Hand It Over
Your motive in life gives way to who or what controls it. The divine change happens when we hand over control to God.
Alright, thank you very much and hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Are you doing alright? Well, I trust everything’s alright at your house and that you’ve started a good day, or if you’re listening to this broadcast in the night hours that you’ve finished a good day. In any case, turn things over to the Lord; He knows how to handle them. Doesn’t He?
We’re looking right now at Psalm 37, and I was just starting with you the last time we got together on the logic of the “non-burned-up” approach. That word “fret not” means don’t get burned up. And the point is, “Fret not,” he says, “thyself in any wise to do evil.” Getting burned up, losing your temper, blowing your top, worrying yourself sick doesn’t do any good; it just leaves scar tissue. He says there’s a logic to it, because (now this is verse 9) evildoers shall be cut off. They’ll be forgotten. You’ll look for their place and you won’t find it. “Thou shalt diligently consider his place and it shall not even be.” The only place of permanence and the only way to inherit the earth (that is, to own it all, to enjoy it all) is to turn control over to God. “The meek,” said He, “shall inherit the earth,” and our Lord Jesus echoed that same eternal truth in what we call His Beatitudes. In Matthew 5, “The meek shall inherit the earth.”
Now, a meek person is a person who has given control to another, and in the highest and most holy sense, a meek person is one who has given control to almighty God. Look around you and see how many people you already know whose lives were changed by that simple process. “God, I can’t handle my life, I’m making a mess of it, I’m a sinner; please take control, in Jesus’ name.” That kind of a prayer has been prayed by thousands and millions across the centuries, and still around us today we find evidence and perhaps in your own life, you can see evidence of what happened when you said, “God, I can’t handle this, you take over.” And then, oh then, everything around you seems to be different because there’s a difference in your own motives and there’s a difference in the control of your life.
“Heaven above is softer blue, earth beneath is sweeter green, something blooms in every hue, Christless eyes had never seen. Since I know as now I know, I am His and He is mine.” Do you remember the old song? It’s different, because you’re different! I hark back to that quotation that I made from Dr. Ogilvie’s latest book about the love of God, where he tells that in a moment of real pressure and frustration in his own ministry, he cried out to God for a new touch of the Holy Spirit and God gave him rest and peace and assurance. The next morning, he woke up and these seven words were in his mind, and he wrote them down: “Nothing is changed, but everything is different.” Why? Because God is in control.
Now that’s the background of this paragraph of the Psalm, which I call the logic of the non-burned-up approach. First, evildoers will be cut off; they’ll be forgotten. There’s no place of permanence for a person that is outside of God’s will. Then, in verse 12, God already knows the schemes of wicked people. “The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnash upon him with his teeth. The Lord shall laugh at him, for he seeth that his day is coming.” Payday is coming.
Now, God’s laughter is an awesome thing, and it is reserved, it seems to me, in the Bible, for those who have rejected Him. In this passage here, and another one later on, it says “God will laugh when their fear cometh.” (The wicked, and the God-rejecters.) God’s relationship with His own is spoken of as joy. The Lord God in the midst of thee is mighty. He will save, He will rejoice in His love, He will joy over thee with singing. That’s what the prophets say. Jesus spoke of my joy. Joy is more than happiness. Joy involves more than what we associate with laughter. Joy is the ineffable, profound experience of being absolutely right with the Lord and thus right with whatever circumstances you may be in at the time.
You may be in trials. Peter said, “Though for the season, if need be ye are in heaviness,” (that means you’re ‘down,’ you’re sorrowful, you’ve ‘got the blues,’ you’re in heaviness through manifold temptations), “that the trial of your faith being much more precious than of gold, which perisheth, though it be tried by fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, whom having not seen, ye love.” It’s a person that gives joy. Whom? Him. “Having not seen, ye love, in whom though now you see Him, not yet believing, ye rejoice.” See, there’s the joy factor, with joy unspeakable and full of glory. I’m quoting now from Peter.
God knows what’s ahead of the Christ-rejecting, wicked person. Payday is coming, and he’s going to have to face all of his wickedness and all of his schemes, and all of his bitterness. That’s quite a phrase there, “Gnash upon him with his teeth.” Have you ever heard anybody gnash their teeth? That’s quite a sound, isn’t it? And, God says, He’s going to laugh at him. That doesn’t upset God.
Now, learn this truth for yourself, beloved, will you? I have to re-learn it every day of my life, I must confess. God doesn’t get upset at the things that worry me. It doesn’t shake Him up. He doesn’t get upset. Now, He’s an infinitely particular God, a God so infinite in His knowledge that He has assigned a separate number to every hair follicle on your head. Jesus said so. And He is a God that knows all about the little birds. “One sparrow,” said Jesus, “does not even fall to the earth without your Father knowing it.” So, God is the God of infinite particularity. So He knows what’s going on in my life, doesn’t He? And the things that shake me up or even devastate me, and the deep, lasting hurts that come from years of either rejection or abuse or sorrow, or whatever it may have been, the deep, lasting hurts that flare up every now and again…hurt, like sorrow, comes in waves, doesn’t it?
You think you’ve got it licked, and then all of a sudden it hits you again. God knows about this, but it doesn’t throw Him. It doesn’t upset Him, because why? Well, in the case of the wicked person that’s plotting against you and hating you, gnashing his teeth (that means hatred and bitterness), you meet it now and again; what happens? God says, “Look, I know the future, I know what’s going to happen.” It’s like saying, “Look, I’ve read the last chapter of the book and I know how it’s going to come out.” God knows that his (that is, the wicked man’s) day is coming.
Now, this is the logic of not getting burned up because of other people’s evil. The next thing he says is that evil plans end up attacking the planner! Notice what he says. “The wicked have drawn the sword, bent the bow to cast down the poor and needy (it says their sword in verse 15). Their sword shall enter into their own hearts and their bows shall be broken. Evil plans end up attacking the planner. Well, you’ve seen that happen in your own lifetime, haven’t you? Evil plans end up attacking the planner.
Don’t ever plan to get even with somebody. Don’t ever plan to take revenge. Don’t ever plan to hit back at someone, because inevitably, it hurts you. To be bitter does something to you. To be unforgiving does something to you. To be vindictive does something to you. That’s a long word meaning ‘you hit me, I’ll hit you back.” See, it’s not the damage you inflict upon somebody else. That, of course, is a fact. What really is important at this juncture, if you’re a child of God, is that if you engage in this sort of thing, it hurts you.
The Minirth-Meier folk, do you know them? The Minirth-Meier clinic? Doctors Minirth and Meier, and Doctor Hawkins, and all of the people they have with them on the radio? Well, I was with them not too long ago when they were making a television segment. They had me there as a guest; actually, I was a straight man for them. I was just responding intelligently to some of the things that were said. But I was amazed and impressed to hear one of the good doctors say that a high proportion of the cases of chronic acute depression that they treat have their beginnings in deep resentment of some sort in the patient’s heart.
Now I didn’t originate that; I didn’t dream it up. These are people who are professionals and who treat thousands of people over the course of any one year. They said that a high proportion of the acute depression cases that they see are caused by deep resentment in the heart of the patient. Now the patient is not aware of it, oftentimes, but there it is. You only hurt yourself when you harbor resentment. Turn it over to Jesus Christ this minute, will you? By faith, turn your feelings over to Him. He can be touched, it says, with the feeling of our infirmities. And as I began the broadcast, so I end this little segment: Turn it over to Jesus! The only way to enjoy your world is to let God control you.
Dear Father, today, Oh give us the good sense to turn things over to Thee. I pray 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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