Living With Dependence On God
Humbling ourselves means turning over each area of our life to God as it comes. God takes all that we are and weaves into us His own will and purposes. God's timing in revealing His will for you is perfect.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? This is your good friend, Bob Cook, and I’m back with you once again. We’re looking at the Word of God that I’m so grateful, so very grateful for the privilege of sharing with you.
1 Peter 5, and we’ve gotten into verse 6: “Humble yourselves,” said he, “therefore, under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you in due time.” Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. How do I do that? Well, the only thing I know to tell you is that you’re living your life a step at a time, a moment at a time, a thought at a time, a decision at a time, a heartache at a time, a falling tear – one at a time. Life breaks up into little segments, doesn’t it? And so if you’re going to humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, that means when that thought comes into your mind, you turn it over to God.
When you’re faced with a decision, you seek God’s guidance. When you are hurt by something or somebody, you go to God for the healing balm of Gilead. When there’s an inter-personal relationship that needs mending, you go to your heavenly Father for guidance as the best way to do it. You acknowledge your need of God at every juncture of life. You need Him before you start the tasks of the day; you need Him as you start into the work at the office or shop, or if you’re a salesperson on the sales route, going from one client to another; you need Him before you enter the classroom; you need Him before you start the 3,000,001 things that homemakers have to do without anybody ever saying ‘Thank You’.
You need God. Turn to him, turn to Him in prayer, and in worship, and in dependence on Him. That doesn’t mean you’re going to get to be kind of a religious clod; it doesn’t mean that you’ll be neurotic; it doesn’t mean that you’ll lack purpose and direction in life. It only means that your purpose and your direction will be enhanced and controlled by the sovereign wisdom of God. You can stand a lot of that, can’t you? I know I can.
God has a way of taking what you think and what you desire and what you feel, and weaving in and on and around it His own purposes and His own will when you yield to Him. Samuel said to Saul, “After the Holy Ghost has come up, after the Spirit of God has come upon you,” he said, “do as occasion serves thee for the Lord is with thee.” God takes your natural thoughts and decisions, and guides them, and weaves in and around and through them the fabric of His own divine wisdom. Can you take hold of that?
What you are naturally, what you are normally, what you are by inheritance and by environment – the person that is you – yielded to God results in a genuine person; you don’t get to be any less genuine. Peter was a blurter and he kept on blurting after Pentecost, but God was in every one of his utterances now. See? You don’t get to be any less genuine. But every facet of your personality is now made to glow with the radiance of God’s presence and God’s glory as you yield it by faith, to Him. Would you try that today? Specific areas of your life, I mean, consciously turn them over by faith, to your blessed Lord.
Now if you’re a Christian, the Holy Spirit dwells within you. And so all you do by faith, engages His dynamic and eternal power on your behalf, right within your own person. “The Spirit of God and of glory rests on you,” said Peter. So all you do is take every aspect of life and let God control it; and you’ll find then that He is working in and through you. Philippians 2:13, “It is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”
Now what is the result of this? It says, “He’ll exalt you in due time.” God will give you all the sunshine you can stand. You don’t have to seek the spotlight, you don’t have to seek for recognition. When you start to seek for recognition, what you say and do has a kind of a brassy sound to it. The spirit of self-seeking crops out here and there. It’s impossible to disguise either sincere love for Christ on one hand, or self-love on the other.
I’ve met people, some of them in Christian work to be sure; met people who were, were so obviously kind and, and generous and gracious, and yet you knew underneath all of that they had their own private agenda and you saw it working out. Well, you don’t have to be that kind of a person. You can be genuine, and genuinely under the control of the blessed indwelling Holy Spirit of God. And God will do the exalting, He’ll give you all the sunshine you can stand. You just be real with Jesus and there’ll be people looking you up because they’re hungry for God.
The world is so full of phony’s that people rejoice when they see somebody that’s really real and they, they gravitate toward you. You get a following, whether or not you want it, if you’re real with God and He’s working in your life. They said to the young minister, “Get on fire, and people will come to see you burn.” The same thing is true – in the limited sense at least – with every believer in the world. When the fire of God starts to burn in your life and the Holy Spirit starts to lead you, miraculously moment by moment, day by day, you’re going to have a following. And you’ll have all the sunshine that you can stand, believe me.
“That He may exalt you in due time.” Now God’s timing is not always my timing. I’ve often found myself praying, “Lord, hurry up!” Did you ever do that? I guess you did. “Lord, hurry up!” Well, His timing is not always my time. God says to, through Isaiah, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, and My ways are not your ways; for as the heaven is high above the Earth, so are My thoughts higher than your thoughts, and My ways than your ways.”
