Today we will focus on how to make the most of the New Year.
My title today is “How to get out of the ruts we can get stuck in”
… So we can move ahead in faith.
We won't be successful at anything if we don't get mobile.
Successful people are people of action.
Paul was a man of action.
Successful people know how to get things done.
And dreams and goals must be put into action if they are ever going to be taken care of.
Someone once said, "Even if you are on the right track, you are going to get run over if you just sit still."
*James 2:17, in your outline,* says, "Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."
Dreams not accompanied by action are also dead.
If we are going to be successful, we've got to get started.
And this is hard.
So we have to learn to be self starters.
Unfortunately there are very few self starters in life.
Do you know that if more husbands were self starters, fewer wives would be cranks?
The sad fact is, we tend to settle into ruts.
Someone else said, "Most of us live our lives the way we watch TV.
The program isn't that hot, but we are too lazy to change channels."
How do we get started on the road to success?
Life begins when we get moving.
And so today, the first step to success... How do you break out of a rut?
"What does it take to get us moving?"
That's Question A...
WHAT MOTIVATES ME TO GET MOVING?*
What gets you up and going?... to do something about your life.
There are many different things that motivate us but there are three very common ones.
/PAIN/ - The Prodigal Son*
The first is seen in the Prodigal Son.
Read passage :
Luke 15:14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.
Luke 15:15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.
Luke 15:16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
Luke 15:17 "When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!
Luke 15:18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
What made him get up and go?
The answer is not hunger.
The answer is PAIN.
Hunger pains were part of it.
But his situation got too painful for him to bear, so he got moving.
Sadly, many of us are like that too.
We have to hit rock bottom before we get moving.
Only when the pain is unbearable, do we get up and go.
Now pain is not the best motivator but it is very effective.
And because of our stubbornness, we force God to use this motivation on us more than he would like.
It's not when we see the light but when we feel the heat that we get moving.
When we get desperate.
We rarely change until we get desperate.
*That pain is often emotional pain.*
I'm tired of being depressed.
I'm tired of arguing.
I'm tired of worrying all the time.
I'm tired of feeling bad.
I'm so fed up, I'm going to do something about it.
*How true is Prov 20:30 GN,* "Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways."
When I have gone through times of pain, God has spoken to me and taught me things I could not have learned any other way.
The second motivation that gets us moving is...
We see the second motivation in the story of Elijah.
*Look at* 1 Kings 17:2-9 GN.
1 Ki 17:2 Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah:
1 Ki 17:3 "Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan.
1 Ki 17:4 You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there."
1 Ki 17:5 So he did what the LORD had told him.
He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there.
1 Ki 17:6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.
1 Ki 17:7 Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land.
1 Ki 17:8 Then the word of the LORD came to him:
1 Ki 17:9 "Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there.
I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food."
"God said,` the brook will supply you with water to drink,'... so Elijah went and stayed by Cherith Brook.
After a while the brook dried up... then the Lord said to Elijah, `NOW GET UP AND GO."
Those of you who were here for the Elijah series in the evening have vivid memories of Garry Fraser as Elijah, dressed up in his sheep skin car seat covers, sitting on the edge of Brook Cherith, the baptistry, while ravens brought him thick shakes and garlic bread.
God had sent Elijah to the Brook but it was now time to get going.
So, how was God to get Elijah to GET UP AND GO?
The brook dried up.
Now the answer to the second motivation is not thirst... but PRESSURE.
And everything was going great and Elijah was being supernaturally looked after.
He was very satisfied and very happy and very comfortable and then... *the brook dried up*.
Can't hang around long in those conditions.
Got to get up and go.
Has your brook ever dried up?
The Brook at the St George Bank or wherever?
What happened, God? Didn't you promise to take care of me.
All the bills are piling in and the brook's dried up.
Don't you love me any more?
He sure does.
He's just using pressure to get us moving.
God often uses finances to push us in a new direction... the lack of them.
Pressure motivates us to get out of a rut.
The doctor says, "Lose 20 kilos or you're going to die."