17 Nov S4 E07 | Closer to God, Stranger to the World
Today we discuss the process of growing closer to Christ. The closer we grow to Christ, the further we will be from the world.
Key Verse: 1 Samuel 20:17 “And Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him, for he loved him as he loved his own soul.”
Theme: Closer to God, Stranger to the World
- You can read more about the story of Rahab and the Israelite spies in Joshua 2:1-16 and James 2:25
- You can read more about David and Mephibosheth in 2 Samuel 9
Points to Note:
Reminder, the story of Saul & David is Our Story:
- Saul : [Kingdoms of this world] Self-Centered, Demanding, Disobedient to God, Seeks His Own Glory
- David: [Kingdom of God] Other-Centered, Giving/Self-Sacrificing, Obedient to God, Seeks the Glory of God
- Awaken to the unseen war of the spirit.
- “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Romans” 8:7
- “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:4
- Three attacks from Saul on Jonathan = the same three attacks from the Devil on Man: (1) Shame (2) Guilt (3) Greed.
- Jonathan in 1 Samuel 20 is a picture of the process of surrendering to the rule of Christ.
- We are Jonathan: Biologically tied to this world yet Spiritually bound to Christ.
✓We often fail to see the world is not our home.
✓The closer to Christ we walk, the more distant to this Earth we will feel.
✓It may seem strange (absurd) to those who love and care for us.
7. Mephibosheth’s name means “remover of the idol and destroyer of our shame”.
8. Jesus: as we surrender to Him, He removes our shame and idols and restores us to Himself.
Recognize the Following:
- Everyone in the public sphere is on the same side: media, entertainment, news, education, government, big technology, etc.
- Christian, the world is not your friend and the sooner you realize it, the stronger and wiser you will be.
- For as long as the Gospel is preached, there will be those who reject its’ message.
- We read the Bible to see Jesus.
- Notice how Jonathan is oblivious to Saul’s hatred of David and how it can be a “picture” of newer Christians who may not yet recognize that the “world” is at odds with faith.
- Jesus sees the world differently than we do.
- At times our faith will look funny to the world. We are putting our faith in the “lowly Carpenter of Nazareth”, not in the “kingdom” we see.
- There’s a god of this world who we are told will keep us safe in this world, but then there’s the God of the Universe who will keep us safe not only in this world but also the next.
- It is ok to grieve. We Christians are going to grieve at times as the closer we walk with Jesus the farther we get from this world.
- Fasting and prayer disconnect our hearts from this world and connect our hearts to God.
- Surrendering is a process. It’s not a one-time thing. Day by day you grow closer and closer to Christ and stranger and stranger to the world.
Questions to Consider:
- Where do you see Jesus in the text?
- Since you have become a Christian, do you have a hard time relating to friends or family members? Do you see under the surface the hatred the world has for you or your faith? Do you wonder why that is the case?
- Do you feel comfortable in your walk and not at odds with the world? It’s time to examine your life and see if you have really surrendered to Christ. If Christ is your Savior you will grow stranger to the world as you grow closer to Christ.
- Are you ready to model Jonathan when he says, “I don’t see it but I’m going to trust You [Jesus]”?
- Who are you ‘praying’ to?
- Are you ready to consider a time of fasting and prayer?
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