1. SOME PEOPLE ARE USED TO HAVING SO MUCH NATURAL STRENGTH & DRIVE, that when they don't have it, it really gets them down!—But that's the very thing that stands in the way of the Lord showing His strength! That's why the Lord had Paul say, "When I am weak, then I am strong. For His strength is made perfect in weakness." (2Co.12:9,10) I think it actually scares them when they haven't got it, because they're so used to it. All that drive & strong will is a natural strength, & it really sort of scares them when they haven't got it.
2. I DON'T THINK I EVER REALLY HAD VERY MUCH DRIVE OR NATURAL STRENGTH. I think that's why it's easy for me to depend on the Lord, because I had to! I knew I had to, because I was nothing & I had nothing. Now that's the truth! You didn't know me when I was young & I was little Mr. Milquetoast! I was sort of an "excuse-me-for-living" guy, weak in body, & I think I was weak in spirit, sometimes weak spiritually. I was a little bit weak every way except mentally. I had a strong mind on a sort of a weak chassis! I certainly can't take much credit for anything‚ because I didn't have anything. I had to have the Lord! I wouldn't have been anything without the Lord!
3. THE GIRLS WOULDN'T GIVE ME A SECOND LOOK! I'm telling you, I was really nothing—except for brains & scholastically. I had a weak chassis & a terrible inferiority complex, as well as all kinds of guilt complexes for my sins—most of which turned out not to be sins after all, just the Devil's condemnation!
4. IT WASN'T HARD FOR ME TO KNOW I DIDN'T HAVE ANYTHING & was nothing & had to have the Lord‚ because without the Lord, I was just sunk! I didn't have any natural good looks or charming personality. I didn't know then that I was as strong as I really was, but now I realise I was quite strong physically & athletically. But because I wasn't as big & as strong as the big guys on the team, I just figured I was a weakling. So I just had to have the Lord, I couldn't get along without Him. I couldn't do anything without the Lord, & I still can't!
5. BUT THE PEOPLE WITH A LOT OF DRIVE & A LOT OF TALENT, TERRIFIC LOOKS & TREMENDOUS PERSONALITY & NATURAL CHARM, THEY'VE ALREADY GOT IT MADE IN THE NATURAL, IN THE PHYSICAL! They're already popular & liked, & you look at them & wonder, "What do they need?—They have it all!" But that's the very thing that makes it hard for them to really just let go & let God, because they've got so much to let go! And when they do let go, they think they're drowning or sinking or something!
6. IT'S SORT OF LIKE THE LADY SAID TO THE CAPTAIN: "HAS IT COME TO THAT?—WE'LL JUST HAVE TO TRUST THE LORD!"—Because they had so much to rely on. A person may be weak physically, & even weak spiritually, but still naturally have terrific drive, looks, personality & brains! My Mother was like that, & look what the Lord had to do with my Mother! He just practically had to almost kill her—put her five years in bed & a wheelchair! God had to break her back & everything to break her will & finally get her down to where she just had to trust the Lord. She didn't have anything left!
7. IF YOU'VE HAD SO MUCH, IT'S HARD FOR YOU TO JUST LET GO & LET GOD! You feel like then you're sinking or you're lost, or you're not getting anywhere. That's why you need the Word so much! You really need to get close to the Lord, to get to know Him & really depend on Him. That's why the Lord may have to knock you for a loop—to get you flat on your back where you have to look up!
8. THIS FIGHTING BUSINESS, THIS IS THE MISTAKE MY MOTHER MADE ABOUT HEALING WHEN SHE FIRST GOT PRAYED FOR & TOLD SHE SHOULD HAVE FAITH. She worked so hard at trying to have faith, it nearly killed her! That's when she had her attack & haemorraghed & fainted dead-away in a pool of blood with a lung haemmorragh!—She was trying to work it up instead of pray it down! People just don't realise it's not anything you do at all‚ it's just something you accept from the Lord, like Salvation. Your works must not be self-works & self-effort, it's gotta be the Lord!—Otherwise it's self–righteousness, self-works & self-energy, what the Lord calls "a voluntary humility", sort of a self–made spirituality. (Col.2:18)
9. IT TAKES STRENGTH TO TRY TO BE GOOD‚ ACT GOOD, LOOK GOOD & ALL THAT, whereas this kind of strength is strictly from the Lord & you get it mostly when you're just down & out & almost dead!—Then you realise it's just the Lord. You just have to accept it from the Lord, & it's only from the Lord. I hope I don't have to have some session or something to prove it again. I hate to preach on this subject because I don't want the Lord to have to knock me for a loop to prove again that I'm utterly dependent on Him & can't trust anything else.
10. IT'S JUST LIKE SALVATION, THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO GET IT EXCEPT JUST RECEIVE IT BY FAITH! That's all! You can't be good enough, you can't work hard enough, you can't work it up, you can't get it no matter how hard you try! You just have to let go & receive it from the Lord! You have to humble yourself & acknowledge that you don't deserve it, that you're just a damned sinner, & that there's no way you can get it except just by the grace of God, just a pure gift!—And that's what people have to recognise about works too. We put a lot of emphasis on works, but we've got to remember that it's the Lord that gets the credit for it all! It's got to be the Lord's works, or they'll be self-works & self-righteousness. Do you get what I'm driving at?
