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Dealing With Depression | Committing to God

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
September 27, 2022 3:00 am

Dealing With Depression | Committing to God

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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September 27, 2022 3:00 am

Trying to live a godly life in an ungodly world can seem like we’re trying to walk up a downward escalator. The culture is trying to drag believers right into a quagmire of hopeless humanism and angry atheism. But God has a plan. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us revisit one of the most exciting stories of the Old Testament when a single prophet of God confronts 850 feckless false prophets and watches God’s plan unfold.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Today's episode of A New Beginning is brought to you by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Learn more at harvest.org. And while you're there, browse our library of free ebooks designed to help you grow in your faith. Does the altar of your life need to be repaired? You know, you look at your own spiritual life and you realize it's not what it used to be. You no longer read the scripture.

Prayer is not a part of your life. If so, your altar needs to be repaired. Coming up today, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us take stock of where we are with the Lord and make the necessary adjustments. You say, I want the fire of God to follow my life. I want the power of God.

Good. Repair your altar first. Trying to live a godly life in an ungodly world can seem like we're trying to walk up a downward escalator. The culture is trying to drag believers right into a quagmire of hopeless humanism and angry atheism. But God has a plan.

Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us revisit one of the most exciting stories of the Old Testament, when a single prophet of God confronts 850 feckless false prophets and watches God's plan unfold. Last Saturday, I'm walking up my stairs and I'm holding a Yeti cup. You know what a Yeti cup is? They're the metal cups.

Nice cups. You don't want to drop it, right? I've got my Yeti cup loaded up with ice and water and my toe catches the top stair. Now the weird thing is I'm trying to get my footing, right? Holding the Yeti cup aloft because I did not want to spill the ice water and somehow I'm kind of running along for a few a foot or so and I go airborne and go face first into a built-in desk up there. I open my eyes. There's blood on the floor and my back hurts really badly and I cried out to Kathy, I've fallen and I can't get up.

I didn't say that exactly but it was close. I said, I'm hurt and she heard the sound upstairs. It sounded like I heard a buffalo with all the noise and the Yeti. Oh by the way, I spilled the water. Yeti cup goes flying and so we went to the ER and I had actually my tooth had punctured my face and actually came through the other side and so they had to sew my lip up from behind. I still have the stitches. It's still a little bit swollen and actually put a stitch on the outside.

Then I had a little hit my nose pretty hard. Then I had to go to the x-rays and all this stuff. So you know the guy says, I'm going to take you to get your back x-ray. Do you want to ride in the wheelchair? I said, no I'm fine.

That's kind of hurt. Go ahead and take that wheelchair ride. It was really great because this guy was a Christian. He goes, I'm not supposed to say this but I listen to you on the radio all the time. Let me pray for you. The whole time he's like praying for me. I loved it because God always has his people everywhere doesn't he. So it was great. So I say that to explain what happened to me but also to segue into our message. I fell. I wasn't expecting to fall. But I did fall.

Unfortunately I didn't embrace my fall with my hands as one should. But I took it right on the face and we're going to look at in a way what could be described as a fall in Elijah's life or at least a slump where he fell into a deep depression. But we're also going to look at his recovery. But before we do that we'll look at the victory that preceded it. So we remember that all the prophets of Baal were gathered there together for the big showdown.

850 prophets of Baal versus one man of God. And so it was getting ready to happen. But here's an interesting thing I'd never noticed before as I was re-looking at this story. And before that fire fell on the altar the altar had to be repaired.

So here's my first point if you're taking notes. If we want to see God work we must do our part. If we want to see God work we must do our part.

1 Kings 18 30 Elijah said to the people come here to me. They came to him and he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been torn down. See before the fire was going to fall the altar had to be repaired. And I ask you right now does the altar of your life need to be repaired? You know you look at your own spiritual life and you realize it it's not what it used to be.

You used to be stronger than you are now. Does your altar need to be repaired? You no longer read the scripture every day as you used to. Prayer is not a part of your life as it once was.

Your church attendance is erratic at best. If so your altar needs to be repaired. You say I want the fire of God to follow my life. I want the power of God.

Good. Repair your altar first. To the church of Ephesus Jesus says I know how hard you work and how discerning you are but I have this against you. You've left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen and repent and do the first works again.

Interesting. He says first remember was there a place in your life when you were stronger spiritually than you are right now? Just ask yourself that question.

