My message today is “Once More” Is Calling Your Name Prayer…. “Lord you are here in the midst of us, to help us to organize our internal world so we can influence our external world. Teach us the importance of spending undistracted time alone with you, to soak in Your presence and once again to hear your voice speaking into our inner being. We ask you to renew our purpose and rediscover Your plan for us in each situation and experience and we bring you afresh, into the center of our lives. Jesus, we give you the glory and all the honor, in Your mighty name, Amen. When’s the last time you tried to eat just one of anything that is your favorite food? I’m talking about your favorite brand or flavor of potato chips… just one chip, one Krispy cream doughnut. (I don’t thing that is going to happen) I remember once we took the family on a ski trip. I had never gone skiing before, but one time down the slopes and I immediately wanted “once more”…. That once more turned into a 10 hour day of skiing and let me tell you I was wiped out, but “Once more” kept calling my name….I just couldn’t get enough, and I was on the slopes doing it again the next day, and it felt sooooo Good, to be that overwhelmed by “ONCE MORE”!!!
I am taking as my foundational scripture for this message, the16th 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 Philistines were there; and 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, and strengthen me, I pray, once more, O Lord”
Many people might say, “My life has turned out to be nothing like I thought it was going to be. 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 and register with our 5 senses and it can open the door to discouragement and disillusionment. It is in these times that we must fall into the arms of our covenant God, who keeps covenant and wants to get us addicted on His goodness, His faithfulness, His grace, His mercy and love! I challenge you today, that no matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, there’s a “once more” waiting to enter your life and take you places you never thought possible
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!!!!
Haggai is staking everything on the fact that God said what He meant and He meant what He said! “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 “the weightiness of His presence, the honor and esteem of God, His majesty, His abundance and His sufficiency. 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 yielding yourself to be a recipient and a container of the glory of God. His glory precedes Him and is with Him. Isaiah 52:12 “For you shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your REREWARD”. I want you to notice this word “REREWARD”…. In Isaiah’s day, when a ruler had a procession and all of his subjects line the thoroughfare to see him when he appears. He will send his rereward, or his glory before him. Folks will see a sampling of his riches and his abundance, his servants and staff, his power and his might, His royal guard, and then they see the ruler himself. You need to see this, Our Lord is on his way, He’s sending His rereward before Him, and He 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 Hismanifested presence, His majesty, His splendor, power, and glory.
Samson had experienced the majesty and authority of Jehovah and 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!!!!! It’s the cry that got God’s attention and brought a “once more” to Samson, and deliverance to an entire nation of people….
I was inspired by the story of Trey Wood, who was born with only one arm. ….Most people assumed that his handicap would prevent him from participating in a sport like football, which he loved so much. Instead of feeling sorry for himself, Trey decided to prove the experts wrong. Not only did he master the game of football in High school, 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 his fields, and his 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… 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 covenant!
Samson wanted God’s power, but in his lifetime, he had 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 Him, because of His covenant upon Samson. But covenant is a two waystreet and it takes two in agreement, and 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, and be in covenant! A cry came forth from the deepest depth of his being, “Once more Lord, Let me feel Your presence, Your grace and redemptive mercy, once more”!!!! Oh, my, He always hears that cry!
How much power does Satan have….. The answer is… “As much as we give him”!!!!... There are countless numbers of folks, who were brought up in church, they were once committed to serving God and inspiring others, but something happened, and the deceiver has ways of pushing and forcing 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….It’s a callto know the Spirit’s stirring once more, “let me feel your cleansing, your love, your majesty “once more”! Use me once more, Lord stir me once more by your Spirit!
Three friends met on the street. One looked depressed and almost on the verge of tears. The others 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 the friends" "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 problem, said the friends" Oh, there’s more, said the unhappy friend…"Last week my grandfather passed away and I inherited almost a quarter of a million." "Then how come you look so despondent, they 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…. Commitment has been replaced by fun and entertainment. Preaching has been replaced by feel good illustrations and seeker friendly sermons. Holiness has given way to happy hour. 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’s why our nation is in the shape it is in today. We have been weighed and found wanting! Don’t bother me, I just want to feel good!!
Thank God, there is still hope! Thank God there is a Holy stirring among the youth of this nation. And our hope springs from passionate men and women of God who are crying out day and night….once more, Lord, once more!!!
Romans 13:14 “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”
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 a heart change. He is looking for a people who are broken and who are willing to become true followers. He is looking for a people who will be sorrowful “with fasting, and with weeping, and with brokenness before Him”) This is the kind of people God will bless, and restore and use…ONCE MORE!
God is Listening For A Cry Of Restoration … Restoration is messy business…. Mark is a contractor and he can attest to that. It looks like a total mess, before it looks better. Things are ripped out and taken to the bare framework. Junk is piled everywhere before the cleaning up begins and the rebuilding starts. God calls His people back to a place of closeness and holiness. But first comes the place of brokenness and emptying out…then the restoration begins! God is calling 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 ONCE MORE.
I don’t believe I’m wrong, but according to the dispensational covenant, this world will experience one more earth shaking, purifying revival and reformation before the Lord comes. I believe we are in the processional that comes as an indication that the King Himself is near. The Father still has a remnant of people who love Him more than they love their self indulgences. I believe that God is going to purify His church and bring us to a place of repentance and revival “ONCE MORE”!!
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. Let the cry arise to heavenand be lifted before His throne, for the Lord to visit us once again and shake everything that can be shaken!
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.
As we journey forward, we will continually experience checkmates in our personal and corporate lives. Dark times of seeming defeat, but 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.
Seas don’t just split open to allow people to pass through on dry ground, all by themselves. ...Water doesn't just spring forth from a rock on its own. ...Food enough for millions of 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 burst open.
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 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!
God is about to produce the Greatest Show On Earth!....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. Because 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…..Let’s answer the call!
Prayer….. Father, I make myself available to you so that my life can continue to be transformed through faith in Christ and the power of Your Word, that renews of my mind. Give me knowledge in my inner being that will cause me to truly be alive in You. Lord, I know transformation will not happen instantly, so give me the patience and strength to wait upon You, as You continue this process within me. You have clearly stated, that as I behold Your glory, I am being changed into Your image from glory to glory, even as by Your Spirit, Lord Jesus. I declare that transformation in my life has begun. Your love, peace, patience, and power will shine through me so that others will see You within me, wherever I go. I worship You and lift my “once more” to You Lord, as You flow through me and empower me to live the life I was intended to live for Your glory. Lord I open my spirit to you to do Your supernatural work in me. Let my heart be changed as You make me new, and mold me into who I am truly meant to be… In Jesus Name, amen…
If He has ever done a miracle, a wonder, an over the top, supernatural thing for anyone, anywhere, then He will do it for you… He is no respecter of persons and what He’s done for others He’ll do for you!!