Call to Worship: 2 Samuel 22:1 “David sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. 2 He said: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; 3 my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior— from violent people you save me. 4 “I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and have been saved from my enemies. 5 The waves of death swirled about me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. 6 The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. 7 “In my distress I called to the Lord; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears.”
Songs: Yours Is the Kingdom -Hillsong
He Is The Lord - Kevin Prosch
Lord, I Lift Your Name on High - Petra
Scripture: Psalm 46
Song: Be Still My Soul - Imperials
Scripture: 2 Chronicles 32:9-23
Song: Hold On, Help Is On The Way- Whitney Houston & The Georgia Mass Choir
Sermon: “Be Still”
Song: Be Still And Know - Steven Curtis Chapman
Benediction: Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.” “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” 13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”
Sermon: “Be Still”
Last week we had a recap of what we have been talking about for some time now. I hope that our dire situation is sinking in. The realization that we have been led astray up until the point where we humbled ourselves and turned back to God’s word and away from man’s false teaching should come as a shock but at the same time give you great hope. The shock comes because the empty and powerless way that we were taught is so far from the truth. It is amazing how many people on totally different paths believe they are on the right one. The hope we have is that we have turned away from man and returned to God so our enemies will be defeated. As Habakkuk said Habakkuk 3:16 “I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. 17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. 19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.” God said if call out to him he would hear cry.
We know from scripture that when we call, God will answer. David said in 2 Samuel 22:4 “I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and have been saved from my enemies. 5 The waves of death swirled about me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. 6 The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. 7 “In my distress I called to the LORD; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears. 8 The earth trembled and quaked, the foundations of the heavens shook; they trembled because he was angry. 9 Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it. 10 He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. 11 He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. 12 He made darkness his canopy around him— the dark rain clouds of the sky. 13 Out of the brightness of his presence bolts of lightning blazed forth. 14 The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. 15 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy, with great bolts of lightning he routed them. 16 The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at the rebuke of the LORD, at the blast of breath from his nostrils. 17 “He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. 18 He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. 19 They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support. 20 He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” This is a guarantee but we must make sure that we are returning to Jesus.
The church we live in is filled with false teachers and false prophets, evangelists apostles and preachers. Most teach a way other than the gospel of Jesus Christ. They have turned from the truth and followed man’s ways. Paul said Galatians 1:6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.” Many have been thrown into confusion yet they still blindly follow them into oblivion. Most follow those with large voices yet refuse to follow the still small voice nor do they take the time to listen for it. As we have turned, satan also has turned against us. He knows that when we turn back, God turns his face to shine on us once again and that His power will flow. This means that no matter how vast the enemy is; how big the taunts; how thick the walls; we win. So he is going to throw his force against us. Do we have to be afraid? No! Joshua 10:8 “The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.” Joshua then told the warriors, Joshua 10:25 ““Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the Lord will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.” Yes it will appear that the enemy will be victorious, but they won’t so we don’t have to be afraid that we will loose. We also do not have to fear that word of God will not prevail.
As we wait on the Lord to fulfill his promises we must be patient with God and wait for him to act so that we can act in his power. Yes it appears that God has forgotten about us but he has not. Don’t give up on what scripture says. The song we sang earlier said, “Teach me, Lord, to stay with You, When my emotions try to rule me.” This is where satan works. He wants us to turn on God by turning away from him. Job helps us out here when he said Job 23:2 “Even today my complaint is bitter; his hand is heavy in spite of my groaning. 3 If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling! 4 I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments. 5 I would find out what he would answer me, and consider what he would say to me. 6 Would he vigorously oppose me? No, he would not press charges against me. 7 There the upright can establish their innocence before him, and there I would be delivered forever from my judge. 8 “But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. 9 When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. 10 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” Yes Job’s journey was grueling to say the least but in the end he said Job 42:3 “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. 4 “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ 5 My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6 Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”
God had a plan for Job even though he let satan have his way with Him but in the end he stood before God blessed because he persevered. James 5:11 “As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” In the end God blessed Job. Job 42:10 “After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. 12 The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part.” So even though it feels that God is not listening or acting, know that he is carrying out his plan in full. Deuteronomy 23:5 “However, the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam but turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loves you.” So as we wait, God is preparing the way for his plan to unfold. We do not want to be like those in the desert who would not wait for God. Psalm 106:13 “But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his plan to unfold.” Even though we do not see, we hold on to God’s word by faith. We believe every word and promise to us. We persevere like Job while we hold on to God’s word.
