Anchoring Your Soul in God’s Word

Anchoring your soul in God’s Word

“God is our Refuge and Strength, a very present Help in trouble.

Therefore, will not - we fear,

Then 4 times the word “though” introduces what would apprear to be the worst possible thing that could happen and cause us fear.

Though the earth be removed

Though the mountains be carried. . .

Though the waters thereof roar

Though the mountains shake

These are major earth and life shaking events. Yet in your worst nightmare people of faith should be able to have a smile that makes people wonder about you.

Jesus did not say, In this world you might have trouble. He said you will have trouble but be of good courage. I told you these things so you can have peace in Me.” Jn 16:33

We all need some anchor verses for our life for when storms, trials hit. Your “go to” anchor verses are where you place your hope.

 PIC of anchor

An anchor is hidden in deep water.

“We have this certain hope like a strong, unbreakable anchor holding our souls to God Himself.”  Heb. 6:19 Passion translation

Hope is an anchor for your soul to remain calm and yet hope is also the blueprint for faith to be able to work.

PIC blueprint:

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for…”  Heb. 11:1

Hope is the blueprint – that faith works by.

Hope comes to us from HS. Hope generally leaves out the details of how, when, where. Sometimes hope doesn’t give any details, but rather joy or peace that is unexplainable!

Ill. Back at FBC when everything was falling apart in the church. Barbara Martin “I know this is a tough time for you but I just have joy that something really good is about to happen!” I could have had it too if I got my eyes off the storm and spoke His promises.

God looks at trouble differently than we do. He sees trouble as a door either marked opportunity or offense at God.

PIC of Jesus/door

Ill. I asked the Lord about James 1:2 “Count it all joy my brethren when you encounter various trials . . .”

This is what He said. When trouble comes make your first response to rejoice not because of what is happening. But because of Who I will be for you in this trouble. This is an opportunity to know Me in a way you have not known Me yet.

I asked God where I am missing out. He said, “You have not experienced Me at the beginning of trouble. You eventually get there but if you would meet Me at the beginning of trouble and rejoice then you would never have a negative thought. At the first sign of trouble you walk through the door of offense at God and say or think, “Why is this happening to me?” Then fear, anger, worry, frustration rush in. You eventually cry out to Me for help but by then all the joy has been drained out of you. This is why My Word says, “Count it all joy when you encounter various trials.” Note that joy must be your first thought when you encounter a trial. This is not impossible but requires radical renewal of your way of thinking to agree with My mind. You should be the most optimistic, faith filled, joyful, person in your church!

Practically how does this work?

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace IN BELEIVING, so that you may abound in hope, THROUGH THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.”   Romans 15:13

NOTE: HS fills you with supernatural power called joy and peace “In believing” – while your faith is operating with corresponding action.

Ill. Believing is turned on by you grasping the Word of God and doing something with it! For the moment it may only be by using your mouth to say the same thing that God says.

-        You know you are believing God when your mouth is saying the same thing that God says.

-        You know you are not believing God when your mouth is saying the opposite of what God says.

The word “Confess” = homo – same and Logeo – words. Confess means to say the same thing. Example: Salvation happens when we believe God’s Word and confess with our mouth the same thing the God says about Jesus – He is Lord. “The power of life and death are in tongue and they that love it shall it the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:21

But what if I say this and nothing happens? If you believe and then when you confess the Word something happens. Ill. Remember Jesus speaking to the Fig tree and nothing at the moment seem to change. Next day the manifestation revealed the fig tree was dried up from roots. When did this begin? When He spoke.

Jesus taught from this example the basic fundamentals of faith:

“Have God’s kind of faith. Whoever says to this mountain, be removed and thrown into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says. Therefore, whatsoever things you ask when you pray, believe you will receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:23-24

Faith is activated by your spoken words agreeing with God’s Word. “The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart. This is the word of faith that we preach.” Romans 10:8

Ill. When someone is born of God they have His DNA – His divine nature. Bible says our lives are hidden with Christ in God – Col. 3:3.

My idea is it works this way. In the spirit world, when demons look at me do they see me or do they see Jesus? If my life is hidden in Christ, then the answer depends! On what? On what I am saying out of my mouth.

The only way I blow my cover is when I start saying things opposite of what Jesus says. Then the enemy clearly recognizes it’s me and not Jesus by my words that are saying things Jesus would never say!

Confession: God has given us hope that is like an anchor, holding our soul to God. With my mouth and heart in agreement I set my anchor on God’s Word.

God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble.

Therefore, will not – we fear. Though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.

Selah – stop and think about what you just heard.

God wants His kids fearless. Full of joy and peace even in troubles.

He wants us to anchor our souls to His Word and stop being so fickle and undependable. One moment we are believing God and next we fall off the wagon and act totally unlike our true identity.

September 9, I wrote in my journal what HS said to me

Pray – pray-pray. Help your church pay attention to My Words.

          This is what I am trying to do.

Set Free from Fear

Set Free from Fear

F- Face
E- Everything
A-And
R-Rise

“God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and love and a sound mind (self control over thoughts).” 2 Tim. 1:7

From Bill Suddeth seminar: #1 fear of Xns is fear of death. Many of you said it is not the fear of death itself but the process. The misery of suffering or disease and losing quality of life.

Fear has to come from the outside of you. It cannot be an original thought from one born of God! You have control and authority to cast down that thought!

Fear is faith in reverse. If you dwell on it and then speak it, then it gets activated in your life. You must not allow yourself to keep that thought and especially, not to speak it!

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21

You can’t fight thoughts with thoughts. You must fight thoughts with spoken words! (Best to use scripture).

Fear is bondage to a lie and filled with torment. All the works of the devil are based on lies.

Fear is a demon spirit sent to torment you and gain a foothold inside your soul to build a stronghold.

You are a spirit, you have a soul and you live in a body. I Thes. 5:23

 A spirit of fear would have to be allowed access through one of your sensory gates to your soul. Ill. Don’t watch horror movies. WE use to watch Friday night fright night. Horror movies today are different from old days. Pam and Blacula while I was on duty at the base.

5 sensory gates to the soul:

1.   Eye gate

2.   Ear gate

3.   Smell gate

4.   Taste gate

5.   Touch gate

Death and all that goes with it – sickness, disease, fear, poverty all came on mankind after sin in Eden. But Jesus went to the cross and bore all our sin.

“For this purpose the Son of God was revealed, that HE might destroy the works of the devil.”  I John 3:8

“Since all His children have flesh and blood, Jesus became human to fully identify with us. He did this, so that He could experience death and annihilate the effects of the intimidating accuser who holds against us the power of death. By embracing death Jesus sets free those who live their entire lives in bondage to the tormenting dread of death.”  Hebrew 2:14-15 Passion Transl.

It is better to be free of fear rather than having to be delivered from fear. In the absence of fear there is no torment. The Bible says,

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love casts out fear: because fear hath torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.”  I John 4:18

The devil tries to oppress us. Satan is always an oppressor.

Oppression – being subject to unjust treatment or control. Mental pressure or distress.

Oppression must have fear to be able to be able to control. Remember fear is faith in a negative.

The Anointing upon Jesus is the same anointing that resides in everyone born of God.

“How God anointed Jesus . . . who went about doing good and healing all who were OPPRESSED by the devil. . .” Acts 10:38

If you have no fear then the tormentor cannot torment you, the oppressor cannot oppress you. Jesus bore our fears when He bore our sin. Through His death He destroyed the works of the devil so we can be free from fear now!

God spoke in the OT to His covenant people and said this,

“In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear, and from terror, for it shall not come near you.” Isa. 54:14

It is God’s will that we live fearless and free from all forms of oppression. Worry is a form of fear and oppression. But none of this freedom Jesus paid for is automatic.

Fear comes by meditating in what the devil is saying.

Faith comes by meditating in what God is saying. 

Meditation on the Word grows your faith and strength. You will begin to recognize the Voice of God in His Word to you.

Take one verse of scripture and feed on it. Psalm 46:1 and go over and over it.

“Be filled with the Spirit. Speaking to yourselves in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” Eph. 5:18-19

You are a song writer and did not know it. You are a poet and did not know it. As you meditate on scripture – be playful with the words, put them to a familiar tune or song or create a new one. It is not for anyone to hear but you and the Lord. This is healthy meditation for your soul and your body! Try it privately and watch how the Lord helps you.

Ill. During pre service prayer on September 9th I wrote what the Lord spoke clearly to me.

Pray – pray- pray. Help your church pay attention to My words.

“May Son, pay attention to My words. Incline your ear to My sayings. Keep them before your eyes. Don’t let them slip away. Hold them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to all who find them and health to all their flesh.” Proverbs 4:20-22.

Confession:

Because of Jesus, I am deeply loved by God, completely forgiven, fully pleasing, and totally accepted. I am filled with the love of God and have been redeemed from all fear. His perfect love casts out all fear. I boldly declare, “God has not given me a spirit of fear; but of power, love and a sound mind.” Because of this truth I will not be afraid when the spirit of fear attacks. Instead I will Face Everything And Rise and conquer all forms of oppression of the enemy. In Jesus’ name!

Our Very Present Help

Our Very Present Help

Last 2 weeks speaking on Psalm 46.

Today we have a gift to help you meditate upon Psalm 46. Take a verse a week or longer and go over everyday several times. Make it into a prayer or song.

Psalm 46 card picture

On back is code for first letter of each word to trigger memory. One per person at info desk when you leave.

Week one was about Trusting God as our refuge in the storms of life.

Week two about Trusting God as our strength. This week about trusting God as a very present help in trouble. More specifically I want to address the subject of:

 “God is our Refuge and Strength, a Very Present Help in trouble. Therefore, will not we fear.”  

Psalm 46:1

“very” =  meod = Hebrew: abundantly.

“Present” = matsa =  Hebrew: to find out.  

“To find out God is abundantly present”

  You will find out God is with you when it appears He is not. He is abundantly present and has never left you. In danger He is there. In trouble He is there. In solitude and silence – He is still there.

Possibly a prophetic word to someone listening:  

“You are not alone.  Don’t trust your feelings. Trust Me.  Stop giving in to doubts and believe My Word. Talk to Me. I hear you. I am as close as your breath.  I AM YOUR VERY PRESENT HELP IN TROUBLE. Come to Me first. Seek Me first and I will direct your path.”  

AARP = 42.6 million people from age 45 and above suffer from loneliness. The first negative thing God ever spoke was,

“It is not good for man (mankind) to be alone.” Genesis 2:18

Sometimes God can bring seasons of loneliness into your life for a good reason.

-        Maybe you need to initiate making one new friend. It starts just with acquaintance and builds from there.

-        Maybe God wants you to seek Him in a deeper way. Jesus often went to a lonely place. There is a time for that – if you will draw close to God. Early church fathers were called “desert fathers” because of times they would spend alone in desert seeking to hear God.

Apostle Paul knew loneliness in ministry. Near the end of his fruitful ministry and life he wrote to Timothy (a young pastor he mentored).

“No one stood with me, everyone has forsaken and abandoned me” 2 Tim. 4:16

Yet he was not bitter, offended, or depressed. He learned some things from loneliness and from having no humans standing with him.

“But the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me. I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. The Lord will deliver me from every evil work.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote a book titled, “Life Together”. In it he stressed we need both a life of community interacting with other like minded people. At the same time, we need solitude and need to know how to be comfortable alone with God.

God is invisible but He says for us to believe that He is

“A very present Help in trouble.”   Psalm 46:1

1.   God the Father is invisible. Moses had a relationship with God described AS talking face to face but He never saw a form. God declared no one can see My face and live! God the Father reveals the goodness of God – “all My goodness pass before you”

2.   God the Son only one of the trinity visible. “No one has seen God at any time. The Only Son, who is at the Father’s side has made Him known (has explained Him).” John 1:18

God the Son reveals the grace and truth of God. “Law came…but grace and truth came by JC”

3.   God the Holy Spirit is invisible. Jesus described God’s HS like wind or breath.

God the Holy Spirit reveals God’s guidance to us.

GPS = God’s Personal Spirit - living inside you.

God the Father reveals  - goodness to us.

God the Son reveals       - grace to us.

God the Spirit reveals    - guidance to us.

For the most part God remains invisible to us.

Ill. What would happen if Jesus manifested Himself in bodily form for all of us to see Him here right now? Everyone would fall on their faces on the floor. If His glory were allowed to be manifested the power of His manifested Presence would put everyone on the floor like the evening when the Temple guards came to take Him captive. When they asked which one was Jesus he said, “I AM” the the power of God hit so hard they all fell down involuntarily.

Why not do that today? Because He wants voluntary worship not involuntary. There will come a day when every knee/bow. But for now volunteers only!

Ill. After Jesus’ resurrection Thomas was listening to the other disciples who saw Jesus resurrected. He said I won’t believe unless I see it myself and touch His scars myself. Jesus suddenly appeared and said, “I heard that!” Not really.  

The Passion Translation, “Looking into Thomas’ eyes Jesus said, “Put your hand here in My wounds and see for yourself.

 “Thomas, don’t give in to your doubts any longer, just believe!”   John 20:27 Passion Translation

I believe Jesus is saying this right now to someone here.

Then these words spilled out of his heart.

“You are my Lord and my God!”   John 20:28 PT

 “Thomas, now that you’ve seen Me, you believe. But there are those who have never seen Me with their eyes, but  believe in Me with their heart, and they will be blessed even more than you have been today!”

He is talking about you and me if we really believe Him w/o seeing Him.

 Question: Where was Jesus before He appeared in this room?

Do you really believe this? Then why do you talk as though He was not present?  Part of getting saved is believing God raised Jesus from the dead, in other words that He is alive and among us right now!

 Jesus went on to do many more miraculous signs, which are not included in this book.  But all that is recorded here is so that you will fully believe that Jesus is the Anointing, the Son of God, and God the Son, and that through faith in Him, you will experience God’s life and Presence in the power of His name!      John 20:29-31 para/PT

Before He left earth Jesus said,

“I am with you always, even unto the end of the age.” Mtt. 28:20

This is not the first time God said this to His people. He has always wanted them to know He is the God who is a very present help.

The awareness of God as a very present help will alleviate fear!

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”     Deut. 31:6

He wanted Israel to believe in Him and that He was present to deliver them from trouble even though they could not see or feel Him.

To Joshua and Israel about to fight enemies as they entered Promise land.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Isa. 41:10

The book of Hebrews is quoting Jesus’s words to us:

I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”  Hebrews 13:6

Jesus before He left He told the disciples He would send the “another” Spirit to them. Word “another” here means one the same kind as His.

“And I will ask the Father and He will give you another (the same kind like Jesus) the Holy Spirit of Truth —and He will never leave you. The world won’t receive Him because they can’t see Him or know Him. But you will know Him intimately, because He will make His home in you and will live inside you.”  John 14:16-17 PT

All these scriptures from OT to NT are the same God who is talking: “God is our refuge and strength, a VERY PRESENT HELP in trouble.”  Psalm 46:1

He is here, very present now. He is I am not I was or I will be. He is always with you whether you feel or see Him. He is a very present God and Father and Savior and Deliverer, and Healer, and Provider.

What difference does this make? You are never alone. You don’t ever have to be afraid of anything.

“But I feel alone. I need human companionship.” Yes, that is true but it also not true. First and foremost, God wants you to have such a relationship with Him that He becomes the love of your life. The One you go to first in any situation. Before you look to a human you come to Him.

He may allow you to go through some lonely times in order for you to develop that one to One relationship with Him.

Yet He understands how He created you. He knows you need a human touch, human fellowship as well. But not at the expense of not developing a love relationship with Him first.

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is Mine.”    Song of Songs 6:3

Book Song of Solomon is about the intimacy love between God and man is much likened to intimacy between husband and wife.

Ill. Movie Noah: Noah standing before ark. Warlords come to say this is our ground. You either surrender to me or I am taking it by force and that building you call an ark.  Noah whispers something to God. I know Noah was long before the psalmist who wrote Psalm 46. But could it have been something like this: “God is my refuge and strength a very present help in trouble.” The war lord looks strangely at Noah as he just heard him whispering to someone, but there is no one he can see with him. Then the warlord says, “I have hundreds of men with me and you dare defy me standing here alone?”  Then Noah confidently says, I am not alone!

This confidence made this men of war back down. That was just a movie. But in reality you should say the same thing when the enemy war lords come at you saying you are all alone with no one to help you.

Then you boldly say, “God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble, therefore will not I fear!” Psalm 46:1

A Spirit of fear is a demon sent to torment you.  

You must load this word in your heart and mouth like a weapon. When needed – fire at will! Every born of God child has been given a concealed weapon to carry this powerful word of God. Shout

“Church, load your weapon!”

Pic of Bible “gun”

I am going to tell you how to get loaded! You ought to be loaded all the time!

-        Spend time in God’s presence and then God’s Presence will manifest in you.

Ill. In Wilderness Tabernacle inside the Holy place was a table where each week 12 loaves of bread laid out. The bread was called shew bread. For one week the bread stayed in the presence of God in the holy place. After one week this bread was no longer called shew bread but bread of presence. The priest would eat it. Do you think it was hard and stale after a week laid out in the open air? No it stayed fresh because of the Presence of the Lord. This was one way God manifested His Presence to them – in the bread. The point is when you spend time in God’s Presence (His Word) it get’s on you and in you abundantly. “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly” Col. 3:16.

ill. You fill up your heart with much scripture so you automatically load  your mouth with ammo at any moment. WE are charismatic here at GT. But some of you need to become automatics!

