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SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 2009-09-37 "The Smile of God"

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 THE SMILE OF GOD

SERMON STARTER

          Pentecostals and Charismatics have almost made a cliché from the word, “anointing.” In its most basic interpretation the anointing is the Presence of Jesus on a person or situation. It is God’s approval expressed in warm and loving ways. Some spirit-filled believers spend their whole religious lives pursuing that rosy glow of goose-bumps and chills.

          Actually, we do tend to seek out friends, associates and people who express warm acceptance and affection. We deeply desire to be highly regarded by those around us. Depending on your background, you may search out the approval of others more than to seek your own inward sense of approval and validation.

          The anointing is an outward expression of God’s Smile of Approval over you and is an indication of moving in something Jesus called, “The Kingdom of God.” Since God isn’t broke and has plenty of resources to support His own enterprises, His provision always follows His Smile of Approval. Money by and of itself isn’t an indicator of God’s favor in your life. Along with God’s provision, there is an incredible sense of peace.

          In this sermon I explore the prophet Elijah’s physical,   emotional and spiritual exhaustion after his incredible demonstration of power on Mt. Carmel. I hope that exploring the dynamics of burn-out and depression will challenge and encourage those who serve Christ and love Him.

 

Pastor Phil  <><<

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 27, 2009

Sheepfold Ministries, Pastor Phil Roland

THE SMILE OF GOD

GOD’S APPROVAL AND PROVISION

1 Kings 19:1-18

"The anointing is God’s smile of approval over His Saints who are totally dedicated to the advancing of His Kingdom. His smile is always followed by His provision."                                                                             Pastor Phil  <><<

 

"The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." Luke 4:18-19; Isaiah 61:1-3                                           

 

PRIESTS were Anointed - Lev. 8:10-12

“Also Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was in it, and consecrated them. He sprinkled some of it on the altar seven times, anointed the altar and all its utensils, and the laver and its base, to consecrate them. And he poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron's head and anointed him, to consecrate him.”

 

KINGS were Anointed - 1 Sam. 16:12,13

“So he (Jessie) sent and brought him (young David) in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the LORD said, "Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!" Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.”

 

PROPHETS were Anointed - 1 Kings 19:6

"Then the LORD said to him: "Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria.  "Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place.”

 

I.  YOU CAN BECOME WEARY IN DOING THE RIGHT THING

    “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if

      we do not lose heart.”  Galatians 6:9

            A. Elijah had God’s Approval on Mt. Carmel

                        1. Four Hundred and Fifty Prophets of Baal were executed

                        2. God HATES idolatry, especially Baal/Ashtorah Practice

            B. Elijah experienced Religious Burn-Out

                        1. He depleted his energy and became totally exhausted

                        2. Religious burnout is common

            C. Dr. Herbert J. Freudenberger, NY Psychiatrist defines burnout:

    "Burnout is a state of fatigue brought on by devotion to a cause, way

                of life, or relationship that failed to produce the expected reward."   

 

The Smile of God, cont.

            D. There are five requirements for Burnout

                        1.  Constant demand to excel

                        2. Unreasonable self-expectations

                        3. Emotional numbness (Involuntary turning off of emotions)

                        4. Extreme rigidity - Resistance to Change

                        5. The burnout area involves high people contact

            E. Burnout can lead to Clinical Depression

 

II.  ELIJAH’S WEARINESS DID LEAD HIM INTO DEPRESSION

            A. Elijah, the Fearless One, became terrified – vs. 2,3

                        1. Fear for his life caused him to flee

                        2. Knew God would vindicate Himself on Mt. Carmel

                        3. Not sure God would vindicate him

                        4. Ministry people are extremely vulnerable following success

                                    a. Thin-Skinned

                                    b. Need to “De-Compress”

            B. Elijah had himself a “Pity-Party - v. 4; 10b

                        “I alone am left; and they seek to take my life."

                        1. Felt sorry for himself

                        2. Felt isolated and alone

            C. Slept from sheer exhaustion – v. 5a

                        1. Under the influence of Depression, sleep becomes escape

                        2. Some, however, cannot sleep

                        3. Overall, sleep can become a problem

            D. Lack Motivation and Desire

                        1. Start things and unable to finish them

                        2. The former things you loved, you no longer desire

 

III.  ELIJAH NEEDED TO BE REFRESHED AND RESTORED

            A. God provided food and water to nourish and replenish him

                        1. Depression sufferers need time, rest, food and water

                        2. Today, we take a pill

            B. There are Holistic ways to heal

                        1. Time off from Work

                        2. Nightly time allowed for Rest

                        3. Exercise produces natural serotonins

                        4. Quit fast food and eat natural vegetables, nuts and fruits

            C. Observe a Sabbath Rest – Hebrews 4 :1-9

                 “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.”

 

IV.  ELIJAH HAD “GOD’S SMILE” IN THE MIDST OF DISTRESS

          A. God’s Ministering Angel prepared him food - v. 6

                        1. Told him to rise and eat

                        2. Elijah rested again and was nourished again

            B. Even if you don’t think God is there, He still shows up

 

 

The Smile of God, cont.

 

                        1. Human feelings can be Misleading and Deceptive

                        2. God doesn’t use a merit point system

                        3. He knows your need and your heart

            C. When you lest expect or deserve it, God shows up

                        1. God loves you even when you feel undeserving

                        2. God loves you in spite of yourself

            D. You are never alone

                        1. On the darkest night

                        2. On life’s most trying circumstance

                        3. He’s there