Jesus says that gentleness is the path to greatness and that meekness is the path to blessing. Yet meekness is probably one of the least admired qualities in America. We admire strength, not humility. We admire those who take charge, not those who surrender control to God. This might partly be because we don’t understand what meekness is.
In David’s Psalm 37, he instructed the people of God that living meekly, surrendering control to God, leads to a life of blessing. We can surrender our control to God to experience His blessing.
Below is an automated transcript of this messageGood morning, church! It is good to see all of you here this morning. We’re in part three of our sermon series entitled, “From Brokenness to Blessing. ” And we’ve been taking on the eight beatitudes from the beginning of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Over the past few weeks, we’ve covered the first couple beatitudes and we’re on number three today.
Jesus really turns worldly wisdom upside down and He surprises us every time. This week is no exception. In Matthew 5:5 (ESV) He says, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” The word, “blessed,” means “supremely happy” or “completely content.” “Blessed to the max ” are the meek. He doesn’t say, as the world says, ‘blessed are the strong, blessed are the domineering, blessed are those who try to take control.’ Instead, He says the opposite. He says, “Blessed are the meek,” or as it says in another translation, Matthew 5:5 (GW) “Blessed are those who are gentle. They will inherit the earth.” A synonym for “meekness” is to be gentle. Jesus basically says that gentleness is the path to greatness. He says that meekness is the path to blessing.
Meekness is probably one of the least admired qualities in America today. We don’t admire meekness, we admire strength. We don’t admire humility, we admire those who take charge. We don’t admire those who surrender control. We admire those who try to take control. This might partly be because we really don’t even understand what meekness is. The first thing to understand is that “Meekness is not weakness; meekness is strength under control.”
From the Bible, we learned that meekness is submission to God. It means, “to trust God,” “to commit to God.” The word, “meekness,” in the Greek, was often used in the days before Jesus. Greek historians, one of them in particular, talked about how they would get war horses for the Roman army or for the Greek army that had a particular character trait. They would capture wild horses and then look for the ones that had what they called, “a gentle or meek disposition,” specifically, “a gentle or meek mouth where the bit would go.” They wanted a strong horse, but they didn’t want to break its spirit and that it would be very keen to the master’s touch. If the master pulled the reins left or right, the horse, even though much stronger, would submit its strength to the master’s control. That’s the way that the Greek word for meekness was used and it still has this attribute. “Meekness is not weakness; meekness is strength under God’s control.”
The greatest Person who ever walked on planet earth was a meek and gentle man. His name is Jesus! He says this, Matthew 11:29 (KJV) “Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
You see, meekness toward God is that disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good. We believe that God wants to do good for us, not evil and that we are gentle, that we’re meek towards Him. It means that we’re not self-assertive; we’re not self interested, but we’re interested in what God wants for us and we believe that He’s in control of every situation. There’s never a situation where God has surrendered control of the universe. Meekness is convinced of this, the person that is gentle, that is meek, has completely surrendered control of their life to the Lord.
Yet, many of us here today still cling to control. We still say to ourselves, I got this. I think I can handle this. I think I can fix this. I believe if I do this and that and if I manipulate this, I think I can get control over this situation. There are many reasons why we think things like this. One reason is, some of us are just too prideful to admit that “we don’t got this;” we can’t fix this. We’re just too prideful to admit it.
We learned a couple of weeks ago, with the first beatitude, that we need to break that habit of pride and admit that we’re poor in spirit. Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” Blessed are those who can’t help themselves and they need help from the Lord. Some of us are too ashamed to ask God for help. What has happened in our lives has happened because we brought it on ourselves; we’re often trapped thinking about stuff we did in the past. We “replay the tape” and we feel the shame of it. We’re not ready to surrender control to God yet because it’s kind of become part of our identity, to think of our past shame, our past guilt.
Last week, we learned, “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.” You have to give it to God. You have to admit you have to grieve it out to grieve your past and move on so God can comfort you. Some are afraid to surrender control. Do you know what you are afraid of? You’re afraid that He will lead you somewhere out of your comfort zone. Some of you already know where it is that He wants you to go or the thing that He’s called you to and you’re stuck right there because you’re afraid to surrender.
Maybe you’re a single person and you’re thinking, I really want this relationship, but I’m afraid if I surrender my heart to the Lord completely, He won’t want me to have this relationship. We are afraid that God doesn’t want our best. We think that we know what is best and so, we’re afraid of surrendered control.