Keep one in the chamber (mouth). Psalm 46:1 would be good to keep in your chamber. When the devil comes snooping around trying to terrorize you – all you need to do is whisper the Word. He will say, “What did you say?”

Then with bold quiet confidence like Clint Eastwood squint your eyes and say Psalm 46:1 adding “punk” at the end. You are declaring the Presence of the Lord with you. God is invisible to you and to demons. But when you speak out loud His word then His Presence, I believe appears to the demons and they scream and leave. Their terror to you is over once you declare God’s Presence is what you are trusting in.

Concl: Someone may be at a crossroads today. You will either believe God or believe your feelings. I close by reminding you of the prophetic word given at the beginning. Listen and see if you hear God talking to you in this. If you do, then respond to His word with corresponding action. Come to this altar and talk to Him first. Come to counselors for prayer after if you need to.

 

 

Supernatural Strength

Supernatural Strength

“GOD IS our refuge and STRENGTH, a very present help in trouble.

THEREFORE, will not we fear.”  Psalm 46:1-2a

“GOD IS” – This is to be an established fact and certainty in order for us to live so as fear will not be able to terrorize us.

-         Not God shall be but God is.

-         “Our” = the people of God – NT = body of Christ – church

Turn these 2 words around and we have a question we need to honestly ask ourselves:

IS GOD OUR REFUGE? (where we go first in storms of life)

IS GOD OUR STRENGTH? Do we know Him firsthand as our strength and very present help in trouble? You need to answer this yourself.

If we can say this confidently and know it is true of us THEN the proof or evidence is the next 5 words.

“THEREFORE,  WILL NOT -  WE FEAR.”

Fear is faith that something bad will happen. Fear brings torment with it. Jesus probably said, “Fear not” in some form more than any other saying. When Jairus daughter died Jesus first words “Fear not”.

Jesus walking on water and disciples screaming like little girls “Fear not it is Me.” After resurrection Jesus appeared after Thomas gave is defiant speech he would not believe unless. Just then Jesus walked through wall – people were about to freak out but Jesus first words were “Peace be with you.”

Fear can be a spirit or demon attacking you – 2 Tim. 1:7

          Ill. If you could see a demon spirit of fear it would look like a python or boa constrictor snake.

PIC of snake coiled on animal: 

Contrary to popular opinion constrictor snakes do not kill their prey by crushing their bones. They kill them by suffocation. Once the victim in their coils they keep pressure on them. The animal has to breath so every time it exhales the constrictor squeezes down and takes more ground and keeps the pressure on. Until finally the pressure on the outside is greater than the pressure on the inside and there is no more strength to draw breath.

Fear is like this- it pressures you until you literally die of fear. “In the last days men’s hearts will fail them for fear.”

Satan will attack everyone at one time or another. He may even get his coils wrapped around you. You may be feeling his pressure right now. But if you know the truth – own it – experience it and can speak confidently

“God IS our Refuge and STRENGTH, a very present Help in trouble. Therefore, will not – we fear.”

Then Satan’s coils wrapped around you on the outside will not be able to squeeze out the life inside you.

“Greater is He who is IN YOU, than he that is in the world.”  I John 4:4

Almighty God lives in you if you are born from above. The greater One lives in us. There is no battle between God and the devil. The devil is already our defeated adversary. James 2:19 “You believe in God- good but don’t you know the demons believe in God but also tremble with fear before God.”

Believers who know this truth of how much greater God is in us that the enemy around us – they live differently.

-         They step out boldly in faith and confidence knowing God lives big inside us. They use their mouths to cast out devils, still storms, uproot mountains and trees standing in the way of accomplishing God’s purposes in the earth.

If God Almighty is living on the inside of Xns, then why are some Christians not living in the Strength of the Lord and overcoming habits and strongholds the enemy has in them?  Good question!

-         We have to wonder are they really saved? If yes then why still living in bondage?

Christians are free from the penalty of sin.

But not all Christians are free from the bondage of sin.

There is a difference between set free and made free.

You are set free from all sin the day of your salvation.

          Ill. After I got saved I remember saying “I will never sin again.” I was so in love with God I meant it. For 2 weeks things were glorious. Suddenly I found myself back into sins I swore I would never do again. The devil tried to tell me I wasn’t saved. If it were not the Lord Himself living in me then the devil would have suffocated me to death. The still small voice of God in me would say, “That’s not true. You did not get saved based on your performance but based on believing the truth about My Son.” I wasn’t strong in the Lord yet or strong in the Word but God was my strength living inside me and greater than the pressure from the enemy outside me. As I renewed my mind with truth of God’s Word over a period of time I was made free form the devil’s torment telling me I was not saved.

“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall MAKE you free.”  John 8:32

“Know” – ginosko – to know intimately and absolutely

Used to describe sexual intercourse between man and wife.

The goal is to be made free.

You have to know the truth for yourself. 

You have to own truth for yourself.

You have to apply truth for yourself.

-         Coming to church is good but it won’t make you free.

-         Reading the Bible is good but it won’t make you free.

Ill. Every time you sit under the anointed teaching/preaching Word you should get one piece of truth you know God is showing you. Take notes and at end of services like ours come to the altar and talk to God about that one piece of truth He gave you and ask Him to show you how to apply it this week.

-         From here to that one piece of truth and meditate upon it and talk to God about it all week. Make up songs about it, etc.

As you apply TRUTH it will free you up in areas God knows you need.

What is happening is this – as you meditate and apply truth you are growing stronger in the strength of the Lord.

As strength increases on the inside of you, bondages of the enemy begin to break off on the outside of you!

 What is this strength?

“God is our refuge and strength . . .”

The question I have to ask you to be honest –

Is God your refuge and strength?

Be honest. If not, or you are not sure then let’s settle that right now. The Bible is truth and it tells us how to be born of God and have Him live inside our bodies. He is more willing to save you than you are to be saved.

Lead them through Romans 10:9-10.

In reverence for this moment let’s stand and talk to God out loud. Have everyone say this to God. After prayer sit back down and thank God that issue is settled. At end of service come up here and tell me you prayed that prayer and are trusting God for your salvation. I have some literature to give to you.

Now with God living inside you as your strength you need to grow stronger in His Spirit.

“His Anointing teaches you all you need to know about yourself and Him, for it will lead you into truth. So just as His Anointing has taught you, live deeply in what you were taught.”  I John 2:27 Passion/MSG

His Anointing is His HS that now lives in you. The greater One now lives in you. The more you sit under anointed teaching and feed on God’s truth and grow in your spiritual life the stronger you become in God’s strength.

One thing you will discover as you grow stronger in the Lord and make your relationship with Him your top priority, then bad habits, strongholds or yokes of bondage you have had all your life will suddenly one day just be gone. You can grow stronger in the Anointing of God upon you by yielding to the Anointing in you now. He is trying to help you – lead you.

Churches corporately can grow stronger in the Anointing God has for them.

“It shall come to pass that the burden of the enemy shall be taken off thy shoulder, and his yoke from thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed BECAUSE OF THE ANOINTING.”    Isaiah 10:27        

Anointing = Messiah = Christ

Literal translation is this: “the yoke shall be destroyed BECAUSE OF THE Fatness or increasing growth of the ANOINTING in you.”

Pic of chains broken with scripture:

Once born of God we have His supernatural strength inside us. This strength called anointing can grow and increase and make us into

Pic of superman

Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! Voices: Look, up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Superman.

Yes, it's Superman, strange visitor from another planet, who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Superman, who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in his bare hands, and who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way.

Sounds like Jesus. You could put His name in place of Superman and make a few changes and it could be His intro. Jesus is the original Superman. Superman isn’t from this world. He fights evil. He liberates people from villains.

Where is superman and superwoman today? Every born of God person has been tagged by God to be the superman on earth and continue to fight for truth, justice and the kingdom of God.

 “He gave us promises so we can be partakers of His divine power.”  2 Peter 1:4

“As He is, so are we in this world.” I John 4:17

This is God’s plan for your life that you will be His superman/woman. If I have God’s anointing in me then why am I not strong enough to break free from bad habits?

The answer? Kryptonite.

Kryptonite was the only thing that could weaken Superman and keep him from living supernaturally.

Expose to K. long enough it made him weak like any other man. Exposed long enough it made him sick, weak and could kill him.

Paul exposed the churches kryptonite in I Cor. 11:28-32

Specifically speaking about the way they partook communion.

“Let a man examine himself, so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, NOT DISCERNING THE LORD’S BODY. FOR THIS REASON, MANY ARE WEAK, AND UNHEALTHY, AND MANY DIE.”  I Cor. 11:28-30

“Not discerning the Lord’s body” = the kryptonite that weakens, sickens and can kill the body of Christ (The Anointing).  

They were going through the motions of church services without examining themselves and removing the kryptonite that was weakening them. If not careful you can become very religious here. The point is not just that Xns should reverence communion and avoid immorality and division in the church.  

            They have weakened themselves and the church by accepting a lie that their sin is their own business and not hurting anyone else. Not true. It affects the Anointing – the church – the body. They are not discerning the body and removing their own kryptonite.

          There is no separation between the sacred and secular. We exist here on earth to make a difference but we have to be strong in the Lord. Ill. Heaven is a city that has houses, mansions, buildings, maybe work shops, trees, sidewalks, streets of gold, probably fountains, birds, animals, streams just like a city here on earth would have. But surprisingly there is no temple, no church buildings!

The point is there is no separation of daily life and worship there. Life and worship have become one; all of life is worship, all of work is worship in perfect union just as it should be here on earth.

This church is supposed to be strong. You can have strong worship/preaching and still not be a strong church. Every superman has his own kryptonite.

What’s your kryptonite?

Ask God what is making you weak, sick?

Concl: God’s Word reveals His will. We read His will for our life. If you are a Xn you have no excuse for lacking the strength to do what God calls you to do.

“God is our refuge and our strength. . .”    Psalm 46:1

          If this is true, and it is. Then you need to come up here and talk to God and find out what He wants you to do next.

The Anointing you carry is supernatural and is to go out into all the world.

Breakthrough to Freedom conference review.   Part 2

Breakthrough to Freedom conference review.   Part 2

“The number 1 fear in Christians is the fear of death.”

Why?

Fear is faith that is twisted or perverted. Fear is faith in something that can hurt or kill you.

“Faith comes by hearing and by hearing the Word (Voice) of God.” Romans 10:17

Fear also comes by hearing and by hearing the voice of the devil!

Ill. After Adam/Eve listened and believe the voice of the devil over God his faith turned into fear. The first thing Adam said to God after his sin was

“I heard your voice in the garden and was afraid.” Gen. 3:10

Jesus was born into the earth and destined for the cross for a purpose.

“For this purpose the Son of God was revealed, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” I John 3:8

“So as the children share in flesh and blood, He (Jesus) took part in these so that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is the devil, and deliver those who through the fear of death were throughout their lives subject to bondage.” Heb. 2:14-15

Fear is bondage filled with torment – I John 4:18

All the works of the devil are based on fear. He is a terrorist. But Jesus destroyed his works or terror so that fear is no longer natural to the born again child of God.

“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind (self control over our thoughts).” 2 Tim. 1:7

So fear must come from the outside of us not the inside of us. If you receive it instead of resisting it – then it will gain a foothold in your soul.

FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real  = a lie

When fear come to the mind of a born again person – it comes with the purpose to steal, kill and destroy your love, joy, peace, - life of God.

It comes from the outside like a fiery dart or darts. Usually not just one fiery dart but many at the same time.

Use you tube clip from movie scene Gladiator

Once fear hits inside your soul it can cause all kinds of destruction. Remember fear is based on a lie and are sent to kill, steal and destroy.

How does fear get inside your soul from the outside?

Thoughts or words that come to you. The devil can’t do anything to you apart from fear. When you think about a lie and speak fear it activates it in your life.

You must take the thought captive and resist speaking fearful words!

This takes training and we are always in training. For example:

          Ill. When a fear or negative thought comes to you cast it down from your mind by speaking out loud.

You can’t fight thoughts with thoughts. You must fight thoughts with spoken words.

Speak against fear and cast it down. It is trying rise up in front of your mind. Then speak a scripture (truth) to the lie. Do it over and over until your mind gets renewed in overcoming fear. Say out loud,

“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind (self control over our thoughts).” 2 Tim. 1:7

Jesus bought and paid for your freedom from fear. God has given you power, love and a sound mind just like His.

Worry is meditating on a fear thought sent from the devil.

Fear connects us to the devil’s kingdom and faith connect us to God.

Faith activates God’s power the same way fear activates the devil’s power.

Ill. Jairus was leader of local synagogue 12 year old daughter dying. Jesus came to village and he fell at Jesus’s feet begging to come heal his daughter. Jesus said sure I will. Just then a lady having a hemorrhage 12 years touched Jesus and got healed. “Who touched Me?” Jairus is waiting for his miracle while watching this woman get her miracle. Suddenly news came it was too late – the daughter died. When Jesus heard it He said,

“Fear not. Only believe.”  Literally translated

“Stop the fear! Only believe.”   Mark 5:36

Notice what Jesus did not tell him: He did not tell him to have more faith or to repent. He said “do not fear”. The most important thing Jesus said was the first thing He said. Stop the fear. Don’t be afraid. This is actually a command not a suggestion.

Why would Jesus command a man whose daughter just died, not to fear – only believe?

Fear activates the kingdom of satan and faith activates the KOG

Because fear tolerated is faith contaminated.

“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” 2 Tim. 1:7

Fear is foreign to the born again spirit that is filled with power, love and a sound mind. Fear is not inside you – it comes from outside you.

“Fear brings torment with it.”  I John 4:18

Satan is trying to terrorize you.

Concl: “Fear not – only believe.” If we couldn’t do this then God would not have told us to do it.

If you wake up at night and start worrying or you are afraid – it could be a spiritual attack against your mind. You may need to get up and go speak out loud some scripture over the situation that brought fear to you.

A prayer:

Heavenly Father, reveal to me areas of fear in my life that need correcting, and I will replace them with faith filled words.  (be still and listen for God’s answer).

Confession:

“I am a believer and not a worrier. I am not the sick trying to get healed, I am the healed and satan is trying to steal my healing. The truth is, I am free from all fear because God has not given me a spirit of fear. I have the power of God, the love of God and a sound and strong mind, because God said so! “God is my refuge and my strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, I will not fear.”

Trusting God’s Abiding Presence

Trusting God’s abiding Presence Psalm 46:1

“God is our Refuge and Strength, a very present Help in trouble. Therefore, will not we fear.” Psalm 46:1-2a

If verse 1 is established as our bedrock foundation THEN we will be able to say, declare in the face of any storm, satanic attack to make us afrai

Therefore

Will not we fear

KJV language but this is stronger than the way we would say it like “we will not fear.” The way it says it in KJV language is like it is pre-determined because God is our Refuge and

This is Xnty 101 – basic foundational faith that God is with us (born from above). He is with us and watching over us as a good father not matter what happens in this life. 

Our life is like a voyage or journey on a ship. We all experience wind, waves, and storms in life. Why do we need God to be our refuge?

-        So that we live with fearless confidence trusting God who we can’t see more than the things we can see.   

Paul said, “For the things that are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Cor. 4:18

          The trial or storm you are in at this moment is real and visible but only temporal. Every trial has an expiration date.

          But God is not visible but is very real and is your refuge and you can trust Him through your trial or storm without having any fear.

FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real    or

FEAR = Face Everything And Rise

Faith and fear are opposites.

Ill. Disciples just watched Jesus’ miracle of feeding 5000 with 3 loaves and 2 fish. What were they to learn from this?

-        That He is Lord and Master over our physical world.

-        When He tells you to do something He intends to provide for you to be able to do it. “You feed them.”

-        When Jesus tells you to do something – Trust Him

-        Jesus is the Way maker, promise keeper, promise keeper, light in.

They were privileged to personally listen to Jesus teach all day and then demonstrate faith by a miracles feeding 5000. They should have been soaring high in faith with no room for fear.

Ill. In school after the teacher teaches – the teacher will stop teaching and give students a test. This is what happened after the miracle feed.

“Immediately He compelled His disciples to get into the boat and go to the other side. . . He sent them away and He departed to mountain to pray. When evening came He saw them straining at rowing for the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night He came to them walking on the sea and WOULD HAVE PASSED THEM BY. But when they saw Him they thought it was a ghost and they cried out for they were troubled.

          Immediately He spoke,

“DON’T YIELD TO FEAR. HAVE COURAGE. IT IS REALLY ME – I AM! ” Then HE went into the boat and the wind ceased. They were completely overwhelmed because they failed to learn the lesson of the miracle of the loaves and fishes.”  Mark 6:47-52  Passion/MEV

If only they had learned the lesson Jesus just taught them then they would have not been afraid.

Fear is a sign to the enemy that he is winning.

Faith in God is a sign to the enemy he is losing.

For us today, if we all would only learn this one valuable lesson in Psalm 46:1 then we would face our trials and storms with courage and never fear.

“God is our Refuge and Strength, a very present Help in trouble. Therefore, will not we fear.” Psalm 46:1-2a

Listen to what Paul wrote while living in a jail for preaching the gospel.

“Do not be frightened by your adversaries. This is a sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation from God. For to you it has been granted not only to believe in Christ, but also to suffer for His sake, having the same conflict you saw in me.”  Phil. 1:28-30

“Never be shaken or intimidated by the opposition that rises up against us. . .”   Passion translation

Why? Because “God is our Refuge and Strength, a very present Help in trouble. Therefore, will not we fear.”  Psalm 46:1-2a

Bible records 2 storms Jesus was in:

1.    Jesus in the boat sleeping in storm.

2.   Jesus watching then walking in the storm.

Hell is after your confidence!

