This day of Pentecost we think of how the disciples waited to gain power from above. Paul was under arrest and yet he set his heart on God in joy. Our design is to guard. It salvation we do not have to fight or flee. We stand firm for we have made God our context. (Philippians 4:11-13; Genesis 2:15; Acts 1:8; 2:1-5; Psalm 16:5-9)

Speaker: Thomas Schaller
Sermon 12720
Date: 2024-05-19
Time: Sun 11:00am

P. Schaller –

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Amen. Yes. Yes. Turn to Philippians 2 – I’m sorry. Chapter 1. We have a little bit of
preparation for our message and in a word it’s about being God focused. It’s about practical
life. Being confronted with God-consciousness. Or another way of saying having God in your life
like every day. Having God. The Holy Spirit in our lives so that w know how to live and to think.
Make decisions. Be godly. Have authority in life.

This is Pentecost. Fifty days from the resurrection of Christ. Remember he was here 40 days.
He left. He said go to Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Father. And he was speaking
about the coming of the Holy Spirit strongly to the disciples as they were waiting there for
something. They didn’t know what it would be. And then we read about it in the book of Acts in
chapter 2.

So, that’s where we’re going with our message. First part is chapter 1. Philippians 1:27, “conversation”
– that word means today in our English, conversation is like a dialogue. Talking. But it really
means your way of life. Let your way of life as becomes the Gospel of Christ, vs. 27.
So, we have a word study there on stand firm. This is from A. T. Robertson. To stand firm in
one’s spirit. He explains stand firm is a term used in the context of temptation to defect or
panic. It describes someone who wants to give up, give in and get out. Frightened. Pictures a
timid or scared horse. Skittish. According to Robertson, the best translation is startled.
Frightened, timid, scared, skittish, startled. That’s the anatomy of anxiety.

All right. I want to speak about this standing firm having God’s mind. The context in Philippians
is Paul is in jail. He’s in jail writing this from Rome and being in prison, he uses the word “joy”
25 times in the epistle. And he’s also writing about how we don’t have anxiety. We are standing
firm. We are not worried or afraid. So, we could say the Apostle Paul if you were to look at his
life and the horizontal things in his life. Prison bars for example. He’s actually in house arrest. If
you look at his life horizontally and look at his life, he would have a lot to worry about. He
would have a lot to be troubled with. He would be concerned about his future. But you don’t
read that in the epistle. You read the opposite. Stand firm.

Another phrase he uses in the epistle – I believe it’s 13 times – is having a mindset. Having our
mind guarded or our mind focused. Our concentration. We read that in chapter 4. The mind of
Christ in Philippians 2. Let this mind be in you. He describes it. And really, he talks about it in the
context of not worrying about anything but rejoicing a lot. Rejoicing always. And this was his
theme.

So, I would like to build that for you a little bit by turning to the beginning of our Bible. Genesis 2
and see where anxiety kind of comes from. Why do we get nervous and worried and afraid?

Because we are made to guard, Genesis 2:15, in our design as people. So, let’s pray for a minute.
(prayer).

Genesis 2:15. So, we have man basically made to be a guard. To guard, to keep it, to protect it, to
watch over it, to care for it. That’s in us. In what way? Well, we guard our house, our
possessions. We guard children. We guard our wife or children or husband or our job. We may
guard. We are aware. We are engaged. We are awake.

We are protecting, guarding, helping, cultivating. Cultivating the garden. Guarding it. Watching over it. We’re made like this. So, when man sinned and he’s removed from the garden, now he has a life where he’s cursed.
He’s under a curse. And in the curse, he has a feeling of vanity. Like does this mean anything?
Am I doing the right thing? Does this work? Like something’s missing. I’m sweating a lot in my
job. I have thorns and briars in the garden. Am I failing at it? I feel like I am. Maybe I’m losing a
child, losing a relationship, losing a job. I feel anxiety. I’m worried about it.

Usually when we have anxiety as people, there’s like two reactions. This is the fear of losing
something. The fear of failing in something. We are self-conscious about it, but we’re kind of
designed also to be a guardian and to care like I said.

