STUCK IN THE MUD
I. Stuck in the Past
D. Wrong choices
II. Illustration: I’ve always heard that pigs loved to wallow in mud and even
in their own feces. I’ve learned that this is a myth. Sometimes, when I’m traveling, I see pigs rolling around
in the mud. Though my perception of pigs were that mud was their primary playground, I learned that they rolled in mud because
of the need to stay cool. Pigs don’t have sweat glands, and are prone to hyperthermia. Pigs, then have a need to stay
in the mud, but we as humans do not need to be stuck in the mud.
Have you ever been stuck in the mud? I was getting
ready to go to work and I accidentally, of course, backed my car into a puddle of mud. The more I tried to get out of the
mud, the deeper I found myself embedded in it. I was frustrated, to say the least. I couldn’t go forward, and I certainly
couldn’t go backwards. I was stuck. It was embarrassing to have to admit defeat, but if I wanted to get out of the mud,
I knew I must seek help. I couldn’t move my automobile by myself. Finally, after hours of trying, I had to call a tow
truck to literally pull my car out of the mud. We, too, like I did, must have help to move forward.
III. How to move
Introduction: Probably, each of us can relate to the fact that at one time or another we have been stuck
in the mud. Every time we tried to move forward, like quicksand, we would find ourselves in the same place…sinking deeper
and deeper. No matter how we tried to encourage ourselves, nothing seemed to help. I know, because I have been there. I know
how it feels to be stuck in the mud.
Our study today, prayerfully, will encourage you and help you to move forward
in your walk with Christ, in your personal life, your job, your marriage and your relationships. The question is: How do we
annihilate this cycle of staying in the mud, of remaining in the past? What can we do to go forward to a more successful life,
a more fulfilling life in Christ? It is difficult to be successful when we are in the mud. It is hard and almost impossible
to have a meaningful relationship, a good marriage when we are stuck in the mud. It is not easy to have an intimate, a loving
relationship with Christ when our hearts and mind remain in the past.
The first thing we want to address is: Stuck in
I. Stuck in the Past. Let’s go to Gen. 19:23-26. When you find it, shout Amen! Let’s read: “The
sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar. (24) Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire
from the Lord out of heaven; (25) and he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities,
and that which grew upon the ground. (26) But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”
can see from this passage that Lot’s wife was stuck in the mud, stuck in her past. She had a wonderful life as far as
the world goes. Materialistically, she was astute, she was wealthy. I believe she was probably a social butterfly, and very
prestigious. Listen: Her husband, Lot, too was hesitant about leaving such a prosperous life.
Look at Gen. 19:16.
It reads: “And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand
of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.”
Lot had become so accustomed to his lifestyle that he didn’t want to leave it. He didn’t want to abandon the wealth
and comfort he was accustomed to. The Bible says, “he lingered.“ In other words, he hesitated. He pondered. He
didn’t know whether to go or to stay. His hesitation means that he wanted to remain in the past. What about you? Before
we become high and mighty, and judgmental about Lot, what would you do? Are you willing to leave your comfort zone, your stuff,
your things and follow Christ?
Go to Matt. 19:29. When you have it, say Amen! Read:
“And every one that
hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake,
shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” (Matthew 19:29)
What will you choose? Hold
on to stuff? Hold on to your past? Stay in the mud? Or will you let go, and follow Christ?
Back to our text. Let’s
go back to Mrs. Lot. Mrs. Lot was stuck in the mud. She didn’t want to let go of her past. Her decision, her choice
was to hold on to her sin, to her lifestyle. Apparently, she wasn’t ready to let go. When you hold on to your sin, to
your past, you cannot go forward with God. You must leave your old life, your old hurts, your old pain. Let’s go to
Matthew 6:24. It reads: “No man can serve two masters.” Where is your love? Either you will serve Christ….or
your master will be Satan. You can’t serve two.
Stuck In Your Childhood:
When I was studying and preparing
this sermon, many things came to my mind as to how a person can be stuck in the mud. One of them can be unresolved childhood
memories. It could be things that happened in our childhood that caused us hurt and pain. When you have unresolved childhood
memories, it is difficult to go forward. You keep rehashing the hurt that was inflicted upon you. Unresolved memories will
cause relationship problems, and hinder your relationship with God. When you make the decision to let go, Satan brings it
up again, and you relive it over and over.
The next way you can be stuck in the mud is because of addictions, drugs,
alcohol, pornography, even lust. No matter how hard you try to stop, but you can’t quit. You’re stuck in the mud.
made mistakes and wrong choices in your life, and you feel defeated and depressed. Your mistakes have left you feeling empty
and devastated. You feel like you are nothing, a nobody, and you have given up. You are stuck in the mud.
have to remain in the mud! There is help! Psalm 121: 1 says, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh
my help. (Psalm 121:1)Verse 2 says, “My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.”
have suffered pain and hurt, listen: You can go forward! God can heal your pain, whether its emotional or physical, you can
be healed. I want you to sit down and write a letter to the one who hurt you, to the one who caused your pain. Listen: Don’t
mail it, but go to a quiet place where you can pray over it. Give it to Jesus! He hung, bled, and died on the Cross for you
and me. Everything was nailed to the Cross! All our hurts, our pain, our unresolved memories, Everything! We don’t have
to allow our hurts, our wrong choices, our addictions, our mistakes to keep us down! There is help! If you need a counselor
to aid you in your healing process, please go. Don’t worry what others may think. You want to go forward, to be delivered
from your past. That’s important.
Conclusion: Remember: You don’t have to remain one moment longer in
the mud. God has already paved the way for you and me to be delivered and to be set free. He sent His Son to die on the Cross
for you and me. Listen: Sometimes we suffer consequences for bad decisions and wrong choices. But we don’t have to muddle
in it. We must be willing to repent and confess our wrongs. There is restoration beyond our pain, our hurt and God can take
the rubble of our lives and take us from the mud to a better and loving relationship with Him.