“Cast not away your confidence which will be greatly rewarded. You have need of patience, so that after you have done the will of God, you will receive the promise. Very soon He will come.” Heb. 10:35-37

So don’t throw it all away now. You were sure of yourselves then. It’s still a sure thing! But you need to stick it out, staying with God’s plan so you’ll be there for the promised completion. It won’t be long now, He’s on the way; He’ll show up most any minute.  Message Bible

Question: Did God send these storms or was it the devil?

The answer is yes. Both. Satan rages to steal your confidence in God.

In our voyage of life, we must settle our faith in what Psalm 46:1 declares over us.

It is okay to ask Jesus to help us when we are in trouble. But it should come from a settled, anxious for nothing confidence that He is already with us and is already our refuge.

-        Sometimes He lets the storm rage. But we can be just as calm then as when it’s over if we really trust God’s abiding presence.

-        Sometimes we see His Presence and sometimes we don’t but He is still present with us.

Luke 8 account Jesus was with the disciples in the boat. He had instructed “Let us go to the other side.” He went to sleep in the storm.

“You have authority over any storm you can sleep in.”  Bill Johnson

The disciples were afraid and Jesus is asleep. When they finally woke Him, they asked Him why He did not care that they were perishing. He  rebuked the wind, and released peace over the sea. He then asked them why they had no faith. This moment illustrates how the Kingdom works, how faith works: It works from rest.

The voice of fear attracts the devil and the voice of faith repels him. He knows the difference.

This place of rest is called abiding in Christ. It is a life connection to Christ inside us who is our peace.

Peace is not the absence of trouble. It is the Presence of God in us ruling over our storms. Living in the confidence that He is with me.

We bring peace in the atmosphere wherever we go.

If we lose our peace it is because we made a mental agreement to believe a lie.

If we lose our peace we need to repent of believing the lie and take back our emotions from believing that lie. When we are afraid we let an enemy dart get past our shield of faith and enter our soul. The best thing to do is repent for believing the lie and get back to confessing the promises of God.

Always keep God’s promises within reach and speak them out loud when fear attacks. This is a good one to start with.

“God is Refuge and Strength, a very present Help in trouble. Therefore, will not we fear.”  Psalm 46:1-2a

In one account the disciples said,

“Who is this that the wind and waves obey Him?”

“Who is this that ­­­­­­­_______ and  ______ obey Him?”

Concl:

Final point. Jesus walking on water by disciples straining at rowing.

“He came to them walking on the sea and would have passed by them.”   Mark 6:48

Another time on Emmaus road Jesus walking with disciples and they did not recognize Him. “As they drew near the village He seemed to be going farther, but they urged Him to stay with them.”

How often does Jesus come to us in our troubles or storms and reveal Himself in a way we did not know. How often would He keep on going unless we urge Him to stay and teach us about Himself.

          If all we want is the storm to end then we miss the point.

Lord, reveal Yourself to me in this trial, trouble or storm more than stopping my storm.

1.   It is important that we invite Him into our boat – life voyage.

2.   We allow Him to make a change of direction in our life.

During the storm the disciples were straining at oars and getting no where. When Jesus got into their boat look what happened.

“Then they gladly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.” John 6:21

God’s presence in your life and allowed to direct your life makes all the difference in the world. Get this settled today.

“God is our Refuge and Strength, a very present Help in trouble.  Therefore, will not we fear.” Psalm 46:1-2a

Wednesday Night Review 

Wednesday night review

Breakthrough to Freedom conference

Some highlights:

75% of deliverance is lies we believe.

20%  is inner healing.

5% is casting out demons.

Jesus warns us that Satan is the originator of lies and his strategy to destroy us is to get us first to believe a lie.

“When he (Satan) lies, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44

If there is one thing we could say is good about the devil – it is that he is a good liar. So good that he makes his lies sound like the truth. One of his greatest attacks against us is to get us to believe lies about God.

-        His first lie in Eden. “Hath God really said? No, you will not die. God knows if you eat this you will become like Him, that it why He told you this lie, to keep you from becoming like Him.”

-        If Satan can get you to think wrong about God so that you will doubt or question Him – he will.

How can the enemy get you to believe a lie?

-        By suggesting thoughts or feelings.

This is why having the knowledge of the truth (Word of God) is so important to be able to capture enemy thoughts or feelings.

“My people perish for lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6

the verse that follows reveals this lack is not just ignorance but rejection of truth.

“Because you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you . . .  Because you have forgotten the law of God I will forget your children.” V 6bc

If you don’t have a healthy knowledge of God and His Word then you can be easily deceived by the enemy and not even realize it. A good liar makes you believe a lie is truth.

Believers are told to get rid of two things that belong to the devil:

1.   Tear down strongholds

2.   Cast out demons

 I know there are many Christians who have a satanic stronghold in their life. It’s harming them, wrecking their spiritual life, contaminating the life of their family and church. The devil has found an unclean place within and built a foul nest, a beachhead.

A foothold given to Satan becomes a stronghold over time.

Pic of stronghold. 

Ephesians 4 says, “Neither, give place to the devil…  and grieve not the Holy Spirit of God.”  

When we give devil a place in our lives (mind, will, emotions) he will take it and build a stronghold to torment us from this place. From this place the HS is grieved and hindered from having His way in us.

What does it mean to give place to the devil? Let’s say you own 50 acres of land and you sell one acre in the middle to someone. Now  they have the right to go in and out of your property to get to their property. Suppose they fill their property with trash or play loud music at times that bothers you. You try to make them leave but they have a legal right to stay there and torment you. You can’t dislodge him unless you do it legally because you have given him a place.

3 things you must do to break a stronghold:

1.   Repent – not just being sorry for your sin but be done with it. Confess it and forsake it and want nothing else to do with it. You gave the devil a place in your life. You are not going to get it back until you repent. Repentance is breaking away from that sin.

2.   Resist.

“When a demon goes out of a person it goes through dry places seeking rest. Finding none it says, I will return to my house from which I came.” Luke 11:24

Whether a stronghold habit is torn down or demon is cast out. The enemy will always come back and try to get a foothold or place in your soul to start to live here again.

-        Most habits are not easily broken the first time. Not uncommon to relapse whether cigarettes, drugs, etc.

What’s your trigger?

Depression, disappointment, financial set back, pressure, hurt, boredom, or ?

Whatever the enemy has used before you can be sure he will try and use again!

3.   Renewal

The key is to fill that empty place with truth so as to recognize the lie the enemy will come back at you with

1.   We are commanded by God to renew our minds to think like Him – Romans 12:2

2.   We are commanded to be filled with the Spirit – Eph. 5:18

To be filled with the Spirit means there is not one room in your temple where God is shut out. Not one room He does not have a key to. In your sex life, money, politics, eating and drinking. Jesus I give you all the keys to every part of my temple.

 You have a choice; you can put the devil out and be filled with God or let the devil have a place in your temple and grieve the Spirit of God.

Concl: If you know you have a stronghold then take these 3 steps.

Repent – resist – renew

Now I would like to hear some testimonies from people who attended the conference this weekend.

You’re never going to cease grieving the Holy Spirit, you’re never going to expunge Satan from your life, until you choose against Satan and yield to God’s Holy Spirit. Take those three steps, repentance, resistance and renewal.

A Prophetic Word for You?

A Prophetic Word for You?

Last Sunday I was asking God for a clear specific word that I would know is from Him. In my journal during pre-service prayer I wrote what I believe the Lord said to me:

“I am here. I am with you. I want you to trust Me and make your mind and flesh be still and know that I am God.”

-         Clear – specific – and I knew it was from Him to me.

After church Andrew, my son tells me he received a word from the Lord for me – about a paragraph. I summarized it into 3 points.

1.    Be still in your worries and fears. Have I not brought you this far? I will continue to carry you.

2.    Be at peace – My peace. Be strong in who you are.

3.    Don’t allow how you feel to keep you from what I have.

I believe these three summary statements of a prophetic word to me are for you too. Let’s take a closer look and apply this:

1.    Be still in your worries and fears. Have I not brought you this far? I will continue to carry you.

This makes me think of Israel after they left Egypt on the night of the first Passover. Ordered by Pharoah to leave Egypt then he changed his mind and he and the army went to bring them back. By now they are at the Red Sea with Egyptian army closing in for the kill.

          The Hebrews started blaming Moses for leading them out of Egypt. “It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness!”

Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid, STAND STILL and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. . . For the Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”  Ex. 14:13-14

The Hebrew word for Salvation is Yeshua. Literally this is saying,

Stand still and see Jesus in your troubles and hold your peace.

The people were afraid and saying to Moses, “Don’t just stand still, do something!” And God said, “Don’t just do something – stand still!”

We want to run away from our troubles or fears yet this is where we can find God in a way we have never known Him before.

“He is a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

-         Trouble, adversity, tight places. Look for God – He is there.

“He opened the rock and water gushed out like a river.” Psalm 105:41

-         Out of the hard places God will manifest Himself to you.

“With honey out of the rock will I satisfy you.” Psalm 81:16

-         Honey = revelation to enlighten eyes – Jonathan

-         Paul discovered God’s strength in his weaknesses.

It is important for us to know how to approach the rock (hard places) in our life.

-         God is there when things seem to be lacking. Approach Him in faith and let Him direct matters.

One of my favorite verses in Psalm 46:10

“Be still and know that I am God.”

Still = Rapha – relax, let go, let drop.

 Root word for healing is relax.

When we are stressed, worried, afraid, it opens the doors to sickness.

Ill. God’s instructions to priests in OT. “They shall wear linen trousers and linen turbans on their bodies; they shall not clothe themselves with anything that causes sweat.”  Ezekiel 44:17-18

Linen turbans = represent our head is not to sweat with worry or cares.

Linen trousers = represent our legs carrying burdens we are not to carry

Jesus first shed His blood in Gethsamene.  Sweat glands ruptured and blood mingled from head. The first place Jesus redeemed us with his blood is from the torment of the mind = worry, fears, anxiety, stress of the mind.

          Why is this important? First Adam brought sin into a perfect garden and as a result stress. “By the sweat of your brow you will till the soil.” Hebrew word for sweat means to agitate, to vex, to quiver or shake with fear.

Jesus came in another garden and sweat His blood redeeming us from the stress in our minds!

Ill. You could be lying awake at night vexed and worried about the future wondering, “What if?” That is sweat in your thinking and Jesus came to redeem us from that!

First prophetic word: Be still in your worries and fears. Have I not brought you this far? I will continue to carry you.

Second prophetic word: Be at peace, My peace.

Be strong in who you are.

Every born from above person has been given Jesus’ very own peace. He said so.

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

This is a command. But I cannot “let not” for you. And you cannot “let not” for me. Our part is to believe and receive by trusting Jesus’s word and by not allowing our hearts to be troubled or afraid. We are not trying to get His peace – His peace is our anointing. If our hearts are troubled then His peace cannot flow!

-         You are at your best when you are in His peace. You are more creative when you are in His peace.

One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 30:15 which reveals the key to strength.

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”  Isaiah 30:15

-         In returning and resting in God and in quiet confidence is your strength. The more at rest and peace you are, the more strength of the Lord you have.

Don’t join the frantic rat race.

For the scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame (disappointed).” Romans 10:11

          This is quoting Isaiah 28:16

“Whoever believes will not act hastily.” Isaiah 28:16

So we know Satan is after our peace. Anything he can do to get us agitated, out of peace he will try.

If we will guard our heart and mouth when things go wrong, God will guard everything else. 

-         We are told to guard two things in our lives:

1.    Our heart – Proverbs 4:20

2.    Our mouth – Proverbs 21:23

Ill. 2 Kings 4 woman knowing Elisha was a man of God built a room for him to rest in whenever he passed by. Her young son died and she placed his body on Elisha’s bed. She did not tell anyone, even her husband that the boy died. When her husband asked her where she was going she said to see the man of God. He asked, “Is everything alright?” she replied.

“It is well” = Hebrew word Shalom

“Destroy the authority that establishes chaos.”

          She is guarding her heart and her mouth. Whenever you don’t know what to say, say, shalom. To whatever situation you are battling.

She got on her donkey to look for Elisha. Some distance away she met Elisha’s servant. He asked, “Is everything ok?” Again she said, “Shalom”.

Even though her son died in her arms she is confessing and declaring, “Shalom”.

Here’s the point:

She did not say what she felt – she spoke shalom.

          Whatever situation you are in at this moment, unlock the power of Jesus’s shalom. When fears and worries are rising up around you, speak forth His Shalom. He gave it to you child of God. It is in you but you must speak it out.

Fear will shut you up!

Ill. After Jesus rose from the dead the scriptures reveal;

“That same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst of them and said, “Peace be with you.”  John 20:19-20

Why were the doors shut? For fear. Jesus appeared in the midst of their fear and His first words were Hebrew – “Shalom.”

          He paid a price for you to have His peace.

Do you think this woman whose child died in her arms was not grieving? Do you think she did not have fearful thoughts?

Devil wanted to shut her mouth with fear. Instead she used her mouth and brought peace into her situation.

-         Have the doctors given you a bad report? Jesus was wounded for your transgressions and the chastisement for our peace was upon Him and by His stripes you were healed.”

-         Are you struggling with finances. Do not allow the enemy to shut your mouth in fear. Open your mouth and declare the promises of God.

You have been given the shalom of Jesus. This makes you strong enough to over come it.

First prophetic word: Be still in your worries and fears. Have I not brought you this far? I will continue to carry you.

Second prophetic word: Be at peace, My peace.

Be strong in who you are.

Third prophetic word: Don’t allow what you feel to keep you from what I have.

God lives in born again people. He actually lives 24/7 inside us. Everywhere we go – He is with us.

You begin to live the Spirit led life when you pay attention to His Presence through the day. You look and listen to things going on around you, but at the same time you look and listen in the inside for what God is saying and showing. This phrase came to me the other day.

“Glean the fields while you work.”

Ill. Like Boaz told his workers to leave some extra handfuls on purpose in the fields so while Ruth is working she will find them.

God has some “Handfulls on purpose” out there in your everyday work field to find. You will have to pay attention.

There are some things God wants you to discover that He has placed in your path on purpose.

People you are to meet. Things that you are to muse over that HS will stir up a fire in you. Love the learning God is showing you. Don’t be in a hurry to get anything over with. Glean the things God has for you there.

-         Daily parables God will teach you that you will use the rest of your life.

Your feelings can keep you from what God has for you.

Ill. Healing for example. I hear the Word about healing and I believe it.

After a while I see no fruit, no manifestation of healing.

Devil secretly throws fiery darts at your mind to affect your feelings.

First dart make you waver. “Well I don’t why I am not healed.”

2nd dart makes you wobble.  “It hasn’t worked for me.”

Here is where God speaks just like He after Adam confessed he was naked and God said, “Who told you that you were naked?”

Now God says, “Who told you that you were not healed?”

-         Well it is has been a long time and nothing has manifested.

Word says, “In due season you will reap if you faint not.”

If you quit believing God what do you have left? Nothing.

-         God’s Word never fails. It always comes to pass. He has 100% faithfulness rating. Why let your feelings keep you from what God has for you?

What does God have for us? Jesus said it this way.

Come unto Me all ye that are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.      Matthew 11:28

Literal Greek translation: “I will rest you.”

He Himself will rest you with all the things you need in the day ahead.

Concl: For those of you who say I wish I would get a prophetic word from the Lord – here it is. I am now prophesying this word to you.

Stand and close your eyes and receive this word form the Lord for you.

“I am here. I am with you. I want you to trust Me and make your mind and flesh be still and know that I am God. Be still in your worries and fears. Have I not brought you this far? I will continue to carry you. Be at peace – My peace. Be strong in who you are. Don’t allow how you feel to keep you from what I have.”

Hardness of Heart

Hardness of Heart

Story tell Feeding of 5000 from Mark 6:35-44

Immediately He compelled His disciples to get into the boat and go before Him to the other side. . . When evening came the wind was against them. About the fourth watch (3 a.m. – 6 a.m.) Jesus came walking on the Sea. For they all saw Him and were troubled. Immediately He said, “It is I, be not afraid.” He went into the boat and the wind ceased.

NOW PAY CLOSE attention to what scripture is inferring was the cause of their hardness of heart.

THEY WERE GREATLY ASTONISHED IN THEMSELVES  BEYOND MEASURE, AND WONDERED. FOR THEY HAD NOT COMPREHENDED THE MIRACLE OF THE LOAVES, FOR THEIR HEARTS WERE HARDENED.    MARK 6:35-52   

Hardness of heart is not rebellion against God. It is not resisting God.

According to this scripture everyone of us is hard hearted towards God to some extent.

Hardness of heart is relating more to the natural world than to God. We should reach a place where we are moved more by what God says than by anything else.

Ill. When I preach God’s Word everyone hears the same message yet some lives are changed and others get nothing out of it. The difference is not me – it is the condition of people’s hearts.

Let’s continue to Mark 8. Again this crowd is 4000 and Jesus wants to feed them before He sends them away. His disciples asked,

Where can we get bread to feed these men here in the wilderness?

They failed again! It was only a few days ago He fed 5000.

Ill. Have you ever had a miracle of God and said I will never doubt God again. The next day something bad happens and you start to fear or worry forgetting about the miracle you just had. That is hardness of heart.

