*……”Once More” Is Calling Your Name
By pastor Charles C Elliott
We begin today in the 16th chapter of Judges and I want to read the 27th and the 28 verses.
"Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistine--Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, beheld while Samson was made sport. And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only once more, O Lord, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes”.
Many people might say, “My life is nothing like I thought it was going to be in Christ. I had such aspirations; I believed that all things were possible in Christ. I truly wanted to glorify God in the earth. But now when I look in the Bible and then look at my life, it seems as if I fall so far short of what I am supposed to be.” You see, there is a weakness in each of our hearts, just as there was in the hearts of those in Samson’s day. It is this inability to believe beyond what we can see with our natural eyes that in turn opens the door to discouragement and disillusionment in our lives.
So how do we get beyond this limited vision? Is it through more Bible study or attending church more frequently? Our natural tendency is to conclude that if we just read more, study more, pray more, and do more, somehow our lives would be an ambassadorship of glory to the Name of God—only to realize later that all we have done is studied more, read more, prayed more and done more….and those are good and commendable things, but they may not necessarily bring the glory of God. It is only God who can get us beyond this limited vision.
Haggai 2:6–7 “For thus says the Lord of hosts; Yet once more, just a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts” If you seek me with all your heart you shall find me!!!! From my experience, it should probably more correctly say, If you seek me, I WILL FIND YOU, says the Lord!!!!
In other words, the time has come that “Once More” I will fill you with My glory,” says the Lord. The word glory in the Hebrew text means weight, honor, esteem, glory, majesty, abundance and wealth. The Lord will fill us with what we could never have achieved on our own. It does not come from human effort but rather from simply believing God. That is why the Scripture says, “The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the Lord of hosts” (Haggai 2:8). God possesses all the resources of this earth, and He will endow us with all that we need to build, restore and fill this last temple period with His glory.
The “Once More” inside of Samson, could not be silenced by the entire Philistine nation, which had gathered to celebrate his final defeat…..They could not silence the force of his heart’s cry as he shouted out from the depths of his spirit….. once more, O Lord!!!!!
I was inspired by the story of Trey Wood was born with only one arm. I believe you will also….Most people assumed that his handicap would prevent him from participating in a sport like football. Instead of feeling sorry for himself, Trey decided to prove the experts wrong. Not only did he learn to play football, he received an athletic scholarship to Sam Houston State University. He went beyond expectations and earned a starting position as a defensive back. One of his responsibilities was to knock down passes when the football was thrown in his area. Another one-armed young man named Dawuan Miller also had a dream to play football. In spite of his disability he, too, earned a scholarship and became the starting defensive back for Boise State University. Both players made first team. Both excelled at their positions. Despite lacking an arm, Wood broke the career record for Sam Houston State with eleven blocked kicks. Dawuan silenced the doubters by using his one arm to intercept two passes in playoff games.
On September 16, 1995, Sam Houston State, played Boise State in football. For the first time in the history of the sport, two colleges played a game with one-armed defensive backs starting for each team. Few will remember the score of the game, but no one who was there will forget how two one-armed players’ gutsy performances overshadowed the rest of the talent on the field. Each of these two football players did more with one arm than most people do with two. When people with limited ability, apply themselves, they can accomplish incredible feats. You can do amazing things in spite of any limitation you may experience, if you will dare to believe it!
George Elliot…said "It's never too late to be what you might have been." -- …..--Inventor Thomas Edison…..said "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." …...When Dr. Seuss wrote his first children's book, it was rejected by 27 publishers. By the time of death in 1991, his books had sold more than 200 million copies in 15 languages. Since his death another 22 million of his books have been sold. What if he had quit after his 26th rejection from a publisher? But he tried once more…
When Gideon cried out “Where is the lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob….it was in a time when the Philistines had overrun their fields, and their possessions, and they were having to sneak around by night, just to reap some of their own crops, and avoid the enemy at their door. Knowing the glowing stories of God’s miraculous intervention over their enemies in the past…and Gideon was putting a demand on God’s integrity and faithfulness by saying, “Once More Lord”…..It was a covenant man calling upon a covenant God!!!! And his cry ascended to the God who hears, the God who Sees… the God who Knows…and the God who Remembers!
Samson wanted God’s power, but he also wanted what the world had to offer… The Godly women, who lived lives which honored God and were true to His word, were just not Samson’s cup of tea! While he hated the Philistines, he loved the philistine women….Amazingly, God still continued to use to use Him, because of His people who cried out to Him day and night. But there came a point when the ramifications of his disobedience caught up with him, and the harvest of his sin came home to roost! With his eyes poked out, chains on his hands and feet, and stripped in shame before his captors, Samson remembered what it felt like to experience God’s power! A cry came forth from the deepest depth of his being, “Let me feel Your power once more, Lord”!!!!
There are countless numbers, who were brought up in church, they were once committed to serving God and inspiring others, but something happened, and life has a way of push it away or force it down and trying to shut it up….but it will not be silent! We can deny it and make other things our priority, but it will continue to call out…..”let me know that once more, let me feel your cleansing, your love, your power “once more”!
Two friends met on the street. One looked depressed and almost on the verge of tears. The other one said, "Hey, how come you look like the whole world caved in?" The unhappy friend said, "Let me tell you. Three weeks ago, an uncle died and left me forty thousand dollars." "That's not bad, said her friend" "Hold on, I'm just getting started. Two weeks ago, a cousin I never knew kicked the bucket and left me eighty-five thousand free and clear." "I'd like that, said her friend" "Last week my grandfather passed away. I inherited almost a quarter of a million." "Then how come you look so despondent, she asked"...."This week ……..nothing!" ….…..
Alexandra the Great fell into deep depression, and when asked why, he said “I have nothing left to conqueror”…..
