12 Mar 3/12/17 “NO REGRETS: GOD CAN USE YOUR PAST” – Pastor Shane Idleman
No Regrets – God Can Use Your Past
I used to deal with a lot of regret (especially when living w/ the consequences).
Made fun of – construction background and couldn’t write well.
High School was a disaster – Dyslexia [advantage to homeschooling] – embarrassed so i cheated my way through.
This led to the party scene and a failed marriage
The 1st point – STOP Blaming God! We are an “excuse driven people.” Excuses kept me in a defeat cycle.
The 2nd point – Position Yourself to Receive from God (catch the ball) … 1 Cor. 1:27 paraphrased – Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many of you were influential in your community; not many were born into privilege. God chose the foolish things to shame the wise; God chose the weak things to shame the strong.
God says, “Once you see that you are nothing without Me – I can use you.”
Might, Power, and Success don’t get the credit – God does!
Rom. 8:28 – all things will work together for good for those who love Him and want to do His will.
He used my PAST – many different environments that are instrumental when pastoring.
DETOUR – What Seminary Did You Attend?
The school of experience.
The school of Christian history.
The school of Christian experience (biographies).
The school of Theology – 17 years now in school.
Grudem to Giesler – MacArthur to Hayford – Augustine and Pelagian – Luther to Erasmus.
The Reformation to Revivals – Systematic theology to topical indexes. Tozer to Spurgeon.
Shepherds conference to prayer and worship conferences – time alone.
Pneumatology – Eschatology – Soteriology – Ecclesiology: SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY
The 3rd point – Use regret – don’t live in regret (this is my most continue in addiction)
BAD DECISIONS made in the past are not the unpardonable sins – stop living as if they were.
Phil. 3:12-13, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.”
ACTS 9 Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
Saul was angry and murderous – SAUL [this is what you asked for]. PAUL [small or humble].
Religious people don’t like Christians when you challenge their religiosity.
3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” 6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”
Goads – long sticks with spikes on the end: “You won’t be able to resist My power.”
No doubt Paul was in spiritual turmoil. He watched a genuine witness break down the Old Testament to the point of severe conviction.
The 4th point – STOP fighting God – “Lord, what do you want me to do?”
No matter where you’re at – you can say, “LORD, what do you want?”
The 5th point – Trust in God’s Sovereignty. He called Paul!
…Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” [Good advice for some today] 7 And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. 8 Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
He was silent – completely broken. Qualities from Family Life.com
Proud people focus on the failures of others. Broken people are overwhelmed with a sense of their own spiritual need.
Proud people have a critical, fault-finding spirit; they look at everyone else’s faults with a microscope but their own with a telescope. Broken people are compassionate; they can forgive much because they know how much they have been forgiven.
The 6th point: Consider fasting for direction – direction from God is caught, not taught.
Fasting exposes who we really are. Is the god of materialism – the god of our bellies – or the god of our bodies still on the throne.
Fasting – mourning, protection, and direction.
The 7th point: Fall forward – get back up. The Race – author unknown – So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been, still he gave it all he had and ran like he could win. Three times he’d fallen stumbling, three times he rose again. Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end. They cheered another boy who crossed the line and won first place, head high and proud and happy — no falling, no disgrace. But, when the fallen youngster crossed the line, in last place, the crowd gave him a greater cheer for finishing the race. And even though he came in last with head bowed low and unproud, you would have thought he’d won the race, to listen to the crowd. And to his dad he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.” “To me, you won,” his father said. “You rose each time you fell.” And now when things seem dark and bleak and difficult to face, the memory of that little boy helps me in my race. For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all. And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.