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Watch 2022 online sermons » Beth Moore » Beth Moore - Raise The Roof - Part 2

Beth Moore - Raise The Roof - Part 2


Beth Moore - Raise The Roof - Part 2

What I'm going to do now is talk you through a little bit of an illustration about what we're talking about. Now, listen, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna strongly simplify it, and in some ways, then I'm even gonna make it more dramatic than it really would be often in our day-to-day, but I need something that I can imagine for a moment, give me some kind of word picture so I can see what we're talkin' about, and that's what I'm gonna try to do here, 'cause what does it mean, then, in Ephesians chapter 1 when we're talkin' about him saying, "having the eyes of your heart enlightened so that you may know".

So, what does that look like? What does that look like? Well, I want you to understand, first of all, that it all starts and ends here with the Scriptures. This, we got to have this. There is nothing like the Word of God. This is the written revelation of God to man. This is all we have got in concrete. This is written authority to us. Nothing else matches this, absolutely nothing. This is what everything else is tested by, so everything starts, ends, everything circles around, everything comes from right here, our only unquestionable and utterly reliable written authority, the Word of God. Yeah, now, the Word of God will tell us that the heavens declare the glory of God. That's Psalm chapter 19.

Romans 1 would tell us that creation and nature also put many of his attributes on display, so we know that. God can use anyone or anything to communicate or convey something of himself to us. I mean, he uses a donkey, in the Old Testament, to talk. But we will not know how to interpret any of that without a working knowledge of the Scriptures, so that's why I cannot even express to you, we've got to be in the Word of God, and all of us, this is not just for people who are in full-time ministry, all of us have got to have a relationship with God where we're coming to know him through his Word. It's the only unshakeable, unquestionable authority we have. This is how we get to know him, but here's what I wanna say to you. I think this is fair. I think this is fair. If we will be faithful to his written revelation, the whole world can become a living illustration.

Is that makin' sense to anybody that if I will be faithful to his words, and, man, I can look around me. A lot of things he's doin' in the world, and, you know, I can see him at work. Does anybody know what I'm talkin' about? Because if we're faithful to his written Word, then everything out there, we can see so much significance in it. We could look right now, see so many things where the world was in such turmoil, but he already said to us, "Do not be surprised. Do not be surprised. Remember, I told you these things would happen". So the world, then, these events that are happening, I'm lookin' out there, goin', "Oh, no, we were already told this".

How do I know that I don't have to fear that God is no longer in control, and he's lost complete authority over the world? I know what the Scripture says. You understand what I'm saying? When I get in a situation, a relational situation, now, I can think, "Okay, okay, okay, what does God say, what does God say"? The Word of God. Well, we don't know how to interpret a world of illustrations if we're not faithful to written revelation. Listen, I wanna say this to you because this is so important. The world does not interpret the Word. The Word interprets the world. This is what happens when we go, "Well, today, though", listen, there's always been a "today".

This is not the first generation where everything was turned upside down and our value system was completely topsy-turvy. And we'll look back at what life was like in Corinth and in Rome. You talk about completely depraved. We act like these people lived in a little bubble when they were ministering, and, no, they did not. There have been all sorts of nightmarish generations and centuries in the history of man. This is not the first one, but when we start goin', "Well, now, this is how the world is so now we need to". It's not that we don't use illustrations, really think through our approaches, how can we address this wisely, but do we interpret the Word by the world? No, we interpret the world by the Word, by the Word of God. Okay, now, stay with me here and see if I can make some sense of this.

Okay, so the year was A.D. 386, and there was a young philosopher and a professor of rhetoric, a Roman African by the name of Augustine, and he was 31 years old, and, I mean, this man was as worldly as you could possibly get. He had done it all. It is what he had given his life to, just things of the flesh. That was all he really cared about. And so what happens is that he is spending some time in Milan, and he, while he is there, he is outdoors, and while he's outdoors, he hears children playing, and there is a child singing a song that has the words in it, "Pick it up and read it. Pick up and read it". And the story goes that it would've seemed like, well, this is a kid's little lyric or little rhyme, only he had never heard it, and so it dawns on him, "I wonder if God is speaking to me, and I'm supposed to read in the Bible"?

