The Blessed Life | 5 Ways to Practice Depending on God

5 Ways To Practice Depending On God As A Christian

James Greer
Nov 20, 2022    24m
Join us in today's sermon as Pastor James teaches us five ways to practice depending on God as a Christian. You must learn to rely on Christ if you want to mature in Him, not only for significant or minor things, but for everything. He is the source of our guidance and wisdom. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

James Greer: [00:00:00] You want to go to church? Well, I'm excited this morning. We're continuing our series on the Blessed Life. Three things that could change your life. It's determined to believe in God's wisdom, not yours. God's strength, not yours. God's timing, not yours. But before we get to that, I want to bring us up to date on a few things. We talked about what the blessed life is, and the more I read it, it's more of a lifestyle. God wants us to live a lifestyle of a blessed life. And He tells us that in Ecclesiastes 9:7 through 10, he gives us a summary of what the blessed life is. But it's more of like, I'm just living day-to-day life. And he tells us this in Ecclesiastes, these verse 9. I mean verse 9. Chapter 9, verse 7 to 10. He says this. He says, No words like Go your way on a day-to-day basis. Go you eat your food, enjoy it, drink your wine, be happy, because that is what God wants for you to do. He says no, just day to day living. Put on some nice clothes from now and then. Make yourself look good. In other words, he says, Eat, drink, dress up every now and then, enjoy life. Enjoy the life with the wife you love. Enjoy all useless days. In other words, telling you of this useless life that God has given you here on Earth, He's telling you that because He wants you to know that life is short.

James Greer: [00:01:25] Because it is all that you have. So enjoy the work you do here on Earth. So he said, Enjoy your wife, enjoy your work. Whatever you do, just do the best you can. And as he said, do the best you can and let God do the rest. Don't worry about the rest. He said, Listen, the blessed life you eat, you drink, you, you be happy. You dress up every now and then. You enjoy the wife, you enjoy your job, You enjoy your hobby. You enjoy your school. No words. He's really saying what the blessed life is. It's just enjoying day-to-day life. John 10:10 says, I've come that you could have life and you could have it more abundantly. What he is saying for the practicing Christian is your life should be exceedingly abundantly above the non-practicing and the non-Christian life. He said you should see blessings on day to day. Simple things like eating and drinking and getting dressed up and going places and being with your wife and on your job and everything you do. You should realize how blessed you are. That's the blessed life. So if you're a practicing Christian, your day-to-day life will just be blessed.

James Greer: [00:02:44] How you live out that life is how you find your purpose in life. When you don't understand your purpose in life, life many times becomes pointless. And so first we found out with a blessed life is second, we talked about how to simply understand how to live out your purpose on a day-to-day basis. And it told us that in the 1 Corinthians chapter 10, verse 31, and it goes ahead and it tells us this. It says, Well, whatever you do, whether you eat or drink or do anything else, always do it to honor God. So one of the things our purpose in life is to just simply what? Honor God. To honor God. We honor God by honoring our parents, our authorities, our body, our tithes and our service. That's one of the ways we honor God. Just go through life honoring God. Don't cause problems. God likes people, peacemakers, not troublemakers. In fact, he tells them Matthew 9:59 He said, Blessed are the people that make peace. Another one says, Happy old people that work at peace. Sometimes you have to actually work at peace. Amen.

James Greer: [00:04:01] And God said, Hey, don't be troublemakers. He goes on to say, I always try to please others and steady yourself. Don't be selfish. And hope that many will be safe. So God simply says, What I want you to do is go through life. Honoring God. Don't be a troublemaker. Practice being unselfish. You're born selfish. You've got to be reborn to be unselfish and have this exciting desire for people close to you to get saved. That's your purpose. Now we're going to talk about three things that you can do to have a better blessed life. What do you mean when you say God bless you? I'm hoping for God's happiness upon your life. I'm invoking God's favor upon your life. I'm often praying that you have the ability to realize you're so blessed that you don't have time to be stressed. I'm going to give you a verse today when that's going to help you to be blessed. But when you first hear it, it seems contrary to the blessed life. But really, until you learn this verse, you really can't enjoy the blessed life. It's in Matthew 3:5 and I'm going to read it in several translations and it said, Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. And you start saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit.

