Your Life Isn't Set In Stone By God (Part one of two)
Praise Jesus today everyone. I wanted to speak about something that is important to us as men and as disciples of Jesus. And that is that God did not create us to make all our decisions for us. God could have created us as robots that only choose good or only choose to go the right way, the way to the right. But He made us that we have free will, that we could be like God. The problem came when Adam and Eve sinned and the devil lied to them, saying that in order to really become like God, you have to know good from evil. And that is when men and women chose to do evil so that they could become like God. And actually, they did not become like God. They just became damned like the devil is damned. And unless we repent of that thinking, we will not be the children of the kingdom of God. But with inside the kingdom of God, we also have choices to make. And God will not force us within the kingdom of God to choose one right way or the other right way. He doesn't just call His children to the right path and then make every single decision for you. Why would He create you to be a child of His kingdom just to be like a robot in His kingdom? He doesn't do that. He created each of us with the ability to choose which way we go as long as we are surrendered to the Holy Spirit. You can choose basic things and more sophisticated things, for example, you go out and you want to buy a pair of shoes, you can choose a black pair of shoes, or a white pair of shoes and it doesn't really matter, it's your preference. And God has given you those small things to choose.
I know there are some Christians that get very superstitious over everything. They think that they can't choose the black pair of shoes because maybe that represents sin. Well, that is ridiculous, guys. God created black people, He created white people and everything in between. And it doesn't mean that someone is sinful due to their color of their skin. So the color of your shoes or your shirt or your pants doesn't matter either, unless, of course, you're trying to wear all black to symbolize the color of your heart. But whether you wear black socks or a black shirt, black shoes or white shoes or whatever color you choose is your choice and your preference. Around the place I live, for example, I like to drive a lighter color vehicle that would just be my preference because it is hot and black colors or dark blue or whatever it tends to show up the dirt more and also it becomes hotter in your cab. So it would be my preference to drive a lighter color blue vehicle or a white color or something like that, but it is simply my preference. And as a child of God, we can make those small choices for our life.
But there are also more sophisticated and more intense decisions that we have to make. And sometimes we are not sure. But the Lord allows us to make those decisions in life as we seek His presence. For example, say you are twenty years old and you're seriously considering getting married and there is a certain girl that you like. You're really wondering if she is the right one to marry. Well, truth be told, God has given you the choice 100% to stay single or to be married. But that is a very big decision, which way you go, if you choose to be married, then you take on all the responsibilities of a man in marriage. You take on the responsibility of another soul. The two of you become one flesh. You might have children and now you're responsible as a parent. You become as a father to those children. You raise them for the glory of God, and you're responsible for all of that. But we cannot think that God will force us to get married or force us to have children or force us to do anything. We are given a free will. And first off, we have to surrender that to the Lord to choose good over evil. But once we are surrendered to the Lord's purpose and for His glory, He gives us all these decisions to choose. And there are some young men who follow the Lord that desperately want to know the Lord's voice, but they feel that God is going to micromanage their life. They think that God is going to give them a sign and just tell them this is the job I want you to work, this is the woman I want you to marry, this is how many kids I want you to have, I want you to have two kids and then I want you to adopt one. They think that God is going to micromanage every aspect of their life. That is ridiculous, guys. Jesus Christ will not do your work for you. He will not micromanage your life. He expects you as a man to make decisions. Remember there was one time there were a couple of people bickering and one guy eventually comes to Jesus or maybe it was a lady and basically says, “Lord tell this person to give me my portion and tell this person to do that for me.” And Jesus basically says, “that's not my business. It's not my business to force anyone to do something.” And basically, the message is you can work out your own relationship with people. Jesus is not responsible for your decisions. You can ask them about things that you feel are important, of course, and it's very important to ask the Lord about who you should marry and where you should live and where you should work. But most of the time, Jesus is going to tell you that you have options. Every time in my life where I was looking for a new job, the Lord didn't just lead me to one job or place a job in my lap without me choosing to walk through that door. I had to do the work to get off of my couch, to get out of my chair, and to go put in applications to different workplaces. I had to do the work to go to college. I had to do the work of writing down transcripts and writing down the things that I have done in my life so that other people can see my skill level. So all those things the Lord requires us to do, and if we don't educate ourselves and then communicate with others the things that we're thinking, then we're not going to be able to effectively communicate and grow as a man should.
And it seems that many people in the body of Christ, I’m talking to men in particular have started to get this idea that following Jesus means you let God do everything, that God will just place the wife in your life that you need, He'll show you what color car to drive and what kind it is. And suddenly you're just looking for a sign for God to place something in your lap and that is not how life works with Jesus. Guys, Jesus calls us to go out and to conquer the world so to speak. He gives us the ability and the discernment and the wisdom to choose right over wrong. He allows us to make the decisions of where we will work. And when we are not sure and we pray and we say, “Lord, I’m not sure if this is the right job, but I want you to guide me by your Holy Spirit in this.” Then He certainly will be by your side, and He will certainly guide you and He has given each of us an amount of discernment. But where we lack discernment, we pray and we say “Lord we lack discernment and understanding. I'm not sure which way to go. I don't have the resources to accomplish getting this job or I don't have the skill level.” Or whatever you're trying to accomplish and you're not sure you bring your lack of wisdom before the Lord and you say “guide me”. We don't have to know everything. We don't have to know what our life will look like in a year. But if we trust the Lord and trust that He is a good teacher, then we will know that the amount of resource that He has given us is sufficient for us to walk forward by faith. But faith doesn't mean just sitting on your chair at home and believing that God will give you some money, believing that God will put clothes on you and put a job in your lap. You have to do the work as a man to go and pursue a godly woman in a godly way. You have to do the work to put out your application for your job. You have to do the work to research which kind of truck will work for your career. You have to find the people with resources to be able to go the way that the Lord would have you go.