So Augustine gets a Bible. I'm not recommending this by any stretch of the imagination. I'm just telling you his story. He flops the Bible open and he reads Romans 13:13-14, and I'm gonna read them to you now: "Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness", this was his whole life, "not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires". And for whatever reason, that light came on for him. All the philosophy he'd ever, all he had ever heard, somethin' about that moment, instead of just reading words on a page, because a natural man with a natural mind could read the Word of God and go, "That doesn't mean anything to me".

So what had happened to him? The Spirit of God had turned the light on in his heart over that Scripture, and it changed everything for him. I mean, you and I might be goin', "Well, I mean, it's, like, powerful, but I don't know". No, not for him. It was the game changer for him, the total game changer. I mean, this was the moment that he said his heart was flooded with light, and he completely turned over a new leaf and was transformed in his life and was baptized that Easter and served God for the rest of his days.

Okay, fast forward many centuries to the year 1515, a German monk named Martin Luther had been for months, and possibly even years, just in absolute torment over how on earth to please God. He just felt like no matter what he did, he would have a bad thought, some kind of negative thought. He would speak a certain way that wasn't godly. He just was constantly tormented. Anybody but me ever been tormented by self-condemnation? See, the thing about my past is that I gave the enemy, the accuser, a lot of material. Anybody else? And so when he accuses, I mean, like, he's got all sorts, he's got volumes. He goes, "Remember this? How about this"? Anybody?

Well, I mean, it's just, like, tormenting. Well, I don't know his part of the story there. All I know is he was absolutely tormented, and he was trying so hard to live righteously, so righteously, that he felt like he could be as righteous as God deserved for him to be. Well, he just got more and more miserable and more and more tormented, and he would do everything. He would fast days at the time, and then he would do self-mortification. He would hurt his own body as a means of bringing it somehow under control. All of it just led to more and more and more misery. And then he began poring over, it happens to be, and it's just other stories we would read, would be other books, other Scriptures, psalms, whatever it might be, but for him, it was also the letter to the Romans, and one of the first places was 1:17, where it said, "For it is the righteousness of God that is revealed from faith to faith, and as it is written, 'The righteous shall live by faith.'" Then he went to chapter 3 and chapter 5. "We are justified by faith in Christ. Christ has done it all for us".

And suddenly, it was like everything, everything, all the torment he'd been through ended, and the light came on. What had happened to him? The eyes of his heart had been enlightened to the hope of his calling. He had looked in the Word of God, and instead of it just being words on a page, the Holy Spirit turned that light on his heart, and it had effect, and I'm quoting him as he says, "The whole of Scripture took on a new meaning to me". It's a beautiful thing 'cause God can, like, just turn the light on a particular passage, and, suddenly, you love the whole thing. You can't get enough of it. And he says, "The whole of Scripture took on a new meaning to me, and whereas before the righteousness of God had filled me with hate, now it filled me with love. This passage of Paul became to me a gateway to heaven". Anybody gettin' that with me? Just like turning on the light.

So come back with me a second, and let's think this through in some kind of practical terms. So what is the difference between havin' the Holy Spirit enlighten the eyes of our hearts and just regular learning? Because, I mean, there's regular learning. I mean, like, you want your kid, if you're a parent, you want your kid to learn their math. You're not gonna find perhaps a lot of algebra in the Word of God. I say, "probably" because, no tellin', it's probably in there somewhere, I just don't know how to recognize it. I never could recognize it. I know there's lots of geometry 'cause there's a whole lot of shaping. No telling what all is in there, but that's regular learning. That's a beautiful thing. That's a beautiful thing.

