Wisdom

Wisdom Cont…

For the past two weeks been preaching about wisdom. Let’s review:

Who was the wisest man on earth?

How did he get wisdom? He asked God. It was his #1 request.

 Solomon’s requests for wisdom is more specific in Hebrew as hearing God. Why do we need to hear God? Because God says to us:

“For My thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”  Isa. 55:8-9

          God does not think like us. There is wisdom from the earth and man that is not in accordance with God’s wisdom.

“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there but water the earth and make it bring forth and bud that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall MY WORD THAT GOES FORTH FROM MY MOUTH; it shall not return to Me void but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”   Isa. 55:10-11

Wisdom is hearing the Word that comes from God’s mouth to you concerning your specific situation.

Very important to go to God first before you go to other people. You can get wisdom from other people but the danger is if you don’t go to God first then the wisdom others may share with you may sound good but it is still not what God has to say.

What has God said to me? What is God saying to me?

-        This is why you keep a note pad and you pick up bits and pieces along your journey.

Beware of letting people tell you what God is saying to you! Prophecies that try to tell you what to do. NT prophecy is not telling someone who to marry or what job to take. NT prophecy should be a confirmation of what God has already been speaking into your heart. If a prophecy given you does not sound like anything you have been hearing from God then put it on the shelf.

The leaders God used in the Bible were for the most part reluctant leaders. Solomon never sought to be king. Moses was reluctant.

David did not seek to be king. Gideon .

-        The leaders God chose did not seek power but were chosen by God to exercise power.

Ill. King Solomon had the 2 women claiming the same baby. “Bring me a sword” he says. I am sure his attendants wondered, “What is this guy doing??? When he threatened to divide the baby and give half to each the real mom said don’t – let her have the baby. The other lady said, no just divide it. He wisely discovered the real mom and gave the baby to her.

Was everybody happy? No. The other lady and her friends probably not. But the wisdom of God was clear in this case.

Other times God’s wisdom is not so obvious at first.

          Ill. Time there was an issues between Sarah and Hagar. Both wife  belong to the same man. Abraham had Ishmael. Sarah has Isaac 13 years later. Sarah sees Ishmael mocking Isaac and tells Abram to get Hagar and Ishmael away. We can’t live in the same place anymore.

          Abraham is distraught but God speaks and says do what she says and send them away. He does the hard thing and sends them away not understanding God’s ways.

-        But it was this incident that brought Hagar to her own personal revelation of God. She discovered for her self God is El- Roi – the God who sees me. You see the hidden hurting places in me. When hope runs empty take heart – God knows where we are and what we are going through – He sees everything while we only see in part.

God’s wisdom is not always obvious to us nor does it make sense.

Remember Arthur Blessit’s words from Sunday. God told him to take the cross from off the outside of the church and start walking. He planned on doing this then suddenly had to be hospitalized for sickness and then was told he had a brain tumor and would die if he left the hospital. He had to do what we must do!

What has God said to me? What is God saying to me?

Doctors are telling me what I should do. My family is telling me what I should do. But what has God told me and is He telling me to do?

He left the hospital speaking these words:

“I’d rather obey God and die and trying to do what He told me to do, than to lay here and die in this hospital bed.”  Arthur Blessit

I lost track of him since he moved from Florida but I did contact him by e-mail the other day. HE said to me, “I am 78 years old and still carrying the cross!”

He obeyed God rather than what man was telling him to do and has not looked back.

Concl: Pursuing wisdom is pursuing what God has been saying to you and what He is saying to you.

Pursuing Wisdom – Part 2

Pursuing Wisdom – Part 2

God gave King Solomon wisdom and made him the wisest man that every lived because he asked God for wisdom above anything he could ask God for, above riches, long life.

Hebrew word for what Solomon asked for is related to “Shema” – a hearing heart.  

King David was not a good parent, but his son Solomon did learn one thing from him – to have a heart after God and like God.

-         Keep in mind Solomon or David were not born again. They did not have HS living inside them as Xns do today.

To find the will of God about a matter people would go to the priest with an ephod (breast coat). PIC of Ephod

 High Priest coat with the stones for Israel on outside but a pouch behind containing two stones called urim and thummim behind it, over the heart. These two stones mysteriously were used to determine the will of God like a yes or no -  “do we go up to battle?”

-         Today wisdom is Spirit-led living.

Wisdom needs to be our #1 request. Why? Let me answer with some history?

 Ill. In 1849 gold was being discovered in great amounts in California. People rushed from all over the world to get there. Rumors were flying that gold just laying on the ground – come get rich! If they had discovered granite instead of gold people would not come there!Why – because gold has value! These people were labeled 49ers because 1849 was the year they had the courage to make life changing decision to journey across the country into what was then dangerous uncharted territory. San Francisco football 49ers name – courage.

Yet, look at what God says is more valuable than gold.

“How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is better than silver.” Proverbs 16:16

-         That is what the parable of the pearl of great price is all about. Once you learn something of great value can be found you commit your life to the search for it.

“Wisdom is principal; therefore, get wisdom. And with all your getting, get understanding.”  Proverbs 4:7

“The beginning of wisdom is this: get wisdom. Though it cost you all you have, get understanding.” NIV

“Getting wisdom is the most important thing you can do. Whatever else you get, get insight.”  GNT

ill. We tell young people the most important thing is to get an education? That is not what God says!

Bec. God does not think like us – Isa. 55:8

The wisdom of God described in I Cor. 2:1-16

1.    Hidden until God reveals it.

2.    For our glory. (Proverbs 25:2).

3.    Revealed by the Spirit.

4.    The deep things of God.

5.    Discerned only by those with the Spirit.

Wisdom comes with a cost – the cost is time with God.

-         Prayer talks and a trust walk.

To think and walk with God you will have to go His pace.

Pursuing wisdom automatically means you are going to slow down in order to ponder, think over and over things to discover to gold God has for you to discover.

Most of the people who left home for California gold did not get rich quick like they expected.

Ill. Rumors flying about “gold salve”. A unique product that would find gold if smeared on clothes then roll on ground and stand up covered in gold – instant riches. But like gold salve – wisdom is not and instant discover either.

3 primary ways gold and wisdom are discovered:

1.    Panning  - is like meditation.

2.    Pickaxe – is like digging deeper into the scriptures.

3.    Dynamite – is like a sudden rhema (life changing).

God is Spirit and He wants you to develop and mature in Sspirit and is wisdom and understanding of God and His ways.  

He wants you to discern and perceive by your spirit. Practice, practice.

-Discerning is not 100% accurate. Good and evil/life and death.  Some have suspicion not the gift.  

-Perceiving  –  Acts 14:9 – Paul looking outwardly at body language, attitudes.

          There is a learning curve for all of us – we have to grow spiritually.

