“And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” (G￼enesis 32:26).
￼When a person is redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ and is saved from a devil’s Hell the Holy Spirit, who is God the Holy Spirit, moves into the body of that believer. The Holy Spirit is just as much a person as God the Son and God the Father.
When trusting Jesus Christ as payment for sins; it may not have been like a mighty rushing wind, nevertheless there came into that person’s body the person of the Holy Spirit to live.
The Holy Spirit enters the body of the believer to comfort, teach, strengthen, convict, guide, and a multitude of other activities.
There is a power that a Christian may have that does not necessarily take place at the moment of salvation. I am not speaking of a charismatic experience of talking in some supernatural language. I am not speaking about an ecstasy of joy.
I am speaking of a mighty power that is available to the redeemed to be able to serve God. This is a supernatural power through the Holy Spirit to serve in a natural world with devilish influence.
The influence that is absent from many churches across this great land of ours is the mighty power of the Holy Spirit and thus the “emerging church” with a modern cultural mantra is filling a void of powerlessness in churches.
The sad thought is that the pew is so worldly they are clamoring for culturally relevant music and standards that ultimately bring God down to man and not man up to God. The males filling the pulpits are puppets and not prophets.
The reason so many churches quit their Sunday night services for cell meetings and small discussion groups on Wednesday night is because they have no power with God.
Vance Havner used to say, “The only thing that upsets me about churches that do not have church on Sunday night is that those churches have church on Sunday morning.” The average church in America is bereft of the power of God.
“Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” (Matthew 22:29).
“And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God.” (Mark 12:24).
Luke 9:43 says they were all amazed at the mighty power of God. Luke 22:69 talks about the right hand of the power of God. Acts 8:10 tells us of the great power of God. Romans 12:16 tells us that the Gospel is the power of God. I Corinthians 1:18 speaks of folks who are saved are saved by the power of God. I Corinthians 1:24 tells us Christ is the power of God. I Corinthians 2:5 says we can stand only but by the power of God. II Corinthians 6:7 tells us of the power of God. II Corinthians 13:4 says the saved shall live by the power of God.
“Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner but be thou partakers of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God.” (II Timothy 1:8).
I Peter 1:5 tells us that the saved are kept by the power of God.
When I speak about the power of God I am talking of the power of God to not only save the soul, but to transform lives. I am speaking of the power of God at work when the local church meets, when the preacher preaches, and when that same local church goes soul winning.
I mean when drunkards are made sober, harlots are made pure, families are bought together, marriages are salvaged, dope heads becoming sober, and this done by the power of God. I am speaking of the mighty power of God!
Please note that little statement where Jacob said when God wrestled with him, which I believe was an Old Testament appearance of Jesus, they wrestled all night, and Jacob said, “I will not let thee go except thou bless me.”
Do not forget our subject; for we are talking about the mighty power of God that can be given to any child of God who will pay the price. It will change the lives of others!
Several years ago a dope dealer came to Longview Baptist Temple of Longview, Texas, because, in his own words, he was losing a lot of business because of a Sunday school bus route that came into his territory. They were winning his clients to Jesus Christ.
He told me at the altar that he came to cause trouble, but instead the Holy Ghost caused him trouble in his soul.
He started out by telling me he did not believe the Bible and my response was, “Then you will have to go to Hell!” After a few minutes bantering he teared up and said, “I know your right!” He bowed his head and trusted Jesus Christ to pay for all of his sins!
AMEN! What happened during that service and at that altar? It is called the power of the Holy Spirit.
That same Sunday during the invitation a grown man at the altar broke down and started sobbing while sitting on the front row and laid his head on my shoulder and begged Jesus Christ to save his soul! What happened?
This friend is called the power of God at work on the soul of a man.
The dear church, LBT, that I was privileged to pastor for twenty-nine and a half years split in March of 1981 eight months after I was installed as pastor. When I became their pastor we were running between 400 and 500 in Sunday school with only two buses that ran half the time.
At the end of my twenty-nine and a half years this dear church averaged 2,401 in Sunday school. She had 1,116,887 saved, 253,072 professions, and 164,457 of those followed the Lord in baptism. LBT gave $9,328,835.69 to missions and $ 335,584.81 from gleanings offerings to the poor.
How can something like this happen? It is called the power of God! In five consecutive years LBT baptized over 10,000 converts a year. There is no way to explain it except it be by the power of God. By the way we did not use modern cultural enticements to reach this culture!
THE ARK OF THE COVENANT
May I describe to you a little piece of furniture called the Ark of the Covenant? It is a piece of furniture two feet and three inches by three feet and three inches and was called the Ark of the Covenant. This Ark was in the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle. God instructed Moses to place it there.
Over the Ark of the Covenant was the Shekinah glory that represented the presence of Almighty God or the power of God if you please! Inside of that Ark of the Covenant were three things:
- The Ten Commandments or the tablets of stone
- A golden pot with a sample of the manna that fell every morning while the Jews were on their way to the Promised Land
- Aaron’s Rod that budded.
The Ark of the Covenant was placed inside of the Holy of Holies. When the Jews traveled with the Ark something, similar in size to the Lord’s Supper Table, it was always out in front and was carried by men on staves.
