In the song we just sang was the verse “Try and do the best you can, Hold on and let Him hold your hand, And go on and fall into the arms of Jesus.” I hope her meaning wasn’t “God helps those who help themselves” or “Pray as if everything depended on God and work as if everything depended on you.” These two of the worst slogans many in the church hold on to. We live in a day were the “DIY” motto is all the rage. Sure you want to paint or build something, you can go online and see how it is done, although in many cases the tools and the extra knowhow or the tricks of the trade are missing. We are literally programmed to expect that we can and should do it ourselves, that is the American way and if we can’t, we can definitely hire someone who took the DIY to a professional status to take care of whatever is needed to be done and make some money. There does not seem to be much we can’t accomplish. Unfortunately this thinking has crossed over into the church. In the world we survive with that mentality as especially in North America we are supposed to be all we can be by pulling up our bootstraps. This mentality again is not new as those who have gone before us have always looked at what their hands have made. You can go back to the tower of Babel, they said, Genesis 11:4 “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” 5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.”
                Today there are still many people wanting to make a name for themselves. So yes, man can do a lot on their own but God’s power is unlimited. Just saying “In God we Trust” is totally different from actually believing it and following through with it. Moses said, Deuteronomy 31:29 “For I know that after my death you are sure to become utterly corrupt and to turn from the way I have commanded you. In days to come, disaster will fall on you because you will do evil in the sight of the Lord and arouse his anger by what your hands have made.” Jesus said Luke 18:8 “when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Since we are so much like Israel the same can be said about the following generations after the disciples. Isaiah 2:8 “Their land is full of idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their fingers have made.” Jeremiah 25:7 “But you did not listen to me,” declares the Lord, “and you have aroused my anger with what your hands have made, and you have brought harm to yourselves.”
                Doing it ourselves seems to be what we fall back to when we do not wait on God by not fearing Him. At that point we start building something with our own hands. They built great cathedrals to the Glory of God or so they thought in days gone by and now have built them again in other forms of churches. The picture on the screen is the Crystal Cathedral now Christ’s Cathedral. I don’t think so. Mark 1:1 “As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” 2 “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” 3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, 4“Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?” 5 Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you.” He then goes on to talk about the end. Obviously we haven’t learned anything. It seems that if we are building something, we are successful. This is definitely not the case in God’s eyes. Jeremiah 1:16 “I will pronounce my judgments on my people because of their wickedness in forsaking me, in burning incense to other gods and in worshiping what their hands have made.” Too many have made the mistake of giving God credit for something he definitely did not promote. Building the kingdom is his plan and all that goes with it, not plans to build something temporary. Think about this for a moment. When Jesus was Luke 4:1 “led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. 5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.” This is the only answer if we are to resist satan. He still offers this to people in the church. Sadly many leaders have taken satan up on the offer for these man made kingdoms yet these men and woman do not know that this authority is not the same authority that Jesus said he had and would give us. Ever wonder why these people are so popular even though what they teach is not of God’s word. Jesus resisted the temptation whereas many have not and then they sell their wares, all the while promoting the wrong kingdom. People are easily deceived by these cathedrals of ministry just as Jesus warned us. They think God must be behind these ministries, yet where is the power.
                It is very easy for us to turn to what our hands have made and worship it. We also see this in the medical arena. One person discussed the story of pain and called it “From Prayer to Painkillers” “Most commonly prescribed painkillers (OxyContin, Vicodin, Methadone, Darvocet, Lortab, Lorcet and Percocet), while offering relief from pain, can also cause individuals’ bodies to start “needing” the drugs in order to feel just “normal.” There are staggering statistics in this area and daily on the news we are seeing the results. 2 Chronicles 16:12 “In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians.” This is where we are at now. We all do it when we pray; Lord guide the physician’s hands, use the physician to heal and then I pray that they do not get addicted to the meds but yet James tells us James 5:14 “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” The authority Jesus intended for us to have was to heal the sick. This in turn has caused many people to turn away. They get mad because God did not heal them yet they / the church do not walk in His ways. People are praying to be healed in the midst of what their hands have made. So instead of repenting and turning from our wicked ways, they come up with new doctrine that says God does not do that anymore and they become content with their addiction to what heir hands have made. Isaiah 1:15 “When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening.” The teaching has caused the church not to repent because they have been deceived into thinking this is how it is supposed to be. satan is always going against the plans of God. Since the beginning he has been saying did God really say that?
