TRANSCRIPTION | Sunday, September 11, 2022 | The World Didn’t Give It Series | I Have a Secret
The world didn't give it. I grew up with a song called This Joy that I Have. The world didn't give it and the world can't take it away. No, it doesn't go like that. This joy that I have, the world didn't give it and the world can't take it away. What are we trying to say? Jesus. When He gives us something, the world has no capacity to take it away.
And that is exactly what Paul is trying to get across when he says to this church over and over again, it fell apart. There's some stuff God has given you. Don't you ever let the enemy steal it from you. And so I want you to I want to just show you in chapter four, just a few anchor text here.
Not that I'm speaking of being a need for. I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. Verse number 12. I know how to be brought low and I know how to abound in any and every circumstance. I have learned the secret. Somebody say the secret. I dare you just to look over at somebody and tell them I've got a secret.
You just freaked your spouse out. I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need, where some are 13. One of the most famous verses in all of Scripture. I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me. I've told you guys over and over again, as you've been looking at this book, that the book of Philippians is a bumper sticker kind of book over and over again.
There are verses that just stick out and resonate and that we quote and that encourage our faith. And this is one of the most prominent I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. We're going somewhere in Scripture this morning as we look at this one more time. The world didn't give it, Father. Help me to teach.
Help me to preach. Put an anointing of the Holy Spirit on me. Push back hell and bring down Heaven. I pray, God, that today somebody would be provoked by the Holy Spirit to take their next step in new whatever that might be, let it be done in Jesus name. And this church said, Amen. I get it that we all come here from different backgrounds.
We all come here from different places in life. And I realize that maybe not all of us are married, but it's highly likely that many of you are married. Maybe if you're not married, it's possible that you are thinking about marriage or you're pursuing the possibility of who you're going to send or spend the rest of your life with in any way, shape or form or fashion in the concept of marriage, especially in the realm of traditional ceremony.
We're familiar with these words for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, at almost every wedding ceremony. At some point this utterance is brought into the vows. And what happens in that moment is there is a commitment that if it gets better, I'm with you. But if it gets worse, I'm also with you.
If you get richer, I am most certainly with you. And if you get poorer, I suppose I'll stick around in sickness I'm going to be there and I'm also going to celebrate health with you as well. But what we're also acknowledging in those vows is that life can be unpredictable. And what we're acknowledging is that it is most likely that there are going to be days when it gets better, and there's also going to be days when it gets worse, and there may be moments where we got more money in the bank in moments when we got less money in the bank.
There may be days when we have to wrestle with sickness, and there may be days where that we get to celebrate the fact that it's been a long time since we even needed to see the doctor. The reality is that there will be highs and there will be lows. What Paul is saying to the church at Philip as he enters into this fourth chapter is that there will be highs and there will be lows not just in life, but even in your relationship with God and the things that the world is throwing at you.
So what Paul says in verse number 12, as we've already referenced, but we read it again for the sake of emphasis, I know how to be brought low and I also know how to abound. In other words, I know what it's like to have the low day and also know what it's like to have the hard day. I know what it's like to have the view from the mountaintop, but I also know what it's like to feel like I'm in a valley situation in any and every circumstance.
I have learned the secret. Somebody say the secret. The secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. So. So what Paul is pointing out is, yes, there's going to be highs and yes, there's going to be lows. But there's also a secret to being able to navigate those highs and navigate those lows with spiritual maturity. And so what I want to ask you is, do you know the secret?
Do you know the secret to being able to navigate the high and the low, the good and the bad? Because it doesn't matter how you shake it out. The truth is this the journey of faith often resembles a roller coaster ride. Some days it's really high, and other days it feels really low. In our home last Saturday night, a week ago, actually about 1230 in the morning on a Sunday, by true calculation of time, we heard something in our house.
It sounded like water running, but we knew that there were no faucets on. There were no showers on, the washer was not on. And as we tried to make sense of where is this water coming from, maybe now both looked at each other and thought, oh, I know that sound. And so Mandy took off running downstairs to begin to evaluate our home.
She arrived to discover, just for the record, any time there's any kind of something wrong at my house, us in Mandy first that the door to my office had become a fountain. It's literally just coming out the top of the door, just pouring water. And as I arrive and she's trying to explain to me what's happening and we look up and now it's coming down the rest of the ceiling and seems and the drywall are starting to break.
