Summary: A Message about the "Sacred Oaks" In Our Churches.
“Is The Victory Worth The Stink”. Text. Isa 1:29-31.
Big black cat with a white stripe.
There was a pastor and his wife and family on vacation with some friends. And all of a sudden, a little boy came up and shouted Mrs.,Man, Mrs. ,Man!a big black cat is eating busters food. A cat with a white stripe down his back.
We learned something that night said bro Man, we decided to put busters food in the trailer at night!
Some Victories or in this case battles or best left un-fought.
A bull dog can defeat a skunk but the victory is not enjoyed. Next time you face a potential battle with a brother or sister ask yourself - when done, will the stink created be worth it. In church life, some battles leave a big stink. When the smell is gone we discover nothing of eternal value has happened. You must decide what battle to fight. But most of all - must decide - is the victory worth the stink?
1) Sacred oaks - represent symbol of Israel’s idolatry. These great oak trees provided shade became very desirable as high places - cultic shrines became very sacred to Israel - so sacred that Isa 57:5 says that they were sacrificing their children at these high places. See also Romans 1:18-25.
Today in the life of the church, there is a danger of developing sacred oaks. If we are not careful - we begin to worship the created thing instead of the creator. We kick up a stink about funny things in the church today. I’ve been around enough to know and I Read Psalm 27:4-6 Include the items again.
Now as ridiculous as my inclusion sound they are no more ridiculous that the things we fight about inside the walls of our churches. You know friends what concerns me the most. The ones who make the biggest stink about the sacred oaks are often the ones you never see at the altar, never see them at prayer meeting. At times it seems we have put the emphasis on the sacred oak put never put the emphasis on seeking God at the altar. Pastor - you’re becoming a tad judgmental . I know you can have your secret times of prayer with God and we all need them but there are times when we the church come together as a body - we need to pray for each other and encourage each other. We need to get back at the altars. Maybe if we need a sacred oak - then lets make the altar a sacred oak! The altar should not be business as usual. I have a fear for those who worship created things rather than the creator, is that when a storm comes in - will their anchor hold? When a storm comes in its not the sacred oaks that are going to count - it is your relationship with jesus that will keep you going. Its your relationship with Jesus by His written word that will keep you on the straight path.
2) Spiritual drought - amazing to watch those whose spiritual lives are centered around sacred oaks. For the most part, there is very little joy - their spiritual walk is fading - and their fruit has become bitter. Jim Sambala says - even among Christians the devil has a strategy of theft. John 10:10
Satan is not just stealing people on the street our our town, cities, or nations. Hey Yes - we still love the Lord - yes - we still come to church - but what happened to all that energy and passion? Where did the first love go? Our zeal and intensity gone?
We need to let go of the sacred oaks - and we need to embrace what God is doing in a fresh new way among us now.