Last week I was going through the all too frequent ritual of standing by an airport luggage carousel, waiting for Big Bertha - that's what I've named my suitcase since we spend so much time together! Suddenly the monotony was broken for all of us by this really cute scene - try to picture this. Here comes one of those luggage carts that looks sort of like a big grocery cart without the big basket, pushing it is this very little boy, still in pampers, barely able to walk - about one-fourth as tall as the cart.
Actually, the boy thought he was pushing the cart, actually his Daddy was right next to him with his hands on the bar above his son's head. Now, the cart was staying on a straight course, it was moving at a good speed...and finally the little guy got frustrated because he wanted to push on the handle bar which was way over his head. So in order to continue the illusion of "little boy pushing" Daddy picked him up, held him horizontal and let him push on the bar. But, needless to say, his father kept one hand on that cart, of course! Despite the way it looked to this little cart jockey, it was his father who was really making it happen.
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Guess Who's Really Moving it."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God is from Philippians 2:13. Here's what it says, "It is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose." There's the want to and the how to, and the three key words, "It is God." The funny thing is it looks like it's us doing it! You do the work for the Lord - the speaking, the music, the serving, the encouraging, the leading, and it sure looks like it's you who's living your Christian life...saying "no" to temptation, loving people, winning some spiritual vitories. But then, it looked to that little boy like he was pushing that cart too! But, it was really his father. The same with you...the same with me.
Jesus illustrated this with a grapevine. He said, "He is the vine, we are the branches." The grapes look like they're coming from the branch, right? Wrong! They're coming through the branch...from the vine. If you don't believe it, cut off the branch and see how many grapes it produces!
Now, it's like that for us in our life in Jesus Christ. Anything you've become, anything you've done, all those spiritual victories that you've been a part of, they may look like something you did, but it wasn't really you doing something for God, it was God doing something through you. Jesus put it bluntly in His vine story. He just said, "Without Me you can do nothing..." - nothing that matters, nothing that lasts, or nothing that's life-changing.
Since it's ultimately our Father who moves the cart, there are two attitudes that are just unacceptable. First, pride over any spiritual accomplishment, ability, or position. If your heart is saying, "Hey, ain't I somethin'!" after a spiritual victory, your heart is in fantasy land! The right and realistic read on it is, "Isn't God something!" Remember, it is God. Don't be a glory stealer. God says, "I am the Lord, my Glory I will not give to another." All the praise belongs to God.
But there is a second unacceptable attitude that is at the polar opposite of pride. It's a sense of inadequacy that keeps you from risking for and working for your Lord. You see, the same Lord who told us that we can do nothing without Him, teacher us to say, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13) You are inadequate. The more you realize that, the more you get out of the way and depend on the Lord to do it.
So, you can dare and work for Jesus because it's His power, His adequacy doing it anyway! "It is God who works," the verse says. You see, a little boy was able to move what he could never move because of his father's strength. You can move things for the Lord that are way beyond you because of your Heavenly Father's strength. So, keep pushing the cart, keep walking, but remember that your cart will stay on course and move a heavy load because of the powerful hands above you.