Thursday, May 21, 2015
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I was going through the all too frequent ritual of standing by an airport luggage carousel waiting for Big Bertha. (No, that's not someone I was traveling with. That's what I've named my suitcase because we've spent so much time together.) And suddenly the monotony was broken for all of us by this really cute scene. Here comes one of those luggage carts that look sort of like a big grocery cart without the big basket. Pushing it was this very little boy, barely able to walk and about one-fourth the size of the cart.
Actually, the boy thought he was pushing the cart. No, his Daddy was right next to him with his hands on the bar above his son's head. So, the cart was staying on a straight course moving at a good speed. So, despite the way it looked to this little cart jockey, it was his Father who was really making it happen.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Remembering It's God, Not You."
Our word for today from the Word of God is from Philippians 2:13. Here's what it says, "It is God (That's good right there!) who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose." Okay, we've got the want to – that's the will. And the how to – that's the act. And the three key words, "It's your God."
Looks like us doing it. You do the work for the Lord; you do the music, the serving, the encouraging, the leading, the speaking, the singing. And sure, it looks like it's you who's living your Christian life; saying "no" to temptation, loving people, encouraging people. But then, it looked to that little boy like he was doing the pushing, and it was really his Father. That's a picture of us.
Jesus illustrated this with a grapevine. He said, "He's the vine, we're the branches." The grapes look like they're coming from the branch. Right? Wrong. They're coming through the branch from the vine. If you don't believe it, cut off the branch and see how many grapes it produces. It's like that in our life in Jesus Christ. Anything you've become, anything you've done, all those spiritual victories, accomplishments that you've been a part of may look like something you have done. But it wasn't really you doing something for God. It was God doing something through you.
Jesus put it bluntly in His vine story. He said, "Without Me you can do nothing." Nothing that matters. Nothing that lasts. Nothing that's life-changing. Jesus is ultimately our Father who moves the cart. There are two attitudes that just aren't acceptable therefore. First, pride of any accomplishment, any ability or position. If your heart's saying, "Boy, aren't I something?" after a spiritual victory, your heart's in Fantasy Land. Realistically we should be saying, "Isn't God something?" Remember, it's God who should get the glory. God says, "I am the Lord. My glory I will not give to another." All the praise belongs to God.
But then it's almost a flip side, because there's a second unacceptable attitude that's the polar opposite of pride. It's this paralyzing sense of inadequacy that keeps you from listening for the Lord, working for your Lord, accepting assignments from the Lord. But Philippians 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."
Yes, you are inadequate. The more you realize that, the more you get out of the way and you depend on the Lord to do it. You say, "Lord, there's not enough me to do this." He goes, "Good. It's going to be a little you and a whole lot of Me." You can dare for Jesus, you can work for Jesus, you can accept assignments from Jesus, because it's His power, His adequacy that's doing it anyway. "It is God who works" the verse says. Hallelujah!
This little boy was able to move what he could never move because of his Father's strength. You can move things for the Lord that are way beyond you because of your Heavenly Father's strength. Keep pushing the cart, keep walking, but remember that your cart will stay on course. Your cart will move a heavy load because of the powerful hand of your Father.