Return to the Lord
Hello everyone. My name is Pastor Roderick caesar the third on the lead Pastor of Bethel Gospel Tabernacle in Jamaica queens new york and my prayer is that you would be blessed. You would be encouraged and strengthened by this word. Hope you enjoy God bless praise the Lord everyone. Pastor roderick caesar third here. I’m so excited to share this worry with you. But I love this message is called Return to the Lord. Return to the Lord. The book of first Samuel chapter seven verses three and four says this and Samuel said to all of the house of Israel, if you are returning to the Lord with all of your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the asteroid from among you and direct your heart to the Lord and serve him only and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. So the people put away the bells and the asteroid off and they served the Lord Only 1st Samuel chapter seven vs three and 4. When we realized here, before we dive right into to the text, I wanted to take a look at the author of this. We see that Samuel was a young boy in the temple. His mother had trouble conceiving and so she prayed to the Lord if you bless my womb. Uh, then I’m going to give what you bless me with back to you. So she dropped Samuel off at the temple and he’s raised at the temple uh, in the presence of God. And what we realized though is just because he was in the temple close to God doesn’t mean that all was well, there doesn’t mean that things were going well there. Uh we realized that there was some sin going on. Eli, the priest at the time was letting some things take place in the temple and in the house of God that should not be. He had two sons half knee and Phineas and they were engaging in terrible practices. They were stealing from the sacrifice of the people. They were engaging in sexual morality and the place where God is met and there was no repentance, no getting their act together and Eli was not being as as firm with them as he should have been. And so as a result of this Samuel one day was going to sleep, he was in the temple being faithful doing what it was that God had called him to do. But as a young boy he was going to sleep one day and he heard someone called his name Samuel Samuel. He wakes up and goes to the only authority voice, he knows eli and says hey eli, you called me and Eli says but she didn’t call you boy, go back to sleep. Samuel no doubt tries to lay his head back on the pillow and goes to sleep and he hears his name called again, Samuel Samuel stirs from his sleep, he gets up, goes to eli again and says eli, you called me, he laughed says, yo if you don’t, if you don’t get back to sleep and start waking me up, go back to sleep, Samuel gets back and gets back in his bed, probably confused at what’s going on. And here’s his name again, Samuel Samuel, he goes to eli and says eli, you called me, I know you called me and the text says Eli perceived that the Lord had called the boy, it says the next time you hear the Voice, it’s the voice of the Lord. The next time you hear the Voice say, speak Lord, your servant is listening. Samuel does this and the Lord gives him a prophecy something that’s going to come to pass that will cause grief caused pain and he shares this with Eli that as a result of allies sin and as a result of him not stepping up and being firm on his sin of his Children, that he will die, his Children will die and things as he, as he knows it will be turned on its head. In 1st Samuel Chapter four, we see the prophecy is confirmed, Eli is sitting upon a high place hears that his sons are killed in battle and realizes that the Ark of the covenant is stolen. They’re in battle with the Philistines, they realize that the ark is taken and then what takes place Israel falls down and breaks his, Excuse me, Eli falls down, breaks his neck and dives the ark of the covenant is taken by the Philistines as a result of Israel’s being presumptuous when he realizes, Israel went into battle with the Philistines, they went into battle with their enemy, the Philistines, they went into battle with the right ritual, but no real relationship, they have the right ritual, but no real relationship. You see the importance, the ark of the covenant was the place where the spirit of God was to dwell. God was supposed to be in this arc, that was built by human hands, but a representative of a place that God would dwell. And so what they realized was when, when back in the day, when things were okay with Israel and God, they would take the ark and go into battle and the enemy would tremble. The enemy would be fearful because they knew that Israel’s God, the God of all Gods was with them and that the battle was going to be lost because Israel was there, so they would retreat in fear. But that was when Israel was in right relationship with God. Now we see Israel in not right relationship with God, not in good standing with God doing the ritual with no relationship, they thought they could do whatever live however, and still have the glory they went into battle just as they used to do, but there’s only one problem the Lord was not with them, they lost the glory, they lost the presence of God and they did not even realize it, let me show you how dangerous this is. You can do things and have a habit of things and have a regular way of going about things. But God not be in it? You can do some miraculous things and things that you thought would never be possible to do. But not God not be with you in it. And you not even