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Oilfield Workers Sharing Christ Around the World

LEAN NOT ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING – The Woodlands February Luncheon talk, by Mike Chaffin

I know God got a plan for me, but I don’t know what it is
Hopefully to have a beautiful wife and a couple kids …..

I know God got a plan for me but I don’t know what it is
I’m just out here tryna handle my biz’  (Selected lyrics from I Know God, by Dee-1)

PROVERBS 3:5-6  Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Do you know there is a difference between Believing in God and Believing God.  It is easy to believe in God.  But can we believe what God has said in HIS Word?  If we don’t believe him how can we call ourselves a follower of Christ?  Based on these two verses, I don’t actually have to figure everything out for myself I just have to put all my trust in Him and he will help me on my way through my life.  Sound easy?  What was the man singing about when I came up?  I know God’s got a plan for me, but I don’t know what it is.  Aren’t we all there?  But based on Proverbs 3:5-6, we CAN know, there are clues if we just open our eyes and ears to hear what God has said.  Sometimes when we are going through something we wonder where God is.  When we come out on the other side we see He was there the whole time, and we wouldn’t have made it without him.

JAMES 4:13:14  Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

And then we are hit with this verse.  How are we to deal with “you don’t know what will happen tomorrow”.  Well our singer sort of agrees with this statement.  And it is a true statement, we don’t know.  That is why we need not lean on our own understanding, but trust the promises of God, since,

PSALM 46:1-3   God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

Now, let’s see some of these things in action in this short video, titled  “Even if we don’t see it, God always takes care of us”

The point of that video, is no one was hurt in those near death experiences.  God has a plan for those people and it didn’t end on that day.  God’s got a plan for me, I don’t’ know what it is, maybe it’s just a wife and two kids.

ROMANS 8:31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Amen TO THAT!  LET’S LOOK AT A FEW MORE PROMISES

ISAIAH 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you

DEUTERONOMY 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

JOSHUA 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

PSALM 119:114 You are my refuge and my shield;
I have put my hope in your word.

ISAIAH 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

 JEREMIAH 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

ISAIAH 43:2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.

PSALM 29:11 The Lord gives strength to his people;
the Lord blesses his people with peace.

ISAIAH 40:29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

HABAKKUK 3:19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.

PROVERBS 18:10 The name of the Lord is a fortified tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe.

PHILIPPIANS 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

PSALM 3:2-6 Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”

  • But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
    my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
    I call out to the Lord,
    and he answers me from his holy mountain.
  • I lie down and sleep;
    I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
    I will not fear though tens of thousands
    assail me on every side.

 Now let’s bring it home with this promise from Jesus

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

it appears we have the option of letting our heart be troubled since Jesus tells us to NOT let it be troubled.  And while we are not letting our hearts be troubled, we are not to be afraid.  We are given Jesus’s peace!

That is a promise.

Let me give a couple examples in my life where Jesus gave me His peace and fulfilled in my life all the promises we just read.  God had my back, literally.

When I was 16, living on the farm where I was raised in the Ozark hills of Missouri our elderly neighbor, who had recently had a heart attack was heading south for a couple weeks on vacation, and to get out of the cold Missouri winter for a while.  It was the heart of January and he had asked me to take care of his cattle while he was away.  Well he had this tractor and attached to the back of it was a trailer and I would come over after school every day and put about 30 bales, about a ton, of hay on it to take to the herd.  The farmhouse and barn were on a hill.  After loading the hay in the barn, I had to exit, go down the hill to the pasture and kick off the hay in an orderly row for the cattle to eat.  Well this day it had been snowing and sleeting and was still spitting sleet.  As I headed out of the barn and down the hill, a couple bales of hay fell of the trailer.  I heard them hit the ground, so I stopped and set the parking brake.  I threw the first bale on and the trailer rocked a little.  I threw the second bale on and the trailer rocked a little more, unsetting the parking brake, and the tractor starts rolling down the hill.  Well, it isn’t going very fast, so I make my way in front of the rear tire, grab the fender and the steering wheel, put a foot on this very high step, only to have it slip off.  Lucky for me, I didn’t let go of this ice-cold slippery fender or the steering wheel.  But the tractor at this point is starting to roll a little faster, and my hip and leg are bouncing off the tire as I am trying to hang on.  At 16, I am a Christian, I know God, I know I can call on him and he will answer, so, even though I am a 98 lb weakling, with no upper body strength, and no real way to get my foot back on that slippery step, because at every tread on that tire I am getting jostled.  I just asked, out loud, Lord Help me.  I don’t know how to explain it any other way than to say, I felt a push on my back, my foot was on the step and I was back on the tractor.  Praise the lord! But the adventure wasn’t quite over yet.  It had taken me a while to get back up and the tractor had picked up quite a bit of speed and I was careening toward a 5-wire barbwire fence at the bottom of the hill.  Well I slammed on the brake and those tractor ties dug into that ice and snow and frozen ground leaving about a 60’ skid mark, and just at the last minute I was able to turn the tractor missing the fence by a couple of feet.   You see God’s promises are real.  You can trust Him.  You can Believe him.  He’s got your back.  What response should something like that experience produce?

Psalm 118:17 I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done.

God has a plan for me, I don’t know what it is, but I know God’s got a plan for me. How could He not have a plan? I will proclaim what the Lord has done.  It has been my honor to do just that for the last several years.

  This is my grandson Parker and I when he was one month from being 11 years old. His mom is in the back there, photo bombing our picture.  We were on our version of the Griswold family vacation.  Two weeks of the most fun a family can have, and I am not being sarcastic.  We had a glorious time.  My wife and I flew into Los Angeles, with our two grown daughters and our grandson. We spent a couple days there, went to Disney land and then rented a suburban and headed out Highway 1 on  our way to Seattle Washington.

