Years ago, while pastoring a church in Illinois, I offered my help with a local pig farmer.  I can tell you, that the smell of a pig barn is awful.  But by the end of the day, the barn didn’t smell as badly.  So after a long day, I was walking into the house when suddenly I heard my wife exclaim, “Don’t you take one step into this house!”  I didn’t tell her I was coming home, but that was not necessary because she could smell me from outside the house.  Needless to say, those clothes were thrown away on that day.

We have been looking at the barriers that stand between us and God.  The sin itself is absolutely the issue.  It can be like stinky clothes that we get use to the smell over time.  But the Bible doesn’t just give us a list of do’s and don’ts.  But it points us to how we can take off the stinky sinful clothes, it and instead tells us to put on “the clothes of righteousness.” ()

Let’s review some of the attitudes we have discussed that get in the way of our relationship with God.

Attitude of Presumption – We presume that God’s grace will forgive, and so why worry about doing wrong.  “I will continue to sin, because God will forgive me anyways.”  Imagine if children did this with parents.  To intentionally do something knowing that the parent will accept the child as theirs.  But our relationship should lead us to want to say “No” to sin because of our love toward our Heavenly Father.

Attitude of Secrecy – If no one sees, if no one is aware, then it is OK.  But this can lead us to think that God is misguided.  It isn’t hurting anyone, right?   reminds us that God sees everything, even that which is in our secrecy.  The other part of this is that sometimes people hide away the hurt and regret from other people, and think that it will be OK.  But by locking away those wounds away, it will result in a barrier in the same way.

The last attitude we are looking at is the…

Attitude of Defeat

This is where we have experienced constant apparent failures in life, and we then begin to blame God.  But this is the ultimate lie of the enemy who will get you to believe that God doesn’t care about you, and that you are destined to fail because of Him.  But , we are reminded that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.  But this assumes hardship to which we need strength to overcome.  But the accuser will try to get you to doubt God, and wants you to live outside that relationship.

Everything is grounded on the truth of God’s truth.  But the accuser will up his game on pointing out the failures of God’s people.  That they are not worthy.  But God rebukes that message, and points to the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.  And even when I fail, God does not fail.  He is faithful even when we are not.

It is difficult to understand God’s forgiveness.  Its difficult to see how we can be forgiven knowing the sin against Him.  It takes us living in His word, and living a prayerful life.  We started this conversation by understanding prayer life.  We must be in communication with the Father because we are not an island.  We are connected to Him.  It is hard because we have to let go of what we think is ours and give it to Him.  It means to become vulnerable.  But we have to listen to the voice of God, because if we don’t we will start listening to the word of the accuser.

Can we do that?  Can we take God at His word?

10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord;
my soul shall exult in my God,
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. (ESV)

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (ESV)

13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (ESV)

4:1 Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.

I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

14 Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. 15 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. 16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. 18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. 22 All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household.

23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. (ESV)

10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. (ESV)