Don’t Faint

Don't Faint

Don’t Faint is a sermon teaching us that we can grow weary in well-doing. We need to recharge and allow the Holy Spirit to recharge us and in due season we will reap if we faint not.

Key verses:
Galatians 6:1-18

The book of Galatians is a letter that Paul wrote, not to a church but to a group of churches in the region of Galatia. He wrote it with the primary theme of combatting legalism, the idea that you must keep the law in order to be saved or to maintain your salvation. There are people today who say if you do not keep the law, you cannot be saved. Then there are people who say that you do not have to keep the law to be saved. You can be saved by grace but if you do not keep the law, you lose your salvation. There are hundreds of thousands of people who believe that today and it is not so unusual.

Getting Away from God

That is not what we are going to talk about tonight but that is the theme of the book of Galatians. What we are going to talk about tonight are some universal principles. This morning we talked about how it is not instantaneous but rather a progression over time that people to get away from God. They wake up one day and find themselves very far away from God and want to come back.

Psalm 51 is a great explanation written over a millennia ago and I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” If you want to know how to confess your sins, how it happens, Psalm 51 gives a great explanation of that.

Tonight, I want to continue that idea, not so much on coming back but another reason why people get away from God and many times not intentionally, and that is simply that they just get tired and weary, and get worn down.

Galatians 6:1: “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”

Galatians 6:2: “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”

Galatians 6:3: “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.”

Galatians 6:4: “But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.”

Galatians 6:5: “For every man shall bear his own burden.”

Galatians 6:6: “Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.”

Galatians 6:7: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

Galatians 6:8: “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

Galatians 6:9: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

We are talking this evening on how not to faint.

A Great Division

I’m going to set up this evening’s message with a story in history for you that takes place approximately circa 320 A.D. A few years prior to that, that Roman Emperor Constantine made the declaration that Christianity should be the official religion of the Roman empire. We do not know if Constantine was born again. That caused a division in the Roman empire. There were those who wanted to hold on to the old Roman gods and there were those who did not and wanted to be called Christians and become Christians. There was a great division.

So, this story comes a few years after Constantine made the declaration, but it is important for you to understand that there was this division. Half of the empire wanted at least in name to be called Christian and the other half wanted to be Roman pagans. This has a lot to do with what we will look at later on.

There are principles in life. The more I read about Isaac Newton, the better I like the fellow. He was a brilliant man and even those who are not Christians acknowledge him. He is credited with outlining the law of gravity. He did not create the law of gravity, of course, but he brought it to our attention. You hear people say, “What goes up must come down.” Well, that is what Newton said. Then there are Newton’s laws on motion and mathematical work. He was a brilliant man and a man who believed in God.

It is universally understood that what goes up must come down. It is universally understood that an object at rest will remain at rest until acted upon by an outside force, or an object in motion will remain in motion until acted upon by an outside force. We call these laws. These are laws because they happen the same way every time. There are truths that are understood because they are unquestionably understood and because they are witnessed by and affect everyone. These are laws of science or laws of nature or both. But where did these laws come from? They come from God.

In Galatians 6:1-9, the apostle Paul sets forth some spiritual laws that are given and we are going to take a look at those but our main thrust this evening is in verse nine.

Galatians 6:9: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

Being Overtaken

So, in verse one, Paul says:

Galatians 6:1: “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”

“To be overtaken in a fault,” is what we were talking about this morning where a fellow gets into sin and begins to get away from God. He is overtaken in a fault; he has fallen to temptation. A good time to interject this – we all have temptations. What tempts me may not tempt you at all and vice versa. Sometimes, you look at somebody else’s temptation and think how that could even bother them. But you have to understand, each individual is different, and we all have our own temptations.

For example, drinking alcohol is not a temptation for me but for others, it can be. Does this make me a better person than the person who does have that temptation? No. It means their temptation is different than mine. So, if a man is overtaken in a fault, he has fallen to his temptation, whatever that temptation might be. Paul then emphasizes, “ye which are spiritual,” meaning, be sure you are on the good ground yourself.

