Microsoft is worth 290 billion. If you could, would you buy Microsoft for 2 million dollars? Ross Perot had that chance. In 1979, Ross Perot lead the Company named EDS [Electronic Data Systems] and passed on the opportunity to buy Microsoft when its value was around 2 million. Perot, a billionaire, said no. Today, Bill Gate’s stock is worth 7 billion, twice the value of Perot’s worth. Ross Perot said, “It’s one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made.”
Today, I want to talk about the worst deal, or trade, we could ever make. It has a devastating impact on our lives and many times we don’t even see the full impact. How do we know? After we make this trade, it leaves us with little or no passion for God. As we live life, we wonder why our passion for God gets less and less; it’s because of the trade we made. It leaves us in a tired rut in life and we struggle to get out of it. We wonder, why can’t I get out of this tired and stuck life? It goes back to the trade. It leaves us in a selfish condition, we just don’t really care about people.
To start, I want to read Genesis 3:6-10
6 When the Woman saw that the tree looked like good eating and realized what she would get out of it – she’d know everything! – she took and ate the fruit and then gave some to her husband, and he ate. 7 Immediately the two of them did “see what’s really going on” – saw themselves naked! They sewed fig leaves together as makeshift clothes for themselves.
8 When they heard the sound of GOD strolling in the garden in the evening breeze, the Man and his Wife hid in the trees of the garden, hid from GOD. 9 GOD called to the Man: “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked. And I hid.” MSG
God creates a perfect existence for Adam and Eve. No sin, no pain, no cancer. They had significance, purpose and a great relationship with God. What do they do? They made a trade. They traded God for sin. This trade devastated them. They broke their trust in God and it left them hiding in fear from God.
They thought evil offered them something better than what God could offered them. So they made the trade. The traded intimacy with God for loneliness. They traded trust in God for trust in themselves. They traded God’s presence for an empty ego. They traded an others-oriented love for an arrogant selfish love. Basically, they traded God for sin. It was a bad trade because in that trade, they lost God.
Now today, you and I have been born into a sinful world because of it. Please think about your life. Evil is always trying to get you to make the trade; the worst trade of your life. To trade God for sin. Let me explain the details of the trade we make. We have to understand what happens in the transaction. Every time sin is offered to us, and it looks better than what God offers, and we go after sin, we have to know the deal we are making.
Detail #1. We trade intimacy with God for loneliness. We have a chance to have a relationship with God but when we make the deal, we lose God. When you make that trade, it will always leave you feeling lonely and rejected as you walk through life. What do you do when you feel alone? It’s easy to become a victim and blame others for your lack of happiness. We wonder, why do is my life like this? It goes back to the trade.
Detail #2. We trade trust in God for trust in ourselves. When you make that trade, it will always leave you feeling insecure and hopeless as you walk through life. When we have no trust in God, we lose our sense of security so to find security, we try to control everything around us. That is why people try to control and manipulate everyone and everything around them. And if things don’t go their way… baa baa BOOM. Why do people live this way? They made the trade.
Detail #3. We trade God’s presence, God’s approval of us, for an empty ego. When you make that trade, it will always leave you filled with low self-esteem as you walk through life. Think about it, you had God’s love and approval, now, nothing but an empty ego. This is why you can have the inner desire to be driven and accomplish and have success and everyone must validate us. All this striving is our attempt are trying to fill an empty ego. Why do you see people striving and driving through life? They made the trade.
Real quickly, accomplishment and being driving isn’t bad. However, if we are doing it to fill an empty ego, we will never be satisfied and we will be willing to hurt others. That’s when it turns bad.
Detail #4. We trade an others-oriented love for an arrogant selfish love. When you make that trade, life becomes about you as you walk through life. That sacrificial love God gives is traded for a selfish love. We no longer have God’s love and it shows because we struggle to love others.
What do we do when life is about us? We begin to compare ourselves to others. When we believe, we are better than others, we become self-righteous. What happens when we conclude that others have it better than us? We become jealous and bitter. Do you see it? The love we are to have for others turns into us being mean and resentful.
Every time you make ‘the trade,’ you lose God and pick up sin. Then you are stuck with evil and all its damage. What happens? We walk in loneliness. We put trust in ourselves and we feel insecure or hopeless. We have an empty ego we have to fill with activity and success. We become selfish in our love. Basically, sin devastates us.
That is the point of salvation.