And that's also having a sprinkle effect on our living room for before long. We look over and there's this chandelier and the chandelier is also a fountain. And over the course of 2 to 3 days, we're trying to figure this out. And trying to find the source of what's caused this and how are we going to fix this.
And I'll just be honest with you, it was a fairly low moment. You're assessing the damage. You know what it's going to take to fix it. You're you're contemplating, how am I going to fix it? Who's going to fix it? A few days later? I was traveling somewhere to preach the gospel, and I got a phone call that a man wanted to meet me and that he had been impacted through church, online and through YouTube and the messages.
And I went over to meet with him. We had a couple of hours of just talking while I was waiting for this preaching engagement and wonderful man, wonderful conversation, blessed time. A few hours later, I get another call from that man's office and they say, He wants you to come. He wants you to come see him again. Or it's actually come and told me this.
And so I go and see this guy again and he says, I've got something I want to give you. Now, what this man didn't know is that for 20 years I have been trying to acquire what was in his back pocket.
I've tried multiple ways to figure out how to make it happen. Never had any success and totally unexpected. This man informs me that he he's about to give me something that is literally on my bucket list, written on my bucket list. He tells me that he feels impressed to give me a tag to hunt elk. Now that now you women are looking at me like that on me.
I got any men in here that know what I'm doing. Listen, my knees got weak. I almost had a Pentecostal conniption fit. Like, I looked at him. I said, Whoa, man, you're going to tell me something like that? You got to let me sit down first or provide a catcher as I, I, I couldn't process it. And so one minute my ceiling is flooded, my door to my office is a fountain.
Chandeliers now produce water. And just a few hours later, somebody is giving me something that's on my bucket list. There will be highs and there will be lows. And I'll be honest, I don't know how how interested God is in my the ceiling of my living room. And I don't know how much God cares about whether on ilk or not, but sometimes it's just really good to know when you've had a low, that there is still the opportunity to experience a high.
There will be highs and there will be lows. Then what Paul is telling this church at Phillip is I know how to be low and I know how to abound, but I've learned something along the way. And this morning we're going to unpack what it is that he learned. But for those of you that are in this Campbell's congregation and there may be something that resonates with you as I reflect upon another moment of highs and lows, you see around about 2012, 2013, got begin to deal with our church about the fact that we were supposed to be a multi-site church and that we were supposed to make room and we were supposed to reach
more people. And we never dreamed that there would be a possibility to partner with an existing church in Campbell's field. But that's exactly what happened and it became miraculous. Many of you remember that there was a 100% vote for the two churches to work together and become one under the banner of the name of Jesus Christ. I mean, that's that's miraculous.
That's a testimony. And today we're seated in that miracle. For those of you that are in person, church, online, you're receiving today from a miracle. As I stand on this platform of something that God didn't only God get the credit for. But while all of that was happening, while we were praying through it, while we were negotiating, while we were talking, while we were casting vision, every time I went to a doctor, I got a worse report.
My body was under attack. I lost £90 in two and a half years. I had five surgeries. I went in and out of surgeon's office. After Surgeon's office, they couldn't tell me what was wrong with me. They couldn't tell me how I was going to get fixed. And it was one cut after another cut and another cut. And I would go through weeks of recovery after every surgical procedure.
But simultaneously God was birthing a miracle. Really high, really low. If you've ever been through the roller coaster of faith, if you've ever had one moment of time and the next minute is slow, I bet you could say that you've learned some things, too. And for me, when I look at Paul, I wonder what is it that he really learned?
Because when you read Second Corinthians chapter 11, verse 24, which is a passage we've already looked at in the series, but we need to revisit for a moment, he says. Five times I received at the hands of the Deuce, 40 lashes, less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned three times I was shipwrecked a night and a day I was adrift at sea on frequent journeys in danger from rivers, danger from robbers Danger for my own people Danger from Gentiles Dangers in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers in toil and hardship through many sleepless nights.
I was hungry. I was thirsty. I was often without food. I was in coal and I was in exposure. The God of the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ who is blessed forever, knows I'm not lying about any of this.
