The Thread of Life – Part 15 (God doesn’t do boxes)

September 5, 2021   /   Jesus Church

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The Thread of Life – 31 Stories that point to Jesus

(Part 15)

Good morning & welcome to Jesus Church

Excited to jump back into the Bible with you

  • B/C we believe in the Bible… and reading/studying it changes lives
    • And it is so important to do that at home… on your own
    • I know God speaks to us when we diligently search scripture
    • Because they point us to Jesus

Jn 5:39 NIV (Jesus even said)

You study the scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very scriptures that testify about me.

  • And we know the testimony of Jesus is: Life & life more abundantly
    • So when you read the scriptures… You will find life
    • And God will minister to you
  • But God doesn’t just want to minister to you… but through you
    • Which is the power of God doing that same thing in community
    • When we hear the Word together – The Spirit of God works
    • And in that… we get to minister to each other

Last week we looked at Saul in 1 Samuel 8

  • God’s people have decided they don’t want God as their king
    • The want to look like everyone else… have a man as king
    • And in their desire – They are loosing their identity/purpose
      • Went from being the light to the world
      • To joining the darkness of the world
  • And that temptation – It has never changed
    • Gal. 6:16 says we (the church) are the Israel of God
    • And we can’t long for the things of the world…
    • More than the things of God
  • The world will tell us there are many things we should do/accept
    • It might not be a king… but its not really about a king
    • Its about accepting the worlds way of seeing and doing life
    • Instead of God’s way of doing life

And so Saul becomes King – Anointed by God… Filled with the Spirit

  • He has all the authority he needs to lead and walk in his calling
    • But he fails b/c he has a deep seeded FEAR OF MAN
    • And because of his fear… he actually takes orders from his men
    • Has the authority of a king – gives that authority away
  • Because Fear will always steal the authority God gives you
    • And give it to whatever you are fearful of
    • That’s why “The fear of the LORD” is such a powerful thing
    • If you are afraid of anything else… that becomes your authority
      • I promise “anything else” won’t give life & life abundantly

Today we are gonna jump a couple chapters to David

David is the king that comes after Saul…

  • Compare and contrast on the two is very interesting
    • While both fall short and make terrible decisions
    • Because David had a heart after God (meaning repentant)
    • God established his kingdom and leadership

A.W. Tozer

Christianity at any given time is strong or weak depending upon its concept of God. And I insist upon this and I have said it many times, that the basic trouble with the church today is her unworthy concept of God.

Could the biggest problem be an unworthy concept of how big God is

  • Many people would say its sin… temptation… complacency
    • All things that have to do with our actions
    • But could it be true that the strength/weakness of our faith
      • Isn’t based on actions towards God
      • But instead beliefs about God
  • That many of us have an unworthy concept of who God is
    • How great He is… How powerful He is
    • If we had a better perspective… it would change everything

Illustration: Brought up a moving box

Funny how much you can come to hate moving boxes

  • First u hate how much they cost… ridiculous price & need so many
    • Then you have packing them
    • Then you hate carrying them
    • Then you hate unpacking them
    • Then you hate getting rid of them
  • Most moving boxes come in three sizes (small/medium/large)
    • Medium box is my favorite box to move: B/C its manageable
    • 1st time we moved… bought all large boxes
    • Made sense – Get more in… less boxes to move… less money
  • But good luck carrying that large box full of books
    • So medium was the way to go
    • You can fit almost anything that needs to be in a box in here
    • And you can actually pick it up without killing your back

But when picking a box… question is “What do I need to fit in it”?

