Summary: PART THREE of THREE This three part sermon series was presented at a men's camp. It also comes with a Bible study based on the series.
"Battle Royal - When World's Collide"
Session Three: The Call of Salvation
Isaiah 48 (Open Bibles for reading throughout the message)
- Addictions to impotent gods
- Explored the battle strategy of needing an attraction toward the Omnipotent God!
- Realize the depth of his love for us it could be all the motivation we need to get into relationship. There is no greater motivator than love.
- Question: Warriors or Prisoners of War?
- Enemies are not flesh and blood. Bigger than that; more cunning than we something we can see or fully comprehend.
- The collapse of securities … not so much financial themes as we naturally assume but our position in Christ and the Kingdom is compromised.
- Impotent gods degrade, desensitize, destroy, distance us from God.
Today’s focus – the alternative!
A website called Forefront Families hosts an article called “Surviving the Storm - The Strong Willed Child”. It quotes Dr. James Dobson:
“How do you know you have a strong-willed child? They are determined - they challenge everything. They want to know ‘why they should’, and ‘why they shouldn't’, and ‘said who?’ When they are not in control of a situation, they will do what it takes to get it – e.g. throw a tantrum. These are special children who need a specific approach so they traverse childhood unscathed. Parents need to ensure ‘the will is broken, but not the spirit’.”
Father is forever running and sprinting to block our path and save us from a destructive step or deadly plunge off the edge of obstinate obsession with things we should not taste, touch or smell. He determines to break our will but not our spirit. The chapter begins this way (48:1-2…)
It sounds good at first – God’s people invoke (beseech, entreat, petition) God but we find rather quickly that it’s all for personal gratification (“invoke the God of Israel but not in truth or righteousness”-v 1). We cling to the status of “citizens of the holy city” (v2) but don’t live like it.
We’re told that Isaiah 48 has the potential to be a sermon that Isaiah gave to the Israelite exiles in Babylon as they worshipped in a synagogue on a day of penitence. The language about idolatry and rebellion supports this idea. God’s children were being stubborn. Though all were not guilty, the whole community was judged as one community. You know how it is – everyone gets to stay after school in detention because Bruce the bully made the teacher mad; and no one is going to challenge Bruce because we’re all afraid of him! And that’s the reality here. While some people are sincerely worshipping God others are going through the motions of worship because they misbehave and the fruit of lives outside the sanctuary is nothing like the guise of godliness in the sanctuary. As a result everyone assumes responsibility for the whole community.