We’ve all seen it, & probably all done it…trying too hard…. Hyperparenting…hyper-religionizing (I made the word up)…cheating to win…& over acting, to name a few. This message is to encourage us. “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”(A) “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry.”(B) Christ said to be anxious for nothing. We agonize over the past that is past. We fret & worry about the future, bridges too far off, trying to cross bridges before one comes to them. “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospers in his [ungodly] way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass.”(C) Let’s all breathe deep [did you do it?] & relax! I loved the Hawaiian phrase, “Ain’t no big ting brudda!”
SHE IS TRYING TOO HARD on her date when she slathers the makeup on too thick & bright, tries to unnaturally strut like a supermodel, & changes her cellphone to have a special ring tone for you after you’ve first meet. ( You really know it, if her date has to say, “Down girl!”)
HE’S TRYING TOO HARD when he brags to sound important, comes across as a desperate wimp, & smothers her with too much attention. (You really know it, when his date says, “You’re a nice guy” and no longer returns his calls.)
HILLARY TRIED TOO HARD when she cheated by knowing the debate questions, vastly overspent Trump on her campaign, attacked Trump for things she was guilty of, and supported a recount of votes.
THE PATRIOT TEAM TRIED TOO HARD when they tried to steal the NY Jets’ play signals with video recording equipment. Other athletes tried too hard when they got desperate & did unwise things & got injured, like lifting too much weights too fast, too often.
THE PARENTS TRIED TOO HARD when they bought expensive toys when the child would have been happier with a stick, a discarded cardboard box & a mud puddle. They further tried too hard when they shielded the child from any discomfort or challenge, and attacked any teacher who tried to discipline their child.
(While we’re on the subject of children…one way to quit trying too hard with children, is to quit criticizing every little thing & allow the child to grow up within the context of love & approval. Acknowledge & nurture & accept their talents. As the Word says, Wherefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.(D))
THE GUILTY CRIMINAL TRIED TOO HARD when he protested his innocence too much, and had a lengthy alibi too quickly & too glibly.
AND FRITZ (the author) tried too hard when I overexercised & blew a leg vein out (causing the leg to go black), when I overexercised & gave myself shin splints, and when I ran in the mud & rain and injured my knee. And these are not my only examples of overdoing things. One of my friend’s dad pushed him so hard to become a pro basketball player that he lost all interest in the game.
SPIRITUAL DYNAMICS. Why do we try too hard??? Sometimes it’s just an honest mistake, but often it is a symptom of our spiritual life being out of balance. We have a lack of peace, a lack of security, a lack of self-identity, a lack of self-control, and a lack of patience. To reverse our bad habits of over doing things takes faith, courage & trust. It may take an honest look at ourselves. So let’s look at some instruction from the Word of God, and with an open heart absorb what the Spirit of God can teach us.
God will keep a person “in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him”.(E) Along this line, Christ says, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me…without Me you can do nothing.”(F) Wow, without Him we can do nothing!! If we want to accomplish things of value, we must keep our focus on God. For instance, we overlearn many items that are of no use for our souls…overlearning worldly things, while neglecting God & spiritual things. Another example: take the time to find out if that impulse is from the Spirit or impatience. Third example: You are trying too hard with God when you pridefully think He is going to be impressed with your own good works, rather than allowing Him to work through you. For instance, successfully arguing or forcing someone into becoming a Christian. Fourth example: We are trying too hard when our anger gets the best of us. Better to count to ten, & focus on what God is doing in our lives, & why He has allowed this test. How can such & such be? God. Fifth & final example: rather than going to God, we depart from faith & whine to people for our needs, when faith in God would be proper. Our lack of faith is sin, equivalent to leaving the living fountain for a broken cistern. King David got in trouble for having a census–he was overtrying using his own efforts, than having faith.(G) To be more precise, Satan inspired him not to have faith.(G again) Hadoram & King Rehoboam used high-handed tactics to get forced labor & created a national rebellion.(H)
WHAT IS GOD DOING? When God did His acts of creation…He said everything is “good”. (So, by the way, GMO food is over trying by humankind.) So God has the ability to speak through all of His creation. That means the trees, the mountains, the cells of our body, like our red blood cells, all have lessons from Him. When we realize the entire planet is His medium to reveal truths to us…it really enhances the beauty of creation. And through all the circumstances around us, God is able to work His good will, & in that sense, teach us His goodness. “All things work together for good, to them who love God & are called according to His purpose.”(I) Why did Yahshua climb the mountain?? Because the top of the mountain had something for him that the valley with the crowds of people did not. “Let all the World keep silence before Him.” (J) We don’t have to over-try to communicate, we need to quietly relax in faith, & hear His still small voice. “Thus says the Lord GOD…In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness & confidence shall be your strength.” Amen! It’s our lack of confidence that often causes us to over try which does a reversal of what we want; our confidence is indeed our strength.
ENTERING INTO GOD’S/CHRIST’S REST. “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts…”(K) “For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn…if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.” (L) “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts, and minds through Christ Jesus.”(M) “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing in prayer…”(N) So relax, God has it under control.
Father, we yield our wills to you. Take possession of our hearts. Increase our faith. Thank you for all your promises. We wait for your provisions. You are the true fountain of blessings. Lord we trust you to provide every need. Some of us are carrying extra burdens: discouragement, anger, unforgiveness, depression and worry. Give us peace Lord. We grieve over failed expectations & failed dreams. We are not strong enough to handle all our responsibilities & all the world throws at us. We depend on you. Your love gives us rest & the fruit of your Spirit. Give us the grace & wisdom to move forward in life. Help us be a conduit of your blessings to the world. All this we pray through your son Jesus Christ, our messiah & Lord, Amen.
(A) PS 27:14 (B) PS 40:1 (C) HEB 6:12 (D) ROM 15:7 (E) ISA 26:3 (F) JN 15:4, 5b (G) 1 CHRON 21:1 (actually Satan inspired him) (H) 2 CHRON 10:18 (I) ROM 8:28 (J) HAB 2:20, ZECH 2:13 (K) COL 3:15 (L) HEB 4:3 (M) PHIL 4:7 (N) ROM 12:12, 1 THS 5:14, 2 TIM 2:24