realize it. That’s why you have to keep your confessions current. You have to keep your repentance. Regular, regular repentance. Check your blind spots. Don’t miss it. They went into battle with a ritual not with relationship. And it cost them dearly. The priest half, me and Finney as Eli sons were killed and they thought the ark of the covenant would bring them victory. But instead the ark was taken. The ark was taken. And this is such a tragedy. So much so that Ichabod comes into place, which means the glory of the Lord is departed. One of the individuals that passed their uh she was giving, she she was giving birth, his wife was giving birth. Excuse me. And as she’s pushing and realized that the baby is born. And she hears that the ark of the covenant is taken as he also hears that her husband has passed. She names her child Ichabod, which means the glory of God has departed has departed. How empty is your life without the Lord? How empty is your life without the glory. Are we comfortable without the presence of God in our lives are we comfortable without the anointing of God resting upon us. We have to be empty without the Lord. And the first Samuel five. What takes place is the Philistines? Now with this ark of the covenant put the Philistines next to their God. Put excuse me, the ark of the covenant next to their God Dagon. They say look we’re going to take Israel’s God, which is just another god and put it next to our God which was made with human hands. Mhm. But we see there there’s a problem when we try to contain God and oftentimes with us as humans, what we try to do is you try to contain God. And so I’m gonna put God in this little box and I’m gonna keep him right here and this is God, this is great. The Philistines tried to make God like one of their idols and just took him away the ark of the covenant, the representative of God’s presence. They tried to have it nice and neat just tucked away as another god that they conquered. But you cannot do that. We realized with jesus, we fast forward thousands of years and look at the life of jesus, they tried to silence jesus in life and what they realize is they could not keep him silenced when they killed him the grave. Excuse me When he laid his life down the grave? Could not hold him, death could not keep him sin could not stop him. And just like jesus all these years later, the Philistines could not keep the arc. The Lord causes so much trouble in the camp of the Philistines that they give him back. They say look we don’t want this God, we don’t want this presence of God, we don’t want it, it’s causing so much trouble. They give the arc back, they bring the ark back. Israel brings the ark back in triumphant fashion in chapter six. No doubt excited. No doubt jubilant, no doubt brimming with boldness because the presence of the Lord is in their midst. The presence of God is power. The authorities back. The presence of God is boldness. The boldness is back. The presence of God is confidence. The confidence is back. They give God praise for his presence. They’re excited because God is coming back. They’re excited because the ark is back which is a symbol of God’s presence. God is smiling on us again. God is showing us favor again. God is with us again. They’re so excited for his presence. But here comes Samuel as the mouthpiece of God. Sometimes you have to give the difficult words as the mouthpiece of God. Sometimes you have to speak the truth that no one wants to hear at a time when no one wants to hear it. Yeah, that Samuel’s job speaking the truth that no one wants to hear in a time when no one wants to hear it. as we know from the text. I just said, Samuels very first prophecy was a difficult one. So at a very early age, God was getting Samuel comfortable with making people uncomfortable. God was getting Samuel comfortable with making people uncomfortable. You know, sometimes you’re in an awkward in a conversation or something and there’s an awkward silence and you just say something to fill it and it comes out like, right, and you’re like, wait a minute. Well, I didn’t mean that, but it’s an awkward silence and you try to fill it because you’re uncomfortable. Not Samuel, Samuel sit getting a hammock and relax in the uncomfortableness of the awkward silence because God had made him comfortable with making people uncomfortable. So he says the word that no one wants to hear at a time when no one wants to hear it, they’re celebrating. The emotion is high, God is back, Hallelujah glory be. And here comes Samuel with this word, he says, look, you can rejoice and be excited that God is back. That’s a beautiful thing. But if you don’t repent, if you don’t change your ways, if you don’t renounce your idols, if you don’t return back to the Lord, your confidence will be shattered quickly and you’ll be certifiably insane. What is insanity? The definition of insanity we say is doing the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over again. But expecting different results. You’ll go into battle again with just ritual and no relationship wondering why you’re losing, wondering why the battle is lost. Samuel said to the house of Israel, if you are returning to the Lord with all your heart, not half your heart, not just excited that he’s here, but no, don’t want the rule and the reign to come with him with all of your heart. If you’re returning with everything, then put away the foreign gods and the asteroid off from among you and then direct your heart to the Lord and serve him only. And