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Death To Self-Reliance Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
March 4, 2020 1:00 am

Death To Self-Reliance Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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March 4, 2020 1:00 am

Ever been at the end of your rope? Jonah was, when he found himself in the belly of a fish. God has amazing ways of getting us to say yes. He arranges conditions so that we will choose to do His will.

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Looking to Jesus and never been at the end of your Jonah was when he found himself God is amazing ways of getting us to say yes. He arranges conditions so that we will choose to do his will. From the Moody Church in Chicago this morning to with Dr. Erwin books are teaching sauce and make it across the finish line, loser were in Jonah chapter 2 learning about self-reliance and about the length. Some of us go to to avoid obeying God and you know the reason that I love this book and the stories not only because it's true. Jesus referred to it. But as we look at Jonah's life.

We see ourselves, don't we. We are essentially stubborn people and I've seen God having to drag people through the most difficult circumstances before they finally lay down the weapons of a rebel and I think that this sermon series can be of benefit to you. That is, to our listening audience and if you would like to have this series so that you can listen to it again and again. Share it with your friends.

You can find more information about this. Go to RTW Now let me remind you that for a gift of any amount. The sermon series can be yours.

It's entitled how God gets us to say yes RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 and now let us open our hearts in our Bibles and find out exactly what God had to do to get Jonah to say yes. What else was God doing there.

He was purifying two aspects to this purification.

First of all, you'll notice he says in verse seven and following.

Let's look at that verse eight.

Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love.

Why does he throw that in there because his own will and his own desires.

He recognized to be an idol and other things that we set up it says in the book of Ezekiel that this people have set up idols in their own hearts are idol can be another person. It can be a vocation.

It can be whatever we desire to do that can be our idol that says I want this, even above the will and the purposes of God. I want this more than I want the glory of Jesus and that's an idol size as those you will follow vain idols. They forsake their hope of steadfast love. They're not going to get through to God, but I with a voice of Thanksgiving. He says will sacrifice to you what I have vowed I will pay. Isn't that interesting saying, Lord, I made a commitment to you long ago when done.

Now I realize that I I'm going to I'm going to fulfill that commitment and tend in the next chapter we can see the part of the commitment was that he does eventually go to Nineveh, where he was determined he would not go and so he says Lord I'm going to pay my vows I was looking that reading that in the text and I discovered that the pagans in chapter 1 as a result of Jonah's limp witness actually ended up believing in God and paying their bows and she realized that sometimes sometimes a child of God can have a harder heart, more stubborn will more determined personality to blow God off than even pagans who apparently came to know the true God.

It's amazing what Christians have done. If you ever been surprised at Christians, we shouldn't be surprised that those who aren't Christians but are surprises people have been redeemed by God.

Trying to thwart God's will. Trying to do others in to the very best of their ability, with all their might, trying to afford what would be acceptable will of God, so God says Jonah, have you learned something here and he says yeah. One thing I've learned is no more idols. In fact, I'm going to give thanks to you, he says. And then there something else that God purified and that was Jonah's theology. He comes out with this marvelous statement. Salvation belongs to the Lord, a well-known preacher in England by the name of Charles Haddon Spurgeon said that Jonah in the belly of the fish went in an Arminian that is to say, he believed in free will and you know that we direct things. Basically, Andy came out a Calvinist. Now, now that word Calvinism.

Some people don't like I'm only quoting Spurgeon you understand just quoting Spurgeon. No quote of mine would fit here. But to have theirs as a stress on the sovereignty of God and anything. Salvation is of the Lord he's talking about his own salvation. His own deliverance. There's no question about that but but there is a larger statement in Scripture that salvation is of the Lord.

That is to say that it is God who redeems us it is God who initiates us by having Jesus Christ died on the cross, God initiates salvation and then God applies it to the human heart. Salvation has to be of God, I began this message by quoting the words of Jesus, that no man comes to me except to the father drags him unless we were dragged into the kingdom we would go our own way, we would reject Christ, we would see no reason why we should believe and so God grants us that ability to believe, isn't he gracious because from beginning to end salvation is of the Lord, by the way, this is another argument as to why Jesus Christ is fully God are many people who believe that is a lesser God of some sorts all kinds of problems with that biblically and theologically, but just hang onto this for a moment if if Jesus were not fully God. God would've delegated the dirty work of redemption to the created creature and salvation would not be of the Lord, but from beginning to end.

This salvation is of God.

Some of you have never trusted Christ as Savior would you need to do is to open your hearts to him and realize this, that if God is talking to you if you see that if you sense within you. This this emptiness that you'd like to have filled this sense of alienation and sin don't turn away from that that is God getting your attention to realize salvation is in him alone, so God was purifying his theology even what's the bottom line the end of the day. We always want the bottom line. I think that the bottom line is simply this, that only desperate people pray only desperate people pray.

