Stay In The Light
The very secret of perennial revival and constant fruitfulness in the Christian life is to keep in constant touch with you living Lord by faith in terms of whatever situation you’re in.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends, How in the world are you, you’re doing all right? Oh, I’m fine thank you, nice of you to ask. [chuckle] You and I are looking at the first John, Chapter 5. We got started in verses four and five of that fifth chapter, “Whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world.” That was the first thing that we noticed, that it is in the very nature of the Christian faith to be victorious. What the Lord Jesus bought for you on Calvary includes victory over every test or temptation, or trial, the troubles and tribulations, the heartaches, as well as everything that may threaten you… Frustrations. Victory is there, you can live above the circumstances.
A dear man who was imprisoned for years in a communist prison was beaten regularly and abused, with unspeakable indignities that simply could not be described to an audience such as this. One day he looked out through the bars of his cell at the guard who was more beast than man, it seemed, and he said to him, “You are trying to make me hate you, but… ” he said, “I choose in Jesus name to love you instead. You cannot make me hate you, because I choose in Jesus name to love you.” The man recoiled, I am told, as though he’d been struck in the face, and went away. And then not too many days later at the midnight hour, when all was quiet in the cell block, there was the stirring of footsteps outside of that locked door.
There was the turning of a key in the lock, and that same guard came in and said, “I have not been able to get away from what you said. I too am going to trust in Jesus.” You can live above circumstances, there is no power in all the world that can crush or dominate your spirit, when Jesus the Christ of God, is in charge of your life. That is the glorious truth of the Christian faith. Your body may be hurting or ill, circumstances around you may be horribly confused or distressing. Your job situation may have gone to pieces, your family situation may be filled with heart break. There may be all sorts of circumstances around you, but Jesus makes you a victor.
You can walk through the valley, because he’s walking with you, Hallelujah. He bought the victory for you, “Thanks be unto God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ. That’s the first thing that we saw. The principle is, it is in the nature of the Christian faith to be victorious… “Whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world.” Now, how do you make that principle come alive, what’s the dynamic of it? He then proceeds to say, ‘This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” What do we mean by victory? We mean the connection of your life to Christ’s power, by faith, in any given situation.
The connection of your life to Christ’s power by faith, in any given situation. I tell our young people here at the college, “Pray your way through the day. Turn to God in prayer often and often.” We start many, if not most of our classes, with a word of prayer. Not as a formality, not as a litany of Christian education, but simply to remind ourselves that we need the guidance. Yes, the interference if you will, of the Holy Spirit of God every step along the way, including classroom instruction. But it’s not just before a class, it has to do with the various turnings of life’s corners. I tell our people, “Pray before you answer a phone. It doesn’t take but a second for you to look Heaven-ward and say, ‘Lord Jesus, help me, now make me a blessing.”
Then when you pick up the phone and say “Hello,” you’re poised no matter who is at the other end of the wire. Pray before you open a letter. It may contain good news or bad news a check or a bill, there is a difference. Why not be ready for whatever is inside of a letter, by lifting your heart to God and praying? Pray before you make a decision. Pray before you go on a date, I tell them, you’ll love less praying to do during and after pray. Pray before you hire someone, God knows whether or not he or she is a good prospect. Pray before you transfer, or certainly before you fire anybody.
If you’re an employer, the most expensive thing that industry can do is to fire a person, because dollar wise even, let alone in human nature factors, it’s very expensive to the business to fire anybody. Pray before you make a sales call, if you’re a salesman. I greeted a friend of mine in San Diego some years ago, I hadn’t seen him for a while. And I said, “Hello, I’m glad to see you, the last time I saw you were in Ohio working for such and such a company. What are you doing out here, and how did you happen to come out?” He said, “I reached sort of a dead end with that corporation that I was working for in Ohio, and decided to come out here to California,” and he said, “I’m now in the insurance business.”