Some are filled with worry and doubt; they want to surrender control but they are worried or they doubt God. It’s connected to fear, but it has more of the sense of not thinking they can do it and not trusting that God can do it through them.
There are a lot of reasons that we won’t surrender control. It’s often because we have had some trauma earlier in our life, where our life flew out of control and now we try to keep as many things in our control as possible or at least the illusion of control, rather than trusting God because we never want to be hurt like that again. Whatever the reason, wherever you are today, I believe, with this third step, that these attitudes are sequential. They’re moving us towards the “blessed life to the max,” to the fully content and happy life that God’s calling us to . This step is about surrendering control, of being meek, so that God is in control.
As we look at David’s Psalm in Psalm 37, we will see, in verse 11, where Jesus is quoting Psalm 37 and then restating it as one of His blessings. He does that with all of His beatitudes, by the way. He restates something that He’s already said in the Old Testament, except in the form of a blessing. We’ll see that today as we look at David’s 37th Psalm. We’ll see that He taught the people of God that they could live meekly and surrender control of their lives to God and that God would bless them.
I believe today, that when we surrender, meekly, our control to God, we open our lives up to God’s blessing. Let’s look at four ways, as we look in the text, that we can experience this blessing of God.
Psalm 37:1-11 (ESV) 1 Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! 2 Forthey This is God’s Word. Amen.
We’re looking for four ways on how to surrender control and experience God’s blessing.
Here’s the first way:
1. Trust in the Lord as your true source.
I’ve already mentioned that, if you look at verse 11, you can really see where the third beatitude comes from. It says in verse 11, “But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.” That’s what Jesus restates. He says, in Matthew 5:5, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
How do we experience this meekness? What does it look like? Well, if we’ll look at verse three, we will see that the first action he says is, “Trust in the LORD,” in contrast to the two negative commands he gave in verses one and two, 1 “Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! 2 For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb. That’s how he starts. Instead of that, in place of that, trust in the LORD. It’s what we do .
Sometimes we get jealous or envious of what other people have and we think, Why does God bless that person ? Why does he allow the wicked to prosper? Why doesn’t God correct them? I know that they cheat on their taxes. I know that they took shortcuts. You get envious of them; you begin to fret about it. You worry about it.
The word, “fret,” here has the idea of “to get worked up about it;” “to get angry about it” and so you feel jealousy, but the psalmist says that if you want to experience God’s blessing, don’t worry about other people. Don’t fret about that. Don’t be concerned that, maybe, you should take shortcuts too, since apparently this person gets ahead by robbing from their employer, by cheating on their taxes or whatever. Trust in the Lord as your provision and as your source.
Remember what it says here in verse three, “Trust in the LORD, and dogood ; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.”
That’s a strange phrase: ‘make friends with faithfulness.’ That’s a strange phrase. It might be helpful to look under the Hebrew meaning here, because David’s using this metaphoric language. He is using this picturesque language.
Another translation of this verse is helpful. Look at the New King James version. It says, “Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.” The idea seems to be more like this –- ‘Trust in the Lord because He’ll give you the land and the land you can trust because He will cause it to provide for you. He will provide for you. He’ll give you a place to live and He will give you the provision to do it.’
Some of you here may work for Truist, for Bridgestone or maybe you work for the Wilson public school system. The change of mind of the meek is to say, ‘Myemployer, my provider is Jesus. He just happens to fund it through Truist, or Bridgestone or your place of employment. If my employment place were to shut down, I don’t have to worry. I can remain. I can not fret because He will start funding me through a new source. My employer is Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul says in the book of Colossians 3:23 (ESV) “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…” He’s my boss and He’s my provider. He’s my source. To befriend faithfulness is this idea that you can feed on God’s faithfulness. He will feed you; He will provide for you.
It says in 2 Corinthians 1:3 (NLT) “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.” He’s your source. Look to Him for your source. He gives us this promise.
The apostle Paul writes in Philippians 4:19 (ESV)19 ‘And my God will supply most of your needs?’ Is that what it says? Almost all your needs? Is that what it says? No. He says, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” God will meet your needs. He will supply your needs. This is the promise. It doesn’t say, ‘I’ll supply your greed.’ No, He says that He will supply your needs. He will meet your needs.