We have a choice to make. Persevere or give up. It really is that simple. Moses told Israel. Deuteronomy 30:11 “Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. 15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. 19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
We must believe with all our heart and soul that the Lord he is God. You noticed that when Elijah asked the people 1 Kings18:21 “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him. But the people said nothing.” We don’t want to be those people. Don’t wait to see God’s power to believe; believe in his word because he said so. John 20:24 “Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” As we wait for God to pour out his Spirit on us once again, we believe before it happens. Satan does not want you to do that. He wants you to doubt and give up. If we give up satan wins. So we just have to breathe and be still and leave the battle to the Lord because we trust in Him. As we read earlier Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” God will be exalted; we just have to wait for him. Our situation I believe could feel very much like when Israel left Egypt. They had the Egyptian war machine chasing them and suddenly they found themselves trapped. Exodus 14:10 “As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” By the way we don’t want to be those people who died in the desert because they did not believe. Moses responds and said. Exodus 14:13 “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
As the enemy continues to advance against us, we just need to be still. We don’t have to worry because we have decided to follow God’s word and live by it only. We have turned from our wicked ways, which are the empty ways handed down to us by our fathers. We don’t have to be afraid because God said many times do not be afraid. 2 Chronicles 20:17 “You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’” Deuteronomy 9:3 “But be assured today that the Lord your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the Lord has promised you.” Deuteronomy 31:8 “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
We are preparing to return to the land. Even though the enemy has held us captive and God has turned his face from shining on us, we are getting ready to cross the Jordon just like the first time. Joshua was told Joshua 1:1 “After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. 7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Because we have returned to the word of God, all we have do is be still as we wait. Just breathe. When God gives the orders, victory will be ours. We do not have tremble in the face of our enemies. We do not have to run away. We just have to stand firm and not be afraid and see what God will do. We see this when David faced Goliath remembering that Samuel already anointed David. “Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” 13 “So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David.” David approached and said. 1 Samuel 17:45 “David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
When we understand the power that is available to us, we can be still and know that the Lord He is God. Paul said in Ephesians 1:17 “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”
So even though the church lies desolate, we have great hope. God said
2 Chronicles 7:13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, (and he has) 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there. 17 “As for you, if you walk before me faithfully as David your father did, and do all I command, and observe my decrees and laws, 18 I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to rule over Israel.” We have already seen what happens when we turn away. We have already seen what a famine of hearing the word looks like. We have already seen what a lack of power in the church looks like. We have already seen false teachers and preachers have their way. What we haven’t seen is the power of Pentecost and the gifts of the Holy Spirit in full operation. Jesus himself said in Mark 16:15 “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” 19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.”
There is great resistance to God’s word in the church today. Most are content to continue with their chosen form of godliness, following the ways of man and ignoring the fact there is no power flowing in the church. In the end power will be the difference maker. You may be a great teacher in the eyes of your disciples but if someone comes along like Paul and says, 1 Thessalonians 1:5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. 1 Corinthians 2:4 “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power.” 1 Corinthians 4:18 “Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. 20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” Then you suddenly realize that you have been following mans way and his so called truth and the life you thought you had in Christ wasn’t real. Before it is to late turn from your wicked ways repent and wait on the Lord to be strong.
Today the enemy is hard at work to get you to turn away. The enemy may have you surrounded like Senacharib did Israel and their end was inevitable as no one stood against their army. But God’s army is invincible so choose life and as you wait, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. The Lord he is God. Be still and know that he is God.