Depend On Him
Absolute dependence on God keeps you on course in all situations. Pray your way through the day and have faith. The combination equals victory.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, this is your friend, Dr. Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you to share from the Word of God.
We’re looking into 1 Timothy, just finishing up the first chapter. Paul the apostle is telling his son in the faith, Timothy, he’s saying, “The prophecies” – that’s what we would call the Word of God – “that by them thou mightest war a good warfare.”
What is the secret of winning in your Christian life? First, the Word of God. Second, verse 19, “Holding faith.” Third, a good conscience, clean conscience. This is the formula that always works, dear friends. Mark it down in the notebook of your mind, engrave it on your heart so that you’re always aware of it.
What will make me a winner in every situation in life? First, faithfulness to, dependence on the Word of God. What does the Bible say? That’s your first question: “What does the Bible say?” Look into the Word of God. You’ll find God, the Holy Spirit who indwells the believer, you’ll find Him speaking to you through God’s Word, as you read it, as you meditate upon it. Every day new thoughts will come to you under divine guidance from God’s Word. The prophecies, the Word of God.
Second, faith. That is the absolute dependence upon God, rather than upon yourself. My little Cook definition of faith is “the willingness to risk any given situation on God.” The willingness to risk any given situation on God and His Will; that’s faith. Stepping out because God says to step. “Abraham went out,” it said, “not knowing whether he went but into the land of Canaan he came.” Stepping out. The priests had to go into the River Jordan until their feet got wet before the waters parted. Faith is the willingness to risk any given situation upon the Will and the Word of God, and that makes you a winner.
First, dependence on God’s inerrant, infallible Word, the Bible. Second, faith that risks the situation on God. Third, a clean conscience, a good conscience.
“Herein do I exercise myself,” says Paul, “to have always a conscience void of offense toward God and toward me.” And he says that the way to get a clean conscience is through trusting the shed blood of the Lord Jesus. “If the ashes of a heifer purify the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Immediate confession results in immediate cleansing, and you go on forgiven and cleansed, refreshed and restored. This is the way to walk in victory. Don’t wait until you say your prayers at night to go over the inventory of the day and say, “Well, I blew it there, and I sinned there, and I failed God there. Please forgive me for all of these,” and wrap them up in a kind of a package.
The minute you are aware – whether it’s 10 in the morning, or 2 in the afternoon, or 1 in the morning, or whatever it may be – the minute you’re aware of being out of the Will of God in any way, just look heavenward and confess it, and ask the Lord to forgive you and cleanse you. Immediate confession, immediate cleansing results in consistent victory. Well, that’s a great passage there, isn’t it?
Now, in the middle of verse 19 in 1 Timothy, he says, “Some people have put away this whole business concerning faith and they’ve made shipwreck.” What wrecks a ship?
Well, generally getting off course and going on the rocks or running aground, or carelessness in navigation and running into another vessel. This happens now and again, especially as our seas are becoming more and more crowded. Or unseaworthiness, unable to, to sustain the storms that come upon it and the ship founders. Treasure hunters are still looking for some of the, the old sailing vessels that were so heavily loaded with the loot – gold and other things – that when they encountered the storms, they simply sank. They weren’t able to, they weren’t able to manage the waves.
What wrecks a ship? Careless navigation, careless construction, and greedy overloading are some of the reasons.
“Some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck.” What keeps you on course? Your good intentions? No. Your ability? No. Your hard work? No. What keeps you on course? “Which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck.” Your absolute dependence upon Almighty God keeps you on course. Absolute dependence on God keeps you on course.
“Pray your way through the day,” I’ve so often told my students during the years when I was President of the college. Pray your way through the day. Pray when you wake up, pray before you greet your roommate, pray before you start your first class, pray before you make a decision, pray before you answer the phone, pray before you open a letter – you don’t know what’s inside, could be a check or a bill. Pray before you go on a date, pray before you make the great decisions of life, pray before you sign a contract – God has already read the fine print. Pray before you even engage in a bull session where you’re just chatting idly with people – idle chatter oftentimes does damage. Pray that God may sanctify even your, your chance remarks. Pray your way through the day. Faith that depends on God all the way through any given day.
How do you stay on course? Start depending on God. “The Lord shall guide thee continually,” says the Word of God. “He leadeth me! Oh blessed thought, Oh words with heavenly comfort fraught. Whatever I do, wherever I be, still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.” “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”
God’s reputation is at stake, and when you trust Him, He is interested in maintaining the interest that He has in your redeemed life. Faith. Now, you want to learn to apply that today?