The men who carried it were called Kohathites. The Ark always led the people! Why, because the power of God ought to always lead the people of God. Everywhere this Ark of the Covenant went something happened. It represented God’s mighty power.
An example would be when they crossed the wilderness with the Ark of the Covenant, for it was always out front of them. They would put the Ark inside of the Tabernacle in the Holy of Holies then when the Pillar of Cloud would move they would follow with the Ark out front.
They came to the Jordan River and the Bible says the Ark of the Covenant was the first thing to be carried into the Jordan River as they headed toward the Promised Land.
They came to the city of Jericho and you recall how God told them to encompass the city of Jericho once a day for six days and seven times on the seventh day.
Yes, out in front of that entourage of people was the Ark of the Covenant. As the people marched around the city on the first day the Ark was out in front and the same was true on the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seven times on the seventh day.
This Ark represented the power of God, the blessings of God, and the presence of God. There was something powerful represented with this piece of furniture that no one could explain.
The Philistines saw that this Ark of the Covenant was something powerful. They noticed that every time this Ark was out in front Israel won the battle! They noticed that every time the Ark was not out front they lost the battle!
The Philistines, the enemies of God, said, “If we could just take this Ark of the Covenant from the Jews just think how powerful we would be?” So, they stole the Ark of the Covenant and took it into the land of the Philistines.
I will not go into it, but they did not keep it long because it caused a serious health problem for them. They finally decided it was not worth it to keep it!
For twenty years the Ark of the Covenant has not been in the city of David. King David wants to bring the Ark of the Covenant back for it has been twenty long years without God’s people having possessed the Ark.
Now in a series of events to follow at one point the Ark of the Covenant was placed into the home of Obed-edom. Can you imagine how he must have felt? Do you understand what was in his house?
- The actual Ten Commandments
- The actual Tablets of Stone
- The actual Golden Pot of Manna that had been preserved
- The actual Aaron’s Rod that budded that represented the resurrection of Jesus Christ
- The glory of God that hovered over that little piece of furniture representing the mighty power of God
Wow! Can you fathom having the Ark of the Covenant in your house and for three months it stayed there? Obed-edom lived in the city of Gath and he was a Gittite.
Gath was miles from the city of David. After three months it was removed and taken by King David to the city of David. Remember how happy Kind David was when the Ark finally arrived there? Recall how Michael, his wife, called David a fanatic because of his rejoicing.
In I Chronicles 15:18 the Scriptures name the Porters of the house of God around the Ark of the Covenant. Who were these Porters? They were the men who swept out the place. They were the custodians!
Would you like to know whose name is listed as one of the custodians in the house of God? A man names Obed-edom! He decided to move to the city of David. He was going where the power of God was! Not a bad suggestion for God’s people to live where the power of God resides.
It is more important for you to have a church with the power of God on it than you move some where because of a promotion. Obed-edom said, “Hang this! This has been the best three months of my life and I’m quitting’ my job, packing my family up and moving to the city of David where the power of God resides.
He left Gath and went down to the city of David and became a Porter. He swept out the place! He cleaned up the place! Why, because he said, “I will not be separated from the power of God! I refuse to live my life and to raise my family where there is no power of God.”
I like this man! I like anybody who will sacrifice for his family like this. He said, “Oh no! I’ve tasted a little of the power of God and no one is taking it away from me and my family!”
He said, “You can forget it! You are not taking those Tablets of Stone away from my family and me. You are not taking that Golden Pot of manna away from my family and me. You are not taking Aaron’s rod that budded away from my family and me. You are not taking that Shekinah glory away from my family and me.
Oh no you don’t, you are not going let me and my family taste the power of God and then take it away from us. I’m going to follow the might power of God.”
I Chronicles 15:21 there is a list of all the harp players in the house of God. These are they who played the harp around the Ark of the Covenant. Would you like to know who was listed as one of those harp players? Obed-edom! He said to himself, “I’m going to get in on this!” I like this man!
I learned something playing football and that was you can’t just stand around or you’ll get your block knocked off! I have a hard time understanding people who are not where the action is!
How can you just go to church and sit watching all the folks walking the aisles, being baptized, church growing, and excitement every where and you just sit there and watch?
If there is an empty seat next to you fill it when you come to church with a visitor! If there is a Sunday school class open then volunteer and fill that position! If there is a Sunday school bus route open then fill it!
Every Christian ought to be where the mighty power of God is present, where the action is, where the prostitutes are being born again, where the drunks are trusting Christ, where the gang members are getting saved, and dope dealers are trusting Jesus Christ for salvation.
Obed-edom said, “When you sweep the place out I will help you and I’ll be a porter.” He said, “That’s not all I want to join the orchestra.” If you look hard enough you will see him practicing and practicing and practicing his harp until he became good enough to join the orchestra.
In I Chronicles 15:24 we have the doorkeepers listed in the house of God where the Ark of the Covenant stayed.
Would you like to know who is listed as one of the doorkeepers of the house of God? He is the same man that swept out the place and the same man that played a harp in the orchestra and the same man who had the Ark of the Covenant in his back yard in Gath for three months. Now, he is also a doorkeeper at the house of God.
