God greases the tracks in the direction you would prefer.
JANUARY 22, 2024
God greases the tracks in the direction you would prefer. Let’s talk about it on, Key Life.
Welcome to Key Life. I’m Matthew, executive producer of the program. Our host is Steve Brown. He’s an author and seminary professor who teaches that God’s amazing grace is the key to a life of radical freedom, infectious joy, and surprising faithfulness to Christ.
Thank you Matthew. Hope you guys had a great week-end. And I know it irritates some of you, but I’m going to say it anyway. I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. You know, almost every place I go, somebody comes up to me, and they’ll laugh, and they’ll say, Hey, Brown. My pastor’s sermon was better than your pastor’s sermon this past week. So, I’ve started a kind of movement among Christians to encourage their pastors. And I do have a pastor who preaches great sermons. We’re studying the Book of Proverbs, if you’re just joining us. And we’re doing it in a funny way. And the only way you can do it, you do it by subjects. Because this book jumps all over the place, there is no way to outline it and to put it in a cogent form that would satisfy an editor at a publisher. I mean, these are kind of like Pascal’s Pensees, it’s, they’re thoughts. And they’re all over the place about all kinds of subjects and that’s the way we’re teaching it. Today, we’re going to talk about how God greases the tracks in the direction you would prefer, and that doesn’t have a thing to do with what we talked about last week in the Book of Proverbs or what we’ll talk about next week in the Book of Proverbs. Well, enough about that. Let’s pray and then we’ll study. Father, we come into your presence, so thankful that you wrote it down. We get it wrong even when you wrote it down, but if you didn’t write it down, we would get everything wrong. And so, thank you for your word, living, a two edged sword, cutting deep, revealing truth, turning on lights, and showing us grace. And we praise you and thank you for that. Father, I lift up the people who are listening to this broadcast right now. You know them. You know their names. They aren’t numbers to you. You know what they face. You know what’s going on in their lives. And you said, call me Father. And so, a Father who is sovereign and good, all the time we worship. Father, as always, we pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast that you would forgive him his sins because there are many, we would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. Okay. Proverbs 8:17 opens up another subject.
I love those who love me. And those who seek me diligently will find me.
In other words, what you prefer, you’re going to get. And God will help you, get it. Whether that’s bad or good, God will help you get it. People are confused a lot of times, and I am sometimes by those passage of Scriptures that say that God hardened somebody’s heart. And we say, well, that doesn’t sound like the God I know about. That can’t be true, I mean, how could he then fault them if he was the one who hardened their heart? Well, the truth is, something was going on before he hardened their heart. They desired something that God had said they should not have desired. And the more they desired it and went after it, the more God helped them. That’s what the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is all about. If I were to tell you the questions we get at Key Life, and we get a lot of them, one of the ones that we get all the time is what is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? And have I committed that unpardonable sin? Now, you need to know that in every case I write the person, or when we’re answering the question on a broadcast, I say, no, you haven’t. Trust me on this. If you had, you wouldn’t have asked the question. Because somebody who has blasphemed the Holy Spirit never thinks about it, never worries about it, because his or her heart has been hardened. And that’s not because God wouldn’t forgive, He would. It’s that you’ve said no to God so often, and God’s Spirit, that the voice got softer, and softer, and softer, and it finally disappeared, and you don’t give a rip. That’s the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. And that, in a sense, is what Proverbs 8:17 is teaching. It is teaching that God, whatever you determine in your heart, and a lot more needs to be said than this, but I’m trying to stick to this subject. What you’ve decided in your heart, good or bad, God will help you. In other words, he’ll grease the tracks in the direction that you want to go. And so, what happens to us when we become Christians and we become new creatures is that God gives us a new desire in the direction that we want to go. You know something? People are always accusing me as, they tell me that I’m encouraging sin. I noticed that, you know, people were doing good with the sinning thing before I came along. So, they didn’t need any encouragement. The president of Wheaton College one time said we do not encourage dating in this institution. And then he smiled and he said, we don’t have to. So, no, I’m not encouraging sin. In fact, just the opposite. God helps you go in the direction that you want to go. And what happens to a Christian who is a new creature is the Holy Spirit is born inside of us. Galatians 2:20 becomes a reality in our lives.
I’m crucified with Christ, nevertheless, I live, but Christ lives in me.
That’s the work of the Holy Spirit in the place of the believer. And let me tell you something that I’ve noticed, and it’s true. I never met a Christian who didn’t want to be better than he or she was. In fact, I think that’s the way you get assurance of salvation. Some people say that you get assurance of salvation by persevering. And there’s some truth to that. One of the five points of Calvinism is the perseverance of the saints. And as you persevere, you begin to realize that you belong to him. Others say, hammer down the date when you became a Christian. And when Satan challenges you and tells you that you’re not a believer and you’re not saved and you’re not a Christian, wave the date in his face and say, on this date I did what Jesus said to do and he’s never lied. And that means I believe, that means that I am his and you can’t take that away from me. Now, both of those are legitimate, but listen up, I’m going to tell you something that’s even better and more accurate. It’s your desire. It doesn’t mean you fulfill it. It doesn’t mean you’re faithful. It doesn’t mean you don’t sin. It doesn’t mean you don’t forget, but at bottom line in your life, you have a desire to please God. And you know why? Because, because He’s loved you so totally, man. When somebody likes me, I like them back. And when people don’t like me, I don’t like them back. And when God likes me and does it on steroids, do you know what I want to do? I want to please Him. Let me tell you something. I’ve told you this a thousand times, and it’s absolutely true. You never met a man who wanted to please God more than I do. You say, well, you don’t sound like it. I know. But you never met a man who wanted to please God more than I do. And you say, well, I’ve seen you do things that Christians don’t do. Yeah, I know, but you never met a man who wanted to please God more than I do, except you, if you’re a Christian. So, if there is in you, even if you can’t fulfill it, Paul said.
The good that I want to do, I just can’t do, and the evil I don’t
this is Romans 7
and the evil I don’t want to do, that’s what I do.
He was talking about the experience of every Christian. But inside, deep, your most important desire, if you want to please God, listen to me, you belong to God. If you want to please God, that came from God’s Spirit, and it’s because you’re born again. And don’t let anybody tell you different. I was glad to help. You think about that. Amen.
Thanks Steve. That was Steve Brown teaching us again from the Book of Proverbs. It’s a series we’re calling Street-Smart Christians and specifically our text today was Proverbs 8:17 with a quick little stop in Galatians 2:20. More tomorrow, please join us. Well recently, Key Life got a message from one of those big snarling social media dogs saying we violated some copyright law and needed to fix it or else. P.S. the whole thing was a scam. But here’s the thing, a lot of religious people want to do the same thing to you and me. They pretend to speak for God, but all they’re really doing is peddling fear and guilt. Well, Chad West wrote about this in an article called You Have Been Reported for Copyright Content. You’ll find that piece in the new 2024 edition of Key Life magazine. Claim your free copy right now by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for the magazine or simply go to keylife.org/magazines Oh, and one more thing before you go, if you value the work of Key Life, would you join us in that work through your financial support? You could charge a gift on your credit card, or include a gift in your envelope. Or give safely and securely by text. Just text Key Life to 28950 again that’s Key Life, one word or two. It doesn’t matter. Text that to 28950 then follow the instructions. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. Both of those organizations assure financial accountability. And as always, we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.