Sunday, July 17, 2022

Knowing When It's Not For You

Knowing When It's Not For You 
by David Brenneman 

In talking in the Men's Group that I am in yesterday we talk about what God's been doing in our lives.  

Quite often what's brought up by each stirs me up by way of reminder of things that have touched, or are touching, the lives of people who I know or are things that I have been through or am in the midst of. 

Most Men's groups that I have been associated with lean towards the passage where it mentions iron sharpening iron. Proverbs 27:17. 

I was drawn to remember Proverbs 11:14 yesterday.  It didn't personally happen to me yesterday but that not withstanding I saw it in action with those men. "Where there is no guidance the people fall,
But in an abundance of counselors there is victory." (NASB).

Proverbs 15:22 NASB "Without consultation, plans are frustrated, But with many counselors they succeed."

When Jesus repeats Himself we really ought to be paying attention.  

I have been around Godly Men throughout my life but until recently never so many in one place. 

What does this have to do with knowing when it's not for you?  Everything. 

We will face things every day.  As one in the group said "these aren't problems they are situations". We face situations every moment of every day.  We can either attempt them in our own strength and might or choose to consult others. 

Let's careful consider Luke 14:25-35 NASB "Now large crowds were going along with Him, and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who are watching it will begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This person began to build, and was not able to finish!’ Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to face the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Otherwise, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and requests terms of peace. So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.

“Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is useless either for the soil or the manure pile, so it is thrown out. The one who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Consider as well: "Many plans are in a person’s heart, But the advice of the Lord will stand." Proverbs 19:21 NASB. 

It's a hard thing to learn of when I am out of my element ability wise or out of my element because it's not for me to be doing, but the blessing is meant for another because of my situation. 

I often try to exhaust options before throwing in the towel.  Even at that point sometimes God throws the towel back at me and says to wipe off my face, I am not done yet.

We probably know of the passage that speaks to robbing God.  Malachi 3 if you're interested. 

Do you realize you rob others of blessings because you can press too hard to do things yourself and not ask for help?

God indeed uses events and situations to cause growth in others.  The 4 Gospels are filled with Jesus doing just that.  We often get too prideful in asking others for help.  Humility tends to be brought in by the Spirit to counter that. 

That one part of Luke really lends to this idea "Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple."  When we are focused on carrying our own cross our focus tends to be on what Jesus wants not what we want.  

If Jesus wants me to go through something rather than around it there's a reason.  I really like "90 Minutes in Heaven" by Don Piper.  In this book you follow a Pastor whom God allowed to go through some extremely heavy situations. He cried out to God many times. Even in anger at God for not doing something, even though he says later on that indeed God was working.  But it wasn't until he indeed was recovered years later that various people were brought into his life that he saw how God did what He did with him in order to prepare him to minister to people who otherwise weren't going to be open to the salvation message. 

Our lives are not our own, we were bought with a price.  People don't realize the magnitude of that verse, of its full implications.  That our lives, are to be spent on the work that God has lined up for us to be doing. 

I have been on short term mission trips.  On one such trip I learned a rather humbling message from God. I was about to do something for someone rather than them doing it and He had the person assert themselves in a way that pointed out that while I might know what needed to be done and how to do it, it was for them to do it and not me.  That while I saw their possible physical limitations He saw what they could do because He knew them internally. 

The longer I live the more I am not really impressed by what this world has to offer.  I will probably be speechless when I get to see how this world will be transformed for the thousand year reign of Jesus Christ on this Earth.  

Knowing when someone else needs a blessing is often difficult but not impossible.  I can indeed do a great many things through God who strengthens me. I can also help cultivate success in others in their walk with Jesus by not trying to do it all myself. 

My situation might be the lesson someone else needs in order to grow in Christ Jesus.  Ever really really think about that?

My situation might to really be my situation but rather another person's opportunity. 

Pray in everything the Bible says. Set your minds on the things that are above and not on the things that are of this world. 

Growth is the hallmark of the branches of the vine which is Jesus Christ.  

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