“Do I recognize God in everything?“
This “self examination” question may be put in another way, “do I put God first in everything?” If we do not recognize God in our everyday lives, we are missing out on the Christian experience. Do you realize how big a part the LORD has in your life? The very fact that you can take in a breath of air is a gift from God! Isn’t that a blessing? If you have your health, that is a gift from God – if you have food, clothing, and shelter, you ought not forget that it is the LORD who gave it to you (Hosea 2:5, 8). Not because you’re so skillful or so wise that you have things, but because the LORD is good to His people.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Not just a “part” of your heart – don’t go by what you think, or what you know, or what you think you understand, because you may not know about life the way you think you do. Is there any man who knows everything? Why then do men act so? We can’t go by our own understanding because we lack knowledge, wisdom and proper perspective in so many areas. That is why the Scripture saith,
Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:
Proverbs 10:17 ¶ He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.
No matter what age you are either physically or in the LORD, you always have something more you can learn in your walk with the LORD and your relationship to other people.
When you “lean” on something, you trust in it. You can lean upon a chair and believe that it will hold you up. It will hold you up because it’s made of something solid; but a chair made of cardboard will fall flat underneath you. Our problem is that we think our understanding is like the solid chair, rather than the flimsy cardboard, and so we lean on it – and when we do, we fall flat on our face. Instead, you must lean upon the LORD and His judgments and His statutes, and His righteousness because we can trust Him and He will not fail us nor fall under us.
Proverbs 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
We don’t acknowledge the LORD in “some” of our ways, but in all. When we are in the way of the straight and narrow path and things go well spiritually, we can acknowledge the LORD’s strength and help through life’s trials and difficulties – that will bring glory to the LORD. It is the LORD who strengthened me today, it’s the LORD who gave me wisdom today, it’s the LORD who gave me boldness to witness today. Praise God!
But the principle does not stop there, for it says, “in all thy ways acknowledge him“. When you go out of the way and off on the crooked path in your own way (“thy ways”) and then you get chastened because you’re off track, then you must recognize the LORD in that! “Oh, I got out of the way and the LORD smacked me good for that! The reason I got punished was because the LORD was trying to correct me; the LORD was trying to tell me something and redirect me!”
You would have thought that Jonah would have learned his lesson when he got onto the ship heading to Tarshish (Jonah 1:3) and got caught up in a great storm. He even went so far as to admit to the other sailors that he was the cause of the storm, but instead of repenting, he decided he would rather be cast into the sea (Jonah 1:11-12)! He knew, “I’m the problem; I’m the cause of the trouble for others” – but it took as far as him getting into the belly of a whale (Matthew 12:40) in order for him to step back and say, “you know what, I think God’s trying to tell me something” – now that is dense!
Let’s acknowledge the LORD – He shall direct your path and show you the way in which you should go.
“Do I recognize God in everything?“
It is interesting how in the book of Esther, “God” isn’t mentioned one time in the book, and yet when you read that book, you see the hand of God all throughout it. This teaches us a valuable lesson, that even if we don’t think God is there or has any part in our lives, He most assuredly is there and He is working for our benefit when we follow Him.
- Your reading assignment is to read the book of Esther and mark where God moved in each step of the situation.
1 Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
God wants to be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. When a believer does not allow the Lord Jesus to do His work in their life, they are robbing God of glory.
Not only do we need to recognize God in every aspect of our lives, but we also need to examine our own motives to see if the reason we do the things we do is for the LORD. Why did we get saved? Why do we try to act like a Christian? Why do we seek to be a blessing to people? Is it for our own self-interest, or for the glory of God?
Do we stay away from sin because we don’t want to be punished or because we are afraid of social scrutiny, or because we want to “keep peace” between family and friends, or do we stay away from sin because we love the LORD and don’t want to hurt Him? When David committed adultery with Bathsheba he responded with the spiritual answer:
Psalm 51:4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
Why do we witness? Why do we proclaim the name of Jesus Christ publickly? Because we want attention? because we hate people? Because of duty? Or is it because we love the Lord Jesus Christ?