So, anxiety has two kind of reactions to it. one is – and you can kind of illustrate it by the
Apostle Peter when he was not Spirit filled in the Garden of Gethsemane and they came to
arrest Jesus. Peter took a sword and cut off somebody’s ear. The priest’s servant’s ear. So, we
can put down here “ear.” Peter takes off an ear. We can put the word “fight.”

When you feel anxiety in life, you are tempted to fight. We’re tempted to react, solve the
problem ourselves. We are willing to get engaged and it can get messy and fight and there can
be damage as a result. Not only to somebody else but to me myself. I’m worried. I’m afraid and
so I fight.

The other thing that Peter did was he ran away when the trouble came. He ran away. And this
is flight. Fight and flight instinct that we have as people. They’re taking Jesus. I’m in trouble. I’m
getting out of here. I’m leaving. So, when Paul was in jail in Rome writing to the Philippians, he’s
like saying to them we don’t live this way anymore. We’re not fighting like that nor are we
running away from life but instead we have another option. One that really we’ve never really
had before salvation.

Before salvation, I didn’t know that I could actually live with God and that God would actually
be in my life in that way where I would not be fighting or running away but I would be standing
firm. I’d be able to be there. I’d be able to have love and peace, wisdom, words. A value in my
heart where I’m able to stand there and say we have a problem and I’m guarding the garden so
to speak but I’m not doing that way and I’m not doing it that way. We are doing it God’s way.

In a way, you could say, we could say it this way. Years ago, I, this came to me. There’s the fight.
There’s the flight. And then there’s the float. Where’s a float? Noah. Noah in the ark was
floating. In a way, when the ark was built, there was a window at the top. It looks like there
wasn’t any window in the ark except that one and in a way, that’s like a message to us that this
is where our mind needs to be. We need to like not give up on God but be refreshed in our
mind and receive from God what he has to say to us. This is what we call our vertical
relationship. It’s when the Holy Spirit comes into our life in such a way that we realize that we
have God as the context for our life. God is in our life. God is in our life.

Let’s say something about that. Yesterday, we had our graduation and we talked about context
and we said that everybody needs context. And it could be illustrated geographically and
physically by us sitting here on Moravia Park Drive. Where are we? Moravia Park Drive. Where
is that? In Baltimore. Where is that? In Maryland. Where is that? In the United States. Where’s
the United States? North America. Where is that? Planet Earth. Where’s planet Earth? In our
solar system. Where’s our solar system? In our galaxy. Where’s our galaxy? In a part of the
universe. Where is the part? It’s in the universe. Where’s the universe? What is that in? What is
the universe in?

Eventually, you come to God. That God is holding everything together.
But here’s the thing. If you take the same picture physically and talk about your life
psychologically and spiritually, many people stop at the prison. Where are you? I’m in prison.
Well, where is that. That’s in Rome. Where is that? That’s in the Roman Empire. Where is that?
I don’t know and I don’t care. That’s the end. All I know is I’m in trouble. I’m hurting. I’m
running away. I’m afraid. I’m self-conscious. Self-occupied.

Listen to this. I got a couple statements. I’m constantly turned in upon myself and tuned in only
to myself. I’m constantly reflecting on myself. Overly concerned with my life in a way that feels
self-centered, obsessive, out of control and abnormal. I feel like something bad is going to
happen that I can’t control or handle because I’m too weak. I can’t seem to stop preparing for
the worst in imagining the worst about myself. What’s the message there? Me. Me. But I need
context. That’s not me but that’s the context for your life is God.

Let’s turn to the book of Acts and read it there ’cause this is Pentecost. This is when the lives of
these disciples were radically changed. They went from worry to faith. Chapter 1:8, do we have
any Pentecostals in the room today? Come on. Yeah. Let me read it again. Vs. 8. Power.
Imagine. Power. Spiritual power. I mean is it real? Look up at the screen. Fight or flight. Peter
ran away. Peter took an ear off.

