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TRANSCRIPTION | Sunday, February 27, 2022 | Meaningful Connections Series | Check Your Blind Spot

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I've had the privilege of sharing from a message series entitled Meaningful Connections I get to share again today in that vein. We've been looking at the life of Samson. We've been learning some things we can do right. We've been learning some things to avoid. And today I just want to revisit that. And we're going to drop an anchor in Matthew Chapter 22. We're going to look at verse 37, and that'll help us to kind of find a foundation to work for. It's a work from this morning for this particular message.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Right before I read that text, though, I need to remind you of a story that I shared a few weeks ago shared with you recently that my my daughter is beginning to learn how to drive, and she's not really excited about the fact that I am telling the story today more than I'm bringing it up again. But it preaches real good. So I am, I'm exercising executive privileges in the house. But I drive an older truck. It's a 2013 Chevy Avalanche. It's loaded with miles and just kind of always like that. That model of truck and I have around two or three of them, and I've just had a hard time letting go of that one. And so Natalie, while she was going through this phase of having to drive with a parent or an adult in the seat with her, she's led me to the Lord several times. Me and Jesus are real close right now. But in one particular instance, she was rearranging the vehicles in the driveway in her house, and she was in my truck and and she she was backing it up and she she hit a telephone pole.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

That was it didn't go over real well. In fact, when I went out to have a conversation with her about it, it was a quite loud conversation and I did most of the talking. What really took me to the next level is when she told me, Dad, it didn't beat.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And I had several things to say about these new fangled vehicles that are made for people who don't know how to drive and are idiot proof. But that's another story for us. But as we were talking through it and what we discovered is in Natalie, she's a little girl, she's petite and she's in this larger truck. And the truth of it was she just had a blind spot. And the reason that she had a wreck is because she couldn't see. She didn't recognize that there was damage about to happen because of the blind spot.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Just look over somebody and tell them, Check your blind spot, check your blind spot. So a week ago, Natalie got her driver's license and she she got her a little vehicle. And Natalie has saved up for years, sometimes working two or three jobs for a specific thing that she wanted when she was able to start driving. And and so on top of that, she she talked to grandpa and got him to loan her the rest. And. And so I got concerned the other night, I got to thinking maybe we've not checked the blind spots in this vehicle.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And so I took it for a drive and I discovered that it doesn't have one. It doesn't have to, but it has three or more a really significant blind spots. And so I have been lecturing her now. Every time I get the chance about blind spots, just look over someone and tell them, Check your blind spots.

Matthew Chapter 22 verse 37 Jesus said, You shall love the Lord, your god with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind. This is the first and the greatest commandment. We're going to talk about it today.  Check your blind spots, father. Help me to preach. Help me to teach. Help me to share your word, give me an unction and only heaven can bring a thank you father in Jesus name. This church said. Amen. I've made the discovery that most of us don't have. A lot of familiarity with the book of judges. It's an Old Testament book, but it's not a book when you're getting ready for some private devotional time that we feel overly drawn to, to begin to lean into it and study it and read from it.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

But the book of judges actually has a lot to offer a believer. And one of the things that it points out to us is that there is a nation that is in this repetitive cycle of. Being close to God and then being far away from God. And the reason that it's called the book of judges is because it is actually about a group of judges that led the Nation of Israel. It was never the desire of God that that Israel would have a king. Instead, it was his plan that they would have judges and these judges had a specific assignment. They were supposed to help the people to be able to make righteous decisions, and that if they made an unrighteous decision, they were supposed to come to the understanding of the consequence associated with that through the oversight of these judges.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

These judges were in governing authority over the religious system and over the political system. Samson was one of these judges. That's interesting because he arrives at a time when the nation of Israel has been in in just perverse lifestyles collectively for over 40 years.And God gives Samson to his parents as a means to bring deliverance to the people of Israel from the bondage that they've experienced as a result of these bad lifestyle. Detroit's choices. When Sampson becomes a judge, though, he really doesn't bring any kind of significant change because what we discover is that he was a judge with no judgment. In fact, he was a man that became very quickly known for a lack of wisdom and for foolish decisions, and it becomes very difficult, even though he was the strongest man to perhaps ever live. And despite the fact that he was an incredible warrior and he was an incredible soldier and even sat as a judge for 20 years, it becomes very hard to see him as a hero. Because of all the foolishness that was associated with his decisions. So I wonder, how is it that a man? That is given the highest ranking position in all of his land, a position that is recognized for good and sound judgment.

