How to get your stuff back
I Samuel 30:1-8
Webster defines the word stuff simply as material. Some folks have lost their material. They have lost what they are made of. Material is what makes up an object. If you have lost what you are made of then this message is for you. Some have lost their joy, hunger, prayer life, power, love, commitment, children, and marriages. God wants you have your stuff back.
He wants you to be made of what you use to be made of. The Bible says, “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to day and forever (Heb 13:8).” Aren’t you glad that God hasn’t lost what he’s made of? He still has it.
In John 10:10 the Bible declares, “The devil has come not but for to steal, and to kill and to destroy.” John also said, “he was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar and the father of it.”
73% of kids 12 to 17 are online in America today. But only 35% are in the word of God on a weekly basis. Americans spend an average of 6 hours a day watching TV yet only spend less than a minute a day in prayer. 50% of all marriages end in divorce and many of those who haven’t divorced are on the verge of it. Don’t be surprised.
I shared with you last Sunday about the fatherless generation. When you have a nation without fathers and parents who give their children a sense of responsibility this is what you are left with.
The Bible says, “You shall teach my commandments to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up (Deut 6:7).” If you find someone talking about the commandments today they are talking about why we don’t need them any more.
“Heaven and earth shall pass away but my words shall not pass away (Matt 24:35).” Friend you don’t need houses, cars, money or land but you do need the commandments of God.
We have a nation that loves to talk about everything but God. This week in Kenly I saw a big sign on the door of someone’s car that said, “Ask me how to lose weight.” America is busy talking about losing weight and winning sports and making money.
We need to get us a sign that says, “Ask me how to find peace.” The world has been so busy talking about so many unimportant things that the things that really matter have no significance in their life any more. Even Christians have lost sight of what really matters in life.
Christians by the multitude are following after the world. They can get excited and be faithful to every sport and dance class but can’t shout about Jesus. I was with a man once who got excited when his team scored a touchdown. Oh, he would just go crazy. I’ve seen that same man in sit in church and hold his peace while someone is preaching about gift of forgiveness and eternal life.
The world will get excited watching a man on TV doing 360-degree slam-dunk but they don’t realize Jesus has done something greater. He opened the eyes of the blind; he raised the dead and died for our sins on the cross. He has given the gift of life.
Can I be so bold as to say that the world has put on a “form of godliness (II Tim 3:5)” and the church has taken on a “form of worldliness?” While the church has been trying to keep up with the Jones’, the devil has come in and stolen the glory of God from the people of God.
The same thing was going on in I Samuel. The Bible says that Phinehas’ wife called her child Ichabod because the “glory is departed from Israel (I Sam 4:21).” The glory of the Lord had been taken away from Israel by the enemy.
Friend we are at war with the world. “Love not the world neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world the love of the Father is not in him (I John 2:15).” James said, “Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God (James 4:4)?”
When you are close with the world you are close with the god of this world. When you are close with the god of this world you are not close to God. Being close to the god of this world means he has easy access to your stuff.
If the devil has stolen your joy its probably because you keep him so close to you. The devil is like the American Express card for some people. They don’t leave home without him. They have to invite him to go everywhere they go. If its easy for you to catch an attitude its probably because you have allowed the enemy to get too close. He has easy access to your stuff.
The Bible says that in the days of first Samuel the “glory of the Lord had departed from Israel.” Why?
They were too close to the god of this world. But that wasn’t their sin. We are surrounded by the enemy on every side but we don’t have to be influenced by them. You can’t help that your neighbor is a murderer. It’s not your fault they sell drugs in your community. Their sin was being close to the enemy and not being watchful.
The Bible says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8).” Jesus said, “Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation; the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak (Matt 26:41).” Jesus was telling us to guard ourselves.
Years had passed since the birth of Ichabod, and Israel was still being robbed by the enemy. Every week I am in contact with people who’s lives are in shambles because the enemy has taken the glory of God out of their lives.
He has robbed them of their joy, their marriage, their prayer life, their shout, their hunger for the word of God, and he has robbed them of their children. Do you want to know what to do to get your stuff back? Let me tell you.
In I Samuel 30 when David had suffered loss the Bible says that he “inquired at the Lord (verse 8).” The psalmist knew that “our help is in the name of the Lord (Ps 124:8).” “I will lift up my eyes unto the hill from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord (Ps 121:1,2).”
You can go to God for help. They say it’s not what you know but who you know. You may know Trump or Oprah. You may know the king of the Amalekites that has a mighty army. But can I tell you I know the “King of Kings (Rev 19:16).”
