Summary: At the end of the day, recovery begins with a public declaration of dependence on God.
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If you haven’t been here, we’re in a series called Recovery Road. Essentially, we’re taking a pause in our normal sermons and messages to talk about what’s on everybody’s mind in the United States anyway, this recovery. We’ve stepped back and said, Not only are we looking for financial recovery, we’re looking for a deeper recovery than that. And from the very beginning, at the outset of this series, we’ve asked the question: What can we do as Americans to participate in the recovery while we wait for people we don’t know, in a city that most of us haven’t visited since we were on a patrol trip? How many patrols do we have in the room that went on a patrol trip to Washington? About eight. We do not have very good citizens here at Buckhead Church. We need to get a higher percentage of people who were patrols. And I wasn’t a patrol either. You had to have good grades and behave.
Anyway, so there’s a tendency to think if we can just wait for those people in Washington to get their acts together, we can twiddle our thumbs and there will be this big recovery and we’ll all benefit from it. And we’ve been asking the question, What can we do in the meantime? And we’ve actually discovered that maybe more of the responsibility is on our shoulders than we originally thought. And maybe there’s more that we could do to effect change than we originally thought. And specifically, if you’re a Christian, specifically, if you’re part of the local church or a local church or this local church, we pretty much determined that if just the Christians in this country—and I know we don’t know if we’re a Christian country or not, we’re not even sure that Christian is an adjective—but there are enough Christians in this country and enough churches in this country that if just the Christians (and we’ll really see this next week; don’t miss next week), if just the Christians would do a few basic things that Jesus—remember Jesus—that Jesus told us to do, number one, we wouldn’t be in this crisis, and number two, we, just at the church level, would begin to help develop and facilitate recovery.
And so our very first recovery principle was this: that recovery begins with “we” not “they.” Let’s just say it, because we’re trying to get our arms around this. Would you read this with me? Recovery begins with we, not they. That was pretty bad. One more time: Recovery begins with we, not they. Yeah, yeah, in other words, it’s not a matter of somebody else doing something; it’s a matter of us figuring out what we can do now. Then we went really deep, and it was maybe the most difficult message I’ve ever preached. And you came back anyway the next week. I was really happy about that. I beat you up pretty bad. We said this: The second recovery principle was that recovery begins with a fearless moral inventory. In other words, you can’t get to where you want to be until you know where you are to begin with. Right? And what’s true of individuals is true of nations. In order to get to where you want to be in any area of your life, you have to look in the mirror and face the facts about where you currently are. And if you don’t know where you currently are, you’ll never get to where you want to be. I think I learned that from Alice in Wonderland. Remember Alice in Wonderland? But anyway, we did a fearless moral inventory.
And then last week, I addressed our national leaders, and I challenged our national leaders, assuming they’re watching. And why would I think that? I challenged our national leaders, and I said, We need you to be as committed to maintaining your moral authority as you are to re-election. And we need leaders in our country that are willing to walk their talk, do what they say they’re going to do, have moral authority, and they would be as or more committed to maintaining moral authority than they would be re-election. Everybody just thought that was just awesome. Then at the end of the message, if you stayed that long, I asked you a question. Remember the question? The question was, What do all of our elected officials have in common? They were what? Elected. It’s back to us. So once again, it’s more about what we’re doing than somebody else is doing.
So tonight, we continue this series, and what a great topic for this weekend, the recovery principle is simply this: that recovery begins with a declaration of dependence. Recovery begins with a declaration of dependence. If you have ever recovered from anything significant in your life, there was a point of brokenness, where you threw up your hands and you said, I can’t do this by myself. I can’t do this alone. I need someone else to help me; I need God to help me; I need a higher power to help me. But I can’t do this alone.