Sr. Pastor Darrell G Vaughn

                                                                        Faithfulness – A Key Step to Happiness

Feb 13 2013;                                                  “Lifted Up!”   Pt4

Wed PM Worship                     Can’t walk with God while Holding hands with the Devil.                     

Text John: 12:31-50 (King James Version)  

  “Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people.”

                                           The Fields are white and the laborers are few!
C.H. Spurgeon said, “If God does not save a man by truth he certainly will not save them by lies, and if

the old gospel is not competent to work a revival, then we will do without the revival;”

 

Joh 12:31  Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

Joh 12:32  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

 

12:32 if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

 

Joh 3:14  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

Joh 3:15  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Joh 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 

How do we lift him up?

 

1: with our Praise and Worship.

 

2: With our Testimony

 

3: With our Obedience

 

4: with our Humility

 

Charles G. Finney defined Revival as:
“Nothing else than a new beginning of obedience to God. Just as in the case of a converted sinner, the first step is a deep repentance, a breaking down of heart, a getting down into the dust before God, with deep humility, and a forsaking of sin.”

Evangelist Gypsy Smith was once asked how to start a revival.
He answered: “Go home, lock yourself in your room, kneel down in the middle of your floor. Draw a chalk mark all around yourself and ask God to start the revival inside that chalk mark. When He has answered your prayer, the revival will be on.”

R.A. Torrey gave a prescription for revival:
“I can give a prescription that will bring a revival to any church or community or any city on earth.
“First, let a few Christians (they need not be many) get thoroughly right with God themselves. This is the prime essential. If this is not done, the rest that I am to say will come to nothing.
“Second, let them bind themselves together in a prayer group to pray for a revival until God opens the heavens and comes down.
“Third, let them put themselves at the disposal of God for Him to use as He sees fit in winning others to Christ. That is all!
“This is sure to bring a revival to any church or community. I have given this prescription around the world. It has been taken by many churches and many communities, and in no instance has it ever failed; and it cannot fail!”

Revival must begin with me… it must begin with you!

(Read 2 Chronicles 7:10-15 & Pray)

 

2Ch 7:10  And on the three and twentieth day of the seventh month he sent the people away into their tents, glad and merry in heart for the goodness that the LORD had shewed unto David, and to Solomon, and to Israel his people.

2Ch 7:11  Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD, and the king's house: and all that came into Solomon's heart to make in the house of the LORD, and in his own house, he prosperously effected.

2Ch 7:12  And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice.

2Ch 7:13  If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;

2Ch 7:14  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

2Ch 7:15  Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.

2Ch 7:16  For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.

 

Let’s pray. Father,  Open my eyes so I can see Your truth.  

Open my ears so I can hear Your voice. Open my mind so I can understand Your Word.
And open my heart so I may receive all that You want me to receive. AMEN

 

God goes on to instruct Solomon as to what should be done if there is a drought, or pestilence or even a swarm of locusts to devour the crops:

“My people who are called by My name…”
(God’s people - Israel in the passage – the Church in application today)
1. Humble Themselves
2. Pray
3. Seek My Face
4. Turn From Their Wicked Ways (Implies judgment would be the reason for these things to happen).

These are physical judgments brought upon the people due to their spiritual condition.

God’s Promise:
· Hear from Heaven
· Forgive Their Sin
· Heal Their Land

The physical will not be taken care of until the spiritual needs are first addressed!

“…Shall Humble Themselves,”

I. Pride Hinders Genuine Revival (Brings God’s Judgment)

Harry Moorehouse, while still a young man, was conducting evangelistic services in a certain city in the US, but there was no revival. In this particular city it was as though he were beating against a stone wall. Day and night he was on his knees searching his heart and crying out, “O God, why is there no revival?”
One day he was walking along the street, and the Holy Spirit showed him a large placard on which appeared these words: “Harry Moorehouse, the most famous of all British preachers!” At once he said to himself, “That is why there is no revival!”

He went to the campaign committee and said, “Brethren, now I know why there is no revival. See how you have advertised me as the greatest of this and the greatest of that! No wonder the Holy Spirit will not work! He is grieved and quenched because you haven’t magnified the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the wonderful One. I’m just a poor, simple, humble servant, preaching the glorious Gospel, and saying, “Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world.”

1. God Hates Pride (Arrogance)
A. Pride is the opposite of Humility.
B. Pride promotes self, rather than God
1) Pride doesn’t consider God in one’s lifestyle.
2) Does not consult with God in decisions.
3) Does not desire to serve and worship God before self.
4) Is often characterized by selfishness, stubbornness, and worldliness.
5) Does not genuinely seek God, nor seek to please God.
6) Spiritual Pride – Think we know everything about the bible or about the Christian life! Saved Pharisees, often telling others how to live, or passing judgment upon them because of how they live, but never really applying the truths of God’s Word in the Power of the Holy Spirit in their own lives!!!

