Bought by the Blood

July 13, 2008

Acknowledging God

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
“It is a childlike, unwavering confidence in our Father’s well-proved wisdom, faithfulness and love.  He is truth itself.  Therefore, he wants us to take him at his word and to prove his word tot he very limit of His power”  Charles Bridges
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
“Take one step at a time, and make sure that each step is under God’s direction.  Always make your plans in total dependence on God.  It is nothing short of self-idolatry to imagine that we can carry out even the ordinary matter of daily life w/out God’s counsel.  Before you consult your friends, consult God…If we go to the Lord every morning in true humility, knowing that we do not know how to order our day, light will come down to us…No step well prayed over will bring ultimate regret. “Charles Bridges
7
Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
8 It will be healing to your flesh [2]
and refreshment [3] to your bones.
Proverbs 3:5-8

  • What other things do we trust in besides God?
    • Ourselves, our circumstances, job, people, money, the future
  • What does it look like when we lean on our own understanding?
    • Pray and seek God
      • What is Prayer?
      • Prayer is the open admission that without Christ we can do nothing. And prayer is the turning away from ourselves to God in the confidence that he will provide the help we need. Prayer humbles us as needy, and exalts God as wealthy…Prayer is the essential activity of waiting for God: acknowledging our helplessness and his power, calling upon him for help, seeking his counsel (John Piper)
  • In what two ways do we acknowledge God
    • Prayer
      • When should we pray?  In all ways, in all things that we do, w/out ceasing.
      • pray without ceasing, (1 thessalonians 5:17)
        • What does it mean to pray w/out ceasing? (these three things come from John Piper in “When I don’t Deisre God”
          • We have a spirit of dependence upon God
          • We will prayer repeatedly and often
          • We do not lose heart in prayer, but remain steadfast in trusting God
            • Luke 18:1, Jesus knew the temptation to lose heart, so he gave the parable of the persistent widow.
      • When and in what way are you most likely to acknowledge God?
      • When and in what ways are you least likely to acknowledge God?
      • How do you want to grow in acknowledging God?
    • Submission
      • submission, everyone is called to submission, not just wives.  Two options of what we can submit to 1)James 4:7 and 2)Galatians 5:1
      • Can y’all give examples of what submission to God looks like?  obedience to his revealed will and fearing him and turning away from evil
  • What are the benefits of acknowledging God?
    • He will make our paths straight, our success and blessing is not contingent upon us, but on God (John 15:5)
  • Have you ever tried to acknowledge God and felt like He wasn’t there or didn’t make your path straight?
    • Look at the church in Acts.  They were a church filled with the Spirit and continually praying, but opposition and persecution was something that they constantly faced.  God intended this used and it to advance the church and advance the Gospel around the world.
    • Look at the life of Joseph, he was humble and reliant on God, but yet circumstances seemed to go from bad to worse.  He continued to rely on God knowing that the evil deeds that happened to him God intended for good.
  • Why is it healing to our flesh and refreshment to our bones to trust God
    • Philippians 4:6-7 we will be free from anxiety and have the peace that surpasses all understanding
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