Monday, December 27, 2004
This is really tough for a New York Yankees fan, but I heard something really good from a player on that other team - the 2004 World Champion (oh boy that hurts!) Boston Red Sox. Their dramatic eight game string of victories carried them from three games down to the Yankees all the way to a four game sweep of the World Series. Curt Schilling, a veteran star pitcher for the Red Sox, had pitched one of those first playoff losses to the Yankees. Then he came back dramatically to pitch a stellar game to help the Red Sox pull off a dramatic turnaround. They interviewed Curt Schilling immediately after that decisive victory. The interviewer wanted to talk about the injury Curt had overcome, but that wasn't what Curt wanted to talk about. His first response went like this: "I just want to say that I really felt God's touch out there tonight. Seven years ago, I became a Christian. But that first game, it was me doing it and you saw the results. Tonight, I gave it all to God, and He really touched me. Tonight you saw what He could do."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The End of What You Can Do."
That's a powerful lesson, spelled out for millions of people on a night a baseball star could have easily taken the glory for himself. What a difference there is between the result when we do all we can do on our own and when we get out of the way and let God do what only He can do; which may be exactly what you need to be thinking about right now.
You've been trying everything you know to make things happen, to start it, to fix it, to solve it, to change it and it's just not working. Oh, you may have prayed about it, but honestly, you've had your hands firmly on the steering wheel. You're going to drive this one, no matter what. Well, you've seen what you can do. Are you ready to see what God can do?
In Isaiah 50:10-11, our word for today from the Word of God, He lays out the two ways to approach an issue, or a problem, or a need - with two very different outcomes. He refers to those as times when we're walking in the dark, where the way is not clear. God says, "Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God." That's one way you can handle the situation. "But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand: you will lie down in torment."
Two choices: trust in the Lord - His timing, not yours; His power, not yours; His way, not yours. Or pursue your own bright idea. Don't wait for God, just plow ahead to get it done. Try to make it happen, no matter what. You can faith it done or you can try to force it done. You can surrender to God or you can control it yourself - until you crash. Which you will if you do not come to the point your Savior came to that awful night in the Garden of Gethsemane when He prayed, "Not what I will, but what You will." You've tried to plan it done, talk it done, scheme it done, and force it done. But it's been all about you, even if you've attached God's name to it. God is bringing you to the end of what you can do so you'll come to the end of you. Not so you'll give up, but so you'll give in to the Lord who should have been driving all along anyway.
When we stubbornly hang onto being the "make it happen" person, we ultimately keep it from happening - the perfect plan of God. Isn't it time to take your hands off the wheel and learn to be a "watch it happen" person? You've insisted on driving for so long, and you're stressed, frustrated, and exhausted, and you're still not where you wanted to go. But then, you were never meant to drive. The Bible says, "Commit your way to the Lord; trust also in Him, and He will bring it to pass" ( Psalm 37:5). To control it is to lose it. To surrender is to win. Let go of the wheel and see what God can do!