How does this happen? It is not that you don’t know the truth but the truth has not penetrated your heart so that you are changed. Hardness of heart keeps the Word from penetrating deep in you to change you.

Other examples:
When Israel came out of Egypt they saw great miracles of Red Sea, plagues on Egypt, pillar of fire by night and cloud by day. Yet a few days later they were asking, “Can God provide a table in the wilderness to feed this multitude?

Hebrews 3 warns us they were like this because of hardness of heart and we must also beware of the same thing.

“Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion. . .” Hebrews 3:7

ill. Pharaoh is the supreme example. He saw the miracles of God and repented a little but went back to his stubbornness. Eventually it killed him.

What about you?

It does not matter what you know, it is what you think on that controls whether or heart is hard or not.

Ill. Many times people who don’t know as much as we do see more miracles. 3rd world countries. Why? Because the Word of God penetrates hearts.

“My son, attend to My words; incline your ear unto My sayings. Let them not depart from before thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life to all who find them and health to all their flesh.”  Proverbs 4:20-22

Incline your ear means to pay close attention.

What you become sensitive to.

Ill. MCAS Cheery point we lived at end of run way and planes flew over our house rattling windows. After a while we got use to it. When family visited it shocked them what we got use to. You can be sensitive to what you want to and be hardened to what you want to .

People who claim they can’t remember scripture yet can tell you sport statistics reveal this is true. Nothing wrong with memory. Your memory is linked to your heart passions.

Good news: Hardness of heart is reversible.

Jesus said His sheep

“Follow Him; for they know His voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.”  John 10:4-5

Note: believers can sensitize themselves to the voice of God and at the same time ignore the voice of the devil.

“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.”  Mtt. 6:22 

In other words, if you fill yourself with the Word the Word will come out.  Single-mindedness is a key.

          Ill. Abraham was so single minded he did not know how to not believe God. To become single-minded you have to not consider the possibility of failure. You have no plan B to fall back on.

-        God told Abraham “No longer will you be called Abram but Abraham”.  Abram is 2 words AV- Ram = lofty father – the emphasis is on Abram.

-        Abraham is the addition of a letter HEY in God’s name Yod Hey Vav – Hey.   Hey = behold watch this! Abraham – father of a multitude.

“I have made you a father of many nations.” = supernatural the emphasis is on God and what He can do.

Abraham had to do what we have to do in order to receive the promises of God.

“Against all hope, he believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations according to what was spoken. . . He did not consider his own body . . . not the deadness of Sarah’s womb. . . He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief but was strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully persuaded that what God had promised, He was able to perform.”  Romans 4:18-21

ill. One reason I believe God never allowed me to learn a trade well enough to make a living was because many times I would have quit the ministry to do something else. God did not want this to be an option for me. God set me up with only one place to go – forward.

The cause of a hard heart – whatever you focus on can either sensitize you to God or harden you towards God.

The cure for a hard heart – keeping our minds stayed on God and what He has said and is saying now.

Confession:
“I am who God says I am. The Father lavished great love upon me,  calling me His child. Because of Christ’s redemption, I am a new creation of great worth. I am deeply loved, completely forgiven, fully pleasing, totally accepted by God and absolutely complete in Christ. I can do what God says I can do. I can have what He says I can have. If God said it, I believe it. If God gives it, I receive it. If God shows it, I perceive it. If Satan stole it, I retrieve it.” 

Giving Up Your Life

Giving Up Your Life

Ill. Last Sunday during pre-service prayer I heard in the background a song without words, but I was familiar with the words. “You are good, good, Oh, Oh.” Instantly I wrote down a thought in my journal.

Every time we worship God, we surrender more of ourselves to Him.

Kingdom Protocol to worship:

1.    Enter His gates with thanksgiving

2.    Enter His courts with praise

3.    We worship and catch His fire and  become like Him.

Ill. Isaiah the prophet saw the Lord in His glory in Isaiah chapter 6. Burning coal touched His lips. He overhears the Trinity talking, “Who can we send, who will go for us?” Isaiah so filled with awe that he instantly volunteers for an assignment he knows nothing about! Why? He is in worship and there all we want to do is surrender our lives into His hands to use us any way He wants.

          There is no lack of volunteers in heaven.

Ill. In heaven Isaiah saw special angels around God’s throne called

Seraphim = burning ones

Described in Rev. 4 as covered with eyes. How would you like to be a sunglass salesman to them? All their eyes are on God and as a result they burst into continual fire like God.

          That is what worship is suppose to do to us – start a fire in us. When we intentionally focus on God and worship – a fire starts.

“My heart grew hot within me, as I mused the fire burned.”  Psalm 39:3

-         Moses saw a bush on fire in the desert “He turned aside from his agenda to see” – Then God spoke to Him out of the fire. He took his shoes off indicating surrender to the directions God has planned for my feet.

Then I wrote, The only reason we withhold surrender is because we question if God is really good.

Lord, what do You want me to let go of, give up, or surrender?

His answer shocked me but this was how I knew it was Him.

Everything – eventually.

It’s daily things I call you to surrender. You can only surrender one thing at a time.

Then I recalled a verse of scripture HS been speaking to me about:

“For if you choose self sacrifice, giving up your life for My glory, YOU WILL EMBARQ ON A DISCOVERY OF MORE AND MORE OF TRUE LIFE.”  Luke 9:24 Passion translation

Ill. At death we leave everything into the hands of God. Wonder what that would be like if we could do that now while we live here? I am not saying neglecting responsibilities but surrendering outcomes to God now. IT would be freeing!

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”  Jim Elliot

 Jesus has been waiting on us to answer His call.

“Come unto Me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you . . .”

PIC of Double yoke:

Jesus is saying to us, “I am ready to live My life of miracles, signs and wonders through you. Are you ready to embarq on this discovery of more and more true life?”

Ill. Yes Lord, I am ready and packed and chomping at the bit to go. Let’s go right now.

Jesus says, “Great let’s begin. Repeat after Me. “The Lord is My Shepherd I shall not want.” Repeat.

“Great got that now let’s get going.”

No – you need to get this settled inside you. If I am Your Shepherd then you have everything you will ever need to do what I lead you to do.

“Okay I got it now Let’s go on.”

Jesus says, “What’s the next verse?” He maketh me lie down.

Good – now do it. What? Do it.

You have to learn in order to walk with me you begin and stay in Me, abide in Me and my rest.

But Lord this is not what I signed up for. I want to do the stuff, You know, healing the sick, casting out devils, preaching the gospel.

I know – you’ll get there but first you must learn how to say no to yourself, your flesh because selfishness is the root of all grief.

          God created us to live God-conscious and most people, even My people are so self conscious. Ill. Adam and Eve were created God conscious. Not until they sinned did they even know they were naked, because they were so unconscious of themselves and were God conscious. Some scholars try to say they had a glory cloud covering them but that is only opinion. Bible does not support this.

After sin they became self conscious and tried to hide themselves from God! “Adam, where are you? Why are you hiding?”

We are naked. “Who told you that you were naked?” They had always been naked! But now they became self conscious more than God conscious.

Whenever man becomes more self conscious rather than God conscious he stops walking with God.  

Crucifying the flesh, denying yourself is what we do to maintain God consciousness and let God lead. It is a daily ongoing struggle we will do as long as we live on earth and want to walk with God.

You can crucify the flesh in the morning quiet time with God and then seeing it resurrected and strutting around alive and well again by noon.

Denying self – crucifying flesh is not a one time thing.

Ill. Killing cat story. By noon cat came strutting by us you ain’t getting rid of me that easy. Next day my neighbor’s son behind us lived in trailor on blocks. I say him using a pitch fork trying di out something from under the house. “What you doing?” I found a dead cat under my trailor. The weird thing is he is missing an eye.” I said Wow, that is weird.

Point is: Sometimes it takes longer for some things to die and not come back to life.

Ill. Habits of pleasure take longer to crucify, re-crucify until they never come back. Your physical part of your brain needs to be healed. Crack cocaine, porn – affect the pleasure center of your brain. Will require daily crucifying over and over until!

Why doesn’t God just take away the desire for us?

          God is in the struggle, and the process. Ill. God if You would just take away this desire I wouldn’t keep falling! God is a Very Present Help in Trouble. He is in the struggle with you now.

-         Don’t judge people with on-going addictions or on-going illnesses and wonder why aren’t they healed, delivered?

Ill. Past 2 weeks Pam had serious eye infection. Went doctor none better. Finally called in another RX. After taking it next morning worse. Why are some healed instantly and others not? I don’t know!

-         Woman Bible sick 18 years 6-6-6 – Doctors none better. One day Jesus heals her. Why so long? I don’t know.

We have to be patient with God. Patience is a fruit of HS that grows out there on the limb not by the trunk. He does not explain it all to us.

Ill. If He said He has promised me healing, who am I to question Him? I may need to go out on a limb and do something I’ve never done before. He may be telling me to risk.

-         With praying for healing for people;  I think we should pray with eyes open and say in the name of Jesus Christ be healed by His stripes. That’s all. Never begging God to do what He promised. Then test it. Ask them to do something they could not do. If the pain is still there, command it to go and start praising God. Test it again. Most people won’t go that far, because they are embarrassed.

One of the keys to the Spirit filled life is to love the learning while you are learning. Even if you fail – you really don’t fail – you learn from it.

You can’t fail with God. Even your failures work for you!

 “You have to live by faith in God. You have to believe He is there when everything says He’s not.”    Graham Cooke

Christ living in me is the starting place in life.

Me living in Christ is the finishing place in life.

Me in Christ is me is abiding, yielding, and trusting Him to have His way with me. If He leads me to do something that makes me look foolish then I need to die more to the fear of what people think of me. Me living in Christ is me yielding to Him and letting Him have His way.

Ill. The other day I felling down, got the blues. I ask the Lord what is wrong with me. I didn’t hear any answer. I got a piece of Dove chocolate out of jar as on my way to visit someone in rehab. I never noticed before inside the foil of dove chocolate is a saying or quote. It caught my eye and so I read it. It said, “Dance it out.”

Lord, are You telling me to dance this oppression out of me? I said, “Lord, I don’t feel like dancing.” He was prompting me to rejoice at a most unusual time that I did not feel any reason to rejoice!

-         HS will prompt different people in different ways to rejoice in God by faith in what seems like very strange ways. If you wait until God perfectly explains why to you then you miss your moment.

Ill. King Jehoshaphat was told by God to send the choir out to face an oncoming enemy instead of the army. Did not make any sense. Yet he risk and trusted God. The people praised God aloud and God set ambushes and confusion on the enemy and they turned against one another. It was one of the most amazing defeats in Bible. Yet it is recorded for us to see God may lead us to do the very same thing.

The same will happen for you. If the devil attacks you and you praise God, then you're going to find that the devil becomes God's messenger boy to bring you riches. When we praise Him, yield to Him, then He always brings victory.

One minister said the same thing to God and heard back from HS.

“Father likes it when you dance.” But I don’t want to dance.

“But Father really likes it when you dance!”

“If you can’t dance at least scoot!”

-         God knows one of the best ways to crucify my flesh is dance. I’m embarrassed I am not a dancer with good rhythm.

Ill. One minister watched a person in church break out in dancing with joy before the Lord. He asks God to give him a dance like that. God said, “A dance is not something I give you, it is something you give to Me.”

Someone asks Wigglesworths how he felt about dancing before the Lord: “I don’t ever ask Smith Wigglesworth how he feels!” I jump out of bed! I dance before the Lord for at least 10 to 12 minutes – high speed dancing. I jump up and down and run around my room telling God how great he is, how wonderful He is, how glad I am to be associated with Him and to be His child.”

What if He leads me to do something like raise the dead and yet they are not raised up?  3 times I have done this and not seen the dead raised yet. Why? I don’t know.

          I just know you have to climb out on a limb to do such things. Maybe I didn’t go far enough or maybe it was just practice. But I don’t know. The longer I live the Xn life the less I know.

Wigglesworth said, “If you want to increase in the life of God, you must settle it in your heart, that you will not at anytime resist the Holy Spirit.”

The fruit of the HS grows out on the limb. You are going to have to go out on a limb as God leads you. Quit hugging the tree and get out there where the fruit grows. Risk don’t resist.

Some ways the HS my prompt you to rejoice in God by faith: Everybody is different.

1.    Running – Elijah  I Kings 18:45-46

2.    Leaping – Acts 3:8

3.    Singing  - Eph. 5:18

4.    Drunk in the Spirit – Acts 2:15 – ill. Heavens hyperbaric chamber. Wounds needing healing similar to deep sea diver going deep. It can cause an intoxicating feeling.

5.    Laughter in HS. – Sarah – God Laughs

6.    Generousity – Acts 2:46

7.    Dancing – Miriam – David

8.    Shouting – Psalm 27:6

9.    Thanksgiving by faith.

Concl: If we are not rejoicing some way in God then the devil thinks he is winning!

 Giving up

We here in America know so little about giving up things or sacrificing our life fro God’s purposes. David Livingston was a missionary to Africa when it was extremely hard to go there. One of his prayers in his journal was

“Lord, Send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. Sever any ties, but the ties that bind me to your service and to your heart,”

Lord, what do You want me to let go of, give up, or surrender?

Everything – eventually.

It’s daily things I call you to surrender. You can only surrender one thing at a time.

What is one thing God is asking you to let go of, surrender, or sacrifice for Him today? This will be where you worship God today.

Living the True Life

Living the True Life

“For if you choose self sacrifice and lose your lives for My glory,  you will embark on a discovery of more and more true life.”  Luke 9:24 Passion translation

“My old identity has been co-crucified with Messiah and no longer lives; for the nails of his cross crucified me with him. And now the essence of this new life is no longer mine, for the Anointed One lives His life through me—we live in union as one! My new life is empowered by the faith of the Son of God who loves me so much that He gave Himself for me, and dispenses His life into mine!”  Galatians 2:20 Passion translation

The Christian life is not just you trying hard not to sin! It is you and Jesus Christ living in union with you as one new person. He dispenses His life into yours like two streams coming together to make a new river.

How does this happen on a daily basis?

1.   You must be born from above – this is supernatural – mystery.

2.   You learn about Jesus.

3.   You listen to Him.

4.   You learn to trust Him and let Him live through you.

IF any of what I just said is not happening in your life then you are not yet living the Xn life.

After you are born again;

1.   You LEARN about Him. How?

“My son, attend to My Words; incline thine ear to My sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to all who find them, and health to all their body. Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:20-23

Training in anything is only as good as your routine. If you take time to put God’s Word in ears, eyes, heart, and mouth you will grow.

2.   You listen to Him. How?

You can be hearing but not paying attention to what you are hearing. I think most people do not recognize the way God is speaking to them most of the time. Some things I am learning about listening to God:

(1.)        You can’t be in a hurry and pay attention to God. He is on a different frequency than HURRY. You will have to be open to interruptions.  

Ill. The other day Andrew and I were on our way to an appointment. There was a car broke down on side of road. Andrew said, “We should stop and see if she needs help.” I said we are late for an appointment and kept on going.” What if that was a God appointment or just a test to see if I will allow interruptions from God. If we knew the interruptions were from God sure we would allow it!

“I used to complain about all the interruptions to my work until I realized that these interruptions were my work.”  Henri Nouwen

You will not recognize the still small voice of God if you have pre-planned your day without any margin for God’s interruptions.  

“Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”

(2.)        Simplify – DE clutter your life as much as possible. God knows what you have to do. Don’t add burdens He is not asking you to take on.

Live in the freedom of what you can do, not in the bondage of what you can’t do.

Ill. Me on my way to prayer retreat solitude with God. “Should preaching be your priority?” I put pressure on myself to have messages/teachings Wed and Sundays. My life bookends each week like this. Even when go on vacation you mind thinks this way.

-        My priority is to listen to Him. Out of that messages will come. Can I trust Him to not give me anything to say until the last minute? What if HE does not want me to preach this Sunday?

-        I need to de-clutter my expectations and live free.

What else do I need to hear Him?

(3.)        Faith- trust that I will and do hear Him.

“My sheep hear My voice. . .”

ill. Phone conversations – you recognize a voice you frequently talk with.

-        Jesus’ voice is not deep bass or baritone. It’s not even audible sound. Deaf people hear Him! It’s like a thought, a wisp of breeze passing by so softly you could miss it.

-        This is why journaling is important. You slow down. I suggest print by hand not computer. Don’t try to be a writer just write your true thoughts as you spend time with Him.

-        If God let His Son die for you – don’t you think He wants to talk to you?

(4.)        Practice solitude – stillness – Jesus did!

“In the morning, rising up a great while before sunrise, He went out and departed to a solitary place. And there He prayed.” Mark 1:35

This one verse is locked between other verses loaded with action. Before this verse Jesus is healing multitudes and casting out demons. After this verse, Peter comes to Jesus and says, “Where have You been? Everyone is looking for You!”

          The secret of the Xn life is revealed here. Solitary alone time with God is where ministry is conceived.

(5.)        Don’t harden your heart. 3 places scripture warns believer about this: Psalm 95:8, Heb. 3:7, 3:15

Andrew Wommack has a great book and teaching on this.

A hard heart dulls your ability to hear or recognize God is speaking.

Jesus said to His disciples, “Why do you reason that you have no bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Having eyes, do you not see? Having ears, do you not hear? Do you not remember that I broke five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” Mark 8:17-19

Jesus is pointing out a hard heart happens when you do not take time to recognize or consider what God has been saying and showing you!

