You can’t do this by yourself.
JULY 28, 2020
You can’t do this by yourself. Let’s talk, on Key Life.
This is Key Life, with our host author and seminary professor Steve Brown. He’s nobody’s guru. He’s just one beggar telling other beggars where he found bread. If you’re hungry for God, the real God behind all the lies, you’ve come to the right place.
Thank you Matthew. We’re getting ready to end our teaching on the, on Acedia. And, uh, I’ve just, when I finish today or tomorrow probably today, when I finish today, don’t ask me questions about this ever again. I told you everything that I know about this particular subject, uh, and I’ve been quite impressed. I know more than I thought I knew about it. Once I did the research and learned so I could share it with you. I hope you found it to be helpful. And we’re talking about the final question in this series of the loss of passion, boredom with Jesus or the formal term, which is Acedia. And, um, we’re asking the question, what good is it? Now, if you’ve been listening this week and last week, we’ve seen that the loss of passion reminds us, not only that we’re not home yet. We live in a fallen world and sometimes we don’t take that very seriously. That’s why we have so many suits. If something bad happens, it’s got to be somebody’s fault. No, it doesn’t. It was God’s fault. He let this happen. It’s a fallen world, try and sue him. We’re not home yet. It’s an abandoned, fallen world. We’re not fixed yet, physically or emotionally or spiritually. It’s someday, John said that it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears, we will be like him. But Acedia reminds you, not yet. And then we saw are we, we’re not only home yet and not fixed yet. Uh, we’re not God yet. And we looked at what Paul did in that passage in First Corinthians that we’re studying. When he said, God will deliver me. He will, he gets it. He understands. You want to pray a prayer sometimes. And it ought to be a regular prayer of most Christians. God, I’m in trouble here. And this ain’t no time for boys. And sometimes Acedia is just that way. Anne Lamott said she has three kinds of prayer, God help me, right now and thank you. That works because it reflects somebody who understands they’re not God. That God is sufficient for every need. And that person goes to God and knows that he or she isn’t God. And then I’ve got one other point and then we’re finished on this subject and I’m quite bored with it. I’m kind of glad we’re, we’re here at the end of it. Finally, Acedia and loss of passion reminds us that we can’t do this by ourselves and we never will be able to do it by ourselves. Second Corinthians 1:11, you and it’s amazing, after what Paul said, Paul talks about how awful it was, how depressed he was, how he despaired of life, how he thought it was over and that God had ended his ministry. And that it had been a good run, but it was time to go to heaven kind of stuff. And then he says, after he says that God fixes it. In the 11th verse, he says
You also must help us by prayer. So that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessings, granted us through the prayers of many.
And he could have added. And he did, in other places through the help of many, through the gifts of many, through the comfort of many. Listen, I need you. And I know that some of you would rather, I just left you alone, but listen, you need me too, and some of you don’t like that, but we need each other. And God created us that way. I love the church. Uh, and God helped me, I’m not sure why, sometimes. Our producer and I were talking earlier about the church and how hard it is. And, uh, and it is sometimes, um, you know, churches, a bunch. I think it was Chuck Swindoll, who said at first, a bunch of porcupines trying to hug each other and storms. And Jeremy and I were discussing that. And he had a roommate, he said, who was in a church, and a friend, a mutual friend of their’s had gotten hurt by the church and hurt deeply. And Jeremy told me, his friend said something to that other friend that he’s never forgotten. And I haven’t either. Your problem is you were putting your eyes on the church. You’re putting your eyes on the leadership. You were putting your eyes on the priests and the pastors. You were putting your eyes on the wrong place. They’re sinners, like you. So, so don’t be surprised. Turn your eyes on Jesus and him only. But with all that being said, church can hurt you. But with that being said, church is the bride of Christ. And God created us to be a part of one another. Everybody who belongs to Jesus, belongs to everybody who belongs to Jesus. I was talking to my friend, John Armstrong this morning. We’re both old guys and we share memories and he was talking about a book he’d just read. We share books with each other. And he had read, uh, read a book, uh, by a man by the name of Peyton. He’s a Canadian and he’s reformed