                Instead of praying and seeking God, we tend to want to do things ourselves. This will work but not eternally. We must learn to fear and depend on God but as we endeavor to do this, there will always be opposition to this devotion to God. King Saul lost the kingdom because he did not wait of God. He feared the enemy more than he feared God. He disobeyed a direct command. Yes there was opposition. 1 Samuel 13:5 “The Philistines assembled to fight Israel, with three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore.” Saul had 6000 men.  Yes their situation was critical but they were told to wait but he did not.  Samuel said, 13 “You have done a foolish thing,” “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. 14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.”
                When our situation gets critical, what do we do? Do we wait on God or do we do it ourselves? When Saul was hunting David, his life was tough yet David trusted in God and 1 Samuel 23:14 “day after day Saul searched for him, but God did not give David into his hands. You just have to read the Psalms to David’s prayers. While David was in the land of the Philistines the king Achish gave him Ziklag, and it has belonged to the kings of Judah ever since. 7 David lived in Philistine territory a year and four months. On one occasion David was not allowed to go with them and was sent back to Ziklag.  1 Samuel 30:3 “When they arrived the town had been raided and everything was gone. They found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 4 So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. 5 David’s two wives had been captured—Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 6 David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters.” But here is the key. “David found strength in the Lord his God.” David then inquired of the Lord “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?” “Pursue them,” he answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.” 17 David fought them from dusk until the evening of the next day, and none of them got away, except four hundred young men who rode off on camels and fled. 18 David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives. 19 Nothing was missing: young or old, boy or girl, plunder or anything else they had taken. David brought everything back. 20 He took all the flocks and herds, and his men drove them ahead of the other livestock, saying, “This is David’s plunder.”
                The temptation is always to turn away from God and do it yourself without calling on God for direction. Yes people say they prayed and God answered but they didn’t wait on the Lord. Most Christians do not know what it means to wait and trust and have faith. This DIY mentality makes it easy for people to be deceived. That is why when someone has been given a plan for church growth, you can be sure that plan did not come from God as God already gave us a plan and that plan always includes his word and power. The reason so many like to jump on the band wagon is because it is something their hands can make. This bandwagon riding means “to join an activity that has become very popular or to change your opinion to one that has become very popular so that you can share in its success.” This usually means you are doing what the masses are doing, simply going with what is popular but the way of the Lord is not always popular but it is powerful. Here is  the difference. Add butter, flour and the rest of the ingredients and voila you have a cookie. But taking a few loaves and fishes and feeding thousands is something all together different. You can’t do that without power but you can makes cookies or loaves if you prefer and you can even farm fish but you can’t multiply it on the spot. Matthew 16:8 “Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? 9 Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11 How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” We have forgotten just like the disciples.
                So no we are not really talking about food but we could be. Leviticus 26:9 “‘I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you. 10 You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new. 11 I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. 12 I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. 13 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.” Do we really have to worry and turn to what our hands have made. God wants to bless us abundantly in all areas of our lives, we just have to turn form our wicked ways. When you read these blessings, these are things you cannot do in your own strength yet so many attempt.
                If we want to be blessed according to scripture and be strong and victorious, we must obey God’s word and do what He says. We must follow his ways not our ways. Deuteronomy 32:4 “He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” But look what happens when you follow man. 1 Kings 15:26 “He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the ways of his father and committing the same sin his father had caused Israel to commit.” That is not the way we are to follow. Solomon is told 1 Kings 6:12 “As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, observe my laws and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father.” Please remember we are the temple now. If we want to be part of the promise we must obey God’s word. It is not complicated unless we follow mans ways, and try to do things in our own strength. If we do this then it is just organized chaos. Being led by the Holy Spirit is totally different.