We have entered the feel good era of Christianity….Preaching has been replaced by feel good illustrations. Holiness has given way to happy hour. Commitment has been replaced by fun and entertainment. Our pews are empty, and so are our altars. We get more excited about a shopping trip than we do about a revival meeting. We wink at sin and cringe at the holy demands of God. We have lost our fire, our power and our desire for the pursuit of God. We would rather play than pray. We would rather have our ears tickled than our hearts set fire by the Word of God. We would rather be entertained than challenged. We would rather stay like we are than become more like He is.
You can see it in our homes. You can see it in our communities. You can see it in our streets. You can see it in our entertainment. And, most devastating of all, so often you can see it in our churches! That is why our nation is in the shape it is in today. That is why our churches are in the shape they are in today. That is why the majority of our young people have little desire for the Lord. We have been weighed and found wanting!
Thank God, there is still hope! And that hopes springs from passionate men and women of God who are crying out day and night….once more, Lord, once more!!!
God is listening for the cry of Repentance – Genuine repentance is the only hope our nation has for survival. God calls on all of us, to “turn” to Him “with all our heart”. He calls on us, to“rend” our “hearts” and not our “garments”. God isn’t looking for mere external displays of religion; He is looking for heart change. He is looking for a people who are broken and who are willing to change. He is looking for a people who will be sorrowful “with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning”) This is the kind of people God will bless, restore and use.
God is Listening For A Cry Of Restoration … God calls on all the people, from the oldest to the youngest, to come back to Him. He calls for those occupied and consumed by the matters of this life to put Him first again, a place where He is our first priority.. He’s calling on the spiritual leaders of the people to come back to Him in an intense relationship, that is much more than the Pastor’s job or the deacon’s role, or the going through the motion of doing church. God wants His people to seek His face once more. He wants them to get hungry for Him one more time. God calls His people back to a place of closeness and holiness, God is calling His people back to Himself.
I could be wrong, but I believe the church will experience one more earth shaking, purifying revival and reformation before the Lord comes. I believe that God still has a remnant of people who love Him more than they love their sins. I believe that God is going to purify His church and bring us to a place of repentance and revival one more time.
When He does, there will be no doubt as to Who is in control. There will be no doubt about Who is to be worshiped and glorified. Even the enemies of the church will have to acknowledge that God walks among His people. There will be no doubt about Who is doing the work. I personally believe that the Church needs to cry out to heaven for the Lord to visit us once again and manifest Himself among His people with heaven sent revival “Once More”.
Romans 13:14 “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”
As we journey together towards the final setting sun, that men will see on this earth as we know it, we will continuously experience checkmates in our personal and corporate lives. In these dark times of seeming defeat, we must always remember that behind every circumstance there is a supernatural power at work, and the King, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, will always have one more move to make!
No matter how desperate your situation--it may even look like you have lost everything--but THE KING HAS ONE MORE MOVE up His sleeve. How do I know this? How can I be so confident to declare this to you? I know because our King has a well-documented history of last moves. I know this because...
...Seas don’t just split open to allow people to pass through on dry ground, by themselves. ...Water doesn't just spring forth from a rock on its own. ...Food enough for around 6 million people, doesn't just accumulate on the ground every night as a random event. ...An old man holding up his arms does not determine the outcome of a war. ...Thick city walls don't just fall down flat when people blow horns. ...Men thrown into furnaces and lion’s dens do not just walk out without a scratch of smell of smoke… ...A jar of oil doesn't just keep refilling itself. ...Actual dead men don't just walk out of their graves except in a fictional TV series. ...Wading into a dirty river doesn't cure leprosy. ...The blind don't see, or the deaf hear, or the cripples walk just because someone touches them or puts mud in their eyes. ...Threatening storms don't just stop because someone talks to them....Shackles don't just miraculously fall off on their own and prison doors unlock themselves and open……
In the game of Chess, a checkmate, means that you have no more moves left to make. You are blocked on every side, with no escape and nowhere to turn. Checkmates in life, can be ...An incurable illness...A broken relationship...A wayward son or daughter...Financial ruin......A past that is destroying your future. Satan was crying “checkmate” as they took the bleeding, torn body of Jesus down from the cross and placed it in the tomb…. But the King always has one more move that the devil has not considered.
Haggai 2:23 In that day, says the Lord of hosts, I will take you...and I will make you as a signet: for I have chosen you, says the Lord of hosts”
A signet is a sign of the authority of God. God was saying, “I will make you a sign to this generation, for I have chosen you—even in your captivity and despair.” Before we called out, it was not our choice but His! We are God’s secret weapon, that He puts into play just when Satan thinks he has won total victory. He is calling us to be ambassadors of the kingdom in this last generation. God is calling His whole church— in every place, and out of every denomination. Nothing is over until God says it’s over!
The only choice we have is whether or not we will hear His voice and respond to it. Either we believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life—that He can bring us into freedom and do the miraculous through our lives, or not!
Remember, the Lord has promised: “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former”...A greater glory, once more visited upon His church! Once more, He will pour out the oil and fill every vessel… Once more we will enter into the promised land covenant…. Once more, we will see souls saved and set free, families restored, and God’s people set ablaze for Him…..Once more!!!
God heard Samson’s cry and He hears yours. He longs to do more in your life than you have ever envisioned.
A whole generation is dying in its sin, but now the voice of God has come once again, calling you to rebuild. He is calling you into a freedom and ability that can come only from Him. I implore you today in Christ’s name to step out of all bondage and captivity—whatever it is in your life that has convinced you that God will never use you. Leave that place behind! As you respond to His voice, the Lord will strengthen you, give you His Word, fill you with His Spirit, and cause you to be a demonstration of His resurrection life in this generation! Your “once more” is calling…..answer the call!