In Psalm 37:25 David says, “I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.” He will meet your needs. If you think about it in this series, we’ve been talking about “hurts, habits and hang ups.” These are things that we all struggle with, that keep us from fully trusting the Lord. Worry, fretting, envy and these kinds of emotions are like a trigger for our addictions, for our “hurts,our habits and our hang ups.” Worry is an addiction trigger.
I was looking at some information from different sites about this . It says this from an AAA website that’s called “GoodRx.” It gives you advice from medical doctors and psychologists. It says, “Stress is a risk factor for developing an addiction. This risk is higher if you are exposed to stress in early childhood or exposed to chronic stress at any time. Stress is also a barrier to recovery for people in active addiction, and it is a risk factor for relapse. Chronic stress can cause anxiety. Both chronic stress and anxiety are risk factors for developing an addiction and relapse.”
The Bible knew this long before the doctors reported it. King David said that the Holy Spirit revealed to him to stop fretting and stop being envious. What you think is a blessing to them is not gonna turn out well for them instead. Trust in the Lord and do good. Live in the land that He’s gonna provide for you. You can trust in the Lord. Stop fretting. Stop worrying , stop clinging to that person who’s offended you or hurt you and it looks like they’re prospering instead. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and say, ‘Lord, all of my needs are met in You.’ Will you do that today? Trust in the Lorde; H is your source. That’s the first way to live a life of meekness that brings you under God’s blessing.
Here’s the second way:
2. Delight in the Lord as your deepest desire.
Look at verse four; this is everybody’s favorite memory verse. “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Everybody loves this verse, especially the last part; that’s the part that we love – “he will give you the desires of your heart.” That’s the part that we love. Oh yeah, bring it on Lord. We often speed up and run by the first part of the verse. We forget the first part which is “delight yourself in the Lord.” What does that mean to “delight yourself in the Lord?”
David instructs us to find our delight in the Lord. The word, “delight,” means to be happy about, to take exquisite delight in and to find your joy in who? Find your joy in the Lord, not in the desires of your heart. Find your joy in the Lord.
Doctor Clark says this, “Expect all thy happiness from him, and seek it in him.” Wow, that’s an interesting way to “delight yourself in the Lord.” We rush too quickly to pray and talk to the Lord about His hand, but we rush past talking to the Lord and seeking His face. We seek His hand before we seek His face. We bring our “laundry lists,” but we forget to tell Him that we’re thankful, that we love Him and that we appreciate all of His character traits that have been revealed to us. We rush past seeking His face and we seek His hand, but David says that the meek are the truly blessed; they delight in the Lord. They find their joy in Him. They seek His face, knowing that He will, with His hand, meet their needs.
How many of their needs? All of their needs. He’ll do that and know that He will give them their deepest desire. He will give them the desires of their heart, which is their deepest desire. Those deep desires are now in alignment with delighting in the Lord.
Your heart is affected by what your heart loves. If you love the Lord, you begin to desire the things that God desires for you and so He gives you the desires of your heart. It says in Psalm 16:5 (ESV) “LORD, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine.” Lord, you are my reward. You. I delight in You.
In the book of Acts, it talks about King David, who was a man after God’s own heart. What does that mean to be after God’s own heart ? It says in Acts 13:22 (ESV) … [God] raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’ That’s what it is right there, isn’t it? To have a heart for God means that you want to delight in Him and do whatever He calls you to do and that you’re meek towards Him. You have surrendered control to Him and you’re saying, ‘Lord my “yes” is on the table. I delight in You.’ Then, He meets all of your needs and He becomes the One who meets your deepest desire.
Now, there are people here today and you’ve been spending your whole life trying to fill that “hole in your soul.” There’s a place that you’ve been trying to fill; you’ve been trying to medicate it. You’ve been trying to put alcohol or drugs in it. But Gary, they’re prescription drugs, ok? You’re trying to medicate, placate or fill that hurt or that hang up. For some of us, it’s not a drug, it’s a relationship. There’s a woman here and this is what you’re thinking, If I could just find a man. If I could just find a man that would be good to me, I feel like I would be whole. Then I would be right. There are women that I talked to that have a father wound from when they were a little girl. They’ve spent their teenage years, their twenties and maybe their thirties and forties going from man to man. And not one of them lives up to fill that spot.
