Seek the Lord by Pastor Don
Remember, what is in the [brackets] is what the congregation said. Praying your day is blessed.
The Scriptures admonish us to seek the Lord with all our hearts. And in a few places it says, seek the Lord with all your heart and then it adds something, it says, and soul. So the message that I want to bring to you in the time that we have is that the only answer for the trouble you’re in is to seek the Lord. The only answer for the trouble you’re in is to seek the Lord. The Lord will restore you, but He won’t restore you back to where you were before. The good old days were not that good, let’s be honest about it. [amen] When we refer to, “I want the good old days”, it just means that you have forgotten many of the things that happened that weren’t so good in the old days. Come on now. The good old days. You think about all the good old days. Well, we don’t want God restoring us back to the good old days.
I get so annoyed that preachers are preaching revival. Revival. We need a revival. A revival. When revival is not Biblical. [that’s right] God is not looking to revive us back to what we were before. Because we have never yet arrived at His vision of where we were supposed to be. [amen] So why would He revive us?
You know, I’m a good old Baptist boy and I think, they sing the songs about Old Time Religion, (Singing) “Give me that old time religion, old time religion, that old time religion, it’s good enough for me.” Well, if we’re really going to look at it, it wasn’t good enough for God… [laughter] The Old Time Religion wasn’t good enough for God. So do we really want to get back to our old deadness and have the Lord revive us to where we’re singing songs out of the hymnal, totally disconnected from the meaning of the song? Totally disconnected from the feeling of what God wants us. He wants us to have a humble and contrite heart, and getting back to what we were proud of as if somehow that was magically, you know, wonderland. It was just wonderful to be back there. Do we really want to go back to old, tired dead religion and expect that God is going to send a revival, that He’s going to revive dead people? No, I’m sorry.
But the Bible prophesies is that He’s going to bury old people. [amen] He’s going to bury the people that are locked in tradition, that are locked in culture, that are locked in doing things the old way. The scripture we read this morning when we started was another one. It said, “Sing unto the Lord a new song.” And I say, “Oh, Lord, I don’t want to preach that sermon. I don’t want to preach a sermon that tells you that most of what you are raised in was dead. That it was tradition. That it was garbage. That it was culture. But it wasn’t what God wanted you to have.”
The reason we can sin so easily today is because it didn’t have the convicting, changing power of the Word of God. If it had had that, we wouldn’t be in the mess that we are in today. But we’re in the mess we’re in today because we’re still struggling with sin, we’re still struggling with our minds. We’re still struggling with the political decisions that we made. We’re still living in purely unadulterated situations, that puke, and the Spirit of God is just fed up with it. He’s sick and tired of it. And we have made ourselves complacent with it because the root from which we have sprung had a perverted seed in it. [come on, preach it] And it taught us to compromise, and to half step, and we just accepted that well this must be church.
It must be church, that it’s ok for Sister Jones to run Sister Billy down. It must be ok for Sister Williams to talk about what Brother Bob said and what he did. And we just get complacent that it’s ok, that if there’s sin in one place in the church we can talk about it in another place. And that that makes it ok. And somehow that if we whisper it, it’s not known. Listen, there’s sin in the church. [yes there is] And the only reason there’s sin in the church is because there’s people in the church. And the reason is the people in the church refuse to be converted. [Jesus] Shall I go back to the car? [NO!!!] I was doing good in the car. [laughter] I was doing good in the car. Listen, I’m not talking about you if you say, “Amen,” and shout along with me, then I know you the righteous ones. [laughter, amen] But if you get quiet, if you get quiet and look like a painting, I figure you’re guilty. [laughter]
So what is God’s remedy for this whole situation? His remedy is, that if we would seek the Lord, with all our heart, with all of our soul. He means our mind, our will and our emotions. We put it all together. With the church went through 2000 years where half of the people in church were saying, “It’s only Godly if it’s quiet.” [laughter] “What’s all that noise about?”