 

How is it that his life could end up in defeat and in ashes? With bad decision after bad decision, I think it is because he never came to understand the words that Jesus would define for us as What is the greatest commandment?

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Matthew 22, verse 37 Jesus said to them, You shall love the Lord, your god with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind. This is the first and the greatest commandment. I want you to notice the terminology. Jesus is saying that if you were going to have a meaningful connection with God, you're going to have to get the first commandment straight and the first commandment is that God gets all of your heart, not a portion of your heart, not half of your heart, but all of your heart.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And so it leads me to a self evaluating question for all of us this morning, like if we were to try to measure how much of our heart does God actually own, what would be our response? Does God own a portion of your heart? Does God own half of your heart? Or does God own all of your heart? Because what we seem to find out in the full context and counsel of scripture is that God is either all in or he's not in at all.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And the thing that we see with Samson is that over and over again in his life, he does have a handful of moments where that he is willing to invite God into a situation because he needs the power of heaven. But he's never really willing to fully surrender and submit his heart in life to God collectively. This sounds like a lot of us. How do we really want God to show up when we need him? But we're a little more hesitant to actually fully surrender to God in an all in capacity, for instance.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

This is actually crept into modern Christianity where that when we are presenting the gospel, we tend to encourage people to invite Jesus into your heart. And I don't even know that that's theologically or doctrinally bad as much as it causes confusion in people's lives because God is not looking to come into your life and casually rearrange the furniture. God wants your heart and soul more than just inviting Jesus into your heart. What God is saying, will you give me your heart and with your heart, your mind and with your mind, your life? Will you go all in with me?

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

That's what Jesus wants. But what we would prefer is that Jesus would just be invited in and we'd get to keep this, and we do get to keep that. And it wouldn't require rearrangement of our ambition or our agenda. But God says, when I come in, I bring regeneration. I turn you into a new creature. All things pass away. Then everything becomes new again. And so what God is saying is, will you give me your heart? And what we see with Samson is he was willing to say, Hey, God, I'll invite you in to get me out of this mess. But he never reaches that place of meaningfulness or that he fully gives God his heart. And so when I look. At the reason God wants our heart. It's Matthew, 20 to 37, the first and greatest commandment is that you would love the Lord, your god with all your heart.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Why does God want all of your heart? Yeah. Well, what is believed to be the wisest man that ever lived outside of Jesus Christ, his name is Solomon. There's a book called Proverbs. It is a collection of his wise sayings. He made this statement regarding the human heart. Proverbs Chapter four is 23. Keep your heart with all diligence for out of it, spring the issues of life. Another translation of that same verse says, guard your heart above all else for it determines the course of your life.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

So depending on which way you would like to interpret that verse, we come to an immediate conclusion that it's important to give God all of our heart because from our heart come the rest of the issues that we have in life. And ultimately, the course that we take is determined by our heart. And so God is saying is that if you will let me in on the front end of your life, it will directly affect the back end of your life.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

What God is saying is that if you will allow me to have your life, then you're going to discover that your issues are not going to be near as prominent or near as severe because you let him have all of your heart. And that's where the issues come from. What he's saying to you is that if you will give him all your heart, then you're going to find yourself on a better path with a better direction, taking a better course that's less dark and a lot more filled with life, all because you put God on the front end.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

With ownership to your heart. So I ask you how much of your heart does God own? Is it a portion? Is it half? Does he own it on Sunday? But not Monday. Friday. Night. Set. Well, we have I'm sorry. It's just it just slipped off. Here's what Timothy Keller says. He makes this statement in regards to commentary on Proverbs Chapter four verse 23. He says what the heart trust the mind justifies the emotions desire and the will carries out.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Everything follows the heart. It's profound, and it's worth saying again that what the heart trusts the mind will eventually justify and what the man justifies, the emotions will eventually desire and what your emotions desire, your willpower will eventually carry out because everything flows from the heart.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

What you see with Samson is that he was never willing to allow God to conquer his heart. So why is it that Samson struggled so much with judgment because he never allowed God to take ownership of his heart?