he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. Verse three is instruction Verse four. So the people of Israel put away the bows and the Astra Roth and they serve the Lord only verse for his application. The instruction applied Verse three is instruction if it’s conditional if this is what you want to do. If you want to come back to the Lord, come back with all your heart, put the gods away, put the gods away and then you have to direct your heart to the Lord. You have to direct your heart to the Lord. Same way you turn your eyes upon jesus. Same where you fix your face towards jesus. You set your face like a flint, right? You direct your heart to the Lord and you serve him only. Why only? Because you put those foreign gods away, serve him only and then he will deliver you out of the hand of your oppressors out of the hand of the Philistines. So the people of Israel, they put away the bowels and the asteroids and they serve the Lord only. Who are we returning you to? Who are we returning to? If you return to the Lord, who is the Lord, the Lord is loving. The Lord is kind. The Lord is merciful. The Lord is faithful. He is faithful. Even when we are faithless paul writes because he cannot deny himself. We’re returning to someone that loves us deeply. That is kind. Even when we are unkind, that is to uh wise to make a mistake and too loving to be unkind, We are returning to someone who is merciful and gives mercy to those that don’t deserve it. And gives grace in the midst of our valleys, we are turning to someone who is good. Even in the midst of our ungodly nous, even in the midst of our filth, he is still good. He’s still loving. He is still kind. He is still caring and and Samuel says if you are returning to the Lord, you have to know where you’re going. You have to know who you’re going back to know who you’re going back to. If you are returning to the Lord, why did you return, why do you return? He will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines? If you return, that’s who you’re returning to. But why are you returning? They were returning because they were oppressed. They were returning because the Philistines still had their thumb right right over them and they wanted deliverance from their oppression. Often times a season of suffering will come to return us to the heart of God. Often times a season of difficulty will come to turn us to the heart of God. They came back to God because they needed help. They didn’t come back to God because they love them so much. They didn’t come back to God because all they wanted to, they were sorry. And uh, they came, they came back to God because they needed help. Why do we return? Sometimes in our lives things happen to turn us around. But what we realize is sin in our lives will take us further than we’re willing to go and keep us longer than were ever willing to stay. And so sometimes we come to a moment where we say, ah, ha! Like the Prodigal son did. He came to a moment, the text says, he came to himself and said, hey, here I am. I’m eating food out of out of a pig. Start and this is something I shouldn’t be doing. I need to go back to my father’s house, asked for forgiveness, asked him to take me back as a servant. But he didn’t come back out of love for the father. He came back out of necessity because things were so terrible for him. But the father was just so happy. He came back and he embraced him and said, look, you’re you’re coming back as a son. You wanted to come back as a servant. And I know you are my son. You are my son when you left, and you’re my son. When you’re coming back, you are my son. So we must return. So how do we return to God? How do we return to the Lord? You have to break yourself? You have to be broken. Broken. What does the Lord require? A broken spirit and a contrite heart for you do not delight in sacrifice. So I would give it. You will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and contrite heart. O God! You will not despise do good to Zion. And your pleasure build up walls of Jerusalem. Then you will delight in right sacrifices and burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings. Then bulls will be afforded on your will be offered. Excuse me, on your altar. So, I’m 51 16 and 19. For the Lord takes pleasure in his people. He adorns the humble with salvation. The humble have salvation. We must be broken. We must be humble. We must realize that it’s not all about us. You must be humble and have faith. To humble, is to be humble is to you know, look, I don’t I don’t know at all. There’s a God whose ways are higher whose thoughts are higher, I’m going to submit to his authority. So that’s how we come back. We become broken before the Lord secondly, we allow the word to speak to us. The bible says the word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Samuel spoke and they adjusted their lifestyle based upon his word. They applied the word that was spoken James when he writes his book, he makes a distinction between hearers and doers Be doers of the word James. Chapter one verse 22 and not hearers only deceiving yourselves for if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer. He’s like a man who looks at his natural face in the mirror, he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he’s like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty and perseveres being not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts as he who will be blessed in his doing. We must be doers. Not just hearers. You can hear