Summary: Who makes your choices for you? In God’s service, it should be God, not you!
THE CHOICE IS HIS
INTRO: ILLUS: In the famous Rose Bowl football game of 1929, the two teams pitted against each other were GA Tech and SO Cal. The captain of the SO Cal football team was a young man named Roy Riegles. In the course of the game he made a long distance run down the field for a touchdown. He made the only score of the game. But he did not score for SO Cal. He had run the wrong direction. In the excitement of the game he had become confused at to which was his teams goal. By running in the wrong direction, he actually scored for GA Tech and helped them to win. Deep down inside himself, he knew he had let SO Cal down by making this awful mistake. The crowd watched to see what the SO Cal coach would do about this mistake. The coach patted Captain Riegles on the back and told him everybody makes mistakes. He then sent him back into the ball game.
Do you ever let anyone make choices for you? Wife chooses husband’s suit, or husband orders the food for his wife at a restaurant. We all cherish the right to make our own choices. Where we will live, work, who we will associate with, the things we buy, eat, etc. THIS IS GOOD, BUT IN THE SERVICE OF GOD IT IS NOT OUR TO MAKE. We must allow God to make the choice for us. Then we must follow that choice.
I. HE MAKES THE SELECTION.
Paul was on his second missionary journey. Timothy had joined the party. They had completed the work in Galatia, and Paul desired to go on the Ephesis in Asia (Syria today). He wanted to go there for a long time. The Holy Spirit prevented it (the Holy Spirit forbids as well as leads us).
So Paul turns north to go into Bithynia (Turkey), perhaps to go around the way to Ephesis, but again the is stopped. So he went to Troas, where he had a vision to go to Macedonia (Yugoslavia).
ILLUS: Several years ago, when I was the assistant manager of a shoe store, I was working under extremely difficult circumstances. The manager of the store was seldom there, and I had all of the responsibility that should have been his. I had decided that when the supervisor came in on his next visit that I would resign.
When he came in, the store manager was not there. I was getting ready to tell him that I was resigning, but before I could speak, he told me that he was promoting me to manager of the store. He said that he was aware of what had been going on, and that he had made this trip especially to fire the manager and promote me. The manager never did return. He evidently had left without telling the supervisor anything.
How many times do we go on and do something when we know it is not the right thing to do. How many times have we told God what we were planning to do instead of asking him what we should do? How many times have we refused to listen to him when he spoke to us. He makes the selection, not us. Isn’t it about time we let him do it?
II. HE GIVES THE DIRECTION.
The reason Paul didn’t go into Asia as he wanted to do is because he was letting the Holy Spirit direct him on this journey. Paul always did everything he did under the leadership of God. He never did anything on his own. He put his own wished aside to do what God instructed him to do. This is why Paul was so successful in his ministry. So Paul went to Macedonia.
If Paul had been allowed to preach in Asia, he might have remained there. By going to Macedonia, no telling how many thousands of souls were saves as a result. What would have happened to the Philippian jailer, or Lydia, ore the wicked city of Corinth?
Sure these other areas needed the Gospel message, and Paul probably thought that, but he was obedient to God. God would bring the message to them in his own way and time.
ILLUS: A recall was issued on a book on crockery cooking. That book contained a recipe for silky carmel slices. Following the recipe could, in the words of the publisher, cause a serious explosion.
In the recipe a can of condensed milk is used; and if the recipe is followed, the publisher indicated that the can could explode and shatter the lid and liner of the crockery cooker. Somewhere along the line an ingredient, water, was dropped from the recipe.
Whenever we omit a key ingredient in life—obeying God, believing God, seeking God—we too can face an explosion.