It goes without saying that things are heating up in the world. We have wars and rumors of wars. We have false economic stability with certain people making millions while economic disaster is hanging over the head of the world. In America we have a government gone wild and a media that cannot be trusted with even telling us what time of the day it is.
Things are moving so fast that many feel like they are on a roller coaster ride that won't stop. It seemed like fun the first 30 seconds but now the heart and head can't take any more thrills and uncertain free falls.
What about the Christian in all this? What are we to think and feel in all this chaos and uncertainty? There are many “growth areas” and “growth stages” within the life of a Christian. But there is a place that one can go in the Lord that the believer sets his face like a flint and in his heart he settles the issue once and for all. It is the place called “I can’t go back”.
Isaiah 50:5 ESV The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward.
Isaiah 50:7 ESV But the Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame.
THE PLACE CALLED: "I CAN’T GO BACK"
We know from studying the Scriptures that many believers will fall away from the faith, (2 Thess.2:1-3, Matt.24:10-13). However, there is a place and a price to pay to get to the place where we become disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ and we know that we can’t go back to the world or the ways of old Adam.
The place called "I can't go back" is not a secret place that is hidden by our Lord. Although one who think so because it is seldom spoken about and even less practiced among believers. I guess then the only right thing for me to do as a Pastor would be to reveal the Scriptures describing the place.
In the Scriptures we will see the place and the price of the place. If we settle this in reality of our inner most man we will set our face like a flint before the Lord and nothing or no one will be able to cause our heart to faint away. Then we are in the place of "I can't go back".
Luke 14:26-27 ESV "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. (27) Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:33 ESV So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
We cannot lose what we do not have or own. If we have it or own it and we place great value on it, then it will draw our heart away so that we don't lose it. There is no room for anything else when we are cross bearing and living in the place of "I can't go back."
If we cannot find the place of "I can't go back" then I only have three words left to say...
'REMEMBER LOT'S WIFE".
2 Samuel 23:11-12 ESV And next to him was Shammah, the son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines gathered together at Lehi, where there was a plot of ground full of lentils, and the men fled from the Philistines. (12) But he took his stand in the midst of the plot and defended it and struck down the Philistines, and the LORD worked a great victory.
I heard a story about a preacher who was always going out of town to do revivals. One day as he was about to leave the church office on his way to another city to preach a revival his secretary ask him for the titles of the Sunday messages so she could put them in the bulletin. The preacher said for the Sunday morning service just put in the bulletin "The Pastor Speaks" because he was still without a message and unsure about what he would preach. But he informed his secretary that on the Sunday night sermon he would be preaching from Ps.14:1, “The fool hath said in his heart there is no God”.
Well, said the secretary, "What title do you want to use for the Sunday night message from Ps.14:1?" The preacher told her to come up with the title herself as he rushed out the office for his travels .
The preacher returned from his preaching engagement early Sunday morning just in time for the preaching service. He rushed in, grabbed a bulletin and sat down. As he read over the bulletin he was shocked at what the secretary placed in it.
Sunday morning sermon "The Pastor Speaks"
Sunday night "What The Fool Says"
Just a little humor to introduce the issue of Pastors preaching from a dry well and failing to stand fast. They go hand in hand. When the leaders are dry, empty, and no one is listening, instead of falling on their face and seeking God for a fresh anointing of His Spirit, there will be the tendency to go after the new catch words and modern methods of trying to draw in the crowds. We then forget that John the Baptist just preached the Word out in a desert place and the crowds came running out to hear him. John didn't have the fluff and duff, bright lights, flashy praise teams, or a corporate title. All John had was the Word of God and the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
I have seen some of our spiritual leaders get so far away from standing fast in the Word that all they can do is stand and speak foolishness for 30 minutes. We need a fresh Word from God today delivered from our pulpits. We need to stop trying to bring fresh water from a well that has gone dry.
I believe that today more than at any other time in history, preachers need a fresh Word from the Throne Room of Heaven. Not just any word, but one which is rooted and grounded in the Word of God and not from the leaven of the Pharisees. But along with that fresh Word from God our Pastors need to stand for what is right and for what is holy because God calls it right and holy.
A boy with a small horse was asked one day, "Son does your horse run fast?" The boy replied, "No sir, but he stands fast."
Shammah took his stand right in the middle of a pea patch for no other reason than it was God's pea patch. We can't give what we don't have. We as men of God need to preaching from a well of living water that is flowing up and out of our bowels.
Instead of trying to keep up with all the new names, gadgets, apts, and titles the world has introduced to the church, the shepherds of God's sheep should be receiving the roles and titles that God gave us in His Word, like servant and friend. More and more preachers are ridiculed, disrespected and laughed at because they fail to stand fast in God's Word.
Father, help us to stand firm and fast right in the middle of Your pea patch even if we have to stand alone, and only because it is Your pea patch.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.