One my life verses is Isaiah 30:15

“Thus says the Holy One of Israel, ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved, in quietness and confidence is your strength.” Isa. 30:15

-         This does not come natural for me. But it is natural for God. And I know this is what He has called me to become.

ill. A pastor needs to be in peace, calm, and joy to hear and walk closely with God. The devil sends troubles as mainly distractions.  “Obey your leaders and submit to them for they watch over your souls and must give account to God. Let them do this with joy, and not complaining,(evidently pastors complain???)  for that would not be profitable to you! – then he says “Pray for us!” Heb. 13:17-18.

-         Ill. Just as surgeon needs to be at peace and calm before he operates on you. Pam’s botched back surgery. We heard surgeon angry and upset at someone – we should said not today. But God healed that anyway!

 Just as quietness and peace increases our ability to perceive God, fear and panic reduce our ability to discern the real purpose of God. When you are irritated or angry is not a good time to make a decision!

Ill. Jesus’s disciples are an encouragement to me to know God gives us a learning curve in this journey. In Mark 4 Jesus uses a storm as training and practice. He and disciples piled into boat to go to the other side. Jesus makes bee-line to a pillow on the back side of the boat and went to sleep. This says so much about the rest of God. The storm kicks up and the disciples get anxious. Half of them grew up on this lake as pro fisherman. By night they had determined they were sinking and Jesus was sleeping on the job and did not care. Why was Jesus sleeping and not helping?

Because it was their turn for practice! This was Life with God:101 class.

          They just witnessed feeding 5000. He gave them an opportunity there too but they passed. Here was another opportunity.

They would face greater storms than this one day. They had to learn not to depend upon His physical visible Presence – one day soon He would not by physically with them. They had to learn experience and release God’s peace into their circumstances out of their own relationship with the Father, not His.

          Ill. What if things would have turned out differently. What if the boys would have said, “Hey we just saw an amazing miracle. God is with us. Jesus told us to go to the other side – so we know we are going there. Let’s tell this storm to get out of our way!” But we will never know what could have happened, because that night they missed their opportunity. They never got to see the look that would have been on Jesus’ face if they would have tried. Maybe He would have winked and said, “Good job boys. You’re getting it.”

          Instead He spoke to the storm and stilled it, then spoke to them. “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”

But God is so patient with us. He wants us to find His wisdom.

You may have seen something 100 times but the 101first time you see something you did not see before.

Ill. Stereogram – a picture hidden within a picture. A 3D object is hidden in a 2D picture. But the brain can only create the illusion of depth when you learn how to view the stereogram correctly.

Pic of stereogram

A different way of looking at something. Looking through it until the 3D image appears in your peripheral vision.

Pursuing wisdom means you are yoked with Jesus to learn to see like He sees and learning His timing and rhythm. So much of wisdom is learning to think differently and to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”

 Getting guidance from God is process coming out of a right relationship with Him and learning how to abide with Him throughout every day. He is interested in everything you do! Sometimes God speaks in ways that we may not recognize at first. It may not be till later that we recognize God was trying to show us something.

          Ill. Remember those connect the dot to dot pictures you did as a child? PIC

You couldn’t tell what the picture was until you followed the numbers and connected the dots. Little by little the image emerged.

          This is why I carry a notepad with me – a journal just to write down things I think God may be saying/showing. This collection of stuff at times does not always seem to mean anything. Other times I am able to see through things that has been happening in my life and connecting the dots to see what HS is showing me. The messages I preach now come this way. I review each day the previous things I have been getting in my quiet times, etc.

          I want to challenge you to begin to keep a 50 cent note pad with you and begin to collect thoughts, words that capture your attention, scriptures, phrases that may be things God could be showing you. Go back later and ponder and ask HS about them. You might be surprised at the wisdom God gives you because you are paying attention and writing some things down.

          Why write things down? Let me answer that by asking you a question. How many of you have ever heard of Zebulon Pike? He was sent by Thomas Jefferson to explore the unknown western lands of the US. Pike’s peak is named after him. However few people know anything about who he was or what he explored and found.

          How many of you know the names of Lewis and Clarke? Most of you. They also were sent by Thomas Jefferson to do the same thing. Why is it we know the names and advertures of Lewis and Clark but not Zebulon Pike very well? The difference is this.

          Lewis and Clarke and their team kept detailed records of what they saw and discovered on their journey. Pike and his men kept no records just in their minds. One kept a pen and pad of paper with them all the time.

          Concl:

          Most treasures won’t come to us. We will have to be like the 49ers and be willing to take risks with our lives instead of having the goal to trying to be comfortable.

          Ill. Many of the 49ers kept journals we still have today that tell their stories. Some met with tragedy, heartbreak and disappointment. When asked about their experiences their replies were similar. It was the adventure of a lifetime. The wonders they saw, the adversities they had to overcome, the friends they made along the way had become the true treasure of their lives.

          This week on TV heard Arthur Blessit (carried cross) say these words that I knew God highlighted for me to remember to share with you. Pic Arthur Blessit

Ill. He was a Baptist pastor of small church in California. HS spoke to him one day to leave the church, make a cross and start traveling with it until God says stop. Just before the day he was about to begin he got very sick and had to be hospitalized. Told he had a brain tumor and needed surgery or he may die. He had to make a decision. He said these words, “I would rather obey God and die try to do what He told me to do, than to lay here and die in this hospital bed.”

          He left the hospital and threw away the drugs and started carrying the cross around the world and never looked back. He has traveled to every country in the world carrying the cross and has had the adventure of a lifetime.

-         This adventure is for you too – right where God planted you. Pursuing wisdom is pursuing God.

Pursuing God’s Wisdom

 

Pursuing God’s Wisdom

Books of wisdom in the Bible: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Eccles, Song of S.

You won’t benefit by just reading them. They are meant to be savored, meditated upon, pondered over and over to get the nutrients.

Wisdom like a well prepared meal was meant to be savored, and enjoyed slowly.

Ill. Consider how many occasions in scripture involved meals: Passover and the feasts of Israel. Jesus’s first miracle wedding feast- water – wine. Last Supper. Psa 23 “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies”. Even when you face an enemy God has a feast of wisdom for you to feed from. Every situation is like a parable of wisdom for to glean from. Slow down and relate to God in every situation. “The Lord of Hosts is with us!”  

We just concluded a series of messages on Psalm 46 emphasizing our growing in the awareness of the Presence of the Lord, whether hidden or manifested, is to give our lives fearless confidence.  Now in the first book of wisdom – Job we read:

“Look, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom.” Job 28:28

 Ill. Jesus was tempted by devil to worship him to get the world back from Satan. Jesus quotes Deut. 10:20 “Get away from here, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.” Mtt. 4:10   “fear the Lord” = worship the Lord

Jesus changed the word fear in OT to worship.