“Oh,” I said, “How is it going? Do you have to call cold turkey, or do you have some leads, or how does it work?” Now, I knew he was doing well, because I had already observed that he had on a brand new Hickey Freeman suit, and he was driving a Cadillac. So, I knew it wasn’t feeling any pain. Pray about your calls. Does God know who’s ready for you? Of course. Pastor, have you ever prayed about all the calls you have to make? A small detour here. May I take a little detour, just talking to the preachers that are in the audience? It does seem to me that pastor calling has gone out of style. It’s something that many a pastor feels as though he’s a little above it. And if he can, he’ll hire some older, retired minister to go make the calls.
I have to tell you, there is nothing so important, short of your own personal life with God, nothing as important as your daily contact with the dear people in your flock. You see with those contacts, you get to know what it is they need. And so your pulpit ministry can then reflect your meditation and you’re praying about their needs. Charles G. Finney used to walk among the people day after day, when he was holding crusades in various cities, in the north east of our country. And I’m told that he would write on a piece of brown wrapping paper, with a lead pencil, he would write down different jottings of ideas that came to him as he walked among people, and talked with them, and prayed with them.
One of his sermons had 39 points, that he had jotted down that very day, as he talked with people. Well, if you read his biographers, and you read the story of his monumental ministry, you’ll know that he spoke directly to the hearts and minds, and consciences, of people. So Pastor, make three calls a day, that’s a 1000 calls a year. If you do that, I can guarantee you, your church will grow 10% a year… That is unless you’re living in outer Slobbovia, or some place where there’s nobody around. But if you’re in any kind of an area where there are people, you make three calls a day, three times a day, go tell somebody about Jesus. And I’ll guarantee you your church will grow, and you will have a richer preaching ministry, because you have more insight into people’s needs.
Okay. Don’t let your pastor calling go out of style, dear brother. And if sometimes you get a door slammed in your face, well don’t let that bother you, they’re not refusing you, they’re refusing your Savior. They just don’t know how nice a guy you are. [chuckle] So, keep on, and keep on keeping on.
Well, I was saying that the knowledge of people’s needs is a very important thing. And you gain that by going to see them, and you gain a schedule that is efficient in your calling, whether you be a salesman, or a manufacturers representative. Or a pastor. Or whatever you may be. If you have to call on people, get your schedule out and pray about it, God will send you to people who are ready for you. Okay.
God will guide you. It’s the application of faith to a given situation. Turn the guidance of your life over to the Lord Jesus Christ, step by step, and you’ll find yourself a victor in the situation. This is the victory that overcomes. What is it? Our faith. What is faith? It’s commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ… F-A-I-T-H, Forsaking All, I Trust Him. There’s where it’s at. Pray your way through the day. Certainly pray when you’re tempted, and tested, and tried. And Pray the minute you sense that you’re out of the will of God. Don’t wait for a week. Or a month, or a year until you get around to it. But the minute you sense the gentle checking of the Holy Spirit of God in your conscience, lift a prayer, and get right with God.
That’s what it means to walk in the light, 1 John 1:7, “If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth us.” That means keeps on cleansing us, from all sin. A missionary friend of mine arrived at a place in Africa some years ago, where the people seemed so radiantly happy in the Lord all the time. He inquired as to the secret, and they said, “We just simply keep walking in the light. The minute we’re aware of anything, where the Spirit of God checks our conscience, and speaks to us about it… The minute we’re aware of anything that’s outside of the will of God, we confess it, and forsake it, and turn our backs on it, and trust God to cleanse us. We’re walking in the light, that’s why we’re happy.”
The very secret of perennial revival and constant fruitfulness in the Christian life, is to keep in constant touch with your living Lord, by Faith, in terms of whatever situation you’re in. Keep checking the compass, keep turning your life heavenward, keep checking with your blessed Lord by prayer, and you will overcome. Amen.
Precious Father, we love you, we worship you, we adore you, and we pray that today your presence might be real in everything that we do. We ask this in Jesus name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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