I don’t know about you. I don’t know if you’re ready to delight yourself because there’s only one man that will fill that hole. There’s only one person and it’s Jesus. He’s the only one. At the end of the first service, I was talking to some people in the lobby and one of them said to me, “When you were talking about this, I had a picture of this child’s toy where you’ve got these little shapes, like triangles, stars and squares, and you put them in the right hole. That’s what popped in my head. I pictured a heart and thought that the only thing that will fill that hole is shaped like a cross. The only thing that will fill that hole is Jesus.”
The great French philosopher/mathematician Pascal said that there’s a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man that can only be filled by the person of Jesus Christ. The great saint Augustine is known for saying, “Thou hast made us for thyself, oh God, and our hearts are restless until they find thy rest in thee. God made us for Himself. The deepest desire of our heart is only found in Him. There’s no drug, no food, no relationship, no amount of wealth or possession will fill this longing in your soul. You keep trying. You’ll never fill that hole until you finally meet the person named Jesus and delight in Him. He’ll give you your deepest desire. He’ll meet your deepest desire.
Here’s the third way:
3. Commit to the Lord your life’s path.
What we’re learning in God’s word about meekness is to trust and delight. Number three is to commit to the Lord your life’s path. We’ve trusted Him for provision. We delight in Him for our identity and our desire and now, what about our future? What about where we’re headed? Let’s give Him that too. Commit to the Lord your life’s path.
Look at verse five. It says , “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.” I like that part, “…and he will act.” It means He will go to work for you. What? The God of the universe wants to go to work for me if I commit my path to Him and say, ‘Lord, I want to follow You, I want to get on Your path and I’m going to commit my future to You?’ I commit my dreams to You. He goes to work for you. Wouldn’t it be better if you stop trying to go on your way and get on His way? As long as you’re going your way, you’re working against God and He’s working against you, but if you go with Him, He goes to work for you. He will act on your behalf. He’s going to bring you forth.
It says in verse six, “He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.” He’s going to make the sun come up on your path. You’re going to walk in blessing like you’ve never imagined possible if you will commit your way to the Lord.
The word, “commit,” in Hebrew, is an interesting word. It means to “roll upon.” It’s translated, “commit.” If you will picture this, they had camels back in those days. Have you ever ridden a camel? I’ve ridden a few camels. I’ve been over in the Middle East. I have been to Israel and different places. Camels are strange beasts; you can’t get on them because they’re so tall. They get down on their knees so that you can climb up on that big hump. Then, you must get ready. You must lean way back because the back end of the camel gets up first. Trust me in this, if you don’t lean back, you’ll pitch forward over the camel’s head. You lean way back, the back of the camel gets up and then the front of the camel gets up.
The Hebrew word for “commit” has this kind of background to roll something like a burden that you’ve got on your back, that’s heavy and you roll it over onto the back of a great beast, such as a camel. So, to commit your way, that you’re trying to work for and you’re trying to get on the right track, why not just “roll that over” onto the back of God? Let Him go to work for you. Let Him carry that burden. It says in God’s word, Matthew 11:28-29 (ESV) “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Take my yoke upon You; take my burden. It’s easy and light. Roll it over on God and He’ll act for you.
It says in Proverbs 16:3 (NIV) “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” He’ll make sure that the success is in His hands. See, God never calls us to be successful. He calls us to be faithful. If you’ll be faithful and commit your way to the Lord, the success is in His hands. He establishes our plans and does it without fretting, worrying ,grumbling and disputing.
It says in Philippians 2:14-15 (ESV) 14 “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” He wants to make your path shine like the noonday sun.
We have a ministry in our church called, “Celebrate Recovery.” It meets on Thursday nights. We have community groups in our church; these are small groups that meet in homes during the week. We have them almost every night of the week. I don’t think we currently have one on Friday or Saturday, but every other evening we have them. In community groups, people get together and they encourage one another to “roll their burdens” over on to the Lord. They talk about what they’re going through.
In our “Celebrate Recovery” ministry, people introduce themselves in a certain way. This might be how they introduce themselves – ‘Hello. My name is Gary and I’m a grateful believer in Jesus Christ. I have a struggle with ______.’ I have a struggle with anger. I have a struggle with alcohol, prescription medication, or overeating. I have a struggle with grief. I’ve lost someone in my family, but this is not my identity. My hurt. habit or hang up is not my identity. I do have struggles, but my identity is ‘I’m Gary and I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. He’s helping me overcome, but I need you to know this about me.’ That’s a great way to introduce yourself. It is saying that you have a new identity; you have a new life path, but you admit that there’s some stuff bogging you down.
