All In: Do It Again

Last week, we were challenged to be all in for Jesus because Jesus is all in for us.  We were reminded to apply that small, but huge word: commit.  As we commit to being all in for Jesus this year, we may need to simplify our lives by eliminating resources spent on less important things to make room for God to move in and through our lives.

There may be another way for us to also be all in for Jesus this year.  There may be things in your life right now that make you feel like giving up.  There may be things that you are facing that cause you to wake up weary before your feet even hit the ground. 

You’ve been trying for so long and you’ve grown weary in your efforts.  You feel that you are doing what God has called you to do, but you don’t know how much longer you can go on.  You’ve tried so many times and it just isn’t working.  If that’s you, another way that God is calling us to be all in for Him is to: DO IT AGAIN!

It reminds me of an encounter that the apostles Peter, James, and John had with Jesus:

Luke 5:1-11

1 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret (Sea of Galilee), the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

Peter, James, and John were tired.  They weren’t just tired, they were sick and tired, they were finished.  They were fishermen by trade and they had just finished up yet another night shift and was cleaning up from it.  Then, along comes this rabbi preaching the word of God. 

He seemed a bit selfish at first and chose their boat to use as a pulpit and for them to be the ones to man it while He literally sat down and just kept on preaching.  He didn’t seem to give any attention to the fact that they were tired, likely irritated, and definitely ready to go home.

Then, when He finally finished preaching, instead of heading back to the shore and off to their warm beds, Jesus tells Peter to head far out into deep waters and to get back to work!  Night shift is hard enough, but now a double shift?!?

When Jesus says to do it again, …DO IT AGAIN!  When we obey what Jesus commands, no matter how we might feel about it, there is surely blessing to follow.  In fact, this blessing was so abundant that it nearly sunk two boats with the catch of fish that came back to shore.  This was clearly an uncommon miracle as it lead Peter to repentance, confessing his sinfulness to Jesus.

When we commit ourselves to being all in for Jesus, He sometimes calls us to do it again.  Sure, you may be weary and you may have tried it so many times before with no success.  There may not be an ounce of you that wants to do it, but do it anyways.  When Jesus calls us to do it again, then breakthrough is nearing!

Just because you don’t see anything happening right now, DO IT AGAIN!!  I picture it a bit like a massive treasure cove buried inside of a thick, rock structure.  There may be priceless treasure just on the other side of that wall that you are tired of running into, but breakthrough is coming.  Do it again!  You may be just one more swing of the hammer away from demolishing that wall and receiving the abundance that has been promised.  Don’t stop short, DO IT AGAIN!

You may feel like you’ve been plowing and casting out rocks and watering and weeding and toiling just to see nothing happen with those seeds.  You may see nothing but a barren field of dirt.  Trust the process!  Stuff is happening that you can’t see!  God is growing and bringing about tremendous transformation behind-the-scenes even though you can’t see it.  DO IT AGAIN!

God’s word wouldn’t need to warn us so many times not to grow weary and not to give up unless we would be tempted to do it.  Breakthrough is coming!  The fulfillment of God’s promises are coming!  Your reward is growing!  DO IT AGAIN!

Galatians 6:9

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Hebrews 12:3

Consider him (Jesus) who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Don’t give up, DO IT AGAIN!

Just after the showdown between the Lord and Baal where God proved Himself to be the One, True, Living God, we find this experience of Elijah recorded. 

By the way, after building from wood an altar to the Lord and having the prophets of Baal soak it in water, what did Elijah ask them to do?  DO IT AGAIN!  After the second time that Baal’s prophets soaked the wooden altar to the Lord in water, what did Elijah ask them to do?  DO IT AGAIN! 

What happened as a result?  The fire of the Lord fell from Heaven and licked up every ounce of that water as undeniable evidence of who the Lord is and how fake and powerless Baal was.  Then:

1 Kings 18:41-46

41 And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.” 42 So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees.

43 “Go and look toward the sea,” he told his servant. And he went up and looked.

“There is nothing there,” he said.

Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.”

Seven times Elijah tells his servant, DO IT AGAIN!

It’s easy to miss what happened here, but Elijah heard the sound of heavy rain after a long drought – he heard the promise of God in the spiritual realm and he shared it with others.  Then, he fervently prayed for that promise of God that he heard in the spiritual realm to be manifest in the physical realm.  Then, he watched for it as he prayed.  When the promise didn’t come, what did Elijah say to do?  DO IT AGAIN!

44 The seventh time the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.”

So Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’”

45 Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain started falling and Ahab rode off to Jezreel. 46 The power of the Lord came on Elijah and, tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.

