Summary: A study in the challenge and changes that God’s arising in our midst will bring.
Pastor Billy G. Lobbs
Theme: A study in the challenge and changes that God’s arising in our midst will bring.
Today, I want to share with you on the challenging theme of "Letting God Arise" using Psalms 68:1-3 as the scripture text. I am praying that at the conclusion of this message our hearts will be burning with the same desire that filled the heart of the Psalmist as he cried out these words...
"May God arise, may his enemies be scattered; may his foes flee before him. As smoke is blown away by the wind, may you blow them away; as wax melts before the fire, may the wicked perish before God. but may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God, may they be happy and joyful." (NIV)
If you read this scripture in the KJV you will find it says, "Let God arise". The Living Bible states, "Arise O God" and the Modern Language Bible records it as "God shall arise".
Probably like myself, many of you when you hear the phrase, "Let God Arise": there pops into your mind the scripture chorus:
"Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered
Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered
Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered
Let God, Let God arise."
Today, that chorus is very seldom sung in the church. But in the explosive Charismatic Holy Spirit renewal of the early 70’s and 80’s, that chorus was the church’s marching song. During that period, the church went on the offensive against the Kingdom of Darkness. The gates of hell were stormed. The devil’s strongholds began to crumble. God’s people won great spiritual victories as they went forth with fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit on them and in them. Souls in great numbers were added to the church. Spiritual songs were birthed in hungry hearts that caused us to want to "make a joyful noise unto the Lord." We wanted to "Come before his presence with singing and to enter his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise; to be thankful unto him and bless his holy name." (Psalms 100)
What had happened? The answer is very simple. We, as God’s people, finally got ourselves out of the way and we started doing things God’s way. "We let God arise!" When we did, things suddenly came alive and the church began to move forward for God. We broke out of our religious spiritual rut that we had gotten ourselves into by thinking we had to continually do things in the church the same way in order to experience God in our midst.
Why did we do it the same way every time? Because the first time we did it that way- heaven came down and glory filled our souls. So we thought if it worked once, it will work again. We thought all we had to do was to copy exactly what we had done the first time and we would get the same results. Not so! From experience I want to testify to you that it doesn’t always happen that way.
Several years ago I was called to preach revival services in New Boston, Michigan. The very first night we had one of those Holy Ghost "gully washer" type of services. I didn’t even get to preach. The spirit of praise and worship filled the sanctuary and the hearts of the people in it. People literally lost themselves in the presence of God. People shouted and wept in his presence. Many were healed in their bodies as they stood or knelt in God’s presence. People were convicted of sin and sought God in repentance around the altar. It was truly wonderful. Revival was on its way and I hadn’t even preached. I hadn’t done anything but join in with what the Spirit of God was doing. The next night word had gotten out and the place was packed with people from wall to wall. It was evident from the very beginning of the service that the people expected God to duplicate the first night’s meeting. They worked real hard trying to make it happen. It didn’t. They did everything the second night they had done the first, but God said "Nope, not interested, been there done that...let’s do it another way tonight. My way." And that night God did with his Word what the Spirit alone had done the first night.
As God’s people, we need to understand that God is a God of variety. He isn’t controlled by habits. He does not run in ruts. He doesn’t always manifest himself or his power the same way every time. Look at how he healed blind people. Some he spoke to, some he touched, some he rubbed spit mixed with clay on their eyes and in one case he spit right in the eyes. Different methods--same results. They were all healed.