Summary: Sermon on the adjustments to our lives God expects when we commit to following Him and seeking His will.
Making the Adjustments Luke 9:18-24
INTRO.: When God spoke to Moses, he was challenged to make some major adjustments in his life. He was called upon to leave the place he had lived for 40 years and abandon his life as a shepherd to take on an impossible assignment for God and God’s people. He might very well have resumed his life as royalty in Egypt, but he adjusted his life again to God’s plan. Heb. 11:27
READ TEXT. As He does with all of us, Jesus brought His disciples to a place in their lives when they would have to decide what they believed about Him. These were men He was preparing for a tremendous task impossible for them to complete in their own strength. They must carry His message to all the world. Therefore, they must decide exactly Who they believe Him to be.
Once they have resolved the issue of Who He is, Jesus challenges them to make some major adjustments in their lives. "Deny self, take up your cross, and follow Me," He says. We can be certain they had no idea where this would lead them or what would be required of them. They must simply learn to trust Him rather than lean on their own abilities and resources.
We have seen when God speaks to His people, He always calls for a decision about what you believe. Now we see that, based on that belief, He challenges us to make major adjustments to our lives in order to allow Him to work through us.
God still calls upon us to make such adjustments to bring our lives into line with His will.
I. Let’s look at an Old Testament story for an example of how God expects men to adjust. I Kings 19:16-21
A. Elijah had orders to appoint Elisha as his successor. God’s purpose was to train Elisha to take over Elijah’s ministry.
1. Elisha already had a career. He was evidently a prosperous farmer, plowing with twelve yoke of oxen when Elijah met him.
2. It’s hard to picture plowing with twelve yoke of oxen. Not necessary to believe he was using all twelve at the same time. Elisha was driving the twelfth team.
3. The point is, he was very busy taking care of his own business when God called him.
B. Notice the adjustments Elisha made without question:
1. First, he stopped his work and gave his attention to Elijah.
2. When Elijah threw his cloak around him, he knew what this meant. It was God’s call through the prophet to join in God’s work.
3. Elisha kissed his parents goodbye, killed his oxen, and burned his farm implements. He certainly meant business.
4. He made serious adjustments. He burned his bridges.
5. As a result, God was able to accomplish great things through him.
II. What adjustments may be needed in your life? Certainly, this is an individual matter, but there are some general assumptions:
A. Surrender: an adjustment of the will
1. This means putting your life in His hands. Making His thoughts your thoughts, His ways your ways, His purposes your purposes.
2. You are asked to adjust to a Person, not a plan, philosophy, or idea.
3. God loves you and you can trust Him to meet all your needs.
4. Anything God asks you to do and whatever adjustments He requires are for your own good.
B. Dependence on God to do His work through you in His way:
1. Recognize the truth of John 15:5: "apart from me you can do nothing."
2. We cannot do work for God. It isn’t in us. We must allow God to work through us. Gal. 2:20
3. Rely on God’s grace to work through you: But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. I Cor. 15:10
C. Waiting on God: a surrender of the self interest.
1. Sometimes we must simply sit by and wait for the Lord to begin His work through us. Isa. 40:31
2. God wants a loving relationship to develop with you and sometimes that takes a long time.
3. But our waiting is not to be just passive. There is a second sense to the idea of waiting and I think that is more like what God has in mind - waiting as a waiter does.
4. In the meantime, there will be challenges to make adjustments to His way and will.
III. What adjustments is He calling you to make?
A. The adjustments He called others to make. The Bible is full of examples.
1. Noah became a boat builder. Gen. 6