How Not to Faint

You have heard on an airliner at the beginning of the flight they give the safety talk. I look around and I see most people do not pay any attention to that. They are busy doing something else, but I listen. I pull out that little card that shows me where that life raft is and where those exits are. In that, they tell you, if the cabin loses pressure, you are in trouble and it can be fatal. They tell you the oxygen mask will drop down and they explain how to use it. You need to listen to them. They tell you to put your mask on first before assisting others. Why is that? You may faint before you can assist the others. And if you faint, you are not going to help anybody. So, this is our theme tonight, how not to faint.

Paul says, “if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual,” meaning, be sure you are spiritually well yourself. Be sure you, yourself are not about to faint. “Ye which are spiritual, restore such an one.” It does not say criticize such an one or gossip about such an one. It does not say to ostracize such an one. It says to restore such an one. Matthew chapter 18 gives a step-by-step procedure on how to do that.

Power Under Control

“Restore such an one in the spirit of meekness,” Meekness is such a wonderful thing. Meekness is a character attributed to Moses. If you go back and read about Moses, you find that he was the meekest on the planet. Then fast forward and come to the time when Jesus was here. What did Jesus say about himself? He said He said He was meek and lowly. Let’s talk about those two individuals.

Meekness is not weakness. Meekness is not being timid. It is often portrayed that way, but it is not what it means. Let’s think about that. Was Moses a shy man? In some ways he was. He did not consider himself to be a public speaker. So Aaron was appointed by God to be Moses’ spokesman. So, in some ways, he was a shy man.

Let’s think about another part of Moses’ life. Moses led millions of people. He withstood the strongest king on Earth at that time, Pharoah of Egypt. He led millions of people out of Egypt and into the promised land. To do that, he had much opposition and he had to face up to people. Moses was not a weak man. The Bible tells us when Moses died at 120 years old, his strength was that of a young man.

Meekness is not weakness; meekness is power under control. Everyone has power. You have power with your tongue and physical power, and you have other power at your disposal. It needs to be under control. And then the Lord Jesus. He takes on Himself the form of a man and He humbles Himself. He spends His time here growing as an infant into a child, and a young man, walking this earth and having the human experience. And yet the spirit that is within Him is the spirit of the Creator. There is no doubt about that. That is the perfect illustration of meekness. The very power that created the universe, veiled in human flesh. That is what meekness is – power under control. The verse again:

Galatians 6:1: “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”

Consider Yourself

Years ago, I was having lunch with another pastor. A name came up in our conversation of a pastor who had disgraced himself, disgraced the ministry, had to resign from ministry, and leave the ministry entirely because he had done something bad. It happens frequently that church leaders face false accusations that are made up against them. In this case, the accusations were true. There was hard physical evidence that proved they were true. And this man left the ministry in disgrace.

So, the pastor across the table from me said, “I’m mad at him, aren’t you?” I said, “Why are you mad at him?” He said, “Because he’s done harm to the ministry and shamed the name of Christ and he’s probably caused people to turn away from God.” And he had done all of that. I told him I was not mad at him. He asked me why I was not mad at him. Do not misunderstand, I do not like what he did. I am not glossing over what was done.

But look at the last part of that verse, “considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” What does that mean? Paul writes in another place and says, “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” When you look at somebody else who has fallen into sin, do not think that it could never happen to you. It could happen to you. It has happened to some very strong people.

What Do We Do?

Galatians 6:2: “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”

That is a very simple principle and easy verse to understand. Bear each other’s burdens means to carry each other’s load. Help your brethren with their load.

Galatians 6:3: “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.”

Don’t think of yourself more highly than you are.

Galatians 6:4: “But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.”

Do not take credit for somebody else’s work, something someone else has done. You do your own work and rejoice in the work that has been done.

Galatians 6:5: “For every man shall bear his own burden.”

This is not a contradiction. You and I are supposed to carry our own load, but if a brother is stumbling, or a sister needs help, we are to help them with their load. That is not hard to understand.

Galatians 6:6: “Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.”

If you are taught, someone is teaching you the Word, you should communicate to the teacher. What does that mean? Well, that means to send him an email or text message. Is that what it is saying here? No. It is saying take care of their need – that is what it is saying.

Reaping What We Sow

Now, all of that is leading up to where we really want to be tonight. Because in verse seven, Paul writes not to be deceived. Do not be deceived, do not let yourself be deceived. Do not deceive yourself. Is it possible to deceive yourself? Yes, according to verse three:

Galatians 6:3: “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.”

