Week 4 - Listening Better
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Does it matter what we put into our minds and hearts?  How do you determine if what you’re listening to is worth listening to?  Tune in to get some insight and be challenged. When you give at Harmony, you are investing in life change and are Advancing the Kingdom!  GIVE TODAY, text any amount to (859) 459-0316  to get started (or give online @ my.harmonychurch.cc/give .

Joshua 3:12-1712 Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. 13 And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the Lord—the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.”14 So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. 15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.
Your greatest barrier may be God’s greatest opportunity
The Israelites knew they had to get to the other side.  they knew that their destiny was over thereBut the Jordan was in their way…
What they didn’t know is that God had a way…
It wasn’t till their faith made its way into their feet that they found the miracle
What is it that’s in your way?What’s the obstacle keeping you from the blessing?
Did you see verses 15 & 16?15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away The Jordan river can get a mile wide in some places when it floods…
What should have swept them away became the story they toldBBut it took them stepping…BWhat’s keeping you from stepping?
What’s keeping you from taking that job, from moving on from that broken relationship, from starting that company, 
What’s keeping you from finding your blessing in your barrier?
[Pause sermon…]Alright, Let’s stop the sermon right there and push pause on it…That’s version one of this sermon, now let me preach it a different way…
Joshua 3:12-1712 Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. 13 And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the Lord—the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.”14 So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. 15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.
God will carry you through what He has called you to…
Listen, the Israelites are not standing on these shores by accident, this is 40 years of God bringing to fruition promises He had made to them
And now that they are here, at the crossing, they have to make a decision to step or to stay.bThe water didn’t part because of their bravery, the water parted because God had called them.bGod is always faithful where He calls.
The problem for most of us is we are stepping in places God has never called us to step.
Our real goal should be to step with God – to follow His lead.
Jesus has already told us things that God cares about – places we know we can step and God is already there-caring for the poor-loving our neighbor and enemies-caring for orphans and widows
You can step and know God’s got you.
[Pause]Did you notice any differences in those two sermons?
The first sermon laid the biblical story over your life and said“Your life IS this story”-your barriers are the river, you are the priests who need to step, and if you do that, God will part the waters for you.
The second sermon laid out the story of God and said, “there’s something that’s true for all time here…” – put it in your life
One of the most interesting things about Christians today is that we all have access to listening to anyone we want at any moment to put God’s word in our heart…  
That first sermon probably even pumped you up!  You were probably looking at your life and thinking, “yes, the barriers in my life are just ready for me to step into”
The problem is, that’s not why that story was recorded…The problem is, if you had listened to me on that, you might make a really poor decision…
But guess what…  That kind of sermon feels good when you’re listening to it.  Because it speaks to a deep part of us that says
“you’re important and you can do it”
It reminds me of something Paul said to Timothy warning him of days ahead…2 Timothy 4:3For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
So, how do you know if what you are listening to is something worth digesting or not?
You need to come to the table thinking critically about the voices you’re letting influence your faith.
Even me, you need to check me against the scripture
Ask good questions [each of these come up one at a time on the slide]-Is what this person is saying faithful to what the word of God says?-Is what this person is saying the point of the story – the author’s intended meaning-Is what this person is saying ignoring other truths in order to make their point?
ILLUSTRATION:Do you know how they train people to identify counterfeits?  They don’t train them to know what every counterfeit looks like, they train them to know what the actual bill looks like so they can spot a fake.  
One of the reasons so many of us fall for fakes is because we don’t know the real McCoy…
Listen to what the author of Hebrews says:Hebrews 5:12-1312 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.
What if you decided that you’d stop drinking just milk and got into solid food?
What if you moved beyond reading devotionals and letting them tell you what to think about God and started inviting God to tell you what He thinks?What if you moved beyond my sermon being the primary way you hear God’s word and you started getting into His word for yourself?
When you sit down with Jesus and the word of God and start to invite Him into the conversation – listen, the word apart from the writer of the word will be meaningless.  But when you sit down with the author of it.  He points stuff out, He walks you into things you’ve never seen before.
CLOSING:I’m not the guy who wants to try and tell you there are big bad wolves out there that you need to close ranks and guard yourselves – that’s not really the point of this sermon.  But, I need you to know, I used to preach this way.  I have manipulated churches into doing things they should have done saying to them things like, “God’s just calling us to walk through the sea, all we have to do is step…”  But guess what…  God wasn’t calling us, it was Kent trying to fill his ego.  It was Kent trying to build a big impressive church.  I’m not asking you to judge a preacher’s motive, what I’m asking you to judge is the message.  I’m asking you to grow up in your faith.  Get serious about this, because lives hang in the balance.  
The world needs to know Jesus and if your faith gets shipwrecked because of some fool like me and you don’t take the message to the next person, we’ve lost it…