by Roger Thomas

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Ezra: Let God Be God! (6 of 10)
Through The Bible
Roger Thomas
Ezra 1:1-5

Introduction: I want you to affirm two statements with me tonight. Both are very important. Repeat after me: "I believe in God." That's good! I trust that all of you meant that sincerely. That is the proper beginning spot. Now the second statement. The harder one. Repeat after me again, "I am not God."

That may seem a bit silly, but it is very important. Oliver Wendell Holmes was right when he once said, "The great act of faith is when a man decides that he is not God." ( O. W. Holmes, Jr., to William James, quoted in The Practical Cogitator. Christianity Today, Vol. 33, no. 16.). I seriously doubt that many of us go through life actually thinking that we are God. Yet too many of us sometimes act and talk as if we were. This often takes two forms: controlling and worrying.

We have all met controllers. I have on a few occasions run into a mental case that thought he was God or Jesus. And that it was his duty to tell me a divine message. More common, however, is the person who would never claim to be God yet who acts as if he had a corner on God's will. Like the cartoon where a guy stands up in a church business meeting and says, "So the vote is as follows: Larry, Ruth, Dan, Sid, and Marcia are for the proposal. God and I are against." (Cartoonist Joseph Farris in Leadership, Vol. 9, no. 3.)

More common is the worrier. Excessive, paralyzing worry says we believe that if a problem is too big for us, it must be too big for God. Corrie Ten Boom was the little Dutch girl whose Christian family risked everything to hide their Jewish neighbors from the Nazis. She told her family's story in the best selling book, The Hiding Place. She later wrote, "When I worry I go to the mirror and say to myself, 'This tremendous thing which is worrying me is beyond a solution. It is especially too hard for Jesus Christ to handle.' After I have said that, I smile and ...

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