Summary: The secret to living a truly supernatural life.
Living an Exchanged Life
Let me begin this morning by getting you involved. I want to ask a question & would then like for serveral to respond verbally: Since becoming a Christain what command, principle or verse have you found most difficult to consistenly live out & obey?
In my church in NC, we are studying through the book of I Peter in our morning services. And we have just completed a difficult section for people to live by everyday. It is that section of I Peter 2 & 3 that deals with submission - not just the actual act of submission but having an attitude of submission. There is a difference & it is a difficult thing to maintain an attitude of submission. But Peter exhorts us in our roles as citizens, as brothers/sisters in Christ, as employees, & as wives & husbands to live in an attitude of submission without regard to whether the person is worthy of that submission or not, for he says (2:13) we are to do it "for the Lord’s sake." And so my church has come to realise how difficult this particular section of Scripture is to consistently live out & obey.
And so whether you are thinking about the commands of I Peter or the things you have mentioned this morning, our response to God’s calling us to live obediently to these truths can be:
-Lord, this is hard
-not only is this hard, is going to be impossible to consistently live by these commands
-in fact, it will require supernatural living to live like this.
Exactly & that’s the point. It will require supernatural living. And so maybe you would respond by saying, "Great, I’m glad you agree with me. Now tell me how to do it because I am just a finite human being." There is a passage that I think gives us the answer on how to live supernaturally.
Funny thing about it, it wasn’t till a couple of years ago that I really understood this passage & yet it is a favorite passage of many Christians. It is 1 of those passages you hear quoted often. It has been put to music. It is cross-stitched & beautifully framed frequently. But as I said it had never really ministered to me until recently when I came to understand 1 particular word that literally opened up the passage for me.
-40:27-28 - It is not uncommon for Christians to read a verse of Scripture or be challenge with a verse of Scripture yet say something to the effect of, "Yes, I agree in principle to what this verse or command says. But...you just don’t comprehend my particular, even unique situation. My situation is different. You just don’t understand." Someone has said, "People tend to make rules for others & exceptions for themselves." Isn’t that the truth. We make exceptions for ourselves because in our mind our situation is unique & you just don’t understand.
40:27-28 - Do you know what Jacob & Israel were basically saying here? If I could paraphrase it for you, "Lord, you don’t understand our situation." Sound familar? See, how they put it - "Our way is hidden from the Lord. Our situation escapes His notice."
But what was Isaiah’s response? Do you not know? Have you not heard?...His understanding (& may I add - His understanding of your situation) is inscrutable. In other words, he is not like a judge or jury who didn’t get all the facts, or had the facts twisted or misrepresentented. No, His understanding of your situation & all the elements of it, is inscrutable. And so He does fully comprehend your situation when he commands you to do whatever.
"Okay," you say, "I’ll acknowledge that point. He does fully comprehend & understand my situation. But you still haven’t answered the question of how I can live a supernatural life?" All right, let’s look at the answer.
You must begin with the starting point that God never commands us to do something that He will not enable us to do. So, if He is commanding us to have an attitude of submission as in I Peter or whatever it is, we can be assured that it IS possible to live that way. And here’s how to do it.
Is.40:31 - one of the famous verses in the Bible. It’s on pictures, posters, calendars, cross-stitch. People have it memorized, yet I believe most christians really don’t grasp what it is saying.
"Yet those who wait" - What does this word "wait" mean as the KJV & NASB translates it? In looking it up I found that there are 19 different words for "wait" in the Hebrew, so what does it mean here?
-to hope strongly, to trust, to wait for implying a firmness & constancy - the definition I think best defines it is "to expect." It carries the idea of expectency. Putting my hope & confidence & trust in Him with an expectency, a certainity, a fixed expectency that He is going to respond, that He is going to move.