Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Depending on God

God wants honor and worship and praise.  He wants faith.  He wants us to believe Him.  He wants us to depend on Him.  We do that by listening to what He says and doing it, and not adding to it.  We should also assume that as believers we have all the power in the universe to see that accomplished. God's instructions in precept and principle are His enablements.

If you depend on a chair, it's four legs, you don't add anything to it.  For salvation, this means not adding works, depending on God alone to be saved. When it comes to scripture, it means not adding anything, depending on God's Word for sanctification and service.

Depending on God is depending on His Word. Those are the same. Depending on God is not doing something your way, asking God to use it, and then depending on Him for what and how you want to do something.  That isn't depending on Him.  That is depending on yourself.

There are several reasons that scripture gives us for depending on Him.

First, God is pleased only when you depend on Him.  Dependence on Him is part of believing in Him.  It is the trust part of faith and without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6), so you are not pleasing Him, when you are not depending on Him.

Second, closely related to the first one, when you don't depend on Him, so that you are not believing in Him, you are disobeying Him.  He tells you to trust Him.  God is Trustworthy.  He is Dependable. You have disobeyed Him when you don't trust in Him.

Third, when you don't depend on Him, you are depending on yourself.  Your way, the what and the how, are not better than His.  It might look like it's working, fooling you into thinking that it's working, but you are deceived.  It might be working in the short term, but if it is not working both in the short term and the long term, then it is not working.  It will not work in the long term, when you are not depending on Him.  God knows the end from the beginning, and you don't.  His way works out in the end, not just in the beginning.  You don't know that.  He does.

Fourth, God gets the glory His way, both the what and the how.  This is the gist of 1 Corinthians 1-3.  Greeks trust in wisdom.  Jews trust in signs.  Paul says trust in God, because that's what glorifies God.  The methods should be His -- that's how He is glorified.  This is the essence as well of what Peter was talking about in 1 Peter 4:10-11.  In the speaking gifts, it must be the oracles of God for God to be glorified, not your speech, your cleverness, your psychology, your whatever.

Fifth, depending on God is what actually works.  Man's problem is a supernatural one.  God's way is supernatural.  When I say it is supernatural, I don't mean that it is mystical.  God saves through His means, the gospel.  God is worshiped according to His Word, not how we like it or what makes us feel good.  Worship is not a matter of taste.  People are saved through God's means and God is worshiped in His way.  Everything should be regulated by what He says, because that is what will work.

We don't even know what works, except that God tells us what works.  Some might say, God is working, and it isn't even God working.  It is their work, and it will pass away in 30-50 years or even shorter, maybe longer, but it won't last.  I've lived long enough now to see fads that work pass away for something else.  I've already seen three or four iterations of man's way, and the latest is treated just like the first, and they are very much the same.

Let me give you an example.  When I was young, there was Jack Hyles.  Hyles's stuff now doesn't work, but it's not like Hyles isn't still around.  You had Hybels and then Warren and Paul Chappell, and now worse, that the former birthed.  You've got people who have slightly modified Hyles, but it is still Hyles.  Hyles was Finney.  All of these are new measures that relate to ensuring something happens through human effort, and then calling it the power of God.  They are the same means dressed up in a contemporary costume.

The way of God is old.  It's historic.  It's very basic.  You don't understand how it worked, because it doesn't make sense that it worked. You depend on God.  Depending on God isn't depending on God to reveal to you a method that isn't in the Bible, and then saying that it was depending on God, because God gave it to you.  If someone is praying for God to give them a better way, that isn't depending on God.

Very often when something works in the short term, someone says he depended on God for it and God deserves the glory.  God isn't glorified.  The man is glorified.  He may say God gave it to him, but it really is him that is the one getting the credit.  He has some special relationship with God, a higher, better one than the Bible even promises, which is why, you're to know, that he got it from God.  Then it "works," and this validates that it was from God.  Thirty years later it is blown to smithereens or apostate, and then it doesn't matter anymore.  People don't remember.  While it is happening though, people are deceived, and they think it is the power of God.  It isn't.  It is him, the man, his method, adding to scripture.

1 comment:

Bill Hardecker said...

Mark 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
(7) Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
(8) For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
(9) And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

Even as Baptists we are prone to tradition and commandments of men. We need to recognize it, repent of it, and resolve to obey God.