James Greer: [00:05:35] And let me read you some more translations of that. Another translation says this. God blesses those who are poor and realize that they need Him. You've become really blessed when you realize how bad you need Jesus. Here's another translation. Blessed are those who recognize they're spiritually helpless, basically apart from God. Here's one that we're going to know today used today. And it says God blesses those people who depend only on him that do what? The pen. Say the pen. We're going to talk about that particular one today. And those people who know they have great spiritual need needs. They're the happy people. In other words, what it's saying, the insight that we must learn is we're really inadequate, incomplete, and we're too weak to face life without God. Everything rises and falls on our fellowship with Jesus, the Psalmist said in 126:5, it says, The Lord God and I put in mind of Journey Church. I personalize the scripture, I'll say in the Lord God of James. Blesses everyone who trusts him and depends on him. I start thinking, what does it mean to trust him?

James Greer: [00:07:04] And what does it mean to depend on him? They kind of seem like the same words they mean. The Lord is going to bless every single person at Journey Church. You want to be blessed. Amen. You got to trust him. The Word trust kind of means everybody that'll take God's promises and believe them and apply them. In other words, whatever's going on in your life, God has a promise for you. And if you'll believe it and apply it, that's trust. Everything else in the world is going to change. Your mate is going to change. The world is going to change. Your job is going to change. Everything else is going to change. God’s Word will never change. And so I said, blessed is everyone that trust him. Trust God, trust his word and depends on him. The Word depends means when you have little kids, how they have to depend upon you. But now, as parents, if you have little kids, your job is right now. They depend totally on you. They depend on you for their food, their clothing, everything. They're totally different. Now, our job as parents is to finally get them to where they don't depend upon us, but they depend upon God. Amen. But what happens is don't get to the point so much. We're so independent. We don't depend on God and we depend upon ourselves. And that's when we get in trouble.

James Greer: [00:08:23] So, Lord said. Everybody here can be blessed. If you trust in God and depend upon him. So to be poor in spirit means to be humbly dependent upon God instead of ourselves. So if you want to be blessed in your life and your work and your finances, you must depend on God and ourselves. There's three ways that we can practice depending on God. Instead of ourselves. I think there's really five ways, but we're going to talk about three of them today. The first one, I think, is one of the most important one of all. This is the one that gets me and everybody else in the most trouble depend on God's wisdom, not ours. Depend on God's wisdom, not mine. No worse. I'm saying I'm going to listen to and follow what God has to say more than myself. Even more than others. God says be doers of the Word. Not here is only deceiving yourselves. Did you know that the Bible says that a heart is deceitfully wicked and who can know it? Did you know that most of the time we deceive our own selves? God really convicted me about this morning about sometimes that how bad our heart deceives our own self. The Bible says it's deceitfully wicked. Who can know it? Matter of fact, the only way you know your own heart is by the fruit in your life in that area. Not by what you think and not even by what you feel by God’s Word in the fruit. So many times what we think, we're deceiving our own selves. So don't deceive yourselves by being here.

James Greer: [00:10:01] Proverbs 14:12 says, there is a way that seems right in a man's eyes, but the end is way of death. Man, do I know that. Ideas ourselves often lead to dead ends. God's ways are divine ends, developed ends, designed ends, and desired ends. Have you ever thought you're so right and ended up so wrong? I mean, I really think I'm right. I mean, I really do. I believe it. And. I'm wrong. And boy, did I struggle with that this morning. About so many things that I thought I was so right about. And then I was so wrong. I've done it in my marriage. I said, you know, just argue about things that I just was so sure I was right and later on to find out I was wrong about. I've done all my job many times. Just sure I was right. And later find out I was wrong. Don't have many hobbies. Didn't do it too many times here. I'm a late bloomer. I'm the only person I know that way. I was almost 65 before I got a hobby, and then I had to work to find one. Every time I tried to find one, it was too much work. Church. Oh. There's times at church that I just. Sure I was right. I mean. I mean, God's telling me in his wrong. Uh. It's happened. It's happened in every single area of my life. Finances. Oh, have I made finance decisions that were wrong? Yes, I have. So just about every area in my life that I have done believing that I was right. And later to find out that I was wrong.

