Last week, my husband, Charles Li, preached a sermon about what motivates you. What drives you, what do you cling to that causes you to do what you? It's not bad to cling, just make sure you cling to Jesus and not your own will.
Charles began with, "The church doesn’t exist for the members. The members exist for the church. What makes a drug addict redeemed and set free by the power of Jesus Christ? It’s because of a power that has apprehended him. He has become a servant of righteousness.
A famous missionary once said, ‘I don’t have the gifts, the gifts have me.’ It’s the same with God’s Spirit. You don’t have the Spirit, the Spirit has you! You are not your own, you are bought with a price. God has you. You have a purpose, and your presence in the body of Christ is important."
Taking an honest look at myself, I have to wonder just how well the church has me, how much the Spirit has me. Am I driven by discerning His will and acting on it? Do I take responsibility for checking my own spirit and making sure it lines up with His? The good news is, if not, I can get lined up in an instant.
He continued, "I have three objects that I want to compare tonight. Object number one, the brand new Disney Princess Carriage that arrived suddenly at the LoCascio’s house. Number 2: a common computer printer. And Number 3 will be a surprise. All three of these objects have a specific design. And all three of these need drivers.
The girls recently received a little play jeep that resembles Cinderella’s carriage. It is motorized, it is pink and awfully cute. It has a 24v rechargeable lead-acid battery under the hood, which gives enough power to go from 0-5 mph in less than 2 seconds. It has a 2-speed transmission, plus reverse. It has a cute purple light-up-able steering wheel, sports a carriage top, battery operated side lanterns, a removable tiara, side curtains, and a plastic magic wand that turns the lights on when you wave it. However, as beautiful and wonderfully accessorized as it is, in their splendor and glory integrated into this jeep, without a driver, the thing sits in their garage.
None of the items listed in the description can drive it. All of these things determine its size, shape, how many passengers it can carry, how fast it can go, they are all a part of the design. But you need a person to drive it."
Each person is like a car with his or her own unique personality, likes and dislikes, height, weight, hair and eye color, taste. Our God has created mankind as quite wonderful. However, when left to his own devices, man can be terrible. We need a better driver. We need a Savior and a Lord.
Charles said, "You could have a Lamborghini, or a Porsche, or even an S-Class “Maybach” model Mercedes, described as a private jet for the road, starting price of $166,200 without adding more bells and whistles. It won’t matter how great of a car it is if a bad driver takes it and crashes it into a very large tree.
The point is, in the case of The Princess Carriage or the Mercedes, the driver is of utmost importance. If the Carriage or the Mercedes gets crashed and broken, it will not be able to function, and in this case, it will be directly the fault of a bad driver. YOU NEED A GOOD DRIVER."
My husband talked about a computer printer next. "Everyone knows what a printer looks like, but did you know printers have drivers? Whenever you plug in a new printer to a computer, a little notification pops up on the computer and says, 'Installing drivers.' Some printers come with aCD-ROMM that you load into the computer to install the drivers. What does a driver do on a printer? It allows whatever type of computer you have, with whatever type of operating system, to transfer the image to be printed in a way the printer understands, so the digital image can be transcribed onto paper. Without the right driver, you will have a dysfunctional printer. A big mess might come out on paper instead of the beautiful picture or words you are trying to print. Or the printer might not work at all. The driver is made up of multiple lines of code, but if any of these is messed up, the printer might print only partially, or the whole thing might not work."
I don't know about you, but I would like my life to 'print out' the way it's supposed to, the right way, the way the Creator intended. That involves me submitting to His coding.
Lastly, my husband talked about Exhibit C, a young man named Robby. "Just like the Mercedes (I didn’t think he’d like to be compared to the Disney Princess Carriage), he would be considered a fine specimen of a human being, and quite the eligible bachelor. Robby was a high school wrestler and football player, could probably drop and give me 60 pushups on command, and soon will be off to college. He is feeling a call into ministry, so young ladies, you might want to put Robbie on that mental 'young eligible bachelors to watch over the next few years list,' if ya know what I mean.
Now, like the computer printer, this fine specimen of a human being has a driver, with multiple lines of code. Here is the correct driver, with all the instructions, a Bible. How does it get downloaded?"
Ezekiel 36:27 “And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.”
"The Holy Spirit is the channel through which the Word of God is downloaded into your heart and activated into your life."
Heb 8:10-12 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”
We have made a covenant with the Lord through baptism in Jesus’ Name. If you have a problem, God will be there. Just as a wife will come get her husband when his car won’t start, even if he doesn’t feel like she will or if he has a headache. She’ll be there because they have a covenant and she loves him. God’s love is the same way.
"But what if this fine specimen of a human being, a very eligible young bachelor, has the wrong drivers installed? Fear, hopelessness, loneliness, etc. There are scars on his arm to prove that even a fine young specimen of a human being with the wrong drivers can lead to varying states of dysfunction."
Isa 53:4-5 “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
1Co 6:19-20 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s."
You are more precious than the blood of Jesus. You are well loved and precious and worth dying for.
My husband closed with, "There’s a lot of good drivers in the Bible to be downloaded into your spirit. Here’s some:"
Gal 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
Instead of trying to force the fruit, let God's fruit have you. Exchange fear for God's love and peace. Exchange despair for joy. Exchange frustration for longsuffering and patience. Exchange anger for gentleness and goodness. Exchange arrogance and selfishness for meekness. Exchange selfishness for temperance (self-control).
Charles added that it is important to truly make the exchange. Don't try to have both peace and frustration. They don't co-exist well. Anger and joy don't go well. Love and fear? Not so much.
Allow Jesus to help you make the exchange fully. He loves you. He is love. Trust Him to get rid of those things completely and follow His lead. Let Him drive. Jesus is the Best Driver. He not only knows the way, He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Charles Li.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.
If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!