Was there a time? If the answer is yes now we come to step number two. Remember and then repent. He says repeat and do the first works quickly but you know first you have to repent and then repeat.

Do it again. Interesting that Jesus says how you have fallen. To leave your first love is a form of falling and so this is something we all need to do in our own life.

As the apostle Paul said get back get back get back to where you once belong. Well that's Paul McCartney but similar similar sentiment. It's sort of like a marriage. How many of you are married raise your hand. How many of you are happily married raise your hand. Interesting. Not as many hands. Not really. It's about the same except for this couple right here. So if in your marriage you have lost the love so to speak you should not wait for the emotion of love to return rather go back and start doing loving things.

In other words make the motion and the emotion will catch up. And we talk about a spiritual awakening in America. How much we need it. How much we want it. God wants to send it.

So what's the problem. We have to do our part then God will do His part. And what is our part. Second Chronicles 7 14 gives it to us. God speaking says, if my people which are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land. Loose paraphrase. Repair your altar.

Get ready for the work of the Holy Spirit. And we look at our country right now. And we look the acts of violence right now are just out of control. And every time you open up a new site there's a new act of violence a new shooter. Someone driving their car into a crowd of people.

Someone with a knife. It's something. And people say well we need to just stop the guns. Get rid of the guns.

I'm sorry to say that's never going to happen. We don't need gun control. We need self-control. It starts with a heart. The heart needs to change. The heart needs to change. And so this is the thing that people don't talk about. The root of all of this is that we've turned away from God. We've thrown God out of our classrooms. We don't want those 10 commandments. We don't want a prayer in the school.

Don't even bring your Bible on the school campus. Or we do these other things where we say we redefine the family. We can't even say what a woman or a man is any longer. And we wonder why our young people are confused.

Right. And so we see this breakdown. The breakdown of the family is at the root of almost every problem in America today.

It is. 85 percent of these people that take guns and shoot people came from a broken home. Specifically a fatherless home. Those numbers even go higher when you look at other people who are engaged in criminal activity. Drug abuse. The list just goes on and on and on. We need to turn back to God. Repair the altar. Repair the family. Let it start with your family.

It's so easy to point a finger at someone else. But make sure your family is strong. Make sure you're the spiritual leader in your family. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. It's encouraging to hear from listeners who are impacted by Pastor Greg's teachings. Also Harvest Partners who want to help you speak the Holy Spirit's guidance all over our world as it is needed so much in these times.

Thank you again. It is a privilege to bring these studies your way. And we're thankful for our Harvest Partners who make them possible. Would you consider partnering with us so they can continue? Make a donation online at harvest.org.

That's harvest.org. Well we're talking about committing ourselves and our families to God today. Pastor Greg's study is based in 1 Kings 18.

It's an account that underscores the need to worship God and not let anything else take his place. Well back to the shootout of the Carmel Corral. So here they are up on the mountain. 850 prophets at Baal versus one prophet of God. Elijah says let's let the real God answer by fire. Look at 1 Kings 18 27. About noontime Elijah began mocking them. They'll have to shout louder he scoffed.

For surely he's a God. Maybe he's away on a trip or he's asleep or he needs to be wakened. And so they shouted louder. Oh I left out one word one phrase.

Perhaps he's daydreaming or is relieving himself. We don't want to miss that one. So shout louder. So they shouted louder following their normal custom. They cut themselves with knives and swords until the blood gushed out.

They raved all afternoon until the time of the evening sacrifice. But still there was no sound, no reply, no response. Elijah says hey maybe your God's asleep and you need to wake him up. Oh I'm so glad God doesn't fall asleep. Do you ever fall asleep? You didn't plan on it? Why is it when we fall asleep we always deny it when someone asks us? Were you sleeping?

No. No you were. You fell asleep. The other day I ate something and it put me into into a temporary food coma.

You know what I'm talking about? You just. And I was asleep for like I don't know five minutes. I woke up. I literally didn't know where I was for a moment. Where am I? What just happened? I'm under the influence of an In-N-Out Burger.

I don't know what it was. I'm so glad that doesn't happen to God. God doesn't go into food comas. God is not asleep at the wheel. God is always paying attention to what is happening to us.

Psalm 124 says he that keeps Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps. Second chronicle 16 9 says the eyes of the Lord search a whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. So God is not just awake. God is aware. God is watching and because he's omniscient which means all-knowing and omnipotent which means all-powerful and omnipresent which means present everywhere. He's fully aware of what you're facing.

