Have you ever tried to take matters into your own hands and it ended horribly? Have you ever thought that you knew what was best and it turned out to be far from that? Sadly, I’ve had many experiences in life when I’ve relied on myself or worked according to my own wisdom and it only ended in disaster. The Lord has not left us to navigate life on our own but He has given us instruction to live by, learn from, and hold to in all seasons.
When I was younger I desperately wanted a brother. Growing up with two younger sisters was no walk in the park. I needed another male presence around; just someone who didn’t play with Barbies! I prayed to God each night and pleaded with my parents but no progress was being made. At this point I decided to take matters into my own hands. If no one else would help then I would have to do things my own way. At this point in my life I had a best friend named Ryan. He was also brother-less. Ryan and I did everything together. One day we made the decision that the two of us should be brothers. In our young 4 year old minds we reasoned that in order for us to be brothers we simply had to live in the same house. Ryan was willing to sacrifice living in his house for the cause. Now all we had to do was figure out a way to bring his house down. Under watch of a rather distracted and unobservant babysitter, Ryan and I went to work at tying all of the rope and string that we could find to his front porch and the pick-up truck of a family friend that sat out front. We worked our little fingers to the bone making sure that each knot was good and sturdy for the task at hand. We looked everywhere for the keys to the truck but just couldn’t find them. As little kids do, we became distracted with other activities and soon it was time for me to go. We left our project to sit and all we could do was hope that our attempts would lead to success. That night the owner of the pick-up truck, very tired from a long, grueling day of work arrived in the pitch-black of night to get his truck. He started the truck, put the truck into drive but had a hard time moving. Feeling that he had to be stuck, he did what he thought was best, gave the truck more gas and revved off. As he rolled down the roadway so did the front porch of Ryan’s house. Needless to say, I received a very stern greeting from Ryan’s parents in church the following morning. Ryan and I thought that we knew better. We thought we could take matters into our own hands and it only left destruction.
In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus describes those who are wise and those who are foolish. “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.” These are those who know God’s word and yet in the end decide that they have a better way. They read or hear the word of God and think, “He doesn’t really mean that…” and go off to do their own thing, their way. Jesus is always clear in Scripture that trouble will come. When trouble hits the foolish man the house falls. Whether it’s doubt, worry, persecution, or sin without the Word there is nothing to hold to, stand on, or be led by. Jesus makes the point to say, “and great was its fall.” When we rely on ourselves and do things our way we find that we not only stumble but we crumble. There are decisions that I have made in life apart from the Word that I have paid dearly for. In contrast those who hear the Word of Jesus act on them. They hold to God’s word, learn from it, and trust it. We cannot do life on our own. Trust the lamp of God’s Word and let it light your decisions and actions (Ps. 119:105). Lean wholly on Jesus Christ, admitting daily that there is nothing that we can do (or should do) apart from Him (John 15:5)!
Learning To Do Things His Way, Pastor Rudy