Summary: This is part three in a series dealing with the need for God’s people to break down the barriers that keep us from effectively building up the wall (God’s Kingdom)
Breaking Down Barriers & Building Up The Wall (Pt. 3)
Sermon – 4 July 2004
Over the last several weeks the Lord has been truly speaking to us in a very special way as it relates to what His Word says about the barriers that exist between His children.
It has been exciting to me to see how God has brought things together in such a magnificent way. I have already shared with you how the Lord brought Pastor Mark and I together in a truly sovereign way.
Two Pastors of different ethnic backgrounds, different social backgrounds, having come from different states etc. being brought together in the same city, in the same time with the same burden.
Those things that are different about us could very easily have become barriers, as we have been looking at in scripture in the past weeks.
But God has been working in Pastor Mark and God has been working in me to prepare our hearts for what He would have us to do NOW in His Kingdom.
This past Tuesday was a powerful time as we came together for the main purpose of seeking God in unity. Setting aside all pretenses and self-conceived notions – setting aside self and seeking the face of our God.
Repenting of our own failures, wrong attitudes and hidden prejudices and seeking the face of our God. It was so powerful, to have Spanish, Black and Caucasian brothers and sisters in Christ truly crying out to God to pour out His Spirit upon us.
We are truly believing God to move in this City in such a magnificent and powerful way that will be a thing of beauty to behold.
No longer will they say “Where is your God?” for the people of this City will begin to see the Church become what she was intended by God to be.
It is encouraging to see this occurring in the way it is, as has already been mentioned, there is no room for anyone to take credit – we are simply responding to the heartbeat of our God.
Delight (to be pliable) yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.
With the word ‘delight’ carrying the meaning of being pliable we can get a deeper sense of this passage – that if we will remain pliable before the Lord, our heart will be changed. Our desires will come in line with His.
As it relates to the material we have been covering form John 4, we have discussed the barriers that Jesus tore down in ministering to the woman at the well in Sychar.
In ministering to this woman he broke down several different barriers…
1) Geographical barrier – in going to Samaria when Jews would have nothing to do with Samaritans. Jesus went to Samaria because he had an appointment to keep (John 4:4)
2) Ethnic Barrier – in ministering to a Samaritan woman who was of a people that were viewed as “half-breeds” by the Jews because of the fact that their lineage was convoluted by intermarriage with other peoples.
3) Cultural Barrier – in ministering to a woman in public. It was taboo for a Jewish man to even speak to a woman in public, never mind a Samaritan one.
4) Religious Barrier – in ministering to a Samaritan at all, due to the religious heritage of the Samaritans which was one of mixed religion. Where the Jews left in the land after the Assyrian occupation intermarried with the nations that the Assyrians brought into the land and began to serve their gods, mixing the worship of Yahweh with the worship of pagan gods.
5) Historical Barrier – The Samaritans esteemed their history where the Jews looked down upon them precisely because of their historical background.
In all of these ways and more Jesus broke down barriers in an effort to minister to the true needs of this woman. In doing so Jesus left us an example in which to follow.
Sadly, as we have discussed the church has in many ways rebuilt all manner of barriers betwixt and between one another so much so that the church is often viewed in ways that are not becoming those who call upon the name of Jesus.
It is a delight to see how God is working in so many ways in the hearts of his people to restore the all that the enemy has stolen through the bitterness, unforgiveness and flat out discrimination in the church.
Getting back to the scripture passage and series we have been in for the last couple of weeks, not only did Jesus tear down the barriers that we have just listed but in ministering to this woman he also tore down a …