Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Who Are You Leaning On?

Ezekiel 29:7
When they grasped you with their hands, you splintered and you tore open their shoulders; when they leaned on you, you broke and their backs were wrenched.

Lean on me when you’re not strong and I’ll be your friend and help you carry on.—Lean on Me, Club Nouveau

"Lean on Me" was a popular song in the 80’s revised by Club Nouveau. It was a humanitarian anthem that seemed to resonate with young people because we all needed somebody that we could lean and depend on.

With youth comes the inability to always accurately discern who we can in fact lean on. Everybody is not strong enough for you to use as support. If you lean on the wrong person they could hurt you worse than you were before you depended on them.

Egypt had always been a place of refuge for the Israelites in the time of trouble. Joseph bought his family there when there was a famine in the land. Different Kings of Israel called on Egypt in times of trouble to help fight against foreign armies. Even Jesus went to Egypt with his mother and father to hide out as a baby when Herod was trying to kill all the male babies. This fulfilled the scripture, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

Somewhere between the time of exile and Jesus’ birth Egypt became arrogant and forgot about God. They had always defied themselves. Pharaoh thought that he was God himself. At some point God grew tired of their delusions of grandeur and allowed them to experience exile themselves.

You have to be careful of who you lean on:

1. You can’t make allies with people who don’t acknowledge that God is sovereign. God will not share his Glory with another.

2. You can’t lean on people who are arrogant. Pride comes before the fall. Arrogant people eventually come crashing and if you are leaning on them, you will come down with them.

3. You can’t lean on people who are little gods. When we make gods of people it robs us of our fellowship with God.

Why Can’t I Lean on them?

1. They will splinter your hand. They will put thorns in your fellowship. God compared Egypt to a splintered reed that Israel had been leaning on. They used it for support but ended up with splinters. When we lean on the wrong people they hurt our fellowship.

2. They will tear open your shoulder. You will no longer be able to bear your responsibility. When you depend on the wrong people you will forget how to do things for yourself and will over compensate on that relationship.

3. They will cause you to become stiff and immobile. Bad relationships freeze your forward mobility.

When you have the right people in your life and you can lean on them they provide:

1. Good fellowship. You feel better about God and yourself when you lean on the right people.

2. Accountability. They will be there for you to lean but they are not there to lift. They are there to assist not takeover.

3. Help you to keep moving forward. A good friend will encourage you to keep going forward not get stuck where you are. Some people only want to be your friend to keep you in misery with them. A real friend pushes you forward even if you are ahead of them.

Dear God,

Send the right people in my life in the right season. If I have splintered relationships keep my hand from picking them back up. Strengthen my shoulders so I can carry my own weight. Heal my back so that I can keep it moving. Most of all help me to lean and depend on Jesus. I’m leaning, leaning on the ever lasting arm.

In Jesus Name,

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