and a Calvinist. And he wrote a book. What Went Wrong With the Reformation? And John said, Steve, you’ve got to read this. This is a good book. And you’ll agree with it. And so I downloaded the book to my Kindle and I’m gonna start reading it this afternoon. Uh, What Went Wrong With the Reformation? I haven’t read the book, but I’m going to tell you if you’ll listen. I’ll tell you what went wrong with the reformation. People went wrong with the reformation. Uh, human beings went wrong with the reformation. Human beings went wrong with Roman Catholicism, human beings are what’s wrong with the Kiwanis Club. Human beings are what’s wrong with the Rotary Club. Human beings are what’s wrong with Key Life. Cause, that’s what it’s like. And so, and so you keep your eyes on Jesus, but you reach out for your brothers and sisters in Christ. I used to say at the seminary, some bad things about the church, because our students were getting chewed up and it was surprising. They thought they’d preached the Gospel. And revival would take place. And then they would join hands and sing Kum ba yah, around the revivalist fire. And, I would say, boys it’s not going to happen that way. And then I would tell them reasons. I even had a pastor, who went through a horrible time, come in and I gave him two hours in one of my classes to tell his story. And those young men and women were absolutely blown away with what he said. And I said, you got to remember this about the church, but you gotta remember, you can’t do without it. I told the students, when it gets really bad and I’ve said so many bad things and told so many horrible stories, and you’re thinking about leaving the seminary, lift your hand, and I’ll tell you some good things about people in the church. And things that I’ve experienced and why God has called you to such a wonderful calling to serve God’s people. One time, I’d been waxing eloquent on the, how hard it was and how little they’re going to be paid and how many sleepless nights they were going to have. And the discouragement that they were going to feel. And the first guy in it, sitting on her front row raised his hand. And I said, son, what is it? And he said, you told us to raise our hand. If you were getting so bad that we were going to leave the seminary. And I laughed and said, all right, let me tell you some good things, let me tell you about some wonderful people. Let me tell you about the times when I was hugged and I didn’t think I could go on. Let me tell you about the brothers and sisters who have stood with me when nobody else in the world would. Let me, let me tell you about the cookies that were baked to me, for me by women who knew I was going through a hard time and were in the church. Let me tell you the times when we sat around and we told war stories. And so what I did during that class is that I began to think of people that I known over all those years, that I’ve loved, that I cared about, that cared about me and forgave me things that nobody else would forgive. That’s a gift, by the way. And it’s one that God has given you. And when you’re going through a hard time, when it’s dark, when you’re bored with religion and everything, call brothers or sisters and say, can we get together? I need somebody to tell me about Jesus. You think about that. Amen.
And of course that was Steve Brown finishing up this series on the sin of Acedia, becoming bored with Jesus. But we can’t end on a down note. So Steve has been encouraging us about a few things as we conclude. We’re not home yet. We’re not fixed yet. We’re not God. And Acedia reminds us that we can’t do this by our self. Steve’s new series on Galatians kicks off tomorrow. Sure hope you’ll join us then. Well, if you’re going through Acedia, you may be frustrated. You may wonder why things are so hard. You know, we all fall short of God’s standards, even though we’re called radical obedience. You may wonder though why we struggle so much. Why do we feel guilty? Well, you probably already know the answer to that. We are weak and needy people. And so when we run to Jesus, we find the power we’re lacking on our own. Steve spoke about this in a message called When Being Bad Isn’t Bad Enough. And it’s going to encourage you in a big way. We’d like to send it to you on a CD for free, just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE, right now. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also drop an email to Steve@keylife.org and ask for the CD. By mail, send your request to
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Just ask for the free CD called When Being Bad Isn’t Bad Enough. And finally, a question, would you help Key Life financially? The cost of bringing you the show over the radio continues to go up, so any gift of any size really does help. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and 4C in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.