Title: Getting High (Part 1)

Focus: When we feel down in the dumps spiritually, the thing not to do is get angry and blame someone else because not only does it not help, it only makes matters worse. Neither should we simply get comfortable with being lacking spiritually because it will cause us to invest our lives into things that take us away from God rather than bring us closer.

Function: To motivate the hearers to begin exploring proper ways to grow in the spirituality

Text: Gen 16:1-5; Eccl 11:10-12:6

1.  "I don't feel in touch in God anymore, have to drag self to worship, unhappy
2.  Invested self socially and emotionally in things to try and fill void
3.  Can you relate?  That what often happen over period of time
4.  Not wrong or sinful, cannot be on emotional or spiritual high 24-7
5.  Life full of peaks and valleys.  
6.  Key to spiritual health is what you do in the valley.  What can you do?

I.  Get Angry
	A.  Most likely not your fault you are down
		1.  Someone else caused you to be down, elders, preacher, etc.
		2.  Bible says be angry and sin not
		3.  So get angry and blame others
		4.  You not the one with the problem, someone else is
	B.  Bible has several blamers, such as Adam, Eve and Job
		1.  (Gen 16:1)  God "covenanted" with Abraham to give him a son
			a.  Years went by, nothing happens, they old
			b.  No children a real slam to self-worth
			c.  So Sarai blames God, and comes up with plan
		2.  (Gen 16:2-4) - Plan backfired on Sarai
			a.  Instead of honor, she was despised
			b.  So, she decides it was wrong to blame God??
			c.  She repents of her foolish plan and lack of faith??
		3.  (Gen 16:5) - She blames Abram!
		4.  Sarah didn't learn yet
			a.  Does no good to place blame on someone else
			b.  It no one's fault they had no children .... yet
	C.  ILL:  Story of Rita and abusive father
		1.  Spent life blaming father for not being able to have relationship
		2.  Finally realized in her 40's that problem was she blaming father
		3.  Life began to change when she let it go
	D.  ILL:  Like marriage counseling - can't change others, only self
		1.  Blaming didn't help Adam, Eve, Job or Sarai, & not you
		2.  Blaming somone else will only keep you in the valley
		3.  Must be something else we can do

II.  Make the best of it
	A.  Not that bad in the valley once get used to it, forget climbing out
		1.  Warmer here, less wind, lot's of material to build a home
		2.  Nice people live in the valley
		3.  If not settle down, have nothing, but in the valley......
		4.  Don't get angry and blame others, make the best of it
			a.  Happiness and fulfillment in the valley
			b.  Those who climb out, often poor, but can do well in valley
	B.  Qohelet investigated life in the valley
		1.  (Eccl 1:2) - Vanity of vanities, or meaningless
			a.  Heb:  Hebel - "breath or vapor" - no substance
			b.  Lifetime of acheivements, find it all amounts to nothing
			c.  Nothing in the valley (under the sun) amounts to anything
		2.  What?
			a. Building good life in the valley is nothing?
			b.  Saving up to increase self worth is nothing?
			c.  Work long hours to get better life is nothing?
			d.  After lifetime, Qohelet realizes it meaningless!
		3.  (Eccl 11:10 - 12:1) Remember God while young
			a.  (Eccl 12:2-4) - By time he realize, his body wearing down
			b.  (Eccl 12:5) - Caperberry and aphrodziac
			c.  (Eccl 12:6-8) - Wasted best years of his life
				- Wasted?  On what?  Himself!  What?
				- Had it all, yet had nothing
		4.  Settling down in the valley is a dead end
			a.  Don't get comfortable and invest yourself there
			b.  Satan will do everything to make it look attractive
	C.  ILL:  Story of Satan's worldwide convention
		1.  Keep them from forming close relationships with God
		2.  Keep them so busy, they spend and borrow, and exhausted
		3.  Work long hours to support lifestyle
		4.  Demons went to work, Christians became busy, busy, busy
	D.  Satan entice you to want to stay in the valley
		1.  He make you want to invest self into what valley has to offer
		2.  But valley has nothing to offer you

III.  If in the valley now, don't fret, it is not a sin
	A.  Even Jesus spent time in the valley
		1.  What did he do?  
		2.  This is next weeks lesson
	B.  But for now, notice what he did NOT do
		1.  He did NOT blame others, and he had every right to
			a.  At his lowest on the cross
			b.  Who was at fault?  But he didn't lay blame
			c.  Instead, he prayed - Father forgive them
		2.  Second, he didn't get comfortable in the valley
			a.  Grew up as carpenter
			b.  Could have made a nice life with Sephoris nearby
			c.  Never settled down
				- Did not invest self time, emotion, effort to carpentry
				- Never built his "net worth"
				- Did he over own his own home?
	C.  He did not stay in the valley, and God lifted him up
		1.  Sits at God's right hand
		2.  Rev 22:5 says we will reign with Him forever
		3.  Don't know what that mean exactly - But I do know it mean he 
		     will lift you up out of the valley

1.  Where are you at with God right now?
2.  If like me, you have been in the valley - I'm tired of being there
	a.  Don't blame others for being in the valley
	b.  Don't get comfortable in the valley either
3.  Instead, do something ---  PRAY
4.  Invitation