“What Happens When God’s People Arise”
Text: Matthew 9:5-7
We see in our passage that our Lord commanded the man sick of the palsy to “Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.”
As a result of this man’s obedience to the Lord’s command, he was healed.
Great things can be accomplished for the Lord if but the child of God would be obedient to his command to “Arise.”
This morning we want to look and see for ourselves through the Word of God, what the results are when the child of God is obedient to the Lord’s command to “Arise.”
1 Kings 17:8-10
I am sure it didn’t make sense to Elijah to go to the home of widow in the city of Zarephath located in land of Zidon.
God was sending Elijah to a city and land made up of mostly heathens.
To the home of widow – widow was usually poor and barely had enough to feed herself and family never mind a prophet of Jehovah.
But God’s command was arise and His promise was that Elijah would be taken care of by this unlikely source, a widow.
The result of Elijah being obedient to Lord’s command to arise –
He found the widow with only enough food to make one last meal for her son and herself.
God caused the widow’s barrel of meal and her cruse of oil to waste not or not to run out.
She was able to not only feed Elijah but also her son and herself.
The widow’s son falls sick and dies and Elijah revives him.
Then we see Elijah triumph on Mt. Carmel when he prays down fire from heaven that consumed the sacrifice, the altar, the rocks and the water around it.
The people fell on their faces and cried “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God”
The prophets of Baal were slain and rain fell after being stopped for 3 ½ years.
God had taken Elijah from a dried up brook to the top of Mt. Carmel because he choose to obey God and “Arise”.
Again, it did not make sense to Jonah when God told him the first time to “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.” Jonah 1:2
After all God was sending Jonah to a heathen nation that hated the nation of Israel and their God.
The first time God commands Jonah to “Arise”, Jonah goes his own way and ends up under the chastening hand of Lord and almost loses his life.
He gets thrown overboard, swallowed up by a whale and then thrown up by the whale after crying out to God and repenting.
Notice, God puts Jonah back to the point of his disobedience and He will do the same with us when we backslide on Him.
But the second time Jonah is obedient and arises goes to Nineveh and preaches pending judgment.
The result of Jonah’s obedience and “arising” - a whole nation of heathens got right with God and are spared!
3. The Apostle Peter
Here again is a case that it did not make sense to man to arise and go to place God was sending him.
Here we have a case of a Jewish Apostle, a pork abstaining Jew, a follower of the Mosaic Law told in a vision by God that it is okay to eat stuff that was once considered unclean.
Not only that but God was sending him to the Gentiles who were considered unclean.
Not only that but Peter is commanded to go a Gentile named, Cornelius and preached the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ so he can be saved.
What is the result of Peter’s obedience and “arising” – Cornelius and his family got saved and who knows how many others – Amen!
This is the first time an honest to goodness Gentile is saved by hearing and believing the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
4. The Apostle Paul
Here we have the conversion of one of the greatest Christian that ever lived.
Prior to his conversion-
He was a persecutor of the church.
He was present at the stoning of Stephen and consenting unto Stephen’s death.
He was “Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;”
Here we find him on his way to Damascus for the purpose of hunting out Christians to bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
Notice, with me what Paul asked the Lord immediately after his conversion.
V. 6, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”
The sad fact is many saved people have never asked that question of the Lord.
That is why they have never accomplished anything for God.
Notice our Lord replies to Paul’s question
“Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”
Here we have a brand new Christian only few minutes old in the Lord being obedient to the Lord because we are told, “And Saul arose from the earth…”
Praise God that he did!
Because of him arising when God commanded him to Paul was used mightily of the Lord.
Even though Paul suffered much in his service of the Lord he still accomplished much.
Wrote the majority of the Books of the New Testament
He was a missionary and church planter
He established many New Testament churches during his missionary journeys.
He was given the opportunities to preach the gospel of the grace of God to slaves and kings alike.
All because when the Lord commanded him to arise, he did.
Acts 9:10-18, v. 11 – “Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,”
As we read our passage here about Ananias, we see his initial reaction to the Lord’s command to arise was met with some skepticism.
It did not make sense to him for the Lord to send him to man who was a known persecutor of believers.
But praise God, Ananias was obedient to the Lord’s command to arise.
We see as result –
That Saul received his sight
Was filled with the Holy Ghost
For all intense and purpose we have the beginning of Paul’s walk with and service for the Lord.
All because Ananias was obedient to the Lord’s command to “Arise” even when it didn’t make sense to human reasoning.
Here we see that Philip the Evangelist is told to leave the revival meeting in Samaria where many are being converted to go the desert of Gaza to preach the gospel.
I am sure that it did not make sense to Philip to leave Samaria for the desert of Gaza.
But he was obedient to the Lord’s command to “Arise”
As a result of his obedience –
A man of great authority from Ethiopia was saved and after conversion was baptized.
I am sure that when he returned to Ethiopia that he won many to the Lord.
We are told when he and Philip parted company that “he went on his way rejoicing.”
Here is the case of where a man is called of God to be a prophet while he was still in his mother’s womb..
God tells him that his ministry going to consist of – See Jeremiah 1:10.
Through great personal suffering Jeremiah faithfully delivered God’s message of rebuke to Judah and warning about their impending doom.
He stood alone in preaching against the sins of the Jews and was rewarded with virtually no converts and with the wrath of the king and people being directed against him.
He had to watch not only the rebellion of his own nation against God, but also had to see the nation of Babylon come in and conquer his own people, killing many and taking the remainder off into foreign captivity.
Jeremiah’s personal life was very lonely as even his friends and relative plotted to kill him.
Many would say that Jeremiah by the world’s standard was a failure.
But remember, you are never a failure when you are obedient to God’s command to “Arise” even when it does not make sense.
Maybe some of you have never progressed in your Christian walk since being saved.
The reason being that God has command to you “Arise and Go” and you have decided to “Sit and stay”.
Maybe some of you are like Jonah the first time that the word of the Lord came to him.
You have arisen but instead of going God’s way you have gone your own way!
Either way my friend you are out of the will of God and either under or will soon be under the chastening hand of the Lord.
You will be always an unsettled Christian.
Full of doubt – especially about your salvation
You will be easy pickens for the devil.
Maybe God has never commanded you to “Arise” because you have never asked Him since being saved as Paul asked, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”
Remember as we have learned from our examples this morning when God commands you to arise that it will be for a purpose.
If the Lord has commanded you to arise for some kind of service or ministry won’t you be obedient to his command.
God wants to use you!!!
My friend if you are here today and lost without Christ.
Won’t you arise and come to this old fashion altar –
Repent of your sins to God
Ask Him to forgive you for your sins
Believe in your heart that Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose again to pay your sin debt
Receive Christ into your heart by faith
The Bible say, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”
Won’t you be saved today?