What To Do?
God reserves the right to tell you beloved what to do. He doesn’t always explain His commands to you, but He wants you to obey without question.
Alright. Thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, that little phrase establishes the fact that this is indeed your good friend, Bob Cook, and we’re back together again looking at the Word of God. How I cherish these times together with you. My beloved friend, thank you for being there.
We’re in Ephesians 4. We’re talking about the unity of the Spirit, and Paul opens that up by using a series of words that are preceded by “one.” One body. That’s the Body of Christ. All the believers are called the body of Christ. One Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God. One hope of your calling. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself epitomizes our hope. He’s alive, He’s in the glory, He has plans for us. He said, “I want you to be with me.” And so, He is Himself, our hope. One Lord. We were talking about that the last time we got together.
This matter of the Lordship of Christ, what is to be my personal approach to it? Well, we found I think, in the questions and answers that are in Acts 9, Saul of Tarsus apprehended there by the living Lord in a flash of super atomic brightness. Saul is now on his face on the ground, his eyes blinded and his heart made suddenly open and repentant. And he says, “Who art thou, Lord?” Well, the answer was, “I am Jesus.” And we talked about that the last time we got together. He’s the savior, He’s the only savior, He’s God’s appointed way of salvation. And He said, “Whom thou persecutest.” The fact that you reject Christ actually means you’re fighting God. And then He says, “It’s hard for you to kick against the ox goad.” That word pricks there means the ox goad.
And so the last broadcast we had together, I think, mentioned the fact that the cow always loses. He doesn’t want to go into the cattle shoot, he doesn’t wanna go into the barn, he doesn’t wanna go on to the ramp to be loaded on a truck but he loses because there’s a goad that makes him go. And so the harder he kicks, the worse he hurts himself. And this, of course, is an illustration of the fact that the harder you kick against God, the more you hurt yourself and others who love you. Now, that’s that part. “Who art thou, Lord?” He says, “I’m Jesus. You’re fighting Me. And the harder you fight, the more you hurt yourself.” That’s what He’s saying. Does that strike home to some of our hearts this morning? “I’m Jesus. The Savior, the only way. But you’re fighting Me. And the harder you fight, the worse you hurt yourself and those who love you.” What’s the answer? Say yes to Him. Let Him be Lord of your life. So–Saul of Tarsus.
The second question, “Lord what will thou have me to do?” Let Him give the orders. It’s that simple. Turn the running of your life over to Him. I think of my friend, Sam Bender, who for good many years had a machine shop of some sort in Toledo, haven’t seen him in lots of years, but a charming gracious man, one who loves God. He and I had opportunity just to be together over a period of time a good many years ago. This will be back in the ’50s, I guess. He said to me, “You know, my life wasn’t going very well.” and he said, “I went to a convention in Detroit.” And he said, “On the way back, I had one of my friends with me, and I said to him, ‘You drive for a while. I got a lot of heavy thinking to do. I’m gonna sit in the back seat and just be quiet.'” So he said, “I got out from the driver’s seat, and I got in the back seat of my car. And my buddy did the driving. As we went along the old Telegraph Highway from Detroit to Toledo.” And he said, “I said, ‘God, things aren’t going the way they should.'” He said, “You gotta help me. I want You, from now on, to take over. I want You to run things.” And he said, “I really meant it as I sat there and prayed.” And he smiled at me, he said, “You know, Bob, things changed from then on.”
Well, I don’t know whether life has been perfect for him since that time, I really don’t know. But I know that there was a change when he said, “God, You have to run things.” That’s the point. Isn’t it? “God, I want You to run things.” Have you ever said that to Him? “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? Lord, what do You want me to do? I’ll do it. Just tell me.” Now and again, I get letters, almost agonized letters when people say, “I want to do the will of God, but I don’t know what it is.” My answer always has to be start where you are. There is always something you can do after you pray that the faithful Holy Spirit will nudge you to do, and this will then become part of God’s larger plan in leading you.
