Summary: This message explains why we do not have blessings or joy in our lives and how we go about getting those blessings from God. To do so, we use the passage found in PSALM 1:1-6 as our main authority.
My father used to tell us boys that everyone has someone who is in authority over them. He said that every soldier has a sergeant; every worker has a foreman; and then with a wink, he would add, “And every husband has a wife.” And even though he was joking when he said that, he realized that a man and a wife have a duty to one another.
In EPHESIANS 5:21, it tells the married couples:
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
So, we start there, with the husband and wife. They each hold authority over the other in that they are duty-bound to do all they can to help each other, to support each other, and to give their total love to one another. And in doing so, and keeping God in the center of that marriage, the marriage will be blessed beyond measure.
But there is more to life than just the marriage, isn’t there? And in every facet of our lives, we also have others in authority over us. And with that authority, comes a discipline and instructions for us to obey. That is the point where people have problems with authority. In our carnal and sinful nature, we abhor anyone telling us what to do. We resent it because we are not humble people. Human nature, by itself, never changes.
To get a detailed picture of what our human nature is like, all we have to do is take a look at the Israelites as they wandered the deserts for forty long years. The sole reason they had to endure the wilderness was because of their disdain for authority. They wanted to do things their own ways, and when they wanted something, they wanted it right then . . . but they still wanted to be blessed. That attitude never helps us get what we want but it does seem to helpus get what we do not want.
In their case, God had given them the Promised Land as a gift, and He did not want them to bring their sin and rebellious attitudes with them as they inhabited that land. So, He kept them away until a new generation grew to take their place.
Unfortunately, for our sakes, we have that same nature today. What we fail to realize is that we will never be happy, safe, or content, as long as we view that authority with anything but eager obedience. I do not care whether that authority comes from your boss at work, or from God Himself. Until we become humbled in heart, we will always suffer the consequences of disobedience.
Every single one of us has experienced those consequences, too, haven’t we? I am reminded of a young man who joined the Army and was going through parachute training. They gave him a list of instructions and told him that he must memorize each one.
Those instructions told him to jump when he was told to jump; to count to ten and then pull the rip cord. They went on to say that if the rip cord did not work, he was to immediately pull the backup rip cord. And, lastly, the instructions said that when he landed, he was to get in the truck that would be waiting for him and it would take him back to the base.
He obeyed orders. He jumped when they told him to. He counted to ten and pulled the rip-cord, but nothing happened. He immediately pulled the backup rip cord, but still, no parachute deployed.