Last week, we looked at the story of Lazarus and how Jesus said, ”Lazarus come forth” and Jesus raised Him from the dead. Don’t forget, though, the last thing that He said to the people. He said, “Take off his grave clothes and let him go.” Here’s Jesus saying, ‘Hey, I raised him from the dead, but I need the body of believers around him to help him get off his stinky grave clothes. He needs help in order to get clear of those things.’
That is why we have these kinds of fellowships together to help people. Will you commit your life, your plans, your future to the Lord? This is what meekness looks like. It’s strength under control. You’re saying, ‘Lord, I surrender my life’s path to You. I commit it to You.’
Here’s the fourth and final way:
4. Rest in the Lord for abundant joy and peace.
You are noticing here where I got the words, trust, delight and commit. I got them straight out of the word. But, what about this word, “rest?” Well, I’m trying to summarize two words that he’s got here in verses seven and following. He says, in verse 7, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” If you look at the KJV for this verse, it actually says “rest.” The KJV says, “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him.” Still your heart. Still your mind. Be at rest in Jesus.
Literally, in Hebrew, it has the idea of “zip it.” Stop talking. Now, for some of us, it’s not your mouth that’s talking, it’s your head. You’re talking all of the time inside your head. Do you know what I’m talking about? You’re always “yammering;” there’s always a conversation going on in your head and it’s not helpful most of the time. It’s often worry or it’s replaying past failures. Some of us even tell ourselves what losers we are in our heads. You’re such a loser. I can’t believe what you did. You’ve got like a tape playing in your head all the time.
Sometimes, I’ll be in a room and I’ll be thinking, I need to check my emails, so I’m going to go get my laptop in the other room. But because there’s so much going on in my “noggin,” by the time I get to the other room, I forget why I was in there and I pick up something else and I go back to where I was. Then, I’m sitting there thinking, What was I planning on doing when I went to the other end of the house? That’s happening to me more often. It could be because I’m getting older, I tell myself, but I think it’s because my head is often filled with a lot of “stuff.”
God says for us to be still. I don’t think it just means with your mouth but also with your brain. How do you do that? How can you be still? How can you really rest your thoughts, your worries and your fretting?
Verse 8 says, “Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.” How do you stop being offended by somebody, that somebody that really hurt you? Some of us are so sensitive, so easily offended. The person that is meek is unoffendable. Do you know why? Because they only care about the applause of the One. They’re not looking for approval from other people, including themselves.
Paul says, ‘I don’t judge others. I don’t even judge myself. There’s only one judge and it’s Jesus. He’s the only one that I trust for an opinion.’ Rest in the Lord for abundant joy and peace.
One of the things that I’ve learned, through the years that has been helpful to me, is the practice of prayer that I call, “praying yourself empty, praying yourself full.” I’m trying to get control over the voices in my head. If you’ve never done this, the first time you do it, it might take a minute, it might take a little while because you have a lot bouncing around in your head. Lord, I’ve been thinking about this. Lord, I’ve been worried about that. Lord, what am I going to do about this? Turn your worries into prayers. It takes the same amount of energy to worry that it does to pray. Worry is wasted, meaningless self talk. Prayer is talking to God. Instead of turning it inward, turn it upward and pray yourself empty. You’ll know when you are empty when you can’t think of another thing. All of a sudden there’s silence in your head. Then, you pray , “Holy Spirit, now fill me with Your thoughts. What do You want me to know?” Get ready because God still speaks. The reason a lot of us can’t hear Him is because we won’t be still. We won’t wait patiently. We won’t put away anger and fretting and just give it to Him.
What do I do with my anger? What do I do with my worry? Pray it out and then listen for the silence. Rest in the Lord. He says in this invitation, Matthew 11:29 (KJV) “Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
The geographic location for rest is not the beach; it’s not the mountains. I love those places. It might be helpful to go to those kinds of geographic places. The geographic location that Jesus promises is Himself. Your truest rest is in Me. He tells us to put away this anger.
We said earlier that worry is an addiction trigger. Anger is, especially, an addiction trigger. It’s not uncommon for individuals that struggle with addiction to also struggle with anger. You often find that people who grew up in an angry environment or a violent household struggle with addiction later in life. This usually has to do with traumatic memories or never learning how to cope and deal with anger in a healthy manner. It results in people turning to drugs, alcohol and other forms of self medication. This is all in the literature. It’s all scientific and medical fact. We are triggered by anger. It puts us in a place of unrest and then we try to find rest in something other than the Lord, which the Old Testament calls “idolatry.” Then, we put drugs, alcohol, relationships, overeating, uncontrolled anger, hanging on to grief… I don’t have time to list them all. You know yours. We hang on to them, rather than surrendering control to the Lord and finding rest, poured out to the Lord so that we can be still and patiently wait for Him. Would you do that? He promises you can find rest for your souls in Him.