I think of my own life. Traveling every day, every week, traveling somewhere in the work of Youth for Christ. I could feel that I was slowing down in my store of energy. And I began to think and pray about something that would be less demanding physically, but that would fit in with some of my life plans. I was interested in publication, I was interested in writing, I was interested in education, a lot of different things. And of course, wanted to keep on preaching somewhere as often as possible. This is part of my life plan. And then came the opportunity of working with Vic Cory and Bernice Cory at Scripture Press. I was called vice president for distribution. That’s a pious way of saying sales manager. And so there I was, for five years.
Now, I remember saying yes to God on the question. And during those five years, the Lord taught me a number of things that I would never have otherwise learned. How to manage my objective, how to read a P&L statement. A lot of different things. And then there came this telephone call from Bill Miller, of beloved memory. He’s now with the Lord a good many years, his wife just passed away as well. Bill Miller called me, said that Bev Shea had suggested that Billy Graham had suggested that Cook might be a good president for the college to follow Percy Crawford, who had died. And there now was another challenge, and I found myself praying, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” I didn’t wanna go really. I didn’t wanna move. I liked it where I was, but there it was. And finally, I remember one day just with tears really, I said, “Alright, Lord. I’m willing.” And peace came to my heart, and the move was made. Well, that wasn’t easy. There was some rough years. But as the time went on, God helped us to turn a number of corners, financial and otherwise, accreditation and so on.
The point I’m making is, when you say yes to God, you open up the way for the next step in His master plan. And it may not be clear to you at the time, see. It may not be clear to you at the time, but just do today what He tells you to do. Just because He tells you. When I was a little boy, maybe five or six, I would follow my father around as he did his chores as janitor at the Spencerian Commercial School in Cleveland, Ohio. We lived at 18th on Euclid in a basement flat in that building. It’s all gone now except one corner of it. The rest is a parking lot. But that was home sweet home for yours truly during those little boy years. And I would follow my father around. And sometimes he’d give me a command of some sort, and I would boy-like I’d say, “Why?” He’d look at me with those snapping blue eyes and he’d say, “Because I said so, boy.” That was it. [laughter]
Well, now, I understand the psychologist tell you that you have to explain to young people, especially teenagers, the logic behind what you’re commanding. Authoritarianism reaches its limits at points. That’s what they say, anyway. But God reserves the right to tell you, beloved, what to do. And oftentimes, He doesn’t explain to you. As He said to Peter, “What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.” He doesn’t always explain His commands to you, but He wants you to obey without question. “Because I said so.” That is the essence of making Jesus Lord of your life.
Relate your decisions to the Word of God. Isaiah 8:20 says, “To the law and to the testimony: For if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them.” Relate your decisions to the Word of God. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,” said Paul, the Apostle. See? So relate your decisions to the Word of God. Be sure that you’re deciding on what you know of God’s will from His inerrant word, the Bible. But there will be times when you don’t quite understand why it’s happening. There’ll be times when you’re not quite sure of the rationale behind it. But you know God is asking you to do it, so do it. “Why?” “Because I said so, boy.” That’s it. Isn’t it? “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” Now, he didn’t say, “You go and preach.” He didn’t say that. He said, “Get up.” That’s the first thing. “And go into the city.” That’s the second thing. And then he said, “Somebody will tell you what to do next.”
God doesn’t give you all His plans on any given Thursday, but He does give you something you can do at the time. You follow me there? See? “What do you want me to do, Lord?” “Oh, I want you to be a preacher, I want you to do this.” No, He didn’t say that. He didn’t say that. He said, “Arise. Get up.” That’s the first thing. “Go into the city.” That’s the second thing. “It shall be told thee what thou must do.” That’s the third thing.
Wait until somebody tells you the next thing. God is so direct and so simple and so patient and loving. Why not just say Yes to Him today? And why not start doing the things you know you should do as the Holy Spirit prompts you? You don’t have to know the whole scenario. Just do what God tells you to do, Alright? God bless you as you obey Jesus as Lord of your life today.
Father God, today, help us to be humble enough to ask for Thy will, and then obedient enough to do it promptly. 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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