Do you realize in Solomon’s Temple they had 3,000 singers and 300 musicians? Where could you go to be quiet? [laughter] Let me say it again. 3,000 singers, 300 musicians, and you can’t tell me they all could read music and they were brought up in the proper etiquette? No. They were trained by the Levites who said, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” [whooat!] “all ye lands.” “But I only feel righteous when I’m quiet.” [chuckling] “Oh, but…” Well when God feels real righteous, He rattles the earth. He shakes the trees, He bubbles the waters over the waterfalls, and He cracks lightning like the other day. And He displays His awesome power. Don’t tell me, God’s a quiet God! [amen] He likes a little quiet now and then. He’ll meditate and all like that. [laughter] But that’s usually not God’s condition.
You know why? Cause you need to get quiet when you’ve sinned and you finally feel the weight of it. [amen] So, if you’re too quiet, I know what you’re doing. [laughter] Glory be to God. But, if God’s in your heart, and you’re seeking the Lord, you should be happy about it. [amen] You know, who wants to be like the husband who never tells his wife he loves her? Never says anything nice. Never does anything nice. He just verbally beats her all the time. I hate those guys. [me too] I hate those guys. You can tell because their wives are mousey. The wife is afraid to be happy. Cause she’s afraid, if I say something he’s going to shut me down. Well, why? Because he’s a bully. [yes] He’s a bully and he needs to get converted.
Go to the book of Acts, Chapter 17… Let’s talk about this for a minute. I don’t know man, I the Lord brought me through some stuff. Every chance I get to tell Him I love Him is a good chance. I want to open my mouth and talk about Him. [amen] Lord, let’s seek after the Lord, here. Maybe some of you all haven’t suffered enough. Verse 26. “And He has made from one blood…” 17:26. “…every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord…” They should what? [seek the Lord] “…they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him…”
God isn’t just sitting out on a rock in the middle of the desert, with no other rocks around. It says grope for Him. Do you know what grope means? Grope means you get down here and you’re looking everywhere. You’re not leaving anything to be mistaken or confused. You are groping, you are digging, you’re looking, you’re searching, where is He? Where is He? Groping around… Now this is just my flesh. Can I just talk from my flesh? [yes]
My flesh wants to smack every person that says this, “I can’t find God.” [laughter] “I can’t find…” God isn’t in your misery and your self-pity, and your self-serving, you know. He’s not in that. You know, God is a loving parent. And He’s over here saying, “When you get finished…” [laughter] Come on now, I just want to, I just want to preach the truth. The truth is, you can’t find God cause you’re not looking for Him. You’re not groping for Him. You’re not seeking after Him. You’re whining in a corner, looking for Him to come and get you out of that corner. And if He would continue to do it, you’d be just as spoiled and silly and wounded in yourself, unworthiness, you’d never get set free! [hallelujah] He can’t come over here in your pity. He’s looking for you to throw your shoulders back and grope around and see if you can find Him. [preach it – whoooo] My goodness.
God isn’t going nowhere. He’s where He was the last time you left Him there. Lord have mercy. And it was in your praise. Last time you felt God, you was opening your mouth, thanking God and praising Him. [come on] I’m not saying, listen, I’m not saying we don’t have bad days. You know, I haven’t had a bad hair day in a long time. [laughter] What you laughing at? [laughter] Girl’s got hair all the way down her back. But listen, [laughter] listen to this scripture again. Look at what He says. He made all the nations, made the face of the earth, he’s appointed times, everything is set. So that what will happen? So that they should seek the Lord. [amen] Grope for Him and find Him. And look it, it doesn’t, let’s read together.
Look what it says. “…though He is far away…” [not far away] “…though He is in another country….” [not far away] “….though He’s at the bottom of the ocean and you can’t get there” [not far away] No, it says, “He is not far from each one of us;…” He’s not far from each one of us. You don’t have to rent a camel and go to Saudi Arabia to look for God. [amen] You know. Just open up the closet you left Him in. [amen] Glory, Jesus. “…for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, “For we are also His offspring.” Therefore, since we are the offspring…” I don’t even want to go there.
