Summary: God can only help us when we are perfectly honest with who we are, what we’ve done, and our need for Him.
“Taking A Moral Inventory”
Making the Most of Transition
Psalm 139:1-6, 23-24
(quotes taken from the NKJV unless noted)
Wakelee Church ~ April 24, 2005
Theme: God can only help us when we are perfectly honest with him.
Introduction – Insomnia, Incomplete Repentance, and Honesty
Today, I’m going to ask you to do something that most people are not ready to do. (How’s that for a sermon starter!)
Today, relying on God’s power and because of our fee will choice to recommit our lives to Christ, we are going to be honest with ourselves and honest with one another.
In the midst of transition, we need to take an honest inventory of all the baggage we’re taking on this trip.
For some, that baggage may be clinical like those who struggle with their demons of depression, resentment, and fear.
For others, that baggage may be more practical like those who have difficulty setting limits driving up their stress load, ignoring their own personal needs, or forgetting their need to ask for and to give forgiveness.
And still for others, the baggage may be more emotional, like those who feel insecure, those who struggle with their guilt, or those who feel rejection and suffer with a low self-esteem.
This morning I’m asking each of us to take an inventory of that baggage we carry into this journey and to see what God would have us to do with it.
Illustration – The IRS letter…
It reminds me of the story of an IRS letter.
The unsigned letter with no return address came to the Internal Revenue Office about this time of year and it stated:
“Dear Sirs: I cannot sleep. When I filed my tax returns this year, I deliberately misrepresented my income. The guilt and shame I’m feeling is not allowing meto get the rest I need, so please accept this $150 in cash for taxes.
If I still cannot sleep…I’ll send you the rest!”
(taken from Illustrations Unlimited)
Today, God is asking for the whole thing up front. And if there is one thing I’ve learned in my thirty-some years, it is this…when we come before God and ourselves, it helps to be 100%. I invite you to join me as we take a moral inventory journey together.
I – God already knows…. (verses 1-3)
“O Lord, You have searched me and known me…and are acquainted with all my ways.” – Psalm 139:1,3b
The first step in taking a moral inventory is to understand that God already knows. The first few verses of this Psalm tell us this fact. All the stuff we’re holding back…all the stuff we think that no one else knows about…all the stuff that we think we can handle…God already knows.
In the midst of change and transition, we hinder ourselves when we continue to carry around this baggage as if no one cares but us. Some of you may remember the sermon I gave recently with the bag and the bricks. That Sunday we talked about our shadow side and the need to own that baggage…to bless that baggage…or to forgive that baggage.
If you remember, we ended that sermon together by emptying each brick from the bag…blessing and forgiving each one…until the bag was empty. And I remember that when I threw the empty bag into the air, a sense of Holy Spirit was present.
Whatever is holding you back this morning, please understand that if you don’t own it, you’ll just be carrying that load through your transitions over and over again. So, instead of finding healing and wholeness in your life, the bag just keeps filling up with bricks.
In order to empty that bag, we first need to realize that God already knows what’s in there.
In the midst of transition, we have to be honest with God, because he already knows what we’re going through.
II – We aren’t able to handle all that God knows about us…(verses 4-6)
“Such knowledge is to wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it.” – Psalm 139:6
The second step is to recognize that we aren’t able to handle it all…
Illustration - When my I first read this verse, my mind drifted back to the movie entitled, “A Few
Good Men” with Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson. Tom’s role as Lt. Kaffee, a hot-shot attorney who comes to the defense of two servicemen, is at its height when he cross-examines Jessep (Jack’s part) on the witness stand. Do you remember the scene?
The exchange went something like this…
Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I think I’m entitled to them.
Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I want the truth!
Jessep: You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls
have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives...You don’t want the truth.