Come Humbly

Without humility, you can neither come to God or truly be used by Him.

TRANSCRIPT

David Sorn

6/16/19

Renovation Church

Series: “Lost & Found”

Title: “Come Humbly“   


IF YOU ARE GOING TO COME TO GOD, WE MUST COME IN HUMILITY

Hello again

As a church, we’ve been studying the Book of Luke in the Bible…

One of 4 Books about the life of Jesus in the Bible.

(Page 843)

(Renovation App)

I know this may be your first time here (if so, welcome!), but for those of you that were here last week, we covered the previous passage in Luke 10 where Jesus sent 72 messengers out to share His good news.

And now, as we get to verse 17 of the passage, the 72 messengers have come back to report to Jesus, and Jesus is going to teach us some more about HOW to come to Him and be used by Him.

Let’s take a look

(Luke 10:17-24) – NIV

17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.

22 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

23 Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. 24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

There are two Biblical principles found within this passage that I want to focus on today, and they’re both about humility

Two Principles of Humility from Luke 10:17-24:

1. If you are going to come to God, you can only come in humility

Look at verse 21 again if you have it in front of you.

Jesus said that God has hidden His truths from the wise & learned, and revealed them to little children instead…

In fact, we’re told God was even pleased to do so.

What is that all about?

Well, for one, please don’t think that Christianity is somehow anti-intellectual  

This is a thinking person’s church

We don’t check our minds at the door here.

If you’ve read the New Testament, you’ll know that one of its key writers, the Apostle Paul, was one of the great thinkers of all of history.

So what is Jesus saying when He says in verse 21 that God has hidden his truth, his gospel, from the wise and learned?

He’s talking about those who believe that they are incredibly wise…in their own eyes.

You might even paraphrase it to say: “God has hidden his truth from the know-it-alls”

We’re talking about people who believe that they are too smart for God.

And there are many people like that.

Some of us used to be those people.

But what is underneath that sort of thinking?

When people say,

“I’ve determined that science has all the answers, and therefore God isn’t needed”

“I’ve determined that a good God would never allow suffering, so therefore He doesn’t exist”

“I’ve determined that a good God wouldn’t say the way I want to live is wrong, so therefore, the God of the Bible doesn’t exist”

When people say that…what are they really saying?

They’re saying: “I, one of 7.7 billion on earth…one of billions more to ever walk this earth…

“I, a product of my culture’s thinking, and the thinking of my era…”

“I (of all people) certainly know WHO God should be, and if He isn’t what I think he should be…then I won’t follow Him.”

Jesus is saying, “Those people…because of their immense pride in what they think they know…and how they think life should go…will never come to me”

Remember, if you are going to come to God, you can only come in humility

To say “I know better than God” is the peak of pride.

And think about it: If God acted exactly how you thought He should…then He couldn’t be God.

Because His mind wouldn’t be any higher than yours.

The Apostle Paul astutely points out the importance of humble thinking

(1 Corinthians 1:26-29) – NIV

26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.

That last verse is important.

Paul says, “God chose the lowly things SO THAT no one may boast”

When you surrender your life to God, there’s nothing in that act that you can boast in.  NOTHING

You didn’t earn your way to it…

To come to Him is to, by definition, completely empty yourself of your pride.

It’s to surrender.

There’s no pride, is there, in throwing up your hands and saying, “I surrender”

But you literally can’t get to God…if you don’t do that.

And so Jesus tells us in Luke 10 that the people that have this truth revealed to them…are not the “wise of the age,” but are like little children.

The thing about kids is…while yes, they ask a lot of questions…

They also can live in a tension of mystery that adults cannot

Let me give you an example:

My kids watched the Lion King not that long ago…

(Pumbaa Image)

And do you remember that part in the movie where Timon and Pumba are debating about what stars are…and Timon thinks they’re fireflies that got stuck in the sky

And Pumba says, “I always thought they were balls of gas burning billions of miles away”

Why is Pumbaa talking about miles and not using the metric system in Africa?

Then again, why is a warthog talking I guess?

And so my son says, “What are the stars,really, dad?

And I said, “Buddy, Pumba is right…”

And Jeremiah said, “What??”

Because to him, the firefly answer makes more sense, right?

So I’m thinking, “How do I explain astronomy and chemistry to a 6-year-old?”

So I said something like, “Well, they’re just fiery things far away that light up…kind of like our sun, which is a star”

And he went… “Okay”

That’s a CHILD

Did he know EVERYTHING about it?