Later when the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water they were astonished.

“Jesus said, “It’s Me. Don’t be afraid.” Then when He went inside eth boat the wind ceased and they were astonished beyond measure and wondered. FOR THEY HAD NOT CONSIDERED THE MIRACLE OF THE LOAVES, FOR THEIR HEARTS WERE HARDENED.”  Mark 6:50-52

What determines if our hearts become hardened?

         If you are considering and paying attention to the things God is showing you in your day, week.

PIC Stop look listen  

Consider your week so far. People you met, so called interruptions, messages you heard, scriptures you read, things you think God may be showing you.

The disciples failed to consider the miracle of the loaves and fishes and then w/o realizing it their hearts were becoming hardened towards believing the things of God. They should not have been so overwhelmed at seeing Jesus walking on water. He commanded them to get into the boat. So HE is responsible for them and the storm they encountered and then seeing Him walk to them.

Control what you consider and you will control your emotions. Most people don’t operate this way because they don’t take time to consider what God may be showing them daily. Keep a journal for this!

“My heart grew hot within me; as I mused the fire burned.”  Psalm 39:3

Muse = consider, think upon, meditate, ponder.

Amusement = A= not,   Muse – to think

Concl: Life is flying by. You can’t afford to miss any more things God is saying or showing you. Keep a journal and pay attention and write down little notes to go back and consider or ponder until the fire or life of God burns in you. He wants to teach you things and talk to you every day if you will listen.

Worship God

Worship God
Job chapter 1

 Intro: Gentile named Job who worships God. It is not a worship service you would want to attend. On the worst day of his life, in one hour his income, and his children are all taken away without warning. His response shocks everyone, especially the devil.

“Job stood up, tore his robe, and shaved his head. He fell to the ground and worshipped. . . he did not accuse God of wrongdoing.”  Job 1:20-22

Worship is only one thing. It is extreme submission to God from experiencing extravagant love from God.

“extreme submission” -  yes it is extreme because it is rare even in the church, to see people submit to God without any strings attached. Look at Job – isn’t that rare?

When you meet a true worshipper of God you know it within minutes of being in their presence. Like it was said of Peter and John, “When they saw the boldness of them they knew they had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13. They carry confidence of God with them.

They are so rooted and grounded in God that they become panic proof. When disaster strikes they do not change their song or their worship of God. They are anchored in God. True worship will do this:

The life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of His love will become the very source and root of your life.”  Ephesians 3:17 Passion translation

Another version points out 2 things will happen when you truly worship God in truth:  

1.     You will become “Rooted in His love” – unmoved by circumstances and content in every circumstance.

Rooted – put down roots that go deep. Shallow believer hears and receives Word gladly but no deep roots. When persecution arises (from devil) because of having the Word – they fall away.

2.    You will become “grounded in His love” –unshakeable by situations that come up suddenly and unexpected.

 Grounded – electrical term – not shocked by sudden unexpected situations. Job’s children suddenly all killed! It shocks him but because he is grounded in love it does not kill him. Job worshipped God!

Worship = surrendering your life circumstances to God because you see the worth of God.

Ill. When we praise God with song and dance we are exalting Him on our shoulders. This takes time and humility. During praise time at church I almost sense a wrestling match is going on with God and the people. God is trying to get us to go a little deeper, little longer, little more intense, come on!

Satan has deceived the church to focus on praise rather than worship. Praise is to be the vehicle to lead us to worship that surrenders to the will of God.  

          Ill. When Andrew was a little boy I would wrestle with him. I wanted him to not quit but keep on. I would push him to the limit and then at just the right time I would let him pin me to the floor and win. I was winning when I wrestled with him and let him win.

Most people want a praise service but not a worship service. You don’t have to be in the Spirit for a praise service. But to have a worship service you have be in the Spirit.

Like John on the Isle of Patmos was suddenly in the Spirit.

Steve Swanson song: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day. Suddenly I heard a voice behind me say. Come on up, Come on up. Come on up, I want to show you some things.”

But when we worship we “Come up” into another zone, another dimension, in His Presence, in His glory and all we can do is fall at His feet as dead.

He touches something in us that needs to die in His Presence. “The end of yourself is the beginning of God.” A good place to be.

-         Maybe how you use charm and manipulation to get your way.

-         Your craving to be noticed and valued by men.  

          With Isaiah He touched his mouth with a hot coal – purified words

          With Jacob He touched hip - cripples to lean on God.

 When you encounter God in worship you don’t come out the same way you went in.

ill. God sees everything we are doing today. All the stuff we do we consider is worshipping God. I imagine an arch angel beholding God’s serious look and saying, “Lord what are You staring and shaking Your head at? God says, “I am watching my kids play.” Lord, what are they playing? They are playing church again.”

          Ill. When I was little boy I made a church in my backyard. Cinder blocks were seats, and two cinder blocks were my pulpit. I had 2 neighborhood friends that were members. Little did I know my mom and dad were listening through the open window in the house. They sat as I was preparing to preach to them. I said, “First of all we are going to sing then I will preach.” One of my members spoke up and said, “Gary we don’t do church like that, we are Catholic.” I had no idea of what a Catholic was but because I am the preacher, like Peter I spoke when I had no idea of what I was saying. Trying to answer his protest that he was Catholic I responded, “It doesn’t matter if your black or white – you still gotta love God.”  

-         This was my first church service. I think God was laughing and said, “that’s My boy! He’s not very smart but I can use him!”

There are only 2 attitudes one can have before God:

1.    Contempt – hidden in our hearts we hold back/block worship because we find it hard to trust God for some reason.  

Maybe He did not stop this when He could have. He let my loved one die. These are unspoken grievances. Outwardly we would say that we don’t feel that way but inwardly it is a blockage that keeps us from worshipping God with total surrender because we are not sure we fully trust God – He may hurt us and you would be right!

You protest at me saying the God might hurt us but it is true.

Andrew told me something that made me think. He said, Dad, truth hurts! I said no truth frees us. He said Dad that’s true but the truth can first hurt us before it frees us.

Ill. Surgeon has to hurt you in order to free you from a ruptured appendix.

Jesus hurt people by telling them the truth; Why did people hate Jesus? Because the truth hurt them. He hurt them with the truth. They were phonies, hypocrites, a bunch of white washed tombs. How’s that for a church growth strategy! Most got ticked but maybe one or two got over getting angry and let the truth sink in. “I am a hypocrite. I am just a religious person who is not changing to become more like Jesus. I am still just as mean as ever, I still go to my addictions as idols to deal with my pain, I still am just like I’ve always been and yet I say I changed. Not really.”

          The truth that hurts you is the truth that heals you!

Truth hurt Paul when he got knocked off his donkey and heard Jesus say, “What are you doing persecuting Me?”

Truth hurt you when someone told you the gospel. You are going to hell not because of all the sin but because you refuse God’s only way of salvation, by His Son’s blood.

Truth hurt David. That must have really hurt! But it helped.

-          He repented before God.

-         Nathan the prophet told David the baby would die. David repented, fasted, prayed, wept saying, “who knows the Lord may be gracious.” But the baby still died. Once he realized the child was dead he got up washed, anointed himself, changed clothes, ate a meal and

“Then he entered the house of the Lord and worshipped.”  2 Samuel 12:20

Truth had to hurt him – reveal the sin that was blocking him from worshipping to be able to surrender the outcome to God.

The other attitude that we should all desire to have before God is

2.    Worship – that does not hold back anything.

“He fell to the ground and worshipped.” Job 1:20

Don’t think this is just an emotional breakdown because of his loss. HE would have just fallen to the ground if that was the case. People who don’t know God well may fall to the ground in times of bad news and fall to pieces in sorrow. This is deeper, He fell to the ground AND WORSHIPPED. This is written so we can know what worshipping God is all about.

Worship involves falling to the ground before God.

“Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. Cast all your care upon Him, because He cares for you.”  I Peter 5:6-7

“He fell to the ground and worshipped.” To fall means to lose control! Note that losing control is preliminary to worshipping God.

-         Isaiah and John both saw the Lord in glory and fell as dead men before Him.

-         True worship is when we become as dead men. Die to ourselves, our opinions, our expectations and finally see His worth.

-         Job was not overwhelmed with bad circumstances He saw God’s greatness and his small-ness at the same time.

Do you see what worshipping God is all about? It is bowing all the circumstances of my life and the outcomes into His hands and backing up in awe and beholding Him who is the Almighty God.

 Worship is the overwhelming response to the awesome invisible God.

The first mention of worship in the Bible is Abraham going to offer Isaac. “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”

Genesis 22:5 | NIV

Abraham had the revelation that whatever I surrender to God comes back to me. Whatever I keep from God is taken from me. God gives us something to sacrifice to Him.

Do you think this was the first time Abraham sacrificed things to God? There are a lot of little sacrifices made before you are called to sacrifice your Isaac. You are not going to sacrifice your Isaac if you haven’t been making the daily required smaller sacrifices.

-         You are not likely to sacrifice 5k when HS prompts you if you don’t obey HS and give 5 dollars to a homeless person.

-         Your tithe is not a sacrifice. He gives to you and teaches you the first part is His so you learn to let go and trust Him. He starts with teaching us using the smallest things like money. Money is the least thing in the KOG.

World’s values  
1.    Money
2.    Health|
3.    Success
4.    People

Kingdom values
1.    People
2.    Successful life
3.    Health

4.    Money

It’s the daily little sacrifices that the voice of God whispers you to sacrifice to Him for His sake that are your daily tests from heaven. Most people don’t recognize them as from God.

Most people will never be called upon by God to sacrifice their Isaac, because they haven’t passed the little tests first. What is your Isaac? Different things to different people.  

Ill. One day a lady came into a diner party uninvited. The room was filled with all the big shots and religious leaders of the day. Jesus is reclining at the table talking with others and she in an unassuming manner trying not draw attention to herself begins to weep trying to hold back the noise. Big drops of tears wet His feet and she quickly wipes them away with her hair. Suddenly she breaks open an expensive alabaster box filled with ointment that is extremely rare. The fragrance quickly fills the room and people are drawn to see what she is doing. She anoints His feet like a priest would anoint something. This is a holy moment. No one but Jesus and her know what this is about.

This seems so intimate that it should be private, behind closed doors and not out in public like this. But God let this private intimate moment of worship be written for us to read about.

The point is: Worship creates intimacy with God. It goes behind the closed doors into the secret chambers and turns the lights on where it is dark.

Ill. A friend has a daughter who had a lot of scars on her body multiple surgeries from scoliosis in spine, kidney surgeries and some surgery on her leg and upper back and neck.  She got married and on her wedding she did not want her husband shocked by seeing all the scars on her body for the first time. She was afraid it would ruin their intimacy. He discerned she was afraid for him to see her for the first time and see all her scars. In their bedroom chamber he turned on all the lights that she had dimmed. What are you doing? He said I want you to know how much I love you. I want to kiss every scar on your body. Scars are reminders that something bad happened here. She was so afraid of intimacy because of her scars. But intimacy means uncovering everything – even your scars, being real, transparent with God.

If worship is one thing – it is intimacy like no other.

          The Lord wants you to come into His secret place with only you and Him. He wants to turn on all the lights. He wants you to relax and know He sees all the scars where bad things happened. As you become real and raw and transparent with Him, He kisses all those places you have been hurt, or ashamed. He sees all those scars on your soul. All the places you’ve been hurt.

HE does not remove the scars. They serve as good reminders. Jesus has scars. Now if you want to – you can come very close and kiss His scars that were made for your freedom.

Okay Pastor, I want to worship like Abraham and like this woman who gave the alabaster box. How do I begin? What does God want me to give Him that will be an act of true worship? It is something everybody already has and is capable of giving to God today. What is it? It is the sacrifice God clearly says He wants us to bring to Him today.

“Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies? I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship.”

Romans 12:1 The Passion Translation

Concl: Be real – worship Him in Spirit and in truth. Worship God.

Wednesday night 8-1-18

Wednesday night 8-1-18

“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”  Psalm 37:4

What does “Delighting yourself in the Lord” look like?

Allow feed back – how do you do this?

Cross references with this verse: Job 22:22-26

I’ve outlined what these verses instruct us to do in order to delight ourselves in God.

1.   Receive the teaching from His mouth.

2.   Lay up His words in your heart – meditate

3.   Put away iniquity.

4.   Then the Almighty will be your gold.

5.   Then you will delight yourself in Him.

Then in Isaiah 58:14

“If you will honor the Sabbath (Lord’s Day) by not doing your own pleasure, THEN you shall delight yourself in the Lord.” Isa. 58:14

Make a special day that totally belongs to Him. Now you are giving God something to work with and He begins to place His desires in you.

Ill. With my son being home now I have noticed there are so many things that I want to do with him. Take him to certain places like Living Waters, go camping, fishing, things that we lost over the years that the locusts have eaten but God can restore.

          As I was thinking about this it was like the Lord said, “This is the same way I feel about you. There are so many things I want to experience with you, places I want to take you, truths I want to teach you. When you place other things, desires ahead of your relationship with Me you are losing the things I want for you and I to experience together.

It is thought that David wrote Psalm 37 in his old age. He has learned through life experience what is most important.

Your heart desires cannot be trusted unless you are delighting yourself in the Lord first. Ill. As David was delighting in the Lord he had this desire come over him to build God a house, tabernacle. David talked this over with his pastor/prophet Nathan. Nathan said to David,

“Do whatever is in your heart because the Lord is with you.”

But later the Lord spoke to Nathan and said even though it was David’s desire – God has never told anyone to build Him a house. Instead God said that He was going to build David a house!

Point: David’s desire was not evil or wrong. This teaches us not to act upon every good desire but wait upon the Lord. After Nathan told David this look at what David did.

“Then King David went in and sat before the Lord.”  2 Samuel 7:18

He is soaking, sitting, being still in solitude, meditating, listening.

How did David delight himself in the Lord?

-        He sat before the Lord. He danced before the Lord. He sang and wrote songs before the Lord. He brought his plans before the Lord and asked God whether or not he should attack these or those.

“We may make our plans but God directs our paths.” Pr.16:9

Make a plan but hold it loosely and allow God to modify your plan without you getting bent out of shape or in a huff.

How do you know when you are delighting yourself in the Lord?

One way is by realizing the Lord is helping you accomplish His plans

“The Lord helped David wherever he went.” 2 Samuel 8:14

When we do God’s will, God’s way, He helps us.

There were 4 Levites carrying the 565-pound Ark of the Covenant but an additional weight of the poles, staves covered with gold also.

Pic Levites carrying ark

“And because God was clearly helping the Levites as they carried the Ark of the LORD's Covenant, they sacrificed seven bulls and seven rams.” I Chron. 15:26

When you are delighting yourself in God first and confident He is helping you to do His will then, you quit worrying about the outcome of things beyond your control – you rest.

Ill. David’s commander of his army Joab was facing a battle not with one enemy but two at the same time. One in front and one in back. He divided his army and told them if the enemy starts to prevail against the front then you in the rear come up and help us and we will do the same for you. Then he said, “Be strong and fight with resolve.” But his last words struck me as having an amazing trust in the Lord. He said these words,

“May the Lord do what seems good to Him.” 2 Samuel 10:12

          Without knowing how things would turn out – he just did what he knew he had to do and then rested the matter with the Lord.

-        He trusted God with the outcome.
-        He trusted in God’s goodness to decide the outcome.
-        He rested in God.

Why is this verse in the Bible? Many times we face battles and challenges where we do what we have to do but we don’t know how it will turn out. If we strive then God cannot help the arm of flesh. But if we do what we should and trust God for the rest then, God helps us to do what He wants done.

Ill. Saturday we have had planned a neighborhood street cookout at our house at 4 pm. We set up the grill and chairs and tables all in the front yard under the oak trees. Rain forecasted. We prayed asking God to take away the rain. 3:45 the rain started. I was on my way to the store and started to think this is going to ruin a great opportunity God, if you don’t do something! Just then this verse I read in the morning comes back to my mind.

“May the Lord do what seems good to Him.”

          I used it and rested the matter in His hands. Neighbors came and we moved the food inside our house and everyone came in, we gave thanks for the food and began to eat and fellowship. To my surprise even more came into our small home. It was close fellowship. After about 45 minutes the rain stopped and we all went outside to play a yard game and sat outside till dark. It went better than I could have ever imagined. All we did was host what God wanted to do.

-        The outcome is never up to us. We host, and let God do whatever seems good to Him.
-        I urge you to remember this verse and use it this week.

With every interruption, every disappointment, surprise, unexpected happening just say, “May the Lord do what seems good to Him.”

Sometimes the issues of life are a lot more serious than a rain storm ruining our party. But this principle is still true for every situation.

Ill. David committed adultery with Bathsheba and an innocent baby was born but was sick and dying. David fasted, prayed, wept, for the child to be spared. He said, “Who knows maybe the Lord will be gracious.”

Then the child died. What happened next surprised everyone around David. “He entered the house of the Lord and worshipped. He then went to his own house and and ate food.” 2 Samuel 12:20

He did everything he could possibly do. The child died anyway. David worshipped meaning he surrendered to the will of God being done.

He was saying and living this verse, “May the Lord do what seems good to Him.”

When you delight yourself in the Lord and the scripture says that He will give you the desires of your heart – it does not mean He will give you everything you want! It means He will change your heart to accept His will as good and best even when you don’t understand, you can trust Him.

When we say these words and mean it then we release ourselves from stress and striving and we release ourselves into God’s rest.

