Tearing down the walls
As I have read about revivals and renewals in history I have understood their uniqueness and the purpose of their time and place…
I am trying to understand what made them work and what made them fail or end
Some ended because it was time for them to end but others ended or failed because of human mishandling of the things of God
I know the Lord is doing a very gentle sweet thing here and I don’t know where it is going to lead but my heart burns to see this region, our state, our nation, and the world on fire for the Lord…not just saved but discipled and growing to impact the lives of others.
We have begun by being open to Him in every way that we know how Biblically
We have moved to a place of humbling ourselves, putting the Lord first in a heart of fasting…I believe I have two keys that will prepare us for whatever is next with the Lord…this week I want to talk about one
Tearing down the walls
Our culture has tons of walls built up to separate people from one another and we have to begin by tearing down those walls in this church.
We have walls of gender, race, impossibility, sin, and the presence of God
I know I have recently preached about this story but I need to revisit it from this perspective today because Jesus deals with these walls
Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. 7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” 8 He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. 9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
Women at this time were considered less than ½ of the value of a man at times women in our culture feel that way
Women are not less then men and men are not greater than women we have different roles to function in and are called to function in those roles
None of us had anything to do with whether we were born male or female but we certainly have everything to do with whether or we shine with the character of God.
God’s character requires us to
– value one another as gifts from God
– honor one another
– challenge one another to growth
Young men need to learn respect for women from a young age
Gentlemen these are our sisters in Christ and we will answer to our Father for the way that we treat them.
The weakest whimp in the world is the one who verbally, emotionally or physically abuses a woman. No Man of God would ever do that!
On the flip side ladies, not every man is the one that jerked you around, not every man desires to hurt you or abuse you…please be careful in your relationships with men but please don’t treat us all like we are abusers…find some real men of God and women of God and allow them to help you to learn to trust again.
God created both sexes for different roles and different reasons and he created them perfectly in those roles don’t belittle either role either sex we are all created in the image of God.
In this short passage we see that Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman and he addressed her with courtesy saying “please” in this culture that was not necessary he was a man and a Jew he could have demanded the water but he went the extra mile to honor her as a woman and then as a person of a different race
Racism and Cultural differences
While Jesus and the woman were both Israelites the Samaritans are half African (Egyptian) as they are the descendants of Joseph and of a different culture completely.
We need to be careful to not dishonor each other’s culture we spend too much time talking about “them” or “those people” when in the church the only people we should be titling as “them” or “those people” if any at all should be those who don’t know Jesus yet.
We are all learning to walk in God’s grace and mercy, our cultures are different and some things we can appreciate and others things are OK to just be different. We don’t all have to enjoy all of our cultural differences to be in unity but we need to be aware that we are not to be critics of the cultural differences…Biblical differences yes, in love, but cultural differences no! Cultural differences are just different.
On the flip side, we can’t raise any of our cultural things above Christ. We can be loud or quiet, we can eat all kinds of different foods, and like different styles of music but none of these to be raised above the name of Jesus we can not allow our cultural difference to keep us from unity in Christ
Jesus put it this way Matthew 5:46-48
If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
We are to tear down walls by love even with people with whom we feel we have nothing in common.
One of our greatest challenges in our culture even as a church is to believe for the impossible
Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” 11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” 15 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”
Too often we get caught up in the immediate and miss the eternal.
The woman was wanting the embarrassment and hard work of fetching water in the afternoon to end but Jesus wanted to give her what she really wanted…freedom from guilt and shame and a relationship with God.
As I mentioned last week we need to begin believing God for bigger things and expect what really is our heart’s desire rather than settling for the crumbs from the table.
When we grasp that God really loves us and it is a real love, not an ethereal one, then we can believe for the impossible
– the healing we need
– the job we need
– opportunities we need
– salvation and freedom for our family members
– peace, love, joy we need
Mark 10:27 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”
Let’s tear down the wall
John 4: 15-18
“Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.” 16 “Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her. 17 “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied. Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband—18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”
Jesus is wise here…he doesn’t start out and accusing her of being a sinner but instead helps her to see the damage her sin has done to her. She is without a husband she begins to feel the weight of what sin has done to her life
God is calling us to tear down the walls of sin. Let me try to do a Jesus here.
In all of your decisions, actions, and speech today did you act like Jesus?
We like to point out the big thing, lying, cheating, prejudice, stealing, drugs, alcohol abuse…but we have to stop sinning, in general, the idea of just getting away with stuff steals from us a deep, powerful relationship with the Lord that robs us of peace, joy, contentment, love, wisdom, grace and so much more.
Think before you speak, act, or decide is this something I would do, say or decide if Jesus were right here, right now
People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.
1 John 1:7-9
But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
Let’s tear down this wall of sin…the time of games are over
Presence of God
“Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. 20 So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?” 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
This may be the toughest wall of all
We depend so much on the right atmosphere, the quiet devotional time, or the perfect song, or the most dynamic preaching because we choose to build a wall of emotion around our worship
Jesus told the woman that God can’t be contained in a building or location he is everywhere…but He is deeply personal and must be related to not by mere emotion alone but reason, intellect, will and must depend on the depth of your intimate personal truth with Him.
We have to tear down the wall that says god can’t be here or there and it takes this or that for him to show up…we must begin to expect that wherever we are, He is there, in whatever situation we find ourselves He is there and even if our emotions are not there He is there we must worship him not based on our feelings but instead based on the knowledge of our intimacy with him
Let’s tear down this wall
What walls need to come down in your life today…God wants to move in great ways through you but if you insist to keep these walls up you will miss out on all God has for you
Do you have an attitude about the opposite sex that must be healed?
Do you have an attitude about some other culture or race
Have you given up on your dreams or seeing the impossible become real?
Are you comfortable in your sin? Are you tolerating your own sin rather than living completely for Jesus?
Do you live in the presence of God or does it need to happen to you?
Can we please tear down these walls and allow the Lord to build us back up?