A Need To Know Basis
There are two portions of Scripture that the Lord has tied together in my mind, and I want to share those with you tonight. I believe that these two scriptures work together in such a way that you personally will be strengthened through His Word, and your marriage will also be strengthened.
To start with, let’s look at Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God . . . “
I have heard different ministers for years quote this verse, and put the emphasis on the word “God.” But the God started showing me this, the emphasis was on the words “in the beginning.” You know, if we just learned to trust God “in the beginning” of our problems, what a difference it would make! In the beginning of our business venture, our marriage, our decisions, our family, our problems, our fears, our doubts.
We’ve got to learn how to put God first, and keep him in the beginning of everything in our lives. Instead, so much of the time, we keep ourselves and the number 1 spot. That is to say we become so self reliant, so independent of God, with all of our abilities, talents, and financial assets. You can actually get to the point where you’ve accumulated enough financially to not really have a need to trust in God anymore. I know people like that. That’s a dangerous place to be. But it’s not just dangerous when it comes to money, it’s also dangerous in any way. You can also become self-reliant or independent of God in your marriage. No longer trusting him like you used to. Relying completely on your ability to plan, your abilities to be romantic, your financial status, your good looks, your nice clothing, or any of these things. The bottom line is, when you have taken God out of the number 1 spot in your life, and placed yourself there, or anything else there, you are out of the will of God, and have actually set yourself up as a god in His place.
You see, we are supposed to keep our trust in the Lord, not in all of the ways that we can provide for ourselves. It is so easy sometimes for us to put our trust in the things that we have accumulated around us. The things we have built up. We can put our trust in our investments, or our 401(k), or the fact that we can protect or defend ourselves, or our stash of cash or mad money, but none of those things will ultimately keep us. Our trust in this life must be put in the Lord Jesus Christ, and Him alone. At the same time, we can identify if you have placed yourself in the number 1 spot by looking at how much actual trust you put in God when problems arise. Why is it that we continuously try to handle everything on our own? We look to ourselves first. We have a mindset that since I cannot accomplish it, it cannot be done. It’s almost as if we keep God on the back burner for those odd times when we can’t handle it on our own. Then we wait until the problem is so far gone to include God. Like its God to the rescue. Then if it doesn’t work out the way we wanted, we think that God couldn’t come through this time, maybe He doesn’t really care about my needs, or maybe He’s just not interested. You cannot accumulate enough wealth, have enough ammo, take enough medication, have a good enough health care program, to keep you from all of the things that will face you in this life. That’s not even the way it was meant to be. God simply designed it so that you could trust in the Lord with all of your heart. He wants to occupy that number 1 spot, he wants to be in the head honcho, the big cheese, the boss, the man upstairs, the one ultimately in charge of your life. But he does not do it by force, he actually gives you a choice. You might say, I thought this was a marriage meeting, what does this have to do with my marriage? It has everything to do with your marriage, you selfish little thing you. You will never be able to occupy the position of that man or woman of God that you really need to be for your spouse, until you have these things lined up in your heart. When you think that you have the power to make it all happen, and God is just sitting on the outside of town, you’re in trouble. I’m trying to keep you from future problems, not just the immediate danger. If you’ve got problems in your marriage right now, this is the beginning of the fix for your problems, but that’s not all there is to it. You may be sitting here tonight, and it appears to you that there are no problems in your marriage, great! This is the kind of thinking that will keep it that way for the future. I’m telling you folks, this is about raw faith in God, and nothing more. We’ve got to stop visualizing God as a guy that comes along and gets us out of our problems, and we’ve got to start putting him in the number 1 spot, and realizing he’s also the man that will keep you from problems. But, you have to do it His way!
So, that brings us to the second scripture that I believe is tied in with the first. Let’s talk about this trust for just a minute, because there’s more to it than meets the eye. The Bible says: Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV)
I have started seeing that portion of scripture as individual sections that work perfectly together. I think sometimes as Christians we get the first part right and the last part right, but we skip the two parts that are in the middle. Here’s what I mean by that: We just think that if we say that we trust in the Lord, that he will direct our paths, and everything will be okay. And we completely skipped the part about leaning not to our own understanding, and we skipped the part about acknowledging him and all of our ways.
- Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;
Why is it that we tend to trust ourselves so much, and Him so little?
I’ll tell you why; we know ourselves, and we don’t know Him! Ouch!
- Lean not unto thine own understanding. (knowledge, understanding & wisdom)
You may not get it! You don’t have to get it to obey God. It may not
happen the way you think, the way you planned. Just because the account looks a certain way, doesn’t mean it’s going to end up that way. Just because the argument ended a certain way doesn’t mean that’s the way it will stay. Why is it, that after all of our Bible teaching, we still try to figure out spiritual things in a carnal way? We tend to put so much emphasis on needing to understand how something is going to work, that when we don’t see it immediately, we drop our guard and go to carnal friends, carnal understanding, to get a righteous answer. You know, God had the solution before you had the problem! You are well able to hear from God anytime, anywhere, through anyone, or without anyone at all! Answers will come if you will listen.
