Shows Main Idea – If you know someone who will not submit to the Lord, there are reasons why. You must know these reasons so you can help them. Being impatient or frustrated with them are not the responses they need from you. This podcast insightfully walks through what’s wrong and how to help.
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- Personal counseling
- Buy Rick a cup of coffee
- Personal and private coaching room
In the parables of the hidden treasure and great pearl, it seems foolish to not want what God offers. Still yet, some people have a hard time trusting the Lord, which affects their close relationships. How would you advise a person about helping someone to want God more than other things?
The two parables are found in Matthew 13:44-45
Hidden Treasure – The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy, he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Great Pearl – Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
The point of this passage is that the kingdom of heaven is better than anything else. It’s like a hidden treasure that is so valuable that you sell everything you have to get it. Or like a great pearl you want so badly that you’ll sell everything you have to acquire it.
Main Idea – If God is so good, why would anyone not submit to Him? Their submission would radically alter their horizontal relationships in profound ways.
Perhaps your spouse is not yet willing to trust the Lord, which is affecting your relationship with her. Maybe you have a child or extended relative unwilling to trust God. Possibly, you have a friend that you hope will trust Jesus. Why do they hold out? What keeps them from fully committing to Christ?
Four Things to Consider:
1 – Repentance is a gift (2 Timothy 2:24-25). The most important answer is that repentance is a gift from the Lord. There is a humbling mystery here. I cannot grant repentance to anyone. There are times I wish I could give repentance to someone. For example, I hope my children fall in love with Jesus.
WARNING: If you have the treasure, you want to walk in humility because it was a gift given not one merited. Frustration or impatience with those who do not have what you have is unwise. Good gifts are given rather than derived through self-reliant ingenuity.
2 – Shaping influences. Fallen people negatively shape fallen people. They create negative shaping forces that make trusting God (or anyone else) difficult. All people come into the world separated from God. A negative shaping relationship can further complicate a fallen child.
For example, an angry, passive, or detached father can do this to a child. Any of these characteristics push children out of the home, seeking security through other means. These “parent types” make it hard for a child–who is now an adult–to submit to God and others.
3 – Hardened conscience. (Con-Science: Co-knowledge or Inner voice) The hard heart rejects the true Word that transforms lives. There are many ways to develop a hard heart. The four primary ways are justification, rationalization, accusation, and alleviation.
- Justification: a person characterized by declaring himself not guilty.
- Rationalization: a person characterized by minimizing his actions.
- Accusation: a person characterized by blaming others.
- Alleviation: a person characterized by avoiding the truth by using means to feel better.
These four ways “layer” the conscience, which sets the person up to not hear the truth of God’s Word. The mind becomes case hardened (impenetrable) to the truth.
4 – Desire for other things. Adamic hearts crave things in the world. Everyone is born this way. James 1:14-15 teaches how our hearts are like magnets that draw the world into our souls. If the power of the magnet (heart) brings something from the world into the soul, sin will conceive in the heart. After the sin conceives, dark cancer will take over the mind.
As those desires continue to fester in the heart, death will come. First, it will be a slow spiritual death as the things of the world take over the heart. Eventually, it will lead to deterioration of the body. Lastly, it will be physical and spiritual death in hell.
For a fuller explanation, read Three Ways to Overcome Sin and Temptation
- Amputate the things in the world that your heart craves so they don’t distract you from the work that must happen in your heart.
- Mortify your heart by taking the life out of those things. Giving life to sin in the heart is the key problem, and primary work needed. (Don’t fall for the legalism trap by only amputating the cultural temptation. Separating from the culture will not separate you from your problems because your problems find life in your heart.)
- Limit some things from gaining access in your heart. Remember the culture is not the main problem; it’s your heart that is broken and lures things in the world.
Call to Action
- Gift of Repentance – Do you hear the “voice” of the Lord calling you to Himself?
- Shaping Influences – What has shaped you to reject the Lord? How do you need to change?
- Hard Conscience – Do you have habits that harden your conscience? What do you need to do to soften your heart?
- Heart Desires – What “in the world” tempts your spiritual person to sin? What does that temptation reveal about your heart desires?
- Question for the discipler: Do you know how to help the person who is not yet trusting the Lord?