So what Paul is saying is, man, I've had some low days, I've had some difficult days. It wasn't always a high. It wasn't always good. There were days when stuff just didn't go right. But he's also saying that along the way he learned back to the letter to the Philippians, I know how to be brought low. I think we just read about that.
But I also know how to abound in any and every circumstance. I have learned the secret of facing plenty in abundance and need. I've learned the Book of Acts. It gives you a picture of Paul, what his life look like, how there were highs, and how that there were lows. Chapter nine He has a salvation experience. He sees the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ while he is being born again.
Right after that, he preaches a message and people love it and people are impacted by it. And they're like, Paul is an incredible Christian. Within just a matter of moments, the people that he's grown up with his whole life, the people that he studied with and went to the synagogues with for many years, some of his best friends on earth, they don't accept the message that he's preaching.
They think he's lost his mind because he says that he's born again and they decide that he must be stoned or killed. It was a high, followed by a low. Some of you've had that in your salvation experience. You responded to a message. You got saved, you gave your life to Jesus, and you went back and told some of your friends and they looked at you like you had lost your mind.
A high and then a low. But right after that, Paul meets an encourager who's named Barnabas. And Barnabas could preach anybody happy, he could preach anybody full of joy. And Paul gets his head lifted back up again. He says, I think I'm going to stick to this preaching thing regardless of what it cost me. It cost me my family.
It cost me my friends. I can do this thing. So he goes over. He begins to debate the Greeks. He's back to preaching. He stomps them, and their response is, We got to kill this guy. Wait a minute, Barnabas, I thought you said if a priest man, everything was going to be good. And now I'm back to preaching.
And I went from high to low. Right after that, Paul meets a man whose name Sergius, and he's witnessing to him and he's having some impact. And then this joker walks up by the name of Jesus and he's full of demons. And Paul looks at this guy and cast the demon out of him. The guy goes blind, the guy goes mute as God makes a point and people then begin to say about the Apostle Paul, a man.
He doesn't just preach, he's full of power. So he's back in a high. But then he goes over to Lystra and he starts preaching some more. And while he's preaching out from the congregation, somebody picks up a stone, throws it, hits him in the head, it provokes a riot in the crowd. Other people pick up stones, they start throwing them at him.
And the next thing you know, he has fallen unconscious. They drag him out of the city, leave him laying outside the city limits of Lystra as four dead so that his body can rot. It's really high and it's really low. And I'm telling you all throughout the Book of Acts, over and over and over again, you see this in Paul's life.
One minute it's high, the next minute it's slow. One minute he's preaching and nobody likes it. The next moment he's operating in a power of God that nobody can do anything about. In fact, by the time you get towards the end of the Book of Acts, he winds up in a city known as Ephesus, and that city breaks out in such revival that Christianity literally took over every aspect of that culture.
But people who were in that city, who had made money off of idolatry got really upset with Paul. And they decide that they're going to throw him into a prison. They're going to arrest him really high. We're winning this city for Jesus. Everything's going our way. Nothing could be any better. Oh, we're tired of you. We don't like your preaching anymore.
You don't get to be our pastor. We're putting you in prison. Well, Paul appeals to Rome and gets trance forward, and it looks like he's back on a high, because that would seem to be a good thing if he's going to have to be in prison. He needs to go towards Rome because he's a Roman citizen. But wouldn't you know that boat wrecked?
He gets shipwrecked. And while he's trying to stay alive in the middle of a shipwreck, he goes over to get some wood to kindle a fire. And one of the most poisonous snakes on earth at that time beat him high, low. But Paul knew how to handle that kind of thing. He picks up that snake with its fangs still attached to his wrist, walks over to a fire and shook it off because he understand if my God gets me and my God will get me out.
Maybe that's part of what Paul was thinking about when he dropped this bomb. I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me. If they want to beat me, I can get through it with Christ Jesus. If they want to stone me, I can get through it with Christ Jesus. If they want to put me in prison, I can get through it with Christ Jesus.
If they want to leave me for dead, I can get through it with Christ Jesus. If they want to revile my name and say all manner of evil against me falsely, I can get through it with Christ Jesus. Why? Because Paul understood. I have learned the secret this to go over somebody and tell them I got a secret.
