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Giving God Full Control

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Giving God Full Control

by David Wilkerson

September 26, 2005

Most readers know that the Supreme Court of the United

States has ruled the Ten Commandments cannot be displayed

in any government courthouse.  This landmark decision has

been covered exhaustively by the media.  But what does the

ruling mean?

A courthouse is where laws are enforced.  And the Ten

Commandments represent God's moral law, which never shifts

or changes.  It is as fixed as the law of gravity.  If you

defy that law, it's like stepping off a high building.  You

can deny that the law affects you, but there are

consequences sure to be paid.

Simply put, the Ten Commandments are eternal laws designed

by God to keep society from destroying itself.  Yet,

amazingly, many sand-blasting companies are at work right

now grinding away those Commandments  -  as well as God's

name  -  wherever they're engraved in courthouse marble or

concrete.

What a telling picture of the state of our society.  These

unchangeable laws were originally engraved in stone by the

very finger of God.  And now they are being erased from

stone by the law of man.

I hear some Christians saying, "What's the big deal?  We're

not under the law.  Why should this be an issue?"  I cringe

when I hear this.  No, we're not under the Hebrew law,

meaning the 613 additional commandments added by Jewish

rabbis.  But every Christian is under the authority of

God's moral law, which is summed up in the Ten

Commandments.  No believer can justify committing

adultery, theft or murder.

I wonder what goes through God's mind as these

sand-blasters erase his laws from before our eyes.  Again,

some believers claim, "We don't need these displays of the

Commandments.  All that's really necessary is for us to

have them written in our hearts." That's not what God's

Word says.  Consider the very visible presence God intended

for the Commandments as they were delivered to his people:

"These words, which I command thee this day, shall be in

thine heart... and thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thy

hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and

on thy gates...and [thou] shalt talk of them when thou

sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way,

and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up"

(Deuteronomy 6:6, 8-9, 7).

The awful fact is, ungodly forces in our society have

rejected God.  All mention of him is now being removed from

our schools, our courts, our public institutions.  And soon

these same forces will attempt to outlaw the words "One

nation under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.

I believe this madness will not go unanswered for long.

I'm convinced God is going to act quickly.  Take for

example what has happened in Europe recently.  Last year

the European Union tried to force a constitution that

blatantly rejected God and defined Europe as secular.  The

decree failed, but those spearheading it will surely be

back; they won't give up until the name of God is renounced

through all of Europe.  They have made their intentions

clear, stating in essence, "Let God have his heaven.  Give

us the earth.  Keep religion out of our faces."

I wonder what goes through God's mind as sand-blasters

erase his laws from before our eyes.

The fact is, if you don't want God in your midst, he

doesn't simply go away.  Consider what has happened in

Europe since that constitution was introduced.  Germany and

France face massive unemployment.  Welfare costs are

soaring.  Governing bodies are paralyzed, and there is

incredible confusion all around.  Yet these are only the

beginnings of even greater fear and chaos to come upon any

people who reject God outright.

Now the same anti-God spirit that's at work in Europe is at

work in America and it ought to grieve us.  The Bible

offers warning after warning on this matter.  Why did God

judge Noah's generation by sending a flood?  Why the

destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah?  It all happened because

of lawlessness.  The Bible says that in those societies

every person became a law unto himself, and the godly

anguished over it.  Lot, who lived in Sodom, was vexed

daily by his society's lawlessness (see 2 Peter 2:8).

We see God's ultimate plan for

a lost, lawless world at the

dawn of Israel's history.

By the close of the Book of Genesis, God had chosen a

small, insignificant people to become a teaching nation.

He wanted to raise up a people who would be living examples

to the heathen world of his goodness.  So, to bring about

such a testimony, God took his people into places that were

beyond their control.  He isolated Israel in a wilderness,

where he alone would be their only source of life, caring

for their every need.

Israel had no control over their survival in that desolate

place.  They couldn't control the availability of food or

water.  They couldn't control their destination, as they

had no compasses or maps.  How would they eat and drink?

Which direction would they go?  And where would they end

up?

God would do it all for them.  He would guide them every

day by a miracle cloud, one that glowed at night and

dispelled the darkness before them.  He would feed them

with angels' food from heaven and provide them with water

from a Rock.  Yes, every single need would be supplied by

the Lord, and no enemy would be able to defeat them.

"Out of heaven he made thee [Israel] to hear his voice,

that he might instruct thee" (Deuteronomy 4:36).  God's

people would hear his very words guiding them, and in turn

they would testify, "Who is there of all mankind who has

heard the voice of the living God?" (see 4:32-34).