 

My wife and I, we were talking about this message on the drive over and she's heard me preach it twice already this morning and she was sharing with me. She said, Eric, you know, actually, while I was reading through this passage, just preparing for this Sunday's message, thinking about where we might go in the words, she said this stuck out to me. And she showed me that in judges, chapter 15 and 16, where we're Samson is battling with Delilah and you see these bad decisions beginning to unfold. The one of the things that the Delilah says to him is Samson, basically, if I could use it in layman's terms, why won't you give me your heart? What it says to us is that as much as God is after your heart, the enemy is after your heart. Here's what we see about Samson.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Scripture gives us three relationships that he has romantically OK. The first one is with the woman in a city known as Timnit. He goes down there and he sees her and he becomes infatuated with her, and he becomes attracted to her. And he comes back and he tells his parents that he is going to marry this woman. And they say, you do not need to marry that woman. She does not share your faith. She does not share your convictions. And this is going to end bad. But he convinces them that he's got some wild idea of God's plan for his life in the way that he's going to work this for his good, despite the fact that God's already spoken on the situation.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And he goes down and he gets engaged to this woman. And while they're going through the engagement leading to the wedding ceremony, she betrays him. He gets really upset, really mad and leaves. Now, I understand he's been betrayed by a woman his parents told him to never mess with, to start with. And he's mad about it, as if he hasn't already been told this is going to happen. So he stays gone a while, nearly gets eaten by a lion somewhere in the Middle East process. Scripture literally says a lion surprised him and tried to devour him, and only because God build him out did he survive that.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

But now he's going back, and when he goes back, he finds out that she's run off with another guy and her family has endorsed it. Now he's really mad. He kills 30 men and his parents are probably at home sitting there. We told you not to get in that relationship to start with. And now not only are you someone that's struggling with attraction and lust in your life, but now you're you're murdering innocent people. Because of the fits of rage that are associated with this bad relationship.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

So what does he do next? A man who has the highest ranking position in the nation of Israel? A man who is known to be the greatest warrior in probably the known world at the time goes to see a prostitute.

 

So now he is having to compensate someone to meet his needs. Because what Samsung wants Samsung gets and he doesn't care what it cost him, attraction will have that effect on you. You know, they've now proven in medical science that the same part of your brain that is lit up by a substance.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

That becomes addictive. Is the exact same part of the brain that is lit up. When you become romantically involved with someone that you are attracted to, especially in sexual scenarios. And the reason that we struggle so much with attraction and it causes us to make decisions that have bad judgment associated with them, and it causes us to be in scenarios that we should never be in to start with is because it is literally similar to addiction, and the enemy doesn't want you to give God your heart at the front end because he fully intends to steal, to kill and to destroy, especially if he learns how to live in your blind spots.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Because Samson, it's one thing that he messed up with this lady at Timnath, and it's another thing that he went down to gays and got in bed with a harlot. But it's a whole other story that right after that, God bails him out and he goes to a valley and he hangs out with a woman named Delilah

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And the first names out of her mouth is, I really need your heart, baby. I just need to know about your heart, baby. Baby, I got your heart. They don't have your heart because you're not talking to me straight.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

You know, you know, telling me the things that I need to hear in order for me to know that I got your heart. If he because his mom and dad is over there praying somewhere, I don't know. But she's not going to quit, she's not going to stop and you when you read the story, you don't have to be a theologian or a scholar to figure out she's bad news. I think he probably ought not go back there anymore. But he keeps going back, why? Because I told you a couple of weeks ago, lust will make you stupid. It'll make you stupid an attraction when it kicks in that addictive behavior in your brain. It's why pornography is so difficult to get loose from because it lights up the addictive portions of your brain. Then you find yourself going from browser to browser and from app to app.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And when you can't find it one way you try to find it another way because something in you is dealing with attraction. Something in you is wrestling with I without warning and I want it now and I deserve it.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And what the enemy is really trying to do is to mess up your brain so that when you find yourself in that situation later on in life where you're finally married and you're supposed to be stepping into something meaningful, you have no concept of what meaningful actually is because you are so engrossed with the images of the world. That the whole time the enemy was just trying to steal your future through the blind spot, you thought it was just to create a feeling. You thought it was just to feed a craving. But the truth of it was the enemy was living in the blind spot.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Sure, that when you got married and your spouse didn't measure up to your expectations, you were now going to be able to see all of these things that were ruthless and mean and hateful and bring disconnect to the meaning because you brought the baggage. Yeah. So it's not mean to condemn or to to ridicule or to make you feel nasty or ugly, it's to bring us all to the reality that we have blind spots and we all have blind spots and we've all got wrecked at some point because we didn't see it coming any other way.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