How does it differ from Holy Spirit, when the Holy Spirit takes a passage and suddenly the light comes on? What is it that is happening? How would we know the difference between what we're calling here, in a very simple illustration, enlightenment? Well, because it's not just an impartation to the intellect. It is gonna invade the Spirit in us, and it's not just in the head, but it's gonna engage the heart. That's one reason why it says that he would enlighten the eyes of your heart. It's not just the head. Anybody trackin' with me? So we want the Word of God... that we're porin' over the Word of God. We want it not just to stick in our head as knowledge. You know what? All it does there is puff us up in pride. We want it to invade down into the heart, and we want it also to somehow make it to the feet because we wanna walk differently. If we're learnin' all of this stuff and it never makes it to the feet, something is wrong. We need a Holy Ghost interruption. Anybody know what I'm talkin' about? We need the light to come on.

God said through the prophet Ezekiel, he talked about the Holy Spirit, and this was in Ezekiel 36:26-27. He's talking about the work of the Spirit, and he says, "I will remove from you... I'll give you a new heart and a new spirit in you, and I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh, and I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees". And so try to go here with me. Remember, what's the question on the table? Well, how do we know the difference between regular learning and then being able to know this moment of the Holy Spirit enlightens the eye of our heart? Well, what does that look like?

Well, the Holy Spirit moves us. Sometimes it may be to tears, but that's not always what it means. Moves us to obedience. Moves us to understanding. Moves us to insight, like, we're like, "Okay, I get that, I get that". Moves us to action, maybe that through the Word of God, you know that you really are gettin' a green light from him in order to start a nonprofit. Maybe you've realized, "No, I'm supposed to start teaching. I'm supposed to start working with children". Whatever it may be, but that the Holy Spirit is moving us, moving us to confidence, moving us to endurance. Sometimes it moves us physically.

I can remember all those years ago, hmm, early 30s, and so I'm in my early 60s now, so 30 years ago, when I was studying the Old Testament tabernacle, I gotta tell you, talk about moving me, 'cause I had never studied it in my life; I was like, "I don't know where in the world this has been. I don't even know what this is". But I got myself caught up in Exodus, and I could not get myself out. And then I started getting resources and commentaries on it, and I cannot tell you how many times I had to get up from my desk and get on the floor over and over 'cause it was like, "I don't even know who you are. I don't understand the brilliance of the divine mind that could put this all together and fulfill every bit of this thing in Jesus Christ".

I've got chill bumps on my arms telling you that, just moved me. That, even for an ignorant young woman who'd been through so much and would still go through so much, that light turned on for me. It was somethin' only the Holy Spirit could've done, and it moved me. I could've read it and thought, "This is pretty cool," 'cause it was, but I didn't think it was just cool. I knew it was holy. I knew it was holy. I knew it was God. Now, I want you to see something. So if you're in Ephesians, I want you to turn with me to Ephesians 4, because here's the thing about taking out passages like we're doing this week, and this is the only thing we can do. We can't study a whole book of the Bible unless we're gonna do Philemon, and it is a blast. But one of the rules of study is that the best commentary on Scripture is Scripture, that you let Scripture teach Scripture.

That's the most beautiful thing you can do, but it gets even better than that in that, when possible, you want the most immediate Scripture to teach Scripture. In other words, find where, in that same letter, in that same book of the Bible, that that same kind of thing is being addressed or brought into comparison or contrast for the sake of revelation. Well, this is true in Ephesians because, in 4, remember, let me repeat this to you that he says, "And this I pray that you may be given the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your heart enlightened so that you may know". And then, we talked about those three things. Well, now, watch what he's gonna do; remember, "That the eyes of your heart may be enlightened".

Look what he says here in Ephesians 4, verse 17, because this is an intentional contrast. It's just that our text is leaving us in chapter 1. He says, in Ephesians 4:17, "Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do", now, when he's saying that, he's meaning people that do not know Christ, so that's a reference he's making to people that would've been worldly people to them, "as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds". Verse 18, "They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality and to greed and to all of these things".

