Matthew 17:14-2114 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, 15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. 16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. 17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. 18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. 19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting./
Luke 17:6 - And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
Paraphrase this scripture… what is going on here?
A man came to Jesus, knelt before him and said – Sir, have mercy on my son. He is an epileptic and has such terrible fits that he often falls in the fire or into water. I took him to your disciples, but they could do nothing.
Jesus said: How unbelieving and wrong you people are. How long must I stay with you, when will you learn. How long do I have to put up with you? Bring the boy here to me. Jesus gave one command to the demon, and it wet out of the boy, and that very moment the boy was healed.
The disciples came over and in private they said, hey, how come we could not heal the boy Jesus? How come we could not make the demon come out of the boy?
Because you lack faith said Jesus. I told you that if you have faith the size of a mustard seed you could move the mountain problems in your life. You could speak to your problems and they would move – you can do anything but this kind of faith only comes by prayer and fasting.
Your not connected he told them. Basically, they were just pretty fixtures around Jesus. They looked good. They were preaching and teaching Jesus. But they were not connected to the power, they were just pretty faucets.
I like to tell you a story about Thomas Edward Lawrence.
Thomas Edward (T.E.) Lawrence was born in1888 in Wales. Popularly known as Lawrence of Arabia, Lawrence became famous for his exploits as British Military liaison to the Arab Revolt during the First World War.
The desert raids of British officer T.E. Lawrence and his Arab rebels tied down many Turkish troops who could have been fighting the main British armies in the Middle East. Lawrence of Arabia's struggle against the Turks during World War I was a classic of guerrilla warfare, and his personal account has become a classic of world literature. And, of course, many of you have seen the movie about the life of Lawrence of Arabia.
Lawrence wrote about his Arabian adventures in The Seven Pillars of Wisdom.
During the war, Lawrence formed close friendships with many of the Sheiks of Arabia. After the war, he brought some of these Sheiks back to England to show his appreciation for their support against the Turkish domination.
They had a wonderful visit, appeared before the Joint House of Commons and Parliament, had an audience with the Queen.
On the last night of their visit, Lawrence offered them anything they wanted to take back with them to their desert homes.
They led him up to the hotel room, into the bathroom, and pointed to the faucets in the bathtub and said that they wanted to take faucets with them that would provide them with running water in the deserts.
They didn’t realize that the faucets were superficial. Behind them was plumbing, a hot water heater, an energy source that heated the water, a city main that supplied the water, and from the city main went a line to an outside source of water!
The magic is not in the faucet! It is what is behind the faucet that gives the water!
· The faucet can be 24 carat gold, but if it’s not attached to a water supply, it’s useless!
· The magic is not in the faucet, the power comes from what is behind the faucet! Things that are not visible to the human eye, but are there nonetheless!
· If the pump, or the plumbing, or the reservoir ever to out of service, the faucet is useless! It’s what’s behind the faucet that gives it its power!
THE FIRST THING I WANT TO SAY THIS MORNING IS THIS; THE FAUCET IS NECESSARY TO GET THE WATER TO WHERE IT NEEDS TO BE.
· I don’t want to minimize the importance of a vessel! God needs faucets!
· God has always worked through human vessels.
· In fact, most of the time, God works through the most unlikely vessels!
It really does not matter what the faucet looks like, just as long as it works. It does not matter where it comes from, the water can pour though it. God can use anyone to pour His power though; He is not a respecter of person. Let’s look at some of God’s faucets:
God Can Use Anyone
|· Moses stuttered. · David's armor didn't fit. · Timothy had ulcers. · Amos' only training was in the school of fig-tree pruning. · Jacob was a liar. · David had an affair. · Solomon was too rich. · Abraham was too old. · David was too young. · Peter was afraid of death. · Lazarus was dead.||· John was self-righteous. · Naomi was a widow. · Paul was a murderer. · So was Moses. · Jonah ran from God. · Miriam was a gossip. · Gideon and Thomas both doubted. · Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal. · Elijah was burned out. · Martha, the sister of Mary, was impatient and showed excessive concern for mundane matters· Mary may have been lazy. · Samson had long hair. · Noah got drunk, and that's not all.|
But God doesn't require a job interview.
· He doesn't hire and fire like most bosses,
· Because He's more our Dad than our Boss. – It’s a family business.
· He doesn't look at financial gain or loss.
· He's not prejudiced or partial, not judging, grudging,
· Sassy, or brassy, not deaf to our cry, not blind to our need
· Orange County Cycles: Paul Sr.; Paul Jr.; Mikey
God needs us to be faucets!
Turn to John 7:38
38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
· God can have all the plumbing in place, have the pump hooked up, ready to pour out blessings on His people, on the world, but He needs us to be vessels! He needs a faucet!
