Working With God
You are working with God. Your life, every part of it, now is part of the eternal purpose of God.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes this is your friend, Dr. Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you. I’m feeling great, happy in the Lord, glad, oh I’m so grateful for the opportunity of sharing God’s Word with you.
So, we’ve just been talking about the fruitless fig tree, a type of God’s chosen people, Israel, an object lesson that our Lord was trying to teach those who might be discerning enough to understand. Now we come to Mark 11 verse 15, it said, “They came to Jerusalem”, this was the next day after the triumphal entry, “They came to Jerusalem and Jesus went into the temple and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers and the seats of them that sold doves and would not suffer that any man should carry in a vessel through the temple”.
Now that’s quite an accomplishment, when you stop to think of it. This was a huge, a huge structure, lots of people there, many merchants had, had encroached upon the holy area of the temple in order to do their business of buying and selling, and it said, “He began to cast out them that sold and bought, overthrew the tables of the money changers”. You could see how upset they were. Did you ever drop a handful of change? Well you, you look at a table with all sorts of coins upon it, they didn’t have paper money in those days, and He just kicked the table over. I’ll tell you that took some doing. Our Lord Jesus was a man’s man. Yes He was, and it says, “He talked saying, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves. And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy Him”, that means kill Him. Here is religious people, with murder in their hearts.
To be religious does not keep you from being thoroughly human. Religion will not make a lasting difference in your life, only the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ through His indwelling Holy Spirit, will make a difference in your life. You may be religious enough to listen to me with a certain amount, either of toleration or even enjoyment, but religion will not make you different. You will still be the same human being, full of human faults and sins, because you’re a member of the sinful human race. You and I need to be born again through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and if you haven’t had that experience beloved, right now, audibly speak to the Lord Jesus and ask Him to come into your heart and save you by His grace and make you a child of God. He makes the difference.
Here you have religious people plotting murder, “How they might destroy”, that means kill, how they might kill Him, “for they feared Him, because all the people was astonished at His doctrine”. And when the eve was come, He went out of the city”. Divine truth always upsets official religion. Genuine, divine truth always upsets official religion.
I think just now of a large city church, where it is and what it is, is really none of anybody’s business now because this happened many years ago, a large city church. And it was got apparently quite prosperous. Now, as a new pastor there came a man who was truly prophetic in his preaching, that is to say, he preached the truth of God without fear or favor. Not belligerently, but faithfully, there is a difference, and as he preached faithfully the truth of God, he observed that some people were irritated, and became more and more irritated as he preached the Word of God. Just good, straight Bible truth, he was preaching, as he always did, and these people who were high in places of responsibility in this large city church, became more and more irritated. Looking into the matter quietly he found out that at least one of two of them, had their hands, as we say in the till, they were actually helping themselves to some of the monies that were donated by God’s people in the offerings, and so when that was exposed, ultimately they were expelled from the church and it was possible for God to bless the work once again. As I say, this happened many years ago. It’s nobody’s business who and where, and it is an illustration of what I’m telling you.
Genuine, divine truth always is an irritant to people who are just officially religious, while not really knowing God. The reason that some very fine people get irritated with your witness for Christ is that they don’t know Him and that serves as a challenge to them. The very fact that you are walking around living for the Lord is an unspoken challenge to the unbeliever. This is why our brother, David Morkan, said to me one day said, “Bob, unbelief cannot rest until it is organized in opposition to God”. The unbelieving heart views genuine faith as a threat and a challenge. Now, that’s why the Lord Jesus said, “Marvel not if the world hates you, for it hated Me before it hated you”. You see, your faith in Christ results in the fact that people reject, not just you, they’re not rejecting you as a person, per se, they are rejecting the whole concept of Christ in you, the hope of glory. So, I’m speaking to somebody who’s been snubbed at the office or who has been ostracized by the rest of your family because you’re a believer. Someone who has lost some very nice friendships because it developed that these so-called friends wanted no part of your faith in Christ. Someone who has broken up with a sweetheart because of your faith in Christ. Different people like that. I know I’m speaking to, to you. Let me tell you, you don’t have to grieve over that as though you had been personally affronted. The fact is that your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is what has produced that result in unbelieving hearts. Keep sweet, don’t strike back, keep on living for the Lord and let Him handle the situation. Good idea.? Yes I think that’s a good idea.
