Striving to Enter

Doing Godís Will, No Matter the Cost!

Matthew 7:13,14
Audio MP3

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland

17 Jan, 2010  AM

www.biblebc.com

 

I.       Introduction (Mt 7:13,14)

 

A.     Jesus looked out at a large crowd of people following Him, and told them to strive, to struggle, to make every effort to enter into the door of salvation (Mt 7:13,14).

B.     Only Jesus Himself is the door, the way to heaven, to the Father Ė and He is VERY open (John 10:7-9)

C.     But the path leading up to just trusting Him is filled with obstacles, barriers, difficulties

 

1.      I want to preach this morning on going through Godís open doors, no matter how hard it may be!

2.      Usually in the Bible, doors are openings, opportunities that God is laying out for us (as in our main Scripture this year, Rev 3:8).

3.      You see, the Lord, who made heaven and earth knows whatís best for your life. He knows the path you ought to take through life, and He miraculously opens doors for us as we follow His Son.

4.      But the devil makes sure that you either donít WANT to go through those doors, or that you think you CANíT go through those doors! He will fill your mind with fears and reasons to quit!

5.      Just remember this one thing: the devil is a liar! He may be able to make it HARD to do Godís will, but it is a lie that you cannot DO His will (Philp 4:13)

6.      Jesus commanded people to strive to enter into every door that God opens for us, so letís learn how to strive!

 

II.    Message

 

A.     Forcing Our Own Way.

 

1.      We begin with what we already know! We already all know how to strive Ė how to force our way. How to accomplish our own will! We are all well used to getting our own way, no matter how hard it might be

 

a.       When we want a wise screen TV, and we donít have the money, we find a way to get it

b.      When we want a new computer, same thing

c.       When we want a boy friend or girl friend, we just set out to get one

d.      Not having money, good looks, intelligence doesnít stop many people from just going ahead and trying to get what they want anyway!

e.       Itís been going on since the beginning of time!

 

2.      Examples:

 

a.       Potipharís Wife (Gen 19:1-3) Ė she knew how to get what she wanted

b.      Delilah with Samson Ė she got what she wanted

c.       Gehazi (2Kgs 5:14-27) Ė he got what he wanted

 

3.      I think we all know the concept of overcoming hindrances to get what we want

4.      Letís turn our efforts to overcoming obstacles between us and Godís will

 

B.     Knowing Godís Way.

 

1.      The concept of the will of God is a big concept - one of the most important concepts in the Bible

2.      Itís why God gave us the Bible Ė that we might know what to do, how to do it, where to turn for help, how to stay on course, etc

3.      It is the goal every person must reach

4.      Godís will is the open door in your life that no man can shut!

5.      No matter whatever else you may accomplish, if you do not do Godís will for your life, you have done nothing Ė nothing that will last

 

a.       Great riches and possessions Ė it will ALL turn to dust

b.      Get a great name and honour among men, but are unknown to God Ė a waste

c.       Build the greatest monuments of achievements, but miss Godís will Ė all will crumble

 

6.      The goal of every person in this room must be to find Godís will, and then do it!

 

C.     Satan Makes It Hard.

 

1.      By nature we all start out believing that when we set out to do right, it will be easy, and that God will help us, and the devil will back off

2.      More often however, we find doing Godís will the hardest thing we have ever done

3.      Examples:

 

a.       Humbling ourselves enough to admit we need to be born again

b.      Going up to a friend or neighbour and giving them your testimony of how you got saved and challenging them to consider Christ themselves!

c.       Accepting Godís call on our lives to preach the Gospel

d.      Staying with our stubborn and troublesome wives or husbands

e.       Coming off our addictions - drink or drugs or cigarettes or anger or porn

f.       Resisting the urge to run from problems in your home or your life

g.       All of them are HARD to face

 

4.      Whenever you are battling against sin or the temptation to sin (which you know you OUGHT to be doing), you are actually wrestling with the spirit behind that sin (Eph 6:12; James 4:7)

 

a.       And that ďspiritĒ will do everything that God will permit, to STOP or HINDER you from doing right! That is Satanís delight!

b.      He sees where you are trying to go, and then lays traps, diversions, barriers, and sets up even impossible walls between you and Godís will

 

5.      So, what should we do when we see only barriers between us and what we should be doing?

6.      We have to overcome!

 

D.     Become Overcomers (Rev 3:21; 12:11) - Handling Godly Stress.

 

