Wednesday, May 25, 2011
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Since I was three times a parent, I had to learn something about motivating kids to study. And that's not an easy job; it doesn't come naturally to most of us to want to just sit down and study. But I learned that there are a number of incentives. There are scholarships, threats, rewards, privileges, impassioned speeches. But I've also noticed that there are two words that motivate faster study than anything I know. Those words are "Final Exam."
It's amazing what activity those two words can generate. Fortunately we didn't have too much problem with our kids, but I have known a lot of kids who sort of have yawned and coasted their way through a subject, and suddenly they got interested when they heard those words, "Final exam!"
Take algebra for example. Somebody says, "Yeah, please take it." Well, let's use it as an example. The teacher is doing a final review just before the exam, and you really listen then and you cram way into the night. But you find out something about algebra; you can't just get into it before exams; it's too late then. You've got to be into a subject all the time or you'll never know what to do when you really have to know.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "How to Flunk Out on God's Will."
Our word for today from the Word of God - familiar words. Many people have chosen these verses as their life verse. Proverbs 3:5-6 - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths." That's a great promise, isn't it? "He will direct your paths." You know God has had a plan for you since before you were born, and there's nothing better, more meaningful, more exciting, more fulfilling to do with your life than to do His will. It's why you're here. Don't you want Him to direct your paths? You say, "Oh, yeah, that's great!"
You know how you do it? It says, "In all your ways acknowledge Him." Now, for many of us, God's leading isn't in all our ways. It's only an issue when we have a final exam, like a major life choice facing us. And suddenly we say, "Oh boy, I've got to get interested in God's Word. Oh, what's God's will?" Suddenly we start studying. "What shall I do about this job, about college, about this person I'm dating? What shall I do about this major financial choice, this career choice? Should we move? Should we stay here? Well, you know what? If you only go after God's leading at a major crossroads, it's too late to study.
If God hasn't been directing your days, well there's no way He can direct your life, because your life is made up of those days. You can't be selectively interested in God's will for the big three, or the big four, or the big five decisions of your life. This says, "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and then He'll direct your paths."
You know what God's will is? It's the natural next step taken by a Christian who's been following Jesus one day at a time. So you begin each day and you say something like this, "Lord, show me Your will for this 24 hours. In all my ways, in all my days - today in this 24 hours, what do You want me to do today? Now, those God-led 24 hours eventually bring you to one of life's major crossroads, and there you will already be the right person at the right place at the right time, and you will walk right into His will.
But if you suddenly get interested in what God wants, just before one of life's final exams, well, you will probably flunk out on God's will.