Written and preached by David P. Nolte


These verses form a nugget of truth that, if adhered to, will change your life. The words are all simple words in meaning but profound in impact. We all understand the concept of trusting God. We understand that trusting means "to hope in God; to put your confidence in God; to find your security in God; to rely on God." But perhaps the concept of acknowledging God is a little more vague. Webster defines "acknowledge" as "to admit knowledge of or agreement with; to recognize the rights, authority or status of; to express gratitude or obligation for; to make known the receipt of; to recognize as genuine or valid." We are told to "acknowledge God in all our ways." How do we do that? What does that mean in living application? To what does "acknowledging" God boil down?
    1. When you walk down the street and see someone you can ignore them or take notice of them. If you notice them, and greet them, you have acknowledged them. When you consider someone else's needs and feelings, you notice them and acknowledge them. We can ignore God or notice and acknowledge Him. To take notice of God means:
      1. Take Him into account when you are making decisions.
      2. To remember Him throughout your day and to consciously, deliberately turn your mind to God.
      3. To never push Him out of the picture, or put Him on the back-burner.
      4. To recognize His hand at work in all our affairs and credit Him for our benefits.
      5. To see His hand in creation, providence and guidance.
    2. Keep God in mind; notice Him in your daily affairs; notice Him as you enjoy the beauty of creation; notice Him and acknowledge Him.
    3. Many of you do that regularly. You have a God consciousness. But unfortunately, many think of God only when they need a band-aid or a spare tire or a Sear's catalog.
    4. In all your ways, in all your days, acknowledge Him. Don't be like the little boy who, going on vacation with his parents, yelled out the car window as they passed the church building, 'Bye, bye, God! We're going on vacation! See you in a couple of weeks!" Evidently they would not notice or acknowledge God for two weeks!
    1. When you comply with someone's directions, you acknowldege their right to direct. To acknowledge God is to concede that He is ultimate authority; He is Lord of lords and King of kings; He is to be obeyed.
    2. There are many influences vying for our obedience. There are many forces attempting to move us this way or that: "Do this!" "Do that!" "Go this way!" "Go that way!" There are, to keep it simple, five major sources of persuasion in our lives:
      1. Our peers: this can be our own families, our co-workers, our friends. They are people we interact with and who exert influence on our choices.
      2. The world in general: the society of which we are part. The popular mind and public opinion we hear of and read of and see on tv programs.
      3. Our own whims, passions, appetites, and desires.
      4. Satan Himself, the deceiver and liar who opposes all that is of God.
      5. God Himself seeks to influence us through the Word, Christian counsel, circumstances, and the Holy Spirit.
    3. So, to which will we accede? Which will prevail? Which will wield ultimate influence? Which will we obey? Obeying Christ is crucial.
      1. Jesus said, "You are My friends, if you do what I command you." John 15:14.
      2. John wrote, "And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments." 1 John 2:3.
    4. A man and his grandson were walking to market to sell their donkey. On the way they met an individual who said, "How silly! Both of you walking when one of you could be riding that donkey!" They didn't want to look foolish, so the old man said, "Son, you hop on the donkey and I'll walk." Pretty soon they met another individual who said, "Why, I can't believe it! A strapping young man like you riding that donkey and letting this poor old man walk! You should be ashamed!" They didn't want to be ashamed, so they traded places. Soon, another individual commented, "How disgusting! Making that poor young man walk while you sit like a bump on that donkey!" He didn't want to look like a bump, so they both got onto the donkey. Another individual chided them, "How cruel! Both of you riding on that poor donkey! I'll call the SPCA!" So, not wanting to be cruel, the only alternative left them was to pick the donkey up and carry him. As they did so, they struggled under his weight and when they crossed a bridge, they slipped and tossed him over the railing to his death on the rocks below. The moral: Try to please everybody and you end up losing everything in the end. Choose today whom you will obey! As for me and my house, we will obey the Lord. Acknowledge Him by obedience.
    1. When someone does something noteworthy and we express our gratitude and commendation to them, we are "praising them" and we are acknowledging them and their work. We are saying, "Good job! We acknowledge your accomplishment!"
    2. God clearly deserves to be praised as we acknowledge Him and His works. There are a number of worthy reasons for that:
      1. He is the Creator and Sustainer of all that is! We are not descendants of some single cell; we are not accidents of nature.
      2. He is the Giver of every good and perfect gift. All that we have and are we owe to Him.
      3. He is the Savior of our souls. Our heavenly destiny is owed to Him.
      4. He is pure, holy, majestic, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.
    3. How can we effectively and meaningfully render Him praise? How can we acknowledge Him? Let me suggest some ways.
      1. Through song: The Psalmist said, "I will give thanks to the LORD according to His righteousness, And will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High." Psalms 7:17.
      2. By expressing gratitude: Again the Psalmist coaches us: "Therefore I will give thanks to Thee among the nations, O LORD, And I will sing praises to Thy name." Psalms 18:49.
      3. By boisterous shouting and clapping: Hear the Psalmist: "O Clap your hands, all peoples; Shout to God with the voice of joy." Psalms 47:1.
      4. In quietness and meditation: We are counseled: "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalms 46:10.
      5. By speech coupled with corresponding actions: The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men." Isaiah 29:13.
    4. Most of you know about Merrill Womach, the pilot who crashed as he lifted off from Beaver Marsh in 1961. After the crash he was transported to the hospital in Klamath Falls for treatment and then underwent years of plastic surgery to repair his badly burned face. On the way to Merle West, to the surprise of his rescuers, he sang, "I've found the dear Savior and I'm made whole, I'm pardoned and have my release. His Spirit abiding and blessing my soul, Praise God in my heart there is peace. Wonderful peace, wonderful peace. When I think how He brought me from darkness to light there's a wonderful, wonderful peace." He acknowledged God by praising Him.

