The first thing I had to learn it ain’t about me. But then you have to watch about being a ‘man-pleaser.’ You’re half-way free when you find out it ain’t about you. You’re all the way free when you find out it ain’t about you and it ain’t about them either! And when I find out it ain’t about me and it ain’t about you and it’s ALL about Him, that is so
F R E E I N G ! Because people can fuss at how I’ve not pleased them and I don’t care no more.
See, some of you if you find out somebody don’t like it ‘cause you’re not pleasing them, it tears your nerves up. Can I tell you right now, I’ll go straight to sleep. Because I’m here for His pleasure. I hope that don’t upset you and make you mad. But I’m not going to lose sleep tonight if it did make you mad. That’s why I’m so bold in my preaching. Why? I’ve got to do what He told me to do. And my satisfaction comes not with knowing you like my message, because I’m in here 45 minutes or so preaching to you. But I’ve got to live with God the whole rest of the week. And if I came in here and shouted you happy, but displeasured Him, that is a miserable week for me.
So I’ve learned to come in here, just do what he told me to do and bring Him pleasure and then I have to let everybody else’s pleasures fall where they may. But my satisfaction and my fulfillment comes with knowing I did what pleased God! And the great conflict in life will be when you’re caught between pleasing God and pleasing people. And when pleasing people conflict with pleasing God, and pleasing God conflict with pleasing people, that’s when you really find out where your relationship with God stands. And really isn’t tested until that time. Holy Spirit help me to use the rest of my time wisely.
Let’s talk about “Why?” Ephesians chapter 1. Whenever I turn to the book of Ephesians you need to say, ‘Uh oh.’ It’s my favourite book in the Bible. I’ve studied it more than any book in the Bible. I’ve preached out of it more than any book in the Bible because it is a book about possessing. There comes a time where you’ve got to quit talking about it and got to go do it. And that’s what Ephesians is. Ephesians is the New Testament equivalent to the Old Testament Joshua. Moses, they had them circling around the wilderness for 40 years… Joshua got them in in a few days.
God told Joshua,
‘Tag, you’re it.’
‘Prepare your stuff. We’re going.’
That’s what Ephesians is. Ephesians is a book about possessing. I could preach almost every chapter in it blindfolded, no notes and my hands behind my back because I study it and I live in it and I refer to it so much. In fact one time back in the late 90s I spent 16 months going verse by verse in the book of Ephesians.
Now here’s the thing: If you want me to answer questions, “Why?” we’ve got to crawl into the depths of the Bible. You can’t half-heartily listen to me because I got to do a lot of teaching with preaching because I’m not telling you superficial things. You want me to tell you, “What” – I can preach a bunch of good stuff and say ‘Amen’ and be done in 30 minutes. But when you want me to start answering the “Whys?” of life, you’ve got to let me get in some Scripture and break it down and tell you what it means…which means you’re going to have to be attentive. And Ephesians is one of those ones you can’t half-heartily listen. You’ve got to sit on the edge of your seat.
Give God your undivided attention.
[To be continued...]
Ron Carpenter, Redemption World Outreach Church