the words say, oh that’s great, that’s wonderful. Roll over and go right back to sleep. But a doer hears the alarm, it doesn’t just hit snooze, gets right up and says, let me apply, let me get up and do what this alarm is telling me to do. Samuel was sounding the alarm saying, If you come back, you have to come back, correct, have to come back, correct. So we must Allow the word to speak to us. We must be humble and we must renounce our ways. 1st 3 put excuse me. The third point renounce our ways. Put away from yourself deceit. Uh colossians, chapter three verse five. Put to death. Therefore, what is earthly in you? Sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desires, covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these, the wrath of God is coming in these to you once walked. That’s how you used to behave when you were living in them. But now contrast, you must put them all away. Anger, wrath, malice, slander. Obscene. Talk from your mouth. Don’t lie to one another, saying that you’ve put off the old self with its practices, we must walk different. We must live different. We must be different. Put away the foreign gods, Samuel said. And the astronaut from among you, sometimes we think we can have our cake and eat it too. Sometimes we think we can have God plus our sin. God plus our bondage God plus our chains. But that is not the case. I am the Lord. Your God. God says in exodus, who brought you out of the Land of Egypt out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me. God wants to be first. God wants to be only God wants to be God in your life. We have to be sanctified Saints of God. We have to work out our salvation with fear and trembling and then we have to walk this thing out. I have a new way to walk first. The fourth component how we come back to God colossians. Chapter three We put on the new self which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 2nd Corinthians chapter five. Therefore if anyone is in christ, he is a new creation, the old has passed away and the new has come. So you can say I’m not the man I used to be anymore. I’m not the woman I used to be anymore. I’ve been redeemed, I’ve been made new. I’ve been set free and whom the son sets free. It’s free. Indie is free. Indie. So okay we know how to return. When when do we return? Right now? Right, right now. Right now because there’s no time like the present. What is it we’re waiting on. What is it we’re waiting for little orphan. Annie says the sun will come out tomorrow. Right, but my bible and James says that tomorrow is not promised says that life is a vapor. So don’t think oh I have tomorrow. I’ll wait. No no no make your decision. Today come back to christ today lamentations chapter three Let us examine our ways and return to the Lord. Let us lift up our hearts and hands to the God in heaven. Come let us return Jose says for he has torn us? That he may heal us? He has struck us down, that he may bind us up Psalms 103. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow and anger and abounding in steadfast love as high as the heavens are from the earth. So great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him as a father shows compassion to his Children. So the Lord shows compassion on those who fear him. The beautiful thing about this message is that applies to both non believers who don’t know christ and also believers who have grown cold perhaps toward the things of God. Sometimes we can mistake ourselves and thinking it’s only the unsafe that needs to return to the Lord. But in revelation Chapter Two, it says to the Angel in the Church of Ephesus, the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hands, he says, I know your works, your toil your patient endurance, how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake and you have not grown weary, but this I have against you. You have abandoned the love. You have at first remember therefore where you have fallen from, repent and do your work that you did. At first we need to direct our hearts to the Lord. Your mother can’t do it for you. Your father can’t do it for you. It’s something you have to do. Direct your heart to the Lord. So where’s the direction of your heart today? I’ll ask you this and close out in prayer. Samuel said to all of those in the house of Israel. If you are returning to the Lord with all of your heart, put away your foreign gods and astronaut from among you, direct your heart to the Lord and serve him only. He will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. Now, this is what you have to do. So the people of Israel put away the bells and the asteroid and serve the Lord God only. Where is the direction of your heart today? Dear God, I pray that your people would return to you today. Those that are far off that they would return to you today. Those that don’t know you, but they would return to you today. Thank you. We praise you. We give you glory in jesus name. Humane I bless Hello again. Pastor roderick sees a third here. Thank you so much for watching my prayer is that you were blessed. You are encouraged and strengthened by that message. If you would like to be a blessing to the ministry, you can text B G T F. I 277977. Again you can text B G T. F. I 277977 to sow a seed into the ministry and we thank you. Thank you so much for your generosity. Or you can visit our website at b g t f I dot us for more information. Thank you so much. Once again, I hope you were blessed. I’m praying for you. We love you here at Bethel, God bless!