Faithlife Sermons

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*Lord, I Agree*:
Twelve Articles of Explicit Agreement
Between
the Covenant Keeping God
and
the Reviving Believer
 
----
By the mercy if God I have been a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ since my early youth.
Over the years of my earthly pilgrimage I have known what it is like to climb great spiritual mountains and how it feels to fall into chasms of blackness.
I have had long seasons of great Christian joy and intense moments of utter despair.
For protracted periods I have enjoyed the knowledge of sins forgiven, yet on occasion have wondered if even the gracious Lord of heaven could or would pardon me.
Over the years I have learned something of the urgent necessity of a steady walk with Christ and the frightening power of Satan in the drawing me away from the deepest commitments.
The years have proven how carefully the concerns of the soul must be cultivated and how easily backsliding sets in.
One small disagreement with God is sufficient to halt forward spiritual progress and to enable backsliding to gain its toehold.
My observation of the spiritual struggles of the believer have not been restricted to my own experience.
Having taught and preached in a great variety of places over the last four decades, I have come to realize disagreement with God is at root of man's spiritual problems.
It is with great sorrow that I recall some who once seemed to walk with Christ with both joy and enthusiasm who are now much less zealous than earlier.
Can any man number the vast multitudes of persons who know the right words, who even seem to have a form of godliness, and are yet denying the power thereof?
Where did all their power go?
Is not disagreement with God their fundamental difficulty?
The consequence of this large scale disagreement with God is that a watching world is doubtful indeed of the validity of Christianity, for they observe that the impact of the negative witness of millions who profess to be "/born again/" Christians, and obviously are either not Christians at all or are not practicing Christianity, is vastly greater than the impact of the positive witness of that minority of professed Christians who have been truly converted to Jesus Christ.
Only a revival of genuine Christianity can turn this tragic situation around and make the Christian church once more a powerful force for good and for God in today's world.
While the revival which is needed must be must be a very popular revival, sweeping millions from the kingdom of words into the kingdom of power and other millions from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light, it must have its beginning in small ways, and in individual lives.
And where are you in these matters?
Perhaps you are a new believer just starting your Christian experience.
Possibly you know but little of the wicked devices of Satan exercised against the children of God.
Let me assure you, this lack of experience will not last long!
The Devil has every intention of robbing You of joy and power.
If he can get you to disagree with God in any matter, he has lined you up for a great fall.
Possibly you are an aged Christian who has maintained a steady walk with Christ for a long time.
If so, you already know much of the mandatory nature of explicit agreement with the covenant keeping God.
But you are as fully in agreement with Him as you ought to be?
Is it possible that your lack of spiritual power exists because you disagree with God in some seemingly unimportant area of your life?
Maybe you are one of those Christians whose experience has always been up and down, in and out, round about, never really satisfying for any length of time, but all you have ever known.
Do you realize that unbelief is at the very heart if your difficulty, for disagreement with God and your unbelief are synonymous?
Full and explicit agreement with the Lord Jesus Christ is the reviving believer's only choice.
Agreement with the Lord is all things is the only possible guarantee of spiritual prosperity.
To agree fully with Him in all things and at all times is to experience continuing reviving.
To disagree with God in anything is to assure spiritual declension and the loss of those reviving graces of Jesus Christ so greatly needed in your life at this time.
According to the Bible, it is impossible to please God without faith.
The faith required is both an acknowledgment of God's existence and a heartfelt response to the realization that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him [Hebrews 11:6].
Diligence in seeking God requires continual submission to the truths He reveals concerning Himself and the demands He lays upon the seeker.
A rejection of either God's revelation of Himself or His plan for your life constitutes unbelief.
This unbelief robs men and women of forgiveness of sins and leads to eternal condemnation.
We are saved by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
This faith that saves is not passive acquiescence in facts concerning Jesus but active submission to His Lordship.
To say, "*I believe in* Jesus Christ" and yet not to *believe Him* is a tragic foolishness.
If I believe in Him I must believe in what He says.
If I really believe what He says, I will do whatever He commands.
If I do not do what He says, I must face His searching question "/Why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?/ [Luke 6:46].