“May the Lord do what seems good to Him.” 2 Samuel 10:12

Hosting the Presence of the Lord

Hosting the Presence of the Lord 2 Samuel 6

Intro: I want to talk to you today about our responsibility as a church to host or carry the Presence and ministry of Lord in our local community. You may think of church as the way God ministers to you and this is true, but today I want to point out our responsibility to minister to the Lord, something you may not have thought of.

          In OT times God led Moses to teach people how to worship the invisible God through types and symbols displayed in a wilderness tabernacle. PIC

The tabernacle tent and furniture was made to be portable and packed up and moved as the cloud of God moved. All the pieces of furniture represent some part of the character and ministry of JC.  The main one being the Ark of the Covenant.

PIC of ark

-         Chest made of wood covered with gold. Wood symbol of humanity. Humanity covered in divinity = Jesus

-         Lid or Mercy seat was 100 lbs. of pure gold, no wood = meaning the mercy was 100% God’s nature.

Inside the Ark covered by Mercy seat

10 Commandments

Gold pot of manna

Aaron’s rod

Why were these 3 things inside the ark covered by the Mercy seat?

Man rejected God’s 10 commandments

Man rejected/complained about God’s provision.

Man rejected God’s priesthood – Miriam, Aaron, Korah.

All this put in the ark and covered by God’s mercy. God wants to cover our rebellion with His mercy. “Let’s celebrate that!”

The ark was the place once a year on Day of Atonement the HP bring blood and sprinkle on mercy seat to cover people’s sins for another year. This ark was the center piece of worship of God for Israel. It represented the Presence of God with them. It was where the king would send a priest to find out directions or answers from the Lord.

During the time of Eli, the priests the Philistines captured the ark of God. Eli falls dead upon hearing the ark is captured and his sons are dead. Daughter in law goes into labor has baby boy and names him Ichabod – the glory has departed – because ark of God gone.

Ill. Put it in temple of the Philistine god called Dagon. Same god that Samson pulled down the pillars in his last act.

Every morning statue of Dagon found on floor face down before the ark of God.

Pic of Dagon

 Put it back in place and next day the same thing. One day on floor with head and hands chopped off. As if God was saying Dagon doesn’t have any wisdom (head) and doesn’t have any ability (hands) to help you – only Me. I don’t know if they ever got the picture! You don’t have to be a prophet to figure this one out!

God afflicted the Philistines with plagues of tumors and mice. They wanted to get rid of the ark sent it to another Philistine city and the same thing happened there. Now no one wanted it. So they sent it back to the border Hebrew village on a cart with milk cows to a town called Beth She mesh. The Jews there were so excited but later made a big mistake – they opened the lid to look inside which was forbidden and very irreverent – over 50k died. This caused such fear these Jews sent the ark to another city who said they would take it called Kiriath Jearim to the house of Abinadad, and they made his son Eleazar the priest to keep the ark of the Lord.

Here the ark sits for 20 years during time of King Saul. It should have been in Jerusalem but no one tries to move it. They become complacent with the way things are. For 20 years nothing seems to happen. After Saul dies and David becomes king, his heart wants the ark moved to Jerusalem.

“They loaded the ark of God on a new cart from the house of Abinadab. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadad were driving the new cart. Meanwhile David and the entire house of Israel were celebrating before the Lord with all sorts of instruments, harps, stringed instruments, tambourines, drums, and cymbals. When they came to the threshing floor, Uzzah reached out to take hold of the ark, because the oxen had stumbled. The Lord became angry and struck him down on the spot for his irreverence. David became angry and afraid of the Lord that day. David re-directed the ark to the house of Obed- Edom the Gittite. The ark remained at the house of Obed-Edom for three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-Edom and his entire household.”  2 Samuel 6:3-11

What was David’s big mistake?

Uzzah was the son of Abinadad – the man whose house kept the ark of God for 20 years. Maybe Uzzah became too accustomed to the Presence of God?

Familiarity breeds contempt. You get so use to something or someone that you begin to lose respect for them. How did these people so closely related to the most godly people in the Bible develop an attitude of contempt towards the Lord?

          Some suffered disappointment in life and blamed God.

 – Job’s wife lost her children – and maybe said in her heart – What use is God? Where is God when we need Him? Why serve God, it didn’t make any difference in my life!

Contempt – showing disrespect that something is worthless. Not honoring what you use to show honor to.

“Contempt of court”

Contempt is a deep hidden attitude of disrespect because you regard something is worthless. It leads to cynicism.

Ill. Job prayed a hedge around his family daily he said why.

“Lest they curse God in their hearts.” Where would the children of a godly man like Job ever learn to curse God? Probably Job’s wife who later said to Job, “Why don’t you curse God and die!” Cursing God is not necessarily profanity – it is contemptuous attitude of heart that God sees!

Job’s Wife was married to the most godly man on earth!

          Eli’s sons, Samuel’s sons, Uzzah, Michal the wife of King David all grew contempt and yet they were around godly people used by God!

-         Somehow they each began to regard things of God as useless. It’s not working. Nothing is changing. God is not helping us. It really doesn’t matter. Worshipping God hasn’t help you that I can see!  

-         You can grow weary in the service of God because of many things. Word weary is rooted in the word trouble that comes from people making trouble for you thus making you work harder – troublemakers! You get weary and lose heart.

“the oxen stumbled”   - sounds like an insignificant thing! There is nothing insignificant with God. He is in the details!

-         The oxen stumbled and Uzzah reaches out to keep it from falling. What was so wrong with that, that the Lord struck him dead?

First of all, the Ark was not being carried according to God’s specific instructions. Only priests were to cover items and carry on poles, never touching. If David and Uzzah and others read Bible they would have known this. Uzzah lived in his father’s house with ARK for 20 years and obviously did not take the time to know how to host the Presence of God.

-         The ark was to be carried on poles on shoulders of priests, much like you carry a celebrated champion.

-         PIC

-         A position of exaltation and honor. Our praise is to do this. We exalt God with praise.

Point: When you do things your way instead of God’s way, He does not help you! When you work – He will not help. 

Find out God’s way to do a thing and then He will help you.

The ark weighed 565 lbs. Heavy. When ark carried on poles on shoulders of priests God actually helped them. If He didn’t it would be too heavy for them.

Maybe this is why David put the ark on a cart. He is trying to help God and move things along. Maybe he saw this is how the Philistines moved the ark. But they were ignorant of God’s Word. The ox cart was not God’s way.

“The oxen had stumbled”

Oxen represent works

Uzzah = “my strength”

Uzzi machine gun is Israeli invention form name of Uzzah and uzzi means gun of strength. Pic

HS trying to show us something here. We must be careful not to try to mix God’s strength or ability with man’s arm of flesh.

When Uzzah died, David was angry and afraid. For the next 3 months he goes to the Word and figures out what he did wrong and finds truth. But during this time they are afraid to move the ark. People are afraid to be around it. Where are we going to put it they ask people? “Not at my place!”  There was a house of a Gentile man named, Obed-Edom. They asked if he would keep the ark in house and he said, “I’ll take it.”

Obed- Edom the Gittite from Gath (city of Goliath) – He is a Gentile, not in the covenant. For 3 months the Lord blessed Obed- Edom and all his house. David hears of this and now has figured out what he did wrong and brings ark to Jerusalem.

What was it that Obed- Edom did, that caused God to blessed him in materially, physically, spiritually?

Names in the Bible often reveal secrets if you search them out:

Obed = servant. 

Edom = red, blood.

“Servant of the blood.”

Obed- Edom, a Gentile, knew how to host the Presence of God!  Abinadab had the ark for 20 years in his house but scripture never says that God blessed him. In fact, Uzzah, his son died!

Maybe too familiar and lack of reverence? Abinadab a Jew would have known about blood sacrifices from Passover and Day of Atonement.

Obed- Edom must have heard or learned that God is a blood covenant keeping God. He learned like us about:

-         Eden when Adam/Eve sinned they tried to cover selves when God came. Their sin removed their glory covering God gave them. So they grab some salad and try to cover themselves.

-         To their horror God kills innocent animals in front of them. First time they ever saw blood and knew life is in the blood. God was teaching them holiness. He was teaching them love sacrifices. This blood spilt meant someone has been judged in your place. Your still here because of someone’s innocent blood.

You and I had a beating coming – but Jesus took it.

You and I had a whipping coming – but Jesus took that!

You and I had a cross coming – but Jesus took that!

Cain and Abel came to worship God. One brought blood and one brought salad. God blessed the one who came to Him God’s way. Cain refused to come God’s way – by blood.  

David’s first attempt to bring ark to Jerusalem = played all kinds of praise music and dance “with all their might”.

David’s 2nd attempt – He followed directions from the Word. He also must have learned from the example of Obed- Edom. David asked why was God blessing this man so much? He must have sacrificed a lot of costly blood sacrifices to God. God taught him life is in the blood. An innocent one gives his life blood to cover your sin temporarily, so you can continue to walk with God. 

Atonement – At – one – ment

“Every six paces David would sacrifice a bullock.”

Had a greater appreciation for the blood! Every 6 paces. Every 6 days we are back in this house of worship on the 7th to remember the blood.  It was the 6th hour that Jesus was on the cross.

-         Communion table – remember the blood

-         See cross outside on top of church as enter. Another cross in foyer as enter sanctuary, another lighted cross staring at you right now. Week after week we sing praises, dance, etc. but do we see the blood of God that He brought to this meeting?

What may be happening is we are becoming like Abinadab and Uzzah and getting too familiar with God and worship services! WE do the same thing week after week going through the motions and not getting more revelation about the blood that allows us here!

“The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, CONTINUALLY cleanses us from all sin.”       I John 1:7 The Passion Translation

“So David, the elders, went to bring up the ark from the house of Obed-Edom with rejoicing. Since God helped the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant. . .” I Chronicles 15:26

God helped the Levites when they did His Work His way. God will help you and me when we do His work – His way.

Ist attempt there was a lot of praise and worship but no blood.

2nd attempt praise and worship with trail of blood. A whole new appreciation of the blood. Every 6 paces stop and sacrifice an innocent animal AND CELEBRATE THE BLOOD FOR 7 MILES! Trail of smoke from burnt offerings and trail of blood. Our God is a blood covenant God.

David danced before the ark in praise to God. Last time we see dancing as worship it was Miriam, Moses sister leading the women to dance after coming through Red Sea. Now David the king lays aside his kingly robe and puts on linen Ephod (Priestly robe) and dances like a wild man before the ark.

True worship requires that you forget about yourself and what others think of you. You are ministering to the Lord first and foremost.

Ill. That is one reason I choose not to sit on the platform during worship. I take off my pastor robe and put on my priestly robe to minister to the Lord myself. There will always be people who despise you when you worship God!

-         David enters city dancing and praising God and his wife Michal later criticized how foolish he looked. She became barren and never had a child. Point is ritual and religion will never produce life, only true worship will.

Concl: What ever happened to Obed-Edom? When David came and moved the ark to Jerusalem, Obed Edom and all his family got up and moved too! Wherever God goes is where we are going.

David made him and his family a door keeper to the tabernacle of worship. “I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the house of the wicked.” Psalm 84:10

 Jesus called Himself the Door to the sheepfold. A sheepfold does not have a door on hinges. A door keeper would stand there and only allow the right sheep to enter in.

It’s like this for us. Jesus is the Door. We come to Him and want into His fold. He asks, “Do You realize, believe in and appreciate My blood making you able to be here?” Do you believe it was only because of the blood?

Only one part of your body is called a door by the Bible?

“Keep watch over the door of my lips” Proverbs 12:18

You are the doorkeeper. “If you confess with mouth…”

          Jesus will apply His blood over your life, house and you will be saved. What a deal? Let’s celebrate that!

Many in church do not feel they qualify to ask God for things like healing, blessing. You don’t realize believers are kept constantly clean before God according to I John 1:7. His blood continually cleanses us and we are in continual wash cycle. It is not based on your works or walk but only on the blood.

Finding, Following and Fulfilling God’s Will for Your Life

Finding, Following and Fulfilling God’s Will for Your Life

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

“Delight” = to be soft or pliable, create a sensitivity.

To delight ourselves in the Lord means seeking His will, putting Him first, making Him our first love and passion. Enjoying time alone with Him. Creating a romance between you and God.

-         Our flesh will fight against us. World will tempt us away.

1.    One of the ways God will lead us is by placing desires in our heart. But before we can trust our desires we first must be delighting in Him. The desires of our heart will not be the same as His, unless we are delighting in Him.

          When you are learning to hear from God, spend a lot of time in His Word, in worship, then it will not be hard to discern His will coming into your heart.

The Bible reveals there are 2 kinds of Christians:

Carnal – carne = flesh and world dominated mind

Spiritual – Spiritually minded

“To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace, for the carnal mind is hostile toward God. . .” Romans 8:6

You can’t trust the desires of your heart if you are carnal/worldly minded. You may be saved but you are being hindered by your fleshly and worldly ways and may not even know it.

If you are truly putting God first, then your desires are talking to you about things God wants you to do. God is talking to you about some things He wants to do in and through your life.

-         It may be something as simple as desire to help someone. Prepare a meal, write a letter of encouragement, send some money, mow a neighbors’ grass, whatever.

After this desire is in your heart, as long as you are putting God first then you can trust your desire and act on it. God is leading you but it will take faith on your part to follow His will. You are going to have to take some risks, get out of the boat, swing the bat, try! This is where life gets exciting.

-         So if your life has been boring then know you have not been following God’s will.

-         You were meant to know the joy of knowing God is using you in some way to make an impact on someone else! I guarantee you God has things this week HE wants you to experience like that!

If you are afraid and aren’t sure about something in your heart, then don’t go full steam ahead, move slowly, but just start doing something. I hope you can realize the HS is trying to stir you up tonight so you can reach your assignments this week.

2.    Another way God leads us to know His will is though His peace.

“Let the peace of God rule in your heart, to which you were also called; and be thankful.” 
Col. 3:15

          RULE = umpire, to govern or decide.

Ill. Umpire makes the final decision and there’s no debate.

God’s peace is in every born again spirit. We may not always experience that peace because we aren’t always living out of your spirit, and sometimes get caught up in emotions, but God’s peace is always inside our spirit as a means of guidance from God.

Ill. When in bible college Andrew was born in 2nd year of school and all we had was a pick up truck with one bench seat. With another baby coming we needed more room. Feeling the pressure that we had to have something and not waiting on God, we went and looked at cars at car lot, just to look! Next thing you know I was buying a car and signing a contract for high financing. My spirit did not have peace and was warning me, but I was stubborn and pushed this deal through because I reasoned I had to have this car and now. We bought the car.

-         For the next few years we struggled hard to make payments. I begged God for relief but in His mercy He helped me make payments but learn a valuable lesson.

-         Wait on God. If you don’t have peace don’t do it no matter what!

The number 1 rule of Discernment:

“Ain’t nothing wrong, but something ain’t right!”   Bob Mumford

I learned a valuable life lesson from that. God’s love for me remains the same whether I obey Him or not. But the blessing or hardship of my life depends upon me yielding to His leadership.

3.    To find God’s will we must learn not to base decisions upon our feelings. One thing that distinguishes an adult forma child is the fact that adults try not to base their decisions on how they feel.

-         We don’t feel like going to work but we know we need to.

PIC of Fact, faith and feelings. 

Emotions are like the caboose on a train, going wherever the train goes – yet determining nothing.

Feelings cannot be the determining factor, only truth. Until feelings are confronted with truth, feelings will continue to dominate and chaos will reign.

4.    Finding God’s will for your life will require action on your part.

Ill. Elijah the prophet was told by God there will be no rain for 3 years. He was told to go tell King Ahab and his wife Jezebel this news they would not like to here. Elijah was putting his life on the line to do this! But he obeys.

          After Elijah delivers the Word He gets another directive from God.

“Go hide thyself by the brook Cherith. Thou shalt drink from the brook and I have commanded the ravens to feed you THERE.”  I Kings 17:2-5

Here’s the point: God sent Elijah’s provision THERE – not where he was, but where God told him to go. Elijah would have to obey in order to get the provision of the Lord.

Ill. Similar to quarterback throws the ball to a receiver. He does not throw it where the receiver is, he throws it where the receiver is going to be – in front of the receiver.

God does not always send your provision to you. He sends it where He wants you to go. He might be leading you to start a new business and step out in faith. You won’t receive provision where you are now, you will see it there after you act on what He told you to do.

Ill. Our bible college experience was that way. The full provision was there – not back where we were in our bank account. We had to go there to get the provision.

Concl: The Lord is always leading us, but we need to be sensitive to Him and act on it.

Confession and prayer:

Lord,
Thank You that You do provide me with guidance and direction in this life. When I delight myself in You, then I can trust You to put Your direction in my heart. Your Holy Spirit lives in me and guides me with Your peace so I can discern Your will. Thank You for my Holy Spirit Umpire Who is teaching me not to trust my feelings, but instead be led by Your truth. Finally, You have taught me tonight how to discern Your will by where You provide for my needs. You are leading me. My part is to delight myself in You, and follow Your lead so I won’t make a mistake.

Thank You for leading me to this teaching of Your truth tonight.
In Jesus’ name, Amen

Lord, What Will You Have Me To Do?

Lord, What Will You Have Me To Do?

