Today’s post are my preaching notes for my sermon at Kishwaukee Community Church. If you are at Kishwaukee today, you may follow these notes as I preach. If you are not at Kishwaukee today, click here to go to our website on Monday and follow the links to hear the sermon. You can then follow these notes as you listen to the sermon.
God Invites You to Join Him in His Work
I. Reflect on Phrase
“Pray like it all depends upon God and work like it all depends upon you.”
In our John Wayne achievement oriented driven society we think everything depends upon us. It does not
II. King Asa
Judah was threatened by corrupt king of Israel. King Asa, king of Judah led the people to trust in the Lord. Asa said,
“LORD, there is no one besides You to help those without strength. Help us, LORD our God, for we depend on You, and in Your name we have come against this multitude. LORD, YOU are our God. Do not let a mere mortal hinder You” 2 Chronicles 14:11
Later when threatened by another king Asa acted if it all depended upon himself instead of turning to God for help, Asa sent gold and silver from the temple asking for his help in the conflict. God’s response was
“You have been foolish in this matter, for from now on, you will have wars” 2 Chronicles 16:9
Because of his self-reliance, the very thing Asa feared, war would plague him the rest of his life.
III. Depending upon God
What depends on you is:
- Your availability to God
- Your willingness to follow His will
- Being the vessel, rather than instrument
- Letting God work through you
God-centered living is characterized by:
- confidence in God;
- dependence on God, on His abilities and provision;
- A denial of will and self-reliance when serving God
This is hard because the world praises self-reliance Trusting God may make no sense from a human perspective.
In Bible when God starts to do something, He takes the initiative Then God involves His people in accomplishing His purpose
The most critical factor is not what you want to do for God. Rather what God wants to do
God never asks people to dream up what they want to do for Him.
He rebukes those who propose their own best thinking over His commands.
We decide what is best. We develop our plans. We implement our strategies. One of several things happens:
- Meager results
- Complete Failure
- Cause problems
We experience similar failures in marriage
I know, I plan, I do, then I get angry when it’s not embraced
Example of friend’s honeymoon plans.
He made his own plans. She rejected, he was miffed. Later, after mutual conversation good plans were made
IV. Critical 1st step in serving God – Is to learn His ways
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
When God’s people do not follow His ways, God may leave us to the resulting problems
God’s most devastating acts of discipline is when He allows us to experience the natural consequences of doing things our way instead of His.
Romans 1:24, 1:26, and 1:28
“Therefore God gave them up to … Their ways”
God told Israel in Psalm 81:13-14
“If only My people would listen to Me and would follow My ways, I would quickly subdue their enemies and turn My hand against their foes!”
V. Turn from your will
As Christians, it is not only important that we
1. Fulfill God’s will
2. Fulfill His will His way
A self-centered person tends to confuse his or her personal agenda with God’s will.
You need to reach a point where you have no will of your own. (RB)
This includes depending on Him, not on a method.
What is God’s Will?
God is seeking to bring people to Himself
He wants to use your life and our church in the process.
See Acts 1:8
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in Judea, in Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
VI. How Does God Accomplish His Will?
He always takes the initiative to involve His people in His activity
Richard Blackaby 4 steps
- Don’t be in a hurry to be engaged in activity
- Be still and wait
- Remain faithful in what He has told you to do
- Focus on deepening your fellowship with God.
Servants wait on the Master for whatever instruction they may be given.
When you see God at work, that is your invitation to join Him in that work and to adjust your life what He is doing
Bosses at work – Parents to kids
There are things for YOU to do
There are things for you NOT to do
Story of Mom’s spring cleaning project, She was thrilled to have me offer, but she was bitter when I did my own thing
==> Big Question:
How do I know what God is doing around me and what He wants me to do?
VII. Knowing What God wants you to do
Two factors are important:
1. You must be living in an intimate love relationship with God.
// to marriage
If you do not have a solid love relationship with your spouse, you will never know him/her and what she/he wants, regardless of how perceptive you are. Men complain, “I cannot read her mind.” Her mind will always be a black box if you do not love her and nurture a relationship.
2. You must listen to God … Hear Him
// to marriage again
Have you ever told your spouse something, then they swore you never told them
Dad shopping for Mom … always came home with 10 packages of Jello, but not the item requested. Particularly frustrating for Mom who could not hear
God will show you
He will direct you
Unfortunately most of us are unskilled at
1. Seeing God at work
2. Hearing Him speak
Another reason we miss God’s activity is that we are not committed to joining Him, regardless of what He is doing
We want God to bless our plans, not for us to adjust to His will.
Story of husband about where to go to dinner
People ask me:
Why am I volunteering at RRM when my heart’s desire is/was in Hospice?
I saw God working and heard Him calling
No longer a matter of my will
God revealed to me what He is doing, that was the time for me to respond.
I was unskilled and afraid, but had to trust God and Philippians 1:6
“He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”
Once we know we’ve heard from God, we can proceed with absolute confidence, even if we can’t see how things will work out.
This reality God is inviting us to join Him relates closely to the fourth reality God speaks.
Next two Sundays
How God speaks to us!
How to hear Him!