· In many cases, the only thing that stops a move of God is the lack of a vessel.
· Turn to 2 Kings 4:6
· When Elisha was performing the miracle for the prophet’s widow, and the oil was flowing freely, the Bible says:
2 Kings 4:6
6 And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed.
The only thing that stopped the flow of oil was the lack of a vessel!
· Now, don’t ask me to explain why God decided to use imperfect vessels to accomplish His work.
· It doesn’t make sense to me that this God who can do all things would choose to restrict Him to moving through imperfect, flawed, inconsistent humanity!
· I don’t know why the Creator chooses to move through His creation!
· But God is always seeking for men and women through which to move!
· I don’t understand why God uses me: Shy
Turn to Isaiah 43:18
In Isaiah 43:18 He said, “I will work, and who will let it?”
God needs a vessel to through which to work!
· Ezekiel said that God was seeking a MAN to stand in the gap and make up the hedge!
· In the Book of Revelation, John says that God wept because He could find no MAN to open the book of salvation, so God Himself took on the form of man to bring redemption!
· Do you understand how important you are to the work of God! God will not move without a vessel! Repeat several times
· God will not pour out His spirit without a faucet for it to flow through - you are that faucet!
· God needs you and He needs me!
NOW, THE SECOND THING I WANT TO TALK ABOUT IS THIS:
EVEN THOUGH GOD NEEDS US, WE CANNOT AFFORD TO TAKE THE GLORY FOR WHAT ONLY GOD CAN DO!
· I am a faucet, but I must remember that there is no magic in the faucet!
· Its what is behind the faucet that counts!
· If the power supply ever gets shut off behind the wall, this faucet is useless!
· I may still say the same things, may still appear to be the same, but if my power supply is shut off, I am of no use to anyone!
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
· I must understand that I am only the vessel, the conduit, the faucet!
· The power is God’s, I am only the earthen vessel! I can’t sing well enough, I can’t preach well enough to duplicate what God can only do!
3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
· No matter how much God moves through us, remember it is God and not us!
· No matter how many prophecies we give, no matter how much anointed preaching and teaching comes forth from us, we must never forget that it is what’s behind the faucet that makes all the difference!
· No matter how many good things happen through me, I am only the faucet, there is a power supply behind me, and if that is ever cut off I am useless!
IN OUR TEXT THIS MORNING, JESUS IS TEACHING HIS DISCIPLES THIS VERY IMPORTANT LESSON.
· They had most likely watched Him cast out devils many times before.
· They had heard Him teach about going into the Strongman’s house and taking his armor.
· They had probably watched as he sent the legion of devils into a herd of swine.
Numerous times the scripture speaks of Jesus casting out devils, and it is probable that the disciples were witnesses to these events.
· So, now they come across a situation that they feel very confident that they can handle!
· They have watched Jesus do this, they have observed His hand motions, listened to what He said, and how he said it!
· They have the words, actions, motions, and everything else down pat, but there is one thing missing!
· They have no power! There is nothing behind the faucet, and they fail miserably at the task at hand.
Example of how we do the same things.
And Jesus takes this opportunity to tell them that there is no magic in the faucet!
· In other words, if there is no prayer and fasting, there will be no power!
· There is no magic in the faucet, its what is behind the faucet that makes the difference!
· Say all the right words
· Do all the right hand motions
· Use the right tone of voice
· But, if there is no prayer and fasting that has taken place behind the wall, there will be no power coming from the faucet! This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting!
THE DANGER WE FACE IS WHEN WE TRY TO DUPLICATE THROUGH MERE HUMAN EFFORTS WHAT CAN ONLY BE PRODUCED BY GOD!
It is so easy for us to become disconnected from the power supply. When we get connected, and the power of God flows through us, we observer the signs and wonders and associate it with our actions and events. We can become disconnected when we attempt to recreate these events to recreate the work of God. We cannot create the work of God... We are only vessels, faucets.
· Preachers get into trouble when they learn how to preach!
· Singers get into trouble when they learn how to sing!
· Teachers get into trouble when they learn how to teach!
We must never reach the point where we learn how to do what only God can do!
· I am never going to become so smart that I don’t need God!
The most valuable discovery that you and I can make this morning is this:
· No matter how smart I am,
· No matter how well I can preach,
· No matter how well I can organize
I am still just a sinner saved by grace!
· There is no power in me; I am just the faucet, the conduit, the vessel through which His power moves!
· There is no magic in the faucet – I NEED JESUS!
“stand with me”
Who would like to come and check their water source this morning?
· Who would like to come and make sure that the pipes are not clogged?
· Church needs faucets in the
· Children’s Sunday school
· Vacation bible school
· Parking lot
chanlenge to become a vessel for the church, not just a pretty faucet