Summary: a sermon in a series of sermons that goes along side our Celebrate Recovery ministry.
MT 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
This week I heard the story about a pet-store delivery truck going down the road. And every stop light he came to he’d run to the back of the truck, grab a 2x4 and start beating on the side of the truck. Nobody could figure out what he was doing, so finally somebody asked him, “What are you doing?” He said, “This is only a two-ton truck and I’m carrying four tons of canaries. I’ve got to keep two tons of them in the air all the time.”
When I heard that I thought, “That’s a picture of life.”
Many of you out there beating yourself, trying to keep it all in the air from all crashing down. We have a tendency to get stuck in life. We get stuck in relationships. We get stuck with habits. We get stuck in grief when we lose a loved one. We get stuck in anger. We get stuck in our work. And then we can’t get out of it and then on to a cycle. Once you get stuck, then you start feeling guilty that you’re stuck. You say, “I wish I could get out of this but I can’t.” And then you have a lot of guilt after you can’t get out of it and can’t change, and then comes anger and you say I should be able to change and you get angry at yourself. I ought to be able to get out of this. But you don’t. And then your anger turns to fear that I’m never going to get out of this. It’s got control of me. I’m going to end up in the hospital. Then your fear eventually turns to depression and you start feeling sorry for yourself and having a pity party and you resign, “I give up I can’t change.” And you start the cycle all over again and get further stuck.
How do you break out of that “stuckness”?
That’s what we’ve been talking about for a couple of weeks.
Step 1—Admit it, I’ve got a problem. Reality step.
Step 2—Hope step—Not only am I powerless but God has power and He is willing to help out. He knows my problems and cares about my problems and cares about me. He knows everything going on in my life. He’s offering to help me to change. And that’s the Hope step.
But it’s not just enough to know that God will help you. You got to take action. You’ve got to make a decision. You’ve got to walk across the line.
STEP 3—CONSCIOUSLY CHOOSE TO COMMIT ALL MY LIFE AND WILL TO CHRIST’S CARE AND CONTROL.
This step is based on what Jesus said in Matthew 11: “Come to me all you who are weary and overburdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Jesus says, “Come to Me.” It’s God’s invitation. I will make your life easier. I will lighten your load. You will have relief. You will have release. You will have rest. Give Me control and care of your life and watch what I do. Life will get so much easier. Less stressful.
What a deal! Why would anybody turn that deal down? Yet some of you have heard this before and you’ve never acted on it.
It’s like having an unopened gift. God says I want to give you this gift of relief and release and recovery and you’ve done nothing about it. What keeps us from taking this Third Step, this important step? What causes me to procrastinate giving my problems to God and to delay surrendering my life to the care and control of Christ?
I. WHAT KEEPS ME FROM DOING THAT?
1. Pride will keep me from admitting I need help. Prov. 18:12: “Arrogant people are on the way to ruin because they won’t admit it when they need help.” How many fathers will not stop to ask directions? Prov. 10:8: “The self-sufficient fool falls flat on his face.” Maybe you’re not ready to take this step. Maybe you’re not ready to say, “I give control and care of my life to Christ. I’m not ready yet to do that.” All you need is a greater dose of pain. God will gladly allow it to get your attention.
2. Guilt will keep you from taking this step. I may be ashamed to ask God to help me. Ps. 40:13: “Problems, far too big for me to solve are piled higher than my head. Meanwhile, my sins, too many to count, have caught up with me and I’m ashamed to look up.” Ever felt that way? I’m ashamed to look up. I don’t want to ask God for help. You know how many times I’ve asked God for help and I’ve made a promise and I’ve broke the promise? God if you just get me out of this … I’m embarrassed to ask God for help. You don’t know all the things I’ve done wrong. I couldn’t go to God and ask for help.” You’re wrong. Dead wrong. There’s no sin that God cannot forgive. And He wants to help you. Don’t let pride or guilt keep you from taking this step. He wants to forgive your guilt.