Independence Day

Posted: December 20, 2017 by keystoneyouth in Incomparable
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  • When I was in middle school, several friends and I had the best fort that any middle schooler could ask for.
    • It was a fort that could only be accessed by fourwheelers…
    • It had a recliner chair, bunk beds, a creek out back that we put our mountain dew in to cool, and a fireplace to have all our great late night discussions around.
    • We loved to go spend the night at this fort. We would make fires, cook hot dogs, drink Mountain Dew until our teeth hurt, and talk about what we would do if a murder on the run from the cops broke into our fort while we were sleeping. The answer of course was a roundhouse kick to the face and then threaten him with our swiss army pocket knives.
  • Why did we love this fort so much? Because it represented independence.  It represented that we could survive on our own apart from our parents.
  • In many ways, this is the same thing that drives people to live off the grid. They want independence. They want to be free of needing other people to help them survive. They want to be self-sufficient.
  • The past couple weeks we have been exploring ways that God is different than us…
  • Tonight we want to continue that journey by looking at the fact that God is self-sufficient. He doesn’t need anything or anyone. He is utterly perfect on his own.
  • We see this in several places throughout the Bible, starting with the Isaiah 40 passage that we have been in.
  • Isaiah 40:28-31

 Big Idea: The God who needs nothing created us to need him.

 Main Points:

  • God doesn’t need anything.
  • We don’t want to need God.
  • Weakness is the new strength. 

God doesn’t need anything. (Acts 17:24-25)

  • God created us and everything else we see.
  • But God does not need us or anything else that he created.
    • This is an important distinction to make between us and God.
      • We have all sorts of needs, but God has none.
    • God did not create us because he needed something… he did not need servants to feed him, people to love and praise him, or a world to entertain him.
  • There is nothing that we have to offer God that he doesn’t already have.
    • This is good because we have a tendency to assign value to people, based on what they have to offer – skills, talents, beauty, knowledge.
  • But we are valuable, not because of what we have to offer, but because of the One who put his image in us.
    • Baseball – a baseball in itself is not valuable. Nor is a baseball valuable if I sign it. But if a baseball was used and signed by Babe Ruth, it is incredibly valuable. It is the source and origin of the baseball that gives it value.
  • You and I are no more valuable than the person who is mentally and physically handicapped and is forced to spend their life in a wheelchair entirely dependence on other people and not making any significant contribution to society. Why? Because although we may have more to offer society… we have no more to offer God and we both are made in his image.
  • You and I are no less valuable than Lebron James, Carson Wentz, Justin Timberlake, or Taylor Swift. Why? Because although they may have more to offer society… they have no more to offer God and we are both made in his image.
  • Apply: We must learn to treat people in the same way… not based on what they have to offer, but based on the fact that they are created by God and therefore given value.
  • And God created all humans in such a way that we would need him for everything.
    • He gives to us life, breath, and EVERYTHING. I do not have a right to take the next breath I take. God gives it to me.

We don’t want to need God.

  • The Israelites… While they were in the wilderness, they were entirely dependent on God… for food, water, and safety. (Deuteronomy 8:11-17).
    • God warned them in advance, “When you get to the promised land, you are going to think that you don’t need me anymore. That it’s because of your own ability that you are wealthy, secure, and have food… DON’T BELIEVE THAT LIE!”
    • It would be like a young child whose first words out of their mouth to their parents are, “I don’t need you.” Their entire life up till this point has been built around needing their parents, it would be completely foolish to try to deny that.
  • We tend to think this is only non-Christians… that they are the only ones who don’t want to need God (i.e. I don’t need a God to explain why the world is here, right and wrong, or save me from sin).
  • But as Christians, one of the core ways sin creeps up in our life is in our pursuit of independence from God.
  • “Every day, sinners are still animated by the empty promise of reaching some level of self-sufficiency where God will finally be rendered unnecessary.” –Tony Reinke
    • My desire to have a youth ministry that has lots of people attending and everyone is really excited about it, is in many ways a pursuit of self-sufficiency.
    • Any desire that has at its end some form of, “If I can get that, achieve that then I won’t need God anymore, is a pursuit of independence from God – a pursuit of self-sufficiency.”
    • Another way of saying this is, “If I’m able to accomplish _________ in my life, then I’ll know I’ve made it and I can put it in coast.
  • Apply: One of the ways we can see a lack of day-to-day dependence on God is in prayerlessness. As much as we may say we need God, if prayer is lacking in my life, then it exposes that I don’t really feel like I need God.

Weakness is the new strength.

  • Part of the incredible story of the Bible is that God goes after people who have told him, “I don’t need you.”
  • But again, God doesn’t do it because of anything that we have to offer to him.
  • He is not like a basketball coach recruiting the best players for his team.
  • 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
    • God chooses what is foolish – Me.
    • God chooses what is weak – You.
  • See the first step in us coming to faith in Jesus is realizing we have nothing to offer.
    • God is not like a Yard Saler… looking for the best bargain for his buck. Paying 50 cents for a coffee mug that’s actually worth $1.00
    • Instead, God is like someone who shows up after the yard sale, knocks on the door and offers to pay $1,000 for the leftovers that are outside waiting for the dump truck to pick them up.
    • Then God takes those leftovers home and begins to mold and shape them into incredible works for art.
  • See the first step in us coming to faith in Jesus is realizing we have nothing to offer. It’s Jesus who offers us EVERYTHING we need to be saved.
  • But the Christian life doesn’t just start with weakness. We also grow and mature as we grow in our awareness of weakness and become more dependent on God.
  • This is where spiritual growth and maturity is completely opposite of physical growth and maturity.
    • Growing up physically and maturing means that you become more and more independent of your parents. You get a job, get a cell phone, get a car, go to college, get an apartment or house, start to cook for yourself, pay your own bills, etc. If you are 30 years old and still living in your parents basement playing video games all day, there’s a huge problem! Someone along the line you have failed to grow in maturity.
    • But Spiritual growth is the exact opposite. Maturing and growing spiritually means becoming more dependent on God. Or rather, recognizing your dependence on God more clearly. And if this isn’t happening, then our growth has been stunted.

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