We’ll Leave the Light On For You – Pastor Stacey Shiflett

We’ll Leave the Light On For You

1 Samuel 3:3

Intro: Darkness is everywhere. God hates darkness.

  • 1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

The first thing God did when He created this world was turn the light on.

See Genesis 1:1-3

The unbeliever lives in darkness.

Notice how many times God refers to it. (These are only a few of many scripture references)

Their Way is Darkness

  • Proverbs 4:19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

Their Hearts are Darkened

  • Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Their Eyes are Darkened

  • Romans 11:10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.

Their Understand is Darkened

  • Ephesians 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

A child of God should not walk in darkness

  • 1 John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

God’s punishment for the devil and his angels is darkness.

2 Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

The child of God was saved out of darkness.

  • Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

Our battle today is against darkness.

  • Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

When we read our text, we discover that the light in the temple of God had gone out.

God wanted light in His dwelling place.

Exodus 30

  • 7 And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it.
  • 8 And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations.

The job of the priest was to keep the light on. But the lamp of God went out in the temple of the Lord where the ark of God was.

The world is filled with darkness. The hearts and minds of men are filled with darkness.

The last thing the world needs is for the light to go out in the house of God!

I want to make the case that the light had gone out long before the lamp went out.

The place where people were supposed to come for enlightenment had become a place of darkness.

I want to go on record tonight by saying this – At Calvary Baptist Church, it is my promise to you – we will keep the light on for you.

Yesterday, we had the homegoing service for Sister Jerry Barzal.

She was a faithful member here for many years.

It was a blessing to have the former pastor, Bro. Howard Caldwell and his family here.

Bro. Jason Caldwell, who was an assistant pastor for 8 years preached the funeral.

To be able to tell them that God was still here; God was still working; God was still preeminent here was a blessing!

For grown men to come and say they went to church here as boys.

And to still be preaching the truth; standing in the old paths.

It only reinforced my resolve as the pastor to do my best KEEP THE LIGHT ON FOR YOU!

As long as I’m the pastor, as long as I have any say, WE ARE GOING TO KEEP THE LIGHT ON.

I’m not talking about these chandeliers and fluorescent lights.

I’m talking about the light of God’s Word.

I’m talking about the light of a testimony; a beacon for the community.

Let’s look at some of the mistakes they made in I Samuel 2 and 3.

How can we keep the lights on?

I. We are not going to let carnal young people run the church.

So many churches today have let their light go out because they’ve catered to the young people.

They let the kids pick the music.

They let the kids pick the dress standards.

They let the kids pick the worship style.

They let the kids dictate what is preached and wasn’t preached.

Eli let the wickedness of the young men completely undermine what God was doing in the place.

The Bible is clear in verse 12 – They were sons of Belial; they knew not the Lord.

Yet they were in leadership.

They caused people to abhor the offerings of the Lord (vs. 16, 17)

Notice 2:17 – “The sin of the young men was very great before the Lord…”

They forced everybody else to cater to their lusts, sinful desires and covetous ways.

How many churches have had their light go out because they let the young people dictate the direction of the church?

They law with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle.

There was open sin; open immorality, and everybody knew it – including Eli.

God even sent another man of God to warn Eli – and he did nothing. (see vs. 27-36)

II. We are going to keep the Word of God preeminent. – vs. 1b

Verse 1 says, “And the word of the Lord was precious in those days…”

The word “precious” means rare (like precious metals)

One of the saddest verses in this chapter is verse 7.

Samuel was raised in the house of God from the time he was weaned.

He had been there for years.

And notice verse 7.

  • 1 Samuel 3:7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him.

II. We are not going to let time dim our vision. – vs. 1c; 4:15

The Bible is clear that Eli had lost the ability to see.

  • 2:2 …his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see.
  • 4:14 Now Eli was ninety and eight years old, and his eyes were dim, that he could not see.

Eli was not even qualified to be a priest.

Leviticus 21

  • 17 Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God.
  • 18 For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous,
  • 19 Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded,
  • 20 Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken;

Some could make the argument that he was blind because he was 98 years old.

Notice Moses’ testimony.

  • Deuteronomy 34:7 And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.

So many churches have lost their vision.

Samuel was the only one in this story that had any spirituality at all.

All the grownups were AWOL. All the leaders were corrupt and wicked.

The child Samuel was:

               A. The only one with Morals – 2:22, 26 He was the only one that earned respect of the people.

               B. The only one with Ministry – 2:11, 18; 3:1; 15 – He ministered unto the Lord before Eli.

               C. The only one with Message – 3:17 God spoke only to Samuel – nobody else. (see vs. 17)

               D. The only one with Maturity – 2:21; 26; 3:19 Samuel was the only one growing, improving, maturing.

IV. We are going to resist the pressure to lie down. – vs. 2b

The Bible says that Eli “laid down in his place.”

It’s referring to him lying down to sleep.

But it is clear to me that Eli had laid down a long time before this.

               A. He laid down on his Perception – 1:12, 13 He thought a woman that was praying was drunk.

               B. He laid down on his Priesthood – 2:28 “…did I not choose him…to be my priest…?

               C. He laid down on his Principles – 2:29 “…made yourselves fat with the offerings of the people…”

               D. He laid down on his Preaching – 3:1; 7 “…neither was the word of God revealed unto him (Samuel).”

               E. He laid down on his Parenting – 3:13 “…his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.”

  • We are going to keep working.
  • We are going to keep praying.
  • We are going to keep preaching.
  • We are going to keep giving.
  • We are going to keep soulwinning.
  • We are going to keep discipling new converts.
  • We are going to keep living for God.
  • We are going to keep serving God.

We are not going to be lying down!!!

  • We are going to keep walking with God.
  • We are going to keep standing for what is right.
  • We are going to keep fighting the good fight of faith.
  • We are going to keep pressing toward the mark.
  • We are going to keep running the race.
  • We are going to keep trying to raise a godly generation of young people.