James Greer: [00:12:03] I know what I could do to make a difference. But I often don't do it. I've even taught something that I needed to practice more. And I often forget it. It's not always what I can do that makes the difference. It's what's the wisest thing to do? And every invitation, every opportunity, every relationship, and every major purchase, it should always be that. I could reduce my wrecks, my blunders, my mistakes, my regrets and my sorrows. If I were to remind myself of the most important question I should ask myself. Ephesians 5:17 says, therefore, don't be unwise but understand what the will of the Lord is. This morning I was reading it in every translation and I read it in the it was the new contemporary English version and I'm going to read it to you. Don't be stupid. I can understand that.

James Greer: [00:13:17] Don't be stupid. Instead, why don't you find out what the Lord wants you to do? Not. In other words, when you don't know what wisdom is and you don't know what God's will is, we make stupid mistakes and say stupid things. And everybody said, Amen. I mean, God has a way of explaining things where we can all understand them, doesn't he? So the question is not what can I do, but what is the wisest thing to do? Listen. And it would radically change our lives. That's why in Proverbs, it says 3:5, it says, We know it. In the living translation, it says, Trust in the Lord with all our heart. Don't depend on our own understanding. Yet seek our knowledge. Seek his will in all you do. See, that's where I don't do. I'll seek his will and some of the things I do and some of the things I don't. Some of the things I think I know better than God, I guess. I don't intentionally do that.

James Greer: [00:14:20] I just do it. That's called, are y'all ready? Stupid. Based on God’s Word. So when I'm not seeking God's will to make the right decisions and I do them on my own. I get stupid results. Seek his will and all I do, and he will show you which path to take. Isn't that something? Don't be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead fear the Lord and turn away from evil. That's so simple and so profound but so hard to do. One of the reasons is I think we start living life at such a fast pace that we got out and because we think we're so busy, we cut God out. We bring more sorrows and headaches on our life. That's why I love it when James 1:5, I've read it over and over I almost every week for the last five weeks, and I've used it almost every day. If you need wisdom to know what you should do, we should ask God, and he'll give it to you. And God is generous to just the pastors. To everyone. And he doesn't find fault in them. You know what? I like that last part. Because I used to think that after we made dumb decisions. And we went back to God. He would do. Like many of our parents who didn't say I told you so. I've done that as a parent.

James Greer: [00:16:15] I told my kids, don't do this, don't do that. Don't buy this. They get in trouble. I told you, you shouldn't have done that. And God says, I'm not going to find fault in you. You know, a guy says, I'm now going to direct you in the way you should go. Is that not fantastic? That should encourage us to go and ask God what we need wisdom in Him in that encourage us. You know what that encourages us to do? It should encourage us to get wisdom by the God’s Word, by praying and asking other people to have success in that same area because it says you don't have to live the same and do the same dumb mistakes over and over again because God said we don't have to live an empty life. In fact, what he said, we can depend upon him and he'll depend and depend and direct. You need direction.

James Greer: [00:17:01] Depend on God. Second. The second. Depend on his strength, not my own strength. We'd run out of energy. We get tired, we get stressed out, we get exhausted. We just said, I can't go anymore. And it's nothing more than a signal. It's like a yellow or red light saying we need to get refueled on God’s Word. You know, when you need to be filled up, you've got to make sure you're your slave. You present your body to Christ, you ask God to fill you and you obey. And what he says, there's going to be dark moments in your life. And you have to have something to trust in. And I can promise you God in his word, or more trustworthy than any parachute you'll ever jump out of any plane. You're going to feel weak and you're going to feel worn out. The Lord wants to help you and he'll give you strength and he's going to renew you again. You're going to get better. The Lord is going to give you strength. You're not even going to sometimes understand where it goes from or comes from. You're going to rise up like the weed Seven Eagle. Like I said, I've watched the Eagles. I've taken pictures of the Eagles and many times they just saw. That's what I want you to imagine that your time is coming. When that happens to you, when you're young, there's a verse for you. Psalm 71:16, It says, I walk in the strength of the Lord, our God. The reason I want you to do that is young. Because if you kept following Isaiah, if you went to verse 30, it said, The young will faint and get weary. There'll be times you want to give up. But the Psalms 71:16 says, I walk in the strength of the Lord that God, not your strength. You wake up your stress, your tired, your anxious, walking, the strength of the Lord, not yours.

