Preached by Rev. Ed Brouwer at The Gathering Place, Osoyoos
Pulpit Series Volume 19 Issue 14 April 26, 2009
Pulpit Series Volume 19 Issue 14 April 26, 2009
This past week has been very moving for me. It started out when Casey and I reviewed a little audio clip. I had heard this before but I found I was instantly in a state of weepiness.
I wanted more than anything to be the one preaching those wonderful statements. “Are you going to the revival?” “What church?” “It doesn’t matter.”
Imagine God moving in Osoyoos—not just in a church but in all of the town. I long for my sons and daughter to see—to experience—to be a part of a God ordained REVIVAL.
I am very excited about what God has done in the past and certainly as to what He is doing right now. However, I hunger for more! There has got to be more! This can’t be all that there is, God our God says He wants to do more than our minds can imagine.
Einstein said that Insanity was doing the same thing over and over in the same manner—expecting a different result.
The preacher on the audio tape said, if we only do what we’ve always done then we will get what we already got. Folks I must tell you I am not content to simply get more of what we already GOT!
So how do we get more? Is it by doing more? Is it by trusting God more? Is it expecting more in faith? Yes I think all of these and more!
So how do we work towards a city wide revival? First understand - its not more of you or me - its more of JESUS!
Second, we must begin to praise God publically - not just on Sunday mornings or at Bible Study groups. Praises need to flow out from us as naturally as we breathe.
There are really only two times to praise the Lord, when you feel like it and when you don't.
Listen anyone can praise the Lord on the dry side of the Red sea. It takes faith to Praise Him before the waters part.
Habakkuk 3:17-18 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither [shall] fruit [be] in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and [there shall be] no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The prophet Habakkuk would not have said what he did, except he had known God was worthy of confidence and trust.
Psalms 34:1 I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth
Disappointment, fear, anger, disease, betrayal, heartache - all cloud our vision.
Habakkuk 1:2-3 O LORD, how long shall I cry, and you won’t hear! How long will it be before you save me! Why do you allow me to see these grievous things? All around me are those that rise up strife and contention.
Habakkuk's faith was strong even when he did not understand what God's plan was. GPS God’s Presence Satisfies
God is at work, Give Your Uncertainty to Him, and Praise Him!
Live by Faith. Habakkuk 2:4 the just shall live by his faith.
Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him;
Too many people's faith is, "Lord, take care of me and I will take care of you." “Lord I’ll bless you if you bless me!”
In contrast, the prophet in the early part of the book declares that come the worst if it will, he will hold steadfastly to the Lord.
Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible, achieves the impossible.
Did you know that the world's shortest sermon led immediately to the world's greatest revival?
The sermon was simply, "In 40 days, you are all going to be wiped out". The revival was every single person in the entire city, more than 120,000 men, women and children, immediately gave their life to God and were saved from total destruction. Where and when?
Nineveh, in about 800 BC. The preacher was someone afraid to take the job and then was angry over the result - Jonah.
God can and will use us, as unwilling or fearful as we might be, to do His work of redemption here on earth. The results will be awesome if we simply do what He asks. God simply told Jonah, "Go to Nineveh and tell them that they are going to be destroyed." End of message.
When the people heard that simple, yet chilling message, they believed it, repented and were saved. Jonah didn't have to do any wonders; he certainly didn't deliver a message of resounding oratory; he didn't give any proofs of the message, or sit in the local meeting hall and teach persuasive classes.
He just said what God told him to say - and God did the rest.
What about on the day of Pentecost?
Jerusalem was turned upside down -thousands of people got saved. Not because a bus load of scholarly ministers, all with Doctorate degrees came to town.
It wasn’t even people who had long years of ministry service - people who had proven themselves. It was a handful of men and women who had been in the upper room. Most of whom had come from rough, hardworking backgrounds, not highly educated and even doubtful of who this Christ really was.
But now filled with the Spirit of God these brothers and sisters spilled into the streets of the city and began praising God!
They began speaking in tongues (dialects) and those in the streets who heard them were amazed! They questioned, “How can this be? We hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!"
The disciples simply pulled a PDA “Public Display of Affection”
They simply spoke about God, their God, giving Him Public Praise. And when they did that, the world was turned upside down and shaken to the core.
It hasn’t been the same since. Friends, the same power God gave to that handful of untrained, fearful - but willing - men, is available for us today.
And the results can be just the same.
You don't "need" a Pastor to lead a friend to the Lord, or even to baptize him. You don't "need" a Bible college degree to go out into the world and start a ministry for Him. You don't "need" all the right words and a beautiful voice and just the right clothes to lead a revival. God has used us to start several Faith based ministries that are still active today.
Many of the world's greatest servants of the Lord started as drunks in the gutter, men who hated God, and people who physically had NO attributes of a spiritual leader.
But they did have, in the end, the one thing we all must have to really reach out and serve Him -- the willingness to simply step out in faith and do what He says and follow where He leads. In faith praise Him - praise Him before the waters part!
God used the unlearned, untrained Disciples to start a religion based on a relationship with Him - that will not stop until the end of time. "And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age."
And that my friends is the cry of our hearts - that people would hear us speaking boldly, publically and clearly about the wonderful God we serve, and look towards Him too!
God allowed to be seen outside the box of our puny man made limitations … wouldn’t that be a site! Lord you’ve done it before… rip the sky and do it again!