When We're Not As Smart As We Think We Are
Summary: “…But God.” It’s a phrase that appears throughout the Bible. It is a phrase that identifies a moment when God personally intervened in the life of an individual or in the life of a nation. It is a statement that the Bible uses to inform us and to remind us that regardless of how difficult, how dark, or how dangerous God has the power to transform our circumstances and our lives completely. .
(Romans 6:17): "But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you."
Throughout this series, we are considering individuals who had a “…but God.” moment – a moment when God personally stepped in and intervened in their circumstance.
So far, we’ve considered four thoughts in connection with this phrase, “…but God.”
We found that Abraham’s “…But God…” moment took place WHEN HIS FLAWS STARTED TO SHOW.
We found that Jacob’s “…But God…” moment took place WHEN OTHERS TOOK ADVANTAGE OF HIM.
We found that two of Joseph’s “…But God.” Moments took place WHEN HIS FAMILY TURNED AGAINST HIM.
We found that Samson’s “…But God.” moment took place WHEN HIS HEAD GOT TOO BIG AND HIS BREECHES GOT TOO SMALL.
We found that David’s second “…But God.” moment took place WHEN GOD’S PLAN FOR HIS LIFE DIDN’T MATCH HIS.
We found that Jehoshaphat’s “…But God.” moment took place WHEN THE BATTLE WAS TOO BIG FOR HIM.
We found that the Sons of Korah’s “…But God.” moment took place WHEN THEY JUST COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT IT.
We found that David’s third “…But God.” moment took place WHEN OTHERS WERE WORKING BEHIND THE SCENES AGAINST HIM.
We found that Asaph’s first “…But God.” moment took place WHEN ALL HE WANTED TO DO WAS GIVE UP.
We found that Asaph’s second “…But God.” moment took place WHEN ALL HE WANTED WAS TO BE IN CHARGE.
We found that Solomon’s “…But God.” moment took place WHEN HIS WAY WAS ALWAYS RIGHT.
We found that the city of Damascus, the nation of Syria, and the Northern Kingdom of Israel’s “…But God.” moment took place WHEN THEY LEFT GOD OUT OF THEIR PLANS.
We found that the Jonah’s “…But God.” moment took place WHEN ALL HE WANTED WAS A LITTLE CHEESE WITH HIS WHINE.
We found that the man sick of the palsy’s “…But God.” moment took place WHEN HE COULDN’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.
We found that a certain rich man’s “…But God.” moment took place WHEN HE FELT LIKE HE HAD EVERYTHING UNDER CONTROL.
We found that the Pharisees “…But God.” moment took place WHEN THEY HAD CONVINCED THEMSELVES THAT WERE RIGHT.
We found that Joseph and Stephen’s “…But God.” moment took place WHEN NOTHING SEEMED TO GO RIGHT.
We found that Peter and Cornelius’ “…But God.” moment took place WHEN THEY WEREN’T LIKE EACH OTHER.
We found that the inhabitants of Antioch of Pisidia’s “…But God.” moment took place WHEN ALL HOPE WAS GONE.
We found that the Romans first “…But God.” moment took place WHEN THEY DIDN’T DESERVE IT.
Last week, we found that the Romans second “…But God.” moment took place WHEN THEY WERE THE CAUSE OF THEIR OWN STRUGGLE.
We found that while there is a SWEET TRUTH that needs to be EXPLAINED (GRACE), there is also a very STRUGGLE that we can EXPECT (GROWTH).
We could say it this way: while sin abounds, grace abounds much more. While sin seeks to take me as its VICTIM; the grace of God can cause us to be the VICTOR over our sins. Our biggest struggle in this life isn’t with the Devil who hates us, nor is our biggest struggle in the life with the world that is around us. Our biggest struggle is ourselves.
As a child of God, there is a struggle that is very real. It is a struggle between me becoming who I can be in Christ and me returning to who I was without Christ. The choices are clear: I can either allow sin to DOMINATE my life and become a burden or I can allow the grace of God to DIRECT my life into something that is far better. It’s a reality that is not based on my surrounding or my situation; it’s a reality that is based on my surrender to God.
(1) God has prepared a WAY of salvation for everyone through His Son
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Romans 5:6-8 says, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
(2) God has prepared a WORD of salvation for everyone because of His Son
Acts 16:17 says, “The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.”
2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
1 Corinthians 2:4-5 says, “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
1 Corinthians 3:1-4 says, “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?”
Romans 1:21-22 says, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.”
1 Corinthians 1:21 says, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God…”
(1) There is a TRUTH to be RECOGNIZED
1 Corinthians 1:18-19 says, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
2 Timothy 4:2-4 says, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
(2) There is a TREASURE to be RECEIVED
1 Corinthians 1:3-7 says, “Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
(3) There is a TRANSFORMATION to be REALIZED
Romans 12:1-2 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”