What possible explanations can any person offer for such contradiction?
Jesus was very dogmatic in insisting, "/Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name?
And in Thy name have cast out devils?
And in Thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I confess unto them, I never knew you; depart from Me, ye that worketh iniquity/" [Matthew 7:21-23].
One Satan's greatest triumphs has been his magnificent success in getting people to believe that they can be saved from hell without being saved from their sins and themselves.
Multitudes are depending upon Jesus as a fire escape from eternal torment who have no conscious intention of yielding themselves to His Lordship or of walking in daily obedience to Him.
They strangely suppose they can have Jesus as their Savior while rejecting Him as their Lord.
They desire to be citizens of His kingdom while rejecting His kingship.
They seek to grasp the kingdom of heaven with one hand while the other is hanging on to the kingdom of this world.
Forgetful of Matthew 6:24 ["/No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other; ye cannot serve God and mammon/"] they make Gospel out of nonsense and substitute the deception of Satan for the truth of God.
Sadly, such persons belong to the kingdom of the words rather than the kingdom of power.
Reviving believer, Jesus Christ is Lord!
This must be believed!
This must be yielded to!
This must be acted upon!
Failure here is failure everywhere!
Learning to enter into complete and explicit agreement with God in all things is the most important task the believer faces.
Praising God is robbed of meaning if you disagree with Him.
True worship only exists where there is harmony between the worshiped and the worshiper.
Witness is only Spirit empowered and God glorifying when harmony exists between life and lip.
All religious acts are deprived of spiritual significance when unbelief manifests itself in disagreement with God.
The new believer may not agree with God in all things for he may not yet know very much.
He must, however, agree with all he knows.
As he grows in the Christian faith, his submission to all that God is teaching him must advance with his knowledge of God and his understanding of God's claims upon his life.
It is precisely here that so many go astray.
Recollections of former submission is no substitute for present submission.
It is not enough that I once agreed with God, I must agree with Him now.
What possible value is there in having believed when I understood little if I do not believe when I understand much?
Full and explicit agreement with God in everything is the only key to the joy and power you have been craving in your Christian experience.
I have selected twelve essential realms where agreement with God must be maintained at all times.
Failure here is a tragedy your soul does not need.
With the earnest hope that you will know more fully than you ever expected the power of personal revival.
I invite your prayerful consideration of these twelve articles of explicit agreement between the covenant-keeping God and yourself.
Read them with great care!
Ponder each one carefully!
Meditate upon the scriptures suggested!
Ask continually, "Do I agree with God in each line of this article?"
Repent of every disagreement!
Enter into total agreement with Him on everything He says!
Commit yourself to diligent maintenance of these explicit articles, and the covenant-keeping God will do a work of reviving your soul so gracious and wonderful you will never cease to praise Him.
I.
* Lord, I Agree With You Concerning Your View Of My Life.*
                                             1.
*Lord I agree* that You love me and that I am the very person for whom Christ died, being the "whosover" of John 3:16, and that this means I am of tremendous importance to You.
I acknowledge that You have loved me with an everlasting love and that with loving kindness You are continually drawing me [Jeremiah 31:3; Romans 8:35; I John 3:1; 4:10].
*Lord I agree* that You have a plan for my life and that in living according to that plan I will attain the greatest degree of happiness and usefulness possible [Proverbs 3:5-6; Matthew 5:3-12; Philippians 2:12-13; II Timothy 1:9; Hebrews 13:20-21].
2.
*Lord I agree* that to much of my life has already past without sufficient spiritual growth that I must not waste any more time or opportunity [Ephesians 5:14-17].
3.
*Lord I agree* that I may be living my very last day today and that I must wisely regard each day as if it were my last and live it solely to the praise of Your glory [Psalm 39:5; 90:10; 99:47; I Corinthians 7:29; James 4:14-17].
4.
*Lord I agree* that You have the right of Lordship over my life by virtue of the fact that in the sacrificial death of Christ You purchased me and therefore all my time, my money, my property, my business, my family, my goals, my desires, my conduct, my words and my thoughts must be under Your control [Romans 14:8; First Corinthians 6:19-20].
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