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Reboot Me

Pentateuch Principles   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  42:35
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Dr. Tozer once said, “Men are not revived because they sing; they sing because they are revived.”
INTRO - “Did you turn it off and back on again?” When I worked for the Villages IT department, that was typically the first thing I asked when I was called to help someone fix a computer problem.
There are two types of computer reboots, a hard reboot and a soft reboot.
Similarly there are two types of renewal in the life of a Jesus follower. One is when we believe in Jesus and ask him to forgive and save us. The other happens when we need to remember Jesus.
In a way, we are like a computer that just is not working the way it is designed to function. Sometimes we need a reboot, a refreshing, a reviving.
TRANS - Our text today tells of the time when Jacob needed a personal refreshing, a spiritual revival, a reboot.
He was in an evil place:
Genesis 33:18 ESV
And Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, on his way from Paddan-aram, and he camped before the city.
Last week we discussed the result of being in that bad place and how it led to the moral defilement of his daughter.
Also, two of his sons had done some very evil things.
Let’s refresh our memory by reading that account of Simeon and Levi’s wicked actions.
Genesis 34:13–30 ESV
The sons of Jacob answered Shechem and his father Hamor deceitfully, because he had defiled their sister Dinah. They said to them, “We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one who is uncircumcised, for that would be a disgrace to us. Only on this condition will we agree with you—that you will become as we are by every male among you being circumcised. Then we will give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters to ourselves, and we will dwell with you and become one people. But if you will not listen to us and be circumcised, then we will take our daughter, and we will be gone.” Their words pleased Hamor and Hamor’s son Shechem. And the young man did not delay to do the thing, because he delighted in Jacob’s daughter. Now he was the most honored of all his father’s house. So Hamor and his son Shechem came to the gate of their city and spoke to the men of their city, saying, “These men are at peace with us; let them dwell in the land and trade in it, for behold, the land is large enough for them. Let us take their daughters as wives, and let us give them our daughters. Only on this condition will the men agree to dwell with us to become one people—when every male among us is circumcised as they are circumcised. Will not their livestock, their property and all their beasts be ours? Only let us agree with them, and they will dwell with us.” And all who went out of the gate of his city listened to Hamor and his son Shechem, and every male was circumcised, all who went out of the gate of his city. On the third day, when they were sore, two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, took their swords and came against the city while it felt secure and killed all the males. They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with the sword and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house and went away. The sons of Jacob came upon the slain and plundered the city, because they had defiled their sister. They took their flocks and their herds, their donkeys, and whatever was in the city and in the field. All their wealth, all their little ones and their wives, all that was in the houses, they captured and plundered. Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me by making me stink to the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites and the Perizzites. My numbers are few, and if they gather themselves against me and attack me, I shall be destroyed, both I and my household.”
As I often remind people, sin is like a cobweb.
As this story reminds us sin leads to more sin.
EST - God speaks to Jacob in his time depression and despair.
ESS - Our message notes the process of personal revival and renewal.
OSS - We will end our time with a call to God for personal revival and renewal.
TRANS - Do you need God’s help when enduring personal hardship. Me too and this morning we are visiting how this works, our part, and how revival appears.

What does it say?

Genesis 35:1 ESV
God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there. Make an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.”

What does it mean?

Precept in Rebooting “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there”

Two steps for doing a cold reboot on my computer.
Press and hold the power button until it shuts down.
Press the power button and let the computer boot up fresh.
Similarly, there are two things when God calls for our reboot.

Submit to the reboot “go up to Bethel”

If Jacob wants to be revived, he has to submit to God.
Feeling like you need a personal revival?
Are you doing what God says you must do?

Scripture in a reboot “God said”

I have a bit of a rebellious nature in me.
Let me paint you a picture of how I’ve noticed past sin messing up my life.
When God say’s do things together with other Jesus followers, I’ve expected them to do things my way.
Then, I complained about all the problems.
Think about that for a moment.
I got my way, even if I had to blow my top, I made things go my way.
Then, I wasn’t happy because of problems.
Sound familiar?
I was not as mature a Christian back then.
Today I know everyone has ideas and fortunately they are not always the same as mine.
Even better, because I work with people who bring their own ideas, I’m not standing in Gods way.
And that leads to changes happening.
You see, selfishness prevented me from feeling good.
Even worse, it prevented change and inhibited God’s will.
While I may think having things my way is better, I’ve found that just makes my life more difficult.
Got problems?
There is more I don’t know that what I do.
But one thing I do know is If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.
God called me to “drop” the selfish and rebellious part of my nature and “listen” to him.
It’s not so easy.
Maybe that’s why God allows personal breakdowns?
You know what else I know?
Listening to Him is more important than my problems.
Revival comes when we listen to His Word.
When life seems overwhelming, who’s voice is loudest?
TRANS - Okay, so our precepts are submission and Scripture. Now let’s consider the where or the “place” of rebooting.