I've learned the secret. So what is the secret, baby girls about to tell the secret. I've learned the secret. He's actually if you've read Philippians chapter four, by the time he gets to this statement right before it, he's already told you what the secret is. And it's not just that he can do all things with Christ. Jesus, there's there's this this secret that makes the faith for that possible are the secrets.
In verse 11, I have learned in whatever situation I am to be contained, I've learned the value of contentment. If you don't know something that's missing in our world today, contentment. We know a lot about covetousness and very little about contentment. And the result is that our inability to embrace contentment is a lack of gratitude, and the lack of gratitude has negatively affected our attitudes of Thanksgiving.
And so I get it. There will be moments where God will reveal to you that you should be believing for more. But I do not believe that will ever happen. If you have not become content with Thanksgiving and gratitude for what you presently have. Because the truth of it is that discontentment is an enemy of faith. So because you can't appreciate the fact that God has met your need, you're so infatuated with what you still yet want.
And this tension between what should be gratitude for the need God has met versus the discontentment with the want that has not yet been provided. And it sets us up for all manner of evil. And sometimes we miss the lesson we should learn in the low place because we don't know how to express gratitude for the test that has been permitted, thus delaying the testimony that would have already arrived if we had just learned the value of contentment.
There's this moment in the creation process where that sin enters the world and you can say there's a lot of reason for why sin enters the world. But I believe at the very core of it is the concept of discontentment. Because Adam and Eve have everything except one tree, the whole world paradise is theirs. There's really nothing that they could even long for in regards to the provision of needs, to the point that even most of their wants have been met.
But one tree is off limit and they become so discontent with paradise that they put their entire focus on this one thing that God said, stay away from it. That's why some marriages fall apart. So you can't see all the incredible things in the marriage because the enemy has showed you. One thing that God said was off limits is sometimes the reason that we can't be grateful for what God has done in our businesses.
So many incredible things happen, and yet the enemy gets us fixated on that one thing that may not even be a part of God's plan for our lives. It's how addiction happens because we lose the ability to be content in the feeling that we presently have, because we crave that sensation that seems unattainable and we start to manufacture our own highs, not realizing that we're just taking ourself lower.
And so Paul is trying to teach this church the importance of don't let discontentment become an enemy to your faith in one of the ways that he tells them that they're going to be able to operate in contentment. It's at the beginning of Chapter four. Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say Rejoice over and over again.
In this book. He's telling them that the world didn't give you your joy. So the world can't take away your joy if you will just make the decision that you are going to rejoice. And again, I say rejoice. I'm honored. You say I ain't got to rejoice over you. You got breath in your lungs. Well, I just don't really feel like I do anything about it.
Do you have clothes on your back? Well, I just don't feel like I got a lot, you know, to have joy. Joy about how I was kind of struggling. But I get it. There's there's hope. There's leaks in your roof. But you got a roof, don't you? And from the looks of us, very many of us going hungry.
I can't get no help on a Sunday morning. Rejoice. In 2001, the day that we now stand in felt a lot different than it feels today. September the 11th, 2000. I just wonder right now, anybody got anything worth rejoicing over the fact that you can walk into a building, clap your hands, lift your hands, rejoice before the Lord with your voice decree and declare any man unto the Word of the Lord and just say, Man, I got something to rejoice about.
I Here's the thing. In verse number five, the Lord is at hand. Paul is saying, I can rejoice because even when I'm feels like I'm being stoned, even when it feels like I'm shipwrecked, even when I literally am in prison, I can't rejoice because I don't know if he's going to show up on my left hand or if he's going to show up on my right hand.
But I can tell you that the Lord is at hand, and if He be for me, in the end, it doesn't matter who or what is against me, because all things work together to the good of those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. If God be for you, who can be against you? So Paul isn't finished preaching to him yet.
He says you need to get it straight. Be anxious for nothing but in everything but prayer and with Thanksgiving, let your request be known to God. When's the last time that you thanked God for a problem so that you could celebrate the manifestation of a solution? God, I think you that you're about to give me a testimony out of this test.
I thank you, God. You're about to give me a message out of this mess. I thank you, God, that this thing that the enemy minute for evil, you're going to take it. You're going to twist it. You're going to turn it. You're going to make it for my good. And when you start thinking that way and you stop leaning towards your own understanding, you get the next part of the secret.
