Last weekend, I preached at a First Baptist Church in a town here in Tennessee. We had a good time Sunday morning, but it was Sunday night when the Holy Spirit really moved. The altar filled and tears flowed. There was a sense of brokenness before the Lord and in that, God moved (See James 4:10, which we will actually see later in this post, along with verses 8 & 9).
The Lord laid a message on my heart about a small box. An alabaster box to be exact, from Mark 14:3.
Allow me get back to the box in just a moment…
As hard as it was to leave our church family a few years ago at Middlefork Road Baptist, the Lord had other plans. He led me into revivalism and teaching and it has been exciting to be able to go to some different places and preach and teach.
What has really been exciting are the places we have gone that realize the definition of insanity:
- Doing the same things over and over, and expecting different results.
It is exciting to see people, and even entire churches, that have the urging in their spirits for change. I have encountered many people who have started to actually study the Bible for themselves instead of allowing their (denomination) convention to tell them what to believe. They are finding out a few things have been left out of their teaching and it is exciting!
In these last days, many are feeling the calling of the Holy Spirit to a deeper walk with God. They sense in their spirit that there is so much more to God than what they have known up to this point.
Even that kind of sensitivity to the Holy Spirit is new to some (maybe, to many). As you can imagine, it is exciting to hear people in the different places we have been, talk about the reality of Jesus in their lives and the desire to reach out to people in new ways, to meet people where they are.
If you think about it, that is exactly what Jesus did. He met people where they were. He didn’t condemn people for the kind of music they listened to, or the kind of clothes they wore, or fill in the blank.
He loved them right where they were. If any changing needed to take place, He let the Holy Spirit deal with that, as they grew in their relationship with the Father.
Can you imagine Jesus telling the woman at the well to go get her act cleaned up, come back, and then I’ll talk to you? Read about it here.
Back to the Box
Yet some in the church act this very way and they are just like the alabaster box Mary had with the expensive ointment inside.
Wait a minute… What is an alabaster box?
- Alabaster was a stone commonly found in the Middle East.
- It was a hard stone resembling white marble.
- Ointments, oils and perfumes were put in vessels made of alabaster, which kept them pure and unspoiled.
- The boxes were often sealed with wax, to keep the perfume from escaping.
- When Mary broke open her alabaster box, “the house was filled with the odour of the ointment” John 12:3.
- Alabaster was a strong enough to keep the oil, perfume, or ointment completely contained until it was ready to be used.
But it is meant to be used! It is not meant to stay inside the container. Only until it is poured out, does it’s aroma fill the air, only when it is poured out does it do anyone any good. The oil must come out one way…or another.
The box was made of stone; it was hard, cold, unmoving. Many in churches across our nation today are like that box.
In talking about the last days, the Lord Jesus said in Matthew 24:12, And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
- Many have become hard, their hearts calloused and uncaring. Hard and cold, like the box, because someone hurt them, someone offended them in the past and they were never able to get over it.
- Maybe just because they have been in a dead church for so long, they just don’t feel the moving and prompting of the Holy Spirit any longer.
- Maybe they have been taught God doesn’t move like He used to and so they are not even looking for God to do anything in their life or their church.
IN ORDER FOR MARY TO BE ABLE TO POUR OUT THE OIL OF ANOINTING, WHAT HAD TO HAPPEN TO THE BOX?
It had to be broken.
Sometimes God has to get our attention. Sometimes we have to be put on our backs before we will look up. Sometimes we must be humbled, and it is far better to humble ourselves than for God to have to do it for us.
I believe a great last-days revival is going to happen before the return of the Lord. In order for that revival to come to the church, we are going to have to humble ourselves.
James 4:8-10, Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
I believe, I just sense it in my spirit, there will be a great last-days outpouring of the Holy Spirit and a Spirit of revival like you and I have never seen. I believe it will happen, for the most part, outside the local church (I have talked about this before, if you remember. Because of a lack of belief inside the local church).
I encourage you with everything that I am to break the box. Humble yourselves (myself included), break the box, and let the oil of the Spirit flow freely in your church and in your community.
Break the box and let Psalm 133 come to pass in your church – Psalms 133, Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
Break the box – TAG!, you’re it!