          To worship God is wisdom and this wisdom is manifested in this – honor, worship, surrender to God and His mysterious ways. Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense said

“There are known knowns – things we know we know. Then there are known unknowns – things we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the one’s we don’t know, we don’t know.” Donald Rumsfeld

Do people w/o God have wisdom? Yes – God gives good gifts to everyone. Ill. “KOH like a treasure hidden in a field which a man suddenly found. He wasn’t looking for it.

Judges in court – Inventions = Jewish people many wise inventions and yet they are a minority race. (Kindle- blue jeans, lipstick, instant coffee, remote control, kidney dialysis, chemo therapy, vaccinations, walkie talkie, adding machines, more, thank a Jew! Jewish people receive more Nobel prizes than any other nation of people.

“Why is it that man, with drastically limited wisdom, insists on making all the decisions in his life while a good portion of the time he is wrong?”  A. W. Tozer

Wisdom begins and ends with God. We must go to God in order to get wisdom.

“If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all men liberally and without criticism, and it will be given him.” James 1:5

ill. Don’t think of this is ask and God is going to download instant wisdom to solve some solution. We are wanting a quick fix.

Everything God does is relational. It begins with and ends discovering deeper things about our relationship with Jesus.

Ill. One time I was complaining to God about not understanding something and out of the blue HS spoke to me these words, “that’s because you don’t know Me very well.” – That stung but what can you say when Someone 100% perfect tells you this? “Lord, You are right. I don’t know You very well. Will You teach me and take me deeper?”

-        Every problem in your life today must not be you wanting a quick fix !

The answer is first relational. Lord, what are You revealing to me through this? What are You wanting to be to me through this trial?

Go to God first!  Wisdom needs to be our number one requests.

After you ask God for wisdom then expect your life to be a process of parables to find it. Ill. College – So many friends dropped out for various reasons. A friend said, “What if God’s reason for us being here is not to get a diploma but for the experience itself?” That changed the way I looked at it. Maybe some people were to only be there a short time to get some revelation of God that could only come this way.

-     School was not about a diploma but the journey itself.

-    Sometimes you have to fail in order to find out that was not what God has planned for me.

Job’s life was a text book of discovering God’s wisdom.

“Where does wisdom come from? Where is the place of understanding? It is hidden from the eyes of all the living and concealed from the birds of the sky.” Job 28:20-21

Wisdom is hidden from us, but it is also hidden for us.

ill. Go to nature. How do wild birds in the north find their way to the south? How do honey bees find their way across a meadow to their hive? In one place scripture God is saying, “the birds know their place and yet you are dumber than an ox, because he knows his master and yet My people do not know their God” para Is. 1:3

God wants us to go deeper in our relationship with Him. He knows a quick fix to our problems will not do that. There may be a larger objective than the preservation of our own life.

The purpose of our life is the glory of God – making Him seen.

After you ask God for wisdom – now your job is to go find it, and go deeper with God.

Ill. He is intent on having a better relationship with you. If this means He has to withhold some things or keep you from some things in order for you to grow in depth in your relationship with Him, so be it. He values a deeper relationship with you more than fixing your problems so you can be on your way.

I guarantee you that if you would slow down and take time to think deeply about some current problem and seek wisdom, you will eventually come up with a new parable about it.

Parable is an earthly story with hidden wisdom.

Your life is filled with parables of wisdom waiting to be discovered. But you will have to go further than just the surface to find this wisdom.

-        Maybe today the parable God is wanting to write with you is the parable of how to get more money – out of debt.

-        Or Parable of the struggling marriage, etc.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field which a man found . . . Again the kingdom of heaven is like merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all he had and bought it.”  Mtt. 13:45

First parable a man stumbles across and finds a hidden treasure that he was not looking for. The second parable has a man who knows what he is looking for.

-        Some wisdom we stumble across and find. Other wisdom requires us to search it out and find it.

The merchant is looking for the pearl is searching for that thing that grows out of irritation.

He has to pursue it in order to find it. God is not going to drop it in his lap.

Col. 3:3 says our old life is dead and our new life is hidden in Christ to those born of God. We will have to go to God in relate to Him to discover what and how this life with X hidden in us is to operate.

-        The Xn life is not a program. It is not an assignment to complete. It is not a job to be accomplished. IT is a relationship to be carried out moment by moment that will require a lifetime.

-        Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me.”

This yoke is a partnership relationship with Him. Ill. A young ox is yoked with a mature ox so it can learn it’s role in life. We have to learn to be led by the Spirit – it is not automatic and you can’t be in a hurry with relationship – it takes time, long walks, deep talks, stillness.

Ill. One time in church it seemed like everything was going wrong in Sunday service. Sound – lights – ppt – people distracting – and I was getting irritated. “Lord, here I am trying to worship you and honestly I am very irritated right now. Why am I letting this bother me so much? “Because you want control.” But Lord, this is not the way things are supposed to be – people can’t focus like this! “So what are you going to do about it – get angry or let go and just do your part?”

King Solomon, son of David appointed king.

“The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for there was a great high place, and he offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. While he was at Gibeon the Lord app eared to him in a dream and said, “Ask what you want from Me.”   I Kings 3:4-5

Burnt offerings were for consecrating yourself to God. 1 was all needed but he gave 1000.

Paraphrase the rest of the story here. Dream of God saying ask.

          “An understanding heart = a heart focused on You.”

“Solomon awoke from the dream and found it was a dream. Then he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord and offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings.” I Kgs 3:15

Why did he come to Jerusalem? Because the Ark was there. Remember no Temple yet and David brought Ark to Jerusalem to be the center piece of Israel. This is why David was a man after God’s own heart.

PIC Ark Covenant

Picture of our Lord JC. Wood – humanity covered with gold divinity.

Solomon made a trip to Jerusalem because he was going after the Presence of the Lord. He was not just waiting for God to drop wisdom on him – he pursued God.

“God gave Solomon wisdom and great depth of understanding as well as compassion, as vast as the sand on the seashore.” I Kings 4:31

-        He discovered God and His wisdom in nature, trees, plants, animals, insects. Most of all He had wisdom to lead Israel God’s way with his ears and eyes on God and not man’s opinions.

Solomon never sought nor asked to become king. The leaders God appointed all had reluctance to be the leader God called them to be.

-        Moses was reluctant. Gideon very reluctant. David and others.

The leaders God chose did not seek power but were chosen by God to exercise power. Ill. In church many willing to serve but few are willing to take the responsibility to be the leader of something.

          Leaders appointed by God have to make decisions not based on popularity or to please everyone. Sometimes it is hard but necessary.