Well, anyhow, the Lord Jesus threw out these people A monumental task for one person, but He did it and He gave them scripture as a basis, “My house shall be called of all nations a house of prayer, but ye made it a den of thieves”. The scribes and chief priests plotted to kill Him because they feared Him. Why were they afraid of Him? He was about to make unstable, their basis of power. He was about to make unstable, their basis of power. He was a threat to their influence, of their power at that time. They said we’ve got to get rid of Him. Now it says, “In the morning, as they passed by”, coming back again now, “they saw the fig tree dried up from its roots”. Interestingly enough, when a plant or a tree dies, it withers the leaves first, then the roots and so on. This specifically said, “Dried up from the roots”, and Peter calling to remembrance said, “Master, the fig tree which Thou cursed, withers away”, he was surprised.
Small thought here; you and I tend always to be surprised when God does something in line with His omnipotent power and His eternal Word. Oh, I had the most wonderful answer to prayer. Well, well what are you surprised about? You asked God to do it, didn’t you? You should thank Him, praise Him and go on to greater things. We’re always surprised when God acts like God. Isn’t it true? The reason for that I suppose is that the inbred unbelief of the human heart makes us, makes us instinctively put in the if factor. What if nothing helps, nothing happens you know?
Peter was surprised that anything happened after the Lord Jesus spoke that word, and our Lord answers, He says, fellows you’re not dealing with just ordinary circumstances, you’re dealing with God. This is a lesson my beloved friend that I want you, and I want myself to relearn. In your Christian life, you’re not just dealing with things and people. As my philosophy prof used to say, “Mountains, cups and saucers and Model T Ford’s”. You’re not dealing just with things and people. You’re in business with God. “Ye are laborers together with God”, said Paul.
Christ in you, the Lord Jesus Christ dwells within you. You are working with God. Your life, every part of it, now is part of the eternal purpose of God. He said, “Have faith in God”, you’re dealing with God.
Now, how does that make a difference? Well, it makes a difference in the way you start your day. When you wake up the first thing you ought to do is to speak with your blessed Lord, and let Him speak to you through His Word. Why? Because of all of life, because all of life is a process of working with God. That’s why. Why should you snub your best friend, by ignoring him in the, in the beginnings of your days? Speak with your Lord the minute you wake up and let Him speak to you through his blessed Word. That’s what we call, a quiet time. Take time to let God speak with you.
What else? You’re dealing with God, what else? Pray about the decisions you make. I often told my students at the college, “Pray your way through the day. Pray when you wake up. Pray before you greet your roommate. Pray before, if you’re in a family situation, before, before you meet the family. Pray before you go to work. Pray before you take up that first job of work in the morning. Pray before your first class. Pray before you enter in upon a public conversation. Pray before you answer the phone, you don’t know who it is. Pray before you open a letter, you don’t know from whom it is or what it is. Pray before you sign a document or write a letter. Pray before you go on a date. Pray before you make a decision about job or life companion or whatever it may be. Pray your way through the day”. I told them that so often that I think they may have wearied of it, but there it was. Oh, Jesus said, fellows you’re not talking about ordinary relationships, you are dealing with God. Have faith in God. It’s not what you can do, it’s what God can do that counts. It’s not how you feel about a situation, it’s how God feels about it that counts. You’re working together with God. Let that color every relationship of life.
Dear Father today, may we have the good sense to realize that we’re working with you, and may we obey the promptings of Thy blessed Holy Spirit as He dwells within us, in Jesus’ name I ask 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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