Nope.

But I’m His father…and He trusts me…and for now…it was enough.

But most adults are not like children.

Adults, when they don’t get everything answered perfectly to their satisfaction…

We say, “I can’t make 100% sense of that, so it must be wrong”

We can’t live in the mystery.

I’m not saying that Christians need to live with intellectual contradictions or anything like that…

But I am saying we shouldn’t expect to understand EVERYTHING about God.  

It all reminds me of a book I finished a couple weeks ago

(Put up TO THE GOLDEN SHORE cover)

It was the biography of Adoniram Judson, the first missionary from America…who went to, what was then called Burma, in Asia

And it was the best page-turner biography I’ve ever read  

HIGHLY recommend it.  Couldn’t put it down.

Even though Adoniram Judson grew up in a pastor’s home, when he went to Brown College in Providence in the early 1800’s, he walked away from his faith.

Judson, like many young people of today, determined that he was too smart for God.

A main reason for his walking away from Christ was because of his college friend named Jacob Eames…

Eames was a Deist…which meant that he believed there was a God who spun the world into motion, but beyond that, God doesn’t interact with the world…

So therefore, the Bible is not something to be believed nor is anything about Jesus…because that would be God INTERACTING with the world.

And so Adoniram Judson fell in with his friend Jacob Eames and decided that logic demonstrated that Jesus wasn’t real, and thus Judson forsook his faith and decided he would live for fame and pleasure instead.

A year or so after college, Judson left his home in Plymouth, Massachusetts, got on a horse, and rode to New York City…for pleasure, and for fame.

It was a prodigal son moment for Adoniram Judson.

However, he found little pleasure there, and pretty soon, he had little money.

But unlike the prodigal son, he was still unwilling to go home…so instead, he travelled in the opposite direction from his home

One night, he stabled his horse in an obscure and small village, and found the only local inn in town.

He was now a long ways away from home…

The innkeeper told him that there was one room left, but it was next to a man who was most likely dying, “Would he still want the room?”

Judson was exhausted, so he said, “Yes.”

But that night, he was unable to sleep

His conscience was hounding him

As he heard the man’s groans through the wall, he began to think of death.

Was he prepared for death?

Was the man in the next room prepared for death?

Judson thought of his father, the pastor, and his character and fruit, and how it was so much greater than those he had met in New York City

He began to wonder if his father was right…about Jesus…about heaven and hell.

And then he thought, “What would my old friend, the Deist, Jacob Eames say if he knew I was thinking about these things”

The next morning, as Adoniram Judson was preparing to leave, he asked the innkeeper, “How is the man in the room next to me?  Is he any better?”

The innkeeper said, “No, he’s dead.”

Judson then said, out of respect, may I ask the man’s name?”

And the innkeeper said, “Yes, he was a young man from a college way out in Providence…Jacob Eames”

Judson’s best friend, the one who had led him away from Christ, the one who said God doesn’t interact w/ the world, had died in the room next door to him…in an obscure village, far far away from their home.

And in an instant, all of Judson’s pride about Jesus not being real…and not being involved in the world…and not being Lord of all…shattered.  

And it was the beginning of his journey back to Christ.

In just a few months time, he surrendered his life fully to Jesus…and soon, to the missions movement, and soon his life to the Burmese people…as he became the 1st missionary from America

We each have moments like this…

Maybe not on that scale…but moments where we think we know better, and we tell God why we’re not surrendering to Him….AND then something happens…

A “God moment,” when we realize that maybe we’re not as smart as we’re pretending to be…

And in those moments, when the God of the universe is revealing Himself to you…

Come to Him like a child.

Not like one that knows better.

In Mark, Jesus says:

(Mark 10:15) – NIV

Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”



IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE USED BY GOD, YOU MUST STAY HUMBLE

But Jesus’ principles of humility in this passage aren’t just for coming to God in the first place, it’s also for those of us who are already walking with him.

Look at verses 18-20 again

(Luke 10:18-20) – NIV

18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

In there, is the 2nd principle of humility

Two Principles of Humility from Luke 10:17-24:

1. If you are going to come to God, you can only come in humility  

2. If you are going to be used by God, you must stay humble

So the 72 messengers come back and they’re rejoicing about all the spiritual things they accomplished in the name of Jesus.

That’s not bad.  

If there’s anything we should celebrate, it’s probably that.

But Jesus gives them a warning…telling them that it’s not really the foundation in which they should rejoice in.