Is there any other Peter that we can find in the Bible? Do we find Peter? Do we find God saying
to Peter I am Christ. I am resurrected. I am the answer. I give you the power. You’re able to
stand firm. You’re able to live in Jerusalem. You’re able to preach to your enemies.

You’re able to love people. You’re able to give the Gospel out. You’re able to be calm and peaceful and
wise. You’re able to live your life and stand firm in the faith and all of us know what I’m talking
about. You know what I’m saying.

But I’d like to say if your life is more horizontal and this is your life generally, then you’re going
to ask the question, how can I live a practical, spiritual life? How can I get the mind of God?
How can I get the power of God in my life? How can I get over myself? How can I stop thinking
about myself all the time and my problems and my horizontal stuff? Come on. Jesus, how can
that happen? How can it happen?

I want to tell you a couple things about it. Let’s read the verse first. Chapter 1:8, now what’s
that mean? They will stop – you say, what’s going on in your life? You say Jesus is here. He has
changed my life. Christ has come into my heart. Christ has anointed me by the Holy Spirit. Well,
how come you love people? That Jesus did. What’s your message? Jesus is the message. He’s
been raised from the dead. How did that happen? God gave us the Spirit of God. That’s in your
life. You have the Holy Spirit in your life and you’re able to have focus. You’re able to put your
heart and mind on Christ and what he said. You’re able to hear him and hear what he says. And
walk by faith in him. You are.

You might say well I could panic. I could get bad news. Yes, that’s life. But the question is, do
you realize that God is in your life and you can live by faith? The answer to this question is really
faith. It is. And we’ll put here faith thoughts. Faith. Faith in God. I can’t see God but I know he
made me. We did not make ourselves. Psalm 100, he made you. He made everything about you.
He made all the systems that run your body. Didn’t he that made the outside make the inside
also in the Gospel of Luke? You wash the outside of the platter but doesn’t he wash the inside,
too. Yes, he made us and he has something to say to us. He has something to say to us and it
takes some effort. It takes some focus. I want to believe and I want to hear. I want to relate to
what he has to say.

Okay. Chapter 1:8, you’ll be witnesses unto me. We will say, how do you live in your problem?
Because we have Jesus’ mind. Remember Philippians. The mind, 25 times. I’m sorry. Joy,
rejoicing, 25 times. Mindset, 13 times. Let this mind be in you. That focus on the mind of God.
That’s why you came today. You want to hear something from the Word. You want God’s mind.
You want to understand that we must live by faith. For without faith, it is impossible to please
him, but they that come to God must believe that he is.

Listen. Believe that he is. That he exists. They that come to God must believe that God exists and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently – diligently? Diligently? Yeah, make the effort. Have a focus. Concentration. Like stir
yourself up in the faith. Hear. Hear. Believing. Mixing faith with what you hear and hearing and
you are greatly comforted by the ministry of the Spirit with each other in a community, a fellowship of faith. It affects our mind and our hearts and we see him. We believe him and
we’re greatly comforted with his peace in our life.

Look at chapter 2:1, please. So, fifty days after the resurrection of Christ. Fifty days later there
was a particular event that happened. They were all with one accord in one place. Vs. 1.
Remember David was battling and there was at the top of the mulberry trees the sound of a
rushing wind in the battle. That was the Spirit of God moving. In the top of the trees, there was
a sound of the moving of God and that happened in your life and in my life. That happens. That
does happen. That’s amazing. This manifestation.

Now, the manifestation of the Spirit isn’t always like this. It can be quiet holiness. Just the
holiness of God present in the room. Quietness in the heart. Peace like a river. Very much
edified and encouraged and built up. No condemnation. No guilt. No shame. No fear. You don’t
fear like fighting and taking a guy’s ear off and you don’t feel like running away. You stand firm
because God is with you. God is present with you.

How did you get God? By faith. How do you live? By faith. How do you make decisions? By faith.
How do you pray? By faith. You live by faith. How do you hear? By faith. How do you go to
church? By faith. How do you make decisions about your life? By faith. You set God before your
face, Psalm 16:8. And that’s beautiful.

