Leaning On The Everlasting Arms
How often do you lean on the everlasting arms of God? This sermon focuses on leaning on God and the results that trusting in Him will bring to your life
My key verse:
Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, Because we have trusted in His holy name.
Happy New Year! It is the start of another year and with that comes many resolutions; people everywhere making up their list of changes for the new year. We leave behind all of the stuff we want to change from, along with all the trends and fads of the past year. I have always wondered, why do we wait until December 31st to make changes in our life? I do not intend to mock anybody for choosing to make some changes because there is certainly nothing wrong with wanting to grow and be a better person. There is absolutely nothing wrong with setting goals to reach, and there is certainly nothing wrong with us choosing to try and clean up some things in our life. The goal for all of us should always be to grow and be better people.
For the month of January, I want to share some spiritual resolutions that we can add to our list of resolutions. It is very important for us to not only grow as people, but for us to also grow and mature spiritually. Today’s sermon will focus on us leaning on God more than we ever have before. I want us to look to lean on God’s everlasting arms in everything we do: school, on the job, in both good and in the hard times – especially in those hard times. We say that we have God on our side, it is time we start to lean and trust in Him.
Who or what have you been leaning on?
What are the goals you have set for yourself this year? One thing we know about a year is that a lot can happen in a year. You may graduate from school this year. You may earn a promotion in the workplace this year. You may find the love of your life this year. On the opposite end of the spectrum there could be a lot of bad things that might occur to you within this year. Who is it that you will lean on and depend on no matter what is happening. When you lean on somebody (or something) you are trusting and depending that somebody (or something). Let us take a look at what it is that we choose to lean on, and why it is that we should look to lean on the everlasting arms of God.
Leaning on yourself
Some of us attack life by ourselves – we look to depend on nobody but ourselves. Why would somebody do that? There are some in this particular group that believe so highly in themselves; they believe that they are in charge and in control of their life. They buy into their power and think that they have the power to make anything happen. There are also going to be some people that fit into this category solely because they can’t trust anybody. Trust is something that has to be earned, and there are many people who aren’t willing to trust people – potentially because they’ve been hurt in the past. There is a danger in trying to tackle life alone.
Life has a way of throwing a road block or a pot hole in your path, and often times we will hit the road block or fall into the pot hole. If we fall into the hole or end up wrecking ourselves, who will be there to lift us up if we’ve tried to tackle life alone? We have leaned on our own self for so long that we’ve ended up pushing away those who could attempt to lift us up out of the pot hole. For the ones that think so highly of themselves and believe in their own power, they end up continuing to make the hole deeper and deeper as they depend solely on their power to get out of the hole. As you can see, it’s hard to lean solely on yourself in this life. It certainly may be “safer” not to lean on and depend on somebody, but the only thing you’re managing to do is make life tougher.
Leaning on folly
There are others who lean on the ideas of wealth and riches – they depend on the world. Why do we do this? There are many people who believe that the old mighty dollar will bring about happiness and joy so they chase after the riches of this world. There are others who, when the going gets tough, feel that wealth, riches, sex, alcohol, and drugs will relieve them of their burdens. I call this the folly of the world.
The world has it’s doctrine that many people will choose to follow, unfortunately. The world teaches us that for one to make it, he or she must obtain great wealth – this is what ultimately leads to happiness. The world then teaches us that when the going gets tough you can try these things – have a good time – and things will get better. Unfortunately, we have watched the doctrine of this world tear down and crush people. People begin to lean on wealth and find that wealth did not satisfy their soul. People begin to lean on the sex, alcohol, and drugs and realize that those highs are only temporary. Like the lone wolf, the party harder, has stumbled over into a pot hole and his/her wealth, sex, alcohol, and drugs can’t get them out. The lone wolf can’t save him/herself, and the one believing in folly is too bummed because what he/she gained hasn’t satisfied their soul. Think about this, how many people have been saved (gained salvation) through the counsel of this world?
Leaning on family and friends
What is wrong with leaning on family and friends? I love my family and would encourage anybody to find good people to lean on and depend on. We go to our family and we go to our friends because these are the people that actually care about us. These are the ones we feel will be there for us when we are down, and that these will be the ones that’s there when we are riding high. However, there is a couple of major downfalls when we choose to solely lean on family and friends, and not lean on God.