So, can you deceive yourself? You sure can. Verse seven:

Galatians 6:7: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

This is a principle that is throughout the Word of God and is a principle just as Newton’s law on motion is a principle. Just as sure the law of gravity is a principle, that is a principle. “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

Galatians 6:8: “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

“For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption;” Why? Because the flesh is corruptible. So, if you sow into the flesh that which is pleasing to the flesh only, you are going to reap corruption. It is not saying to never please your physical nature. If it meant that, then if you got hungry, then you would not eat. But if you get hungry, you can eat and food is available, you are going to eat it, aren’t you? Why? Because you are taking care of the physical man. So, it is not saying you cannot do that sort of thing, not satisfy the physical needs. It is saying do not sow into the lusts and desires of the flesh. That is what it is saying.

But, in the middle verse eight, “but he that soweth to the Spirit,” notice that spirit is capitalized there for the Holy Spirit, “shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Now, if you go back to the previous chapter to verse sixteen:

Galatians 5:16: “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”

Same writer, same book, carrying on the same theme. This is again, a universal law. Be careful what we sow and be conscientiously sowing. To tell you how universal this principle is, here are some Old Testament references of the same principle:

Job 4:8: “Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.”

Isn’t that what Paul just said? You plow iniquity, sow wickedness, and that is what you will reap iniquity and wickedness.

Proverbs 22:8: “He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.”

You sow iniquity, you get vanity, and reap nothing in return.

Hosea 8:7: “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.”

This is the same message, if you sow vanity, you will reap vanity. The same writer writes:

Hosea 10:12: “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.”

You know that is what we need, we need the Lord to rain righteousness upon us. That is what we mean when we talked about it this morning. We need revival, the Lord rains righteousness upon us. Upon whom? Upon God’s people.

Be Not Weary

That brings us to verse nine:

Galatians 6:9: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

You are going to get weary; you are going to get tired. It will happen. As long as we are in our physical body, we are going to get tired. In the early years here at this church, Mrs. McClure and I were having lunch with Eddie Champion, he had been her pastor. He married us and I am eternally grateful for that. He talked about getting weary in the ministry. He had been in the ministry for a long time. A godly man, he served the Lord faithfully and well. Although he is retired, he is still serving the Lord.

He told us to remember the story of Jesus preaching with crowds gathered all around Him, and He stops because a woman had touched the hem of his garment and He turns and asks who touched him. His disciples said there were people all around Him and touching Him. He said, “virtue is gone out of me.” What was He saying? When that woman touched Him in faith, virtue went out of Him and encouraged her and healed her.

Pastor Champion said that it happens to you and me. And he was not just talking about pastors. It happens to Christians, when you and I do good, serving the Lord, helping other people, virtue goes out of you and you need to get recharged. It is like expending energy. Energy goes out of you and you need to be recharged if you go out and work really hard.

I’ve been helping a local Methodist church unload food boxes recently and there was a big man there. He said that he drives down all the way from West Palm Beach to do that. I asked him why he did that and he said he believed in doing things for other people. He appears to be a Christian. He said he wanted to be of service to the community and said he does it for the exercise. He wanted to work and tire himself out so he could sleep at night. There is nothing wrong with that.

But if you are working hard and expending energy, you are going to become tired. What do you need to do? Just what the man said, you need to sleep at night, you need to rest, you need to recharge. Well, the same thing is true to keep yourself from fainting. You are going to have to recharge. The spiritual energy you had yesterday may not be enough to carry you through today. You need to recharge. Well, how do you do that?

How to Recharge

Psalms 119:9: “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.”

Psalms 119:10: “With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.”

Psalms 119: 11: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

Get in the Word and let the Word get into you. And then pray. Pray every morning. Pray throughout the day. Pray without ceasing. Pray all day long. You stay in an attitude of prayer and you pray throughout the day and you recharge. You need the fellowship of other people, of other Christians and you recharge.

There is an old story about a pastor who went into the home of a church member who had not been in church for a while. He came in and there was a fire going in the fireplace and the pastor came in and sat down near the fireplace and did not say a word. After sitting in silence, a while, the pastor picked up a pair of tongs and reached into the fireplace and pulled out an ember, and set it on the hearth and still had not said a word. When he brought it out it was still flaming and sat there for a while and the fire went off and the ember cooled. The man looked at the ember and the flame going out, then looked at the pastor and said, “I get it. I’ll be back Sunday.” Now you get it too. We have got to keep the flame going and be in there where the fire is. We cannot be out all on our own. And you need that to keep from fainting. Paul says:

Galatians 6:9: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

When the time comes. When you plant an apple seed, do you expect in three months to have apples? Certainly not, it takes time for the tree to grow. After the tree grows and maintains itself, it takes time to bear fruit. In due season, you will get fruit, after all things are as they should be. But you are not going to get it right away. You are going to work around that apple tree, making sure the ground is fertile, keeping the tree trimmed, and do the things that help it produce fruit and be a healthy tree. So, in due season we shall reap.

What Are We Going to Reap?

Galatians 6:8: “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

You are going to reap God’s blessing. Going back to chapter five again:

Galatians 5:22: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,”

Galatians 5:23: “Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

The fruit of the Spirit is the fruit that the Spirit bears in your life. A lot of people think that is the fruit of the Christian. But that is not what it says. It says it is the fruit of the Spirit. When the Holy Spirit is in your life and He is active in your life and He is not hindered, you allow Him to work in your life, you are surrendered, then the fruit of the Spirit bears in your life: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. All these things come up. That is the Spirit working in you. So, in due time and due season we will reap if we faint not – if you don’t faint.

But the first part of the verse says, “let us not be weary in well doing” which tells you it is possible to get weary in well-doing. When you are doing right and you are serving God, when you are doing the things a Christian ought to do, when you are being a good testimony to others, when you are serving the Lord as faithfully as you can, you can still get tired and get worn down. Your heart, does the Spirit control? That is what he is talking about here.

How to Keep from Fainting

So, how are you going to keep from fainting? You need to have the Spirit in control of your life. In verse eight, “he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Let the fruit of the Spirit come. Back in chapter five again:

Galatians 5: 25: “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

Let the Holy Spirit have control in your life. If you do that, He will keep you from fainting. It is easy to faint. I told you this morning, I have seen a lot of people faint. Here is how you can prevent that. You have major arteries going through your legs and when you are standing a long time with your knees locked, you are slowing down your circulation. When you slow down your circulation, you faint. You are not getting enough blood flow to the brain. There is nothing magical or mystical about that, that is how your body is made. So, the moral of the story is do not stand with your knees locked, just relax your knees so you won’t pass out. Did you learn something? Aren’t you glad you came to church tonight? If you want to remain stable, spread your feet apart a little bit and give your knees a little bend and you will be able to stand longer. You have got to let the blood flow to keep you from fainting.

Spiritually, it is the same idea. You have got to keep yourself where the Spirit is working in your life, like the circulation in your blood working. So, if you do not faint, if you do not get too weary, do not give in to the weariness. if you recharge, if you allow the Spirit to control your life, you can keep going without fainting and not get tired.

I’ll tell you a couple of stories. Some time ago, a pastor was getting ready to retire and had been at the same church for 50 years or so and some asked him how he was able to stay at one church so long. The old pastor said that he stayed when he wanted to stay, and stayed when he did not want to stay, and stayed when the people wanted him to stay, and stayed when the people did not want him to stay, and stayed when he felt like staying, and stayed when he did not feel like staying, he just stayed. That’s it, it is that simple. Just stay.

The Crime of Being Christian

A speaker at a seminar gave a story which I remembered recently and wondered if that was a true account, if it actually happened, or was a good story somebody made up. I looked it up and evidently, it is a true story. This is what I was referring to earlier when the Roman empire was splitting between those who wanted to be Christians and those wanting to hold on to the old pagan gods and goddesses. This happened about 320 A.D. under the Roman Emperor Licinius. And with Constantine, there was a division in the empire there. This is the story of 40 famous wrestlers.

The sun had gone down, and the night was falling when the soldiers were drawn up in line to hear the imperial edict ordering all men and every place on pain of death to pour out a libation before the image of the emperor. In token, they acknowledge the ancient gods of Rome. They had to make a choice either follow the gods of Rome or follow Christ.

It was a strange scene, flaring torches, ranks of men were set with stern faces. The officers standing near the rude altar, the ensigns of Rome fluttering in the bitter wind and beyond these, the dark and terrible lake on which if any refuse to obey, he would be sent naked to meet his death in the long winter night.

One by one, the soldiers file past the image of Caesar and poured out the libation. But a young stalwart soldier stepped out of the line and with a high lifted up face said, “I owe no allegiance before that, to my master Christ.” And he stood aside, and the line filed past, and others stepped out of line until there stood together forty soldiers so strong, so daring, and every deed of courage or feat of arms that they were called by their comrades, the 40 famous wrestlers.

The Roman officers stood aghast and cried, “What is this? Do you understand what awaits you here?” He pointed to the lake, “A dreadful death to wander out there the long night through because you will not pour out a few drops of wine before the image of Caesar. You need not believe in the gods of Rome. I do not believe in them myself. But surely your Christ does not require this of you. And do you think I’m going to lose my forty best soldiers to such a whim? Tomorrow evening, the ranks will form again. If you will obey, well, if not, the frozen lake. Throw not away your lives.”

They were young, the forty wrestlers. And life was sweet, each heart held the thought of home, a little home amid clustering vines and olive trees where father, mother, wife, and children waited for them. Life was sweet and death upon the lake was cruel. And the pouring of the libation was a little thing. Would Christ care?

The short winter day was drawing to a close as the legion formed in line. Again, the torches flared, and the eagles of Rome looked down upon the solemn scene. No word was spoken as the soldiers filed silently past pouring that libation.

But when the first wrester’s turn came, he stepped quietly out and the light upon his face was not that of fitful torches, but the light of another world. Taking off his helmet, he laid it at the feet of the officer, with his sword and his spear. On them, he laid his cloak, his tunic, and warm close-fitting undergarment. Then turned to the lake singing in a clear, sweet voice, he went to his death, “Forty wrestlers, wrestling in thee, Oh Christ, claimed for thee the victory and from thee, the victor’s crown.”

The second followed and his comrades dumb with wonder watched him lay down his arms as he so gallantly borne, lay down his garments, and his life and go on to the dark, gloomy lake, singing to forty wrestlers, “Forty wrestlers, wrestling in thee, Oh Christ, claimed for thee the victory and from thee, the victor’s crown.”

The others followed until all forty wrestlers were out upon the lake, forty voices had taken up the triumph song. Slowly the night wore on and the guard in the house along the bank with clothing, food, and drink was waiting for any who might turn back, heard the song grow fainter and fainter as more and more the voices failed.

At last, just at dawn, one wrestler came creeping back. But even as he lifted up his hand to deny his Lord, he fell, lifeless. Then the guard who could not bear that the band should be broken took down his helmet and lay down his shield, spear, and garments, went out to join them singing, “Forty wrestlers, wrestling in thee, Oh Christ, claimed for thee the victory and from thee, the victor’s crown.” In due season we will reap if we faint not.

Spiritual Challenges

You and I are facing challenges and there is more ahead. I do not know all that there are, but I know some that are coming, and I am sure there are things I have no idea about. We all have our individual challenges such as health, family, financial challenges, and others. But I am talking about spiritual challenges. They are here, and they are coming, and they are more than likely going to increase, where you may be called upon to take a stand as a Christian or pay a severe penalty.

Back in the nineteenth century, John Greenleaf Whittier, a famous poet, and abolitionist who was very active in that movement and noted during the Civil War period. He was a contemporary of Longfellow. He wrote a poem that I first heard as a college student and I did not know who wrote it. I had to research it and it was by Whittier. He says this and I want to close with this. It will encourage you not to faint.

Don’t’ Quit by John Greenleaf Whittier:

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,

When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,

When the funds are low and the debts are high

And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit

Rest if you must but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns

As every one of us sometimes learns

And many a failure comes about

When he might have won if he stuck it out;

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow —

You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out —

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,

And you never can tell how close you are,

It may be near when it seems so far;

So stick to the fight when you are hardest hit —

It is when things seem worst when you must not quit.

For all the sad words of tongue or pen,

The saddest are these: “It might have been!”

Get in-depth knowledge by viewing or listening to the sermon: Don’t Faint

Don’t Faint Sermon Recommendations

You may also want to listen to or view these sermons:

Forgiven

The Double Minded Man

Share

Dr. Michael L. McClure, our lead pastor, is known for his in-depth knowledge and effective teaching style of biblical truths applicable to every day living.

Recent Sermons