Poise > Power
Topic: Sunday Message Verse: Proverbs 22:1, Psalm 84:10, Proverbs 16:32, Proverbs 14:29, Proverbs 25:28, Matthew 10:29–10:31, 1 Peter 2:23, Romans 8:28
The word "better” appears in Scripture well over 100 times and most of what’s labelled as “better” has to do with the choices we make that determine the direction for our lives. So this series is about finding and following God's better wisdom.
Our Previous Better Choices
- Reputation > Riches
- Service > Status
Proverbs 22:1 NIV
1 A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.
Psalms 84:10 NIV
10 Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere;I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
Out of Control and On the Edge
When it comes to all we've been through over these last several months—like fear and worry over the virus and the economy along with anger and frustration over the lockdown and the restrictions—that as a society, we have never felt less in control than we do right now. When that happens, it makes us want to grasp for some kind of control any way we can.
Deeper than that, we don't want to admit that maybe we never really had the kind of control we thought we had. Our vulnerability and our powerlessness have been exposed.
Proverbs 16:32 NIV
32 Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.
Poise > Power
Poise is more important to God, more valuable for us, and actually more effective in the long-run when it comes to the work of His Kingdom and spreading the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 14:29 NIV
29 Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.
Proverbs 25:28 NIV
28 Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.
Poise is My Confidence in God's Providence
Poise is the combination of patience and self-control that comes from trust in the God who's in control of all things at all times.
God is always in control and He is lovingly working out His plan for my good.
We see God's providence woven throughout the pages of Scripture from the beginning in Genesis to the end of Revelation. We see it play out in the stories of men and women of faith like Joseph, Moses, Ruth, and Esther. We also see it in the New Testament in the life of Jesus who when it came to God's providence, He both talked the talk and He walked the walk all the way to the Cross.
Matthew 10:29-31 NIV
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
1 Peter 2:23 NIV
23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
Trusting in the God of Providence > the Gospel of Prosperity
This season may be exposing our trust in the false Gospel of Prosperity more than the God of Providence. This false and unbiblical belief of the Prosperity Gospel says that if you’re a Christian, then everything’s going to go well for you in this life, and that the more faith you have, the more prosperous you’ll become. This is just flat-out heresy and it’s only a matter of time before a faith like that will completely collapse.
When it comes to suffering, God never promises that He’ll spare you from it, but He does promise that He’ll see you through it. Not only that, but Providence says that God can take everything we go through and use it for our eventual good and His greater glory.
Romans 8:28 NIV
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
God is Still in Control
Why are some of us acting like God has somehow changed since the times of Joseph, Moses, Ruth, Esther, and Jesus? Has His Providence has somehow vanished? Is it now all up to us to fix the world and make it right? If anger and fear are the defining marks of our Christianity, then something’s wrong because it means we’ve traded in our worship for worry.
We need to take an honest look at the dashboard of our heart. Is our anger running hot? Is our fear running high? Are we powering up with people to take back some kind of control however we can? If so, then we need to change with honest confession and humble repentance before Jesus, because it’s only with Jesus where we can experience forgiveness, strength, and hope.
Then with each other, let’s make sure we’re not fueling our fear or egging on our anger even further. We can do better than that. We need to do better than that.
May we be known more for our poise than our powering up, more for our patience than our panic, and more for our self-control than our shouting. That’s when the church will be at its best, and that’s when the Gospel will shine the brightest to a watching, worried, and wound-up world. So let’s be the kind of people who choose poise over power because our confidence is in God’s Providence.