Ill. Two women came before Solomon as king to make a decision. Both women lived in the same house. Both had babies about same age. One woman’s baby died and in the middle of the night she stole the other woman’s baby and said it was her baby. The real mom screaming this is my baby and the other lady said no. So the king said, “Bring me a sword – divide the child – give half to each. Then the real mother said no don’t kill the child – give her the child. The other said no divide it. The king said don’t kill it – give it to the real mom. She is the mother.

-        I am sure the friends of the lying mother sided with her. Felt bad for her and took offense for her. Others sided with the king.

But when a leader makes a decision it cannot be based upon what will people think of me! Sometimes hard decisions and necessary ones. Is everyone going to be happy? No – unity and oneness does not mean agreement.

“All Israel heard . . . and saw the wisdom of God was in him, to execute sound judgment.”        I Kings 3:28

Concl: Pursuing Wisdom summarized is going after the presence of God first. It is standing in awareness of God’s Presence. When you say I need wisdom you are saying, “Lord, I need You – You to be my shepherd and guide me.” You don’t need an answer – you need Him. In Him is the answer.

If you need guidance – You first need a relationship with the Lord. If you already have one and need guidance it means you need to know Him better and get closer.

          He will give you an answer and guidance but it will come through you getting closer to Him. Out of that your answer will be clear. 

Disillusionment – Part 2

Disillusionment – Part 2

Dictionary: To disappoint or embitter because things did not turn out like you imagined. When our personal illusions collide with reality.

We can get disillusioned with God, with ourselves, with others.

Choosing to follow Jesus does not mean we will never be disillusioned. When we start walking with Jesus we start walking in the light.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

-        My nick name for God is Jehovah Surprise!

-        The disciples must have been disillusioned seeing Jesus hung on a cross. Not what they expected.

-        Job in all his suffering was disillusioned with God.

-        Elijah in depressed in the cave, after national revival!  

-        Israel grumbling in the wilderness – this life is not what we expected.

1.   Have you ever been disillusioned with God?

God is not nervous about our disillusionment with Him, and He is not disillusioned with us being disillusioned with Him!

          Ill. Some of my greatest disillusionments about God is that He did not stop some things from happening, or do what I asked for.

-        FBC church split.

-        My son going to prison.

-        Tried to raise Rick Montgomery from the dead.

2. Have you ever been disillusioned with yourself?

-        We discover our humanity and weakness.

-        We overestimated our ability to do something and now can’t deliver.

Good news is that God is still not disillusioned with us.

“He that began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.” Phil. 1:6

Spiritual growth is a slow process. “First the blade, then the stalk, then the full ear of corn.” Mark 4:28

Failure is sometimes part of our spiritual growth. Failure in a Xn is still progress.

Thomas Edison “I didn’t fail a 1000 times. It just took a 1000 steps to invent the light bulb.” Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper because “He lacked imagination.” Albert Einstein’s parents thought he was mentally retarded because he did not talk till he was 4 years old.

Lucille Ball was told when she was studying to be an actress that she should try some other profession. Babe Ruth struck out over 1,300 times and said ever strike brought him closer to the next home run.

Christians must re-frame failure as spiritual growth.

Ill. Draw a spring on dry erase board. It may look you are going down but you are going up.

“Failure is one of the greatest art in the world. One fails towards success.” Charles Kettering

“Failure provides the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently.” Henry Ford

The Christian faith walk is pilgrimage not a performance.

3.   Have you ever been disillusioned with God’s people (church)?

Relationships go through cycles:

1.   Infatuation

2.   Disillusionment (reality)

3.   Bail or commit?
Seen in people going form job to job, relationship to relationship, church to church. Commitment is lacking!

Disagreements are bound to happen in church! Why? People have differences in spiritual experiences and backgrounds, political differences, cultures, generations, opinions on how things should be done.

Ill. Jesus own disciples had disunity among them. Jesus came upon them one day arguing with one another. “What are you guys talking about?” They were arguing over who was the greatest among them!

-        Ill. Paul and Barnabas had sharp disagreement. AS far as we know these were unresolvable. Sometimes can’t work together! Who was right and who was wrong? Apparently God went with Paul and He went with Barnabas too. God walking with you does not depend upon you being the one right or not. The same God was on both sides!

-        Women at Philippian church Paul addressed to try and get along. We don’t know the outcome.

-        Truth is the people of God are lousy at resolving conflicts between us. Look through the scriptures where you see success at this! Not many!

Some points that might help us get along with each other in church.

Ill. Hold up card with large number 6 on it towards congregation. Ask what number this is? Then flip it backwards towards me and it looks like a 9. Point: both see it accurately but differently.

1.   Remember a 6 could be a nine from the other side of the table.

2.   Don’t think insight gives you an invitation. Ill. When we see faults in others our first response should be pray for them. It does not mean we are to tell them their faults.

God sees more things in us than He reveals to us – we call this mercy!

We who have received such mercy with God must be reminded to have mercy with one another.

How in the world can the church have unity? God places us all together with different backgrounds, cultures, political opinions, personalities?

“May they all be one in Us, that the world may believe that You have sent Me. I have given them the glory that you gave Me, that they may be one even as We are one.” John 17:21-22

What this unity cannot mean:

It cannot mean we are the same strength, same gifts.

It cannot mean we have the same identical ideas.

It cannot mean the absence of diversity of cultures, likes, opinions.

It cannot mean the absence of conflict!

What does Jesus mean by unity or being “one” in His church?

          Ill. Where else does God use the term “oneness”? In marriage between husband and wife. When does a husband and wife become one? Is it at the ceremony? Is it after 30 years?

-        It happens as both die to self and live for a greater purpose than themselves as individuals.

How does that happen? They make and keep making a commitment to each other, not for the sake of each other, not for the sake of commitment, but for the sake that Jesus is committed us to one another. It is His doing to make us one.

Great Defender

Great Defender

Psalm 46:8-11

Intro:  Most people know “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). But did you know that it’s context in Psalm 46 is war and devastation? A song by the sons of Korah to be sung as worship in a time of trouble.  Martin Luther use to say when trouble was becoming overwhelming “Come let’s sing the 46th psalm.”

It was written at a time Israel was being invaded by 3 foreign armies much larger and stronger than they. The Psalm is divided in 3 parts with the word Selah, as if to take a breath and think about what you just said.

Part 1: Focus on God’s Person: Vs 1-3 God is our refuge a S, a VPH I T o T. Though the worst happen we will not fear.

Part 2: Focus on God’s Presence: Vs 4-7 There is a river – hidden supernatural Presence – God is in the river and the river streams through us. The Lord of Hosts is with us.  He is the answer to our warfare we face.