Look at chapter 2:2-4. What an incredible miracle. Speaking in the languages. We have 14
people groups mentioned in that text. Many different languages. We don’t know how many but
120 people are speaking in other languages. How could that happen? The Holy Spirit. Why? God
manifested himself. It’s the beginning of the church age. It’s God saying I am with you. It’s God
bringing the Gospel to the world. It’s a message of healing. It’s a message of comfort.

And the primary evidence of this being God is they’re not pulling out a sword and slicing off an
ear and they’re not running away. They are in the presence of their enemies standing firm
without reaction but love and a solid mind. That’s what you and I have. But sometimes we
forget God and we get into this horizontal life a lot. We get into our trouble, ourselves, our
worries, our fears, our kids, our money, our health. Our cancers. Our car troubles. Our phone
calls. Our broken hearts. Our worries.

We get into it so much that it eclipses our relationship. It kind of smothers the Spirit and
especially we start talking and gossiping and criticizing and judging and complaining and maybe
cursing and everything and all that stuff that can happen to us as people. And the answer here,
the message that I have this morning is like don’t. And we’ll go to Php. 4 now and look at it.
Words of advice for Paul saying I can be in jail and do real well and you folks can be in your city
and you can do well because you have God’s mind.

I can be in prison and it’s okay. I’ve learned whatever state I’m in therewith to be content. Look
at chapter 4:12. No, vs. 11 and 12. I have learned. I have learned. Are you learning? I have
learned. What did you learn? What did you learn? I have learned whatever state I am therewith
to be content. How? Because of the mind. The mind I have. The thoughts I have. The focus I
have. I have set the Lord before my face. How do you do that? Worship. Listening. Quiet down.
Surrender. Bring your stuff before God. Kind of put it there. All the horizontal stuff. Kind of get
beyond it and be a worshipper.

Somebody said to me when I come to the church, I cross the parking lot with my burdens and
the things in my life. I get into the door. I want in here and all that’s gone. I leave it all alone. I
worship and I start singing and I worship and all that stuff doesn’t have the bearing on me. I can
relate to it but it’s not my focus.

There’s a great story in Mark 5:25 that illustrates it. A woman has been bleeding for 12 years.
Probably, you know, a female problem of some kind. No solution. She spent all her money on
the doctors. But I would say if that was – that would be typically me, I have something. I can’t
get out of it. I cannot solve it. It would just bury me. But something happened in her mind.
Maybe she heard about Jesus or she saw Jesus. Anyway, something happened.

She got this focus in her mind. If I touch the hem of his garment, I’ll be healed. You see. I got it.
I’m good at the first part, but that focus part. That’s where what I’m saying. You and I have a
capacity for that. If I could listen, if I could put away my problem and not be self-centered, and
be obsessed with it and have it controlling my life. Every thought, every worry, all the anxiety,
all the fear.

If I could somehow get my focus on the person of God and get way outside the universe where
God – go way outside and realize who is God. God is the God of my body. God is the God of the
details of my life. God is able. God is my buckler. He’s my Savior. He’s the Captain. He’s the vine.
We are the branches. He’s the answer. He is the way, the truth, the life. He’s the High Priest. He
is the living sacrifice. He’s the Lamb of God. He’s the one that came into the world and spoke
parables and discourses and healings and salvations and walking on water. He’s the one that
says I am God.

Anybody noticing me? Anybody know who I am? I am God. I am God. There’s too little focus on
God and a lot on our problems. No wonder we worry and take medications and do whatever we
can. Or take a drink or something. I don’t. I hope you don’t. I don’t drink. I don’t want to. I don’t
need it. I’m so frugal with my money. I’m not spending my money on anything like that. No.
There’s the peace of God, Philippians 4. There’s some other answer.

Let’s look at chapter 4:12. I don’t mind being hungry and I don’t mind being full and satisfied.
I’m full and satisfied and then I’m hungry again. I’m hungry for God and he fills me and then I’m hungry for God. He fills us and we are hungry for God. When you find God, he grows on you.

