Know Your Place, Know Your Role

Do you know your place? Do you know your role? Mankind has gotten so wise that he now begins to wonder if he really needs the Lord. Are we now lords?

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Key verse:
Who has put wisdom in the mind?  Or who has given understanding to the heart? – Job 38:36 NKJV

What is our place?

We have all heard the story of Job.  Job, we know, was a righteous man that lost everything he had.  This includes: his land, ­his wealth, and even his children. What we often hear about Job is how he didn’t curse God – this is true.  However, what we often overlook is that Job was a man that often complained about and questioned God.  For the sake of our message for today, you could say that Job had forgotten his place and his role.  What do I mean by this?  Job had forgotten who was in charge.

Since the beginning of our time, mankind has always wondered about its place in this world and in the universe.  We have wondered whether or not man was alone in this universe.  Man has also always contemplated the spiritual nature of a deity.  Is there one God or are there many gods?  Some men grew to think of themselves as a god as they established their kingdoms and empires.

At one point, mankind thought itself to be at the center of the universe.  Thanks to great study and research, we know today that we are not even at the center of our solar system.

The one thing that is most certain is that we see ourselves as the dominant species of this world.  We say the lion is the king of the jungle because it is at the top of the food chain but we, mankind, is at the top of the world’s food chain.  We boast about our smarts and wisdom; there is nothing in the world that is as smart as us.

We brag about our technological advances as we walk around with computers in our pockets, and connected to those on the other side of the world.  We have sent men to the moon, and machines beyond our solar system and into intergalactic space.  Just this past week, we marveled at our ability of being able to predict solar eclipses and provide the tools to be able to look directly at the sun.  We predict the weather, and even the rising and lowering of the tides.  If you haven’t quite figured out what I am trying to get at: mankind is sitting awfully high!

What is our role?

So, the next logical question to ask is: what is our role?  We often tie our place into our role.  The one sitting at the top of a company or business is typically the boss or the chief executive officer (we love titles).  Another example: America views itself as being the top nation of the world and so we conclude that we are the “leaders” of this world.  America has been the “police of the world” for as long as you and I have been alive!

What then is mankind’s role?  We have established that man is the dominant species of this world in both wisdom and tech.  Due to our wisdom, knowledge, and place in the world, we view ourselves as lords over this world.  We are the dominant species; we are the rulers of this world!

We create and invent and then we say to ourselves, “look at what we did”.  We are discovering new stars and planets circling those stars and we say, “look at we discovered”.  Man has become so wise that he is creating artificial intelligence that can learn and compute faster than a lot of us.  IBM markets “Watson” who I watched make mincemeat of a couple of Jeopardy champions; I’ve been playing video games against computers for all of my life, and when I beat those computers I would say, “look at what I did!”  I would gloat and brag to my cousins about what I had done.

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Funny thing is, as childish as this sounds, mankind seems to be going down the same tragic road of another.  We have become cocky, overly prideful, and boastful in our accomplishments.  Man now begins to boldly wonder if there is such a thing as God. I’ve watched some of the smartest men in the world talk about how we could potentially be living in a simulation ran by some great computer.  We have taken our grand wisdom to just about the same level that Satan took his wisdom when he felt that he could raise himself higher than God (Isaiah 14:12-14).

You see, Satan forgot who it was that made him.  Satan, you will want to understand, forgot both his place and his role!  Satan thought he had gained wisdom, wisdom which his maker had mad, and thought he could rise above Him.  Does this sound familiar?

Here we are today: we have gained so much wisdom that we feel our way is better than the Lord’s way.  We say, “God is not real” and spend all of our time trying to convince others that He is not real.  We now say, “God is not going to fix/do anything for you,” and we spend our time trying to convince others of this belief.  We have forgotten that we were created – we don’t just happen to be here in this world!  Man was made and we refuse to now acknowledge our Maker!  We say today that we “don’t need God!”

We still need God today

The most foolish thing that we, mankind, can ever begin to think is that we don’t need God.  Where Job may have questioned and commented about the Lord, you will see that Job was never a man that thought that he could live without the Lord.  Job was a man in search of having a one on one talk with the Lord.  All was going well in Job’s life until one day it wasn’t, and he wanted to know what the deal was; he knew the only one that could tell him was the Lord.

Job had begun to question the Lord so much that he began to wonder whether or not the Lord really cared about him.  Have you ever reached a point where you wondered if the Lord cared about you?  I have certainly wondered at times how God could really care about me; God then showed me who He really is.

