Let God be in the driving seat.
Last week I spoke about the words that came out of the text for me, this week the words presented to me this week were “stumbling block”. so, what is your stumbling block that inhibits you connecting fully with God and how do we overcome those stumbling blocks.
In our reading last week Jesus is with his disciples and He knows his time on earth is drawing to a close and he asks two questions of His disciples. “Who do people say that I Am?
Some say that you are Elijah, John the Baptist, Jeremiah, Isaiah or one of the other prophets.
Jesus askes the question again.
But who do you say that I Am?” Peter speaking boldly says, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” “You are blessed Peter, for man has not revealed this to you but My Father in heaven. Upon this rock I will build My Church; and the gates of hell will not prevail against it!”
However, this time the purposeful, focused Peter disappears, and we see a different side. Jesus is with his disciples now as the time of his betrayal is soon to take place. And as Jesus tells them of the things that will soon happen to Him, “Peter boldly speaks, “These things must not happen to You.” But Christ rebukes him, by saying, “Get thee behind Me Satan.” This is the first time that Jesus tells His disciples of the things that would happen to Him. He was trying to prepare them as He will soon be leaving them.
One side of Peter knew who Jesus was, but the other side of Peter did not know what that fully meant.
So many people, come to Church and accepting Jesus as their Lord but not fully understanding what it fully means by making Jesus Christ their Saviour. Each and every one of us can be used by God or by Satan. How do we overcome stumbling blocks in our lives?
Each and every one of us can be become a stumbling block to others without even meaning to be. Sometimes we become stumbling block out of good intentions.
As Christians we need to learn to respond differently. Our responses should be in accordance with the Holy Scriptures.
So stumbling blocks- how do we overcome them.
The first way to overcome them is to identify the source. Last week I spoke about conforming only to God. Our need to conform to anything other than Gods will become a block in our relationship with him.
We see this in Peter. He was used by God in many different ways; but in this one instance Peter was being used by Satan and when he denied Jesus three times, his eyes were not focused on God.
The second way to overcome them is by staying focused on the mission Christ has given us as Christians and to do this successfully we must remove all distractions from our lives.
When Peter had his eyes focused on the Jesus, he was able to walk on water. He did not notice the raging water that was all around him Once he looked back to see how far he had walked he began to sink and drown. But he called upon the name of Jesus, and Jesus saved him.
When we focus on Jesus, we will not notice the stumbling blocks because we will be giving them to Jesus Christ. He will turn the stumbling blocks into opportunities in which to minister to others.
The third way in which to overcome stumbling blocks is to always respond in a positive way. We cannot always control the circumstances in which we find ourselves in, but we can control how we respond to our circumstances.
We must also realize that we may cause our own stumbling blocks by misunderstanding what is being said. We misinterpret the message someone is saying to us.
Satan is not going to like it when we do things for the Lord. He uses people to distract us from doing what God has called us to do. Stumbling blocks will come our way. We are not responsible for the circumstances we find ourselves, but we are responsible for how we respond to those circumstances we find in our lives.
There are three ways to overcome the stumbling blocks in our lives:
- Identify them as coming from Satan.
- Stay focus on the mission Jesus Christ has entrusted to us.
- Always respond in a positive and firm way but we should always be gentle in rebuking others.
We must always remember that all of us can become potential stumbling blocks to others. Therefore, we should be careful what we say, and how we say it, and we must be careful what we do.
In the second part of our reading Jesus addresses the crowds saying, “whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up the cross and follow me”. We wear the cross of Christ crucified from our baptism, we carry his cross, a cross we cannot walk away from as it is with us always whether we remain faithful or not.
Jesus call us to self-denial so that we may continue to evolve spiritually as God intended. By learning to live together unselfishly in this life, we may be preparing ourselves for the next great leap forward, when individuals willingly sacrifice all so that we may live together in love. If you have begun to imitate Christ, you are ready for the next step in the great adventure of life the God puts before us here for.
We have a duty; we are trustees not of the church but of the Christian faith. we are responsible for the continuing faith in this place and in the country, so no pressure.
Will there be a Christian community here in a thousand years’ time? if we do as Jesus directs and we continue to carry his cross, listen to God and do his bidding and as the Message bible say above all things let God be in the driving seat.
Stay focused and allow him to help you, us to circumnavigate our stumbling blocks and assist you as the present worshipping community to discern how God works in you in order that you will leave a strong legacy of faith and Christian witness here.
Let God be in our driving seat !!!