“Lift up your heads, o ye gates; and be ye lift up ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle (Ps 24:7,8).”
Today, Jesus is standing at the right hand of God as our intercessor. He is ready and able to supply our every need. Are you ready to ask God to get your marriage back? Are you ready to ask God how to get your children back? Are you ready to ask God how to get your commitment back?
The Bible says when David inquired of the Lord, the Lord told him to PURSUE. Turn to your neighbor and say, “Pursue.” It’s time for the church to start chasing the devil for a while. It’s time for Christians to put satan on the run.
You say, “What can I do?” “I’m only one man.” “I’m not enough to take on the enemy by myself. I need someone hold my hand.” “Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world (I John 4:4).”
I don’t need anyone to hold my hand. I’m not afraid of the devil. His minuscule power doesn’t threaten me. I know some of you are thinking I should be careful of what I say. You like to talk about how much the devil is really going to give me a hard time now. Some people think the devil has more power than God.
They like to talk about how great he is. They say, “the devil’s real,” and he is. They say, “he has power,” and he does. But can I tell you he doesn’t have the power my God has. The devil isn’t omniscient like God is. He can’t be everywhere at the same time. He has to leave me alone and go bother someone else. He doesn’t know what’s going on in my mind like God does.
I think you have forgotten that the devil has to get permission from God if he’s going to touch you at all. “God’s not going to tempt you above that you are able. But with the temptation make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it (I Cor 10:13).”
The Bible says, “Neither give place to the devil (Eph 4:27).” Not only are some people giving him too much place they are giving him too much credit. Some people have made the devil bigger than God. “Five shall chase a hundred and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight (Lev 26:8).”
Stop talking about how much power the devil has. Let me tell you how powerful the devil is. The Bible tells me that one little angel came down and will lay hold on the devil and bind him for a thousand years (Rev 20:2).”
It’s time to recognize the power of God that is in you and exercise that power over the devil. The Lord told David to pursue. It’s only when you pursue the enemy that you will overtake him. How can you overtake the enemy when you aren’t running after him? Why don’t more people win victories over the devil? It’s because they aren’t going after him.
It’s all right that he has taken away their marriage. They have gotten used to the children being on drugs. They have learned to be satisfied with a miserable powerless life. Pursue and you shall surely overtake them.
Paul said, “You shall be saved and your house (Acts 16:31).” Pursue the salvation of your loved ones and they shall be saved. You can get your stuff back. You can get you loved ones back from the enemy. You can find your joy. You can regain your spiritual power. You can grow your ministry. You can find peace.
You can overtake the enemy. But let me tell you that not everyone will. Verse 10 says, “But David pursued, he and four hundred men: for two hundred abode behind, which were so faint that they could not go over.”
Not everyone is up for the task. Not everyone will win the race. But the word says, “Run the race to obtain the prize (I Cor 9:24).” It’s only those “that endure to the end that shall be saved (Matt 10:22).”
The Lord said unto David, “Pursue, overtake and recover all.” Shout, “Recover all.” I’m going to get my stuff back. I’m going to win the race. I’m going to live for God. That means I have to “deny myself and take up my cross and follow Jesus (Matt 16:24).”
I’m going to let you shine out of my life. Your mind will be my mind. Your heart will be my heart. Your Spirit will be my Spirit. I’m full of you now Lord. Now I am in a place to pursue the enemy, overtake the enemy and recover all.
God wants to give you your stuff back but you are going to have to get the power of God in your life. Some people come to church and watch others worship God and fall out under the power of God like it was some movie they watched.
It was good for entertainment. It was fun to watch. You were glad you got to see it. You watch a movie but you can’t get into yourself. That’s why some people have lost all their stuff. You come for the show but you aren’t getting involved. God’s power is mighty in other people’s live but not in yours.
Paul said, “I want to know him and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings (Phil 3:10).” I’m glad you know him but I want to know him. If I know him maybe he can help me get my stuff back. Maybe he can help me get the material back in my life that makes me up.
You can recover all and get your stuff back. One more thing before I close. I told you about “the glory departing from Israel.” I want you to notice why the glory departed. The Bible says, “the glory is departed from Israel because the ark is taken, and because of her father in law and husband (I Sam 4:21).”
I told you we were going to place a greater emphasis on the word of God. The commandments were in the ark. If you want to keep the glory of God in your life you have to keep the commandments of God in your heart. The church needs to get back to loving the word of God. We need to get to the place where we want God to tell us what we need to hear and not what we want to hear. The Bible tells us that the word of God is powerful (Heb 4:12). When you get your stuff back you can keep it if you keep the word of God.