So I got in Natalie's little vehicle the day. first of all, I felt like I had given up a ton of masculinity in order to get in it. But once I began to drive it, I noticed like when you turn to the right, there's a horrible blind spot like you cannot see anything to the right when you're

turning, especially at a high rate of speed. And and at the same time, if you're in like a parkway or you're trying to go up to the other lane, you have to turn completely around because of these blind spots. And so I come back home when I'm explaining Natalie, like, you're not going to be able to drive that car in a comfortable way, but you're not going be able to just lean back and just get settled in and just enjoy the ride.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Like if you're turning right, you are going to have to reposition yourself. You're going to have to put your head in an uncomfortable position. You were going to have to make sure that there is nothing in the blind spot.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Furthermore, if you're driving down the parkway, there's death coming at you. At 80, 90 or 100 miles an hour, you have got to look behind you. You're going to have to literally turn yourself physically around and make sure that nothing is in the blindspot you, your neighbor, check the blind spot. See, the thing that happened with Samson is that he never understood that your heart can have a blind spot. But the way that Jeremiah brings out this truth is that Jeremiah says in Chapter 17, verse nine, the human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and it is desperately wicked who really knows how bad it is. You and me, like we can have stuff in our heart that we don't even want to acknowledge or admit, is there? There are things that can hide in our blind spots, blind spots for four Sampson, it was a lady named a lady who is a Timnath and then it's a prostitute at Gazar. And then it's Delilah down in the valley. Well, what? What are your blind spots? Or my blind spots? Because we all got them. Jeremiah made in an inclusive statement. The DA can't nobody tell what's really going on in a man's heart?

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

But that you'd better explore it. Because from it comes every issue in life. From it comes every course in every direction that you and I take. Still, you need to check your blind spots. I'm going to give you two blind spots you can check. And it'll tell you a lot about what's going on in your heart. Super simple. Might make you uncomfortable. No one way to check your blind spot. Ask yourself, what am I saying? What am I saying? It is the equivalent to driving the vehicle of your life and acknowledging that there is a blind spot and you are looking to make sure there is nothing that's going to cause a wreck there? Here's the statement by Jesus Luke Chapter six Verse 45, a good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. four out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Your mouth? We'll always tell on your heart and out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Are you becoming increasingly comfortable with profane conversation? Are you becoming increasingly comfortable with things that would be considered questionable? Or dark? Or negative or cynical or pessimistic? Do your lips drip with death? Because out of the abundance of the. Heart. The mouth. Speaks so if you want to check your blind spot, begin to evaluate, how are you talking?

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

What are you saying, especially in atmospheres, in environments where you are comfortable? You want to check one more blind spot? You may have to kind of bend over and kind of look out the side on this one. Here's a second way to check your blind spot.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

To whom am I giving? To whom am I giving Jesus, put it this way when it comes to your heart? Matthew six, 20 14 where your treasure is your heart is also. I've been reading this story from Samson front to back. I have lost count of how many times I've read it just through hunger to learn more about it. And I discovered something yesterday that I have never seen. We talked previously about the fact you can't find a place beyond two examples where he prayed.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And both of those instances, it seems like it's very self-motivated. At least the former, if not the latter. But from the front of his life to the back of his life, you cannot find a single time where Simpson ever gave anything to God. Not a single time. God gave him this gift, God gave him this power, God gave him this position, and Sampson's response was to never offer a single biblically recorded sacrifice or offering in his entire lifetime. It tells us God didn't have his heart, because if you go through Judge's Chapter 14 alone, you will find six to eight references to things he was saying that were not right biblically. So if he had checked his blind spot, his tongue was telling on his heart.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

