Faith Based Plan vs Fear Based Plan

What Do I Do Now  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  32:18
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Faith Base Plan vs Fear Based Plan

Let me do a quick review.Last week we looked at how we are going to have trials or hardships and when that happens we often get stressed and anxious.By the way that is real normal to have this happen.And because we know a passage like Philippians 4:6,7 that says
Philippians 4:6–7 ESV
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
We know the answer to getting rid of the anxiety and stress is to pray.And you know it really does work. When we pray and connect with God it is just amazing that peace comes.But the problem comes when we say AMEN.Pray is over and we go back to life.When this happens what most do is WE MAKE A PLAN.Even that is not bad.Where the issue is we there are two types of plans.One is a faith based plan. It’s where we trust God after we say amen and look for Him to see us through whatever we are facing.The other plan is a fear based plan.It’s where based on our fear of the circumstances we make a plan.Whenever we do this it will cost us.The place we learned this is from the best plan maker in the Bible a man named Jacob.Jacob lived his whole life making plans. Some good based on faith others out of fear.The one we looked at was where it was a huge fear based plan and it cost him $250,000. We can all do this and what our final take home for last week was, and it hurts but it is true.We do this because we trust our plans more than we trust God.We figure we can actually handle our problems better than God can.We will see today that God is committed to solving that problem.If you love God and want to serve Him He is committed to helping change this problem we have of trusting our plans more than we trust Him.That is what we will learn about in part two of this message on Fear based plans vs Faith based plans.Let me set the stage and show you what needs fixing.Here is the journey of life once again.No matter who you are, no matter how mature you are in your faith or what your position in life is: Trials and problems happen.So last week I asked you to think about what you are stressed and anxious about and so you can do that again? What is causing you anxiety right now? OK so trial comes, anxiety and stress follow, so we turn to God in prayer.Again while praying peace comes, I’m sure most have experienced that peace at one time or another.Once we say AMEN we start making the plan.But most of us even once we make the plan we still feel a little anxious or a little stressed about.Believe me I put myself in this place too.So what do we do when we feel stressed and anxious?We go back to God in prayer.This time we take our plan to God and ask God to bless our plan.Am I right? Don’t we all do that?Sometimes we really persevere in this, praying about our plan.We may even fast and pray about the plan.We look for Scriptures to confirm that we have made a good plan.We may even put the plan on a prayer chain.And when all else fails we at least hold onto the promise that we can ask for anything in Jesus’ name and it will be done.Are we still together?This is where our take home comes in.That all may look and sound really good but there is a greater lesson that God wants to teach us:He is God - He wants to change us.You see We are all Jacob’s and we need to become Israel’s. Please here me, this is a painful process but God is committed to having this take place in all of us.OUR BIG LIFE LESSON IS TO LEARN - HE IS GOD AND YOU CAN TRUST HIM.Can we say that together:
He is God and I can trust Him
.Here is how we will learn this today.We are going to pick up our story of Jacob where we left off.We will read a story that most of you probably know well.It’s known as the story where Jacob wrestles with God.Even your Bibles have that as the header.Can you please forget what you have been taught from this story.It probably misses the point.This comes back to what bothers me so much today.Sorry for the long introduction.But because most think the world revolves around them they look at the Bible being all about them. They start with man and try and see what man must do to get to God.Where this book is first always about God. What He is doing to reveal Himself and then how we fit in.When we start there we usually will see exactly what the Bible teaches.Let’s read the story together and let’s learn how to be real effective in prayer.And we will learn it isn’t about having an all night prayer meeting to get God to bless your plan.It’s probably the exact opposite.
Genesis 32:22–32 ESV
The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip on the sinew of the thigh.
