The Hub of the Matter 1495

By Dan Lightfoot

January 27 PM Service

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding.

In All Your Ways Acknowledge Him & He Will Make Your Paths Straight. (Prov. 3:5-6)

A. I, like every other sincere Christian here, have sought answers to the depressions & frustrations of Christians. the heartbreaks, unhappiness & breakdowns . . . disappointments in life & disillusionments . . .

1. There are several answers. But tied into all of them is Prov. 3:6 . . .

2. Paraphrase might be: "Be what you're supposed to be, & He'll take you where you're supposed to go."

B. Let's build a wall down the middle of this room. On the left side are the 1st 6 words: IAYWAH. On the right side are the 2nd 6 words: HWMYPS

1. The 1st six words deal with my part of life ( & the verse).

a. That's my job in life: to acknowledge Him, to preach Him, to exalt Him, to teach others of Him, to confess Him, to obey Him . . .

2. The 2nd six words deal with God's job. (HWMYPS)

a. That's not my job. It's God's.

b. Most of our heartbreaks in life come from crossing the wall & directing our own paths.

c. In so doing, we have left our jobs undone . . . and are spending our lives directing our paths.

d. ...get back on the other side of the wall! IAYWAH - HWMYPS

3. Your disappointments tonight . . . disillusionments . . . etc. are because you're on the wrong side of the fence.

C. Illus.: Im not here to preach to a certain # of people, but to acknowledge God to preach the Word&

1. If 1,000 had showed up, I'd have acknowledged Him to 1,000. (or 25)

a. success comes in acknowledging God

b. It's not my job to decide who comes, that's His job.

2. Most become disenchanted in ministry when we get on God's side of the verse and decide how everything is supposed to go. & when it doesn't, we're disappointed!

I. Other Ways of Saying It.

A. "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God" - (my part) "And all these things shall be added to you." [Gods part] (Mt. 6:33)

Col. 3:17Whateer you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.

B. 2 K. 5 Naaman had it all figured out. v. 11 "Behold, I thot, He will surely come out to me, & stand & call unto the name of the Lord his God, & wave his hand over the place, & cure the leper."

1. He went away in a rage. (on God's side of the verse).

2. Once persuaded, he obeyed (acknowledged God), was made clean & said, "Now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel."

C. Is that the way you pray?

1. Do you decide what God is supposed to do & how & when?

2. . . . then get disappointed? (Get on your side of the fence!)


D. Someone asked me, "Did you ever think you'd preach for a church of 400-500? (No) or 200? (no) Auditorium seating 1,000? (no)

1. "Didn't you ever have any plans?"

2. "Yes! I planned to acknowledge Him. It's His business to build the church."

3. I Cor. 3:6 "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase."

II. Quit Trying to Plan Your Life Let God Do It!

Prov. 16:3 Commit your works to the LORD And your plans will be established.

Prov. 16:9 The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.

Prov. 19:21 Many plans are in a mans heart, But the counsel of the LORD will stand.

A. Notice how it happens:

1. We say, "This is how it's going to be . . . Today or tomorrow, we shall go to such & such a city, & spend a year there, & engage in business & make a profit." (James 4:13)

a. The problem is: we fantasize! (& no fantasy has negatives) (you never plan or fantasize about the commode stopping up! OR the need for larger clothes OR a stay in the hospital . . . )

b. Fantasies only include positives.

c. but realities includes negatives. Proverbs stresses the need of walking in realities, not virtual realities.

2. You say, This the way tomorrow will be."

a. Tomorrow comes & is now today.

b. You hang yesterday's fantasy over here & today's reality beside it. They don't match - & you're disappointed, not happy.

c. Things didn't turn out the way you planned.

d. So, quit planning the outcome Just plan on acknowledging God.

3. Trust God. Do His Will. & leave the consequences to Him.

C. "If the Lord wills, we shall live and also do this or that!" (James 4:15)


2. Set your mind on things above & let Him take care of things below.

3. God has obligated Himself to take care of those who love Him & are called

according to His purpose! (Rom. 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. )

D. People often begin ministries with fantasies.

1. God didn't tell you to plan tomorrow, but to acknowledge Him today. Get back on your side of the fence.

2. Too often we judge our success by where we are than what we are.

3. & Equate success with reaching our goals or dreams . . . Or compare today's progress with yesterday's plans . . .

a. We make goals that depend on others . . . . . .We see our heroes & want to get where they are instead of being what they are.

b. (One lady said, "I'd give half my life to know the scripture the way you do." Preacher said, "That's just what it cost me.")

4. Some want to be David w/o becoming what he was.

5. Just say, "Today, I'm going to give God my very best. I'll be a soul-winner . . . build my Bible class. I'll acknowledge Him in all my ways.

6. You see the principal again in I Cor. 3:6 "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase."

III. Illustrate:

A. Young lady plans marriage...

1. Says, "This . . . is the way it's going to be." (Never is.)

a. Her fantasies never include his coming 42 inch waistline...or receding hairline...or stinky breath at 5 AM...or stinky feet at 5 pm

b. She hangs her fantasy here . . . & reality here . . . they don't match up & she's unhappily married. Why? Because hes a bad husband? No. Her expectations were dif. from his.