But beyond that, if he would have just looked at his life, the only time he ever gave a gift to anyone was when he was trying to get back in bed with his ex-fiancee. The only time. So if you're wondering, does God have all of my heart? Those are just two quick checks of the blind spot. Or you can just look and say, OK, what's coming out of my mouth, OK? How am I responding to living a generous life towards God? And it's not just about being generous in general, because it's awesome that you would lay up an inheritance for your children, it's awesome that you would speak the love language of gift giving. That's my love language. If I love you, I'll give you a gift. But it means that it starts with God, is God at the forefront? Is he at the forefront of my verbiage in my language?

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Is he at the forefront of my conversations? Is he at the forefront of my gift giving? Is he at the forefront of my generous lifestyle? Is it because that's how we find out if we got blind spots? And I don't know about you, but I feel like we're all on the same page. We don't want rock this thing. We don't want to wind up turning over on the side of the road with this thing written Bean born with the wreckage. Just look over somebody's tone. Check your blind spot in the number one thing that God wants you to give him.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Is your heart? That's the number one thing, because if you'll give him your heart. All the rest of it's going to fall into place. The words are going to find the right verbiage and the acts of generosity are going to find the right cheerfulness and the right destination. It just starts with will you give him your heart? Samson. Was on the last day of his life before he made that decision. And God still accepted it. Don't wait. To the last day of your life. To finally say, OK, God. You can have all. The amazing thing. The Bible says. Samson did more for God on the last day he was alive than all the rest of his life put together. You want to know why? There was nothing to measure it against.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

It ain't hard to do more on your last day than all the rest if you've never done anything with the others. So how about today's the day? How about today's the day? Oh, you say God, you can have it all. You know it all. You can have it all got. I'm not measuring it anymore, I'm not dividing it up, I'm not setting boundaries, you can have it all. They're going to play some music and as they play some music, I want every head bowed, I want every eye closed.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I want you to think, not just about inviting God into your life. That's awesome. Praise God for it. I'm talking about today's a day where we evaluate Will I give God my heart? Because God wants to bring amazing grace to your life. Doing that, you would leave this place singing how once was blind. But now I see. Ezekiel said it this way. He said that God will give you a new heart. That's what God wants to give you today is a new heart. But I'm reminded of the prayer that David taught us to pray. Because in the life of David. If we were to look at his two blind spots. What's coming out of his mouth is the book of Psalms. It's the largest book in the entire Bible.


 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

And it's all the stuff that David had to say about God and God, said, David is a man after my own heart. Why his heart was telling on him he couldn't find enough songs to write about God and sing towards God and to offer towards heaven in regards to worship. But as well, some commentators say that the life of David could be described as a trail of smoke, meaning that every progressive step he took with God was followed by sacrifice in the rearview mirror. He kept giving and giving and giving.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

So a man who is described by God himself as being a man after heaven's heart is a man who exemplifies a heart that overflows with praise for God. And a lifestyle of giving. And it starts for you and me with the number one thing that can ever come out of our mouth is Jesus, I give you my heart. It's the best thing you and I'll ever say and mean it from the bottom of our heart. Jesus, I give you my heart. And that's directly connected to the thing he wants you to give. Your heart? If that resonates with you and you would say today, I need a clean heart.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

It's something David taught us to pray, and Psalm, 51, of God, give me a clean heart. If that resonates with you, would you just let your hand to heaven this morning, just say God, I need a clean heart.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

I need a pure heart. I need to be. Born again, Jesus. I need you to take all of it, God. In your own way, begin to confess and begin to confess impurity, begin to confess, confess failure in places where you just messed up and it didn't go right and even at your best intentions it.

 

Pastor Eric Gilbert

Led to the wrong decision, pour it all out. Don't hold anything back. And in the process, Colleen, the name of Jesus. See, the Cross of Calvary is to the access point. To get Greece through the blood of Jesus. To really see that clean heart.

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