Of what is going on in your life and what is going on in the world. I love what Elijah says then. Verse 27 maybe your God is daydreaming or is relieving himself.

Yes that's what he meant. Maybe your God's on the celestial toilet. That was a joke at their expense but I don't think they were laughing. Yes Elijah was mocking them but in a way their own gods were mocking them because their own gods were non-existent. Their own gods had no power to do anything. I love this statement when it says they raved all afternoon until the time of the evening sacrifice but still there was no sound, no reply, no response. And I think Ahab saw this.

King Ahab could see that Baal had no power. Baal was not there to answer the call of these people and sometimes the Lord will allow people to see the futility of their own gods so they will turn to the true and living God. I think most of us if we look back on that moment in our life before we came to Christ we had probably come to a point where we had seen the emptiness of life. You know this book I've written Lennon, Dylan, Allison, Jesus it examines the spiritual life of a lot of these people that had unbelievable fame and success and wealth and they climbed to the top of the mountain and they found out there was nothing there and for many of them they had to hit rock bottom before they would look up. They had to see the emptiness of these so-called gods before they would turn again to the true God.

These false gods are sort of like filters we put on photos to make things look better but really they don't look better at all. I read about an Instagram influencer age 28 who tragically took her own life. There was a column written about her and there was a comment made by another influencer who said quote social media does not bring happiness it does not bring fulfillment it does not bring connection end quote. I thought that's very true it just doesn't but we want to present ourselves as very happy and very attractive and look at the life I'm living but we don't see what it's really like.

69% of adults and 81% of teens use social media. This influencer went on to say quote it's really just smoke and mirrors they're just showing an edited part of their life that they want others to see end quote. That's true and that's everything this world offers it's just smoke in mirrors it's fake it's not real they're false gods. It'll never satisfy you but some people spend their whole life figuring that one out and other people see it sooner and they come to Christ sooner. Well anyway here's the big contest so Elijah says yeah you guys go do your thing get you done okay wow what a mess blood everywhere seriously now it's my turn and he says I want you to repair the altar which they did now I want you to douse it with water I want you to do it again do it again three times they douse the altar why because when God answered this prayer he wanted everyone to know it was the Lord.

It wasn't a coincidence it wasn't a special trick it was something that was super natural bringing me to point number two our job is to pray God's job is to answer. Again our job is to pray God's job is the answer. Do you have a problem right now? Do you have a challenge right now? Do you have a concern right now? Now have you prayed about it? Is there something you really need in your life? Have you prayed about it?

Maybe it's a healing maybe it's provision maybe it's a mate maybe it's something else. The Bible says you have not because you ask not and not only that but Jesus says ask and it shall be given seek and you will find knock and the door will be open. So our job is to pray God's job is to answer. First Kings 18 36 at the time of sacrifice the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed Lord God of Abraham Isaac in Israel let it be known today that you are God in Israel and I am your servant and I've done all these things at your command answer me Lord answer me so these people will know that you Lord are God and that you are turning their hearts back again.

I love this prayer just confidence in God he didn't cut himself he didn't scream he didn't yell he didn't jump up and down he just prayed what happened. First Kings 18 verse 38 then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice the wood the stones and the soil and looked up the water in the trench and when all the people saw this they felt prostrate and prostrate and cried the Lord he is God the Lord he is God. Love this but God was not done not only did he send the fire now he's going to send the rain. Don't forget they've been experiencing a horrible drought they haven't seen water for over three years and God revealed to Elijah that it was going to rain but when you looked up in the sky there was not a cloud in the sky not a single cloud. You know and sometimes weathermen get it wrong right oh it's going to rain today and it's clear or it's going to be clear today and it rains. I listen you want to know if it's going to rain just find out when I wash my car it always rains in that day and as I've told you before bald men always know when it's raining first that is absolutely true.

We'll walk along and I'll say it's raining Kathy you say no it isn't oh yes it is because I'm a bald man and I just felt the first drop hit me right so but he knew because the Lord revealed to him that the rain was going to come. Here's what I find surprising in the narrative Elijah goes and tells king Ahab hey it's going to rain you better get in your chariot and head back to the palace get those rain tires on the chariot king a powerful rainstorm is coming and the king gets into his chariot and off he goes bringing me to point number three. God answers prayer the way he wants and when he wants. God answers prayer the way he wants and when he wants underline the word when. 1 Kings 18 43 he says to a servant go look toward the sea and the servant went and looked and said there's nothing there seven times Elijah said go back so one two three four five six there's nothing and the seventh time the servant reported well there is a cloud as small as a man's hand rising from the sea Elijah said go to Ahab hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.

