Sunday, January 21, 2018


Remember it was God who blessed you -- remember it was God who gave you the victory -- remember it was God who's been faithful.

In Israel, Jerusalem has no major river flowing through it like so many big cities have.  It has the Jordan River nearby, but it is in many places nothing more than a small creek.

They literally had to rely on God for water back then.

'If You don't send sunshine, God, we don't have crops.  If you don't send rain, God, the herd dies.'

The whole time they had to trust God to take care of them.  That's why when they so often reverted to worshipping false gods, God got so angry, because many of the gods they turned to were nature gods.

"We need rain!"  So they'd worship a rain god.
"We need sun!"  So they'd worship a sun god.
"Trust ME!" God said.  "I'll bring the rain.  I'll bring the sun.  I'll take care of you."

Imagine God sending rain and sunshine and plenty for their crops and flocks.  The corn is growing tall.  The herds are thriving.  Now you're believing against the locust ruining the crops and they don't.  Now you're praying the weeds don't rise up and choke out the crops and they don't.  Now you're praying the diseases don't overcome the herds and they don't.  But when it's time to harvest and give God the first fruits, you say: 'Think I'll keep it all.'

And God says:  'Wait.  What?!'

Because the further we get from field and flock, the harder it is to realize God did it for you.  When you're praying for rain and it rains, you realize where it came from, because you don't control the rain.  God does.

When you're praying for sunshine and it shines, you realize where it came from, because you don't control the sunshine.  God does.

But it's harder to think about God taking care of you when you, smart guy that you are, are sitting at your computer creating IT code and creating data and earning big money for it.  It's harder to think about God taking care of you when you, smart lady that you are, take a client out for dinner and strike the big deal.

Look what I did.

You can forget it was really God who took care of you.  It was God who gave you those skills.  It was God who opened the door for the job you have.  It was God.

I'm unsure why there's this resistance with us at times, except that we may have some built-in pride, some automatic self-assurance that keeps God at a distance.

I made that.
I built that.
I earned that.
I did that.
That was because of me.
That's me taking care of my stuff and my family.
My name's on that.
That's my car - that's my account - that's my house - that's my thing.

There's a scorekeeping going on and if we aren't careful, it can turn to disobedience.  Instead we could be:

God gave me that.
God did that.
God built that.
God made that possible.
God's responsible for that.
That's God taking care of me and my family.
Thank You, God.

When we keep it to ourselves, we're saying: 'I trust me, not You.'  And that's a bold statement to make in the face of God.

I don't ever want to be there.  I don't ever want our church to be there.  I want to be in the place where I say: 'I'll trust You, God, with it all.'

And be blessed.

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