January 10, 2018 Get Back Up!

How many have ever worked out? Before we get stronger we typically are sore. That’s because our muscles develop little tears in them and then they heal and allow the muscles to grow stronger.

After leg day, I usually can be seen walking around like a newborn deer.

But, after a few days we recover and are stronger than before. When we go to the gym the next time and work out that muscle group we are typically able to lift more than the week before and it makes us feel great.

It’s the same way in our spiritual lives. We don’t just wake up one morning as spiritual giants. It takes being sore, to grow. We have times where things are going to come at us, and hit us hard. It will hurt us and make us weak, but after it passes, if we focus on Christ and not our situation, it will make us stronger.

God uses these experiences to make us stronger, to make us depend on His strength and not our own.

Tonight we are going to look at 3 men in the Bible that were on a spiritual mountain and then got knocked down and into a valley, and how God restored them to do great things for Him.

Elijah-

Victory- Mt. Carmel (Massive victory against Baal’s prophets)

-          1 Kings 18:20-40

Defeat- Fleeing from Jezebel

-          1 Kings 19:1-3

o   Elijah fled for his life

-          V4

o   Asked God to kill him

Restoration- God provided for him

-          1 Kings 19:5-6

o   An angel cared for him. Slept and ate and was physically refreshed

-          1 Kings 19:  9-13

o   Loud wind, earthquake, a fire but in none of those. He was in the gentle breeze. (God, quietly unknown to us, is working in and around us.)

David-

Victory- Killing Goliath

-          1 Samuel 17:48-51

-          1 Samuel 17:37 (Delivered from a bear, lion surely He will deliver me from the Philistine.

Victory- United the Northern (Israel) and Southern kingdoms (Judah).

                This united the entirety of Israel which made them stronger militarily, economically and religiously.

Defeat- Adultery with Bathsheba (Called David’s greatest sin)

-          2 Samuel 11:1-5

Defeat- Had Uzziah Murdered-

-          2 Samuel 11:6-17

Restoration- David Repents of his actions (because of his repentance, God restores him)

-          Psalm 51


Peter

Victory- Called to be a disciple

-          Matthew 4:18-20

Victory- Walks on water

-          Matthew 14:28-29

Victory- Sees the transfiguration

-          Matt 17

Defeat- Sinks in the water

-          Matt 14:30

Defeat- Peter’s Denial

-          Predicted in Matt 26:30-35

-          Fulfilled in Matt 26:69-75

Restoration- Feeding sheep

-          John 21:15-20

Restoration- Peter at Pentecost

-          Acts 2:15- 42 (3k saved that day)

So, we see through the lives of these three men that even some of the most well-known believers will make mistakes and fall down. But, while they were in that spiritual valley God restored them and made them stronger than before.

1.       We need to rely on God’s strength and not our own

-          2 Corinthians 12:10- “that is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, I am strong.”

2.       We must be humble, and not arrogant.

-          John 3:30- “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

So, if you make a mistake, don’t stay defeated in that valley. Turn your eyes back to God and allow Him to restore you and make you stronger.

I am going to close with Psalm 9:9-10. It says, “The LORD also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble; and those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.”

 

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