Sunday, September 22, 2013

OMTL Day 22: "Road Signs"

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
               --Mark 10:27

This past week we've been talking about "Learning Humbly" (also the topic for today's message in our worship services). We've been talking about learning humbly through suffering--seeing our problems as an opportunity to grow--allowing God to use our struggles to shape us into the character of Christ. 

As we wrap up this topic, don't forget this: God is in the business of doing miracles.  There are things that are impossible for us--but all things are possible with God. 

Sometimes the miracle God performs has to do with physical healing or financial provision. Sometimes it has more to do with emotional, spiritual, or relational healing. Sometimes the miracle God grants is supernatural strength to face a horrible situation. But don't forget: God is able to do things for us that we cannot do for ourselves. All things are possible with God. 

In One Month to Live, Kerry Shook writes:
Miracles are not only possible; they're more common than we think.  God cares for us and wants to work in our lives.  The hard part is remembering this when we come to a crossroads and must choose how to respond ... Whether we're facing a painful loss or confronted with choosing between two good options, the only way to experience the miraculous is to move in God's direction. There's definitely no formula, but in the Bible I find four road signs that can help us transform those forks in the road into a fulfilling miraculous journey (p. 166). 
If you are in need of a miracle, the "Road Signs" you need to observe are...

Actually, there are two one-way streets you have to go down. They're both mentioned in today's Scripture. The first one-way street is the one that says, "With man this is impossible..." Admit your need. Come to the end of yourself. Recognize that you can't solve your problem on your own. 

And the second one-way street: "...but not with God. All things are possible with God." Turn your problem over to God. Recognize God as the only one who can meet your need. 

Next, stop. Stop and assess what you have to work with. What has God already provided? Have you placed it in his hands? Think of the little boy with the loaves and fishes. He handed them over to Jesus and Jesus used them to feed 5000 people. What resources--human, financial, physical, etc.--has God already provided? Take these and offer them to God in faith.

Next, make a U-Turn--from a negative direction to a positive.  Our natural human reaction to difficult situations is usually quite negative. We look at everything through a dark lens. We lapse into depression. We worry. We argue. We blame others. We give up hope.  

If you're looking for a miracle, you have to turn away from these negative attitudes. While they are normal, natural, and understandable, they are not faith. As Kerry Shook says, "We can't recognize what God is doing in our lives if we're wallowing in our own negativity.  We have to make that U-turn and focus on God instead of the problem" (OMTL, p. 169). 

The last road sign is counter-intuitive, but Kerry Shook says it is the most important. Yield. Start looking for ways to serve others--to give to others--to meet the needs of others--with what you already have. 

Scripture testifies that God blesses us when we bless others. We are "Blessed to be a Blessing." God's blessings, God's miracles, flow to us as we let them overflow to others. 

Have you come to a place on the road of life where you need a miracle? Follow the road signs. Admit your need and dependence on God. Stop and assess what you already have. Make a U-turn away from negative attitudes. And start looking for ways to bless others. 

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