11. I THINK THE LORD JUST HAD TO LET ME BE SUCH A TERRIBLE MESS SO I'D KNOW IT WAS NOTHING BUT THE LORD‚ & everybody else would know it's nothing but the Lord—"all to the glory of God!" (1Co.10:31) I'm nothing! You know what a nothing I am, Honey‚ & how terrible I am! (Maria: Don't ask me, I don't know any such thing!) I can't even understand why you love me or how you can put up with me! (Maria: Honey, that's such a joke!) How can you put up with me? You're an angel, you're a saint, you're good! (Maria: No, I'm terrible!) You always behave! (Maria: Honey, I don't! You know it!) You always do the right things! (Maria: No, I don't!) Well‚ once in awhile you need a little correction or guidance‚ like a little child. (Maria: Quite often!)
12. I REALLY PRAYED, THERE JUST SEEMED TO BE NO SOLUTION ABOUT MY SHEET WRINKLING UP ALL THE TIME UNDERNEATH ME WHEN I WAS SLEEPING—& YET THE SOLUTION WAS SO EASY! When I got desperate & prayed, the Lord just showed me a picture of what to do, plain as day! All these years I've been sleeping on all these strings & ropes & wrinkles, when I could have fixed it so easily & simply!—But I didn't get desperate enough to really pray & ask God what to do about it! I don't know that I was even really asking God, but I was desperate, trying to think, "What can I do?" And the Lord had mercy & answered me & showed me, just like that, one simple little picture! I saw this strap tieing the sheet down. (Sings:) "Tie me kangaroo down, mate, tie me kangaroo down!" Boy‚ I'll tell you, that sheet was my kangaroo! I felt like I was trying to sleep on a kangaroo!
13. SEE, THAT'S WHAT THE LORD WANTS YOU TO DO‚ TO THROW YOURSELF AT THE COMPLETE MERCY OF THE LORD!—Just to give up on yourself & just depend on the Lord to where you have nothing left but God. I mean‚ that's the story of so many men & women of God in the Bible, & others too‚ like my Mother. That's why I say I have the easiest job & it's so easy for me, because I never had anything, I never was anything & all I had was God, so I never knew anything else. I always had to depend on Him. I never had the looks or the physique of my brother, or his talent or his education or his suave manner or popularity, girls chasing him & everything. I was a little nothing & a nobody—a weakling! I didn't have anything but the Lord, really, so it was the Lord that did it all! So for me it was easy!
14. I THINK IT WAS HARDER FOR PEOPLE LIKE MY MOTHER & PEOPLE THAT ARE TALENTED & HAVE A LOT OF NATURAL TALENT & ABILITY & DRIVE & PERSONALITY & LOOKS—& have got it all!—Sexy, too! And I think it's more difficult for people like that to just trust the Lord, because they've got so much natural strength, & they're used to leaning on that. They're used to having it there, & when it's suddenly gone, they just collapse! But all I ever had to lean on was the Lord, I never had anything else, so I think it was really easier for me. I don't think I had such battles. I think I've had more battles along that line in recent years, & I think the Devil's attacked me more, but it sure helps you stay humble & stay close to the Lord & know that you don't have anything but the Lord! PTL!
15. FIRST OF ALL, YOU CAN GET PHYSICALLY EXHAUSTED‚ THEN NERVOUSLY EXHAUSTED‚ WHICH RESULTS IN MENTAL EXHAUSTION—& EVENTUALLY, ALMOST SPIRITUAL EXHAUSTION!—What the World calls a nervous breakdown. I had one of those once. (See "Breakdown!", No.66.) For our new young Christians that don't have the years of foundation that some of us have had, it's amazing to me how they can bear so much responsibility—spiritually as well as physically, mentally & nervously—when they haven't really had the years of experience & training that you & I have had of just casting our burden on the Lord & trusting the Lord, not worrying about it, not even trying to do it, but just letting the Lord do it!
16. I COULD NEVER HAVE DONE ALL OF THIS OR STARTED THE FAMILY OR DONE ANYTHING OF WHAT GOD'S DONE! What's been accomplished is all so far beyond me!—I know it's the Lord! People give me too much credit when it's all the Lord! I haven't done anything except open my mouth & He fills it—& that's about as easy a job as you could possibly ask for, like a little baby! The Lord just feeds me like a baby! I just open my mouth & He sticks it in! How much easier job can you have than that? I don't worry about all the problems of my Father or His business, I don't even know anything about it! I just let Him take care of it! The baby isn't worrying about the father & his business or the mother & all her concerns & problems & all that sort of thing, the baby just lies there blissfully happy & trusting & opens his mouth & they shove it in! He's satisfied & happy & doesn't worry about anything. I think about the only thing I'd worry about is if the Lord quit shoving it in!—I'd probably really send up a howl! But you know that He never fails!
17. I GO DOWN TO DINNER & I'M JUST DETERMINED I'M NOT GOING TO TALK THAT NIGHT OR GIVE A LESSON OR A LECTURE OR A SERMON OR ANYTHING, I'm just going to sit there & enjoy life & enjoy the fellowship & the kids & the food. "I'm just here for the beer!"—At least I try to convince myself I am! Of course, we don't drink beer, so I hope they understand that! That's an American expression that means your motives are very simple & uncomplicated. I don't plan to talk‚ I don't intend to talk, a lot of times I don't even want to talk! But you know what happens!—What happens? (Maria: You do talk!) Why? (Maria: Because you open your mouth & He fills it!) Yes! I don't even know how to keep my mouth shut!
18. SO IT'S ALL THE LORD—I ALMOST HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH IT! He did it! He just made me what I am, & that's what I am! He does it all! I'm just nothing but a tool in His hand, that's all‚ & He does with me whatever He wants to.—And this is what you need to learn the most: Let go & Let God!—Amen?—GBY! ILY! Lie back in His arms & let Him do it—let Him solve it. Rest in the Lord! ILY!—GBAKY, in Jesus' name, amen.