Real quick review.What has brought Jacob to this place?Well Jacob The Plan Maker just spent 20 years with his uncle Laben.But God came and spoke to Jacob and said go home and I will be with you.He even gave him a sign that he was with him and took it one step further and gave him a vision that he had a camp of angels with him.So Jacob was pretty covered and told his brother he was coming home.But when Jacob heard his brother was coming to meet him with 400 men this put him into a panic.Then rather than trusting God and keeping with his faith based plan of coming home, he sent a $250,000 gift to his brother thinking this might just remove his anger and not kill him.This is where we come into this next part of the story.Once he did that he took his family and all of his possession and sent them across the river.And verse 24 starts by telling us and now Jacob was left alone.This is where people start adding to the story.Which Dr Bob are you allowed to do that?You read what it says.Most assume that when Jacob was alone he started praying.I don’t know that that is true.Matter of fact I don’t think that was what he was doing at all.Because in Verse 9 of this story same chapter we see Jacob prayed and it was recorded.My guess is Jacob did just like we do.He made his plan now is sitting back anxiously waiting.What will happen next.This is the next place people add to the story.Dr Bob we allowed to do this?They read this part and the heading as Jacob wrestled with God.Does your Bible say that in the heading? In a moment I will ask you to cross it out.Because let’s read
Genesis 32:24 ESV
And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day.
24 And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day.
What does this say? A man wrestled with him.Not Jacob wrestled with God BUT God wrestled with Jacob.Cross that heading and put it right because there is a difference.The difference is we do to much wrestling with God.Our wrestling is taking our fear based plan to God and asking Him to bless it and make it happen.We beg and plead, and claim and bind the devil.We don’t want to stop praying until God blesses our plan.We pull in every promise we can to try and get God to do what we want Him to do.Does this sound familiar.Here is what the story says.The man came and wrestled with Jacob.We know from Hosea and from the end of this chapter that the man here is none other than God. Probably pre-incarnate Jesus.God was the one who was taking the initiative to work on Jacob.What does all that mean?My guess is most of us because of what we have been taught picture Jacob and God rolling around in the dirt fighting back and forth, and one minute Jacob is on top and the next God is on top and this is just one great big battle.That is kind of silly.By what is written is God is working on Jacob.My personal belief trying to get Jacob to just trust Him.I mean, God already spoke to him, already gave him a sign, already showed him he is protected by the angels.Just trust Him. I said I was with you now just trust me.But stubborn Jacob just wouldn’t give up.He had his plan.I believe God constantly does the same with us.He just keeps coming, how long will it take till you listen and trust me?But finally dawn was coming and Esau was near.And God saw that He could not win this battle with Jacob and so look what He did.Verse 25
Genesis 32:25 ESV
When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him.
This is why I say they were not rolling around switching advantages.When God had enough HE TOUCHED JACOB.That’s all it takes from God is one touch and Jacob was broken.I believe that if Jacob would have surrendered earlier he would not have had to be broken that way.By not surrendering eventually this is where God takes us.Jacob knew it now.Jacob finally got it. Jacob said I’m not letting you go until you bless me.Not bless my plan but bless me.He finally realized God could do it better than him.That could be trusted over his plan.So look what God does and this is our final lesson.
Genesis 32:27–28 ESV
And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.”
God said what is your name? God knew his name.When names are mentioned in Eastern culture it has to do with your character and nature.Is this is where it gets so interesting.Jacob meant heal catcher. When born Esau came first but Jacob had hold of his heal.That was his nature. Self dependent. Do it my way.Now here comes the greatest of all blessings.God did not say ok I will answer your prayer and bless your fear based plan.He said Your new name, or your new nature will be Israel.Which means God rules. Or let God rule.Jacobs whole life he fought himself and struggled to do it his way.Now he would finally start to let God rule his life and have his will and way.God’s plan for Jacob would take place not his.This is the hard lesson.The great battle in prayer is not to get God to do what you want and to change God’s mind.The battle is when will you let God rule and get to the place where you can say and mean it: I trust you God, Let your will be done.Then the peace that passes understanding comes.That guards your heart and mind more than your plan.That can be such a battle at times.But once we get there we no longer trust our plan more that we trust God.See we are all Jacob’s and we must be changed to Israel’s.Often it takes our whole life fighting God to get there.BUT let me assure you of this.When you love God and want to follow HimHe is committed to getting you to that place.He will come and wrestle with you until you get there.If necessary He will even break you.The easy way is to just say: God I surrender.YOU ARE GOD AND I TRUST YOU.How do you surrender.It all starts at the cross.Ecclesiastes 12
Ecclesiastes 12:13 ESV
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
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