Many of us are so concerned about strategy that we forget about submission. Strategy doesn’t do it. Sampson woke one day and, and planned his strategy. Delilah, that hussy who had deceived him, said, “The Philistines are upon you,” and he had a strategy. He said, “I will go out and shake myself as at other times. I’ll do it. I know what to do.”
“But he wist not,” it says. He didn’t know that God had departed from him, and so they caught him, they gored out his eyes, they put him in jail. Made him grind like a beast of burden in the prison house, brought him out to laugh at him, make sport of him.
Small thought here: Every time you fail God, you give unbelievers – the Philistines, in other words – you give unbelievers a chance to laugh at you and God. That’s happened recently in Christian work hasn’t it? Anytime somebody that’s in Christian work fails, oh, the unbelievers have a picnic. How they laugh and how they chuckle, and how they make jokes and how they draw their cartoons and all that. You want to remember that the next time you’re tempted to compromise in any way.
But you see, Sampson had strategy in mind. He forgot about obedience and submission to God.
So you want to try this whole thing on for size in your own life, beloved? The way to keep from shipwrecking your life is to, is to, is to exercise faith, and that means depend on Almighty God, every split second of the time. Pray your way through every situation. Pray your way through every business meeting, pray your way through every business conference, pray your way through every family discussion, pray your way through every social gathering.
You say, “I can’t be saying prayers all the time.” You can be in an attitude of prayer, no matter what is going on.
Someone asked an Army officer who was, who was quite high in rank and who was required therefore to attend functions which are not really to his liking as a Christian, they said to him, “Colonel,” they said, “How is it that you’re required in the line of duty to attend some of these functions where you, it really isn’t, a Christian atmosphere and you must not like it very well? What, how do you get along with it? How do you square that with your Christian belief?”
“Oh,” he said, “I just pull down the curtains of my mind and talk with my blessed Lord.”
That’s the way. You can pull down the curtains of your mind and talk with your blessed Lord, no matter what’s going on. He in response will guide you in His precious, holy, perfect Will.
Oh, the Will of God… How wonderful it is to know that any given moment – two o’clock of a, of a Thursday afternoon, or whatever it may be – you are in the, in the Will of God. Remember that, will you please? Faith.
How to keep from shipwrecking your life? Believe God, risk the situation on God. Pray your way through the day. Never make a decision without asking God to guide to direct. “In all Thy ways acknowledge Him,” says the wise man, “and He shall direct thy paths.”
Did you know that God guarantees to give you His Will, if you ask for it? Yes, He does. If you really want God’s Will, then ask for it. That’s what you’ll get. What a reassurance for those of us who are stumbling and blundering along through life.
I can’t really take credit for being very smart. I was so dumb that when my father would say to me – as in when I was a little boy, he was a janitor and I was along to supposedly, to help him, and he’d say – “Boy, pick up that paper.”
There’d be a pile of waste paper on the floor in the corner of a classroom, in this commercial school where he was janitor. He’d say, “Boy, pick up that paper.” I’d say, “Which one, Pop?” I didn’t know.
I can’t claim to be very smart, but blessed God, I’ve got a smart God. Oh, He’s all wise and he said, “If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraid not and it shall be given him.”
You could pray and you can get an answer, you can know what to do next – hallelujah – and really that’s all you need to know, isn’t it? The next step, “Thy Word is a lamp and unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Step by step is the way we walk with God.
Paul mentions two people: “Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.” Did Paul the apostle have any dealings with the devil? I doubt it.
My view of this passage, whether or not I’m right, I don’t know, we’ll ask Paul when we get to heaven, won’t we? My view of this passage is that Hymenaeus and Alexander were already dealing with the devil, they were already doing Satan’s bidding, and Paul said, “I’ve just given up on them. If they want to work with the devil, let them. I’ve let them go.”
There are some people on whom you have to give up because they, they’re determined to go the devil’s way, and you could just simply turn them over to God and say, “That’s it, I can’t handle it any longer.”
Know when to pray and know when to give up.
This word, however, it’s always too soon to quit interceding for people you want to see saved. George Mueller prayed for 42 years for some people that he wanted to see brought to his Lord, and God answered his prayer.
So be careful about giving up, but if people are determined to deal with Satan, I guess they have to. That’s what happened with Hymenaeus and Alexander.
Dear Father today, help us to depend absolutely on Thee. In Jesus’ name, I pray this, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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