Summary: The speakers at the ReFRESH Conference (Sherwood Church, Albany, GA) spoke to this scripture until it birthed in me the finding of an answer. May it speak to & through you.
Changing the World
* Have you ever given any real thought to what it might take to change this world? (I.E. country, community, church)
* Most people would suggest legislation, delegation, and even litigation, but none of these will work. Do you know why? Simply put, it has to do with the depravity of mankind.
* The thinking of today is ‘we are okay’, ‘alright’, and ‘not so bad’, so all this talk about the vial nature, propensity to sin, and evil of man just isn’t that big of deal.
* Almost everyone I read or hear today – you know the ones (trying to straighten out mankind) seem to approach the problems we face from the premise that ‘we just need to discover the good in us (everybody) and find a way to let it out. Simply put, we need leaders, teachers, and preachers who will pat us on the back, lift our self-esteem, and make us feel good about what we are doing, and THEN our society can change for the better.
* Herein lies the problem. This American philosophy of the 21st century flies in the face of everything the Word of God (the Bible) says.
* Again, have you ever given this any real thought? Think about these;
We Say God Says
He’s a good boy (or girl) Rom. 3:10
He/She’s got a good heart Jer 17:9
My family is the most important thing Matt 10:37
We’re all pretty good & special (At the Cross) Ps 22:6
(And these are but a few)
* Unless and until we discern and admit the flawed nature of man (that would be us), we are on a course to self-destruction. The problems of mankind are like the problem of termites in a house. You can know they are there, you can know what they are, and you may even refuse to think that your house is ‘termite’ infested, but left alone, they won’t go away-they will only eat away. We cannot legislate an answer because laws do not control ‘thinking’. We cannot delegate an answer because it’s a problem for every one and not just a few. We cannot litigate an answer because the justice system is ‘just as flawed’ as the men who run it.
* This is a ‘heart’ issue. We cannot legislate, delegate, or litigate our hearts; we can only renovate our hearts. Like renovating your house, who it is, that does the renovation, is key. Could we need a renovated heart?
* Turn to Isaiah 6 and let’s get a word from God’s word about how to change our world, which may first result in a change in us. (Read)
* Isaiah begins this part of his prophecy with, “In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord.” The last four words are the key, “I Saw the Lord.”
1. A Vision of God – How long has it been since you had a clear, personal, & life-change vision of God? I am not trying to be ‘mystic’, but rather spiritual. Through the work of the person of the Holy Spirit, God reveals Himself. In salvation He reveals Himself, in times of crisis He does the same, and in times of need He reveals Himself –so that we may know Him. Can you remember when you were saved? Even if it weren’t a visible picture in your mind of Holy God, there was a sense in which you knew that Jehovah KNEW you. And it changed your life. I go on to say that if that time you recognize as your salvation did NOT produce a life-change, chances are, it was not a meeting with Jehovah God and did not result in the salvation of your soul. Satan is the great counterfeiter.
* This week I picked up and several of us read a booklet by “Manley Beasley” entitled, “Is your salvation real or counterfeit?” In it Manley describes 3 type of salvation which are counterfeit; emotional, moral, and intellectual. Answers such as, “I had this experience,” or “I’ve studied the Bible”, or “I am a good moral person” will not stand up as ‘good enough’ at the Judgment seat. An authentic experience begins with God “quickening” (I.E. speaking to, pricking, cutting) your heart. The impact is found in Acts 2:37 and the natural question comes, “What must I do?”
* Changing the world requires that change happens, ONE LIFE AT A TIME. As we look at the scripture, what changes with an authentic view of God?
a. Your Perspective – I submit that your view of HIM will change. Too often we see God as a cross between Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, & grandpa when in actuality He is seated on a throne that is beyond our human reasoning. To linger over this text, closing eyes, and seeing the picture is to have a perspective that is reversed. Think about His temple, His throne, & His robe (filling the temple). See the Seraphim which surround Him and notice how these eternal beings respond. They cover heads, feet, and they fly. Could it be that what they do serves as a symbol to us? Could it be that they cover their heads because nothing we think escapes God, their feet because no place we go is without His notice, and even their wings shows us that He knows our motivation & see us. When we get a glimpse of God, our perspective changes. It is no longer about me, but it becomes all about Him. To change our world means changing our perspective about HIM.