All right, hold with me a second because here he's making the comparison of the Holy Spirit-enlightened heart as opposed to the futile mind of someone that is just "darkened in their understanding". Stay with me here, because this is important. "Darkened in their understanding" does not mean that they think their minds are darkened. These very people can think they are 100 times smarter than you, and you are the idiot. I need somebody to let that land. But what will happen is that the harder our hearts get, the less we will learn from God because we have closed ourselves off. We can say to him, "My heart's gotten hard". And what the Word of God is telling us right here, because this is so mind-blowing, is he is telling us that a hard heart makes us ignorant.

I didn't come up with it, he did, that the harder I am, the more, and I'll think I'm so right. I'll think I'm so right. I'll think I'm so right. But if my heart is hard, then my mind is just caught up in futile thinking and futile thinking and futile thinking. "Darkened in our understanding" or enlightened in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, that's what I want. And he said specifically "That you may know the hope to which he has called you," and "what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints". I wanna talk to you about hope because we are surrounded by so much hopelessness. Would you agree with me on that, that this hopeless world we live in, this is evidenced by an increasing heaviness and downcastness? I looked up "downcastness" to see if it was a word, and it is not.

Therefore, I'm coining it, and the reason I'm coining it is because it really doesn't get better than that when I'm trying to describe what I mean because I truly, I truly, I truly believe, I will ask you, is anybody besides me having to fight a spirit of heaviness more than you ever have in your life that you're not even... my personality is not even given to melancholy, but every now and then, I look around me and go, "Golly , what's wrong with this place? What's wrong with people"? And then, I look in the mirror and go, "What's wrong with her"? Because it's just like that sometimes I feel like, and I see it around me all the time. I have people tell me all the time. We'll just be bringing up a conversation, and I'll go, "You know, I don't know, I've just been off lately. I, just, man, I just feel, been really down. I don't even know what", anybody? I wanna see your hand if you felt something like... Those are the days we live in. It is because of the darkness. I mean, the enemy.

Revelation 12:12, "The enemy is furious because he knows his time is short". "And so I need to send a fury, just in a fury, just in a fury, just in a fury," and we can feel it. We can feel it. And I felt like there are times that the enemy is just holdin', holdin' a cloak of heaviness right in front of me, just wantin' to throw it on me, just wantin' to throw it on me, and I'm just constantly, "God, get that away from me. I do not want that". I wanna stick with that word "downcastness" whether it's a word or not because you just feel, like, "down". Anybody know what I'm talkin' about? Just "down," sometimes we don't even know why, just "down". And "downcastness" in the Word of God, over and over, is associated with a feeling of hopelessness. We see it in Psalm 42, and we see it in Psalm 43. Both of them, the psalmist is goin', "Why so downcast, O my soul"? Has anybody asked yourself that lately? "Why so downcast, O my soul"? And it goes on to say, "Hope in God, for I will yet again praise him".

Hope is the cure to downcastness, and when hope is depleted, downcastness wants to come on us. I want you to think this through because you find it in Luke chapter 24. You remember the story. The two have been in Jerusalem that weekend, and, of all things, they come in for the Passover. They're from Emmaus. I think it's like seven miles away. They're walkin' home after the big Passover weekend, and Jesus Christ, I mean, has been crucified that weekend. I mean, like, beaten up and killed on a cross. And Jesus walks up to these two while they're talkin'. They don't know it's him. He just kept their eyes from recognizin'. And he walks up to 'em, he says, "What are y'all talkin' about"? "Well, there's just some", they said, you know, "We're just, like", their faces were, it says, the Word of God says that "their faces were downcast".

Luke 24:17, "They stood still with their faces downcast". And then they began to say, "Have you not heard what's goin' on in the last few days? I mean, where have you been"? And they talked about Jesus, and then they said, doesn't that make you nervous to think that sometimes we're talking about Jesus to Jesus? And, you know, there's something about me that I think, "Oh, I hope I'm getting this right," 'cause it's unnerving to think that he's listening and going, "You know what? I never said that or did that, and I don't know... I think you just made that up, and you're cute, but wrong". But they're tellin' all that happened, and they say the most insightful four words: "But we had hoped". They had hoped he was the one. And so when their hope was deferred, when their hope was gone, what were they? Downcast. That's what I'm talkin' about.
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