What promise of God have you heard, but not yet received?  It’s time to bring it back to the forefront of our minds.  It’s time to start sharing it with others.  It’s time to get on our face and pray for it to come and watch for it to come.  Even though you’ve done it before and nothing seemed to happen, it’s time this year to DO IT AGAIN!

Jesus taught a parable to remind us of this kind of persistent prayer and not giving up:

Luke 18:1-8

1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

TO WHAT?  ALWAYS PRAY, NEVER GIVE UP!!!!

TO WHAT?  ALWAYS PRAY, NEVER GIVE UP!!!!

TO WHAT?  ALWAYS PRAY, NEVER GIVE UP!!!!

2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”

6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

So you’ve prayed and sought after God about His very own promise and nothing seemed to happen?  DO IT AGAIN!  Stop living by sight and living by faith!  Start seeing and hearing what is happening in the spiritual realm and BRING IT in the physical realm. 

So you’ve heard that there is a rainstorm coming, you’ve prayed for it to come, you’ve went out and looked for it, but saw nothing?  DO IT AGAIN! 

The rain of the Lord is coming, but do you want it?  Are you hungry?  Are you thirsty?  Are you desperate for the glory of the Lord?  Will you seek until you’ve found?  Will you ask until you’ve received?  Will you knock until the door opens? 

Do you hear the sounds of revival?  Do you hear the sound of their salvation?  But you don’t see it happening yet?  DO IT AGAIN!

Listen, share, pray, seek, and then?  DO IT AGAIN!

There are far too many examples where God’s people needed to do something again and again until they saw breakthrough and received their promise.  We’ll end here with a very well known one.

The nation of Israel had been given a pretty awesome promise about a land that God had prepared and was saving for them; one flowing with milk and honey.  They even saw it with their own eyes and tasted of its goodness, but their fear and doubt kept them from entering in. 

When that generation passed away, literally died off, a new generation rose up ready to take hold of the promises that they had heard about.  They won battle after battle and they were ready to DO IT AGAIN!  They had eaten manna for decades and every morning except the Sabbath, they woke up and the ATE IT AGAIN!  They had celebrated the Passover year after year remembering the salvation and deliverance of God and they were ready to DO IT AGAIN!

Joshua 5:9-15

9 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” So the place has been called Gilgal to this day.

10 On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover. 11 The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain. 12 The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate the produce of Canaan.

13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”

14 “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.”

Now here is something that the church in America could learn from.  Stop with the left, right, liberal, conservative, democrat, republican petty bickering.  The winning side isn’t blue or red, the winning side is the purple royal banner of the Lord.  The Lord hasn’t sent His angelic host to serve a political party, but the children of God.  He hasn’t sent His angelic host to help us make the other side look bad, but to live for the Lord. 

Jesus didn’t take political sides even as Jesus refused to play politics on this earth (Jewish sovereignty versus Roman rule), His focus was on the one, true Kingdom and to establish it here on the earth.  After all, it overrides any other government here on the earth!  Jesus refused to deny His kingship when it was questioned, but explained to Pilate that His kingdom was not of this earth. 

Want to win?  Take the side of the Lord and live as He lived regardless of what happens in the earthly government over us! 

They can’t stop the army of the Lord!  They can’t stop His purposes!  They can’t stop the move of the Holy Spirit!  They can’t stop us from being all that God has called us to be nor from doing all that God has called us to do!  They never have been able to and they never will be able to, so don’t act and speak as if though they can!

Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?”

15 The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.

Joshua 6:1-5

1 Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.

2 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. 3 March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. 4 Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. 5 When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”

Wake up, get your armor on or carry the ark or trumpet, then silently march around the city.  DO IT AGAIN!

For six days, they did this over and over and saw nothing happen.

Oh, but on the seventh day, came the shout and trumpet blast!

Oh, but on the seventh day, the walls came crashing down!

Oh, but on the seventh day, the battle was won!

Feel like you’ve been walking around impenetrable walls forever?  Feel like no matter what you do, it is like literally talking to a brick wall?  Tired of seeing no results and just getting more weary and frustrated?  DO IT AGAIN!

God never said that it would be easy.  He never promised that it wouldn’t hurt.  He never said that it wouldn’t cost us a sacrifice.  However, He promised that it would be worth it!  Consider the lives of the early apostles as they travelled the nations telling everyone the good news about Jesus and planting churches:

2 Corinthians 1:8-11

8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

God delivered them once and they knew that He would DO IT AGAIN! 

Do you want this to be victorious in your battle?  Do you want to see breakthrough?  Are you ready to experience a powerful encounter with God and experience His salvation?  DO IT AGAIN!