2. Pride Harms The Individual

A. Pride brings Destruction
Proverbs 16:18-19 - 18Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.
19Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil with the proud.

Proverbs 18:12 - 12Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, And before honor is humility.

B. Pride brings Shame
Proverbs 11:2 - 2When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom.

C. Pride Leaves Little Hope For Improvement
Proverbs 26:12 – 12Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

(Ever try to help someone who thought they already knew what to do? – Men asking for directions! Will drive in circles for an hour rather than ask for help!)

D. Pride Causes A Person To Forget God
Psalm 10:4 - 4 The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts.

James 4:13-16 - 13Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; 14whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” 16But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

Are you guilty of planning your life and leaving God out? You’d better be careful! Perhaps you should start praying about what you will do! Don’t forget God!

3. God Chastens The Proud
A. God Brings Them Low
Proverbs 29:23 - 23A man’s pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor.

God knows how to keep us Humble:
A visiting evangelist felt pretty good about the message he had just preached as he greeted people after the opening service of a revival. The people seemed very gracious and appreciative of the sermon they had just heard.

· But then one lady abruptly stated, "Too long!" as she filed past the minister.
· She then cycled back through the line and shouted, "Too loud!" The two negative comments unnerved him a bit, but he tried to maintain his composure.
· When she came through a third time her comments were no more flattering. She declared, "And it was also boring!"

At this point the chairman of the deacons intervened and assured the evangelist that this woman’s remarks should not be taken seriously. He whispered,
"Don’t pay any attention to her. She’s a little senile and doesn’t really know what she’s saying. She just goes around repeating what she hears other people say."

B. God Resists The Proud
James 4:6-10 - 6But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:“God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
7Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
8Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
9Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
10Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

It is better that we choose to humble ourselves before the Lord, than for Him to have to humble us through circumstances!

4. Pride Makes Us Blind To Our Own True Spiritual Condition!

The Church at Laodicea – Revelation 3:14-17
14“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:
15“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.
16So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
17Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—
18I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
19As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

Because we have so much in this country, we often live as if we don’t need God!
It may take another economic collapse before this nation turns back to God!

Pride Hinders Revival Because The Spirit Must Work “On Us”, Rather Than Work “Through Us.”

“Humility is to make a right estimate of one’s self.” – Charles
Haddon Spurgeon

How Other Men Of God Have Defined Humility:

“Humility is recognizing that God and others are responsible for the achievements in my life.” Bill Gothard

“Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is to have no trouble. It is never to be fretted or irritated or sore or disappointed. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me and when I am blamed or despised. It is to go in and shut the door and kneel to my Father in secret, and be at peace as in the deep sea of calmness when all around and above is trouble.” Andrew Murray (1828-1917)

I used to think that God’s gifts were on shelves one above the other and that the taller we grew in Christian character the more easily we could reach them. I now find that God’s gifts are on shelves one beneath the other and that it is not a question of growing taller but of stooping lower.” F. B. Meyer (1847-1929)

“I’ve never known a person whom I thought was truly filled with the Holy Spirit who went out and bragged about it or sought to draw attention to himself.” Billy Graham

“Nothing sets a person so much out of the devil’s reach as humility.” Jonathan Edwards

II. Results of Heartfelt Humility
A. God’s Grace – Proverbs 3:33,34
33The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, But He blesses the home of the just.
34Surely He scorns the scornful, But gives grace to the humble.

God gives us what we need when we humble ourselves before him, not because we are now somehow deserving, but because we have finally come to the realization that we are not!

B. God’s Forgiveness – Proverbs 28:13,14
13He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.
14Happy is the man who is always reverent, But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

C. God’s Blessing – 1 Peter 5:5-7
5Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
6Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
7casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

D. God’s Ear – Psalm 10:17,18
17LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart;
You will cause Your ear to hear,
18To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, That the man of the earth may oppress no more.

III. What Will You Do About Your Pride?

*Humility is Perhaps the Key to Revival… If you do not first humble yourself before God and recognize your neediness before him, you will not:
· Pray
· Seek God’s Face
· Turn From Your Wicked Ways

Are you willing to pay the price for Personal and Corporate Revival? It Begins With Humility!

Reviving the Church is like remodeling your house: it takes longer than you hoped, costs more than you planned, and makes a bigger mess than you ever thought possible… - But it’s worth it in the end!” - This is where it begins!

Christian: Humble yourself, confess your sin, Receive grace and forgiveness.
Unbeliever: Humble yourself before God and accept His Son Jesus Christ for Salvation!