Summary: This sermon calls on us to acknowledge God in every aspect of our lives.
Proverbs 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
Did you know that the English language is one of the most difficult languages to learn? One of the reasons for this is due to the multiple meanings of words. For instance, the word "can" has many meanings, depending on the context. I can do something, my mother knows how to can vegetables, canned music is music that has been recorded, however, if I get canned it means I got fired. Fired can also mean that something was ignited... I think you get the picture, my drift, my meaning...
The meaning of words is vital to our understanding of what is being said. I was taught in a communications seminar years ago that, what you say isn't necessarily what they hear. So, just exactly what does it mean to "acknowledge Him" and what does "in all your ways" mean?
Well, the definition of acknowledge is"
1. declare to be true or admit the existence or reality or truth of.
2.report the truth of.
3. express recognition of the presence or existence of, or acquaintance with.
4. express obligation, thanks, or gratitude for.
5. accept someone to be what is claimed or accept his power and authority.
6. accept as legally binding and valid.
I have to admit that I never had a full understanding of what this word truly meant until I looked it up. I believe that most of us just think "acknowledge" is to give a nod to someone to let them know we heard and understand, but that isn't the whole truth, is it?
So, if we accept these definitions of "acknowledge" then it means that if we acknowledge God the we must do the following.
We declare Him to be true and admit His existence, the reality and truth of it. We confess to Him that we have received His truth. We express recognition of His presence in our lives. It means we express gratitude and thankfulness for what He has done for us. It means we accept the obligation that our relationship with Him requires. It means we accept the claims He has over our lives when we enter into a relationship with Him. It means we accept His power and authority and His claims over our lives and our will. And finally, we accept His claims over our lives as legal and binding.
With all that being said, how does that translate into our everyday lives?
1. What does "acknowledge God" in thought look like? Well first off, I need to know what His ways are, if I am going to acknowledge them. God is Holy, He is righteous and His Word declares that He desires the same for us. That means we are to seek holiness in our thought lives. The things we think about eventually become our actions. When I was in survival training in the Navy, I went seven days without any real food. All I could think about was getting a pizza from the Line Shack across from my barracks. When the training was over, that was the first place I went after I got cleaned up. The thoughts we obsess over become our actions.
This also means we seek holiness in our attitude, our attitudes toward others that are guided by humility and love, our attitudes toward our family, friends, and co-workers, our boss, our subordinates, and our attitudes toward our fellow Christians. If we truly acknowledge God's ways with our thought life and our attitudes, then others will see a difference in our lives.
We will be so different from the people of the world that our actions will reflect the glory of God.
2. What does acknowledging God in our social life look like? It means we choose our friends carefully. God's word says that the light has no walk with the darkness and that the believer is not to be unequally yoked with an unbeliever. Light drives away darkness. If you have the light of God in your live, then darkness will flee. If the light of God is in your life then there will be now friendship with darkness. If the light of God is in your life then it should be impossible to make friendship with those in darkness. If the light of God is in your life then it should be impossible to establish a romantic relationship with one who walks in darkness.
Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. We are to seek out those in darkness in order to bring them to the light, but we are never to take up residence in the darkness. When God's work says we are not to be unequally yoked, it speaks to the act of plowing with a team of animals, two ox or two horses, but never one of each. The reason is because an ox and a horse are so different in strength, temperament, and gate that you would never be able to plow in a strait line. Or worse, the dissimilar animals would end up killing each other.