 After exiting California, we left the Oregon coast to head up to Crater Lake.  We believe in asking God for his protection while traveling.  I would say a prayer every morning asking for safety for the day.  Not a bad way to start the day, in prayer.  Little did we know we would need it.

This is the beautiful, breathtaking Crater lake. An awesome lake, the deepest lake in the United States at 1949’ at its deepest point.  It is an extinct volcano that collapsed on itself, formed a plug in the caldera and it filled up with rain and snow.  And that is how it stays full, rain and snow.

This is my grandson Parker.  Like I said, he was roughly a month away from being 11 and was and is an awesome young man.  He was having a great time on this vacation. We walked around the rim of the lake for quite a while, just looking at the beauty, taking pictures, reading the facts and history of the lake.  Then we decided to drive through the park, which rings the lake just below the top of the crater.

This is not far down the road from where you turn to go to the top of the rim.  When we drove past it there was no parking spot and I slowed down and took this shot.  We drove on past going about as far as we could since the west side of the rim was shut down due to a fire.  When we had to turn around we came back to this spot and there was a parking spot open.

You see this man in the brown shirt standing in the center of the picture?  When we got back and climbed up the side of the rim to where he was still standing, we had to stop because it got too steep to continue any higher.  In fact, I had a hard time standing at this level as the rocks and gravel made footing slippery and treacherous.  Parker, Amanda and I had gone up this   far, my wife Nancy and daughter Amy had stayed down lower.   We came up and stood about 20’ to his right.  When we got up there two college age kids, a boy and girl were standing right next to him looking up.  In fact the girl was basically sitting on his feet taking pictures up on the rim.  This is a tourist spot because you get a snow melt water fall here that is just beautiful. I just figured the man was the father of these two young adults. The boy asked the girl, “Are you going up to the top?”  She said, “No, of course not.”  He said, “well I’m going back down to the car, turned and left.  She sat there a minute or so more taking pictures and left.  It was odd to me, but it didn’t register until they left, and he was still standing there that they had essentially ignored this guy like he wasn’t even there.

However, the only thing on Parker’s mind was “ARE you going up to the top?”  Before I could grab him, he was skirting up the side of the volcano and I was yelling at him “Parker stop, please stop!”  I couldn’t go after him, because I as barely standing up on my own.  Well I kept yelling and he kept going until he decided he couldn’t go any more.  Then he decided to try to come back down.  But, you know how when you try to walk down something that is very steep, and you start to lose your balance, your upper body gets ahead of your legs and have a tendency to sort of start running to try to get your legs under you?  Well, Parker started losing his balance and started literally cartwheeling, head over heels down this rocky snow melt riverbed.  I was seeing all this as if it was slow motion, time just seemed to stop for me and I saw with clarity, Parker’s head hit a sharp rock as he tumbled down, but as his legs started coming over for another revolution in his tumbling fall, he had basically made a bee line straight at the man. My only thought was Parker was dead.  He had caved his head in.  As Parker flew into the air the man caught him, and never even wiggled even a little from the impact of this 70-80 lb boy hitting him at full free fall. It was like his feet had been cemented to the ground.  He caught Parker, set him down, and Parker just trotted down the mountain like nothing had ever happened. Amanda ran down the hill to check on him and yelled up that he had lost his glasses.  I started looking around for them and the man said, “What did they look like?”  I told him they were wire rim glasses and no more got the words out of my mouth when Amanda came back up and said, “There they are,” As they lay about a foot from my feet.  They were only slightly bent, but not damaged beyond just a little twist back on one leg.  I looked over at the man, still standing like a statue, and said, “thank you,” and I turned a left.   I was in shock.  But when I got down and we all got in the suburban I thanked the Lord for Parker not being hurt.  Then I told everyone in the truck what I had seen, and that I thought Parker was a dead boy.  The man caught Parker in mid-air.  I told everyone that We had just met his guardian angel.  I told Parker, “God’s got a plan for you, young man, don’t ever forget what happened here today.”  God isn’t done with your life.

Psalm 118:24 This is the day the LORD has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. 

   This is what Parker looked like the next day.  See any scars?  See anything wrong with those glasses?  He didn’t have but one tiny scratch, and that was gone in about a day.  I could go on and on with story after story of what God has done in my life, how He has saved me, how He has sustained me, how He has provided for me.  How he has walked with me through the valley of the shadow of death time and time again.  His promises are real.

I want to close with this Devotional I read the other day by John Eldridge which really explains what I want you to take away today.

“Jesus says that as the good shepherd he is leading you.  What an encouraging thought.  I can feel something in my heart loosening even now as I consider this.  I don’t have to make life happen on my own. Now, if Christ takes it upon himself to lead, then your part is to follow.  And you’ll find that it helps in your following if you know what God is up to.  True, you may not know exactly what God is up to.  Sometimes we can get clarity, and sometimes we can’t.  But whatever else is going on, you can know this; God is always up to your transformation.  God has something in mind.  He is deeply and personally committed to restoring humanity.  Restoring you.  He had a specific man or woman in mind when he made you. By bringing you back to himself through the work of Jesus Christ, he has established relationship with you. And now, what he is up to is restoring you.  He does that by shaping your life.  By shaping you into the image of Jesus. Whatever else might be going on in your life, God always has his eye on your transformation.”

A miracle is a work of God wrought by God for a godly purpose. Miracles are shoulder taps from God, whispers (or sirens) reminding us, You are not alone. I’m still in charge. My plan will be achieved.  Max Lucado

God’s got a plan for you.  Never forget it.

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