Your Life Isn't Set In Stone By God (Part two of two)
But if you just sit back and think God's going to do it all for you, that is where many men go very wrong. They take a very passive seat to their manhood and instead of becoming the man God wants them to be, making choices from the wisdom God has given them, they toss their own wisdom out the door and they say, “well, God is going to do it all for me. He will decide if I walk to the left or the right, He will decide what kind of cereal I pull off the shelf. He will decide my diet. God will decide everything.” And they totally dismiss that God himself is the one that gives wisdom and understanding and discernment. And He is the one that guides our path as we as men choose to make Godly decisions in our life. Every day you're going to have decisions. You can't escape that. As soon as you walk out the door in the morning, you're going to have decisions on how you approach people. You're going to have decisions, what you eat, what you wear, where you sleep, who you're going to communicate with, what you're going to say, your attitude, all of those things are your choices in your decisions. And if you go around with your head down in sorrow, then you're going to just be allowing the devil to kick you around. But if you can lift up your head and say, “Lord, please bless my path, bless my life, let me be surrendered to you and I will be a man of God and I will take charge of my life and I will choose to make godly decisions.” Then the Lord will bless your faith. That is true faith. Faith is not saying, “I believe God has done it all. I'll just sit back and relax”. But faith is saying, “I will go out and I will conquer the world and overcome in Jesus’s name, because I know Jesus is with me. I know God has put it in the power, has put His power in me to be a man. I know that because the Holy Spirit is in me. I know the Lord will put the right woman in my life to be married to, but I’m not going to sit back and wait for a woman to pursue me.” I’m saying if you are a single man. So all of these things we have to be responsible men for.
And sadly, a lot of men lack true responsibility and true faith. And as they walk down the road of life, they stumble over every little stone. They are concerned on every little corner, and they're asking God about things that are very unimportant. They're distracted by things of the world. Every little rock and stone, everything trips them up. The Lord wants us to walk confidently in our faith. He wants us to be able to quickly make decisions in a godly manner if there's someone who's trying to barge his or her way into your life, and you know that they are only adding turmoil to your life and strife, then you be quick to take the reins of your own life or your own career, and make sure that they are not in your life. Make sure that the people that are in your life are people that are godly and influencing you the right way. And if there's people in your life, maybe a brother or sister who is distracting you from the faith, but they are someone who lives in your same household, just ask the Lord for wisdom and what to do. All of us have lived or do live with someone who is not truly part of the body of Christ. Maybe they say they're a Christian, but they're hypocrites. Maybe they're in our own house and they're watching movies or reading books or doing things that are vulgar. So someone else's actions aren't going to just pollute us because they are in our physical location. But we do have to ask the Lord about that and say how can I keep myself unstained from the world, even though I have to live with this roommate or live with my parents who are ungodly, or live with this brother or sister who is always in sin? How can I live in the world but not be part of the world in other words? And if we choose to separate ourselves from ungodliness, the Lord will certainly lead us in the righteous way, even if we have an ungodly roommate and that's the only way we can pay our bills is by having this other roommate. Wherever we are in life, the Lord is going to help us if we have faith. But we as men certainly can't just sit back and say, “God has done it all. There's nothing I can do except pray. But I don't have to do anything more.”
Jesus certainly expects that we pray and we ask for the guidance of His Holy Spirit. But we also have to obey Him. We have to take charge of the life He's given us and that is where a lot of men are still lacking. They can pray, they have learned to be disciplined in what they eat and their wives are modest and they're modest. But they haven't learned to take charge of their life as godly men. They let every wave of new doctrine and every new thought push them around, and they're constantly looking for a sign in the world instead of just taking charge of the things that God has given them dominion over. So how are you doing as a man? Are you taking charge of the things God has given you that dominion over? Are you leading your wife in a godly way? Are you taking charge of your business, your career, your education? Whatever you're doing in life, are you doing it for the glory of God or are you letting other people make decisions for you? Are you waiting for another brother or sister to tell you what to do? God has given you the ability to choose, and you better choose to do what is right over evil. And then are we making quick decisions in a godly manner for the things that we know are right? Or are we just looking for a sign, sitting back just hoping that God or someone else will do all our work for us?
I hope this encourages someone to step forward as a man or as a husband, as a brother, and start taking charge of the things that God has given us. He has given us life; He has given us breath; He has given us the ability to choose righteousness. Are we using the resources, the ability, our talents and all of our creativity to bring glory to our creator? Or are we sitting back and burying all those things, just waiting for the return of the Lord to just say, “here it all is, Lord, I couldn't do anything more, I waited for my son and I never got it”? I want to pray for the body of Christ, I want to pray for brothers and sisters in the Lord who want to follow the Lord and who want to take responsibility as a Christian and as a disciple for their own spiritual journey with the Lord and who want to hear from the Holy Spirit themselves. “Lord Jesus, I do pray for brothers and sisters in the Lord who do want to hear from you, who are hoping to be guided by you. I pray that you give them with the wisdom and understanding that they need, but that they would have faith to walk forward in faith and not be stunted, that they could trust you and obey you and not just pray but be diligent to obey you in their life every day, making the hard decisions and the small decisions, making decisions efficiently for you and that they would love the Lord their God with all their heart and not let other people, whether they are a brother or a sister or someone that says they are an elder or a leader in the church, push them around. We don't want to be moved by men and men's ideas or our own imagination, but we want to be moved along by the Spirit of God. So I pray for your true church, Lord, that we truly would be led by your Holy Spirit, and that as you've given to each of us to have gifts from the Holy Spirit, that we would utilize those gifts for your glory and that we truly would be pleasing to our father in heaven. In your name we pray, Lord Jesus, amen.”