Go to Luke, Chapter 10… can you go to Luke, Chapter 10? We’re going to do some scripture on this subject… Luke, Chapter 10…Luke, Chapter what?  How many are there? [we’re there] Good, now go to 11. [laughter] How many are there? [there] Good, go to verse 10. “For everyone who….” what? [asks] “For everyone who…” what? [asks] “…asks receives, and he who seeks…” does what? [finds] He’s not going to have you groping and not find Him. [come on] “Seeks he’ll find, and to him who knocks it will be.” what? [opened] “opened.” That’s a promise of God.
Go to Matthew, Chapter 6. You all know this one cause it’s about money. [amen] We know all the money verses. Pastor Don, do you believe in prosperity? Yeah. [laughter] Will God make me rich? Yeah. I want a chicken in every pot and I need some extra Tupperware. Yeah. Lord, how do you get it? Ok, you ready? Verse 33. Come on, you know this. “But seek first…” Come on. “But seek first…But seek first…But seek first…But seek first…But seek first…” What? “…the kingdom of God and…” what? [His righteousness] “…and His righteousness,”….
I got good news and bad news. God will never prosper you in sin. God will never reach down in the middle of your sin and bless you. [yep, come on] I don’t care how many guys preach it on TV, the prosperity message only works if you’re walking in righteousness. [amen] There’s just no other way it’s going to work. God is not going to bless you acting in sin, living in sin, justifiably thinking that somehow He needs to bless you. It will not work. It will not happen. I wish somebody would tell these people. [amen] If your plan is, if your plan is to thrive on your own greed, He will not bless you. [that’s right, amen] That’s just a fact. God is not going to bless you unless you intend to do right with the money. You will never win lotto and keep it unless you’re going to do something with it. [that’s right] Listen,… if God blesses you and makes you rich, you will become a medallion on the hood of the devil’s car and God ain’t going to ride in that car. [right] He will not bless you. I don’t care how much tithe you give, I don’t care how much offering you give, I don’t care how many pledges you make, then jumping up and down. If you ain’t living right, acting right, He ain’t blessing you. [laughter] He ain’t blessing you. [laughter] He ain’t got a Lexus for you, baby. Unh Unh. [laughter] He ain’t rolling no Lexus into an unclean driveway. [amen]
Listen, God is going to bless you if you just seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you. I’m preaching the Gospel here. See if you can find, listen, this is a really good one. See if you can find the book of Zephaniah. Right in front of Matthew here, a few pages, just a few pages in front is Zephaniah, Chapter 2. I’m going to run through some of these scriptures. I’m going to bless you all. Chapter 2…You there? [yes] I don’t even know why I’m here. Let me think. Oh, verse 3 is why we’re here. Verse 3. Here we go… You ready? [yep] Did you find it? [yes] Page 1213 in my Bible. Zephaniah, Chapter 2 verse 3. “Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the LORD’s anger.” [amen, hallelujah]…
I’m a parent. I love my kids. Would you know, they make me angry sometimes? You know, and I’m not one of those brutal guys. I don’t believe in… you shouldn’t pound your kids into unconsciousness, or something like that. But, you know, when daddy gets angry, there’s going to be some consequences. We can preach a loving Jesus from the pulpit. We can preach a loving Jesus, but we can’t leave out the fact that love will demand sacrifice. And love will demand compliance, for the good of the lovee. [YES, amen!] Not cause of the lover, but because of the lovee. The lovee needs to know the parameters. Your little children want to know the rules. And they want to see you uphold them. Your “yes” has to be yes. Your “no” has to be no. The kids are then happy. [amen] You know, when, when you tell a kid why he can’t have something, he can’t do anything, he’ll pout for awhile, then he’ll stop and go, “Ok, thank you daddy.” [laughter] Because why?
