Sunday Morning – 16 Dec 2018 10:53:49 am – Pastor James Yang
Last week I was in PNG and was able to preach the gospel to a few people who then received salvation. I was so thankful. I was also able to conduct the mind education with people at the correctional centre.
When we gain the thought that “I am right”, that is the beginning of misery. People will steer away from you and you will begin to become alone and isolated. Soon people become enslaved in their own lives forever.
When people get complimented and this gets into them, people who receive them begin to think that they are right people.
But those free from their own thoughts can be joyful and happy.
To be honest, when I speak to people in Australia, they judge my English first. But people in PNG whom I have met, listen to the Word of God in detail. Even in the pastors’ forum and in the meeting with people from the high authorities, they heard me intently.
As many people stand before God, a lot of people live like Ephraim, who are completely ready for battle but withdrew on the day of battle. I was curious about this. Ephraim had forgotten about the work of God. Such people draw back at the critical moment.
“Now there was fierce war with the Philistines all the days of Saul. And when Saul saw any strong man or any valiant man, he took him for himself.”
I Samuel 14:52 NKJV
Saul always gathered strong and valiant men. But then a problem occurred.
“And the Philistine said, “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.” When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.”
I Samuel 17:10-11 NKJV
Even though Saul assembled all the strong and valiant men, they all withdrew and so did Saul, before Goliath. What is the problem here? Was it because Goliath was strong? No! Fact is, in the heart of Israelites, there was no God. This is why they drew back.
Once all our short-term missionaries shared their heart. They shared how they were uncomfortable with one of the sisters. But the sister got upset and said “How about you guys? Are you any better than I am?” I heard this. The problem with this sister is that since her childhood, she always talked back whenever someone challenged or rebuked her. So I doubted her salvation. If you are a Christian and someone rebukes you, and you hate that person, then there is something questionable about your salvation.
If you have God in your heart, it does not matter who says what to you. Because of God, you should be joyful in you and in your heart. If you cannot be joyful, then it means there is a problem in your heart.
There is a hymn that goes like this:
“When peace like a River, attendeth my way….It is well, it is well, it is well”.
This hymn is by Henry Stafford. He lost his children who were on the ship and he had also lost his property estate in the fire. He wrote the song, “It is well”. It is such a moving song.
This is in fact the life of Christians. They rejoice because of God purely.
Many people say they believe in God. But in the critical moment, they withdraw. If your heart is closely connected to God, then you will not draw back to perdition.
Even with King Saul, who has been to many battle fields, he gathered all brave and valiant men that he saw. But God prepared Goliath for Saul and his men. They trembled before Goliath.
Such people were like Ephraim who withdrew at the time or war.
All our possessions and assets cannot make us happy.
““ LORD, make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days, That I may know how frail I am. Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my age is as nothing before You; Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. Selah”
Psalms 39:4-5 NKJV
Folks, do you know why David prayed this way? Why did he want to know the end and measure of his days? If you understand how frail you are, then you will definitely rely Living on God. This is the world of faith.
But people ignore this world of faith. When I ask people why God gave them the law, and most people say that it is because God wants them to keep the law.
In the heart of Saul, he gained the heart that he was the king of his country. This is why God made Goliath.
When God gave us the law, he wanted us to realise that we are sinners – that we have committed all sorts of sinful deeds such as murder and adultery.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
Romans 3:23 NKJV
Saul was not focused on God but on people. Saul trying to defeat Goliath is like we trying to keep the law by yourselves.
Why is it good that we ought to be weak?
“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
II Corinthians 12:9-10 NKJV
We need to be weak so that with us, God can be our strength.
“David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. So when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.”
I Samuel 22:1-2 NKJV
For David, the battle is of the Lord.
“This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands.””
I Samuel 17:46-47 NKJV
For David it was very clear that the battle was of the Lord and not of him. Likewise, this also applies our spiritual life.
“Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.”
I John 4:17 NKJV
When can we establish Jesus in our heart? When we are weak. Only when we discover that we are weak, only then can we establish Jesus in our heart.
This time we rented Hurstville hall where it has 1000 people.
“and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)—”
II Peter 2:6-8 NKJV
The people of Ephraim drew back from the war and their righteous souls were tormented by the things they saw of the world.
Since you received salvation, God is always there with you. But if you look at the Word, the righteous soul of Lot was tormented by the lawless deeds of people.
Many of you say that you believe in God, but instead of God leading your heart, the circumstances lead your heart.
For David, there was one thing very clear in him – he always looked up to the Lord and would not go into battle with the things humans prepared.
One day God said to Moses to bring a staff and go to mount Horeb. Joshua was about the start a war. When Moses’ hands were up, then Israelites would prevail and conversely if he let his hand down.
After that day when the Lord delivered victory for Joshua, he was asked to recite this text and recount this battle as a memory for the future generations.
Joshua’s heart was very consistent with the Lord’s when he conquered all the land in Canaan.
King Saul on the other hand looked for brave and valiant people.
Please make up your mind. It does not matter how you have lived so far. Depending on the position of your heart, your life will change.
A long time ago, a mother lived together with her son in a remote village in China. One day, the mother found that there was gold in her backyard. It was a huge piece of gold. She could have been very rich. But she thought deeply about this. With this gold, she could buy a big house, have lots of slaves and servants. But she asked herself what her son would do. She figured that he would become idle, perhaps marry and lose the connection of the heart with the mother. So that day, when the son returned from the workplace, she had a chat with her son. She asked her son to move to a different city altogether with her. And so they did and they lived happily ever after.
The mother thought deeply – “If I get this chunk of gold, would she become truly happy in the end?”
Once I saw the documentary of lottery winners. They have never actually ended up being happy. In fact, their lives were destroyed.
Today we compared the heart of Saul and David. So many people like king Saul try to keep what is profitable for them. Because of this, they cannot foresee the misery ahead of them. This is because they do not know how frail and weak they are.
“For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?”
I Corinthians 4:7 NKJV
Everything we have now is from God. Let’s say you study well. Then you judge others who cannot study well. Why? Because you do not know who you are exactly. Everything we have is all given from God.
Arrogant people look down on others. Have you done this before?
If so, please repent. I hope all of you be happy.