Part 3: Focus on God’s Plan: Vs 8-11

“Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations He hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the ends of the earth; He breaketh the bow and cutteth the spear asunder; He burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.”  Psalm 46:8-11

The Almighty has a plan, a work, a vision He is fulfilling even as we speak. There is something big going on in the earth. But to see it we must get beyond our lives, our situations, beyond our church program, beyond our country, to embrace God’s vision for the world. As loved and cherished by God as we are, we are not the big picture. God is the big picture and it is important that people see and come to know Him personally. God’s passion is for all to know Him. All of life, the painful as well as the pleasant is for us to know Him. May we as Your church live for what Jesus died for. To know who “I AM” is and to make Him known.

 God is behind some the scenes causing some events, or allowing some so that people will see God in it, or because of it. In this event God was the One causing Israel’s enemies to rise up against them.

In the end Israel had a supernatural victory – God fought for them – “all I did was worship. All I did was praise. All I did was bow down. All I did was be still!” You can read about it in 2 Chronicles 20:20. 20/20 vision to see how God works and trust Him.

Ill. Read from my Bible 2 Chron. 20 highlights. Can you imagine Jehoshaphat and men walked out on the battlefield after this in awe and said these words:

 “Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations He hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the ends of the earth; He breaketh the bow and cutteth the spear asunder; He burneth the chariot in the fire.”

“Come behold the works of the Lord. . .”          

  “Behold” = Here I am.   See Me in this situation.

“All we did was worship. All we did was praise. All we did was bow down. All we did was stay still!”

There are three calls of God to us in this text:

1.   The call to BEHOLD. Behold God’s works in a world of darkness and death and wickedness. We can claim the victory of Jesus in advance of seeing any victory!  

This is not the first time God told His people to do some strange things instead of the natural thing. Sing, march, shout, wait. “You don’t have to fight”, He whispered, “because this is not about you, it’s about Me. I am not asking you to strive, to pull down things, I am asking you to make room for ME to act – be still.”

What if every day, every circumstance was cleverly designed to show us another glimpse of the glory of God? Every situation has God hidden inside it waiting for you to discover Him. In His wisdom, He allowed what He could have easily prevented. This is why abiding is so important.

Ill. Jesus said with a wink in His eye, “Go, I am sending you out as lambs among wolves,” (Lk 10:3). Fortunately for us our Lord is a Lion, He fights for us. WE are not trying to believe for God’s Presence – we are believing IN God’s Presence during trials and “going out with joy and being led forth with peace”.

When troubles come our question should never be, “Why God?” But Lord, what do You want to be to me in this situation?

Every situation in life is a call to behold the Lord - where God teaches us more about Himself. But this is also

2.   The call to BELIEVE.

“Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.” Psalm 46:10-11

The God who helped Jacob when he deserved nothing. The God who met Jacob in his backslidings and in his deceitfulness. The God of Jacob is our refuge. If the enemy armies of Israel had known this, they would not have attacked Israel.

God moves in 2 ways: Hiddenness and manifestation.

When Israel was about to be attacked God was hidden. When God is hidden He is just as present as when He is manifested. He told them in their panic to be still. Spiritual warriors don’t react but go into their place of refuge to discover God and so they may exit from the confidence of His Presence to combat the enemy.

Ill. Jehoshaphat and Israel came to God in prayer and laid everything out that was happening to Him. “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”   2 Chronicles 20:12

They waited and God spoke and told them don’t be afraid because this battle was not theirs but God’s. You won’t have to fight, just stand and watch God fight for you. They sent out the praise team and choir ahead of those dressed in battle uniforms. Verse 22 says,

When they BEGAN singing and praising, the Lord set ambushes against their enemies.”  Vs 22

God told them to:

 “Be still” – be calm in the face of fury.

Psalm 46:10 is vital to our spiritual development and learning warfare. Without stillness you will not hear or see God.

“Be still and know that I am God.”

Ill. Elijah in the cave but heard the still small voice of God after everything got still. Hebrew word “still” is derived from a word meaning “astonished or stunned” at God’s Presence.  He’s here!

-        Woman jewelry is okay to look attractive but better is  “ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” = resulting from knowing God is with you (I Pt. 3:4).

“In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” Isa. 30:15

How? You know God’s hidden Presence with you.

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 God is constantly with us whether we realize it or not. Yet most Xns not aware of it. Ill. One time my phone rang. I answered but no answered back. I started to hang up and heard two guys talking. I listened and they were talking about God and their beliefs about Him. I prayed for them. Lord, help them to talk to know You are right there with them now – to believe and to behold you in awe and wonder.

Ill. God is teaching us to walk by faith and not by what we feel. Sometimes He withdraws from our emotions, He hides from our feelings and we have to trust He is with us. Other times we feel Him and He manifests to us in some incredible way and these become the stories we talk about the rest of our life.

Manifestation is a time of blessing. Hiddenness is a time of building.

 Can we be still in the midst of distress and pain and uncertainty? Hiddenness is God taking you deeper. Twice in these eleven verses:

“The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.”

At the time this was being spoken it did not look like God was with them.  Instead it looked like we (Israel) was about to get slaughtered. The Presence of God, hidden or manifested is suppose to make a difference in this life. We need to question:

Do I believe what I say I know?

Our lives are to showcase that God is with us.

We sometimes act as though God is not with us. We have sudden trouble and panic. Did God leave the room? Ill. Movies show someone in serious trouble but they never show anyone praying to God? It is as if this is life without God! No thanks.

In all situations of life, God is teaching us to live with Him by rejoicing and giving thanks in all things. We trust Him by not being worried, anxious or fearful. It is time for the people of God to banish fear forever and learn to live in the love of God.

When situations overwhelm us it means we need to upgrade our view of God. If we see God as He is then we will be overwhelmed and in awe of Him.

We have to learn the lessons of abiding: Be still, remain faithful, live consciously aware of God’s Presence with you. Turn to Him first for wisdom. Remain content, peaceful, restful and joyful and thankful. Seeing all of life through the lens that “the Lord of Hosts is with us.”

This will require our thinking to change. When you come to Christ this is the first thing He says you must change in order to walk with Him. We frame life situations according to our frame of reference – the way we are accustomed to see things. Ill. Joseph Silva – glass eye.

Problem framing = seeing only the negative. Seeing problem you have always seen them.  Victim mindset.

Now those born of God have to:

REFRAME – look at life with Jesus with us = WISDOM

Prophetic framing = Seeing God with me. Seeing a new way. Victor mindset.   “God, how do You want to be exalted in this situation?” 

1.   Call to BEHOLD. 

2.   Call to BELIEVE.

3.   Call to BECOME.

Concl: This takes time and being intentional about walking with God. You wont get this by reading a devotional every day. You get this by acknowledging the Lord’s Presence with You and taking time to be still in His Presence. Bringing situations in prayer to Him and waiting upon Him.

