“WISDOM OF LIVING (33): WHO’S WAY”                By Pastor YAU

Text: Matthew 26:36-39                                                   August 21, 2005

 

INTRODUCTION:  Most people would agree with Snoopy when he said, “I am an easy going guy when things go my way.”

1)   This is part of human nature: We see this insistence on “my way’ in little children. When parents told them to stop, few of them will just stop without a fight. We see this in how people drive when there is no policeman around. We also see this how people do their job when the boss is sick at home.

2)   This is a serious problem: Serious problems could happen when everyone insists on doing things his way. We all know the importance of team work in many things, as little as things at home to as big as fighting a war. Chaos would certainly happen when everyone insists on doing it his way.

3)   This is a spiritual problem: The root of insistence on “my way” is inherently a spiritual problem since the beginning of history. When Eve was tempted to be like God, Satan offered her the choice of independence from God. “I want to handle my life my way” has been the goal of life since.

             Jesus’ prayer as recorded here in Matt. 26 reflects a fundamental change of attitude, rights and willingness to surrender to a higher power. It is His willingness to surrender His rights and His attitude of humility we have the way of salvation opened to us for eternal life.

 

WHY IS IT SO HARD TO SURRENDER MY WAY?

1)    Because it hurts our independence: Be independent is not that bad when it is about human development and growth. We all like to see children grow up, educated, get a job, become self support and starting their own families and managing their own life affairs. But surrendering to God means a complete dependence on God in directing our lives, setting our goals and managing our life matters His way. Many people feel hurt to give up that right.

2)    Because it puts us too close to God:  Many people like to have a relationship with God so long as to keep a distance from Him. All of us agree that we do need God sometimes one way or another. But to be dependent on God just too much and too close to Him to feel comfortable. To allow things done His way means He will know our every thought and every move. What about my own freedom and wiggle rooms? We may allow Him to manage things like salvation, but leave the rest to ourselves.

3)    Because there are differences between God and us: We all know that God may not do things our way and we may not do things His way and there will be times we may have conflicts with God. Most people are just not ready or willing to give up their part of control to relinquish their rights to manage their own lives. We want to be our own little masters in many things.

4)    Knowledge and faith just don’t match:  Most people do know that God is stronger and wiser in making decisions and He always has our best interest in mind. But that knowledge doesn’t translate into personal matters like committing to Him our personal matters: where to go to school, find what kind of a job, to whom should we marry or how to handle a personal relationship. Often times, we trust ourselves more than trust God even though we know we shouldn’t. It is easier to know, harder to believe when it comes to personal matters.

 

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO DO THINGS HIS WAY?

1)   You must start with a close relationship with God:  People who do not have a close relationship with God cannot or will not do things God’s way. No one could turn his life to God without knowing God and His way. You need to know God to trust Him.

2)   You also need to trust God:  You need to trust His wisdom, power and good will to do things His way. You need to believe that God wants the best for your life and He can do that for you if you allow Him to. That is faith you need to have. You need to trust Him to let Him do it His way.

3)   You need to be patient:  God seldom does things on our schedule. We see things in a short distance but God sees them from eternity. You just have to be patient to see His way and the results He brings. This has to do with trust. If you really trust Him, you know He will bring results even way later than you expect.

4)   You also need to accept His results: Often enough His results are not exactly the same as to our expectation. Again, you need faith to accept His results as the best even they are not exactly what we want. Trusting His wisdom and good will is the key. This is one reason many people won’t let God handle matters of their lives. They don’t want surprises. They want it their way, their results.

 

WHY MUST IT BE HIS WAY?  There are many reasons and benefits:

1)   God demands our obedience: It is not how much we may do that may please Him. It is how obedient we are that pleases Him. God told King Saul through Samuel this important command. (1 Sam. 15:22) God gave the Ten Commandments and many other laws to the people of Israel and demanded that they obey His laws. To have things of our lives go God’s way is a sign of obedience.

2)   God intends to give us the best: Relinquish our lives to God and all things go His way is never a sign of weakness or lack of wisdom. It is the best way, the wisest way to live our lives because God knows much better what is the best for us. Choosing God’s way is never a backup decision. It should be our first choice. How dare you to compete with God’s wisdom and ability to do the best?

3)   We may have the best peace of mind: If you trust your investment advisor enough you would put your savings where he directs you and have peace of mind. How much more you can trust God and His advice on managing things of your life and have peace of mind knowing that He will always do it well for you. Too many people including some Christians who just want to carry all the burdens themselves and have so much to worry everyday.

4)   We may be the best witnesses to the world:  Before people look for salvation of eternity, they want to see if there is anything good in believing God in this life. Our trusting Him to do things His way and the blessings we receive, the peace of mind we enjoy is a good reason for others to believe Him as Lord and Savior. Salvation is more than just eternal life in the future it is also about the joy and peace in this life.

 

WHAT IF I WANT THINGS GO MY WAY? Yes, you can. But there are consequences. Listen to these:

1)       You will certainly lose His blessings: God has specifically decreed that those who do not live their lives God’s way will not receive His blessings. (Deut. 28:17-68) To live a life without God and His blessings is like lost in the desert without food and water.

2)       You will be on your own:  Without God to direct your path, to give you wisdom to make the best decision, to grant you strength you need to go through life is too much for anyone. You have forfeited the ultimate source of help if you choose to go life your way.

3)       Your life will not be as fruitful:  Jesus promised those who are connected with Him to be fruitful in their lives. (John 15:5) To allow God’s life and energy to direct our lives is the sure way to have abundant and fruitful life. God wants to see you do well in your life if you allow Him to do things His way.

4)       You will not be an effective witness: As long as you live your life away from God’s way, you won’t be able to lead others to God. No one can see the power and love of God in you when you insist on doing things your way. You waste the opportunity to attract others into the Kingdom of God because of your life style.

 

CONCLUSION:

1)   How to live your life is a free choice: It is your choice to surrender to God’s way or to be independent from Him. Your decision does carry consequences. Be wise to choose God and His way as God wants us to be.

2)   Remember your call: We are not called to live our lives our way. We are called to be God’s witnesses to others will find Him. One of the ways to fulfill that commission is to allow God to manifest His power and love through the way we live. It is because of Jesus’ willingness  

3)   This is one way you must go: His way to eternity:  Jesus is the only way to eternal life. (John 14:6) On this matter, you cannot and should not do it your way. No human way is ever possible to find the way to eternal life except through Jesus, the Son of God.