Ill. During soaking Alice Becraft read a devotional asking this question that just so happened to be the question I have been asking God for the last 6 months about various issues. So you can imagine this got my attention. Question comes from Apostle Paul just knocked off his donkey and struck blind by the Lord. He had been persecuting Christians thinking they were a cult. The Lord asks him a question, “Why are you persecuting Me?” He said, “Who are you Lord?” I am Jesus whom you are persecuting . . .” Lord, what will You have me to do?

-         We should all be asking this question and wait for His answer.

-         Jesus gives him his next step but w/o details. Paraphrase.

Paul was going to have to yield to God w/o understanding!

Yield means wait UNTIL I speak and tell you what to do.

-         3 days’ waits and still blind. Not told how long it will be!

W – willingly
A -   abiding
I   -   In
T -    trust

Will you trust Me and wait for Me to direct you?

Ill. At the same time this is happening God is dealing with man named Ananias – go to street Straight, Judas house, and pray for man named Saul/Paul for he is praying and has seen you in vision restore his sight. He obeys and Paul healed, filled with HS, baptized and started preaching all because both of these men were willing to ask God what will You have me do with my life? Then they yielded.

-         Waiting upon the Lord is yielding to Him. It is better to do one thing directed by the Lord than a thousand things just because you think you need to do them.

-         Waiting upon the Lord for direction may seem like a waste of time if you fear what people think about you. Ill. Remember King Saul and not waiting on Samuel to come offer the sacrifice and for fear of the people leaving King Saul offers the sacrifice which was not lawful for him to do.

Waiting upon the Lord instead of rushing ahead and doing something just for the sake of doing something really boils down to a trust issue with God. God’s ways often do not make sense to us.

Ill. Jesus’ habit was get alone with God early in the morning. This intimate place with the Father was the place all His ministry was born.

He constantly said, “I can do nothing of Myself . . . My aim is to do the will of Him who sent Me.” When He preached or taught He said, “The words that I say to you I do not speak as from Myself: It is the Father living in Me, who is doing the work.” John 14:10

Do I trust God?

Ill. Hymn: Have thine own way Lord. Lady Adelay Pollard was struggling with a what she thought was a call from God to go and be a missionary to Africa. She struggled to raise funds and it was just not happening, and this caused her great distress. One night in a prayer meeting she heard a woman pray, “Lord, it doesn’t matter what You bring into our lives – just have Your own way with us.” She went home that night and wrote, “Have thine own way Lord, have thine own way. Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.

Mold me and make me, after Thy will.

While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Yield sign

Yield because your road is merging into another. Other people may be involved. Wait where you are until you can move forward.

Ill. Lately I have been asking God – what’s next? Lord, what do You want me to do? I believe He said Wait. Wait for what? How long? He did not say.

The other day I was talking to the Lord and I quoted one of my life verses back to Him, Matthew 11:28. Then I said, Lord, I come to You and You said I would find rest, but I am still weary. What am I missing? Then He pointed out something to me that was a key missing ingredient.

Ill. You can be doing all the right stuff as a Xn – faithful, Bible, prayer, tithe, witness, but missing one key ingredient. What was it that I was missing? Then later I saw the answer in a scripture.

“. . . Jesus Christ, whom, having not seen, you love; and in whom, though you do not see Him now, you believe AND YOU REJOICE WITH JOY UNSPEAKABLE AND FULL OF GLORY . . .”  I Peter 1:8

I was believing God and waiting on God but not rejoicing in God while I was not seeing Him. I found out at 61 times the Bible speaks about us rejoicing in the Lord. The most repeated command in the Bible is not a prohibition or a warning, but is a command to praise God and rejoice in God! Most of these times it is a command to praise or rejoice in God by faith even when at the moment you don’t see any reason to rejoice in God. For example;

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials of your faith . . .” James 1:2

God was showing me that one way the enemy will wear down the saints in the last days is when they are doing all the right stuff but not rejoicing, you will wear out. But if you will rejoice by faith in God, then you won’t wear out.

When I rejoice/give God thanks by faith while in the trial, then I am declaring God is already the winner of this trial.

When I am depressed I am declaring Satan is the winner of this trial.

This is why the Lord can command us to rejoice in the Lord always! We are enforcing the victory Jesus has already won! The Lord lives in us and we have His presence all the time in every trial we will ever face. Rejoicing is evidence that I truly believe God is with me and leading me to His victory.

Ill. Billionaire had a sign in his office for every employee to see on his desk. “You’ve got 10 seconds to get enthusiastic or get out of My presence!” The Lord has a right to tell us this too. 61 times He commands us to rejoice in the Lord regardless of what we are going through.

Ill. In 1980’s a man named Sam Behr with strong southern accent started making TV commercials selling tires. His approach was very direct and made him millions. “Hello neighbor, Tires (Tars) ain’t pretty. They don’t smell nice. They don’t make you feel good. But you got to have them. So you might as well come on down to Allied Discount Tire and buy tires fro me. Tires ain’t pretty, but you’ve got to have them. So come on down here and get your tars!

Hello Neighbor, Trials ain’t pretty, they don’t feel good, but you’ve got to have them. You might as well come on down here to My throne of grace and and release your faith with a shout of joy. Trials ain’t pretty but you gotta have them. Release your faith right now with me. Praise God, Glory to God, Hallujah, Thank you Jesus! (You had to be here a few weeks ago when something broke out to understand!)

-         You pull joy out by faith from your spirit. You already have it but now you have to use it by faith.

Preacher I did that and nothing happened! You don’t know that! If you really rejoiced by faith in God something did happen – you just don’t see it yet.

Ill. Jesus a the fig tree. One day Jesus walked by seeking some figs and found none and cursed it and the disciples heard Him. Next day walked by same tree and it was withered from roots! If God tells you to rejoice during the trial, then you can be sure something is happening.

Jesus said Have faith in God or literally Have God’s faith. Twice in Mark 11:23-24 Jesus says, “believe”.

-         Prophet lady speaking words over different people at Living Waters camp meeting. To me she simply said, “Just believe!” Let’s celebrate that!

Ill. Pic Bamboo tree

Plant Bamboo tree and water it one year no growth. 2nd through 4 years no sign of growth. Then suddenly 5th year it grows 80 feet in 6 weeks! Not really. It was 80 feet in 5 years. The truth is if you had not been persistent in watering and caring for it one – 4 years it would not have made it. There are times it appears nothing is happening. But if God says to rejoice in trials and rejoice always then something is happening under the surface. Do it by faith.

“Through faith and patience you inherit the promises.” Hebrews 6:12

ill. Elijah went upon mountain to pray for rain. The bible specifically mentions his posture in prayer. His face was between his knees. IT was like he is birthing something. He prayed and then sent his servant to look to see if any rain clouds appear. 7 times he sent to look. 7th time he said I see a tiny little cloud about size of man’s hand. Elijah said, “Praise God, glory to God, Hallelujah, thank you Yahweh”. Some people try to say Elijah prayed 7 times – no according to James 5 he prayed once but sent the servant to look 7 times. What was he doing the other times? Rejoicing. The only way you will not wear out or quit while waiting on God is by rejoicing while you are waiting.

Rejoicing is a key that was missing in my life. Maybe yours too. Rejoicing is an expression of your faith that will torment the devil and strengthen you in your inner man.

Concl: Remember joy is not an experience. It is the ground you already hold by faith if you don’t give it up and give in to depression. It has taken you a lifetime to get where you are today spiritually. Don’t lose that ground. Rejoice in the Lord now – don’t wait till you see your breakthrough. “This is the day the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Sometimes in focusing on your destination, you may forget the present moment is the time to rejoice.

“Yesterday is in the tomb,
Tomorrow is in the womb.
The only place you will
ever be is today!”

Wilderness Wandering Attitudes to Avoid Part 5

Wilderness Wandering Attitudes to Avoid Part 5

Intro: In last 4 weeks we have identified there are 5 attitudes that manifest unbelief:

Manifestations of unbelief
Coveting
Doubting God
Critical spirit
Complaining
?

Manifestations of believing God
Contentment
Faith/trust
Loving people
Gratitude/thankful
?

We will see the last manifestation of unbelief in Number 16.

Moses was more than 80 years old. He was the proven leader of God for Israel. 40 years in the wilderness. Stood as God’s representative before Pharaoh and was used by God to send ten plagues on Egypt.

Held out his staff and divided the Red Sea. Spent 40 days twice on a mountain alone with God.

-         Moses was not perfect and God hasn’t used a perfect leader yet other than Jesus.

“Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, THE SON OF LEVI, and Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and sons of Peleth, s RUEBEN, took 250 chiefs, famous in the assembly, well known men and they assembled against Moses and Aaron and said to them, “You take too much upon yourselves, seeing all the congregation are holy, and the Lord is among them. So why do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?”  Numbers 16

Korah was a descendent of Levi, the tribe responsible for leading worship in the Tabernacle. Only Levites could lead worship. The point is these were not outcasts but close leaders to Moses.

“They assembled together against Moses and Aaron.” Vs 3

-         This was a well organized planned rebellion. Very articulate, sounded right and Korah was the spokesman for the group.

-         These are the leaders Moses appointed and trained!

-         Theses were good people who thought they were right in standing up to Moses. Where did this come from after all they have been through together? Where does rebellion come from? What are the roots of rebellion?

1.    Disappointment often leads to rebellion.

Vs 13 reveals their disappointment. “Is it not enough that you have brought us up from a land flowing with milk and honey into this wilderness because you make yourself a prince over us? Nor have you given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards.” vs 13

-         They are disappointed that they are not where they thought they would be by now. Look how they described Egypt? You forgot where you came from – slaves – Egypt was not flowing!

-         We began with you with a vision of great things and now it has not happened. They were expressing disappointment.

2.    Coveting authority and not honoring authority.

          Korah wanted to at least be equal with Moses in authority. He did not want to submit to Moses because he thought Moses had a position he and 250 other leaders felt he should have. He wanted the power!

-         Remember in vs 3 Korah we are all holy – he was saying we all have the Lord with us, we are all equal before the Lord?

Ill. We are all equal before the Lord, but we are not the same in calling!

You are equal with your boss but you are not the same as your boss.

Wives are equal with their husbands before the Lord but not the same. Children are equal with their parents and teachers before the Lord as people but they are not the same in authority. Pastor and elders in church are the same before God but not the same in authority.

-         Korah and others were equal with Moses, but they were not the same with authority appointed from God.

-         Often people see the calling or position in leadership and desire or think they could do that job, but they don’t respect the process the leader went through to get there.

-         Ill. Police officers for example

3.    Stubbornness fuels rebellion.

Then Moses sent for Dathan and Abiram, who said, “We will not come up.” Vs 12

-         The Leader calls for them and they say, “We are not coming!”

Ill. Are you easy to lead. Have you prided yourself on being a stubborn person thinking that is strength of character? They are not the same.

God ordained authorities:  

Government – Work – Home – Church

Picture of umbrella of authority

Rebellion = knowing what to do but refusing to do it. It involves willfully coming out from under God ordained authority.

ill. There are times we should rebel when under God’s clear direction. American Revolution – Civil Rights movement. But even then it was done first with appeals to authority until their was no other option.

As long as an authority is not asking you to sin, you need to find a way to be under that authority. I am not saying abused women should stay with an abusive husband or children with abusive parents. There are laws against to protect us from that.

Rebellion is ultimately against the Lord.

 Moses said, “Therefore you and all your company are gathered together AGAINST THE LORD.”  Vs 11

If God placed a person in authority over you, then rejecting or opposing authority is rejecting and opposing God!

One more example of rebellion that I must share with you.

King Saul was God’s choice for the 1st king of Israel. He failed several tests of God after becoming king. Each test revealed that deep inside his heart there was rebellion against God. On the surface you would have never known he was in rebellion. He did not know it himself.

          One time he was told by Samuel the prophet to gather the army at a certain place where they were about to go to war with Philistines. But wait till Samuel the priests arrive to make the offerings before the Lord. There was a divine delay of Samuel and the people had waited for 7 days and some of them said they were leaving to go back home. Out of fear of losing his people and looking foolish in front of them, he offered the burnt sacrifice, which was not permitted by the Lord. Only the priests were to do this. Samuel arrives after this and said you acted foolishly and have not obeyed the commandment of the Lord!

After this is when everything begins to go south for Saul. On another occasion Samuel gets a word from God that Saul is to lead Israel completely destroy the Amalekites, (men, women and children and animals!) So Saul defeats them but keeps the Amalekite king alive for some reason and the best of the animals.

          Samuel shows up and sees all this and asks Saul, “What have you done?” Note this: When a person is in rebellion they have deceived themselves!

          Saul says to Samuel. “I’ve done what you said!” I saved these animals for sacrificing to the Lord.

“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Obedience is better than sacrifice, a listening ear than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” I Sam. 15:22-23

A little later Saul repents and says, “I have sinned because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.” Very revealing.

-         We all want people to like us, appreciate us, tell us we are doing a good job, but not at the expense of doing what God wants even if everybody opposes us or even rises up against us! At the end of the day on judgment day – your friends or fans on Facebook are not going to be standing with you before God.

Let’s talk solution:

In order to leave the wilderness, we must replace a rebellious attitude with a submissive one.

“every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities . . . established by God.”  Romans 13:1

1.    Submission is for the Lord’s sake.

“Submit yourselves to every human authority for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king, as supreme, or to governors, as sent by Him for the punishment of evil doers and to praise those who do right. For it is the will of God that by doing right you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. As free people, do not use your liberty as a covering for evil, but live as servants of God Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.”       I Peter 2:13-17

-         refusing to submit to your boss, is more than refusing him, but it is refusing the Lord! We submit for the “Lord’s sake”, not the boss.

2.    Submission is protection by God. 

Submission to authority is a covering of protection for you. “submit” is a military term.

Submission – place yourself under the mission of another, under God established authority.

Ill. Use umbrella to illustrate. It may still rain but you have protection. Satan still attacks but is limited.

3.    Submission has limits under God.

“As free people, do not use your liberty as a covering for evil, but live as servants of God.”

Ill. If you take a job you should first see if their mission is something you can place yourself under while serving the Lord.

Pam started to work last year for a company as a nurse. The founder of the company even had as part of their mission purpose that they were here to serve God and help people. For 6 months it was a great job, great pay. The company was sold to another and now the mission changed. Now the bottom line was money and get the numbers up. Even to the point of getting people to sign up for a program that they did not need. Pam had to resign that position for that reason. Point is this; submission has limits!

WE are not slaves to human authorities. We serve God.

4.    Submission is a test of your faith in God.

“Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. For this finds favor, if for conscience sake toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.”    I Peter 2:18-19

5.    Submission involves intimacy with God.

“For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps.”   I Peter 2:21

What are His steps, example that I am to follow in?

“While being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins . . . so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.” I Peter 2:23-25

-         To follow His steps is to involve some suffering, even when we don’t see His actions on our behalf. IT will require us to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, but He gives grace to the humble.

Concl:  In order to leave your wilderness for your destiny you are going to have to deal with rebellion attitude that is deeply imbedded in your heart. You may not have realized it until today. Here’s a prayer to get you started:

Lord, I realize I must learn submission not only to human authority, but ultimately to You alone in every circumstance. Help me to put off human pride and rebellion, and put on submission to You and the authorities You place me under. I must learn to trust You in all of this and find grace in the midst of hardships. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Finding, Following and Fulfilling God’s Will for Your Life Part 5

Finding, Following and Fulfilling God’s Will for Your Life Part 5

Joke: It was the first day of school and the teacher was trying to get some information from every student about their family. The Teacher asked a child, “What is your fathers occupation?”

“He’s a magician” said little Johnny. “How interesting. What is his favorite trick?” The teacher asked. “He saws people in half.”

“Wow. Now my next question. Do you have any brothers or sisters?”

“One half brother and two half sisters!”

 “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord…” Psalm 37:23

You are that “good man” because you are the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).

But this does not mean God is ordering your steps like a robot.

God’s will is like a large parking lot.

Pic of parking lot

We are given great freedom to choose many things for ourselves. Like a parking lot, if the space is open you have freedom to choose to park yourself there. If it is already taken you can’t have that space. If a person is already married, then you can’t have her/him. The parking space is taken.

However, look at this scripture:

“The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor food to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge; but time and chance happen to them all.” Ecclesiastes 9:11

“Happen” = qarah – to meet without a pre-arrangment. A right happening caused by the Lord’s timing to get you in the right place at the right time.

This has happened to you more times than you or I realize. Whenever you were witnessed to, when you heard the gospel and responded in faith, or God putting you in contact with a person you need to meet or help or receive help from.

You usually do not recognize this until later. You don’t see the whole plan of God and how He is working things together for your good. Like a rainbow we only see a part of it.

Pic of full circle rainbow

This is why it is important to keep a thankful attitude to God. Even giving thanks to God by faith when interruptions happen. We only see part of God’s plans.

If you want to see this in action, then read Genesis 24 tonight before going to bed. It is a great illustration of how the Father, the Son and the HS work together for the church.

Abraham represents God the Father.

Isaac represents Jesus the Son.

Unnamed servant represents Holy Spirit.

Rebekah represents the church.

Ill. Paraphrase Gen. 24 and read verse 10-15.

 “Just so happened” = qarah

Your divine appointment may come just giving a card invitation to your church to someone. Giving a gospel tract or meeting a new person.

Every step of the journey is the journey!

“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105

We find the will of God from the Word of God.

Ill. If you have to pray to find out if it is God’s will for you to invite a stranger to church then you haven’t read the Word. You already know a lot of God’s will and what is not His will.

-        You will grow in understanding the will of the Lord by spending time in the Word.

