This is another of my top-ten favorite sermons from 2022 by my pastor, Brother Johnny Wade. I include my notes here and hope that it helps you as much as it helped me. After I’ve spent time being around young people for thirty years, I think he’s spot on! My notes are too long, so I’m breaking this into two parts.
Every church in the book of Revelation, no matter their problems, are told, “Overcome.” Stay faithful. It doesn’t matter where you’re at, you’re still going to have to overcome.
In my life, there were things that could have stopped me, but I decided, I’m not going to. I press forward.
What this generation needs is push. Push.
I’m amazed. If it’s too heavy, they just stop. If they get tired, they quit. We weren’t taught that.
I remember my brother Tommy when he went out to work in the hayfield. He was tall and skinny. The truck that they threw hay onto was three high. They stacked it with four bales of hay. They had to go from the ground to the top…seven bales high! How did they get it up there? They would put a hay hook in it, put it on their leg, kick it up, and throw the bale up. They did it all day long.
Tommy worked all day long with those men. He developed a hernia. He would come home and suffer, and then go to work the next day.
Why? Because we were taught to push. People depended on you, and you pushed.
You did what you had to do to get it through.
I don’t think it’s happenstance that the world has taken push away from our children and young people. Because you know what you’re going to have to do to go to heaven? Push.
They’ve lost that push. You go to work. It’s a hard job. You quit.
We didn’t do that. If you got in a hard job, you showed them what a man you were. You did it. You came home at night, and you ached and hurt. And you went back the next day and did it again. Because that is what men did.
That’s been taken away.
If you want to get close to God, you’ve got to push. If you don’t get what you want, you keep pushing.
I’ve worked jobs that I didn’t know what I was going to get paid. Today, it’s not enough. You aren’t paying enough.
Something was better than nothing. One time my dad was laid off. I remember Dad and some of his cronies sitting around. One of them said, “There’s a job for $.75. I’m not working for $.75 an hour.”
I thought…$.75 an hour versus nothing. Something versus nothing. Why wouldn’t you work for $.75 an hour? It beats nothing.
We’ve got that mentality even spiritually. “If God doesn’t reward me tonight, I’m not working.” If I don’t get what I want, I’ll just quit. I’m not getting enough.
What we need to do is push. We’re in the last days, and if we get anything done, we’re going to have to do it quickly.
When I was twelve years old, I had a lady pay me fifty cents an hour to pull weeds from her yard. I thought I had a good job! I got down on my hands and knees, pulling weeds. (My mom was only making $.75 an hour.)
When we were grown, Tommy and I went to work at Cessna, and we came home from work one time to Dad’s, and they were picking strawberries. We didn’t need the strawberries, but if you picked them, they would give you so much for every quart, and they would let you sell them back to them. We were getting more money picking strawberries than working at Cessna. (We were fast.) Do you know how many teenagers were out there? None.
Tommy said, “We’d be camped out here. When we were teenagers, we would have been sitting here when they opened that gate up.” If you’ve lost your push, there is no reason to do it.
Do you know how I learned to dry wall? I didn’t want to do it. I was a painter, but around here, they put the two together. So, I learned how to do the dry wall.
Some of it was tedious and hard to do. I had a lot of mistakes, runners, and sanding.
I have an aversion to this day to sanding. I try to do it where I won’t have to do sanding.
Some things spiritually, I try to do so I won’t have to do it over again. I’d just rather learn the other way to do it. And learn how to push myself to do it.
I’m seventy, and I still push. It’s not the muscles; it’s because I was taught to push. I want to teach you to overcome. When it gets a little hard, you push!
You don’t just quit. Push!
Once, I got my car stuck in the mud. I opened the door and I had to step up to get out! That’s how stuck I was. The mud was above the rocker panels of the car. I waded out in the mud almost knee deep. Do you know what I did? I pushed.
I didn’t make it out that time because the other person that was in the car, I told them, “We’re going to rock this thing. When we get it rocking, I’m going to holler at you, and you drop it down into drive, and we’ll push.”
When you’re standing behind the car, that means all that mud is thrown on you!
We’d rock it (me and my cousin), and I’d holler.
The car went…Rrrrrrrrr. Mud all over us. The car didn’t go anywhere. Later, we had to give it up.
They were putting it in the wrong gear—reverse instead of drive. If it had gone, it would have run over the top of us!
We need to be in one accord—the same gear. We need to be pulling in the same direction. We need to be pushing to get our loved ones and friends in before it’s too late.
In Revelations, the first few chapters are dedicated to the church overcoming. This is how we are going to get through all this.