  • The box has to be able to handle what goes inside
    • Need to figure out… what is the size of the thing I want to fit
    • And if I can – It will be in a medium box
    • Its convenient… manageable… just fits easier with everything
  • Here’s what I think we do: We put God in a medium box
    • Not too big that I can’t manage it
    • Not too big that I can’t put my arms around it
      • And we tell God – Here’s your space
  • Tons of people who give us a box 4 God… family/denomination
    • They say: This is the box that God fits into
    • We know how God works… and we accept it
    • But no matter how big our box is… it will always be too small
      • Because God doesn’t do boxes

And if God does fit in ur box… life will be full of fear… stress… pressure

  • B/C your God might not be big enough 2 help this time
    • And not only that – If God fits in the parameters of your box
    • Life will be pretty boring/predictable/mundane
  • Because a God that you can handle will never challenge you
    • He will never push you to dream bigger… or step out in faith
    • B/C you now set the expanse of who/what God can do
    • All within your little medium sized box
  • How can a God you handle bring hope to a hopeless situation
    • How can a God you handle make the impossible possible
    • How can a God you handle… DO ANYTHING BIGGER THAN YOU

And there are lots of way we label the box that we put God in

1. There’s the: God can’t use me after what I’ve done box

  1. There’s the: God doesn’t work that way box
  2. There’s the: We’ve never done it that way box
  3. There’s the: I’m just not a person God would use box
  • And in those boxes – We limit the power of God in our lives
    • But Bible shows us… one example after another: How big God is
      • People say its too late: God says I’m just getting started
      • People say I’m too broken: God says I put u back together
      • People say I’m nobody: God uses them 2 change the world

TAG: Its not that we need a bigger box… we need to get rid of the box

In 1 Sam 16 – Story of David before he was king

He’s around 14 – What would be a freshman in high school today

  • Working as family shepherd… was the worst chore u could get
    • To pass the time he would sing songs
    • He got really good with a slingshot
    • So he’s out watching sheep/slinging rocks/singing songs
      • Sorta sounds like a country song
  • One day he’s out in the fields… but it’s a huge day for his family…
    • B/C the prophet Samuel is coming to anoint next king of Israel
    • David’s 7 brothers ready to go… all candidates for the job
  • And remember how Israel picked 1st king… Tall/Dark/Handsome
    • Samuel isn’t told specifically who to pick… goes down the line
    • See’s the first son – Perfect resume…Samuel thinks its first son

1 Sam. 16:6 NIV

Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord… God says nope

Crazy… Even Samuel has a box of what God can work with

1 Sam. 16:7 NIV

But the Lord said to Samuel, Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

  • And one after another… None of the brothers are picked to be king
    • Samuel doesn’t know there is another brother
    • Gets a bit awkward
    • Jesse says there is still David… Whats he good at? He sings good
  • His resume is shepherd boy… he likes to throw rocks

1 Sam. 16:12 NIV

The then Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one

So if we were to put together David’s life as a story…

Ch. 1 called: God’s anointing – He can use anyone

Message we hear: If u want God to use you, look a certain way

  • Preaching 101: Prof said 2 be effective: wear a pressed shirt/tie
    • Obviously didn’t take notes that day…
  • Message was: Here are all the things you need to be used by God…
    • God says don’t put my anointed in a box
    • David is proof that its nothing like what we think
  • Imagine 7 brothers in suits & David in sandals smelling like sheep
    • God says that’s the one… all these others are just like Saul
      • David is the opposite
        • Too casual
        • Too young
        • Too inexperienced
    • Some of us feel like we’re standing next to David’s brothers…
      • I’m too old (Abraham)
      • I’m too guilty (Rehab)
      • I’m too scared (Gideon)
      • It’s too hard/too many obstacles (Joseph)

This is the story that God keeps telling… He will use anybody

  • Thinking of people God has used that you wouldn’t expect
    • Charles Cholsten – Worked for Richard Nixon
      • Went to jail for obstruction of justice
      • Day he died there were two views of him
        • He was called Nixon’s dirty tricks man
        • Also called Minister to thousands of prisoners in jail
  • 2 completely diff people… This is who God uses

Karl Henry: On many Christian Leaders of the future

Many of them are still pagans. Who knew that Saul would be a great apostle to the gentiles and who knew that God would raise up C.S. Lewis or Charles Cholsten, who were once unbelievers and atheists. The next Jonathan Edwards might be the man driving in front of you with a Darwin fish on his bumper. The next Charles Wesley might be a profane hip hop artist now and the next Billy Graham might be passed out, drunk in a fraternity house at the moment and the next Mother Theresa might be managing an abortion clinic.

