Wednesday, July 27, 2011

If it is Going to Be, It is Up to Me, and other ways to use God's Sovereignty

Writing this scares me a little bit.  One of our black belts once said to me that watching a TV show that had a spiritualist that talked to dead spirits, gave her hope, since it proved that people survived beyond the grave.  I was a young Christian then, as in I had only just recently accepted Christ, yet I was still over 30 years old.  It is easy to confuse the result with the method when you are first a Christian, and it only gets harder, until you accept God's Sovereignty. So, I struggled.  I knew that talking to the dead was bad (1 Samuel 28), but I also knew hope was good (Rom 15:13), so I said nothing.  I did not want to remove her hope, so I said nothing.  Now, of course, I know you can not take a single line of verse and use it to prove a point. That would be bending the word of God to my needs, to justify my actions, and I would point out that using a medium to speak to the dead is VERY bad, and God has said so many times throughout the entire text of both old and new testament.

Why do I bring this up?  Because sometimes our hearts, when combined with logic, produces a form of philosophy that is called humanism. Humanism by it's very nature puts human needs and abilities outside the range of the supernatural, or outside the range of God's Sovereignty.  That means, if you follow a humanist creed, you do not follow God, by definition. With this black belt student, I put her needs and my heart before the truth, and said nothing.  I still do not know if that was my only opportunity to give her true hope, or if someone else stepped up and did it for me, or if she lives without hope, because I followed the human side.

Since the first day in the business world, I have heard about goals, goal setting and other awesome lessons, that if learned, would change my life.  The leading belief was expressed in the powerful phrase, “If it is going to be, it’s up to me.”   As it turns out, this is a phrase made popular by a Motivational Speaker, a Pastor, and a world renowned prosperity minister, in his book If it is Going to Be, It's Up to Me, and it is actually a good book.

The bible actually encourages us to use the methods of the world to make ourselves better too, so learning from the world how to get rich may not always be a bad thing. In Luke 16:8 (NLT) we read "And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light."  I have heard that this is the bible's way of telling us to use the world's knowledge - that even Jesus said it was true that the world could be more shrewd. Yet, in the next verse, Jesus says, "Here’s the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your earthly possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home."  Even here, it is about helping others, not ourselves.  It is about heaven, not earth.

So here is the way of Hope, the way of Truth, and the way of God, hopefully without me trying to bend the word to my life.  I got this from a sermon we just heard entitled "You're a Piece of Work," at Solid Rock Church in New Windsor NY.

Jeremiah 18:2 (NKJV) “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.” Here is our opportunity to make it up to us.  God, with his sovereign will, Calls On You, and as we see here in verse 18:2, YOU DO WHAT HE SAYS.  You don't decide what your life (pot) will look like, because you did not make it.  God did.  He made you.  He calls you, and you get up and go.  If you don't, you have decided you are in charge, and that God is not.  

Jeremiah 18:4 (NKJV) gets really scary if you are a humanist or a control freak.  You have spent your whole life doing it YOUR way, because you are responsible for the results.  You set the goal, you plan the work, you are responsible for the outcome.  If you believe that, this verse will hurt.  If you believe in the Love and Sovereignty of God, then you not only trust him, but you count on him to make his promise the truth.  You know who is in charge. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make."

That's right.  He crushes the pot, that would be your plans, and starts again.  If you believe it is up to you, then God is now your enemy.  If you believe that it is up to God, he just made you better.  You get to decide which is better.  If you choose to follow God, then you can read about how by clicking here

If you have already decided to follow God, and you want to know what to do next, so that you are living for the Potter, admit you are the broken pot.

Isaiah 45:9 (NKJV) “ Woe to him who strives with his Maker!   Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth! Shall the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ Or shall your handiwork say, ‘He has no hands’?"

Once you have done that, you realize that all you are, has been MADE by God.  All you have is OWNED by God.  All your problems are in GOD'S HANDS.  Tell him that, everyday.  Let him know what is scaring you, and that it is in his hands, not yours.  The way the pastor at Solid Rock said it was something like this.  "Father God, these taxes are your taxes. Help me know what to do."  "These Bills are your Bills, tell me how to deal with it."  Then let it go.  God is in fact Sovereign, not us.
Yet, you are still responsible for your actions. If you spend all your money on beer, and then ask for help, God might decide what is best for you is loss of your car.  You still have to do what you have to do, but when you have done your best, you back up and wait. Wait on the Lord.  Because he not only has your back, he made your back.

If its Going to Be (For God), Its up to Me (to obey and accept).  If you don't know the sound of the Shepherd's voice (John 10:27 NKJV -  "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.), you either are not of his flock, or you have spent to much time doing it your way.  I, for one, know I am his.  I also know I have been doing it my way.  I need to shut up, listen, and wait. Then do what the potter asks.

Click Here to Hear All About the Pot & Potter in Song

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