by Pastor Tim Burt
I don’t want to! Do you remember that phrase? I’m sure I said it more than my share of times when I was a child and teen. It never settled well with my dad or mom. It never settled well with Renee and I from our children. It doesn’t settle well with God either.
We probably think we’ve matured far past those words but honestly, I doubt it! We probably don’t use that exact phrase. Now that we are older, we’d probably say it in a more dignified way like, I’m sorry but that just isn’t something I care to do. Concerning the Lord, the problem with an I don’t want to attitude is that it will hinder God’s blessing in your life and could possibly even lead to loss, pain and hardship.
If you’ve ever been in your house and have lost power for whatever reason, it can impact you differently depending on the time of day. I remember times where we lost power in the middle of the night for maybe an hour. I would have never known except that I’d see the digital clocks flashing the wrong time when I woke up. When that happened, I knew we had lost power in the night. It was hardly a disruption to our lives. We slept through it! Then there had been times when it was in the middle of the day where it was fairly light outside. Again, because of the amount of sunlight coming in the house, it hardly seemed like a disruption. But, when we lost power in the evening and it was dark, and everyone in the house had been up and active, that had a much larger impact. We’d scramble for flashlights or candles. We couldn’t use our electric lights, appliances, computers, or the television, and we’d lost the power to our furnace or air conditioning. Our style of living changed more dramatically during power outages at that time of day. I used this illustration to say that we can have I don’t want to attitudes with God, but they may cause Holy Ghost power outages in our lives.
The thought what would Jesus do? is and was more than a trending phrase a few years back. It was a reminder to develop and attitude of submitting yourself to God, not resisting Him. Submitting to God actually creates inward strength for resisting Satan. You can see how they go hand-in-hand in James 4:7 (NIV) “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
John 15:5 (NKJV) says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” Those are the Words of Jesus and He meant what He said. “…for without Me you can do nothing.” Of course there are things we can do without Jesus. People do things outside His will everyday. People who call themselves Christians often pick and choose what they are going to do without regard of what Jesus has instructed through His Word.
Every day husbands and wives speak things to each other without pause and seeking guidance. Their attitude of not submitting themself to God creates a power outage. They aren’t seeking discernment and temperance as to what they say, and how they say it. Without the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit, they let it loose! They speak hurtful things. Every day, people—even those that call themselves Christians, engage in sexual activity outside of marriage. Christians toy with and enter into unequally yoked relationships. Christians secretly toy with Internet pornography or online relationships out of lust. Christians lie like it’s no big deal. Christians violate integrity for monetary reasons and don’t follow through with their word. They override the counsel and voice of God too often when all He is trying to do is show them a better way. They put themselves in a power outage. They harden their hearts to the still small voice of God that would show them the right thing to do but, like children, they are saying, I don’t want to! Well, we aren’t kids anymore. We don’t have to do things the way we know the Lord is instructing us to but, we should, remembering the Words of Jesus, “…for without Me you can do nothing.” We might kid ourselves into thinking things are okay—like the power outage that happens at night that hardly seem to inconvenience our life. But, things do unravel and problems begin to manifest. One day we’ll realize the effect and consequence of exercising the I don’t want to card pushing away His guidance.
One day we’ll realize that the power has gone out. God will feel distant and we won’t know what’s wrong. We’ll scramble for light but in God’s world, all light comes from the counsel of God’s Word and obedience to it. It will be in that time when the devil attacks because we’ve given him a foothold. Maybe then we’ll finally get serious and examine our attitudes and actions in light of how He’s instructed us. And because of His mercy and grace, we’ll stop acting like brats saying, I don’t want to. We’ll do things right and pray for that turnaround in our circumstances.
That is a dangerous way to live your life. Today is the day to turn back to God! It’s better to obey the Lord and do things the way He has shown us to begin with and have an I want to attitude!
Eph 4: 22-27 (NIV) “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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