I omitted it. A moment ago, but let's look at verse seven when my life was fainting away. I remember the Lord.

It took that it took that you're not desperate you're not going to pray is that interesting.

We see this nationally. We have, for example, a 9/11 experience where thousands of people are killed in the very next Sunday. You know the churches are filled. People come to prayer meeting.

They say you know were just coming to permitting because we think we need God like the young people say so took that. I remember saying hearing somebody say you know things are so bad were going to have to begin to pray only desperate people pray but listen to me carefully. If you and I actually saw who we were before God.

We know the world always desperate. It's just that we don't know what would be a permitting all the time if we understood our true condition before God because we understand that we are in desperate straits as a nation.

Most assuredly, but also as individuals we are. We are desperate and what God is trying to do is to say, don't you see your need and the reason that God motivates us to pray he does it through giving us circumstances that lead us to utter desperation and then we finally try out to God and say God it's over. I lay down the weapons of a rebel. I am desperate to help me. The Bible says that if you: to me in the day of trouble. I will answer the I have a little booklet in my study. I think it's entitled crying out to God, and it makes this interesting point. But in the Old Testament.

At least there is a distinction between just praying and crying out for example in the Psalms, David will say something like this. I prayed to the Lord and I cried out to him that we know that we don't have to cry out because God knows our thoughts so we can pray silently but there's something in Scripture about lifting up our voice in desperation that attracts the attention of God and over and over again in the Scripture it says yeah I cried out to you and you inclined my your ear you incline your ear to me and you answered me.

There times when we should cry out, you might not want to do it in your apartment. If you have thin walls.

Maybe you can go somewhere at times and just cry out to God. He loves to hear the voice of his children and desperate people pray I'm interested as I look at the text that Jonah doesn't even bargain with God. People who are really really desperate. Don't bargain it is a safe dog get me outta here and I'll be going to Nineveh in a heartbeat. Just get me out of here.

I don't see that the text what he's doing is he's thanking God for the deliverance that was rocked through the fish and he's recognizing that and he's giving God praise and his future is entirely in God's hands. Isn't it interesting that Jesus in the New Testament use this one day. Some people came to Jesus and they said wanted to give us a sign that we might believe you. Jesus had given the many signs many miracles but he said no longer shall assign be given unto you, but as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the fish so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. And just as God had Jonah expelled from his confinement in the very same way on resurrection morning Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, giving and evidence that he was indeed the son of God, which is an incidental proof. Also, the Jesus believe this story.

He believed the story I'm about you but I'm gonna believe anything that Jesus believe he believes in him, but I believe it so what does God have to do in your life before you chafe and fight and manipulate and plan for your will to be accomplish. I've seen people drag from one foreign patch to another to another to another to another to another and they will not bow and say God help me do with me as seems good in your sight, because we as humans are so stubborn look at what God did to Jonah next time will find out that he still wasn't at not totally come around.

He was a reluctant angry preacher.

He went but just barely. I love to tell the story all by the way, before I do I want to quote the words of Martin Luther. There is wisdom when he said we must descend into hell before we can ascend into heaven. What he meant was if you don't see your need you and I got a call up to God for help. Some people have to descend into the depths of shield. Then they say now God where you got my attention. Don't let it go that far. Don't let it go that far.

I tell the story that you've heard me tell before prep several years ago, but a man who was the called the pastor on the phone a friend of mine asked him to come over to his office and the man was just wailing and weeping just just crying out, but in the midst of tears that he could not be understood in the pastor went over there thinking that the man's wife that died or maybe a child had been an accident and was killed and all that he could do. There is kinda look at the man try to figure out what the world was happening because the guy was just wailing, wailing and crying out to God. So when he got them settled down.

He said you know what is the problem. The man said God you showed me my heart and when I saw my heart. It was as if I was looking into hell.

What happened was this. He was a businessman and he had been cheating on expense forms and are you going to a hotel and you write down certain expenses that are not a valid and then somehow I don't know how but then you get the you get the kickback for the money actually, I think in the business world is very very common practice in virtually everybody does it. Is that really that big a deal. I was with that. I'm a little bit of cheating here a little bit of cheating there. You know it fella has to make it the company's got lots of money.