So God’s fierce anger is going to come on this earth, whether you like it or not, or whether you believe it or not. His anger is coming. The Day of the Lord is just around the corner where He’s going to bring everything into judgment, under His rule and His reign. And He is going to in that process, distribute love on an unbelievable level. But He’s also going to do judgment at an unbelievable level. [amen] well, praise God. Amen. [amen]
Now see if you can, this is a difficult passage, but let’s do it anyway. Second Chronicles, in the front of your Bible. Second Chronicles. I’m trying to get you motivated to realize that the only answer for your situation is to seek the Lord. [amen] Second Chronicles 14. Chapter 14. Second Chronicles 14, look at verse 4…”He commanded…”, God “…commanded Judah to…” do what? [seek the Lord] “…the LORD God of their fathers, and...” do what? [observe] “…observe the law and the commandment.”… Observe the law and the commandment.
The worst thing I ever did was get old enough to think that my parents were wrong and dropped out of church. [come on] I’m just telling you the truth. I went away to college and dropped out of church. That was the stupidest thing I ever did. [yep, yep] I mean, I’m pretty good now. I’m anointed and all that. I am a preacher. But I think about that sometimes. I think that if at 24, instead of being so smart, if at 24 I had plugged back into the Lord, instead of just going on my way, that would mean, let’s see…24 and I’m 64 now, how many years is that? 40. I’d have, I mean do you know how good I’d be preaching if 40 years? [amen] Man…it scares me to think. Do you know how many more people I could have gotten saved? Do you know how many more people I could have led to the Lord? I’d have 20 books out by now, instead of just four. Can you imagine? I can dance now, but man, can you imagine how good I could dance if I had 40 years of practice? [laughter] What you laughing at? I can still…[laughter] Oh, oh, oh. [laughter]
So He says what? He says do what? It’s right there. “…seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to observe the law and the commandment.”… [amen] Then it says he did good things. Look at what he did. “He also removed the high places and the incense altars from all the cities of Judah, and the kingdom was quiet under him. And he built fortified cities in Judah, for the land had rest; he had no war in those years, because the LORD had given him rest.” Well why? Because he was seeking the Lord. He was seeking the Lord.
If I took a poll in here, I’d guarantee you that hands would shoot up if I said this, “How many of you grew up in the Lord, went out, got busted up, got busted up real good, and then had to come back to the Lord and get back on track and straighten it out.” The hands would just shoot up. Put your hand down, Cheri. We all know you. [laughter] We know what you did! [no] No, we don’t, right. [laughter] But the hands would just shoot up. Most of you know that the biggest problem in your life was you got the truth young, went away, did your own thing, and then had to come crawling back. [yeah, right, amen, hallelujah we came back]… I’m not giving you no points for coming back, but I’d beat you up real good for leaving. [laughter] Nobody’s going to learn from that. You have to realize that that’s where we all miss it. We all miss it.
Somebody here today is going to be really blessed and find the devil’s going to give you a reason not to come back to Living Word Chapel. You’re going to make a mess of it out there, and then you’re going to call and say, “Can I have an appointment with Pastor Don?” And my answer’s going to be, “Yes.” Then I’m going to give you a CD of this sermon.
Let’s look at this, watch what happens to this guy. Asa. Look what happens. Look at verse 11. He cries out to the Lord. “…LORD, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O LORD our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude. O LORD, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You!” So the LORD struck the Ethiopians before Asa …” and everything goes great. He’s just cooking along.