We are all human. We can dream big, we can do many things, but unfortunately one of those things includes failing. We are all fallible creatures. There are times when your family or your friends may be dealing with their own issues. There could be just one time that they may not be there for you, or they could potentially be having one bad day and give you the business. How many times have you turned to a friend and they’ve told you to just “deal with it” because they may not have an answer for you? The lone wolf can’t save him or herself; the party harder can’t save him or herself with her wealth; there may be a time when family or friends can’t be there for you.
Leaning on God’s everlasting arms
What we really need is for somebody to be there on time and all the time. We need somebody there that can help lift us up out of the pot holes in life. We need somebody there that will be there to help guide us around the roadblocks that come along the way. Let us learn to lean on the Lord’s everlasting arms and let us do that even more this year.
When you lean on something, you expect that something to hold you up, right? We have seen what happens when we choose to lean on ourselves, lean on wealth and folly, and when we lean on family and friends. I tell you today that God’s counsel is everlasting – His counsel stands forever (v.11). God is the Creator; He is created this world, but most importantly He is the creator of you. Where you try to attack life by itself God knows your way better than you know your way. God, who walked this world in the flesh, also knows this doctrine of this world – He conquered that doctrine. God abides and dwells with all of those who believe in Him – He is always with you and always there for you. Where you, the world, and family/friends fail, the Lord will not. If God is always going to be there for us then why not use Him?
The results of leaning on His everlasting arms
When we lean on the everlasting arms of the Lord, He will bring about comfort and joy to our soul. The foundation of who you are begins at your soul. We believe that it is everything that we go through that weighs us down, but it is when we choose to lean on everything but God that we feel the weight, the burdens, and the stresses of life. When we deny God from entering in and repairing our soul we end up crushing and defeating ourselves. God wants to pull you out of the pot hole; He doesn’t want you to run into those roadblocks! You cannot satisfy your soul by yourself. Wealth cannot satisfy your soul. Nobody else can satisfy your soul besides God!
There are going to be times this year when you feel you don’t know which way to turn – whether to go left, right, forwards or backwards. In those moments should be when you lean on God’s everlasting arms and watch Him work. Isaiah 43:19 says this –
Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
When you lean on God just watch as He makes a way of no way for you. God said that He’ll do a new thing for you! He said He’ll make a road (path) in the wilderness (jungle or forest); He said that He’ll even make a river in the desert. When you lean on God, He’ll do what people say is impossible. The impossible is possible when it comes to God! This year, when you begin to think something is impossible, lean on God! Why? Because God says He is going to do a new thing! Can you do the impossible for yourself? How can you bless yourself? Can wealth do the impossible for you? Some will answer yes, but they don’t understand that wealth is not the answer to all things (which is why they end up staying in a hole). Who can do the impossible for you? Only God.
There are going to be times when your enemies are going to be surrounding you. Your enemies, not just people, can be anything that combats you (addictions, troubles, aches, pains, etc.). These are the times when you should definitely turn to the Lord. When you lean on the everlasting arms of God, He will destroy your enemies. Deuteronomy 33:27 says this –
The eternal God is your refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, And will say, ‘Destroy!’
God should always be your refuge – He it is you should turn to. Whatever it is that is burdening you, turn to the Lord your refuge. Whatever it is that is causing you pain or stressing you out, go run to the everlasting arms of God. God wants to thrust out all that is an enemy to you – He will say, ‘destroy’, when you turn to Him! God will destroy your burdens, your stresses, and your worries!
God has already destroyed sin (through Christ). God has already destroyed the doctrine of the world (through Christ). Why is it then that we choose to continue to lean on and depend on things that will not profit us? If you’re going to make a resolution this year, be sure you add this to the list – lean on the everlasting arms of God. If you’re not a fan of making resolutions you should still do this – lean on the everlasting arms of God. Trust and depend on the One that will always be there for you. When you trust and depend on God, watch what He will do for you and where He will take you. Let’s not only make this a resolution but let us then keep this saying for the rest of our life.