The following will include one (1) full outline and some scattered thoughts of the message I preached this past Sunday at Friendship Central. It was originally preached under the title, “It’s a Set Up!” (Psalms 75:5-6).
“For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south, But God is the judge: he puts down one, and sets up another.”
There was a strong anointing on the preaching moment. The saints at Friendship Central really appreciate preaching. While I preached I sensed very deeply that the Word preached was in due season for the Body of Christ.
The Holy Spirit broke strongholds of doubt and defeatism. The altar response following the message was phenomenal. Lives were changed by the power of His Word.
For those preachers whom have previously requested, I will present this outline in the full “Dialectical Model” that I use in preparation. The Dialectical Model of Preaching has a theological intent based in biblical content. The “Model” helps me to focus daily on preparing and declaring something about God that is accurate, relevant, positive and proven by the Word and human experience.
The Power of Promotion
The Proposition: God has providential power over promotion (Ps. 75:6-7).
The Thesis: God promotes people according to His own purpose and time. When He puts down and when He sets up is providential (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2). The word “promotion” that Asaph uses means ‘to set up on high or to elevate’. Every promotion is a “set up”.
This word was used of the temple gifts that were presented at the altar to the priests. Promotion happened at an altar. A promotion was an elevation to sacrifice. Whenever God promotes someone He is promoting them to a greater sacrifice, a greater service and a greater surrender of their life and gifts to Jesus, our High Priest.
The Antithesis: Pride and rebellion destroy the possibilities of promotion (Ps. 75:4-5). Impatience with God’s process persuades people to seek self-promotion. This is not the time nor place to lift your horn. Remember self-promotion can only perform its purpose – promote self ! No vision, mission or great task for God can be accomplished by self-promotion.
When you are “stiff-necked” you don’t obey The Head. A stiff-neck always misses a move of God. Stiff-necks are so stiff they can’t turn to see God at work around them. Rebellion is submission to the will of your “Self”.
The Relevant Question: What can I do to position myself for the purposeful and providential promotions that God provides?
The Resolution: You can position yourself for promotion with proper protocol:
1) The Protocol of Appreciation. “Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks” (75:1). Thank God God for where you are right now. Grateful and thankful people are in position for promotion. The psalmist praises God for having a name that is near. Your praise is theological, not situational. We praise God for His name! No matter how far away from a promotion and favor you may seem or feel, God says His name to meet your every need is near!
2) The Protocol of Perception. “I will judge uprightly” (75:2). Some commentators attribute Psalm 75:2-3 to God and not the psalmist. I believe this to be a clouded interpretation. The psalmist is still speaking to God when he leaves verse 1. The psalmist is indicating that concluding his time in praise and worship he expects to have a better view of what is going on in his life. After he leaves corporate worship he anticipates a more God-centered perception in his situation. This is not a new sentiment for Asaph. He mentions this same tension in Psalm 73:12-17. Divine perception of your situation can happen in the presence of praising people. People with positive perceptions of their situations get promoted.
He has taken on some new and awesome responsibilities of kingdom leadership. “I bear up the pillars of it” (verse 3b). He commits to God’s protocol for promotion and urges the unbelievers, “fools” to restrain their self-promotion.
3) The Protocol of Conclusion. “But God is the judge” (75:7). Acknowledging that God has the last word in your life is the most liberating language of life. If God has the last word then you and no one else can destroy His purpose in your life. God has the power to determine and declare your promotions. He “sets down one”, and “sets up another”. There are some coming down and there are some going up. Down always comes before up in God’s economy. You have to be abased before you can be exalted. You have to be the least before you can be the chief. You have to die before you live. You have to lose your life before you gain it. You have to empty yourself before God will give you a name (Philippians 2:5-11). Your humiliation determines your promotion.
The Conclusion: Determine to get your promotion. Get in order for your promotion. Look to God for your promotion. Praise God for your promotion (75:9). If you praise, He’ll raise!
The Celebration: All I’ve been through has been a set up. I have no wasted pain! It was designed to set me up and set me ahead. I’m in position for a promotion. I thank Him!
Jesus was set up. The Cross was a “set up”. He was hung up on a cross. When He was hung up He was set up. He was set up to be lifted up. “And I, if I, be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto men” (John 12:32). When He is lifted all men will be drawn. Through the set up and the lift up, early Sunday morning He rose up!
You can go up because He rose up!
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