How To Get What You Really Want Part 2: Don't Be Deceived
On Sunday 7th January at our morning service, we continued our series 'How To Get What You Really Want' with the topic Don't Be Deceived. In this blog you will find a summary of the talk and then some questions and reflections for you to think through on your own or to discuss in your small group.
To listen to this, click here.
We are continuing our series on how to get what you Really Want.
Last time Rob talked about how we want our way, we want to do what we want to do and we want what we want NOW. But if we always get our way, we lose our way! If we get what we want NOW, we may not get what we really want LATER and can live to regret it. Lurking in the shadows of what we want is what we VALUE – the things that are really important to us, which lie behind what we say we want. We will never get what we really want until we discover what we really value. This is true for everyone.
One of the things most of us value is being physically healthy. Perhaps you value good mental health, or healthy relationships? Perhaps as a follower of Jesus you value being spiritually healthy? Perhaps you value security; financial, relational or maybe job security. Perhaps you want healthy happy children or a quiet life. Perhaps you value being loved and loving others? Perhaps you value significance. Some of these values may come into conflict.
So, what do you want, what do you value?
The question is; if that is what we value what are we doing to get what we really want?
I have tricky back and I value being pain free, but what do I do to make that happen? I have exercise plans but the truth is I get lazy and I let what I naturally want, sitting on the sofa, prevent me achieving what I ultimately want.
I want to be close to God, to hear his voice and follow Jesus. But what am I doing to get what I want?
What is it that you really want and what do you really value? What are the short term gains that get in the way?
We don’t talk much about values, but Jesus consistently pointed people to what was valuable. We will never get what we really want until we discover what we value. However choosing what is valuable is unnatural. We experience internal conflicts between what comes naturally and what is valuable. There are some really insightful things that early Christians talk about in some letters in the New Testament. They are painfully honest about the struggles that they experience. Here a man called Paul talking about his internal struggles that we can all identify with. You can read about this by clicking here.
His experience matches ours.
There is a bit of our nature that is in rebellion with God and at war with ourselves. Sometimes these are trivial decisions that we make, and regret, but at other times they have huge consequences and the potential to block what we really want. Paul is saying that what we NATURALLY want is often in conflict with what we ULTIMATELY want.
Hating what you do is a hairs breadth from hating yourself! Many of us live with this on a daily basis and need to be released from this. We might think that nature is beautiful and lovely but up close it is unforgiving, deadly, even dangerous… we have experienced that recently with the weather. Human nature is just that, natural. It can be dangerous.
Here is something else that Paul writes about in a letter to the church in Galatia. You can read this by clicking here.
This list is just a few of the things that we battle. Idolatry in our context means putting things before people. And Sorcery is about control.
They can all prevent us getting what we want.
There are other things as well… Laziness, selfishness, the list goes on.
Values in conflict also prevent us getting what we want.
Our final reading can be read by clicking here.
Death; sin kills the future. Don’t be deceived. Don’t undermine your future by opting for what is natural over what is valuable. What we NATURALLY want is often in conflict with what we ULTIMATELY want. You will never get what you really want until you discover what you really value and only discover that, when you discover what you are made for.
Jesus takes our focus off what is natural to what is valuable. Do not trade ultimate for immediate.
What drives us at EBC is the desire to reach people and make disciples. Being a disciple means following Jesus – this will make your life better and it will make you better at life. Why? Because Jesus points us to ultimate and past immediate and to values not desires. He says “Follow me” it is a daily decision.
Questions and Reflections (for you to think about on your own or to discuss in your Life Group)
1. Read Romans 7:15–19 aloud as a group.
Growing up, how was the internal battle between right and wrong explained to you? What terms did your parents use to describe that internal conflict?
2. How do you define that internal conflict now? What terms do you use as an adult?
3. Can you bring to mind examples of getting what you wanted at the cost of getting what you ultimately wanted? If not can you think of examples in others that you know or in films or TV?
4. What are some reasons it’s difficult for us to prioritize what we really want ahead of our immediate desires?
5. Read James 1:14 aloud as a group. Describe a time when you were dragged away by desire. It’s obvious what we are dragged toward, but what were you dragged away from?
6. Read James 1:15 aloud as a group. Have you ever had a dream, relationship, or opportunity die because you were dragged away by something you wanted?
What we naturally want is rarely what we ultimately want. Commit to answer these questions
1. What do I really want?
2. What’s dragging me away?
3. How long do I plan to let what I naturally want drag me away from what I ultimately want?
CHANGING YOUR MIND
Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.