                Sadly many who are led into the desert give up and turn away before God is finished with them. They will not see what God had for them. He will use someone else or even rocks. The people began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: 38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” 40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” 41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” Again we were warned.
                There will always be opposition against us turning back to God, that is a given. Some will be satan and others will discipline but we must stand firm for if way are disciplined by the Lord we will defeat satan. If we want to be part of the battle, we must be trained. I like what Tozer said “God never uses anyone greatly until He tests / wounds them deeply.” Unfortunately many are in the training part but have not yet been victorious because they have not seen they stop expecting. They have not crossed from the desert to the Promised Land where everywhere they set their foot will be yours and no man will stand against you. Many have also rejected the discipline altogether because they don't like it. Hebrews 12:5  “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” If you want to be warrior prepare to be disciplined. !” David said in Psalm 27 even though others have forsaken him, I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
                When Job and David were struggling they both knew not to give up on God. Job’s wife on the other hand said curse God and die. It is strange that today that is backwards. The teaching is God will not give up you no matter what but it is supposed to be you trusting him. Job said, Job 13:15 “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face. I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. 26 And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; 27 I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me. In the end we saw God’s plan unfold. We saw God’s blessing unfold and a promise that we are still part of till the final setting of the sun. During these hard times of waiting on God, we must remain confidant in the promises of God and hold fast to them and do not let go. Waiting makes us stronger as does discipline. Job said no plan of God can be thwarted but he also made this important statement. Job 23:8 “But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. 9 When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. 10 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. 11 My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside. 12 I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.” Yes there will be times if feels like God is not there but he said if you obey me I will always be with you. But during these tough times the temptation is to turn away from God instead of waiting for His plan to unfold. People stop reading, stop praying, stop waiting, stop hoping stop expecting and satan wins. You cannot expect God to bless you. If you do it yourself you will loose and be defeated.
                            As God took care of David he will take care of us also but we must remain in Him. Remember 2 Chronicles 16:9 “the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” If we want God’s strength we must do as he commands. The bottom line is that we must obey. We must always call on God in good times and in bad. Just because life gets hard does not mean you have been forsaken. We saw that when David said in Psalm 22:1 “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? 2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.” He then said, 11 Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help. 12 Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. 13 Roaring lions that tear their prey open their mouths wide against me. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me. 15 My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. 16 Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet. 17 All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. 18 They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.” This is a reference to Jesus but as always Jesus was teaching and referenced this from David. Why because the answer is “ 23 You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! 24 For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help. But note that David said, 7 All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. 8 “He trusts in the LORD,” they say, “let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.” 9 Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast. 10 From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.” This will happen as you wait on God.
                Can it be said about you and I that we trust the Lord or do way live our lives by what our hands have made. Do we draw strength from the Lord or from man? Will we wait on God to find our strength? Even after God turns his face to shine on us, we must revere him always. Deuteronomy 9:1 “Hear, Israel: You are now about to cross the Jordan to go in and dispossess nations greater and stronger than you, with large cities that have walls up to the sky. 2 The people are strong and tall—Anakites! You know about them and have heard it said: “Who can stand up against the Anakites?” 3 But be assured today that the Lord your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the Lord has promised you. 4 After the Lord your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself, “The Lord has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.” No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is going to drive them out before you. 5 It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the Lord your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 6 Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people.
                 So whether in the Promised land or on our way to it, we must fear God at all times. Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Yes you will be led through the desert just as Jesus was and yes the enemy may be allowed to come against you as Job or like David there will be those seeking your demise or failure. There will be those who mock and there will be Philistines and Pharisees but in the end we will see God and his power but we must trust and obey.