The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds through Christ Jesus. Why? Because you know from the beginning to the end that my God shall supply all of your needs according to His riches and glory, that the meeting of my needs is not dependent upon me. It is dependent upon the one who is greater than me, my author and my finisher, my Lord and my Savior, my refuge, my bread of life, my Jesus, my I.
I need somebody. Does anybody know the secret? There's there's a secret that you just watch people. But my father, he's got the secret, and it it just about half aggravates me because sometimes I don't feel like I've got it. Like he's got it. You can not rattle his cage. It's almost impossible to really get him shook. He just has this quiet faith, this supernatural peace that when I look at him, it surpasses my understanding.
I have a father in the faith much the same way. Recently I was given the task of driving him from Athens, Georgia, to Atlanta, Georgia. We got out of Athens late. I knew we were going to get out of Athens late because there was some long winded preacher that got up ahead of him and took too much time and gave one of those long horn sermons to good points and a whole lot of bull in between, you know?
And we've got to get this guy out of the way so we can get the boss on the stage, you know, and everything got delayed, everything got strung out. And so now we're trying to get from Athens to Atlanta, and there's there's construction and there's a traffic jam. And I'm looking at the clock and I'm like, We're going to miss he's going to miss his flight.
And I felt a sense of pressure with it and like, maybe in some way I had made a mistake. Did it somehow cause part of this? And he's just sitting there just talking about fishing and LSU football and answering questions that I have about ministry in church and raising godly kids and just at ease. We pulled into the Atlanta airport.
It's 5 minutes from the doors closing. He gets out of the passenger seat.
I'm running to.
The back, getting his bags and trying to put them on his shoulders. And he made a pact. He's free. I Eric, give me a hug. I said, that's you. Don't go. Hey, you give me a hug. The Lord, I hope that plane he gave me a hug and started speaking a word over my life on the sidewalk at the Atlanta airport with people blowing horns and moving cars every which direction.
And he's just completely at peace. And he turned around, he walked and he text me about 3 hours later and said, I text him. I said, make it okay. Oh, yeah, Eric, I told you, Lord, hold that plane. I don't know what that is, but I want it. I want it and believe in God for the manifestation of the secret in my life.
And I know you are too, a belief that God can put a peace in you that just surpasses understanding. And when all hell is breaking loose, you stand there with nothing but a water pistol and say, I know my God's got me because God's going to take this. And now to our God and Father be glory forever, a man and a man.
That's what Paul said is going to happen on the other side of this thing. You're going to get to rejoice now and you're going to get to rejoice later because whether it's a high or it's a low, God is still on the throne and nothing has ever caught him by surprise. And all of your needs shall be supplied according to his riches and glory.
Why? Because the world didn't give it and the world can't take it away. You got the secret. I can do all things through him who strengthens me? Would you say it out loud with me? Ready? Begin. I can do all things through him who strengthens me Come on, say it again You need to make the devil man I can do all things through him who strengthens me Church online You need to say it out loud Even if your coworker looks at you like you're crazy.
Y'all ready? I can do all things through him who strengthens me? Look at somebody and tell them I got the secret. When I ask every head to be about every out to be closed, they're going to come. They're going to play some music. I want to talk to you for a minute. You need a relationship with Jesus more than you need your next breath.
You need Jesus. He is not just the answer to your earthly fleshly problems. He is the answer to your eternity. And the greatest need that you or I will ever have is the need that is a social ated with our salvation, the ability to escape, escape hell and gain heaven, the ability to know that we can have an eternal home with Christ.
Jesus that resonates with you today. He would say, I need a fresh start in God. I need a relationship with Jesus. I'm going to ask you to lift your hand right now. It's the international sign of surrender for some of you may mean that you're coming to Jesus for the very first time for somebody else, it may mean that you're rededicating your life to God for somebody else.
That may just mean that you just have felt a little far from God and you don't even know how to fully make sense of it. But you know, today something needs to change once you lift that hand. Don't, don't, don't, don't be embarrassed. Don't be ashamed. Even there in church, online. Come on, put their hand up. Put that hand up.
If you were drowning in the ocean and a riptide was pulling you to your death, you would wave towards the shore and the lifeguard with everything is within you. And today you're not waving at a preacher and you're not waving at an usher. You're waving at God, and you're saying, I need you to pull me out of the suffocating, compromising the life.