3 Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, 24 God did it for us. …3 God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. Romans 3:23-24, 8:3 MSG
Jesus died and was resurrected to cancel that trade.
As if the trade wasn’t bad enough, I want to talk about what is even worse. It’s when you walk through life with sin. It’s like a family pet. You name it, feed it and allow it to stay in your home. You become comfortable with it. The longer you go with unconfessed and unrepented sin, it will lead to extreme damage. It’s like allowing seeds of evil to be planted in your soul, take root, and grow into bigger things. Scripture explains it like this.
19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, 20 idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. NLT Galatians 5:19-21
I hope you see the damage unconfessed sin creates. When sin rules your life, you will pull away from God, the Bible and all truth. You will feel uncomfortable, it will be too close for you. You will become more passionate about sports or politics or money or anything else other than God and His kingdom. You lose your sensitivity about God and holiness, your heart will go cold. You look at your sin and say, “What’s the big deal?” We become much less aware of who we really are. You are unaware of the condition of your heart, your agenda, your motives inside your soul and you begin to damage yourself and those around you because you.
That’s why you need salvation. You need God to cancel that trade you made. You need God to come back into your life and destroy sin and all the evil. Scripture explains it like this.
When the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. NLT Galatians 5:22-23
It’s like God planting seeds of holiness into your soul and watching it grow into more love, more joy, more peace, etc. That’s what it means to have evil removed from your soul. God will plant holiness into your soul. Is this you? Are you noticing love growing in you? Are you more and more joyful? Are you experiencing more and more peace? That’s awesome.
Can we just ask a few real questions? Do you have a passion for God? A passion that is greater than sports, politics, or your 401k? A passion that leads you to be with God. A passion that sees that thousands of people will die and go to hell all around you. A passion to see the sacrifice Jesus made for you and you want others to experience it too. Do you have that? Chances are, you need salvation. You need God to cancel sin and evil because you can’t do it on your own.
Are you in a tired rut in life and struggle to get out? You are tired and not really happy? Let’s be honest, chances are, maybe, you have tried everything but giving your life to God. Think about it. Don’t we try everything to find life but the one thing God asks of us? A new job didn’t work. A weekend away didn’t work. More beach time didn’t work. Relaxing with wine didn’t work. Yelling at and controlling others didn’t work. Hear me, you need salvation. You need God to cancel the trade you made.
Do you care about other people? I mean care enough to give your time, money and energy to the local church to advance God’s kingdom. Or does that just bug you? Ugh, let someone else do something, I’m out. You need salvation. You made a bad deal. You need God to cancel sin and evil because you can’t do it.
Are you currently living in sin? You made the deal and you’re okay with it. And it’s been around long enough that you look at your sin and say, “What’s the big deal?” Hear me. Sin is growing in your life and it has devastated you and you don’t even know how badly yet.
Do you look at God stuff and say, “My life is miserable, I know what I need to do but I’m not going to do it.” If we were meeting privately, because I would never say this over the stage on a Sunday, I would ask you, “Why do you even go to church?” God can’t even help you if you make the trade and could care less about asking God to cancel that trade. Please see it, sin has devastated you.
7 God hasn’t invited us into a disorderly, unkempt life but into something holy and beautiful – as beautiful on the inside as the outside. 8 If you disregard this advice, you’re not offending your neighbors; you’re rejecting God, who is making you a gift of his Holy Spirit. MSG 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8
When you make the trade for sin, you lose God. When you allow the seeds of sin to stay and grow, it will devastate you. Scripture tells us, to not deal with it, is rejecting God.
If you want God to cancel the trade you made, you need to say you are sorry. Do you know how to do that? You confess you sin to God. You tell Him, “I am sorry for my sin.” It’s called confessing, admitting, repenting, all of it. You tell God, “I am sorry for [state the sin] and ask for forgiveness.”
Then you fast. You radically change your life to never enter that sin for at least 30, 60, 90 days. During that fast, you get real transparent with those you trust.
You confess, some call it repent. You fast. You get transparent. That’s called salvation. To not do this is to reject God moving in your life.
Couple of things that you might not think as a sin. First, I’m indifferent about the things of God. That’s a huge red flag. Second, I’m comfortable where I am, I don’t want to go further with God. Actually, not going further with God is rejecting God. Third, Church is about me and my comfort. Read scripture again. Church is about telling everyone about the good news of salvation.
So how do you know sin is removed? God plants holiness into your soul and the following things will grow inside you: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.