Summary: If we are to experience revival, it must begin within our own hearts. And it begins in our hearts when we earnestly pray out to God for Him to move in our lives like never before.
A Fresh Commitment to Christ
This month, we have focused on the book of Joshua, and on how God has spoken through that book to our hearts. I know it has spoken to me. The promises found in that book have been so significant, so amazing, so comforting and so energizing. Yes, energizing because we see what God can do with someone who is fully committed to God’s plan and God’s direction.
We have read how God used Joshua to lead the children of Israel after the death of Moses, how God used Him to lead them across the river. To lead them to face Jericho. To see that, in God, they could find the victory.
Here is one way to look at it - If Joshua represents us as Christians with a new promise; then Jericho represents the largest obstacles we face. At Jericho…we face our fears, we cling to God in the darkest night, we seek clear answers to seemingly insurmountable walls.
Great promises have emerged from this great book. Promises that we can cling to even today. As our church marches forward, as our church continues to seek out God’s will and God’s plan, we find energizing words in this one book. Words that will inspire us to reach this community and this world for Christ.
Over the past month, we’ve focused on statements like WE ARE ALL JOSHUAS; A NEW PROVISION, A NEW VISION, AND A FRESH ENCOUNTER WITH CHRIST; FACING OUR JERICHOS; A WALL, A WAY, and a WIN; and most of all, we have talked about this one phrase that sums them up, NOT I, BUT CHRIST.
We will face many walls, but we only have one WAY to conquer…Christ is not our best weapon - He is our ONLY Hope. NOT I BUT CHRIST is not a slogan…it is our ONLY way to victory.
This phrase is what we must claim if we are to experience Christ’s fullness in our lives and if we are to experience His power, His encouragement and His victory in our lives. It is a phrase that we will repeat over and over in the future of this church. A phrase that says so much in so few words. NOT I, BUT CHRIST.
When we realize what God can do in us. When we realize that in our weakness, God’s power is manifest in us and we can accomplish anything. That is what the phrase is all about. Last week, I shared with you how as I now stand in the role that my dad stood in for 51 years, that I know I don’t have within me what it takes to lead this great church into the future.
But I told you, I promised you, that I am committed to seeking God’s power, God’s abilities, God’s direction and God’s plan. And in that weakness, God is strong. God will use a man who realizes his inability far more than a man who thinks he can conquer the world in his own power.
You remember that after hearing that someone would soon deny the Lord, Peter declared to Jesus that “No matter what anybody else does, I will never deny you!” This may sound like a good thing at first, but Peter was intending on accomplishing this grandiose spiritual goal by his own power.
What happened next? Jesus decided to give Peter a simple test. A simple test of faith in order to see how strong Peter really was. You see, Jesus first provided Peter with an opportunity to be victorious with a very simple spiritual goal.
What was that test? Jesus asked Peter to simply pray with him for one hour. For one hour - Just pray. For if Peter was able to tap into the power of the Holy Spirit in the small things, he would undoubtedly be able to be victorious in the larger things.
Jesus wanted to see if Peter’s “Go-To-Response” was to say “I can’t do this on my own. Not I, but Christ!” But did Peter rely on God’s power? No. And in fact, Jesus came back after one hour to find Peter sound asleep.
So, Jesus made a point to once again stress to Peter the importance of relying on the power of God to get through life. In Matthew 26:41, Jesus said:
"Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
He told Peter that my power is both available and eager to help anyone who will call on me for help. If you need it, you got it!
And today at TRBC, the same resurrection power is available to you and me. As Paul says in Philippians 3:10a:
"I [can] know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead." [New Living Translation]