ALL NATIONS FULL GOSPEL CHURCH
December 4th to 10th 2017
TOPIC: Deal With The Future
TEXT: Philippians 3:12-16
This lesson is the third in the series we studied on the theme for the year. It is proper that we study the last in this series as our last lesson in 2017. It is the series dealing with the mind with respect to the past, present and future. This lesson deals with the Future.
Our theme for 2017 is found in Psalm 66:12 “You have caused men to ride over our heads, we went through fire and through water, but You brought us out to rich fulfilment”
It may be that the past experiences of God’s people have not been great, yet God almighty kept them, and having survived the ordeal has brought them to rich fulfilment. Hence God encourages us to forget the past horrible experience and to focus on our fortunes and blessings. (Is 43:18) The bottom line is for God’s people to appreciate His kindness, mercies and goodness to them; for bringing them through difficult times in the past to a new era of abundance in order for them to praise Him. (Is43:21)
God wants His people to rejoice in His goodness, by declaring His blessings upon their lives. However He warns us that the horrible past can undermine the blessed present unless we forget the past.
Today, the Apostle Paul also presents another dimension of the past that can undermine our future. Our text is referring not only to our failures in the past, but also to our achievements and successes of the past. (Phil 3:7-8)
What Success Does
Success is a confidence booster, but a failure trigger if not handled well. When you have done it before and succeed at it, you know that it is possible; then intimidation and fear are gone, doubts are put to rest, and Faith rises with high confidence…. You know you can do it!
It is at this juncture that faith can shift from confidence in God to confidence in self; your own abilities. It is at this point that one should pay attention to the scripture that says “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor 10:12)
When you begin to trust in your experiences, expertise and abilities, then you are beginning to walk on thin ice or slippery slope.
By trusting in your abilities, the tendency not to trust in God is high, and that is real danger for any believer! (Jer 17:5; Zech 4:6).
The Story of AI (Josh. 7:2-5)
The war against AI was after the great victory won at Jericho which is a bigger, heavily walled city. They took a few men, who went confidently based on their previous victory, but they were soundly beaten, and most of them lost their lives! This is what achievement and confidence in the flesh does; it makes one proud and haughty, and God hates that so pride goes before a fall (Pro.16:18).
Moses and the Rock (Ex 17:6, Num. 20:7-12)
The first time, the instruction to Moses was to Strike the Rock, but the second time the directives from God was that Moses should SPEAK to the ROCK. He had done it before……or so he thought. His Pride is even seen in the way he approached them “Hear you rebels, must WE bring water for you out of this rock”. He did not glorify God; he put himself with God as being responsible for the water they will drink. But maybe he did not want to fail, so he did what he had done before. Maybe he did not believe God that by just speaking the water will come.
How Past Success Affected the Disciples (Mk9:14-19
The disciples were no strangers in casting out demons (Lk 10:17), so why did they fail with this one? They trusted in their own ability and did not ask for divine guidance in helping the boy.
When they saw their master do the very things they had fail in, they waited until they were alone and then asked the master to explain to them why they failed. (Mk 9:28-29)
A Christian must always learn depend on the Lord. Prov. 3:5-6 enjoins us to trust in the Lord, and not to lean on your understanding. “your understanding” may imply the gifts God has given to you; gifts of intellect, physical strength, wisdom, beauty etc.
“Your understanding” can also imply to your past victories and successes. The past victories may (and should) give you confidence, but never let that confidence slide you into pride; your confidence should always be in the Lord! This is because God sees the total picture and He is also the all-wise God who knows the beginning from the end. Walking with God entails forgetting the past; burying the past mistakes in the blood, and laying the past victories at His feet, because mishandling it may destroy your future.