The nations surrounding ancient Israel were filled with

"other gods," idols made of wood, silver and gold.  These

gods were mute, unable to see or hear, unable to love,

guide or protect the people who worshipped them.  Yet any

one of those nations could look to Israel and see a special

people whom God carried through a terrible wilderness.

They would see a God who spoke to his people, who loved and

felt, who answered prayers and provided miracles.  Here was

a living God, one who guided his people in every detail of

their lives.

This was the very reason God raised up Israel: to show a

heathen world what the true, living God was like.  As he

looked upon the nations, he saw a human race filled with

violence and lawlessness, crying pitifully to gods that

couldn't help them.  It was a world filled with restless,

striving, wicked-minded people, who wandered astray like

sheep without a shepherd.

So God raised up a people who would be trained by him.

There had to be a people who lived under his authority, who

would trust him completely, giving him full control of

every aspect of their lives.  That people would become his

testimony to the world.

Why would God want full control of a people?  Why did he

insist on their complete trust in all things?  It was

because only God knew the way.  He alone knew their future

and had the power to bring them into his full rest.  And he

would perform the impossible that was needed to get them

there.

This is why Israel was placed in situations they couldn't

control.  They faced trials they couldn't understand, tests

that were beyond their strength to cope with.  God put them

in these crises to invoke their faith.  He wanted to bring

them through these experiences to build their confidence,

so that no matter what the future held, they could say,

"God has delivered us, and he will deliver us again.  He

brought us through the plagues of Egypt, and out of the

bondage of Pharaoh.  All glory to the Lord in our present

crisis."

Beloved, this is still the way God produces faith in his

people.  He brings us into fiery trials that we can't

survive in our own strength.  We face troubles that can't

be solved except by miracles of deliverance.  You see, like

Israel we're destined to be God's "trophy people."  He

wants us as his examples to a lost world: a people brought

to the end of themselves, who see before them impassable

mountains, uncrossable seas, impossible wilderness

experiences, and who declare, "This is all beyond me.  It's

going to take miracles to see me through.  I can't cope

with it on my own, and I can't reason it through.  No

person or institution can deliver me.  The Lord is my only

hope.  I have to give him full control of my life and

future.  I'm going to trust him in all my ways."

So, which choice did Israel make?  They responded with

outbursts of mistrust and unbelief  -  ten such outbursts, in

fact.  And finally, God said, "Enough." Consider the

Bible's summation of them: "They could not enter in because

of unbelief" (Hebrews 3:19).  Sadly, those ancient

Israelites didn't become examples of a people who wholly

depended on their Lord, but rather examples of unbelief.

According to the prophets, God would send his own Son to

raise up a last-days people who would be wholly dependent

on him.

This last-days people would be raised up by Christ himself.

And they would be governed by God, led by the Spirit, and

wholly yielded to the Lord in every area of life.  Jesus

demonstrated this for us, living wholly dependent on the

Father.  He appeared not merely as the last Adam, but as

the last "pattern man," the ultimate example of what God

had been searching for: one who would give the Father full

control of his life.

"For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but

the will of him that sent me" (John 6:38).  "Verily,

verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself,

but what he seeth the Father do... I seek not mine own will,

but the will of the Father which hath sent me" (5:19, 30).

We know Jesus was utterly dependent on the Father, and he

is our example of yielding and trust.  Indeed, he makes

clear that such a life is possible for us.  Most Christians

are in agreement, saying, "Yes, that's how we should strive

to walk.  We ought not to live with fear and anxiety,

trying to solve our problems on our own.  Rather, we should

place our lives and cares in his hands."

If we actually lived this, God should be the captain of our

souls by now.  But is he?  For many in the church, the

answer is a clear no.  We sing songs about Jehovah Jireh,

our provider, and we quote all the names of God  -  El

Shaddai, Adonai, Jehovah, Elohim  -  as well as the glorious

names of Christ: Messiah, Lord of lords, King of kings.

Yet as soon as our next crisis arises, we mourn and

question God's faithfulness.  And we give in to doubt and

fear, relying on our wits to find an escape.

Many Christians read the Bible regularly, believing it is

God's living, revealed Word for their lives.  Over and over

in the pages of Scripture, they read about generations who

heard the voice of God.  They read of God speaking to his

people again and again, with this phrase repeated time

after time: "And God said..." Yet these same Christians live

as though God doesn't speak to his people today.

