Rules vs Relationship
As men, we are led by rules so we lead by rules
- Sports, military, work
Men lead others as they are led (rules not relationships)
=Results: win at sports & work but lose at marriage, parenting, friendship
Personal vs Professional relationships
- God is Father, you are son (personal)
- Father leads you in relationship (personal)
- Father wants you to lead others in personal relationships
Understanding the Heart and the Spirit
Romans 2:29 a matter of the heart, by the Spirit
- He is God, in relationship w/the Trinity
- He was in relationship with Jesus constantly
- He brings us the power of Jesus to grow in Christ-like Character
- He is your Helper
- He wrote the Scriptures, meets with you when you read, convicts you of sin, changes your mind, and gives you a new heart
Ezekiel 36:26–28 I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules…you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
· 900+ X Bible – Emotional center (what we feel, why we feel it)
[ESV] Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
[NIV] Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
[NLT] Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
- Cause/heart – Effect/behavior
- Heart is upstream – behavior is downstream
- Behavior change starts inward, not outward
- Relational health starts inward, not outward
- God works 1). For you 2). In you 3). Through you
God Searches and Changes Hearts
Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
- Bad heart bad behavior
- Bad heart good behavior
- Good heart bad behavior
- Good heart good behavior
= Toward God? Toward spouse? Toward child? Toward parent? Toward friend?
Hard or soft? Angry or joyful? Broken or healed? Weary or refreshed?
Anxious or peaceful? Bitter or forgiving?
Amy Carmichael – cup analogy, kids bump us & we bump them
- Has your faith been more about rules from God as Boss or relationship with God as Father?
- Have your personal relationships been more about the rules or the relationship?
- If you had to pick one word to explain your heart today, what would it be?
- Who do you need to focus more on the relationship with than the rules?
- How can we pray for you?