Summary: When we find God we discover the order of things; what is important, and what is not. What the world calls normal is UP-SIDE-DOWN in the Christian’s LIFE! As we examine our lives, we need to ask ourselves, “Do I feel OUT of PLACE in this world?
N. T. Wright tells the story of trying to prepare for a hiking and camping trip. He went to an outfitter who took him around the store showing him everything he would need. The salesman recommended a good sleeping bag and a durable tent. He sold him a very good pair of hiking shoes. He convinced him he needed a proper stove and cooking kit. He piled things at the counter like maps, a flashlight, knife, and first-aid kit. He sold him all the packaged food he would need.
On they went through the whole store. The last thing he sold him was a backpack to carry all the stuff. In the pack they placed all the things he had bought for the trip. It was so heavy he couldn't pick it up. As it sat on the counter, he sort of backed up to it and placed his arms through the straps. As he was staggering out the door he happened to ask the man who sold him all the stuff, "What sort of vacations do you have, then? Where do you go?"
The man retorted, "Oh, I just go to the seaside. Bad back. Can't carry stuff like that."
Jesus' words came to his mind as he stumbled with all his gear toward his car: "They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them."
So here the Pharisees were, telling people all the things they needed to take on their spiritual journey and piling them on their backs, and all the while they were not carrying the pack themselves. They were haughty and proud and held people to obeying laws that they themselves did not obey. They did not obey them because they were above the law. The rules were for the common people, the little people. They could cheat because they weren't like everybody else. They owned the camping supply store and could tell everyone else what they needed, while they avoided wooded trails and lay at the seashore. Jesus says, "Do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach."
In Jesus’ day they had the Pharisees who could tell you everything you need to be obedient and in line with God, but couldn’t be more off track.
Today, we have all kinds of people, companies, clubs, groups, telling us what we need to be successful . . . and some of it is right on target for a certain area of life. Weightwatchers has proven to be consistently good at getting millions back to target weight . . .
You can find a great financial planner who will help you determine your money won’t run out before you do.
The company Crest has the solution for you to be able to keep your teeth in your mouth all the days of your life.
On and on we could go . . . and all these things are legitimate concerns . . .
But, there is only ONE place to find the solution that will change your life and your eternity! . . . In God’s Word!
There are three changes that come about when God is in it! And, seeing as He created the world and all that is in it, I think it is safe to say, when God is at work in your world, He turns your world RIGHT SIDE UP!
1. He SCATTERS the PROUD in the plans of their hearts!
a. Could be seen as the MORAL REVOLUTION in mankind!
Listen to this and see if this politician wouldn’t be one worth voting for . . . "We have been the receipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prospertiy; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us."
Now, that sounds like someone we could rally around, doesn’t it! He sees it . . . how God should be woven into the very existence of our society . . . and, where the credit should go.
For that reason he has no hope of being elected in today’s environment . . .
Well, that, and he has been dead for 150 years . . . those were the words of a speech made in 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln.