Sermon June 6, 2010: Lay aside your vase and serve God

Posted in Sermons
[Olga Martinez]
  • Presenter: Olga Martinez
  • Date: June 6, 2010
  • Location: Congregación León de Judá, Boston MA

I want to invite Doctor Olga Martínez, she is from Guatemala, those of you who don’t know her and she is a member of very beautiful congregation in the capital in Guatemala and she’s going to be blessing us with the word she has been actually preaching for the women’s ministry this Saturday, yesterday, and God used her in a very mighty way. I’ll be translating for her and we will just let the Lord speak to us. Close your eyes for a moment please.

We thank you, Father, this morning, you allow us to be here present, and we ask that your favor, your mercy continue pouring itself upon our lives and we come before that your word come through my mouth and my spirit that it might touch the spirit of others.

I tell you, church, this is the moment to rise because I shall bring to this place many, many people. You must prepare a table to give to eat to many, those who need a table, a spiritual table, because you will be the one to feed many people, so I expand the place of your tent so that you may be able to feed many. It is not the moment to be sitting down, it is the moment that I tell you, ‘arise that you might accomplish the purpose for which I have raised you. I have been talking and tell you in this moment to raise yourselves and begin to serve many. Those who have been sitting for too long, I say, this is the moment for you to come into the lines of the army of the Lord. You must become a soldier, a warrior in this place. It is not a place to be sitting down, it is the place to begin doing what I have prepared you for, and to begin using what I have given that you may feed all those that I am going to bring to this place, because I am a God of multiplication. You shall see my hand, you shall see my hand multiply. It is the people that I am going to bring that you might raise them and prepare them. Many will come that you’ll feel that they don’t need much, perhaps they may not show the need that they have but they will need restoration and you are the instrument to accomplish this purpose. I will use your heart, I will use your mouth, I will use your hands for this restoration and I need to open your heart. Many of you your hearts are closed but I will open your heart so that you might have a heart that will embrace these needy people to restore them, a heart that will restore them so that they may see me. This is what I want for this church a working heart, a warrior heart. Amen. Thank you, Lord.

Open your Bible in Second Samuel, chapter 6, verse 1

“David again brought together of Israel chosen men, 30000 in all, he and all his men set up from Baal of Judah to bring up from there the arch of God just called by the name of the Lord almighty who is enthroned between the cherubim that are in the arch. They set arch of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadad which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio sons of Abinadad were guiding the new cart with the arch of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it. David and the whole house of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord with songs and with harps, lyres, tambourines, castanets and cymbals. When they came to threshing floor of Nacon Uzzah reached out and took hold of the arch of God because the oxen stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of this irreverent act, therefore God struck him down and he died there beside the arch of God. David was afraid of the Lord that day and said, how can the arch of the Lord ever come to me? He was not willing to take the arch of the Lord to be with him in the city of David. Instead he took it aside to the house of Obed Edom the Gittite. The arch of the Lord remained in the house of Obed Edom the Gittite for 3 month and the Lord blessed him and his entire household….”

That day was a very special day, all the tribes had come together. There were representatives there from all the families, the arch of God was being transported, the worship to the Lord was being restored after 20 years. And suddenly something unexpected took place: Uzzah touched the arch because he thought that it was going to fall because the oxen were stumbling and instantaneously he was killed.

Now, let us imagine for a moment the scene and imagine the disillusionment that the people must have felt because something that was totally unexpected took place. All the people were gathered in that place and disillusionment, discouragement is something that can come all of a sudden into our lives unexpectedly. Discouragement comes into our lives when things do not turn out to be exactly as we expected them to be, when there is a different from what I expected and the reality that turns out. There is an emptiness between what I desire and expect to happen and what is truly happening.

In this disillusionment, this discouragement, reality will always be below what I expected. Discouragement can come into our lives through situations, people or happenings, events. In the Bible we read that David at one time was discouraged because of the treasury of one of his friends. In psalm 55, we see that David felt a strong pain in his heart, he had been betrayed not by an enemy, because that would have been ok, it would have been expected and he could have dealt with that. It wasn’t somebody that he didn’t know, it he had not known his betrayer he could have probably fled, but the one who had betrayed him was a man who walked with him in the house of the Lord, someone with whom he shared sweet dreams in the house of the Lord.

And when there is discouragement in our lives there is a profound pain suffering in our hearts. Now, why does this discouragement take a hold of us? The foundation of discouragement, the platform of which discouragement takes place is the expectations that we place upon things. The things that we expect and suppose that are going to take place, these expectations that we kind of assume that are going to happen. I expect that such and such a thing will happen.

Now, these expectations are founded on something even more profound. These expectations come from dissatisfactions, emptiness that we have within ourselves, they come from unfulfilled needs that we have within ourselves, needs that may be economic or financial or emotional, needs that are not being satisfied fully by the Lord, that we have not allowed God to enter into those unfulfilled areas of our lives and we walk in these needs, this emptiness that we have in ourselves.

When discouragement takes place in our lives the character of the person who feels this discouragement changes all of a sudden. Sometimes a series of discouragements in our lives kind of come together and makes a ball of discouragement.

For example, the Samaritan woman was a woman who had been walking in a series of disillusionments throughout her life, with every husband that she had had she had experienced discouragement, disillusionment, and when she finally has an encounter, a true encounter with Jesus Christ she leaves her vase aside and she goes and speaks with the Lord. She leaves that vase which represented all her discouragement and disappointing experiences and she walks over to speak to the Lord. She goes to do what she needs to do.

And sometimes we also see in the Bible when Joshua after his great success in the battle of Jericho, he saw how this mighty walls came down in a miraculous fashion, but afterwards he experienced a failure, a discouraging experience with the battle of Hai. He sent people from his army to explore and see what kind of an army this army was, they returned and they said to him there weren’t many of them, that you just needed a few soldiers to send to that battle and he would be able to win that battle. But it didn’t turn out that way. He sent some people and that small army didn’t turn out to be not so small after all, it was a large army. And when they were emerging from the city, they were defeated, the Israelites were defeated. The Bible says that their heart was dismayed like water flowing, what they were expecting did not take place.

And when this happens in our lives our heart also faints like water and there are disappointments in our lives that want to also ….. Satan uses these moments of disappointment to stop us and to prevent us from doing what God wants us to do. Many times he brings these disappointments into our lives after a victory or before we experience a victory. What Satan wants through this is to prevent us from doing for God what God wants to accomplish.

But what Joshua did was he bowed his knees, he put his face against the ground and called on to the Lord, and he asked the Lord what happened and he asked the Lord for directions as to what needed to be done. He did not remain fixed on just the discouragement. He did not just remain asking aimlessly questions as many times we want to do to the Lord. Why me? What happened? If I had not given myself over so much to that person, if I hadn’t worked so much on that ministry, if I had not entered more deeply into service to you, and we just remain there questioning the Lord and the turn out of our life.

We must be careful that discouragement does not take over our personality. The person who is discouraged has many fears, many times, most of them probably unfounded.

Elijah, for example, was a man who had seen the glory of God in a very powerful way and after having seen the glory of God, of having seen how the rain had fallen, of how the fire had descended, how he had confronted other prophets and how God had responded to him, in comparison to the other false gods, who had not responded these pagan gods, Elijah, after this great triumph all of a sudden finds himself full of fear. And Elijah is so fearful that he asked God to take his life. Elijah was not fully aware really of what he was asking for, on the one hand he was afraid that Jezebel would kill him, but on the other hand he was asking God to take his life. There’s a little contradiction there.

That’s what happens sometimes when we are discouraged and disillusioned, we are perplexed, we don’t know what to do, we don’t know what we want. So we begin to ask for things that really are not in the will of God. God really had something else in mind for Elijah, he was not going to be buried, but rather he was going to be taken by the Lord.

And when you and I find ourselves in that place of disillusionment and discouragement we are not able to see many times the great things that God has in store ahead for us, we are not able to see that discouragement is just for a moment but that the plans of God are long-lasting and way ahead of us.

In disillusionment we decide that this is it, we won’t go any further, and when we are in that place of disillusionment we can take wrong decisions, we leave people, and places and situations and we don’t become aware, we are not fully aware, that we are therefore cutting short the plans of God, what he wants to do in that place, in that situation and with that person, that individual that we are related to. We must never leave a place or leave a church because of a discouragement or disillusionment.

When we are discouraged we sometimes believe that we have not made any progress, we believe that we are stuck, but God is a God who never leaves us stuck. He works day by day through our lives even that we might not see it on the outside God is working deep inside of ourselves, so that what we have experienced inside might manifest itself on the outside as well. And this is the time that what God has worked in your life he is preparing you to be able to serve others and to give to others. This is the time that God has prepared for you.

In the place of disillusionment we don’t see the best that God has for us, and we don’t see that the best of God is yet to come. You must believe that the best is still ahead in your life. You must believe that no matter how old you might be, no matter what age you might find yourself in, the best things in your life God has still prepared them ahead for you.

When Elijah found himself in that place of discouragement God does not tell him to stay stuck in that place of disillusionment. Elijah tries to give God many different excuses and he says to God that he is hidden in this cave because he has felt a strong zeal for the Lord of hosts, because the people of Israel have left his covenant and they have destroyed his altars and have killed by the sword his prophets. So he begins to just having pity on himself and he tells God that I am the only one that is left and they are seeking me to take away my life.

When we are in that place of disillusionment we come into a place of self pity as well, but God does not want that self pity, God wants us to continue on ahead in order to fulfill the great plan that he has for our life. He wants for the purpose of our life to be fulfilled.

The results of disillusionment can be devastating if you and I allow them to be so. But not because of disillusionment in itself, it’s not that which kills us, it’s our thought patterns regarding disillusionment that we feel. We must have a renewed mind, a mind that is controlled in such a way that the internal dialogues that we sustain within ourselves, might be controlled by the Holy Spirit. It is important that we may maintain control of those internal dialogues that have come as a result of past experiences. If we do not understand this then the result of disillusionment will be that we will be held back in the work of the Lord.

A very famous writer, Charles Dickinson, he wrote many different stories or short stories, one of these stories shows this in a very dramatic fashion. A young lady was left by her boyfriend in the very moment of her wedding, she was left standing. She was left all dressed as a bride, she locked herself in a room, closed the windows, and all her life she remained inside that dark room. Many times we do not do this perhaps in a physical sort of way but we do this in fact functionally. We close our hearts to people and we close our hearts to the Lord as well.

What really happens is that we are angry at God, we are resentful since God has not accomplished our expectations of how we’re going to act. And you know, many times God will move in ways that are very different from what we expect of him. But we must always remember that God does things in ways that are much better than anything that we might carry out ourselves. We must be sure that the plans of God are much better than our own plans for ourselves. His word says that the plans of God are for good and not for evil and to give us the end that we desire.

We are in the hands of the Lord, the plans that God has for this congregation. And you are part of that plan, nothing will hold you back from fulfilling your role in this plan that God has for this congregation.

How can we then overcome disillusionment and discouragement? When discouragement comes into our lives the first thing that we have to do is cry. Just cry all you want. If you want to cry the whole day, go ahead and do it. Just cry until you are exhausted. Now, what you can’t do is remain crying forever, all your life. You decide when to stop crying and when to begin walking faithfully with the Lord again.

In First Samuel 16:1: “…. The Lord said to Samuel, until when are you going to keep crying because of Saul, I have already discarded him to no longer be king of Israel. Fill your horn with oil and come to me. I will send you to Jesse because one of his sons I will choose as my king.”

God says to you today, fill your horn with oil and go to where I am sending you. This is not the time to be continually, endlessly crying, it is the time to hold back the tears and to continue on forward. No matter what has brought disillusionment to your life and discouragement. It doesn’t matter whether it was your husband or wife, your children, it doesn’t matter whether it was a leader from the church, you must continue with he who will never disappoint you, the Lord.

And the second thing beyond crying that you must do, you must bring your discouragement and disillusionment before the Lord and just pour it at his feet. Like the Samaritan woman, leave your vase to the side and then come to the feet of Jesus, that vase so full of disillusionment that often prevent us from fulfilling the work of God in our lives. The Samaritan woman did not know a lot of things but she had a heart for service and once she had an encounter with the Lord she wanted everyone else to have that same encounter.

Perhaps you have already had an encounter with the Lord perhaps many years ago or just a few years ago. Your heart must be burning so that many other will have the same desire and serve the Lord. It is the time to speak to many others about Jesus Christ.

The other thing that you must do is to wait upon God for what is ahead. David took the arch and he brought the arch over the house of Obed and he waited there the time of God, God’s timing. When they told him that the house of Obed the Gittite had been blessed……, when David found that it was God’s time he took the arch and transported it again. But he did what he had to do. He didn’t get stuck in disillusionment and discouragement.

After that what we must do is to change our perspective. In the Bible we find two women who didn’t want to change their perspective. Here we have Rachel and Leah. Leah thought that whenever she had children her husband would be there for her. And it wasn’t until she changed her perspective and she began to see through the eyes, the perspective of the Lord, she caught that divine perspective with her fourth child.

Rachel, on the contrary, had the love of her husband and wanted her children. But many of us are like that. God many times is giving us an opportunity to serve him and we just don’t want to serve him.

When God gives us an opportunity such as the one that he is putting before us we must take advantage of it. The church from where I come, I shared with them last year that the temple we were building was for 14000 people. And many people complained and said, why such a big sanctuary? But God had a reason for that, he had the purpose of bringing many people to that new sanctuary that they might know him.

In the biggest week of our calendar which is Holy Week, we did this drama, this dramatic presentation regarding the vía dolorosa. We did three dramas, we presented the same drama three times and the result was that in those three presentations 285 people received Jesus in a single weekend and this is what God wants for this church as well.

Naturally this implies that a lot of people have to participate, have to work together in this congregation to absorb 285 people who have met the Lord in just one single weekend. This forced the people who did the follow up of these new believers to work immediately. The teachers in the leadership school had to begin working full blast and those who worked in the Sunday school also had to begin working, the people who work in the parking area, the ushers, all of them had to all of a sudden, we had to increase their number in all of those areas. This forced a change in structure and operations in the church and we have all had to work and follow this new road that the Lord opened before us.

And in this church God is going to bring many, many new people. When I was preparing this message the Lord kept repeating this fact over and over again. And he also kept repeating that he needs workers, the work is great but the laborers are few. It is not a time to remain sitting down, it is the time that if you are working here for the Lord you must increase your rate of labor for the Lord. You will have to do more than you already do and if you are not serving the Lord already in this church, it is the time to begin.

God is giving you the opportunity and when God provides an opportunity for service we must take hold of it because if you do not take advantage of that privilege that you are being given, he will give it to somebody else with less time perhaps in the ways of the Lord, perhaps with less knowledge of the things of the Lord, but he will give it to them, maybe they’ll have less gifts and less anointing but they will have a heart of service and this is what the Lord seeking, an open heart, a heart that will make people feel welcomed. This is what the Lord is seeking.

And this morning he is asking you, what is the vase that you must lay aside? What is the discouragement, disillusionment that you must lay aside? What name does that vase of disillusionment bear? Is it discouragement? Is it simply just a sense of laziness? Is it indifference?

You know that one of the biggest vases of disillusionment that we have in our lives is just shear indifference towards the Lord. God already has our life planned out, we have a job ahead of us, we have financial needs that already he has covered in our lives, maybe our family already knows the Lord and we are just happy and content. But God wants to shake us. God wants us to leave aside that self comport, he wants us to go outside to speak of him. He wants us to accomplish the great commission, to go out and speak the word, to announce the Gospel what God has done for us, what he has given us, of how he restored us.

God wants us to tell others how God is the only one who supplies our needs. He has filled us with love, how he has filled us with acceptance, how he has given us an identity, who has filled our lives with joy. He needs us to tell these things to others.

God wants indifference to stay there. He wants you to leave that indifference right in your seat. Whatever might be, whatever name that indifference, that lack of enthusiasm might take. He wants us to leave the cave, as Elijah did, that if we are already serving the Lord, that we might serve him even more so, if you are tired of serving the Lord just leave that aside and if you are not serving the Lord today is the day that you must begin.

Perhaps right there in your seat where you are right now you might tell me, I don’t have any desire to serve the Lord, I don’t see Jesus in my life, circumstances are just too overwhelming, I can’t see the Lord, don’t let what happened to the disciples happen to you. Jesus was walking right next to them and they could not see him. No matter what you’re going through Jesus is walking beside you, even though you don’t see him, even if you don’t hear him, he is speaking to you, even if you don’t see him he is with you, he says, I will never leave you nor forsake you.

And he’s also saying to you, arise, and go to the place of destiny that I have for you, because I shall take you there, says the Lord, I shall take you to places that you never imagined, the new dimension to which I will take this church you have not seen it yet, you have not even imagined it yet because gifts that have been just lacking in manifestation, gifts and talents that you may yourself not even imagine that you have, potential that life has not allowed you to develop, will be developed and manifested, says the Lord. This is why I am opening spaces, great spaces, I’m opening up spaces.

This morning I’m going to make an invitation to you. I don’t know what vase you may have to lay aside but come and leave that vase of disillusionment aside and come forward so that you might serve the Lord the way that he wants you to serve him. If you’re not serving him it is the time that you must make a commitment to him, a commitment of service not with the pastor, not with his wife but with God directly. It means accepting this opportunity that God is giving you, the privilege that he is giving you, it means accepting the call that he is placing on your life.

When a church begins to grow it’s not possible to just say, well, listen, I have nothing to offer. We can serve in many places, there are many things that you can do. It’s not the time just to be passive. It is the time to say to the Lord, I am here, use my life. And if you are serving the Lord already, and you want that service to manifest in a larger way, if you want that service to be increased, if you don’t want to be like Jonah who just does it by obligation and by routine, without joy, you don’t want to be doing service that is just rout, where you are comfortable, you’re not going the extra mile, now is the moment to come to the feet of the Lord, leave the jar of routine before the Lord, just give it up.

Maybe you are tired in service, you’re tired in life, but God says he gives strength to the weary, he multiplies the strength for those who don’t have any, he will use your strength like the eagle. It’s time to ask for that new strength from the Lord today, a renewal, increasing your service.

Maybe it’s something you don’t feel, you’ve lost that love for people who don’t know Jesus Christ. Maybe situations of life have just left you indifferent and hardened, now is the moment to leave aside that indifference, now it’s time to let God open your heart and soften again to his people. It’s the moment to leave any of the jars that are holding back from entering into this new thing God’s doing, it’s time to enter into the purposes of God.

Whatever is keeping you from coming to the feet of God. Father we give to you our jars, whatever is holding us back, for some it’s an illness and we’re giving that to you, Lord. We want to enter into your purposes. Family problems, we give them to you today.

We come before you, we leave all these things, things that are impeding and keeping us from serving you the way you called us to, we leave them at your feet, at your altar, we leave them before you. We leave them before you, we leave that jar that we’ve been bearing, a commitment to you Lord Jesus, a time of commitment today. We accept the call that you are making for us today, with all our conscience and will we say, use us, Lord, the way you want. We want to be at your service, we are in your service so that you can use us as you want. Use our talents, use everything you’ve given to us, we give it to you to be used by you. We come to you so that you will use it as you want to use it. It’s yours. We yield our lives completely to you, Lord Jesus, we leave everything, everything, and we’re at your service, Lord.

Take us to a new level of service, the level that you want us to be, we want to go to that level, Lord, that you have for each one of us, Lord, recognizing that your plans are good plans not plans for evil.

Presentation by Olga Martinez delivered June 6, 2010 at Congregación León de Judá Listen | View(100K) | View(400K)


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