Summary: Fourth of five in our vision 2011 series: New Riverlutions regarding the commitment that would be required to achieve the vision presented
Text: 2 Samuel 10:1-14, Title: New Riverlutions, Res #2: Playing the Man, Date/Place: NRBC, 1/30/11, AM
A. Opening illustration: the pig and the chicken gonna cook bacon and eggs for the farmer, 40 Inspirational Speeches in Two Minutes video, “to do the same things in the same ways and expect different results is insanity” –attributed to Einstein, “no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins."
B. Background to passage: David had a treaty with Nahash the king of Ammon. Death, comfort, rebuff, embarrassment, anger, armies. Joab realized a little late that the two groups of Syrians that Ammon had secured had maneuvered into position with two battle lines on either side. They were trapped, and in a bad spot. So the plan was to divide up the army, fight both fronts simultaneously, dangerous. And Joab gives Abishai (which is what I would have named Knox if Erika would have let me) this speech of commitment. Joab puts the lives of every man in the hands of God, and says lets go for God, we are all in! For emphasis this morning I am going to use the phrase “real men,” but my meaning is “believers” men and women. And view this message as encouragement, not condemnation, “come on, let’s play the man.”
C. Main thought: If “now is the time,” if our common ground is “increase, improvement, and impact,” and if we have “a burden” for others, we must raise our level of commitment and rise to the occasion! For us to agree that we desire and are burdened for these things now, and not to be willing to work harder, sacrifice more, live better (Wal-Mart), is an exercise in futility, and we might as well wait another year before believing God to move, and setting our goals high. “If you are going to pray that God make the sun stand still, you must be willing to have an all-night march to Gilgal.” –Furtick
D. Five Fresh Commitments as we PLAY THE MAN
A. Serious Prayer
1. The full biblical witness to the necessity of prayer for spiritual success or spiritual renewal. The bible acknowledges our weakness and propensity to faint and get weary in prayer. Every major move of God through the ages was connected to prayer. No one there or here would dispute that fact.
3. Illustration: In 1857, four young Irishmen began a weekly prayer meeting in a village school. The next year, more prayer meetings started and revival was the common theme of the preachers. The next year, 100,000 people were converted into the churches of Ireland in what is marked as the beginning of the Ulster revival of 1859. By 1860, crime was reduced and the judges had no cases to try. One county in Ireland reported no crime and the no prisoners were held in the jail. It was the greatest thing to hit Ireland since the ministry of Saint Patrick. Services were packed with people, there was an abundance of prayer meetings, family prayers increased, Scripture reading was unmatched, Sunday Schools prospered, people stood firm, giving increased, vice abated, and crime was reduced significantly, “Poverty-stricken as the Church is today in many things, she is most stricken here, in the place of prayer. We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, but few pray-ers; many singers, few clingers; many pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere.” -Ravenhill
4. If we are to see a real impact, any increase, and improvement in ministry this year, we must recommit to pray. Not simply more prayer, but more of the right kind of prayer. We must not only spend more time in prayer, but we must work to advance our knowledge of and spiritual growth in prayer. Prayer will fan the flames of our burden, increase our faith, and move mountains. Prayer will change us, and prayer will move the heart of God. But the question is are we willing to pray? "Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late - and how little revival has resulted? I believe the problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying, and it simply will not work. To pray for revival while ignoring the plain precept laid down in Scripture is to waste a lot of words and get nothing for our trouble. Prayer will become effective when we stop using it as a substitute for obedience." –Tozer. Real Men pray! Let us gather in the mornings, in the evenings, on Wed nights, or Sat mornings for prayer. Let’s wear out a space on the altar or our closet floor. Let’s burn a hole in the ceiling with the gasoline soaked, flaming, unceasing please of fire going up before His throne! Let’s play the man in prayer!