Go to chapter 15. In Chapter 15 he’s going along great. Going along great. Everything’s going, working, everywhere things getting done he’s conquering evil. He’s tearing down idols. Look at verse 7. “Be you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall...” be what? [be rewarded] So God has made a promise to him. Keep working, stay steady, and I got a reward for you. Everything’s going to be alright. Verse 9. The bottom of verse 9 says what? “…The LORD his God was…” what [with him] “…with him.” Verse 12. “Then they entered into a covenant to seek…” to seek, to seek, “…the LORD God with all…” with all, with all, “…with all their heart and with all their soul;…” He’s going along great and he’s seeking after the Lord. Look at verse 15. “And all Judah rejoiced at the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and sought Him with all their soul; and He was found by them, and the LORD gave them rest all around.” [yes]
If he’d died then, glorious. But we go into chapter 16. Lord have mercy. We go into chapter 16… Trouble comes. A foreign king threatens him. In the past, when a foreign king threatened him, he sought the Lord. Once he sought the Lord, the Lord delivered him. In chapter 16, verse 6. Chapter 16:6. “Then King Asa took all Judah, and they carried away the stones and timber of Ramah, which Baasha had used for building; and with them he built Geba and Mizpah. And at that time…” Somebody say, “at that time.” [at that time]
A that time is coming into your life where you must choose who you’re going to seek after. At that time, in the moment of challenge you have to make a decision where does your help come from? “And at that time Hanani…” Little Hanani, Hana-nee-neeni-ne. [laughter] Hananinee. Do you know there’s a Hanani sneaking around in your life, waiting to give you some information to do what? Not seek the Lord but go after something else. So the seer came to King Asa with a word.
We have to have discernment. There’s the Word from God and then there’s a word that is a foreign word that doesn’t line up with God. Let’s see if Hanani is going to line up with what has been told before. Does he line up with what’s been prophesied over you? Does he line up with what you know in your heart is to be true? Or is it coming from some place that doesn’t match? What does the Word say? And he says to him, “…Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and have not relied on the LORD your God, therefore the army of the king of Syria has escaped from your hand.“… Look at verse 9. He just preaches to him. “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro…” How many of you have heard that before? Didn’t know this was where it was found. “…ran to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose…” what? [heart] Whose what? [heart] Whose what? [heart] “…whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.” Look what he does. He says, “Then Asa was angry with the seer,…” Angry with the man of God. Angry with the one who told him the truth. He “…put him in prison, for he was enraged at him because of this…” And then look what happens. “…And Asa oppressed some of the people at that time.”… Look at verse 12. “And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the LORD…” [my God, my God]
My Lord, my Lord. My Lord, my Lord. This is a hard word but it should fit like a comfortable shoe to remind you that God wants first place in your life, child of God. God has no problems if you go to a doctor, but He wants you, make sure you prayed first. [amen] Make sure that you’ve sought the LORD first. Give Him first place. He wants to be the first one to give you the proper diagnosis. He wants to be the one that reminds you of your sin that caused your sickness so that you can what? So that you can get your healing quicker. [amen] Do I have to say that twice? Somebody stand up and tell me what I just said, so I make sure that somebody got that. [amen] Did she have it right? [yes] God wants to give you the first diagnosis, because His diagnosis is gonna also point light throw His light on what you’re doing wrong. [amen] He’s going to shine right down on your sin so that you can then say, “Hunh, I brought part of this on myself.” [yes sir] And then God will show you how to get rid of it. [amen] Then if you go to the doctor, He will then bless everything that proceeds from it after it. [amen]
But seek the Lord with all your heart. There’s a Scripture I want to close with this. In Jeremiah, chapter 29. All you all will jump up and down and shout to this scripture. But let’s, let’s read the rest of the story, as what that guy used to say on TV? “And now for the rest of the story.” Paul Harvey. How many are mad at me right now? Only two people. [laughter] Praise God. Ok, now look at this Scripture. We’ve all quoted it, jumped up and down and got all excited about it. Come on. Jeremiah 29 verse 11. Oh boy, I could preach this and you’d just shout, carry on, just shout. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace…” Come on, read it…. “and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Boy, we jump up and down, the church gets so excited, “Oh, our future and our hope.” Let me read the rest of the story. What is the rest of the story? He says, “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” [amen] … Well we get all excited what God thinks toward us. He’s got a plan, God’s plan and a plan to prosper you, plan to put you in good health. When? When you seek Him. [come on, come on]
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