2. What she should say is this: "I don't know how it's all going to turn out, but I'm going to marry a man who loves God. I'm going to love God. my husband . . . be a godly wife. . . be a help suitable for him . . . I will acknowledge God & let

            Him direct my path.

3. Dreams are only positive reality has negatives.

4. Kids set your heart on being the right person & Godll send the right person to you.

B. Young couple plans a family, says, "This is how it will be."

1. When the child comes, he does things dif. from your fantasies. . .

2. Set your heart on acknowledging God: being the best godly parent you can be & you'll be happy . . .

3. Proverbs always directs our attention to what WE should be, not what we should expect from others.

C. Preacher graduating from school fantasizes about his ministry . . .

1. But he forgets to include problems .....

2. Fantasy & reality don't match up .....

3. He's on the wrong side of the verse. Needs to set his heart on acknowledging God, praising God, giving God the glory ... & let God direct his life.

4. Say . . . "I will love this people ...minister to them . . marry their young & bury their dead ... help them obey God & & let Him direct this church.

D. Young man decides how the marriage will go.

1. Marries & is disappointed. (Woman at the office fulfills his fantasies.)

2. Divorces; marries her only to discover she only meets his fantasies at the office.

3. Acknowledge God in your life live it His way & He'll direct you.

IV. Observation

A. Do Not Plan Your Life w/o God Prepare, & Follow His Plan.

1. Young men discuss what theyre looking for in a wife. (I say, "Let me look for her with you!") & he won't find her.

2. Ask God to make you the person He wants you to be. & He'll direct your path.

B. Some are unhappy because of their job or salary or body shape or hairline

1. Bloom where you're planted!

2. Acknowledge God! & let Him direct your life!

C. We're too concerned about the "WHERE" in God's will. Need to be concerned with the "what".

1. Be what God wants & let Him decide where.

2. Young people interested in serving God sometimes ask: "Brother Dan, will you help me find the will of God?"

a. They always mean the "where" (never the what).

b. The "what" of the will of God is more important than the "where" . . . (unless God specifies)

c. What you're supposed to do is more important than where ...

d. I'd rather be doing the right what in the wrong where, than the wrong what in the right where. (Understand?)

3. One young man asked, & I said I was just reading it. It's in the Book. (That's what!) But God said "where", too. "Go into all the world & preach the gospel to every creature."

a. He said, "Where?" Somewhere in the world.

4. Let's acknowledge God in all our ways & let Him direct our paths.

D. There are godly men & women who feel like failures because they cf. their work with someone elses'.

1. Godly men who've preached for 60 years. . .

2. Don't feel like they measure up statistically.....

3. But they've acknowledged God all their lives.....

4. & they are rip-roaring successes!


E. At a preacher's retreat an elderly preacher prayed: "Dear God, I hate baking powder. Oooh, I hate baking powder. . . . baking soda. . . . salt. ..flour . . . buttermilk! But when they're all mixed together, cut into pieces, put in the oven and cooked to a golden brown, taken out and buttered . . . Oh, dear God, I love hot biscuits!,)

1. That's what Romans 8:28 is all about . . .

2. It may be that any circumstance of life may not taste very good, but thank God who directs my path, it all works out for my good.


4. Get back on your side of the wall . . .

F. Sometimes in directing my path He puts obstacles in the way & I have to change course. Sometimes He removes obstacles that I thot were unmovable.

1. Sometimes in directing my path He keeps me waiting long after I tho't it necessary.

2. . . . He places oppositions there that send me to my prayer closet.

3. . . . He does so with disappointments and shattered dreams - but thank God He does direct my path.

G. As a boy I often stayed with my grandmother (Momma). Sat on the floor & watched her embroider. "It's a mess, momma! "But Danny Boy, you're on the wrong side. You need to see it from my side." But why all the black & purple threads &... "Now, go on about your business and I'll show it to you when I get done."

1. She did. It was beautiful. "How?" I said.

2. "There was something you couldn't see. There was a plan drawn on the top & I was following that plan." I-A-Y-W-A-H . . .

H. I know its hard to see the picture when you're looking at your baby's grave or living with an alcoholic, or an abusive husband . . .

1. But you're looking on the wrong side . . .

2. I-A-Y-W-A-H . . . God's embroidering your life.

3. At any time we can look up and ask, "Dear God, What are you doing? Why can't all the threads be gold & silver?"

a. And He answers, "Son, go on about your business. And in a little while I'll show you . . ."

J. There's a roll call in heaven of those who've acknowledged Him.

1. You don't have to be depressed and disappointed...

2. Just get out of the planning business & back in the business of acknowledging Him.

3. Samuel did: Speak, for Your servant is listening. I Sam. 3:10

4. Isaiah did: "Here am I, send me." Isa. 6:8