One of Satan’s traps is to get us so involved in activities – even good ones that we have no time to be still in the Presence of God. The world seems to run off adrenaline. After a while you will crash and burn. Some depression is because people run on adrenaline until they run out.

The American church does not know how to handle quietness and stillness. We must learn to meditate, set time aside to think deeply about God. It doesn’t have to be long; just start with 15 minutes. The more you do this the more time you will want to give Him.

Sometimes God may have to force you to be still. Psalm 23 “He maketh me to lie down.” God is talking to us today. Can you hear His whisper to you?

His call to you today is a call to behold His works in the earth and in your life. Second, His call for you is to believe – He is present. He wants to come into your life and lead you to handle things His way – which is so different form the way you have always handled things. If you do then one day you will sing,

Hallelujah, Great Defender

So much better this way.

Hallelujah, You have saved me,

So much better Your way.

1.   The call to behold. 2. The Call to believe. 3. The call to become.

“Behold I stand at the door and knock. If any man will hear My voice and open the door I will come in.”  Rev. 3:20

Disillusionment

Disillusionment

Dictionary: To disappoint or embitter by leaving without illusion.

We can get disillusioned with God, with ourselves, with others and this can cause grief.

When you get disillusioned you are unable to celebrate or enjoy what God is doing in your life because all you can see is what is not happening!

In relationships we go through cycles:

1.   Infatuation

2.   Disillusionment

3.   Bail or commitment

Job after job

Relationship after relationship

Religion after religion

Church after church

A faith definition for disillusionment is “the gaining of reality!”

Depression and self pity are the result of not seeing God’s bigger picture of reality.

Ill. The child thinks life is all about me, my success, my comfort. Then reality hits and the child realizes life is not all about me and my comfort. Yet many adults and even Xn adults have not learned this reality yet. Xns should know that life here is about knowing God and making Him known to people around us.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

The disciples had disillusionment with Jesus’ timing, His words, His ways:

Ill. Luke 7 Jesus walking by funeral procession and stops to raise an unknown widows son from the dead. No explanation.

Then in John 11 when Jesus was told Lazarus was sick He stayed 2 more days until after he died before He showed up. Mary and Martha the sisters were disillusioned with Jesus’ timing, words and ways.

-        Mtt 8 Jesus asleep in boat while disciples struggling to stay alive in a storm at sea. “Lord, don’t You care we are perishing?”

Have you ever been disillusioned with God’s timing, His words or ways?

If so then you are in good company: Disciples. Elijah in a cave. Job in suffering.

There will be many times in your life where you can become disillusioned with God. Maybe you are there now. If so, be assured that your disillusionment with God is a wake up call into reality and to shake you from living in an illusion that is not true.

Ill. Remember the cards I gave you a few weeks ago that are an optical illusion. Things are not as they appear. Some things look bigger than they really are!

That is not to diminish the fact that you have real pain, real disappointment in life. Life has not turned out like you planned.

Ill. This past week I talked to some young people (high school and college age) about their plans for the future. I listen then encourage them to put their life in God’s hands because He may have other plans, greater plans than yours.

-        How many of you would say your life turned out to be different than you planned when you were 18?

Have you ever been disillusioned with yourself?

Ill. The disciples were disillusioned with their selves. They overestimated their ability. Mtt. 17 “Lord, why couldn’t we cast out the demon?”

Ill. 1985 called to be on staff as youth minister at FBC Leesburg the top ½ of % of Baptist churches in baptisms and evangelism. Later made associate pastor and preached on TV when pastor away and early morning service. People would tell me “You are really going somewhere big in life.” I started believing my own press releases that surely God was preparing me to lead a big Baptist church. I candidate for a big church in Oviedo but the people said I was too young 32. Finally realized God was not calling me up but down. FBC Astor with 75 people maybe on a good Sunday out in the sticks! What is God thinking by putting me way out here in the middle of no where?

I was disillusioned with God and with myself.

God evaluates things differently than we do. His path for you does not look like anyone else’s path. Comparison and competition cause a lot of misery.

If you judge your life by expecting to see what you expect – you will become miserable. Give God the pen and let Him write His story with your life.

You will stop being miserable about your life when all you want is what God wants – even when you don’t know what that is!

How would you define spiritual growth?

On dry erase board draw a line going upward zig zag.

Or, Draw a spiral like an old fashioned bed spring.

Ill. Sometimes in spiral it looks like we are going around the same mountain with the same issue. It may be the same issue but you can be sure God is taking you to a deeper level each time.

Ill. Skin cancers burned off this past week. My mom has had some but require more than burn off but to go deeper and cut out. Sometimes you have to keep going back until they remove deeper layers until the cancer is gone.

God is committed to removing spiritual cancers from us.

How would you define failure?

Sometimes failure is part of our growth process.

Do you think all failure is sin?

Ill. My first church was little country church of 45 people. I went to a conference and was excited to learn about singing simple choruses. I was determined to bring this back to our church and liven things up with hand clapping and and sing along choruses. The people did not receive my enthusiasm and would not join in with me in worship.

Was this a failure? YES.

But was it sin? No. Not all failure is sin – some is.

God can use failure as part of our growth process.

How do you respond to your failures?

Don’t think about it. Beat yourself up. Try to make up for it?

Become depressed. Refuse to forgive yourself. Sin more. Go to God?

Both Judas and Peter failed Jesus and themselves. Both were disillusioned. In that dark place of disillusionment

-        One died in self pity

-        One buried himself in grace.

Song Defender

Concl: Looking back over my life I am so glad God saved me from getting my way. Life is so much better His way.

Disillusionment = the gaining of reality. But also that God has some other plans and you and I need to trust Him and worship – bow down, praise Him and be still.

 

Hope Dealers

Hope Dealers

Sunday night EXIT movie – depression and suicide affect everyone the rich and famous. Someone pointed out a good point that the makers of the movie almost made it seem like getting saved would end depressions and suicide. We know that is not true. I wanted to show you the movie to make you aware of people around you.

I wrote a blog a few weeks ago about loneliness I wish you would read.

Go to either our church website: www.gracetab.org and click on the pastor’s blog OR go to “Reflections by Gary Washburn”. Be sure to leave a comment and post it on your face book to circulate it. 

Loneliness, depression and suicide can be triplets connected together. Not that if you have one you are suicidal but they can easily get connected to one another. Getting saved does not stop loneliness, depression or suicide.

There is another triplet the Bible reveals that work together but also reveals the key missing ingredient in someone serious enough to want to commit suicide. See if you can pick out the One of these three.

“Now abide faith, hope and love, these three.” I Cor. 13:13

We know faith comes by hearing God. Romans 10:17

We know love comes from God who is love. He loves us then commands us to love one another with the love He gives us.