Obed-edom said, “Where the action is that is where I want to be.” He is saying, “Where the power of God is that is where I’m going to be.”
He is down in Gath and the Ark of Covenant is in his house he sees the power of God, the presence of God, glory of God, blessings of God, and King David takes the Ark of the Covenant from Gath to the city of David. Obed-edom says, “I’m going where the Ark of the Covenant is, the power of God is, the presence of God is, and the glory of God is.”
God’s people should not choose a church because it is fashionable, rich, all the doctors go there, lawyers go there, businessmen go there, the elite go there, and the church is famous. Do not choose a church because it is the church of your choice, because of family, friends but rather choose a church where the power of God is, the presence of God is, and the glory of God is.
Choose a church where the altars are filled, lives are transformed, dope dealers are trusting Christ, harlots are saved, gang members get saved, and drunkards are made sober.
Obed-edom said, “I’m not staying here where the power of God, presence of God, and the glory of God is not. I’m going to move my family to the city of David where the Ark of the Covenant and the power of God is found.”
When they listed the porters who cleaned the house of God there is Obed-edom’s name on that list. When they listed the ones who played the harp in the orchestra there is Obed-edom’s name on that list. When they listed the men who were the doorkeepers there is Obed-edom’s name on that list. Then there were those who were chosen to play the psaltery, a stringed instrument that was picked like a guitar, and guess whose name is on that list? Obed-edom!
- He helped sweep the place out
- He played the harp in the orchestra
- He was a doorkeeper
- He was a psaltery player
The wise man said, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do it with thy might.” Obed-edom was not only going to be where the power of God was he was going to be apart of what the power of God was blessing.
The two churches that God allowed me to pastor for 33 years were filled with a bunch of “ex” something’s. Why, because of the power of God that can and did transform lives.
In I Chronicles 16:38 it lists the ministers of the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant. Who were the ministers? They were those who would attend famous people.
They were assistants or valets if you please. These were those who would attend and take care of the High Priests, or take care of the kings, or take care of the royalty.
Would you like to know who is listed as one of the ministers? Obed-edom! I don’t care for his name, but I like the man.
Obed-edom said, “I’ll not stay in Gath without the power of God, presence of God, and the glory of God. I’m moving to the city of David be around the power of God but that is not all. I’m going to be apart of that which is blessed because of the power of God.
When they wanted porters he volunteered to be a porter. When they needed someone to clean out the place he volunteered. When they wanted a harp player he volunteered to be a harp player. When they needed a doorkeeper he volunteered. When they were looking for a psaltery player he practiced and was ready to be chosen to play in the orchestra. When they needed ministers he volunteered to be minister.
Why, Obed-edom did not want to be just hanging around where the power of God was!
Obed-edom is saying count me in when you choose the janitors, the harp players, the ushers, the psaltery player, and someone to take care of the High Priest’s garments to the cleaners.
He was saying, “I know what it is like to have the mighty power of God in my house, mighty Word of God in my house, and you will not see me anywhere else, but where the power of God is.”
He wanted to be apart of that which was blessed and he wanted to do that which causes the blessings and the power of God. He was going to be around the Tablets of Stone, Pot of Manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and he was going to stay close to the mighty power of God.
In I Chronicles 26:15 they chose the Gatekeepers. The doorkeepers of the house of God were in the inner place. The gates were outside on the edge, but when there were no services someone had to keep the gates thus they needed Gatekeepers for the House of God.
Would you like to know one of the Gatekeepers are that is listed in I Chronicles chapter 26? Obed-edom!
Three cheers for Obed-edom! He said at one time the Ark of the Covenant was in my house in Gath for three months. He knew the power of God, the presence of God, and the blessings of God.
The truth is once a child of God has tasted the mighty power of God it is a sad thing to be without the mighty power of God.
Obed-edom said the same thing that Jacob said when he said, “I’ll not let thee go except thou bless me.”
Obed-edom said, “You can take the Ark of the Covenant out of my house, but I’ll not let thee go. You will not take me away from that Ark of the Covenant and I’ll go where the power of God is!
- I’ll move to the city of David
- I’ll be a porter
- I’ll play the harp
- I’ll be a doorkeeper
- I’ll be a psaltery player
- I’ll be a gatekeeper
- I’ll be a minister
All of God’s children ought to say like Jacob and Obed-edom, “I’ll not let thee go until you bless me.”
Be around the power of God and the Word of God! Be a part of where the power of God is and do what causes the power of God to work!
Let the people of God say, “I’ll not let thee go until you give me the mighty power of God.” When that happens you will see the Obed-edom’s come out of the woodwork wanting to be around the power of God, apart of the power of God, and doing what causes the power of God.
God’s children ought to say, “I’ll not let thee go and not be a powerless Christian or have a powerless church.”
The reason for a Dr. Jack Hyles, Dr. Lee Roberson, Dr. Tom Malone, Dr. Curtis Hutson, Evangelist Lester Roloff, and a Dr. John R. Rice is not humor, talent, charisma, dynamics, ability, or charm, but because they and others said, “I’ll not let thee go except thou bless me.”