Ever get hung up between what God is supposed to do and what we are supposed to do?
Two sides: for the aggressive, impatient – they want to step in and do God’s job for Him.
For the non-aggressive, more aid back – they want God to do everything for them.
Guy praying for God to send someone to help.
You are the one.
David wrote: God will accomplish what concerns me. Ps 138:8. He didn’t say how.
Parable of the soils: Mark 4:14-20
To get good soil:
Enrich soil with growth enhancers
None of the good soil practices change the nature of the seed. They only give the seeds better opportunity for good results. Working the soil gives the root system of whatever is planted room to do what it’s designed to do.
From the parable, the same is true for the Word of God. God said through Isaiah: Isa 55:11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. Track record: spoke the world into existence.
God’s Word is designed to accomplish what God wants accomplished. However (now insert the parable of the soils), unprepared soil can interfere with expected results.
Matt 13:58 And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.
Disbelief – I will not engage my ability to accept or believe.
Is there a difference between I cannot believe and I will not believe? Same results.
We prepare our soil to accept the Word of God because we believe He has something He wants to say into our life and something He wants to do in our life.
So, since we have the promise of God accomplishing what concerns us, and His Word accomplishing what He desires, what are His options:
Run over us if necessary
Work with what we give Him
Draw us into compliance – God I want what You want for me.
We’re not the sower, God is. We’re not the grower, God is. We’re not the seed, we’re the soil. The pile of dirt into which God deposits His glory and excellence—who He is and what He does.
Our job is to remove the obstacles that inhibit the results God wants—denying the old tendencies of our flesh, and giving ourselves to the desires of the New Nature which opens us to the activity of God in us and through us.
2Pet 1:4 For by these [who He is and what He does] He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them [the promises – the seeds] you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
To partake of (to participate in) the divine nature, God must give us a new nature [our old nature cannot participate in God’s divine nature]. The Old nature lives out of its own selfish desires. The New nature lives out of a desire for God’s best. The unrestrained, driving force to satisfy myself is now challenged by the desire to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and body.
2Pet 1:5 Now for this very reason [that we are partakers of the divine life], also, applying all diligence in your faith, supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge,
Applying – not surface application but brought in deeply – get to the root system that feeds my life. Parable – I wonder if the people Jesus was talking to got that. No, I must ask myself: did I get it?
· Is my relationship with God too shallow to give His word room to grow?
· Is my life too congested with problems to work God’s word into my life?
· Do I have too many things more important than God to me that prevent me from hearing His voice?
What prevents me from going deep?
Even Socrates said: An unexamined life is not worth living.
n To never challenge my own attitudes or actions…
n To never ask God is this activity best for me?
n To never question how I’m living in light of the truth I know?
n To never place my life up against the promises of Scripture to see how I match up…indicates, I’m not interested in God’s Word accomplishing what’s best in my life. Instead of good, deep soil, I’m full of obstacles.
Diligence – with determination. Set this as priority. Work at it.
Supply – add these into your faith.
Moral excellence – God isn’t going to make us make moral choices. He doesn’t force obedience: Luke 6:46 "Why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?”
Knowledge that you learn. Dig into the Word. God show me what is better than how I now live.
We can’t live out God’s intentions apart from God’s direction.
2Pet 1:6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness,
Control of attitudes and actions. Staying on track.
Feels like self-improvement but actually it is seeking to allow the divine nature room to work so it can express itself in our lives.
Perseverance – staying with it
Godliness – devotion to God. Living in a way that demonstrates our love for Him.
2Pet 1:7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.
Devotion to God should lead to devotion to others.
2Pe 1:8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
John 15:8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
The Seeds of the Word remain full of potential.
Medieval Cathedral was destroyed during WWII. After all the rubble was removed a flower through extinct grew up and bloomed.
2Pe 1:9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.
If there is no change, there’ll be no difference in our lives, soon there’ll be is no respect for what Jesus did to save us.
2Pe 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;
Make certain you belong to Him.
Things that can’t save: church, being a good person, doing good things, having good parents, believing good things.
What can save: God when we call out to Him.
If you are His, everything you need for life and godliness are seeds planted in your soil. Give them room to grow.
Practice these. Let them become habits. Exercise your faith. Stretch your desire to believe.
2Pe 1:11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.
Entrance – not door to get into the kingdom, but since you are already in, it is your access into all the kingdom provides.
1. We have been set up for success in our Christian life not failure.
2. God has planted within us all that is necessary for an abundant, meaningful and fruitful life.
3. By not examining our soil—our life—we may be competing against God’s best.
4. Our job is to prevent anything from interfering with what God wants to accomplish.