Where does hope come from?

Pic faith, hope love

Hope is the key connection between faith and love.

What people who are lonely, depressed, or suicidal need is hope.

(Hand out witnessing cards here and demonstrate – things are not as they appear right now. It may look hopeless but it is not.)

Without hope even a Xn will not be able to operate with the God kind of faith or love that was born in your spirit. Without hope faith has no direction because hope is like the blueprint for faith to go by.

Without love faith won’t work according to Gal. 5:6. Hope is what connects faith to love so without hope they are disconnected.

FAITH + HOPE + LOVE

FAITH -              - LOVE = disconnect

Bible hope is confident expectation in God.

Speaking of Abraham

“Who against hope, believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So, shall thy seed be.”  Romans 4:18

Against all natural hope a ninety year old woman and 100 year old man had a child. When you believe God’s Word about your situation against natural hope, then this hope becomes like an anchor in your soul (Hebrews 6:19).

PIC - ANCHOR

We need hope as an anchor because life can suddenly go from good to bad in a moment – look at Job. Life here is very unstable!

The wind and waves of circumstance tell you that you are going to sink and there is no hope.

          You pass your anchor from the realm of the seen into the murky water of the unseen. It travels into the unseen until it hits bedrock.

For us this bedrock is the promise of God’s Word – though unseen it holds us through stormy times.

But if you believe what God says about your situation – against natural hope then His Word becomes your anchor in your soul.

Hope will paint a picture for faith to believe to receive.

Hope will connect faith with God’s love to supply the answer.

Hope looks forward to a promise of God.

Faith reaches out to receive it.

Love rejoices in God who supplies the answer.

Patience stabilizes faith until the answer is manifested.

Faith and patience are twins!  

“Through faith and patience we inherit the promises.” Hebrews 6:12

“So after Abraham had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.” Hebrews 6:15

How did he endure one disappointment after another? Will it be this year, then the next and next until it looked as though it would never happen. Did I misunderstand God? Did I even hear Him or am I crazy?

One thing kept him alive and moving forward. HOPE

Ill. This week you need to be a hope dealer to someone who has or is about to give up hope. We must remind ourselves that hope is not always the resolving of our problems like we hope for. Sometimes God has another ending in mind that we may not even know about.

Years ago Quinton gave me a decoration for my office with the acrostic about hope.

PIC - HOPE

Give someone the gift of hope this week. If they see hopelessness you show these cards. Tell them this is a life lesson. Things are not always as they appear.

Tell them to give God the pen and trust Him to write how this problem in their life will end and that it is not their job to do that. God is real good at writing surprising last chapters – if you let Him.

Lost people are without hope according to Ephesians 2:12. In fact it says they are without Christ, without God, and without hope in world.

“But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.”    I Thes. 5:8

-        Every believer must be an optimist. For a believer to be a pessimist he would have to deny the faith.

“To put on the helmet of hope is an intentional thing. If mind plagued with hopelessness you may need to cover your mind with speaking scriptures about hope out loud and post them on cards all over your house. Your mind has got to have hope – something to look forward to from God. Keep feeding your mind and speaking the Word of God promises about hope. Be intentional and aggressive and watch your hope rise up. Start to dream again about your future and new things God may want to do in your life.

Confession:

I am a serious minded hope dealer. When I find someone without hope I will attempt to give them mine. I have faith as a breastplate to protect me. I wear the helmet of hope on my mind to always encourage me. I have the love of God to empower me. The only way I can fail, is if I give up my hope and begin to doubt God. It is too late for that! God has been so good and faithful to me. He has already pulled me out of more hopeless situations than I can remember. Because of this, I have become His hope dealer. Look out devil, here I come to mess up your plans!

PRAYER:

          Jesus I am Yours. Use me this week to give someone hope in You. I trust You to do this, in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

STOP TRYING – START TRUSTING

STOP TRYING – START TRUSTING
Psalm 46:5

If you have not experienced supernatural trouble, trouble that is caused by demons, evil beyond just human evil, then you must not be living the Xn life, meaning you and the devil are going the same direction.

-        When you get born from above you get a target place on you by the enemy. Stop him, discourage hi, slow him down, distract him!

“There is no such thing as unopposed spiritual progress.”

-        Some of you here today need to pay close attention because the trouble you are experiencing right now is supernatural and you don’t fight with natural help but with supernatural help.

God is our refuge and 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.

There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the Holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High.   Psalm 46:1-4

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.   Psalm 46:5

Last week we identified the river is the Life of God, the HS and the streams are our individual lives reaching out to the end of the earth bringing the life of God wherever we go.

-        Wherever God plants you there is your kingdom assignment and ministry to let the life of God pour out through you. Your neighborhood to your neighbors, your work, your school, etc.

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved:

Her/She = those born of God – the church. People born of God have God in the midst of them = supernatural power to meet with supernatural trouble.

          God is already committed to meeting our needs: He already declared He would be our defender, protector, healer, provider, as long as we turn these over to Him and trust Him.

Ill. If we say we are turning a matter over to God and trusting Him then we are ate up with worry then we are not really trusting Him.

Friday morning as soon as I walked out on back porch to have my quiet time with God I was already praying and saying kind of like a ritual with me, “Lord, I rededicate my body to you today. . .” As soon as I said those words it was like the Lord interrupted me cause He didn’t want to hear this again. Instead He said,

“Stop trying and start trusting.”

          As soon as I sat down I looked up the definitions of TRYING and TRUSTING in the dictionary.

Try – to attempt or effort to accomplish.

Trust – assured, reliance on the character, ability, strength or truth of someone.   

Okay Lord, You are taking me somewhere and showing me something I thought I knew but I guess I don’t. Can I give you a statement to start using that will help you relax instead of being so rigid about things.

“I think I am right, but I may be wrong.”

We all have strengths and weaknesses but if we are trying to live the Xn life in our own strength then we are bound to frustration and discouragement.

The Xn life is not you believing in Jesus and then trying to change your life – that is business of religion which is nothing more than sin management and behavior modification.

Here are some questions to see where you are in life:

Are you living for Jesus, or living because of Jesus?

Are you in church today for Jesus, or because of Jesus?

Do you read the Bible for Jesus, or because of Jesus?

God Himself lives inside us who are born of His Spirit.

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.   Psalm 46:5

The church is to be a supernatural organization. Looking at Psalm 46:5 we should be asking questions to ourselves: “God is in the midst of her” – the river – the church of the Anointing. Is God in our midst as a church?

“God shall help her.” – Is God helping us?

Our lives as Xns are to be supernatural all the time, and will be if we move from trying to trusting.

“Your life should demand an explanation!”  

