CABOT – “The sermon this afternoon is for the faithful servant of God who has been in place, on duty, at his post, for year after year, maybe even decade after decade, being faithful to God,” said David Hankins, executive director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention.
“But if they were to say out loud what is in their heart, it would be this ‘I’ve about had it.’”
During the afternoon session of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) Pastors’ Conference Oct. 29 at First Baptist Church, Cabot, Hankins shared a message from 1 Kings 19:9-18. Hankins said that even God’s choice servants, like Elijah, sometimes need to catch their breath and get their second wind.
“He (Elijah) was not only physically exhausted, but spiritually spent,” Hankins said. “His battle was not just with flesh and blood, but with the principalities in high places – the darkness of the world – he was in the midst of a spiritual battle, and he was simply exhausted.”
And this is exactly how a lot of ministers feel today Hankins preached.
In order to get that second wind, Hankins offers three starting points.
First, he said get in the presence of the Lord.
“Only spiritual power will cause our work to be successful,” Hankins said.
Second, get the perspective of the Lord. Hankins explained that our perspective and God’s perspective can be radically different.
God has plans for our lives that we can’t even fathom, said Hankins, sharing the example of Abraham and Sarah. They had no idea how the Lord was going to fulfill His promise of making Abraham’s descendants more numerous than the sands on the seashore, but when Abraham and Sarah began to despair because they were getting old, God not only blessed them with a son, but blessed them with twins.
“The arm of the Lord is not short,” Hankins said. “He has a plan, and He knows what He’s doing.”
Third, get on the pathway of the Lord.
“Elijah’s problem was that he thought God was through with him, but God wasn’t through with Elijah,” Hankins said. “Elijah’s ministry was just as fruitful toward the end of his days as the beginning. Elijah just had to get back in the game and go back the way he came – in the pathway of the Lord.”
Hankins' second message
Later in the day, Hankins shared a second message from Luke 5:1-11. The message, Let’s Go Back, focused on getting back to the heart of ministry.
Hankins told messengers they must first go back to the place of ministry. “If you’re going to catch fish (people), you gotta go where the fish (people) are.”
He explained that when Jesus told Simon to let down the nets for a catch, Simon was not convinced that they would catch anything, but since Jesus told him to let down the nets, Simon did so. To Simon and Peter’s surprise, the nets filled up with fish.
“The fish didn’t get into the nets because Jesus had been reading the latest issue of Field and Stream. … This was a miracle,” Hankins said. “The fish got into the nets because they were in the presence of the Lord of the fish."
We need to do the same said Hankins. We need to go back to the power of the Master.
“We need to introduce people to the power of the Master and understand that He is the Lord of everything,” Hankins said.
Hankins concluded, “Let’s go back and proclaim the message.”
We are called to proclaim the message. Hankins concluded by saying that the apostles gave themselves fully to proclaiming the message, and we need to do the same.
“This is our commission – to proclaim the message.”