Can you honestly bow your head before each one of your daily activities and say, “Lord, please bless this time for your glory, amen”? Can you bow your head before you begin watching some movie with murder, adultery, witchcraft, and cursing and say, “Lord, please bless this time for Jesus’ sake, amen”? If you can’t, then it’s wrong!
If you can get up in the morning and get dressed and look in the mirror and say, “Lord, let the way that I present myself to the world be to your glory” then you do well.
When you pour your next beer or light up your next cigarette, can you bow your head and say, “Lord, please bless this to my body” – if you can’t ask the LORD to bless it, then you shouldn’t be doing it:
Romans 14:23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
“Lord, bless my speech; bless what I’m about to say” – if not, then hold thy tongue!
“Do I recognize God in everything?“
1 Corinthians 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
The purpose for our being is to glorify our great God and our Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ. Someday He’s going to come back and take over all that He has bought with His own blood, and rule and reign forever over the kingdoms of men. God wants to be involved in your life and in all of your activities, as long as they are RIGHT.
Too many professing believers take this and try to include God in wicked activities and profess that God approves of it. Many I’m sure are not true believers to start with, because the Holy Spirit of God does not prick their conscience. “Including the Lord Jesus” does not mean including Him in things He has no part of. He wants to be a part of Holiness, a part of righteousness, but not wickedness.
2 Kings 17:33 They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence.
God does not want to be recognized in the midst of all of your idolatry – He wants to be the Supreme motive for everything that you do. People will say (unwittingly so) that Jesus Christ is the meaning for “Easter”, when “Easter” is the name of a pagan goddess – Ishtar; the Ashtaroth of the Old Testament. What bunnies and egg hunts have to do with Jesus nobody knows, but the pagans know that it’s to celebrate the fertility “goddess” of the heathen.
The other pitfall “holy-day” is Christmas(s), where “Jesus is the reason for the season – trees, holly, mistletoe, angels (with wings?), icicle lights, ornaments and “gifts” (bought against their will for many) – along with Satan Clause – and it’s all about Jesus Christ is it? I don’t believe the Lord of Glory wants any part of it.
Young fornicating teens think, “well, God is love, and we love each other so it’s ok what we’re doing” – let’s better call sin, “sin”, and when the Lord gets involved let’s put sin away. When the LORD gets recognition, He may be “compartmentalized” into an area of life, but really what the LORD wants is what the Bible calls, “preeminence”.
When a child has a desire to do something, he or she must first go and ask their parents. They have given the parents the preeminent place to make the decision for what they are allowed to do in that moment of time.
Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the head of the church, the body of Christ. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead because He was the first to die and resurrect to never die again. There were many who died in the Old Testament and were resurrected (woman of Shunem’s son [II Kings 4], the man who touched Elisha’s bones [II Kings 13:21], Lazarus [John 11], etc.) but they all died later.
Do you see how God wants to be first in all things? Not just on “church day”; not just on Sundays and Wednesday nights; not just on calling days, but in every day activities and decisions of life. In the Old Testament the LORD told the children of Israel to separate and dedicate all the firstborn of their animals to the LORD – God wanted to be first. Today, He wants to be first in every thought, word, and deed in the believer’s life.
3 John 9 ¶ I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
Here is a man who stole the place that God desired and put himself in it. Not only did he put himself in the driver’s seat, but he did so in the church. He wanted to know every decision that was made, to know everything that was going on, and to micro-manage every jot and tittle to the annoyance of the apostle John. It is interesting how the apostle John is shut out of this assembly by a man who has placed himself in God’s stead, and it is the same with the Lord Jesus who often times is found standing outside many churches who profess to be “all about Jesus”.
Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
You only have two options – either you have the preeminent place, or God does. What I think, want, like, desire; where I think I should go, what I think I should say – or else, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6).