Summary: Why do we put our faith in on our own strength and not on in the power of God. We have become tired and overwhelmed as a people

My New Years Resolution

HHM Pastor Jim Parisi 12-29-02

I think this is a good time with the New Year coming to learn this principle in God.. We have had Seasons of battle with no victory.

Why do we put our faith in on our own strength and not on in the power of God. We have become tired and overwhelmed as a people

We spin our wheels in all directions fighting our way out of a wet paper bag… most of the time like a punch drunk fighter

Meanwhile while we are being distracted and the enemy is doing damage in our lives and homes. And all we become is more tired

We are called to be still and rely upon God for all things

Psalm 46 1-11 1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3 Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah 4 There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. 5 God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. 6 The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted. 7 The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah 8 Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has made desolations in the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire. 10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! 11 The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

The psalmist speaks of three things

1. A Tight Space. The psalmist calls God a “very present help in trouble.”

The Hebrew word translated “trouble” literally means “a tight space.”

Have you ever been in a tight space, where you’re pressed on every side, where your options are limited, and your freedom is restricted, or your progress is arrested?

The psalmist specifies two such places.

A. Uncontrollable circumstances. Verse 2 says: “We will not fear even though the earth be removed, and though its mountains be carried into the midst of the sea,”

Describing of natural disasters involving storms, seas, and earthquakes.

Have you had a few storms in your life? A few storms this year?

“Because God is my help, I will not fear when the foundations are shaken”.

When we face circumstances over which we have no control, God is our refuge.

B. Insurmountable opposition. In verses 8–9, the psalmist speaks of war, bows, spears, and chariots.

Ever feel like the whole world is against you?.... doing battle ?

He is saying, “When I face an army against which I have no ability to fight, I am still not afraid.” Why? Because God, my refuge and strength, fights for me.

Illustration……… We are to have childlike faith

2. A Mighty Fortress. God uses these troubles to help us say, “I don’t know what to do Lord

” We are determined people who want to come up with answers ourselves. We continually try and Fix it and all we do is put a band aid on it

When faced with a career choice, we get a legal pad, make a pro/con list, then methodically and logically work through choices and arrive at a reasonably good decision.

When things go wrong, we know where to go, what books to read, who to consult, and what techniques to employ.

We sometimes act as though we don’t need God. But we will never really know Him until we humbly acknowledge, saying

“We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are fixed on You.”

A Divine Strategy. How do I get help from God?

The answer is here : We must be still (v. 10). This word means to cease striving, to stop working at it, to relax. God’s strategy is counter-cultural. Not of man’s ways

Think about the pace of life, especially here in Los Angeles. Running on the go…. going here, going there.

Think about the pace of work. Many of you will open your briefcases and work on stuff for tomorrow morning. Then tomorrow it will be activity after activity, appointment after appointment, phone call after phone call in an endless blur till next Sunday.

How, then, do we be still?

A. We do it in our schedules. We must simplify. Downsize. Find time for our devotions. Find time to fellowship with Him

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