“We have this treasure in earthen vessels, the excellency of the power being from God and not from ourselves.”  MEV

“We are like common clay jars carrying this glorious treasure within, so that the extraordinary overflow of power will be seen as God’s, not ours.”   2 Cor. 4:7 Passion Transl.

 We have got to discover this power of God to live the supernatural life now and not try to live the Xn life on our own.

Ill. When I watch people’s lives I can see the difference between the Anointing and talent or skill. The Anointing is the river of God flowing through someone as they do the works of God.

-Wed night little child waving flag was anointed. I don’t know why other than I know the anointing when I see it.

- Met a volunteer at hospital and watched her as she waited on people and I recognized the anointing on her.

- Greeters at church should be some of most anointed people so people come into contact with the Anointing of God not just nice people.

- The preaching I am doing this moment – is it from the Anointing or from me? YES- both. Co-labor with God – Jesus “take My yoke upon you”.

Ill. You can tell when it is just me or when it’s me with the Anointing.

How do we operate in the Supernatural Anointing/Help of God now?

Then they asked Jesus, “What are we to do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus replied, “This is the work that God asks of you: that you believe in the One Whom He has sent [that you trust, rely on, and have faith in Him.]”      John 6:28-29 Amp/MEV

1.   BELIEVE GOD:  be born of God – Romans 10:9-10 – We must welcome KOG like a little child trusts or we won’t get it. A child does not have to figure out everything – they just believe.

2.   TRUST GOD:  HE will do through you what needs to be done if you stop trying to do it yourself. Believing is the first step to experiencing change in your life.

“May the God of Hope fill you with all Joy and Peace IN BELIEVING, SO THAT YOU MAY ABOUND IN HOPE, THROUGH THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.”  Romans 15:13

Joy and peace are not based on TRYING, but in TRUSTING.

How can you tell if you are believing God?

“For we who have believed (trust in and rely on God) do enter His rest.” Hebrews 4:3

God’s rest is an internal rest that says I am not worried, or frustrated, or upset because I trust God to take care of this matter.

God’s rest is not a rest from work, but a supernatural rest we have in work.

3.   OBEY GOD: Do what God is leading you to do. Do your part.

Ill. If HS prompts you to go apologize for hurting someone then do it. If they don’t forgive don’t worry about it. Just do your part and let God do His. You obey the leading of the HS in your life. How the other person responds is between them and God. Do your part and leave the results with Him.

If you don’t hear or recognize God leading you to do anything at the moment then WAIT upon the Lord.

Ill. Was meditating about waiting on the Lord and what does that mean. While fueling car I hoping to hear something from God about this and just looked down at gas pump and noticed “Marathon”. I can’t tell you how I know but I just knew god was showing me the kind of waiting upon the Lord refuels your life so you can finish the marathon of life and not faint or quit too soon.

          I kept on asking God about the specifics of what it means to wait upon the Lord. Hebrew word “wait” means to twist together or bind together. When you don’t know what to do or you are waiting for the Lord to give you an answer or direction – always spend time in worshipping Him. After a while every anxious thought begins to settle then be still and listen for what He may say.

W – worship

A -   abiding

I  -   in

T -   trust

          Even when we have to wait upon God for direction – it is teaching us to TRUST God and make our flesh be still!

Concl: It is so amazing to me that God wants to help us. All we have to do is ask Him for His help and then exchange our trying and start trusting and let Him lead.  

3 THINGS TO GET GOD’S HELP IN YOUR LIFE:

1.   BELIEVE GOD

2.   TRUST GOD

3.   OBEY GOD

Which one of these steps are you at today. What is the next step you need in order to experience the supernatural help of God in your life?

The Controversial Gospel of the Grace of God

The Controversial Gospel of the Grace of God

A survey of 3,500 Christian ministers (by Bobby Clinton) revealed only 1/3 finished well. Many have a moral failure, many burn out and have emotional failure. Out of 49 leaders in the Bible only 13 of them finished well! Any idea why?

          Alice shared Acts 20 Sunday morning during offering about one man who finished well; Listen to Apostle Paul’s own words:

Now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what shall befall me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. Acts 20:-23

What would compel a man to proceed on such a journey knowing by HS that ahead of him lie afflictions and prison?

But none of these things deter me. Nor do I count my life to value myself, so that I may joyfully finish my course and the ministry which I have received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD.     Acts 20:24

What got Paul in so much trouble especially with the religious leaders in every city he went to?

The gospel of the GRACE of God.

If he testified about the Law of God he would not have had all the trouble. The devil is not opposed to religion and legalism. He uses them to hurt innocent people and keep them away from God. But it was the GRACE of God that was the trouble maker among the religious leaders and Paul.

What is the gospel of the grace of God?

The good news that God wants to treat you as though you never sinned!

Remember Paul was a highly trained man in the Law of God. He was a Pharisee and a Rabbi. When he first heard about the gospel of grace he concluded it was heresy and blasphemy! He set out on a mission to be the high sheriff and arrest all these people who were preaching/teaching or even believing such things.

You might be a Pharisee if you like to point out people’s sins to others and condemn them and put them down rather than lift them up.

Ill. I love how Jesus treated the woman caught in adultery. She was guilty and knew it. People with a sordid past, already struggle with condemnation, guilt, and rejection from churches usually. Unfortunately, this can be one of the reasons they stay in the cycle of addiction. Pharisees will put you down but grace will lift you up. Scripture reveals they were not really after this woman. They were trying to get dirt on Jesus to accuse Him. “What do You say?”

          He w/o sin cast first stone.

 “Woman where are your accusers? Does not one condemn you?”

She said, “No one, Lord.” Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”     John 8:10-11

Every time, I read this I realize I still have a long way to go in understanding the grace of God. The grace of God is the most mysterious and yet the greatest doctrine of the Bible.

Jesus did not condemn this woman in her sin because John 3:17 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17

Condemnation should have no place in our lives, whether toward ourselves or others.

What did Jesus give this woman? He was giving her the gospel of the grace of God. He was fulfilling His kingdom assignment.

“For the law was given through Moses; but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”  John 1:17

Religion says, “Go and sin no more and we won’t condemn you.”

Jesus says, “I don’t condemn you, go and sin no more.”

(He knew only the power of love can transform a human heart.)

“When you preach grace, unless your conscience accuses you of license you haven’t preached grace.” Martin Lloyd Jones  

Our mission purpose statement: Presenting Jesus, the revelation of grace and truth that transforms lives.

Ill. WE don’t know for sure what happened to this unnamed woman caught in adultery. Some theologians believe she is the same woman with the alabaster box who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears. If so then would you say Jesus method of confronting sin with love worked well? This woman followed Jesus faithfully the rest of her life.

Listen to preachers on TV and at churches. Either they are preaching grace or sin management through behavior modification.

We have to decide what we believe about grace. