May 9th, 1956                                     "Are You Equipped?"                                                     Late Mr. N. Daniel

1 Chronicles 22:16

"Of the gold and silver, and the brass, and the iron, there is no number. Arise therefore, and be doing and the Lord be with thee." Solomon was receiving instructions from his father regarding the building of the temple. His father had gathered all the materials required and money in gold and silver and brass. David wanted to build the temple himself but God said, "You are not fit. You are a man of war. You have shed much blood. Your son shall build a temple for me." David told Solomon, "Do not be afraid, I have got everything ready." Solomon built the temple with great care. When he was young he had prayed and received from God the gift of wisdom to rule others. His father’s preparation was sufficient but I am afraid Solomon’s preparation to build the temple and the nation and his home and his character was not adequate. You may have to build a church and be able to do it. But you may not be able to build your home and your character. Christianity is an all-round religion and not a pulpit religion. One may deliver a good sermon, but he must know that his whole life is itself a sermon. Solomon was only half prepared. He was taking half-rations for his journey through the desert. In such a case one comes short of food in the middle of the desert and perishes. Solomon was not equal to the spiritual demands made on him in the building of the nation and his family.

We are going to have our retreat soon, and I am glad we have no money. It has been so in all our previous retreats. If one had enough money to feed all the guests in the retreat, one would have some kind of feeling of having done well. But without the proper spiritual food being given to the guests, God would never be satisfied. We have to build a Fellowship which has to fight very hard against all the malpractices in the church. Are we equipped? Let us not attempt this with insufficient preparation. People will rise up in revolt against us after a while. They want healing. They would like their young men to lead better lives. They would like to have better pastors. But if you are going to talk against the evil culture around us and the love of gold, they will throw you out. We are not talking against these things but can we go all the way? People only want money and education. Women are crazy over jewels. We are having a kind of revival but it is not such as to uproot these traits. Are we taking half-rations? If Moses had brought the law of God and taught the children of Israel in the land of Egypt, could they have obeyed it in the land of bondage? No! They had to be freed before they could obey the law. Even then they often forgot the hardships of the Egyptian bondage and thought of the flesh-pots of Egypt. Christians have got a slavish mentality. Are we spiritually equipped for the temple? Solomon was glad when he saw the material equipment for the temple. When the presence of the Lord came down on the temple, he was satisfied with that. He was a young man. It was a time of peace in the kingdom. His father had fought many battles and driven the enemies out of the land. Now Solomon had to build the nation. He had to fight the powers of evil in the land. The real fight for Christians is the fight against the powers of darkness. You may fight and drive away an enemy, but what of the evil that has come into the land because of them? We see Christians here have almost all the evil practices of those around them. The real fight is against these things. Many have been converted, but they are not progressing because of these practices. We have some equipment, but we need more holiness, more humility and more spiritual insight.

After Solomon built the temple, and received the praise of the queen of Sheba and saw the glory of kingship he began to slide away. He began to build temples for other gods. He married Pharaoh’s daughter. One wonders if this was the same Solomon who met God in his youth. God met him again and told him that the kingdom would be divided, and ten of the twelve parts would be given to another. What happened to this northern part? It was invaded and reinvaded by enemies till finally those ten tribes were lost. Solomon, equipped as he was with finance and a spiritual background, did not develop spiritually. Be careful! Do not preach above your standard. Do not preach when God only wants you to witness. People may praise you. Do not accept it. People used to say in Kakinada that there was no one there who knew the Bible so well as I did. But when I came here and started the work, I found my knowledge very deficient. I have some spiritual experience, but now I find that it is not enough. David had prepared enough material equipment for the temple. Was that enough? Solomon received wisdom to rule others, but had he wisdom to rule himself? To rule others is easy, but how about ruling one’s spirit and one’s home? "He that ruleth his spirit has more honour than he that taketh a city." Has the Holy Spirit got complete control over you? Many begin well, but do not equip themselves to go all the way. Nehemiah 13:26, "Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? Yet among many nations there was no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel. Nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin." Let us pray for our retreat. Thank God we do not have even the silver and gold equipment. We shall prepare ourselves spiritually. We have the great work of building the Fellowship in the perfect will of God and teaching them the full and the naked truth of God.