  • Because God will use anybody… no one would have picked David
    • And you might not pick you
    • But don’t put God’s anointing in a box
    • God can and will use anybody

Ch 2: God’s opportunities – He can do anything

After anointed king – Everything sorta goes back to normal

  • Must have been a strange season killing time being a shepherd
    • Everyday he must have wondering… is this going to happen.
    • B/C the throne seems forever away from the hillside
  • Chapter 16 – Spirit of God leaves Saul (overwhelmed w/ fear)
    • David brought in to bring Saul peace through music as side job
    • David and Saul form close relationship
  • Chapter 17 – David around 18 years old
    • David brings lunch to brothers who are fighting Philistines
    • No fighting going on
    • Only Goliath mocking God & challenging for 1v1 fight of victory

1 Sam 17:11 NIV

When Saul & the Israelites heard this they were terrified & deeply shaken

But when David hears the challenge

1 Sam 17:26

Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God

1 Sam 17:32-33

Don’t worry about this Philistine, David told Saul. I’ll go fight him. Don’t be ridiculous, Saul replied. There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win. You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth

  • Saul’s confused… Aren’t you my harp player?
    • But Saul doesn’t have a choice
    • Gives David his armor, but David doesn’t like it
  • And David goes out with a sling
    • Finally the time has come… and all that time he spent waiting
      • Singing songs and having target practice
      • God uses what no one would think David should use
  • So David goes out to fight Goliath… and Goliath laughs

1 Sam 17:45-47 NIV

David replied to the Philistine, You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. The God of the armies of Israel whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us.

You know why David killed Goliath… His God didn’t have a box

  • In fact… David runs at Goliath
    • V.11 – Israel terrified and scared because they put God in a box
    • Consumed with fear b/c always asking the “what if” question…
  • David doesn’t see the “What if” but the “Who is”
    • This isn’t David vs Goliath… it’s God vs Goliath
    • Saul says it CANT BE DONE because he sees God in a box
    • The armies say it CANT BE DONE b/c they see God in a box
      • If you say “God can’t”… it means God is in a box
  • Everyone else sees Goliath in the situation… but David sees God
    • He knows that God can do anything

Boston Marathon Champion – Westly Gurier

  • First thing he did was give glory to Jesus
    • Already won LA and Chicago Marathons
    • Grew up in Kenya running 5 miles barefoot each way 2 school
  • Mom was pretty hard on him
    • “My mom knew I was the fast kid so she would pick me to run to the market for food. If I wasn’t back on time, she would punish me so I was always running away from punishment. It helped me a lot in my running even though I never thought I was training at the time
  • David didn’t know he was training, and you might not know either
    • But God is training you today for something… tomorrow
    • God is big enough to take what you are going through
    • Use it as preparation for what God has for you

I think we are most likely to box God b/c of timing

We really want God to fit into our calendars

  • We say: I believe in your plan… and here’s how much time u have
    • David anointed king – waits 15 years to become king
    • And 10 of those years on the run, being hunted by Saul

Ps. 27:14 NIV

Wait patiently for the Lord, Be brave and courageous. Yes wait patiently for the Lord.

  • Because it takes courage to wait on God
    • But if your God is in a box… you can’t wait

2 Sam. 5:4

David was 30 years old when he became King, and he reined Israel for 40 years.

Do you believe God can use anybody to do anything at anytime

  • Honestly… the churches problem is that our God is too small
    • If God’s job description is: Make life comfortable & convenient
      • Your God is too small
    • If God’s job description is: Don’t take a risk and play it safe
      • Your God is too small
    • If God’s job description is: To obey you
      • Your God is too small
    • If God’s job description is: To always agrees with you
      • Your God is too small
    • If God needs a certain person in ur life to work will thru ur life
      • Your God is too small
    • If God’s dream for you is retirement and doing nothing
      • Your God is too small
    • If God is ok with u being with him 1 hour a week in church
      • Your God is too small
    • If God is ok with u coming to church instead of being the church
      • Your God is too small
    • If your God looks at your sin and doesn’t care
      • Your God is too small

If He fits nicely in a box… it’s not God

  • Open up the box… he isn’t in there… b/c he doesn’t do boxes
    • So this morning be reminded of bigness/greatness of God



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