Sanctification IV Are You Out Of Place In This World

Scripture: Psalm 100

Sermon preached at Gospel Light Christian Church, Singapore
on 29 October 2000 11 am English Service

Introduction: Men often feel a great sense of helplessness, emptiness and frustration. Even those who have stable jobs, nice families and beautiful homes are not spared. It is as if they are "out of place" in this world. Today we will learn how we can stop feeling "out of place."

Designed for Dependence: God did not create anything to be self-sufficient, self-sustaining or self-ruling. He designed and created everything to be dependent on Him. We all acknowledge that if something is made by someone, then it has to be maintained by someone. We are all made by God and need to depend on Him for our well-being (Psalm 100:3). We need Him to provide for us, protect us and guide us. This basic need of depending upon God is seldom understood, though it is one of the most important principles of life.

Adam was created to be dependent upon God for his provisions (Genesis 1:29) and guidance (Genesis 1:15,16). However, he was deceived by Satan - who himself had earlier rebelled against God's authority (Isaiah 14:13,14 - note the five "I wills" in these two verses). Satan convinced Adam that God was cruel and he would suffer if he continued to depend on God's guidance (Genesis 3:5). Adam's act of disobedience (Genesis 3:6) manifested his desire to live independently of God. Of course, it was not possible for Adam to really live independently of God since he was dependent on Him for his life, provisions, etc. Adam's declaration of independence from God was a mere delusion.

We, as Adam's descendants, continue to believe that we can live independently of God, doing what we please. We are like children who live in their father's house, enjoying their father's provisions while saying: "I can take care of myself. I don't need my father's help nor guidance. I will live as I please." Unless children are repeatedly reminded to be grateful, they are prone to take their fathers' provisions for granted. Many children only realize this obvious truth when they face problems that they cannot handle. Others only realize this much later, when they themselves become parents. A child who tries to live independently of his parents will be unsettled - especially when he faces problems. Such a child will also not enjoy the full benefits of his childhood.

Our dependence upon God is far greater than our dependence upon our parents because God not only provides what we have but also what we are (Colossians 1:16,17).

Discovering our Dependence: When God leads a person to realize the folly of trying to live independently of God, he will repent of his sin of ingratitude and rebellion. He will also show him the need to depend upon God to be forgiven and reconciled with Him (Ephesians 2:8,9 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast"). We need God to help us to show us our need to repent, so that we can be saved from our sin and be reconciled to God. Like many other things that we receive freely from God (eg. our life, sunshine, air), salvation is also a "gift of God."

Besides depending on God for our salvation, we also need to continue to depend upon Him for everything (eg. our provisions, protection, guidance). While Christians all acknowledge the need to depend upon God for salvation, many do not continue to live a life of dependence upon Him for everything. The commonest reason why they do not do so is that they have been deceived by Satan that God is cruel. Satan used this same tactic to frighten Adam (Genesis 3:5) and continues to use it to frighten many Christians. Many Christians are fearful that if they allow God to rule their lives they will be miserable. These Christians have been deceived to believe that if they depend on God's guidance in their lives they will be put into disadvantageous positions. Some believe that they will be made to suffer hardships. Others believe that they will be sent into embarrassing situations. And others believe that all their pleasures will be taken away by God. Therefore, they believe that to be happy they must live lives independent of God. In other words, they believe Satan's lie that God is evil and they must resist His rule over them. It is sad to see how widely Satan's lie that "God is evil and man is good" has spread.

Conclusion: We can only find true peace and joy when we are in our rightful place of dependence upon God - both for this life and the next.

This sermon is part of a series on Sanctification.

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