promise you if you are dealing with hatred and rage and
bitterness and disappointment; if you are struggling with
the addictions of alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, food, shopping;
if you are stressed out over work, taxes, finances, kids,
spouses, health; if you are going through death, divorce,
bankruptcy; or if you simply need a spiritual boost this
message is for you! It is a message we need to hear because
it is a message of God・s grace that comes into our
lives, that heals, that produces goodness and makes a difference
at the core of our being.
January 22nd I was installed as the Senior Pastor
of this church. The pastor who gave the message on that
day was Bill Hybels. Maybe some of you will remember his
message to us. Here is a paragraph from his message and
his challenge to us. He said this: "I'd like to challenge
every member of this congregation and every member of the
Hour of Power family all over the world to make a commitment
to pray for Rev. Dr. Robert Anthony Schuller and his family.
Pray that Robert would lead and preach with the faith and
the optimism of King David from the Old Testament. We need
to just pray that God will fill Robert with power."
That was his message. I want to say that I have felt your
prayers, and I know you are praying this prayer. As you
keep praying this prayer a unique thing will happen because
when you give things away something fascinating happens.
If you give love away, guess what happens? You get more
love, right? When you pray for strength for someone, guess
what happens to you? You get more strength. When you give
something away you actually get more than you can give away.
I believe that is a spiritual principle that somehow cannot
be measured. But is a spiritual principle that is true to
the very core of who we are. If you have a need today, your
need is to give.
my scripture today is from First Samuel. Since Bill asked
us to pray like David I think we better know how David prays.
We better see and know a little bit more about David. We
are talking about King David in the Old Testament. You can
read about it, in fact this is your homework this week,
read First Samuel, chapters 16 and 17. It won・t take
you very long. Samuel goes to the house of Jesse, David's
father. He goes there because he's been appointed by God
to anoint the next king of Israel. So he goes to Jesse's
house and there he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited
them to the sacrifice. When they came to the sacrifice everyone
came except for one. David has many older brothers, David
was the youngest and everyone came except for whom? David.
What happens? I don・t know why but God has a way of
taking the least of these and making them the most of us.
The first thing Samuel did is he consecrated the family.
What does that mean to consecrate? To consecrate means to
seek forgiveness. In fact, in the Christian church we baptize,
we cleanse. When you consecrate yourself for a sacrifice
what you do is you cleanse yourself, you put on your fine
clothes and you prepare yourself to do something with God.
That・s what consecration is. In the title of this message,
when I ask you to mount up, what I'm asking you to do is
to consecrate yourselves to God. Seek the forgiveness, seek
the cleansing, and seek the baptism and the purity of heart
that God wants for you to have because your healing begins
with cleansing. Let me explain.
received a letter a couple of years ago from John Vawter.
John works with parents whose kids abuse drugs or alcohol
and he has a non-profit organization entitled, "You・re
Not Alone." John's father is named Harry. He was a
member of Dale Galloway's church. Dale Galloway is a great
pastor and a good friend and he shared this story at Harry's
funeral. So let me be sure you have the picture. John is
at his father's funeral. Dale Galloway is conducting the
funeral and after the funeral he shares with John an event
he experienced with Harry. Harry was an abused man. Harry's
father would abuse him and he would abuse his kids. He would
beat them and there would be serious consequences when he
beat them. There was a time when Harry finally grew big
enough and strong enough where he could stand up to his
dad and said, "You are not going to beat me and you
are not going to beat my brothers and sisters any more.
I'm the oldest and if you are going to touch one of them
you will have to go through me." Harry eventually helped
his brothers and sisters mature and get out of that house,
but the rest of his life he hated his father. He carried
that hatred for decades and years later when he was an elder
at Dale Galloway・s church, a pastor from this congregation
taught a seminar and after the seminar Harry came and said,
"How am I supposed to forgive my father? He's dead.
How can you forgive somebody who's dead?" The pastor's
response was, "Harry, your father is dead, but Jesus
is alive. You need to give your hatred to Jesus and allow
Him to deal with however He deals with dead people."
Then the pastor and Harry had a prayer together. At Harry's
funeral Dale Galloway shared with John that Harry had come
to him and said, "For the first time in my life I am
over the hatred toward my father." That prayer consecrated
are people today reading this who have hatred and bitterness,
you've been carrying it maybe for 10, 20, 30, 50 years.
Maybe it's against a former spouse, maybe it's against your
parents, maybe it's towards your children or your brothers
or your sisters, but you're holding and harboring hatred
today and it's time to release the hatred and hand it over
to Jesus Christ. It's time to let go. It's time to feel
the cleansing power of Christ to come and produce love and
joy and healing. And it's time to put all of that stuff
away. The time is right now. Let's pray together. Bill Hybels
committed us to prayer and we said yes, so we're going to
pray right now that God will release us of any hatred and
bitterness and anger, and release us from the addictions
and free us right now. Would you please pray with me? Repeat
these words after me.
Jesus, you are alive. You can heal me today. Take away my
hatred. Take away my rage. Take away my bitterness. Take
away my depression. Take away my addictive behaviors. Cleanse
me, Lord. Thank you, Lord. I love you, Lord. Amen."
we're cleansed, and from there you need to take courage.
After David was anointed by Samuel he came to the Philistines.
He grew up and he came and saw the battle that was taking
place between Israel and the Philistines. And he said, "Do
you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy
Israel." The Philistines had a champion named Goliath.
In the ancient battles they didn・t want to lose everybody,
so sometimes one side would pick a champion to go out and
fight and then the other side would pick a champion and
these two people would battle and one person would win and
only one person would lose their life, every one else became
servants of every one else, slaves of everyone else. So
here's this champion, a giant 9 foot tall man, named Goliath,
and he came out and taunted the Israelites every day. David
traveled from shepherding the sheep to take provisions to
his brothers. The conversation he heard among his brothers
and the Israelites was: "Do you see how this man keeps
coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give
you great wealth, to the man who kills him. He will give
him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his father・s
family from taxes." David hears this and he couldn't
believe his ears so he had them repeat it. He discussed
it with somebody else; his brother hears him discussing
it and gets really made at him. He has him repeat it again
so he hears it 3 times. "The king will give you great
wealth, give you his daughter in marriage, and your family
will be free from taxes." So, David comes to Saul and
he says, "I can defeat this man." And we know
the story of David and Goliath. David picked up a stone,
put it in his sling, and killed Goliath. Today, we have
Goliaths we face; the Goliath of our addictive behavior,
the Goliath of our stress of work and taxes and kids and
health, the stress of going through the difficult times
of death, divorce, bankruptcy. No matter what you are going
through I want you to know Goliath can be slain; if you
put your faith in God Almighty you cannot fail. As David
said, "the Lord who delivered me from the paw of the
lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand
of this Philistine." Today, the same God who has been
our God from the creation to the present will help us slay
the Goliaths that stand in our way. Our God has purified
our souls and today He's asking you to take courage and
face your Goliath. Do it with prayer.
has given us the power to believe in His truths and He has
consecrated us for a purpose and for a reason. He has lifted
us with eagle's wings that we might soar to be the people
that He's called us to be. Remember, it's not how we die,
because every single one of us will die, it's how we live
that counts. It is what happens in us that's far more important
than what happens to us. So, as we continue to live today
with the power of Jesus Christ lifting our wings, let us
move forward in faith knowing that God has given us the
will and the power to overcome any Goliath we face in our
lives. You can do it with God.
with me, O God, we thank you that you are real, that you're
alive, that you're touching hearts with your power and your
presence and your peace; so fill us, Lord, with your goodness
and your grace we pray. Amen.