An entire generation of believers has come to make

decisions completely on their own, without praying or

consulting God's Word.  Many simply decide what they want

to do, and then ask God to validate it.  They move ahead

forcefully, their only prayer being, "Lord, if this is not

your will, then stop me."

We're now living in a time referred to as the "blink

generation." People are making major decisions in the blink

of an eye.  A best-selling book has been written on this

concept, titled Blink: The Power of Thinking Without

Thinking.  The theory is, "Trust your instincts.

Blink-of-the-eye decisions prove to be best."

Think about all the hurried-up "blink language" we hear

every day: "This is an offer of the century.  You can make

a bundle overnight.  But you have only a short window of

opportunity.  Get on it now!" The driving spirit behind it

all is, "Blink, blink, blink!"

Such thinking has begun to infect the church, affecting the

decisions made not just by "blink Christians" but by "blink

ministers." Scores of bewildered parishioners have written

to us telling the same story: "Our pastor came back from a

church-growth conference and immediately announced, 'As of

today, everything changes.'  He decided we would become one

of the popular trend churches  overnight!  He didn't even

ask us to pray about it.  We're all confused."

Just a few years ago, the watchword among Christians was,

"Did you pray about this matter?  Have you sought the Lord

concerning it?  Are your brothers and sisters surrounding

you in prayer?  Have you received godly counsel?"

I ask you, has this been your practice?  In the past year,

how many important decisions have you made where you

honestly took the matter to God and prayed sincerely?  Or,

how many of those decisions did you make "in the blink of

an eye"?  The reason God wants full control of our

decision-making is to save us from disasters  -  which is

exactly where most of our "blink decisions" end up.

How do we give God full control of our lives?

There is no formula for living wholly dependent on the

Lord.  All I can offer to you is what God has been teaching

me in this area.  He has shown me two simple things about

how I'm to give him full control.

First, I must be convinced the Lord is anxious and willing

to make his will known to me, even in the smaller details

of my life.  I have to believe that the Spirit who abides

in me knows God's will for me, and that he will guide me,

lead me and speak to me.

"When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you

into all truth... He shall glorify me: for he shall receive

of mine, and shall shew it unto you" (John 16:13-14).

Jesus is telling us that the Holy Spirit will convey to us

the mind and will of God.  "When he shall hear (your

voice), he will answer thee....  Thine ears shall hear a word

behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it"

(Isaiah 30:21).

Maybe right now you're in the midst of some affliction,

perhaps one that has been caused by a blink decision.  Even

so, the Lord promises you, "Your inner ear will hear my

Spirit speaking to you, 'Go that way.  Do this.  And don't

do that...'"

Secondly, we have to pray with unwavering faith for power

to obey God's direction.  Scripture says, "Let him ask in

faith, nothing wavering.  For he that wavereth is like a

wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  For let

not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the

Lord" (James 1:6-7).

When God tells us to do something, we need power to stay

the course and obey him fully.  Over five decades of life

in ministry, I've learned that Satan and the flesh will

always plant doubts and questions in my mind.  And I need

strength from heaven not to say "yes" to any situation when

Jesus has said "no."

Many of us pray, "Lord, I know what you told me.  But I'm

still not sure that was your voice speaking.  In fact, I'm

not sure I'm spiritual enough even to recognize your voice.

Please, just open or close the door for me on this

matter."

That's not the faith response he's looking for from his

children.  You can pray all you want, for hours or even

days at a time, weeping and pleading.  But if you don't

pray with faith  -  believing the Holy Spirit will guide you,

as Jesus has promised  -  you will never have the mind of God

conveyed to you.  He waits until he sees you're committed

to accept-ing whatever he says, and obeying it without

question.  Our response to him must be, "Lord, you are the

Captain of my salvation.  Your will be done in my life."

At times, God may ask you to do something that's utterly

unreasonable.  For a country preacher like me, it was

absolutely unreasonable to leave my small town to come to

New York City to preach to gang members.  It was against

all reason for me to be told, "Go to Brooklyn, to the Fort

Greene housing projects, and witness to the Mau Mau gang."

There was only one reason I went: because God said to do

it.  That was where I met Nicky Cruz.  Now, decades later,

the hundreds of thousands who've come to Jesus as a result

of that unreasonable direction continue to multiply.

God does not deceive his people; he has promised to make

his will clear to all who seek him.  And when we've given

him full control of our lives, we'll hear his voice behind

us, saying, "This is the way, beloved servant.  Now, walk

in it with confidence.  I have everything under control."

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