    1. If we know someone and say to others, "See that lady over there? She is a really good friend of mine!" we are acknowledging her to that person. We are to acknowledge our relationship with, and belief in Jesus Christ. Jesus adds a warning and a blessing to the matter of confessing, or acknowledging, Him.
      1. "Everyone therefore who shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven." Matthew 10:32-33.
      2. "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." Mark 8:38.
    2. Acknowledge Him by confessing Him to others. I'm not talking about being offensive and shoving Jesus down other people's throats.
      1. Not beating people over the head with a Bible.
      2. Not poking a finger up someone's nose and asking, perilously, "Are you saved??"
    3. I am talking about sharing your faith in a friendly, humble and yet confident manner with others.
      1. Like one ant telling another where the lump of sugar is.
      2. Like one refugee telling another where help can be found.
      3. Like one starving man telling another where there is bread.
    4. An old man was outspoken about his Lord. A friend said, "Why Henry, I think you'd tell a ventriloquist's dummy about Jesus!" The old man said, "Well, that may be; but I'd rather tell a dummy about Jesus than be a dummy and tell nobody at all!"
In all your ways acknowledge Him. In all your ways: your schooling, your relationships, your employment, your recreation, your attitudes, your possessions, your music, your reading matter, your television, your desires and aims and goals. In all your ways. Then the path He sets before you will lead straight to the heart of His will for you. Then the way He establishes will be the way to life. There are two ways open before us: the wide way leading to destruction which many find, and the narrow way leading to life which few find. If you acknowledge Him, it is this narrow way, the way to life, that He will establish for your feet. If you are willing to acknowledge Him today, you may do so by confessing your faith, by being buried in the water of baptism, by reconfirming your commitment to Him, and by placing fellowship with this congregation. As we sing our hymn, the way to acknowledge him is to simply decide to live for Him. Will you do that this morning as we stand to sing?

Stories from various sources.  Old man and donkey: Aesop.

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