Monday, July 11, 2022

I Got This! Uh...No You Don't

I Got This! Uh...No You Don't 
by David Brenneman 

Some of what I see from my limited perspective concerning my life's greatest disasters, are plainly due to my being arrogant enough to proclaim "I got this!" to God.  When, had I waited on the Lord Jesus, life wouldn't have been so disastrous or different. Pain would have been avoided. Probably thousands of dollars not wasted over the years.

"‘Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You," Jeremiah 32:17 NASB. 

We often get tripped up in living life by living in such a self sufficient world.  Waiting is something that businesses spend time, energy and effort to remove. The art of logistics is to be as on-time as possible. To give timetables for bringing products and services to whomever, whenever it has been established. 

More often than not it's also possible that such conveniences cause people not to rely on God as they should.  I easily see such things in looking back over my life. 

Somewhere in me is also a "New Yankee Workshop" type of thinking. Of how to repurpose rather than dispose of.  If at all possible I do. I am also the type to give away this or that to people rather than selling it.  

But my thoughts this morning are in looking at this as being something for myself and others to consider maybe for the first time or maybe in review.  

Remembering that nothing is too difficult for God.  Sometimes our difficulties exist to get us to realize our need to approach God for help.  Rather than being the first place to go for help, we tend to wait till no other humanly option remains before going to Him for help. Reminds me of this sign: 
Many years ago I had people saying things to me about being prideful.  Both in what they saw in me as well as their own experiences of themselves.  To be honest I had no idea what they were talking about. 

But indeed pride in one's own abilities tends to get in the way of God doing what only God can do. 

I recently finished reading the book of Job.  Realistically what stood out this time around was partially pride in Job. But, Job quickly repented of that. Admitting that it's very obvious to him that there's much he didn't know. 

We can be so self-reliant that we find no use for God!  Our own stubbornness can be used against us. Our own knowledge, limited as it is, will be used against us.

We spend lots of time, energy and effort in building up our own little kingdom in order to create a peaceful existence of ease and comfort.  

How high up on your list of go-to things in response to troubles is God?

Luke 1:37 NASB "For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Matthew 19:26 NASB "And looking at them, Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

It's interesting what God does when He's our first line of attack to a situation rather than being the last. 

It matters not to God how big a perceived problem is!  Look at what was tackled in the years of the Early Church. Financial woes, famines, death threats almost daily.  As a world today we are in the midst of a recession. Is that impossible for Jesus to deal with? Hardly. Elijah and Elisha dealt with such things.  God prevailed in their lives.  

Even in small things, before we get the chance to pray, God can deliver.  Sometimes as Jesus told His Disciples, it will take much prayer to deal with some things. Jesus, it's written, often was in prayer with His Father.  The impossible always happened. Certainly no coincidence. 

A few decades ago I was shown something by God concerning my life's journey. I can remember getting excited about it. I was also stupid enough to basically tell God "Awesome! I got this!" and in the ensuing years fell so deep into an sin-entangled life that I only really saw suicide as an option. I ran off to get to where God wanted to take me on my own rather than to wait on Him. To see how He would make it possible.  Suffice to say suicide didn't happen because of His intervention.  I was at the end of me and that's when and where the real journey to where I am today began. 

Be ready, always, to start with Jesus in your life's troubles rather that waiting until you're drowning.  

The next step is to be thankful even though you're having troubles.  Even if it hurts. Pray and press on.  God's either going to move the mountains or He's going to move you. He will not leave you alone. 

Many people today are clueless as to being thankful for problems or situations.  God's Word says to in everything give thanks. 1 Thessalonians 5:18-20 NASB "in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit,". 

Think deeply on those last 3 words. 

When we leave God out until we can't afford to, when we decide its our way, we choose to quench the Spirit. When He’s ready to work and we are really telling Him "no thanks I got this!" we are quenching the Spirit. 

Read the words before those. "This is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus". 1 Thessalonians 4:3 "This is the will of God for you, your sanctification". 

Jesus said that in this world we would have tribulations. We would have suffering in Christ Jesus. We do so much, put so much effort, time and money into preventing that in our lives.  

Before you start your day, pray.
As your day goes on, pray.
As you encounter various things, pray. 
As you face adversity, pray. 
As you face peaceful times, pray.
When tempted to run ahead of God, pray. 
When you think that you have got your situation figured out, pray.
When life isn't making sense, pray.

Give the Spirit the opportunity to show you and the world what's possible.  

Matthew 5:16 NASB "Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."

Realizing what's ours to do and the Spirit's to do will take us farther in life than we ever thought possible.  

Go back a little bit in 1 Thessalonians 5 to verses 16 and 17. "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.".

Just as all means all and that's all all means, everything means everything and that's all everything means.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  When life makes sense, when it doesn't. When life hurts and when it doesn't. When we think we know what we are doing and when we honestly don't. 

We can't learn to live life as God intends for me and you if we keep thinking we got this. That going to God is for emergencies only.  

John 5:15 NASB "I am the vine, you are the branches; the one who remains in Me, and I in him bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing."

Yesterday's sermon the Pastor was talking about Abraham's faith.  In the New Testament his faith was talked about.  Abraham didn't always get life right.  He, on more than one occasion, got ahead of God. But the thing to note is he learned from his mistakes after repeating them enough. What I found interesting was on at least one occasion his rebuke came from a Pharaoh of Egypt. Sometimes my rebukes have come from those who don't yet believe in God. 

Look at how you look at your life and how you deal with it.  Look at your home, your wardrobe, your interests.  Are you trying to live for Jesus or for you?  Are you relying on God or on your own understanding, thinking and planning? 

Proverbs 16:9 NASB "The mind of a person plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps."  

Romans 12:16b NASB "do not be wise in your own estimation".

James 4:13-16 NASB "Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. For you are just a vapor that appears for a little while, and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil."

See any patterns yet? See anything that stands out to you?  If we really believe that our lives are not our own, we ought to earnestly seek out what God wants of us and to live it His way.  

Jonah wanted life his way when shown what God wanted him to do.  How did that work out?  

Before you go any further, pray. Because that is the beginning of wisdom.  The fear or respect of the Lord, His ways, His plans.  "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." Proverbs 9:10 NASB. 

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