(This is the second part of one my top-ten favorite sermons from 2022 by my pastor, Brother Johnny Wade. In case you missed it, last week was Part I.)
Every church in the book of Revelation, no matter their problems, he tells them, “Overcome.” Stay faithful. It doesn’t matter where you’re at, you’re still going to have to overcome.
When we were young if you mowed your lawn, you pushed. No motor, just push. I remember Judy and Tommy mowing Grandma’s lawn. If you wanted to mow it, you pushed. They would get together and the faster they ran, the better it cut. Until you hit a stick. It was like hitting the brake!
Then they got rid of that mower and got a power motor. I got to use the power mower. I was about eight to ten years old. You cranked this thing with a crank, got the spring all tight, put it down, and put the lever in. It would go RrrRrrrRrr. Then you would crank it again. And again. And again. How many times did you crank it? Until it started. That’s overcoming. You stayed there until it worked.
Lawnmowers were hard to start when I was a boy, but I didn’t know why.
You went until they stopped, then you would put gas in them, and start them again. The more you did that, the more dirt and gunk you sucked down into that and the harder it is to start.
As a grown man, I don’t do that. I don’t wait until it runs out. Before I mow, I get the gas and fill it up. I go awhile and get the gas and fill it up again. My mower starts easy….in one or two times.
Sometimes the reason we have to work so hard is we have let it run down so low, spiritually. We run until putt…putt..putt..putt.
If we hadn’t run so low, it would be easier to start. You sputter, “Oh, I’m running out of gas.” We go to the Lord, and He’s good to give us gas. But sometimes it’s hard to get started.
You don’t believe me? Just go two weeks without praying. Tell me how you do the first day you go back. You won’t pray through. Neglect for two weeks. “Oh, I’ve got to get back to praying.”
Don’t wait to fill up again. Just make it constant being with God, meditating on His Word. Study the Word, to show “thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Timothy 2:15)
You study the Word to rightly divide the Word and show where it goes.
If I hadn’t been taught to push, I would never have made it. I wonder. You see young people get saved and then not last. Why? They don’t know how to push.
Tommy and I had the same testimony, doing the same thing that neither one knew the other one did. We were in basic training, and we didn’t feel like we could run any farther. Tommy said he would look at a tree and think, “I’m going to run to the tree and then I’m going to fall out.” He’d get to the tree, and he’d think, “I can get to that intersection.”
I’m talking about learning how to push. He didn’t think he could run another four miles, but he could run down to that tree. Then he would make it to a bush. He did that in 1965-66.
In 1969, I was in basic. I hate to run. They would say, “Double time!” My heart would sink. We would start running. I would think, “Ok, I’m going to fall out, but I’m not going to do it until I get to that bridge.” I had no idea that Tommy did that. Until later when he was saved and preaching and said something about it.
Do you know why? We were taught to push. Spiritually, the devil said, “You can’t make it all the way.”
I thought, “I don’t know about that, but I can make it to the end of the street.”
“You can’t make it.”
“Maybe not, but I can make it up to there.”
If you keep making it, you’ll make it all the way through. I’m talking about overcoming. To him that overcometh. A push!
I feel sorry if you didn’t learn how to push when you were little.
I don’t regret a minute of being on my hands and knees, pulling weeds as a child. Of picking blackberries…When you came back you had cuts all over you and chiggers. Then my grandpa taught me a better way to pick black berries. He taught me to tame them. There are some things in life that we can tame.
Some people hate to go to work because of their boss. Tame that. Be easy to get along with. Be the first one on the job. The last one to leave. The one that cleans up everyone else’s mess. You do that for a while, and the boss is going to like you. Tame the black berries.
We had to work a little harder to make them tame. Grandma would rip an old rag into pieces; she would use a yard stick. We’d plant these berries in a straight row on wire. We’d take the stick and weave around the wires. You tie it, and it would grow.
Next year when you go to pick berries, it would all be right there. You wouldn’t have to wallow through them or get stuck. You cut the old ones off. Mow in between, and then there were no chiggers. It made it easier. There are things in your life that if you’re having problems with, you can make easier.
You may not do away with all the problems, but if you learn to push, you can push your way through it.
People don’t like to scrape a house, but if I walk up to a house that has not been scraped, I think, “I’ve got this job. Nobody else wants to do it.”
I make a race out of it. I think I can scrape from that window to that window in fifteen minutes. When I get done, I see if I made my time.
I go to the next window. Let’s see if I can beat the last guy. (The last guy was me.) I’ll compete a section at a time. I’ll go around a whole house doing that.
It’s learning how to push.
I had a fellow come out who was going to help paint a church that needed to be scraped. He had community service time to do. I was scraping. I gave him a scraper. He was supposed to work so many hours, and I was to sign the sheet. He scraped for a little bit, and then gave back the scraper. He said, “I’d rather go back to jail.” He turned around and went back to jail.
There are people who are not going to go to heaven…which means they are going to go to hell,,, because they never learned to scrape. Because they are not going to put any effort into going to heaven.
In Revelations, the first few chapters are dedicated to the church overcoming. This is how we are going to get through all this.