In our community group this past week, we were talking about last week’s beatitude. We were talking about releasing our grief to the Lord. It was a great conversation that we were all having. I thought it was going pretty good; then, one of our members, a woman in our group with tears in her eyes, says, “Gary, it feels kind of ambiguous just to say, ‘give it to Jesus.’ How do I do that? Just give it to Jesus? In fact, that kind of irritates me sometimes when Christians say that to me, ‘you gotta give that to Jesus.” She goes, “I lost my son and I still grieve him. How do I give that to Jesus ? I don’t know how to.” She continues, “But I have to tell you, I started going to a grief care group for other parents that had lost children. We gathered weekly. We, as fellow believers, got together and told each other how they were feeling. ‘Ok, I’m angry this week’ or ‘I’m depressed this week’ or ‘I’m finally accepting it.’ They would go through the different stages of grief together and they would talk it out.” She said, “I found that I couldn’t wait for this group every week. It was like a lifeline to me. I still struggle with that grief. I don’t know if I’ll ever fully overcome it, but I’m growing and I’m learning. Do you know what I learned? I’m learning that the way I give it to Jesus is I give it to His people and they help me give it to Jesus.” Wow. That’s how you do it. You can’t do it by yourself. This is why Jesus said to the people around Lazarus, “Take off his grave clothes and let him go,” because we are the body of Christ. We are the body of Christ. He’s the head and we’re the body, church, so you can’t beat this by yourself.
The evil one lies and says to isolate. But the Lord says, ‘Come together and bear one another’s burdens. ‘Roll it over’ onto the Lord means to bear one another’s burdens. You need the Lord and you need His fellowship of believers, which is the body of Christ.
She said, “It became like a lifeline to me.” We offer community groups and we offer our Celebrate Recovery ministry. I’ve been talking to you about our Celebrate Recovery ministry. It’s based on the acronym, R.E.C.O.V.E.R.Y. I’ve been building the case because it’s based on the beatitudes: .
R.E.C.O.V.E.R.Y: (8 principles based on the Beatitudes) Realize I’m not God. I admit I’m powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and my life is unmanageable. This is the “reality” step. “I’ve got a problem. I need help.”
Earnestly believe that God exists. I believe that I matter to him and that he alone has the power to help me recover. The “hope” step. “God’s the answer.”
Here we are today: Consciously choose to commit. I commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control. This is the “commitment step.” This is the step where you say, “I’m giving my life, I’m giving control of my life to Jesus.”
Have you ever done that? Have you ever surrendered control of your life to the One who cares about you so that you trust Him with being your provider and that you delight in Him? He is the one Who knows your deepest desires and truly can meet them. Commit your future to Him, knowing that He will go to work for you and make your life like the risen new day sun. Rest in Him, not worrying, knowing that He cares for you. Have you given your life to Jesus?
Let’s pray. Lord, I pray for that person that’s here today. That’s never entrusted themselves to You. They’ve never decided to follow You. I pray for that person right now and I invite them to pray with me. Right in your seat or where you’re watching online, maybe you’re at home or you’re somewhere else, wherever you are, would you pray with me if this is your heart’s desire? “Dear Lord Jesus, I’m a sinner. I’ve tried to control my own life, but I give up. I surrender control to You. I believe that You died on the cross for me. I believe that You were raised from the grave and that You live today. I invite You to come into my life, through your spirit, forgive me of my sins and save me. Make me a child of God. I ask You to do that right now. I believe in You. I trust You.” If you’re praying that prayer of faith, believing, He will save you and He will make you a child of God. Others are here today and you’re a believer already, but there are parts of your heart, little corners that you’re still trying to control. Would you give that part to Him? Would you give Him that area? Maybe it’s a grief, some sort of hurt, maybe it’s an offense, maybe it’s jealousy or some worry or maybe it’s an addiction. Whatever it is, would you surrender that to the Lord right now and say, “Lord, I trust You with this. I release this to You. I give You control of my life. I surrender.” in Jesus’ name. Amen.