God showed me His complex nature and the complexity of His wisdom.  We were all looking up to the heavens last Monday waiting to see the eclipse.  Personally, I have always been somebody that enjoyed looking up into the heavens and looking at the stars.  When there is an astronomy puzzle on Jeopardy, it is rare that I ever miss a question.

The sun, the same sun we watched get blocked by the moon, is a very complex piece of creation.  The sun, if you didn’t know, is born of a cloud of gas that gains mass and end up in a battle against gravity trying to collapse.  The constant nuclear fusion of hydrogen atoms is what creates the light that radiates the energy that warms and lights our world every day.  That same light is what plants synthesize and use to create the very oxygen that we breathe.

We take these things for granted because there has never been an instance when the sun was turned off, and the plants stopped supplying us with the oxygen that we need for life.  Not one time in human history was it ever recorded that the sun “stopped working”.  The Lord is control of absolutely every function in this life that we live, yet we take those functions and Him for granted.  Where would we be without the Lord?

God says (Isaiah 55:8-9), His thoughts and His ways are not like that of ours.  We will never fully understand the complexities of the ways of the Lord.  Yet, the Lord, allows us to get a glimpse of the complexity of His creation.  There is absolutely no way we can look around and think that all of this is just random.

We may not physically be at the center of the universe, but we are certainly at the center of the Lord’s universe and that is all that matters to me!  How do I know this? God loved the world and He sent this world His only begotten Son!  God, you may not believe it, has given thought to everything in His creation – just read the first chapter of Genesis.  If the Lord did not care, He would not have put nearly the thought into this creation.

When we have our Job moment of questioning and complaining about the Lord, let’s remember what the Lord did to Job.  When Job was questioning God, the Lord challenged Job with question after question.  The Lord asked Job (v.31): do you have the power to change the position of the stars?  In (v.31): the Lord asked Job, do you know the rules (the law) of the heavens? Then in (v.36): the Lord asked Job, who put wisdom in man’s mind?

Job was unable to answer the challenging questions from the Lord – he began to understand his place and his role.  Job understood even more that he was not God, and that he was not in control.  How messed up are we today? We’d sit back and actually try to answer these questions.  We don’t have the ability to even move our star; know your place, know your role.  We think we know the rules of the heavens, but really we only have an idea and those theories are always changing – trust me, I know.  We think that we’re learning wisdom and knowledge, but man’s wisdom and knowledge is based on educated guesses (hypothesis).

Who created us?  Who created this universe?  Who then turned around and had to save us from ourselves?  There is only one answer to these questions: the Lord.  If we are so powerful, how come we have yet to solve world hunger and bring about world peace?  When we can’t do anything, we then want to turn to the Lord. The people that don’t believe in the Lord then turn to those that do believe and they’ll smartly ask, “why hasn’t God ended world hunger and brought about peace.”

Again, we are very smart with God nowadays.  We don’t want our children to be unruly with us, but we are constantly unruly and even disrespectful when it comes to the Lord.  Who are we to God?  We are not lords over each other and we certainly have no authority over God!  It’s time we know our place and our role.

Our place is at the feet of the Lord – He is our God and Lord over all of His creation.  We ought to be like Mary of Bethany who was always at the feet waiting on Jesus Christ, and listening and learning the ways of her savior.  Like King David, we should seek to be taught the way of God and understand His truth instead of denying rejecting His wonderful truth.

Our role should be that of a humble child when it comes to our Lord, instead of that unruly and disrespectful child.  This means we must recognize, then admit, and accept that we need God and that we need His help!  This requires repentance and the turning away from self and turning to the Lord.  We cannot live in this world without God, and we definitely cannot live on eternally without Jesus Christ.  To think you can do such a thing, and to believe that you can do such a thing is both foolish and unwise.

You see, it is the wise that shall inherit glory (Proverbs 3:35).  The wise has accepted and understood his place and his role when it comes to God.  Do you know your place?  Do you know your role?

Bible References:

Job 38:36 – Today’s key verse
Proverbs 3:35 – The wise inherit’s glory
Isaiah 14:12-14 – Satan’s fall
Isaiah 55:8-9 – God’s thoughts and ways

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About Pastor Leo H. McCrary II

Rev. Leo H. McCrary II

Rev. Leo H. McCrary II was licensed to preach August 12, 2012, and ordained April 28, 2013. Currently pastors at Christian Unity in Douglasville, GA and online through New Found Faith.

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