- In all thy ways acknowledge him, (Ways: through the course of life, along the way, because of, by conversation) (Acknowledge: observation, recognition, tell)
First, you recognize Him and keep Him alive in your conversation on a daily basis, even before you see the good He has done for you. Then, after you see it come to pass, you “tell” or testify of His continual goodness!
- He shall direct thy paths. (Direct: make fit, that which seems good & pleasing, and right) (Paths: a well-trodden road, a caravan traveller)
** iPad example!
The Bible also says, “Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. “ (Psalms 37:3-5 NASB)
God does things on a need to know basis.
The term “need to know”, when used by government organizations and those related to the military or espionage, describes the restriction of data which is considered very sensitive. Under need-to-know restrictions, even if one has all the necessary official approvals (such as a security clearance) to access certain information, one would not be given access to such information, unless one has a specific need to know; that is, access to the information must be necessary for the conduct of one’s official duties.
As with most security mechanisms, the aim is to make it difficult for unauthorized access to occur. Need-to-know also aims to limit access to the information to the smallest possible number of people.
God also does things on a need to know basis, But it’s not the kind of Top Secret, “need to know” that you’re thinking. Sometimes it’s easy to think that God is withholding information from us, and then if we need to know something, He will let us know, but other than that, it’s a giant secret. It’s all Top Secret, like a Tom Clancey novel. Like some Jason Bourne movie.
But God’s need to know basis works like this: It’s NO SECRET, In order to get where you’re going you “need to know” Him better than you know Him right now.
Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.
Psalm 91:1 says “He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
Isaiah 45:19 I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.
Matthew 13:35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
Romans 8:14-16 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
God has your best interest at heart. Part of seeing your marriage succeed or go further than you can imagine, is to understand that you must know how good He is. See, God is good, He is. But not only is He good, He is only good, He is only righteous, He is only compassionate, He is only faithful, He is only just, all of the time, every time. See, God does not waver like you and I do. But He is consistent all of the time. Let me prove it to you by looking over at first John. 1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. The Bible says that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. There is no darkness in Him there is no shadow in Him, there is no unjustness in Him. You see, he only wants good for you, He only wants you to overcome, He only wants you to succeed, He only wants your bills paid, He only wants your children to walk in an upstanding way. You say brother Tony, these things aren’t happening in my life, when are they going to start happening? When is it going to come to pass? My question is “When are you going to get to know Him better?” You need to know Him. If I were to introduce you to Him tonight, I would be introducing you to pure love. And pure love casts out all fear. Fear cannot exist in the presence of pure love. You know, if you were to begin speaking with a complete stranger, or maybe even someone you haven’t seen in a long time, the conversation may be a little limited, and might even be hesitant because of the lack of communication and personal time together. It’s kind a like that with God. We tend to think that he will withhold or withdraw from us. But he is not like that. He desires the conversation and the communication time with you much more than you do. He created you and He loves you. But it is only in spending time with Him, and getting to know Him better, that we will gain the answers to the other things in life that we so desperately desire. We tend to think that there will be another way to do it, that we will find a workaround, that there will be some other method that will crop up that will get us to where we want to go. But God has not designed it that way. He has designed it so that He gets the glory and the honor and the credit for all of the good that happens in your life, and when you withhold that from Him, the answers are also withheld; not by Him, but by your inaction.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16 KJV)
GPS Example: God is like a navigation device in you car. You just punch in the coordinates where you want to go. It figures it out for you and tells you to go forward 10 blocks and turn left. But you go 10 blocks and turn right. It doesn’t abandon what you’re supposed to do, it just re-calculates what you need to do to get to where you’re supposed to be, based upon where you are! The only problem is, we keep making the wrong turns, and then the road conditions will be different, it’s going to be rougher, and will take more time!
God’s plan and direction for your life and your marriage remain as solid as the day you started walking, but you can get off course. It’s time to get back on track in your marriage and take it to a whole other place in God. There is a certain way to get from where your are right now, to where you need to be.
This has been a tremendous year of marriage turn-arounds and miracles, but you might be sitting here still needing yours. Maybe that’s not your issue, but you know that God has called you and your spouse to greater things in God, but you’ve never really submitted yourself to it, this is your night. God wants you to stretch, to reach out, to obey, to trust Him like never before.
It might be that it’s time for you to be a bigger giver, or to start that business, or make that investment, or something as simple as attend church more than once a week. How long will you wait to do the things that you know will help you, help your spouse, help your children, help your church and Pastor? Can you wait another week or month or year? Sometimes you can just get too comfortable!