You start to think with God. When you find God, you start to relate to him in everything. And
those things that kind of bugged you before that you kind of can guard but you’re a different
kind of guard. You’re like Jesus guarding the disciples. You’re like Jesus healing the woman.
You’re like somebody that cares for the children. You’re like somebody that cares for the
elderly. You’re like somebody that cares for your church. You’re somebody that cares about
world missions. You’re like somebody who’s been sent into the world to care about others. Not
by blood shed and not by cowardness but by standing firm and by being there because you’ve
got the mind of Christ. That Christ gave you his mind and you’re occupied with him and thinking
with him and you have something to bring to the table because of it.

Okay. Let’s finish up. Vs. 13. Thank you, Apostle Paul for telling us that. Thank you Apostle Paul
imprisoned in Rome and saying to the church that you’re okay. Oh, yeah. I’m okay. The Lord is
my portion. He maintains my lot. Let’s turn to Psalm 16:5 just so I get it because I can’t memorize, I
can’t quote it exactly, but doing it exact is by reading it. And it’s fun.

Look at it. Chapter 16:5, this is what I want you to say. This is what I want you to say in your
heart. I want you to memorize this text. I want you to think about it. vs. 5. Okay. You maintain
the parameters. You have a – maybe you have your apartment or your house and you have a
little plot of land. And it’s maintained by the law of the land, by the office, the title deed and
the office for the surveyors and everything. It’s all legally plotted out.

God has a lot for you and I, an inheritance, and he maintains it. He’s like keeping it for us. God is
in your life. God cares about your heart and mind. Don’t feed your mind and heart garbage. If
you do, you will worry. You’ll be afraid. You’ll run away or you’ll do something you wish you
hadn’t done. But when God is your portion, you’re going to do well. You’re going to be okay.
You’re going to do well. You can do all things through him. You’re going to be okay.

Look at vs. 6-7. That’s the emotions. I have healthy emotions. Even they instruct me. my
emotions help me. The peace of God rules in my life in Colossians 3:16. Let the peace of God govern
your life. The peace of God and the mind of God but you have to live by faith. You have faith to
get God’s mind and he will instruct you. Vs. 8. I have set the Lord always before me.

Let’s look at the book of Acts and ask the disciples what’s going on. They go, we’re speaking in
tongues. God is with us. We’re not going anywhere. We’re preaching the Gospel. How could
you do that? God is with us. He sent us. He is our counsel. God is our counsel. Why don’t you
run away and save your life? We don’t care about that. We’re occupied with God. God is with
us. He’s our counsel. He is present with us in every time of need. God is taking care of us. That’s
what happened.

That’s why the church grew so much in a couple hundred years that the Holy Roman Empire
became Holy Roman Empire. The politicians became Christians ’cause the people were so many in
number and different reasons. What an amazing story that is.

Vs. 9. Okay. The woman said I’m ostracized. I’m ostracized in society. I’m bleeding. I’m unclean.
But him, I’m going to crawl through the crowd and touch the hem of his garment by faith. Jesus
stopped. Who touched me? Everybody’s touching you. No, somebody’s touched me. Virtue
went out of me.

How did that happen? How does God come? How does God come into your life? By faith. The
focus. I believe you God. Help me in my trouble. Pray in the garage sometime before you get
into the car. Or pray at home in the furnace room or pray in the bathroom or pray at night out
on the sidewalk. Or pray under the apple tree. Or pray in the middle of a hot summer day. Or
pray at lunch time. Or pray at night. God is in your life. God will answer you.

God is the thing that’s missing many times as we’re so horizontally worried and troubled and
occupied with ourselves. Have a bigger context and realize that God is in your life. The Holy
Spirit has been sent into your life and have God’s mind. And feed your mind with these words.
Get that thing that that woman had. I don’t know where it came from. I don’t know how it
happened. But I know that if we go by faith, that God will help us. He will be our portion. He will
be our counsel. He will deliver us. He will help us. He will satisfy us. Our Christian life will be
practical. We’ll be able to live in it and stand firm and do okay. Amen.

 

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