Place of Rebooting “Arise go up to Bethel”

When we listen to God, he puts us where we need to be for a reboot.
Living in the wrong places, hanging with wrong sort of folks, watching the wrong sort of stuff on the television.
When the “wrong” influences our “right” choices and messes up people called to be “holy unto the Lord” and the condition of our soul is trashed, we need change.
2 things

A return “to Bethel”

Jacob was previously in Bethel.
It was there he dedicated himself to the Lord.
Jacob needed to return to the place in his life where he knew he was most right with God.
Do you recall the command Jesus gave to the church of Ephesus in the book of Revelation:
Revelation 2:5 ESV
Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.
ILL - While studying for this message I was reminded of my trip to Oneonta, NY in August of last year. It was my Aunts wish for me to preform her service.
Oneonta is much more than just some destination. You see, both my natural birth and second birth happened in Oneonta. For me, that city is a very special place.
It was there I remember my sister Cecilia laughing at a birthday party while getting a birthday spanking. It was there I remember standing in line for that first day of kindergarten. It was there I had my fort in the bushes. Yes, lots of good memories.
But, far exceeding them all is the memory of God calling me to himself. I recall the day I said yes to Jesus. That is the best day of my life.
You and I must return to Jesus over and over again.
Everyday we must seek God and ask to be filled with the HS.
So we must return, the second thing is getting to it.

A Rising “Arise, go”

Bethel’s location is up, that is geography it is situated at a higher altitude.
ILL - In order to get from the couch to the dining room table, we have to use our feet.
If you want to eat, get on your feet, right!
ILL - When I was a boy I took swimming lessons at the YMCA. I was a brand new swimmer, so I was in the minnow class. One of the first lessons was treading water. Once I demonstrated I could keep my head above water, I learned how to propel myself forward.
Some Christians get saved, just keep their head above water, but fail to make any forward progress.
They go through life never sacrificing anything for Jesus.
They may give some money to the church, attend Sunday School, go to services, but when come time to add up their sacrifices, they’ve nothing to give Jesus.
They simply never move.
If you ask God to revive you without the willingness to do your part, I hope you are not expecting anything all too soon.
Our text says “Arise, go.”
Symbolically this text is telling us that revival, renewal, a rebooting puts us on higher ground.
Sin never puts you in a better place, it only lowers people.
So far we’ve noted the precepts and the place for revival.
When God speaks, and He will, and you do your part, that’s on you, our next point tells you what to expect.

Product of Rebooting

2 results

The abode in the product “Bethel”

Rebooting will put us in a better places.
Jacob was in a bad place, living on unholy ground, seeing unholy deeds.
A renewal takes people from wicked places, the dens of iniquity, and puts them in church.
You see, Bethel means house of God.

The altar in the product “Make an altar there”

When God revives you, your worship habits will change.
ILL - My dad tried for nearly 20 years to get me to attend Promise Keepers with him. He wanted to attend one of their conferences with his son. I managed to always come up with some kind of excuse.
After surrendering to God, I asked my dad to attend one of their conferences with me. My dad was so happy. I’ll never forget worshiping like the way we did with one another before our God. It was a truly amazing experience for me and I know my dad was super happy we were there together.
Dad and I were two of a large group of men from FBC Leesburg attending that event. It impacted us. We came back revived. You should have seen Sunday morning church. Hands in the air all over the place. Men singing, smiling, and shouting “Amen” at the preacher. It changed our worship.
An altar requires sacrifice.
Revival will loosen us up.
It will loosen up our purse strings when giving.
It will loosen our lips when witnessings.
It will loosen up our schedules to do more for God.
Yes, when God revives us, we find more freedom to sacrifice ourselves, our lives, and all we have for the cause of the kingdom.
We’ve noted the precepts, place, and product of revival.
But, there is one last thing to note.

Prodding of Rebooting

God frequently calls us to obey.
How often does God need to remind us to obey his commands?
We see it here in two ways.

The dream in the prodding. “God who appeared to you”

God reminds Jacob of the dream he gave him the first time he visited Bethel.
God promises a spiritual blessing for revival.
Revival comes from God’s Spirit to our soul.
I’d ask is God in your thoughts, on your mind, is some way just there?
Perhaps that’s God’s prodding and reassurance He want you to be revived?

The danger in the prodding. “when you fled from your brother Esau.”

God protected Jacob when he was fleeing from Esau.
God is helping Jacob see that revival will protect him again.
If you want to be revived, renewed, rebooted then you may need to experience a supernatural change in your soul.
But, don’t worry.
Change is often scary.
I’m not afraid of dying, but I am afraid to the extent I’ve never done before.
If God is prodding you, don’t let fear hold you back.
God promises to protect you.
It will be new, different, and perhaps even weird or a little scary.
Still, God’s got you and you’ve nothing to fear.

What is God telling me?

God still has promises for you and wants to bless you in all sorts of ways.
Is God calling out to you because you need revival?
Is God’s message to you to come back to where you once were?
God masterfully works in our lives when we need him most.
Be obedient to God when you need a spiritual reboot and trust that he will keep you safe.
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