God Of Details
Pray instead of stiffening up; pray instead of tightening up psychologically; pray instead of getting edgy emotionally and let God handle the situation.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends, how in the world are you? Doing alright today? I’m fine, thank you. Get up early in the morning, it’s still dark these mornings, isn’t it, when we have to get up? Well, thank God you can wake up with the Lord, and in your heart, you can have the joy unspeakable and full of glory. Nice to wake up and be glad to live another day. You don’t have to say, “Oh, boy, do I have to get up?” [chuckle] Incidentally, many years ago, I heard a person say if you wanna start the day right, instead of groaning when you wake up, say to yourself, “Oh, boy! Time to get up.” [chuckle] Don’t say it too loud, or you’ll wake your better half and you’d be in the dog house. The other thing that works is I find if I get one foot out of bed, the other follows it. [chuckle] That always works, too.
But it’s great to belong to the Lord and just be glad to be alive, amen? Well, this is your good friend Bob Cook, and we’re back together again looking at the Word of God, and we’re in the third chapter of 1 Peter. He said, “If you’re in the will of God, you can be positive in your attitude, that even when you’re attacked, your blessed, happy are ye. You don’t have to be threatened.” Fear, the cure for fear is to have something or somebody that’s stronger than whatever is threatening you. Then he said, “Not troubled.” And that, of course, is the idea of being confused and saying, “I wonder why all of this is happening,” and “Did God forget about me?”, and so on. See? Don’t be troubled. You don’t have to be if Christ is in control, that’s the point. “However,” he said, “sanctify the Lord God in your heart.” Sanctify the Lord God in your heart.
Now, that word “sanctify” means set aside in a special place for special purposes, give God a special place in your life as God. One thing that is quite obvious in the lives of many people who were otherwise religious is that when the pressures of life come, very frequently, they have referenced more to the pressures than they do to God. In many years in the pastorate when I would call on someone who was experiencing particularly a problem or trouble or sorrow, and I would pray with them and I would say, “You know, God is still on the throne, He answers prayer,” and they would look at me, oftentimes blankly, and say, “Yes, I know, but… ” What does that mean? “Yes, I know that’s all true, but… ” But what? “But it doesn’t help me now.” They hadn’t made the connection between life itself and God.
So this is deep stuff, and I want you to get hold of it because it’ll make a difference in the way you look at things. They hadn’t made the connection between life itself and God. Life is made up of all of these experiences, a tapestry of various kinds of experiences, good and bad, heartbreak and happiness. And so, we tend to look at that as being the ultimate reality. Martha said to the Lord Jesus, think of it, she was talking to Jesus, who is the creator and sustainer of the universe, “All things were made by Him and by Him all things hold together,” said Paul. The creator and the sustainer of the universe was there talking with her just outside of Bethany, and she said, “Lord, you blew it. You should have been here, if you’d been here, Lazarus wouldn’t have died.” She didn’t think for a moment, just then, of His almightiness. She was only thinking of her heartbreak, because her brother had died, and Jesus was in an adjunct position, you may say.
Don’t put God in an adjunct position, don’t put him on a side shelf in life. Put Him on the throne of your life. Sanctify the Lord as God in your heart. Now what difference will that make? If our blessed Lord is really God in your life, then what? Then you will view every experience and every inner feeling and thought and tendency in the light of His being your God. “Thou God seest me,” we talked about that a little before. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous. You will view all of life in the light of His very real presence. Sanctify Him as God in your heart.
Second, you will be interested, more interested, in doing what He wants than in what you want. You’ll find yourself praying, “Lord, I don’t like this, but I accept it because it’s from You. Now, tell me what You want me to do in it.” You’ll be asking for His guidance. How long has it been since you asked God for advice on something other than religion? Most of our praying is religious in content, and it’s interlocked with the expressions like “bless,” and “help,” and remember, our praying is religious in content, most of it, wouldn’t you agree? How long has it been since you asked God for advice about your own personal affairs? What to do about matters that plague you, whether they be be financial or whether they have to do with conditions in the house? Or whether they have to do with purchasing of equipment? Or whether they have to do with conditions on your job? Whatever it may be, how long has it been since you asked God, for Jesus’ sake, to guide you as God in your life, in relationship to these practical matters?