God says, “I’ll do it my way, and I’ll do it in my time.” God’s timing is perfect. Jesus waited until Lazarus had a chance to die and be buried before He showed up at Bethany. Mary and Martha were thinking in terms of a healing. Jesus was planning in terms of a resurrection. He was going to bring that dead body out from the tomb. Lazarus was going to live once again. Mary and Martha thought in terms of a healing, and so when Christ came finally to Bethany, they said, “Lord, you blew it! You didn’t get here soon enough. If you had only been here, Lazarus wouldn’t have died!”
Jesus said, “I’m the resurrection and the life. You’re lookin’ at the wrong thing, Martha. He that believeth in Me; liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. You believe that?” She said, “Yes Lord, I believe.” And she went and called Mary, said, “You better go see Him, you need to talk to Him.” And together then they went out to the gravesite. And the Lord Jesus told them, “Roll away the stone.” And after some little demurring on, on the basis of fact that his body might already have been decaying, they rolled the stone away and Jesus called Lazarus, “Lazarus, come forth!”
Somebody has pointed out that if He hadn’t said, “Lazarus,” all, all the dead bodies in the cemetery would have come. (Laughs) Probably so. Says Lazarus came forth bound hand and foot with grave clothes. Now he didn’t walk out ‘cause they wound the body up tightly with yards and yards of fine linen interspersed with spices – that’s the way they buried in those days. He couldn’t, he couldn’t move a muscle. And, and so Jesus said, “Loose him, let him go.” And they unwound those grave wrappings, and here is this man once again alive through the resurrection power of the Lord Jesus Christ.
God’s timing is not my timing. I, I tend to get impatient. But He says He’ll exalt you in due time. You wait on the Lord. The Bible says, “Wait on the Lord and He shall strengthen thine heart. Wait I say, on the Lord.” God’s timing is perfect, exquisitely beautiful and perfect. And you can depend on Him – He’s never late.
Joe Gunderson, my good friend of many years, now with the Lord, he was chairman of the board of Midwest Bible Church for many years. Dear tall Norwegian brother, wonderful sense of humor and a warm compassionate heart. What a dear friend! Well he’s gone now, I’ll see him in the glory. But he had one saying that I latched on to. I met him so that I got to know him real well back in the 1940’s. And somewhere along the line there in 1944-45, I heard him for the first time say this: He said he had learned it from his own mother. And here’s the saying that I’ve always remembered – “When you’re seeking the will of God, praying for God’s will and you don’t know what it is,” he says, “it’s because you don’t need to know just yet.” Isn’t that nice?
When you’re seeking the will of God and you don’t know what it is, it’s because you don’t need to know just yet. God will always tell you. “If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” “In all thy ways,” said the wise man, ‘in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall” – not maybe – “shall direct thy paths.” So, what’re you going to do? Are you going to learn to wait on God? Are you going to learn to, to depend on Him, and on His timing, and on His plans?
Jesus said one day, “What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.” Are you facing some things that have a big question mark in your mind, and you say, “Why did God do that to me?”? I’ve been there, I’ve had that kind of experience a number of times in my life. “Why did God permit that? Why did He do that to me?” Well, you don’t have to know why. The Savior says, “What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.” God, in His own way and time will let you know “that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,” said Paul to the people in Colossae.
You can know the will of God and you’ll know it on time, that’s the point. In due time. God’s timing is perfect, learn to wait on Him. And here’s the secret: Do what you know is God’s will, this minute. Many of us are praying about the future when we’re busy disobeying God in the present. Do what you know to be will of God, this minute, and God will lead you along step by step. If you get in motion for God, He’ll steer you. It’s pretty hard to steer a truck that isn’t moving. Can’t steer it if it’s not moving. You get in motion for God, and He’ll guide you, He’ll steer you.
You turn things over to Him by faith, step by step. “The steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord. He delighteth in his way. And though he shall, though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand.” “Steps and stops and stumbles,” Dr. Pettingill used to say, “all of them under the control of your blessed Lord.” Learn to depend on Him and learn to accept His timing of things. In due time. It might not be my time. I may get impatient, and I may get weary, and I may find myself praying, “Lord, hurry up.”
But if I’ve got the just the sense to, to yield to Him and wait on Him, He’s going to come through because He’s never late. “Great is Thy faithfulness,” the Bible says. “God is faithful by whom ye were called into the fellowship of His son, Jesus Christ.” He’s not going to fail you. Never.
Dear Father today, oh help us to humble ourselves before Thee, to wait for Thy timing, and to obey Thy guidance. 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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