See that you walk carefully, not as fools but as wise men, making the most of the time because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be unwise but understand what the will of the Lord is.  Eph. 5:17

Sometimes God cannot reveal to us what His will is because our hearts are not ready to believe Him. Jesus said,

I have many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them now.  John 16:12

          God wants you to know His will but He wants you to go through a narrow gate and most people don’t want to do that.

Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that YOU MAY PROVE WHAT IS GOOD AND PERFECT WILL OF GOD.      Romans 12:2

-        This world has values, priorities that are not in agreement with God.

Love not this world, neither the things in this world. For if any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  I John 2:15

-        You will not find fulfillment for your life in the world or things of the world. You were created for God’s pleasure! Your design is made for relationship with God. Anything short of that is emptiness.

Delight yourself in the Lord; and He shall give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37

-        One of the ways God leads us is by the desires of our heart. But before we can trust our desires, we need to make sure we are really delighting in Him. If God is not our first love, then we can’t depend upon being led by the desires of our heart.

The carnal mind is enmity against God.  Romans 8:6

People who do not pursue a relationship with God after they are born again cannot trust their desires. But put God first in our life and delight in Him and He will put desires in you that He wants for your life.

Ill. The desires God has placed deep inside you – He wants you to know them. Many people have a dream, desire to do certain things but they are not sure it from God, because they don’t trust their own desires. They think the desire is just coming from their daydreams and so they dismiss it. The only way you will find out is to deal with your heart and put God’s will first even if you don’t know what it is for you.

-        The more you will seek to love God the more His desires will increase in your heart.

-        If you are bored – then you have not found God’s will for your life.

-        Our lives are here to make a difference where we live.

Ill. No one on their death bed says, “O I wish I had a nicer car, or more diamonds. The regrets people have at the end of their lives involve relationships. I wish I had made a bigger impact on people.

One of the ways to find God’s will is to put Him first, delight yourself in Him and then follow the desire of your heart. This is how God will lead you most of the time.

He may modify that desire over time as you move.

Ill. If you had no restrictions with money not being an issue. Forget about past failures, forget about what relatives are saying. What would you want to do?

          Sometimes people still don’t know. But everyone has desires inside them. Everyone has a dream of their life somehow making a difference in this world. We were meant to know the joy of feeling our life is making a difference.

This may require taking some risks. Sometimes it is really not much of a risk.

Ill. When Peter got out of the boat to walk on water the boat he was in was already full of water. There was very little difference being in the boat or out of it.

Sometimes there are more serious risks and you need to move slowly – just start doing something that is towards a desire in your heart. Actions follow faith.

The next things to know about God’s will is

Timing and preparation

God’s will for your life involves His timing.

God’s will for your life involves preparation. More about this later.

A prayer: Lord, I ask You to help me to recognize the desires You have placed in my heart. Help me make an application with the truth I have heard tonight. Thank You for the awesome things You have in store for all of us.  In Jesus’ name.

Replacing Wilderness Attitude #3

Replacing Wilderness Attitude #3  Numbers 12

Intro: I thought about writing a book titled:

Good lessons from Bad examples

          The Bible does not hide the sins of the saints, neither the bad and tragic examples of people making poor or disastrous decisions.

-        Judas walked with Jesus for 3 years and still did not trust Him.

-        David, man after God’s heart, had everything he could have dreamed of having and yet bored and went after another man’s wife.

-        Samson died before his time seeking his own pleasure.

-        The bad example that God mentions over and over again in both OT and NT as a warning to us to learn from: The Israel that died in the wilderness never reaching the plans God had for them.

“Now all these things happened to them for examples. They are written as an admonition to us, upon whom the end of the ages has come.”  I Cor. 10:11

admonition = warning or counsel given by an authority to stop a behavior or action.

Ill. What if you were a contestant on a game show and was asked what was the reason the children of Israel could not enter the Promise land?

If you answered: UNBELIEF, you would be correct. However, unbelief was the root of all their problems while they were in the wilderness.

If unbelief is the root then, what is the fruit?

Fruit of unbelief  - Fruit of faith (rest)

Coveting  -  Contentment
Doubt  -  Faith
Criticism  -  Love

Ill. Man driving U-Haul loaded with everything he owned pulled into a gas station to refuel. At the pump he started talking to another guy pumping gas into his truck. “Do you live in this town?” “Yes, all my life” he replied. “We are moving here from town up North. What kind of people can we expect to find here?” “Well, what kind of people did you leave behind up North?” “Oh, they were so negative, ungrateful, critical, unhappy bunch of people, all of them. That is why we are moving here.” “What are the people like here?” The man said, “Oh about the same!” And he was right. More often than not, how we perceive a matter, the attitude we choose directly influences what we will experience.

-        People leave a church because of something they do not like and come to this one thinking it is the greatest church on earth. Soon they start to see things here that were similar to the old church.

“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” Matthew 7:3

-        Until we accept responsibility for our own attitude we will never be able to change anything. What I am talking about is:

Identifying and removing a critical spirit that is hindering your life.  

“Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he married.”  Numbers 12:1
             “spoke against” = criticized

Criticism = dwelling upon the perceived faults of others without any intention of helping them.

“Spoke against” is a feminine verb meaning the the primary critic was Miriam and Aaron sort of got dragged into this.

Remember Miriam is Moses big sister:

She was the one who hid Moses in the bulrushes in the Nile as a baby.

Miriam loved Moses. She was a godly woman. She was the first woman prophet mentioned in the bible. She led the women in worship and dance. The point is anyone can struggle in this area and we need to take heed at the message today.

-        Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman he married. Details we don’t know are maybe his wife Zipporah died and he re-married. Cushite = Ethiopian.

-        Big sister did not like the choice that little brother made! But was this the real issue?

“And they said, ‘Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us as well?’ And the Lord heard it.”  Verse 2

-        The real issue was they were questioning Moses call from God to lead them and questioning his decisions and judgment. God hears this and defends his man. He calls all 3 to a God- frontation in His office at the door of the tabernacle.

-        God said I speak to prophets in dreams and riddles but with Moses I speak face to face. “Why were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?”  Note God’s deep feelings!

They had no idea the price Moses had paid to walk where he walked with God! They thought they were on the same level as Moses and they were not.

          Short version: God strikes Miriam with leprosy so bad like a dead person. Aaron pleads with Moses that they acted foolishly and Moses prays for her and after 7 days she is healed.

Why is this in the Bible? For us to learn and note that God takes seriously the way we treat each other – even secret conversations.

Why did God judge Miriam so severely with leprosy and yet people today are critical and don’t get leprosy?

-        She was a leader with Moses and first prophetess. With great privilege comes greater judgment.

-        Maybe criticism still invites an inside leprosy that eats away the life God has for you?

Criticism hurts our fellowship with God, and others and ourselves.

Ill. In a book titled “Nervous tension” a doctor surveyed thousands of people seeking the secret to emotional health. One fact stood out clearly. Those who suffered from extreme tension were all habitual critics, faultfinders of people and things around them. People who free from from strife and tension were the least critical of others. Becoming critical was a learned habit that brought very destructive emotional and physical health to people.

Did you hear one of Aesop’s fables about a man and his grandson traveling to town? The old man walked as his grandson rode the donkey. Some criticized him saying, “Look at that old man suffering while that young boy who is strong rides the donkey.” The old man hearing this switched places. Soon heard another critic, “Look a that grown man taking advantage of a little boy.” So the man and boy both rode the donkey then heard another critic say, “Look at those heavy brutes making the poor donkey suffer. So they both got off and walked and then heard another critic say, “What a waste that a perfectly good donkey is not being used!” The final scene shows the boy and the old man staggering along trying to carry the donkey!

          Point: If someone has a critical spirit – there is nothing you can do to satisfy them. Behind the petty issue is a real heart issue of some kind of bitterness and un-forgiveness.

When bitterness and un-forgiveness is in the heart then criticism will be on the lips.

“Beware of anything that puts you in the place of the superior person.”  Oswald Chambers

How to handle criticism:
1.   Some criticism is not worth our attention and energy.  I Peter 5:7

2.   Make sure you don’t catch the disease and return it.

3.   Learn from it – there may be a grain of truth in it.

Ill. Lincoln received criticism from one of his cabinet and was asked by the press about it (trying to stir up trouble).

“Mr. is a very intelligent man, if he said it there must be some truth to it.”

4.   If being critical is your habit, then take action to overcome it.

-        “Little foxes spoil the vine.”
-        Keep yourself under the pressure to change by meditation on love and asking to help you break this habit.

Concl: Change, maturity does not come easy. Old habits don’t die easily. The truth is most people don’t change. They stay critical and then excuse their behavior or justify themselves.

-        There is a price to be paid in order to experience all God has for us.

Many people walked away after hearing Jesus preaching saying,

“This is a hard saying; who can (accept) it?” Jn 6:60

People in the world are use to seeing and hearing criticism about God’s church. They often hear about it from the people who claim to be Xns. They hear and see churches break up and then Xns leave one church for another, criticize this church, that pastor, or ministry.

The world is still waiting to see something they have not seen yet.

“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love one for another.” John 13:35

What’s the answer to a critical spirit? Receive love from God and give love from God to others. They need it you need to let it flow from you through you to them.

Ill. Years ago preacher D.L. Moody sensed the Lord wanted him to grow in this matter of love. He wrote more than 100 years ago:

I looked up the word Love and began to study love for many weeks. I studied the passages of love in the bible till I could not help but love people.  Feed on love so much that you get so full of love that all you have to do is open your lips and a flood of love flows out. Love will never fail.

-        Love will always take things or situations to a better place.

-        If you pursue love with your whole heart then even when people hurt you, God will use that – because Love never fails. Never!

You and I are here today because love did not stop pursuing us. Love has been given to us unconditionally and perfectly and has not failed.

This same love you have received – now needs to flow through your lips and life to someone today.

Getting Out of Your Wilderness into God’s Promise Land

Getting Out of Your Wilderness into God’s Promise Land
(Replacing a Doubting Attitude)

I began a series of messages last week about what kept Israel from getting into the promise land. The short answer is unbelief. But unbelief is the deep hidden root that bears many different kinds of fruits. Last week we saw one of the fruits of unbelief is coveting things that God is not willing to give us. The opposite attitude that we must cultivate intentionally in our lives is contentment with what God has provided.

          We saw last Sunday that Israel craved the foods they use to eat back in Egypt. It got so bad they were saying that they should turn around and go back to Egypt. How quick we forget how bad those old party days really were!

Today we will see another wilderness attitude that must change if we are ever to reach our purpose and God’s promise land for us. The root is unbelief but the fruit is Wilderness attitude #2 - doubt.

Doubt is a lack of confidence that God will keep His promise.

We see it manifested in Thomas the disciple after hearing of Jesus’ resurrection. “I am not going to believe unless I see it for myself.”

We see doubt in Jonah the prophet. He had such a hatred and prejudice for the people of Nineveh. He said, “I don’t know and I don’t really care enough about the people of Nineveh and nobody can change my mind about that!”

After taking a little 3-day cruise in a fishes’ belly – he changed his mind

Contrary to popular opinion, pastors struggle with doubt too.

1.   I struggle at times waiting on God to bring justice to a situation I have committed to Him. Ill. Times where I have experienced harsh treatment from someone and holding my tongue because I know HS is saying to me to give it to Him and He will handle it. I want to lash out but I know not to. I start to doubt He is handling it.

2.   I find I doubt God with my children or grandchildren. I get anxious and try to fix everything instead of giving them to Him. I don’t see any good changes and start to doubt God is on it.

3.   I get disappointed with Xns – not keeping their commitments, not being faithful in attendance and tithes. I see Xns get mad over silly things and leave the church they swore God called them to!

Pastors and ministers are burning out at a faster rate than ever before. 1500 pastors leave their calling each month. 80% pastors and wives are discouraged or are dealing with depression. California Psychiatrist Richard Blackmon said, “Pastors are the single most occupationally frustrated group in America.

Bottom line: I see too many people and need to get my eyes back on the Lord!

I think all doubt begins from disappointment.

God has promised He would provide for us – Phil. 4:19 quote.

Then the provision does not come like we expected – disappointment and then on to doubt.

God has promised to protect us – Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon. . .”

Things happen we did not expect – disappointment to doubt.

God has promised to heal – then it does not happen like we expect.

Disappointment to doubt to despair to defeat.

Today find some principles that reveal how God deals with our doubts.

Principle 1: Tests of faith are an essential part of my life.
Temporarily
Enduring
Some
Trouble

These test are not for our failure but for our success!

Ill. Israel finally reaches border of Promise land that God has promised was flowing with milk and honey. The problem was the land is not vacant. There are people already living there! I think God knew this, don’t you? Plan 1 was God expected them to march in there and take possession. They quickly realized in order to take this land there is going to have to be some war, some conflict, some hardship.

The test: Will we trust and conquer, or will we doubt and despair and be defeated? 

In Deut. 1 God Himself recalls what happened.

The Lord said, “See the Lord God has set the land before you. Go up and possess it, just as the Lord has spoken to you. Do not fear or be discouraged.”  Deut. 1:21

In other words, God is saying, “Don’t be discouraged by what you see. Don’t doubt. You will win the battles. You will have the victory. Trust Me and go do what I told you!”

“Yet, you were not willing, but rebelled against the command of the Lord. But for all this, you did not trust the Lord your God.” Vs 26,32

They failed the test because they would not trust God.

What is God going to do now? Will He destroy them? No. See how gracious God is their weakness. He tells them to send 12 spies (like recon team) to spy out the land and return with a scouting report.

You know what happened? 10 reported we can’t take it and 2 said let’s go. Now at cross roads again.

Am I going to trust God – or doubt God?

It is really a choice we have to make. Even if you have trusted Christ for salvation there are other areas you will be tested in. If you can’t trust God and lay hold of His promises, then expect a lot of defeat.

Ill. You can’t tell by looking at someone on Sunday whether or not they have faith and truly trust God or not.

Pic of bucket

Faith inside people is like water inside a bucket. You find out what is inside when you bump it!

-        Bad circumstances bump you, then you spill what you are full of!

A bump is a test. What spilled? Doubt or faith?

Bumps are going to happen. The bumps are not just to reveal your faith but to refine your faith. God already knows but he wants you to know.

Principle 2: Faith shrinks or stretches.

Why did 10 spies doubt and only 2 had faith? We can only speculate, but it has to do with passing or failing their previous tests of faith.

God regularly places tests of faith in our path. Probably not a day goes by w/o some kind of test of your faith from God. Ill. If we would remember this, then we would handle unexpected disappointments different. I think we need to kindly remind one another when we hear of a brother going through a difficult moment. An alarm should go off. Remember the old test patterns that use to come on TV?

Pic of test pattern

·        "This is a test. For the next sixty (or thirty) seconds, this station will conduct a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. This is only a test."

“This is a test of the heavenly broadcast system. Look to the Holy Spirit for help to pass this test and you will do well. This is only a test.” Jesus

“This is a test of the hell broadcast system. Don’t just stand there. Panic or do something!” Satan

God’s principles for overcoming doubt. Principle 1:Tests of faith are an essential part of my life. Principle 2: Faith either shrinks or stretches.

Principle 3: Doubt sees obstacles – faith sees opportunities

So often we hear God’s faith from His words.

Ill. “See I have given you the land.” “See I have given you the city.”

“Go in and possess the land.”

Taking possession of the land would require faith and action. God does His part and we do our part. We can’t do His part. We can’t heal anyone. But we can lay our hands on them like He said and He heals through us. We can’t save anyone, but we can give them the gospel. By doing our part we are actively possessing what God has told us to do. Each act of obedience in a step in the right direction. We must keep doing this until we fully possess the land.

God may be setting you up. He wants you to start seeing things like He sees them – with faith in Him. Faith sees an opportunity; doubt sees an obstacle. Which way do you want to live the rest of your life?

Principle 4 for overcoming doubt: Doubt never stands still. Doubt quickly leads to despair.

Doubters are easier to find in the church than friends of faith!

“The whole congregation said to them, ‘Would that we had died in Egypt, or that we had died in the wilderness! So they said to one another, ‘Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt.” Numbers 14:2-4

This is insane thinking!

1.   They forgot the amazing miracles of God in this journey.

2.   If they did turn around to go back to Egypt – did they think God would still provide the manna in the desert?

3.   If they made it back to Egypt did they think the Egyptian people would welcome them back?
“Sorry about our God destroying your whole army and Pharaoh.

Point: It is a short journey from doubt to despair. They are just giving up.

What if you are a doubting person? How can you change this?

1.   Realize it is costing you’re your life destiny with God.

2.   Are you reaping the consequences of doubting God? 

3.   Are you willing to repent of doubting God?

Concl: Jesus said,

“If you will believe, you will see the glory of God.” John 11:40

With God it is not I’ll believe it when I see it. Instead it is I believe You and then I will see it.

Ill. That is how we came to Christ. It is how you can come to experience salvation today. We trust what God says.

-        He says – All men are sinners separated from God.

-        “wages of sin are death” separated

-        But God loves us even while we are sinners so much He sent His Son Jesus to take our place and pay our sin debt.

-        The question now is this? Do you believe what God has said? Yes, or no. If you do, then the next step is plain.

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9-10

Jesus did all the hard work. All He is telling you to do now is believe Him enough to go in a take possession of what He is giving you.

This is your first step of faith and trust in God. Quit doubting and believe God!

Faith is believing God’s Word and acting upon it, regardless of how I feel.

It comes down to this. Are you going to trust God and start moving in His direction for your life or not?

Prayer and invitation.