This is verse 20: What they should really rejoice in, is the fact that their names are written in heaven.

The Bible mentions this several times.

It’s called the Book of Life.

If you have trusted in Jesus for your salvation, and you are a follower of His…your name is written in the Book of Life in heaven.

The Book of Revelation says, you actually can’t get into heaven, unless your name is in that book.

So let me talk to the number of you here that are leaders…

You lead a ministry, a house group, a small group…

Or even all of you that do any sort of ministry outside this church, you lead a Bible study at work, or at home, or in the neighborhood…

Jesus is saying, “Don’t rejoice in what you do (I lead this ministry, I’ve been to Haiti, I have a 300 day streak on YouVersion), NO, rejoice that God saved YOU in the first place!

Because as soon as you start having some success in spiritual things...and you see God moving through you…

You are now susceptible to the same thing that keeps people from coming to God in the first place:  Pride…in yourself.

And for you, the Christian, it will keep God from really using you.

As soon as you start thinking, “You know what, I’m actually a pretty good Christian parent…I taught my kids this, I bring them to church, they don’t play violent video games like those other kids…”

That oughta cause your knees to shake.

It’s pride.

Jesus is trying to GROUND us in the Gospel before our big, prideful heads take flight.

The only reason ANYTHING good is happening right now in our lives…is because GOD saved us…and His Holy Spirit is in us!

REJOICE in that!

Not in what you’re doing!

It’s no coincidence here that Jesus reminds them of Satan’s downfall in this passage (That Jesus saw him FALL from heaven)

Satan was once far holier than us, for more powerful, far greater than us.

He was an angel in heaven.

But it was his PRIDE that caused him to fall

Satan didn’t fall from heaven because he was a drunkard, or an adulterer, but because he was prideful.

We don’t take pride as seriously as we probably should

If pride was the sin that caused an angel in heaven to fall…

…and you see that same sin in you, it should scare you to death

And so Jesus praises God that it’s NOT the “prideful know-it-all’s” that went out to spread his message and do his work.

Because they would have tried to improve on His message…or His methods

They would have done the work in their name, not His.

They would have tried to get glory for themselves, not Him.

And when you act like that, God won’t use you.

Let me ask you:  What are you asking God to do through you right now?  

I mean: How do you want Him to use you to bless other people?

If you can’t answer that question…even quickly…you need to be home, and on your knees tonight and start asking that question to God.

If you can’t answer that question, you like many Americans, need to begin to read the New Testament again with fresh eyes, because you’ve fundamentally misunderstood Christianity.

God does not exist to serve you

You exist to serve God.  

What are you hoping that God can do through you to bless someone else in your life or around you?

Whatever it is…if you actually want it to happen…you have GOT to stay humble.

And that means trusting in HIS ways…HIS timing…HIS method…

And Giving HIM the glory.

If you persist in pride, He’ll use someone else.

Someone not as smart as you, someone not as strong as you…or with as good of relational skills as you think you have…

But someone who will humbly, and obediently do what God’s asking them to do:  

If God keeps coming to you…and putting something on your heart…

And you, in your “WISDOM” keep saying no…by your inaction….because you know why it wouldn’t work…and blah blah blah

Then your pride will keep God from using you.

And He’ll just use someone else.  

This is true for our church as a whole too.

Yes, we’re growing, and planting churches, and starting to build a brand new building in just 9 months…

But if we think we’ve got this figured out on our own….

And if we’re not coming to HIM in prayer…begging Him to move…

Then, I guarantee you…he’ll just raise up another church …to do what we’re trying to do

I read a quote from Jim Cymbala about a month ago that really struck me.

I liked it so much, I printed it out and put it up in my office…to remind a prideful person like myself of this truth.

He says:

God is attracted to weakness.  He can’t resist those who humbly and honestly admit how desperately they need Him.  Our weakness, in fact, makes room for His power.” - Jim Cymbala

Our walk with God should be a constant reminder to us that He is worthy, and we are needy.

And we remind ourselves of that by coming often into His presence.  

Here, in person, every Sunday

IN the Bible, in prayer…every day.

And we remind ourselves of who found who.

Did you see what Jesus said at the end of verse 22??

(Luke 10:22b) – NIV

no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

That means, if you’re a follower of Jesus, the only reason you even know Him…is because HE chose to reveal himself to you.

The name of this series, for the book of Luke, is Lost & Found.

We were LOST, and He FOUND us.  

We didn’t Find Him.  

And so come humbly…and stay humble.

Let me pray.


Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN

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