Vintage message from July 19, 1998.
We oftentimes find ourselves in situations that are hard, and we begin to look for replacements for God. “If God is not going to deal with it for me, then by golly, I’ll do it. I’ll find a way to accomplish it… I’ll do it by my strength…” This is how I see the church responding to the God Who gave His Son for us. If God doesn’t answer our prayer like, “right now,” we begin to moan and groan and replace God with something else instead of waiting to see the power and strength of God deliver us once again. Do you realize there’s not one of us sitting in this room…that has not seen God’s deliverance in their life. Do you realize that? Every one of us has a testimony of God’s faithfulness.
…Do you realize God has a right to allow your flesh to be destroyed? …And do you realize that in that event, God will still be faithful to you? Think about that. Do you realize that there is not one of us in this room that is guaranteed that when we walk out of this door today that we will live to see another ten minutes from the time we walk out? …And do you realize that God will still be faithful even if He allows some of us to die? Even if He allows some of us to suffer? Even if He allows some of us to go without?
…Do you realize that you can not walk in relationship with God on the heels of the people who are around you that may be spiritual? You have to have that relationship yourself. You have to call on the Lord your God, the Lord my God, the Lord our God. If you are going to people and saying, “Pray for me because I know you to be spiritual and God hears you, but God doesn’t hear me,” there’s a real problem there. A real problem… If you allow the problems and the things that are going on around you to overwhelm your life so that God gets put on the shelf for a while, then you’re not seeking His kingdom or His righteousness first. Seek that first. Forget the troubles around you, because we have a God Who lives and Who is for us and will not allow us to fail in our walk with Him… Some of us may not see the blessings of God that we want to see until the day that we see Him face to face. He may allow for us to come to the point of seeing this flesh completely fall away, and then add to us the things we need while, in the meantime, making our flesh, and the death of our flesh, an example to the people around us…
I will not fail to teach you the way that is good and right. I will not fail to pray for you. Do you realize that that is the main distinctive of Calvary Chapel? It’s not fancy programs, and it’s not big youth groups, and it’s not beautiful looking buildings, even though sometimes those things have come to Calvary Chapel. Do you realize the distinctive of Calvary Chapel is to teach the Word of God? To equip the saints for the work of service, as Paul tells us? That we’re not here to have all the fun and glamor and glitter that many other churches find themselves doing. We’re not going to have big bands, and we’re not going to have a lot of fancy stuff, and I don’t care what people want in their church. If they want the fancy stuff, there’s plenty of them they can go to. When they come here, far be it from me that I do not teach the Word of God! Far be it from me that I do not pray for those that enter into this place.
Pastor Dave Elkins