Isn't this interesting? Elijah knew it was going to rain before everybody else knew and I think when you are walking with the Lord and you are living by faith you will see things other people do not see. You know Hebrews 11 one says faith is a substance of things hoped for it's the evidence of things not seen. Faith sees invisible things you see what can be not just what is you see past it and the Lord can direct you and here's another thing to consider we as believers know a storm is coming.

People in our world today are saying well what's going on there's violence on the streets and and the crazy things happening in the stock market and the aggression of powers overseas and and it's almost like the end times but I don't know it is the end times we know it we know it because we read our bibles we know that prophecies are being fulfilled before our very eyes we know the Antichrist is coming we know the tribulation period is coming we know judgment is coming but best of all we know that Jesus Christ is coming again we know it. Pastor Greg Laurie talking about seeing our lives through eyes of faith and with the insight we get from God's word. Pastor Greg mentioned his book Lennon, Dylan, Alice and Jesus.

You can get more information about that book and how to order it at harvest.org. You know the book of Revelation is a rewarding study of Bible prophecy and in a book from Pastor Greg he paints such a full picture of its authorship the time in which it was written and the circumstances in which our redemption takes place. The apostle John wrote the book of Revelation. John was one of the apostles that walked with Jesus Christ in fact in his gospel he described himself as the disciple that Jesus loved. He outlived all the other disciples and they tried to put him to death according to church tradition and a pot of boiling oil but John would not die so instead they banished him to the distant island of Patmos an isolated little island out in the middle of nowhere. He was put on a ship probably in chains and when he was placed on that island no one ever thought that they would hear from John again maybe even John felt abandoned by God I don't know but I know this much Jesus Christ came to the apostle John on the island of Patmos and the Lord took John into the future sort of catapulted him into the next dimension and he saw things that no man had ever seen before.

John had a front row seat to the beginning of the tribulation period. He tells us about the Antichrist, the mark of the beast, the battle of Armageddon and the second coming of Jesus Christ. He also tells us about the millennial reign of Jesus where the lamb and the lion will lie together and John tells us about that momentous event when heaven and earth all come together again and he wrote these words down in a book that is simply called Revelation. It's the revelation of Jesus Christ. Revelation means unveiling so this book is given to unveil to reveal Jesus Christ to us. And Pastor Greg digs deep into these words of prophecy in Revelation a Book of Promises.

Tell us about this resource Pastor Greg. Yeah I think far too often when we think of Revelation we think it's ominous and horrible and yes there are some very heavy duty events described in this book but it is a book that reveals Jesus Christ to us. It's a book that is filled with promises that's why we called it Revelation a Book of Promises. This is a book you would leave out on a coffee table or by your nightstand. A book that is over 400 pages long but understand it's a very accessible book. The way that I wrote it I did so in a way that you can understand what the Bible teaches on the end times because I know you have an interest in these things but but I want to help you know how it applies to you.

There's not a lot of theological verbiage that will confuse you. Everything is in down-to-earth terminology that you will understand and it will show you how all of these great events that are in our future apply to you in day-to-day living. I think you're going to love this book from Harvest Ministries that we're simply calling Revelation a Book of Promises. Yeah I think you're right and we're making this book available to thank you for your investment in the work we do here each day. It's an investment in changing lives for eternity. It's an investment in bringing people to Jesus Christ as we'll be doing at SoCal Harvest coming up November 5th and 6th. So get in touch with your donation today and we'll thank you with a copy of Revelation a Book of Promises and we won't be mentioning this much longer so contact us soon. Just call us at 1-800-821-3300.

That's 24 7 phone number 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org. Well next time we move forward in the story and discover Elijah surprisingly found himself in a time of depression. We'll uncover some principles for those challenges in our lives. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. Hey everybody thanks for listening to this podcast. To learn more about Harvest Ministries follow this show and consider supporting it. Just go to harvest.org and to find out how to know God personally go to harvest.org and click on know God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-03 01:08:28 / 2023-01-03 01:18:20 / 10

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