1.      As I said before, doing Godís will is RARELY easy

2.      Facing problems with doing right are quite normal for the believer (John 16:33; 2Cor 1:8; 2Cor 4:9). In other words, Tough times are what God WANTS us to go through Ė He actually prepares us for the rough way, not the easy way

3.      Do you know what ďstressĒ is? It is pressure against the direction you are going

 

a.       Thatís why most people quit doing the right thing

b.      They just head with the pressure Ė like a wind vane

 

1)      Of their friends

2)      Of their girlfriends Ė to spike their hair, or get ear-rings, or get a stupid tattoo

3)      Of their boyfriends Ė to dress immodestly, or get undressed, or do drugs with them

 

c.       Itís stress when you know you shouldnít and the pressure is pushing you to do wrong

d.      There is no stress in the life of a lazy bum!

 

4.      God expects His people to press on in the right direction (Heb 11:33), no matter the cost

5.      Become Overcomers instead of Spectators (Rev 3:21)

 

a.       Most Christians are only spectators in this battle with the adversaries/enemies of the will of God (1Cor 16:9)

b.      Christians have moved from living in bondage to sin and Satanís whim to freedom and forgiveness

c.       But they need to move now from that freedom to become fighters

 

1)      From spectators to runners in the Christian race (Heb 12:1)

2)      From spectators to wrestlers

3)      From spectators to walkers on water!!!

 

d.      Lastly, we need to move from fighters, to conquerors, winners (Rom 8:37)

 

1)      We have too many complainers, and quitters

2)      We have so many who ďdabbleĒ in the Christian fight against sin, temptation, and demonic attacks

3)      We get to do more than dabble

4)      FIGHT the good fight

5)      Be STRONG in the Lord

6)      Be Finishers - Finishing OUR Course (Acts 20:17-24; 2Tim 4:7)

 

6.      Examples of Doing Godís Will, No Matter the Cost

 

a.       Going On Into The Promised Land (Num 13:16-30)

 

1)      Giants

2)      Distances Ė a lot of land to conquer

3)      Terrain Ė loads of deserts, mountains, narrow passages

4)      Armies Ė 32 kingdoms to fight Ė like 32 bad habits to defeat

5)      But it was Godís will, His design for them! They belonged there, NOT in Egypt, and NOT in the wilderness!

 

b.      Paul heading off to Macedonia (Acts 16:6-10) Ė wasnít an easy thing

 

1)      To travel 150 miles across the Adriatic sea

2)      Try and find people who were looking for God

3)      Try and win the pagans to faith in Jesus Christ

4)      Establish strong, solid Bible believing churches

 

c.       The four men with a friend bed-bound with palsy (Mk 2:1-4)

 

1)      They faced obstacles of the crowds

2)      They knew Jesus was the open door Ė they only hope for their friend

3)      They just had to get to Him

4)      And they DID

 

d.      The woman with the issue of blood (Luke 8:45)

                                                                                                                                            

1)      No strength

2)      Had tried everything else

3)      Not a chance, and yet she pressed on

 

e.       Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-5)

f.       The list is found throughout the Scriptures: Jonah, Noah, Abraham, Sarah

g.       All found the way to the door hard, but they found it worth it!

 

III. Conclusion

 

A.     Jesus commanded people to strive to enter into every door that God opens for us

B.     Jesus especially commands everyone, no matter who they are, or how good they may think they are, to strive, to struggle, to make every effort to enter into the door of salvation from the wrath to come (Mt 7:13,14).

C.     Only Jesus Himself is the door, the way to heaven, to the Father Ė and He is VERY open (John 10:7-9)

D.     But the path leading up to just trusting Him is filled with obstacles, barriers, difficulties

E.      Principles:

 

1.      The will of God is never easy, but it is always worth it

2.      The will of God is always impossible, and yet it can get done

3.      The will of God is FOR you and against the devil

 

F.      Today we have learned:

 

1.      We already know how to Force Our Own Way.

 

a.       I think we all know the concept of overcoming hindrances to get what we want

b.      Letís turn our efforts to overcoming obstacles between us and Godís will

 

2.      Godís Will is Always the Right Way

 

a.       God gave us the Bible to know the right doors to go through Ė to know GODíS will

b.      No matter whatever else you may accomplish, if you do not do Godís will for your life, you have done nothing Ė nothing that will last

c.       The goal of every person in this room must be to find Godís will, and then do it!

 

3.      Satan Makes It Hard.

 

a.       Thatís his job

b.      It is his delight

                                                                                                                       

4.      Become Overcomers instead of Spectators (Rev 3:21)