Furthermore, they owe me a lot more than they're paying me anyway. I it's no big deal until you see God and suddenly when God pointed out to you. It is then that you become desperate. It is then that you call it is then that you sail God whatever it takes. No matter what it's going to cost me there's only one thing that matters now and that is to be fully right with you fully fully in harmony with you and with a clear conscience, and so we cry up to God and we say all God forgive me deliver me and we cry out, but God finally says I'm so thankful that at last, after years of this business. I have your attention, Samuel Johnson says that nothing focuses the mind like the knowledge that one is to be hanged. Nothing focuses the mind like the knowledge that one has nowhere to go, no future, no hope. Nothing except you and God.

That would Jonah learned in the belly of the sea monster quit is God have to take you and me before we learn the same thing.

Let's pray as we pray together today. There are two categories of people. Two major categories of people have been listening to this message. One is those of you have never trusted Christ as your Savior I mentioned earlier that you have to dial the 800 number.

JES US Jesus died for sinners and he rose again as I explained a few moments ago.

And if you do not know Christ as Savior. Even where you are, you can cry up to him in your heart be better for you to use your voice but in this general congregation, you can cry up to him in your heart and say Jesus save me. We often have people who come up later and say you know I received Christ a week ago or two weeks ago during the closing prayer accepted in then there's another category and that is you are a believer and you know that your name is written in heaven. But you also know that you are just struggling with God's not against circumstances you think it circumstances but it's God trying to bring you to the end so that your will would be yielded to him. And so what about you. Are you willing to finally say okay God I am willing to be broken willing to say Lord Jesus, glorify your self in me through circumstances, through heart aches through events that you cannot control.

I live only for your glory and ladled down at his feet, father, would you make this a transforming moment for people if we could see hearts we'd see people struggling with anxieties and sinful relationships in dishonesty. We we just see we'd see a picture father that you see clearly.

And it's a picture that you want to change so grant the spirit of yielded nests and repentance and faith to come to your people and now you talk to God father even as we want to thank you for what you did to get Jonah's attention. We also want to thank you for what you've done to get our attention. Pray father that you might not have to do too much that we will say yes Lord, your servant here's grant that all God. We pray in Jesus name, amen my friend today. I hope that you prayed that prayer with me. It's a prayer that all of us have to pray and we have to pray it repeatedly that we might yield to the Lord. No matter what he asks. Let me ask you a question how would you like to understand the Reformation better by actually going to the sites of the Protestant Reformation. We begin in Berlin.

Then we go to pot Saddam and then the Luther sites. Then we go to Munich, God willing. I'm going to be leading a tour to these places in May and I hope that you can join us for more information. Here's what you do you go to Moody Moody Click on the tour button. You know when I lead a tour. It is always my intention that we not simply see Europe, but that we actually learn that we use it as a study time when we can understand the Reformation better we can understand its implications. We can also understand its faults and some of the ripples that have come to us from the Reformation. I hope that you'll be able to join us May of this year once again go to Moody Moody Click on the tour button and what you'll discover is that you will make new friends. You'll be in places that you will never forget the Reformation is the place where history was changed and we are still benefiting from its results. It's time now for another chance for you to ask Pastor lutes or a question about the Bible or the Christian life Pastor lutes or the Bible warns us often about the perils of mixing light with darkness and Stephen Pennsylvania is concerned about someone he thinks may be trying to do just that.

He asks, I have a friend who claims to be a Christian, yet he takes spiritual advice from a fortuneteller is this occultism.

What does the Bible say about this was Steve.

The Bible is very clear about this. Let me give you. Deuteronomy chapter 18 it lists there. The kind of occult practices that we should avoid to go to a fortuneteller is wrong. Fortuneteller's often times are fakes. They have ways in which they pretend to predict the future and they are incorrectly wrong, and sometimes you can see that what you need to do is to buy a magazine on January 1 with all of the predictions that will come to pass that coming year and then pulled out a year or two later and see how many of come to pass, but also there's some fortunetellers who are plugged into the spirit world. They may be receiving information from a cultic spirit, powers, evil spirits, and even they cannot predict the future with absolute accuracy because the devil doesn't know the future. The way in which God does.

He is a good hunt.

She knows more than we do.

But the bottom line is this, that spiritism is wrong and you need to encourage your friend to stay away and to trust God. God judges those who go to the occult. For information Steve, thank you for your concern for your friend. And thank you Dr. Blitzer for your helpful answer if you'd like to hear your question answered. You can just go to our and click on ask Pastor lutes or or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 to win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life God wants his servants focused on God's agenda, not their own. It's taken extraordinary measures to get Jonah back on the road to now he's going in body if not in heart.

Next time I'm running to win. Dr. lutes, there continues a series on brokenness how God gets us to say yes will turn to Jonah chapter 3 for a message on self-interest. Dr. Erwin certain this is running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church

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