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2 Samuel 5:1-4

BREAKING THROUGH YOUR GLASS CEILING

Intro: When people in the business world use the term "The glass ceiling", they are referring to an invisible barrier that prevents them from attaining the success they see others around them achieving. For years, women and minorities in the business world have complained about "the glass ceiling", rightly so in many cases!

Today, I want to talk to you about your "glass ceilings". As we enter this brand new year, we have the opportunity to do more and be more for the Lord than we were in 2002. But, if that is to happen, we are going to have to face the fact that there are some "glass ceilings" in our lives that must be shattered before we can grow as we should.

In these verses, we read about David at the very pinnacle of his success. He has weathered many storms and he has broken through his "glass ceilings". The only reason he has arrived at this juncture in his life is because he fought the right battles and won the right victories. I want to help each of us to achieve all the success we can as we go into this new year. If that is going to happen, then we are going have to learn the truth about the "glass ceilings" in life and how they can be broken forever.

To do this, we are going to have to look backward into the life of David. We are going to identify the obstacles he faced in life and how he overcame them by the grace of God. I want to preach for a few minutes on this thought "Breaking Through Your Glass Ceilings".



I. THE EXISTENCE OF GLASS CEILINGS

MUST BE ACCEPTED

(Everyone hits the glass ceiling)

A. In our text, there are two primary characters mentioned: Saul and David. It is interesting to note that both of these men faced "glass ceilings" in their lives. I will point out what they were in a few minutes.

B. For now, I want us to be aware of the fact that "glass ceilings" are a reality in every one of our lives. I challenge you to look at all the great men and women of the Bible and find me one that did not have some kind of baggage hanging around his or her neck! Even the Lord Jesus Christ had His Own "glass ceilings". Many thought he was the bastard son of a Roman soldier. He was from Galilee, a place from which none thought a prophet could arise, John 7:52.

C. The fact of the matter is this: every person in this room has problems in their lives that would hinder their walk with and service for God. The first step in overcoming them is admitting they exist. Why does it seem so hard for us to admit that we are not perfect? Why do we want to pretend that all is well, when in fact, there are many areas in our lives that hinder us and cause us to stumble? Our "glass ceilings" will never be broken until we first accept the fact that they exist!

II. THE ESSENCE OF GLASS CEILINGS

MUST BE ACKNOWLEDGED

(Glass ceilings must be identified)

A. Again, using the lives of Saul and David, I want to point out the various "glass ceilings" they each faced. Let's look at Saul first.

Saul's Glass Ceilings

1. Fear - When they would anoint him as king, he was hiding - 1 Sam. 10:22.

2. Impatience - He offered an illegal sacrifice when he should have patiently waited on Samuel - 1 Sam. 13:7-14.

3. Denial - Because he offered this illegal sacrifice, God judged him and removed the kingdom from him, but he continued to live as though everything were still all right - 1 Sam. 13:15.

4. Impulsiveness - A rash command almost cost the life of Sauls own son Jonathon - 1 Sam. 14:24-46.

5. Deceit - Saul offered his daughter Michal to David as a wife, but first required the foreskins of 100 Philistines. Saul did this with the hope that David would die trying to get them - 1 Sam. 18:17-27.

6. Jealousy - Saul was continually jealous of the success of David - 1 Sam. 18:6-9.

7. Anger - Saul repeatedly tried to kill David - 1 Sam. 19:10-12.

Saul as never able to break through his "glass ceilings", and he paid the ultimate price for that. He was totally ineffective as a king and he was destroyed in the end.

David's Glass Ceilings

1. His Family - David's family seems to always be standing in his way. When Samuel came to anoint David as king, they didn't even call David, Sam. 16:1-13. When he voiced his desire to defeat Goliath, his brother Eliab criticized him before all the soldiers of Israel - 1 Sam. 17:28-29.

2. His Leadership - The one man, Saul, who should have been leading David into battle, was also a critic when David stood up to serve the Lord, 1 Sam. 17:33. He even tried to sabotage David's efforts by giving David his own heavy armor to wear. Throughout their relationship, Saul often tried to kill David.

