“Write This Down…” provides a restatement of selected points or observations from various teaching venues at which Pastor Matthew speaks. The following material is from Pastor Matthew’s sermon entitled, “God Owns it All”, part of the series called “Momentum,” the weekend of November 21, 2010 at Bethel Church:
Despite the prevailing sentiment telling us that we are the captains of our own destiny and that we, therefore, are responsible for our own accomplishments and accumulations, the reality is that God owns it all. Psalm 24:1 tells us that “the earth is the LORD’s and all that is in it.” James 1:17 reminds us that every good and perfect gift come from above—from our Heavenly Father.
Many of us are tempted to deny this, for we are conditioned to believe otherwise. We forget the reality that God owns it all. According to Deuteronomy 8:11 and following, there are some things we should understand as to how we forget and what the effects are.
First, we forget because we dismiss the Word of God and its influence in our lives. Deuteronomy 8:11 talks to us about “not keeping” the Word of God, and suggests that this forgetfulness sets us up for failure. We lose sight of God’s values, replacing the clear lens of the Scriptures with the fuzzy lens of the world.
Secondly, the effect of forgetting is that we decide that our stuff is, well, our stuff. We conclude that whatever we have access to is because of our own designs—our own intellect or capacity. By looking at life through a fuzzy lens we are able to think of everything at our disposal as that which we have brought together, in our own power, by our own strength. Deuteronomy 8:12-13 portrays us as thinking of all of our possessions as ours.
Thirdly, the effect of forgetting is that then descend into a place of deep and destructive pride. Notice the ominous words in Deuteronomy 8:14, where it is written that our hearts are “lifted up.” Forgetting God’s Word, and then forging an attitude of self-ownership, gives way to an inward focus that is barely shakable. We make like all about ourselves, becoming defensive, having a sense of entitlement, and believing that we are masters of our own destiny.
Lastly, this sets us up, according to the last part of Deuteronomy 8:14, to deny God and His mastery over our lives. “You forget the LORD your God,” the text tells us. And why? Because, according to Deuteronomy 8:17 we have said, “My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.” Tragic, to say the least!
But the alternative is simple. Deuteronomy 8:18 makes it clear: You shall remember the LORD your God. And when we remember Him then we have hearts that are thankful, spirits that hold things loosely, and minds that are settled on leveraging possessions for eternal purposes.