Oh, yes, I know the work won’t do itself. I hear some accountant saying to me, sagely, “Well, Brother Cook, the figures don’t add themselves, you have to do it.” “I know that.” [chuckle] And so do you. [chuckle] Oh, by the way, somebody wrote me the other day and said, “You sound a little cocky when you say, ‘I know that.'” [chuckle] Well, forgive me. [chuckle] I don’t mean it be cocky or arrogant, but I do want you to realize that maybe the thought that you had in your heart had occurred to me also. That’s all I’m saying. You understand, don’t you? [chuckle] Yes, the figures won’t add themselves, and the work won’t do itself, and the windows won’t wash themselves, and the sale won’t make itself. You have to make the sale and wash the windows and add the figures and budget the budget. Yes, you do. Then what? You do all of it under the supervision of Almighty God. Sanctify the Lord as God in your heart.
Now, my beloved friend, can you really say that God is God in your heart? That is the thrust of this broadcast. We tend to regularize our days, we routinize them, we fall into various habitual routines, and because many of them are connected with our religious life, they become then religious routines. What I’m pleading for, I guess, today is that you introduce your commitment to God into other areas of life where you may not have sought His control as yet. Do you ever pray before you dial a number? Before you make a phone call, do you ever pray? Do you ever pray before you answer the phone? You don’t know who’s at the other end of the wire, somebody bless you or bless you out, you know there’s a difference. Do you ever pray before you start out on a trip? Not just that God will keep you from getting into an accident, but that He will actually guide you in all that you do on that trip? Whatever roads you take and all of that? I have found again and again the God can guide you even in the route that you take to go somewhere. Pray before you start a trip. If you get confused on the way, have you ever prayed? Said, “Lord, just straighten me out”? It’ll save you an awful lot of back-tracking if you just remember to ask Him to guide you.
“Oh,” you say, “Brother Cook, that’s a… ” Yeah, come on, now, it works. It works. Sanctify Him as God in your heart means let Him into the business of living. And it’s the kind of living that has to cope with the opposition of people who don’t love Jesus. That’s the preceding verse, “If you suffer for righteousness, you don’t have to be threatened and you don’t have to be confused, because God is God in your heart.” That’s the logic of it. 15 follows 14, you see what I mean? And so you put the almightiness of God to work, one might say, in the ordinaries of life, and you ask for His guidance and His control, and you consciously yield to Him in the situations where feelings are involved. Have you ever felt yourself stiffen with apprehension when you were about to meet a person who always bugs you? Are you familiar with that feeling? Someone who always upsets you? And you could just feel yourself stiffen psychologically, if not physically, with the anticipation of an unpleasant encounter.
Pray instead of stiffening up, pray instead of tightening up psychologically, pray instead of getting edgy emotionally. Let God handle the situation. You wanna try that? Sanctify the Lord as God in your hearts. Oh, this is one of the most important lessons we can learn, to let our Lord who is interested in the details. Jesus said, “Even the hairs of your head are all numbered.” Didn’t say “counted,” that would be very simple in my case. He said “numbered,” every hair follicle has its own individual number. And we can begin to understand that kind of detail when we realize that every person in our country and in many parts of our world has his or her own individual number. The age of the computer is upon us, and no small detail escapes, so that if you make a mistake of just a few pennies on your income tax return, the computer spits it out and somebody re-calculates it and sends you a notice and say, “You owe Uncle Sam 37 cents.”
Infinite detail is no problem to the computer, and you multiply that by a million, million, million times and you have just a small idea of how particular God can be in the matter of detail. He put the genetic code in every cell, the DNA and all the other things that scientists tell us are there in every living cell, so that it reproduces exactly as it should. He put that genetic chain in there, in everyone, how many multiplied billions of billions of billions of cells there are in just a small portion of your life, and God knows them all and determined them all. He’s the God of detail. Let Him in as God in the details of your life. Would you do that, beloved? What a blessed life that is. This is all under the heading of a blessed life, you’re called to inherit a blessing, give God His place as God in your life.
Now the next time we get together, we’ll talk about the blessing of sharing your faith with others, because He said, “Be ready always to give an answer to everyone that asketh you, a reason of the hope that is in you, and do it with meekness and respect.” Great truth here, and I enjoy sharing it with you, my beloved friends.
Dear Father, today, oh, may we give Thee thy place as God in our hearts. I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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