Summary: God give us men and women whose walk matches their talk personally, politically, and professionally at every level. Give us Nehemiahs.
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Hey, we’re in part three of this series, Recovery Road, and the fact that you would come back after last week says a lot for you. Okay. Because I beat you up pretty bad. I mean I really did. And I just want you to know if you were here for the last two weeks, I don’t have any hidden cards back there behind my screen. I’m going to be really nice today. We’re going to beat up some other people, so you’ll really enjoy the service. We’re in this series, Recovery Road because our nation is focused on our national recovery, and I just feel like whenever our nation is focused on something and that something intersects with the Scripture, people like me should talk about it.
So, for the last couple of weeks we’ve been talking about it and we’re going to continue that today. And really, the big takeaway, the big takeaway, if I could push a button for all of you who are watching, all of you who live in this country, and specifically our local churches, it would be that we would be able to look at our politics through the filter of our faith, rather than looking at faith through the filter of our politics. Because I’m convinced . . . and maybe you’re kind of getting the sense in these last two weeks, and, hopefully, today will be another step in that direction . . . I believe it’s not about left or right, that there is a third way.
In fact, we said Jesus is neither far left nor far right; Jesus was “far out.” Every time he was invited into a conversation where people wanted him to choose sides, he would always introduce something new. And both the left and the right, or people on each side would just kind of scratch their heads like, Well, we never really thought about that. So he would say over and over, The kingdom of heaven is like . . . the kingdom of God. And it was like the kingdom of heaven is like . . . and they’re thinking, But it’s the kingdom of Rome. And he’s going, No. And they’re going, But it’s the kingdom of religion. And he’s going, No, there’s a different way; there’s a third way.
I’m absolutely convinced, as many of you are as well, that there is a way out, there is a way to recovery nationally, but it’s not going to be far left or far right. And I believe, and many of you as well, that there are so many Christians in this country—we may not be a Christian country, but there may not be a Christian anything, it’s not an adjective, but you can talk about that later—but there are enough Christians in this country that if we were simply willing to look at our politics through the filter of our faith, rather than the other way around, there is a way, there is a way to recover, and not simply recover financially. As we’ve said in the first two weeks, finances get our attention. Finances are rarely ever the root problem.
I believe, as many of you do, as well, that if we can get our filters reversed, if we can begin to live out as Christians and vote as Christians in such a way that we get those two things straight, we’re not only going to recover financially, perhaps this is an opportunity for God to do something miraculous and incredible in our nation at several different levels. So, part three of Recovery Road.
Now if you are Jewish, we are so glad that you are here, and we are so glad that you’re watching online. I love it when I meet Jewish couples or Jewish individuals who attend our church. They say the most interesting things to me. They say, Andy, you’re a great motivational speaker. Then as I dig down they say, which I love this, I take this as a compliment—they say, I love Buckhead Church, Brown’s Bridge Church, North Point Church and Watermark. I love attending your church or our church. Sometimes I have to filter out the Jesus part but I really, really love attending church here. And I always say, You know what, I’m so glad you’re here. You can filter out whatever you want. We’re just glad you’re here.
Well, today we’re going to look at a story from the Old Testament. And because this is one of the most remarkable recovery stories ever, it’s certainly one of the most remarkable recovery stories, maybe the most remarkable recover story in the Bible, it has national implications. There is a huge, huge, huge, huge lesson in this story for all of us. In this story, the interesting thing is that it’s a Jewish leader, there are no miracles in this story, there is nothing supernatural, God never speaks, angels don’t show up, lightning doesn’t even flash. It is just all about heads down leadership and the providence of God and a man who just prayed like crazy. So that’s one thing I love about this story—there’s not the, Oh yeah, well if part. It’s just hey, here’s a principle that if we could at a national level get our arms around, it could make, I believe, a huge difference. Let me kind of set up the story and then I’m going to tell you the story.