James Greer: [00:18:53] As you get older and you're having problems, the psalmist has one that says, If my health fails. My spirit is true. Yet God remains. He is the strength of my heart. He is mine forever. I love the way Isaiah puts it. I have this one written in the front of my Bible. Even in your old age, I'm he even in your gray hair. I'll carry you. I've made you. I'll bear you even I will carry you. I'll deliver you. So we got to depend on God's wisdom, not ours. God's strength, not ours. And most of all, God's timing, not ours. This was hard for me because I always want God's time to be my time. And it's not. The longer I live, the more I understand the importance of timing. We have to learn to do things at the right time and the right way. I don't do that many, many times. The timing is so important. Are you ready? The time is really important when you talk to your mate about certain things.

James Greer: [00:20:05] I mean, when you come home from work and you're tired or she comes home from work and tired. That's not always the best time to discuss things. Amen. Give it a few minutes. Learn when the best time to talk to your boss. If your boss is stressed out and having a lot of problems, that's not the time to come in. Say, can I have off? The timing is important. You've got to understand the timing, how important timing is in every relationship. If I don't know much about sports, but timing is an important in sports, timing in sport and duck hunting, timing and timing is important and everything in your life. Yeah, but especially in relationships when you communicate. Time is important. Please ask your three ones. Everything on earth has its own time and its own season. Everything.

James Greer: [00:20:59] There's a season at a time. Every purpose. But as for me, I trust in you. Oh, Lord. In other words, when the time doesn't seem right. Trust in the Lord. And then Ecclesiastes 3:11, I get ready to close. I love this part. He made everything beautiful. In his time. Have you ever gone through times? You just seemed like it wasn't fair. God, this is just not fair. I can't believe I've been treated this way. I can't believe that happened to me. I can't believe this happened to that person. It just doesn't make sense. It doesn't have to. But in time. Got to make everything beautiful. You know, else he's put eternity in the hearts of everybody. You can't be here and tell me you don't believe in eternity. It's in your heart. You know, there's something after this life. And there's a Heaven or a hell.

James Greer: [00:21:57] And the most important thing you can do today is to make sure that you settle, that yours is going to be in Heaven. So what I want you to know is this. Have you depended on been dependent on your own wisdom? And today you need God's wisdom in some area of your life? Why wouldn't you come in just a moment and say, Hey, God. I have a decision I need to make. It's decision time. The most important decision is what you do with Jesus Christ. Do you know Him as your savior? What other really important decision that you need to make? I told you in Ecclesiastes, he said he said, it's stupid to make your own decision without getting from God. And, you know, you have that decision to make. Why don't you come today and say, hey, God, it's not what can I do? But I need your help to make the right decision. And you just come say, Hey, it's decision-making time. God, I've been dependent on my own strength.

James Greer: [00:22:57] And I know that because, God, I'm here today and I'm stressed out. I'm worn out. And it's the yellow light. God, it's a red light. And he said all those that labor and heavy laden to come to you and they could find rest. And God, I'm tired of it. I want to come to you today and I want to find rest. God, the time I just hadn't seen. Right? The doors hadn't opened in my personal life. They hadn't opened on my job. I just don't understand your timing. And God said, Just trust in me. And I'll make everything beautiful in its time. And today, God, I'm tired of trying to open doors and trying to push relationships. And, God, I'm just going to trust in you today. I'm going to trust in you in the timing. I'm going to trust in you in decision. I'm going to trust in you for the strength that you have. And God, I want to go away with a blessed life which you stand. God, I just thank you for today. I thank you for your strength. I thank you for your wisdom. I thank you for your time. I thank you, God, that we can serve you. I think we can serve you here. We can serve you on the job. We can serve y'all areas of our life. God, I pray for those that need to make a decision to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. Those that make a decision to follow through and baptism.

James Greer: [00:24:17] Those that need to make a decision to join this church, those that need to make a decision on their job, in their homes and their finances in every single area of their life, God, that they would look to you for wisdom today, God. And God, I pray today, it would be the day. Maybe they come and they pray with those that are up front. Maybe they come and ask the Holy Spirit to give them peace in that very area. Maybe for those that are stressed out, God and there are all this pressure and God that they realize it's just a yellow light from you telling them, God, they need to come and take into your word and to relax and depend upon you and to calm down and be still and know that you're God, God, whatever it is, I pray you have your will and your way. Asking a precious name of Jesus. Amen.

Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.
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Journey Church
2900 Donahue Ferry Rd
Pineville, Louisiana 71360