Don’t just sit there…do something.
SEPTEMBER 7, 2022
Don’t just sit there…do something. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
Key Life is a radio program for struggling believers, sick of phony religion and pious clichés. Our host and teacher is seminary professor Steve Brown. He teaches that radical freedom leads to infectious joy and surprising faithfulness.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible open it to the 16th chapter of Acts. And we’re looking at verses 6 through 10. I’m not going to take the time to read that. We’ve read it a couple of times, but I’m making observations on that. We’re spending a good deal of time talking about knowing God’s will. And here, we see a man who knew God’s will and did it. And, we talked about the traditional and Biblical ways of knowing God’s will. And I’m simply giving you some observations on this particular text. And the first is, a lot of worry that Christians have about doing God’s will is superfluous. God is sovereign, his will be done. Throughout this text, you don’t find Paul wringing his hands and worrying about not knowing God’s will. Why? Because Paul had an assurance that he worshiped a sovereign God and a sovereign God’s will, would be done. And it was done. And then I gave you an observation yesterday and it’s this, Christians who want to know God’s detailed plans for their life are wasting their time. God gives enough to go, but not enough to rest. Let me say it again. God gives enough to go, but not enough to rest. The principle that we’ve taught for years, is you take the first step, God will take the second step, by the time you get to the third step, you will know that it was God who took the first step. Kagawa, who was a Japanese ambassador and Christian wrote this when he was dying.
Health is gone. Sight is gone. But as I lie forsaken in this dark room, God still gives light. To me, all things are local. O wonder words of love. God and every inanimate thing speak to me. Thus, even in the darkness, I feel no loneliness. I’m constantly praising God for the joy of the moments lived in him and his will.
And that brings me to the third observation, which is kind of like the second with a little bit of nuance to it. God wants us to act even when we don’t know what we’re doing, Paul didn’t stop in Asia and say, alright God, when you show me, I’ll do whatever it is you want me to do. In the 17th chapter of Acts, Paul is in Athens, waiting for Silas and Timothy to come from Berea where Paul had been kicked out. They were on their way to Corinth. He didn’t just sit. He did something. While he was there, he looked around and thought, now, is there something I can do while I’m here? I’m an old guy. And one of the principles is that when you kneel down to do something on the floor, ask yourself cause it’s going to be hard to get up. Is there anything else I can do down here before I get up? Well, that’s a good principle and that principle works for us too. Do you know what my life’s verse is? It’s from the book of Ecclesiastes and it’s this.
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all of your might.
You want to know God’s will, well until he reveals where he’s leading you and what he’s planning on doing, there’s plenty to be done right now.
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all of your heart.
Tolstoy had a great parable of a man sitting in a boat, which he had pushed from the unknown shore. And he was given two oars and left alone. When he gets into the stream, he rows, but the current gets pretty heavy going in the other direction. He meets other boaters and they have given up and he asks, is this the way? And they say, let go, this is the way. What do you think? There could be no other way. And so, he drifts on, until suddenly he grows conscious of a sound, menacing and terrible the roar of the rapids. And then the man comes to himself. He remembers the oars and the opposite shore and madly begins to row, crying, oh that I was to drift. And so, don’t just sit there, do something. Don’t just sit there, do something. And there’s plenty to do, that neighbor who you haven’t spoken to in years, that friend where the relationship has been broken, the homework you need to do with your wife or your husband, the work that needs to be done in the church, the kindness and compassion. That’s God’s will. And where you are, look around and say to yourself, is there anything else I can do while I am down here? Now, let me give you one more observation and then we’ll be finished with this text. As a Christian, you can relax because God is not in the business of keeping his will from you. Jesus said this.
If you being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more your Father in heaven.
And Jesus said.
If any man’s will is to do his will, he will know.
You think about that. Amen.
Thanks Steve. What a great reminder that God is not in the business of keeping his will from us. We’ll continue forward here in Acts chapter 16 tomorrow. Don’t miss it. So, here’s something you already know, religion can make us weird. But the problem goes deeper than that because when we don’t live in the grace we have, it can make it challenging for unbelievers to see Jesus. Well, Steve spoke about this in a sermon called Grace in Freedom, based on Matthew 12:1 through 14. Take a listen to a very entertaining part of that talk. And then I’ll be back to tell you about a special free offer. Here’s Steve.
You should have been there. It was one of those things that caused you to wince, but you know, you think about a lot, a long time after it happened. It was in the chapel of Reformed Theological Seminary, where I teach. We had a student there who had some serious emotional problems, but nobody told him often cause he was big and he was mean. Looked like a punk rocker, shaved head, earrings, the whole tattoo thing. And we were having our chapel, decently and in order, when Reggie Kidd, who was our Dean of the chapel at the time called for sentence prayers, and this student stood up first and said, God, I’m effing glad to be here. And I’m effing glad that you saved me. And I’m effing glad to be a part of this seminary so I can serve your effing people. And it just got really quiet, then he turned, he walked out of the chapel. And Reggie didn’t know what to do. I mean, you don’t hear that often in worship. So, Reggie said, let’s sing. I mean, what else are you going to do, take an offering? So, Reggie, said let’s stand and sing. And I looked over at that student’s wife. She had her head on the pew in front of her and crying like a baby. And during the music, I went over to her and I said, young lady, that’s probably the most honest prayer that’s ever been prayed in this chapel. Certainly not anything here, big enough for you to cry about. So, you stand up, you sing with the rest of us and she did, I’ve lost contact with him, but I think about him a lot. I don’t know whether he was free or just screwed up. Probably it was a little bit of both. They asked me to talk about grace and freedom and I thought I can do that. And then I thought, no, I can’t, that’s hard. I have an authority problem, I get mad at stop signs. So, I say what I think, so I’m reasonably free. I was at the Cove not too long ago, the Billy Graham training center in the mountains. And I mentioned that I don’t drink. And the reason I don’t is cause I’d say what I thought and the guy in the front row said, yeah, you don’t do that now. And I do, but I’m not sure why, it could be indigestion. It, you know, old people are already irritated about being old. It takes very little to tick us off. I don’t know whether it’s the devil or whether it’s God.
Yay, though I walk to the valley of the shadow of death. I will fear no evil.
Cause I’m the meanest preacher in the valley and I don’t know, I’m sort of free. I kind of say what I think, but I’m not exactly sure why. I would like to think it was Jesus. And sometimes it is. So, I thought probably it would be best to check with him, before I said anything more. If you have your Bible, as I said, I’m going to start at the first verse of the 12th chapter of the gospel according to Matthew.
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