Title: LOOKING TO GOD FOR DIRECTION OF MY LIFE
Text: Ps. 81:10-16
Have you ever had the experience of what I call a “divine appointment”? That’s when you were exactly at the spot God needed you to be to talk to someone about the Lord. You feel His presence strongly upon you and the words flow with inspiration. The words were just the right thing to say because it results in a change of heart, or a decision that honors God. Have you experience that? It’s awesome, isn’t it?!
I know about a college town church that prayed that God would show them what they could do in the way of an outreach ministry to the local college. In the church group was a girl that tried unsuccessfully for two years to try to start an outreach on the campus. Three days after praying for God to show them what He was doing on the campus, another girl stopped her and said, “I think you might be a Christian. I need to talk to you.” She decided to skip the next class and went to the cafeteria to talk with her. The other girl said, “Eleven of us girls have been studying the Bible, none of us are Christians. Do you know somebody who can lead us in a Bible study?” As a result, she started three Bible study groups in the women’s dorms and two in the men’s dorm.
For two years she tried to do something on her own power and failed. For three days she looked to see where God was working and joined Him. What a difference it made!
The Psalmist says in Ps. 20:7 - “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” Where you place your trust makes all the difference. Let’s see what I mean.
I. GOD-CENTERED LIVING
A. The focus of the Bible is on God. Satan’s tactic is to shift our center away from God and put it on self.
B. Salvation is a denial of self. To know and do the will of God, you must deny self and return to putting God at the center of your life. Only then can He accomplish His will in us.
C. The self-centered life: focus is on self; self-confident; depend on your own abilities; seek to be accepted by the world; look at things from a human perspective; selfish.
D. The God-centered life: confidence is in God; depend on His provision; deny self; seek the kingdom of God and righteousness; look at things from God’s perspective.
E. To live a God-centered life, you must focus on God’s purposes, not your own plans! Without God at the center, our perspective is distorted by the world.
F. When God wants to do something, He takes the initiative to talk to somebody and involve His people in accomplishing His purpose.
1. God was about to destroy the world with a flood when He came to Noah.
2. When God prepared to destroy Sodom & Gomorrah, He told Abraham about it.
3. God came to Gideon when He was about to deliver Israel from the Midianites.
4. God came to Saul when He was ready to carry the gospel to the Gentiles.
5. The most important factor in each of these was what God was about to do! You never find God asking people to dream up what they want to do for Him!
G. Folks, we do not sit down and dream what we want to do for God and then call God in to help us! The pattern in the Scripture is: submit yourself to God…wait until He shows you what He is about to do…then when you see Him doing it…join Him!
II. GOD’S PLANS VERSUS OUR PLANS
A. Who delivered Israel from Egypt? Moses or God? God did. Did Moses ever try to take matters into his own hands? Yes. Ex. 2:11-15
1. What would have happened if Moses had tried to deliver the children of Israel through a human approach? Thousands would have been killed!
2. Moses tried to do deliver them by his own power and it cost him 40 years of exile in Midian working as a shepherd!
3. The result is that God had to reorient his life to putting God at the center! 40 years is a lot of stubbornness folks!
Application: How many years have you been in Midian? How long will it take for Him to starve out your stubbornness before you begin feasting on the richness of God’s will, God’s way, in God’s timing?!
B. When God delivered Israel, how many were lost? None. When God accomplished His purpose, he led the Egyptians to give the Israelites their gold, silver, and clothes! Egypt was plundered, their army was destroyed, and the Israelites did not lose a single person!
C. When will we realize that God’s way is the best way?!
1. We cause some of the worst pain in our churches because “we” have a plan. And when we implement it, all we get out of it is a fizzled skyrocket!
2. If we would only do it God’s way, instead, He would have us walking in the heavenlies with a harvest that will last forever!
D. Jesus is the head of the Church! Let’s let Him set the vision and communicate our mission! What we can accomplish in 6 months if we are yielded to Him…we could never do in 60 years without Him!
E. God brought Israel out of Egypt with many signs and wonders. Don’t you think you can trust Him to submit your life to Him?! And when they got to the border of the Promised Land, they couldn’t trust Him to deliver it to them, so they wandered for another 40 years until those lacking faith were all dead.
F. The Scripture records that God would have conquered their enemies quickly if they had followed His plans rather than rely on their own strength. ** Ps. 81:1-16
Folks, I’m calling you to a spiritual crossroads. Would you rather follow your own plans and wander around in a spiritual wilderness…or follow God’s ways and quickly enter a spiritual promised land?!
We need to understand that what God is about to do where we are…is more important than telling God what you want to do for Him!
What good would Moses have done if he had marched into Pharaoh’s palace and threatened him if he did not let the Israelites go? What good would Abraham have done if he decided to go door-to-door witnessing the day God destroyed the cities? Where would Daniel have ended up if he would have told Nebuchadnezzer was an OK option. He would have been INSIDE the belly of the lions, instead of using them for a pillow!!
Beloved, things are about to happen in the lives of people all around us. God wants to intercept those lives! He wants to do it through YOU!
You say, “But I can’t do it, Lord! I don’t know how.” God knows you can’t do it. That’s why He would say to you, if you will listen to His voice, “I will do it Myself…but I want to do it THROUGH YOU!!”
Folks, you’re the only Jesus some people will ever see! Don’t stay wandering in the desert…submit your life to God and see what God can do with you! PEOPLE NEED THE LORD!
SONG: “People Need The Lord”