Summary: We may think we have everything under control but a great sin is omitting the reality of God and his leadership in our lives.
1. Lighthouse and Battleship
There was an officer in the Navy who had always dreamed of commanding a battleship. He finally achieved that dream and was given commission of the newest and proudest ship in the fleet. One stormy night, as the ship plowed through the seas, the captain was on duty on the bridge when off to the port he spotted a strange light rapidly closing with his own vessel. Immediately he ordered the signalman to flash the message to the unidentified craft, ‘Alter your course ten degrees to the south.’ Only a moment had passed before the reply came: ‘Alter YOUR course ten degrees to the north.’ Determined that his ship would take a backseat to no other, the captain snapped out the order to be sent: ‘Alter course ten degrees--I am the CAPTAIN!’ The response beamed back, ’Alter your course ten degrees--I am 3rd Class Petty Officer Jones.’ Now infuriated, the captain grabbed the signal light with his own hands and fired off: ‘Alter course, I am a battleship.’ The reply came back. ’Alter YOUR course, I am a lighthouse.’ No matter how big or important any of us think we are, God’s Word stands forth as an unchanging beacon. All other courses must be altered to His.
2. James 4.13-17
3. A reminder of who is really in charge
a. We want to be – sin of Adam and Eve – wanting to BE God rather than be WITH God
b. Continues today – moral and ethical issues are being decided by godless people rather than by the teachings of God
I. Improper Boasting – In Ourselves
“Boasting” is as a medicine man hawking his wares in the old frontier – boasting of its alleged abilities to heal, etc.
A. Boasting in Our Abilities –
“Everything that can be invented has been invented.” Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, US Patent Office, 1899 (attributed)
26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1.26-31
Basis for Paul’s and James’ remarks:
23 Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 9.23-24
1. Boasting in OUR Wisdom – Planning without God
a. Plans are good – The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. Proverbs 21.5
b. Plans Need God – 3 Commit your work to the LORD,
and your plans will be established./// 9 The heart of man plans his way,
but the LORD establishes his steps. Proverbs 16.3, 9
2. Boasting in OUR Power – strength; talent
a. Always someone stronger (one reason we need God)
b. Old threats leave, new ones come
c. Our strength diminishes
John Quincy Adams, was taking a walk one morning when he meet a friend who asked, “How is John Quincy Adams this morning?” The former president replied, “John Quincy Adams is fine, but this old house I live in is getting pretty rickety.” –
Someone said that in every old person there is a young person wonder what in the world happened.
3. Boasting in OUR wealth
a. Here today; gone tomorrow
b. Cannot insulate us perfectly
[7.16.1999 – JFK, Jr. was flying his wife, and sister in law to Martha’s Vineyard and then planned to go on to a family weeding – crashed his plane, killing all on board.
How much did he leave behind? ALL of it!
B. Boasting In Our Lives
1. YOUR Life – a gift from God; YOU matter to God’s plans
2. It is fleeting – a “vapor” (4.14)
a. Brevity – 10 The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away. Psalm 90.10