3. His Background - David was a descendant of a poor, shepherding family. He did not come from power, wealth, prominence or royalty. He was a nobody among the thousands of Israel.

4. His Youth and Inexperience - Over and over David was disrespected and underestimated by all those around him. (Note: This was the same experience that Timothy had years later - 1 Tim. 4:12.)

David, by the grace of God was able to break through every glass ceiling he faced in life. He was an overcomer and he enjoyed the success of an overcomer.

B. Can you identify the "glass ceilings" that you face in life? What are the things that hinder you from excelling for the glory of God? Maybe it is your family. Maybe it is your temper. Maybe it is your background. Maybe it is some besetting sin. Maybe it is any of ten thousand different things in your life. But, whatever it is, you either know it, or you need to identify it.

C. If you are watching others excel in the things of God and you see yourself hitting a "glass ceiling", the first step in getting past it is to identify it for what it is. Maybe I named it this evening and maybe I didn't, but whether you know what it is or not, the Spirit of God knows the thing or things that hinder you and He will point them out if you will ask!

III. THE ENERGY OF GLASS CEILINGS

MUST BE ATTACKED

(Glass ceilings must be shattered)

A. Once the fact of the "glass ceiling" has been admitted, and once the "glass ceiling" has been identified, all that remains is for it to be shattered, so that it can be left in the past. The way to do this can be seen through the life of David. How he shattered his "glass ceilings" gives us some insight into how we can shatter ours as well.

B. Here's all you need to do:

1. Operate By Faith And Not By Sight - 1 Sam. 17:4-11; 47. That is the call to all God's children in all ages, Rom. 1:17. Don't look at the size of the obstacle, look at the size of the God Who overcomes the obstacles!

2. Realize That God Did Not Call You Just To Let You Bang Your Head Against A Glass Ceiling - David had already been anointed to be the king of Israel. If he was to succeed in that office, it would only happen by the grace of God. He succeeded because God was with him! He is with you too as you attack your "glass ceilings", Heb. 13:5.

3. Glass Ceilings Can Be Shattered Only By The Power Of God - When David faced all the obstacles of his life, he overcame every one of them by the power of God! He defeated Goliath, he saw the defeat of Saul, he overcame the problems of his family, of his background and of his youth and experience by walking, not in his own strength, but in the power of God. This is what God wants us all to do, Eph. 6:10. This is how "glass ceilings" are shattered - 2 Cor. 10:3-5; 1 John 5:4.

C. God has given us every advantage we need to see the "glass ceilings" in our lives shattered. He has given us His Word, 2 Tim. 3:16; He has given us His Spirit, John 16:13; He has given us all of His precious promises, Pro. 30:5; Psa. 119:89; Rom. 4:21. Our "glass ceilings" don't have a chance when we attack them using the tools given to us by our Heavenly Father.

Conc: Let me tell you about a man who: Lost job in 1832; Defeated for state legislature in 1832; Failed in business in 1833; Elected to state legislature in 1834; Sweetheart died in 1835; Had nervous breakdown in 1836; Defeated for Speaker in 1838; Defeated for nomination for Congress in 1843; Elected to Congress in 1846; Lost renomination in 1848; Rejected for land officer in 1849; Defeated for U.S. Senate in 1854; Defeated for nomination for Vice President in 1856; Again defeated for U.S. Senate in 1858; Elected President in 1860.

This is a man who hit a lot of "glass ceilings" in his life. Many others might have given up after so many failures, but that man broke through his "glass ceilings" and was elected the 16th President of the United States in 1860. His name was Abraham Lincoln and he is regarded as one of the greatest Presidents in American history.

What will you do with the "glass ceilings" that are hindering you this evening? Will you allow them to defeat you as Saul did? Or, will you overcome them in the power of God as David did? What you decide about your "glass ceilings" will determine what you are able to accomplish through the grace of God this year and throughout your life.

Remember, your "glass ceilings" were made to be broken! Will they continue to hinder you, or will you conquer them? In the end, it's all up to you!



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