Summary: This is a sermon that was done right after a Revival meeting to help us stay on the Spiritual High. Although there are references to the Revival, the basic priciples can be applied in our everyday walk with Christ.
Staying in the ZONE!
A young girl became a Christian in an exciting revival at her church and was baptized the closing Sunday morning. That afternoon she ran through the house singing and dancing. Her sour grandfather rebuked her with these words, “You ought to be ashamed of yourself. You just joined the church and you’re singing and dancing on the Lord’s Day!” Crushed by her grandfather’s attitude, the little girl went out to the barn, climbed up on the corral fence, and observed an old mule standing there with a sad, droopy face and bleary eyes. As she reached over and patted the mule sympathetically, she said, “Don’t cry, ole mule. I guess you’ve got the same kind of religion that Grandpa has!”
We all have heard the saying “In the zone” as pertaining to someone who is doing whatever they are doing to perfection and consistently. You hear it when someone can’t miss a basket, they throw a ball up and it goes in the hoop no matter where.
I think that after Paul had his experience with Christ on the road to Damascus was “In the zone”. In our text we hear the words of Paul saying the he was not perfect, but he was pressing on, or staying in the zone.
And this week, for those of us who attended the Revival, we have been in what I call, “In a zone”. We are on the mountaintop. We are on a Spiritual high, and rightfully so. We have experienced the presence of God in a way like no other in my time as your pastor.
So when something goes well I always try to look back and evaluate what we did right. And as I thought about this, I really can’t give a blueprint answer. So today I thought I would just give a review of what happened and what needs to continue to happen to stay, “In the zone”.
Was it the speaker?
Now I love Wayne, and I enjoyed the messages, but in his own words, “I have preached these same sermons elsewhere and not received the same response”. That is the way it is usually with most evangelists, God gives them a message and they can use the same message for several different places.
With being a pastor, you probably would not like it if I would use the same sermon within a few weeks apart. I’ve thought about doing it sometime, just to see if you are listening. I know the message that I originally planed to give today and still plan on giving some day was entitled, “I can’t get no satisfaction”. My wife Hope informed me that I had already done that sermon, but really I just have used the title before, not the sermon.
Another Revival that came into my mind was with my first Revival as your pastor over 4 years ago. We had Don Kinder with the theme of, “Don’t put God in a box”. And we experienced the presence of God then also. People were getting saved, lives were being changed, and it was defiantly a Revival to remember. But sense that time, we have had brother Don back twice, and yes we had decisions made, but never quite made it to the bar that was set on the first one. Don and I talked this week and we both agreed that we have never surpassed the bar that was set on that first meeting. Same speaker, not the same results.
So even though the preaching was good, I don’t think the speaker was what caused us to get “in the zone”.
I think being receptive to the speaker and the message is a part of it.
You want to fuel the speaker, be the cheering section. Just like a ballgame, if you have the fans into it, then it gives the team the energy to do their best. Now you might be thinking, for the fans to be into it, then the team has to do something to get them into it. I agree. But if you turn the speaker off by not paying attention or falling asleep, then you might miss when there is something to cheer about. Now as one of the speakers, I have to do my part. But you need to realize that not every sermon is intended for you. We all have different needs and different circumstances. But we are to encourage one another.
So we can stay in the zone by being receptive to speaker.
And another thing that is part of the reason I feel that we experienced Revival is my next point.
Was it the music?
Now this is the first Revival that we used the same group every night. Usually we have a variety of music from within and outside of the church. And I enjoyed the music this week. Summer sings like an Angel. But we have had a lot of good singers in this church and even have some remarkable talent within the church.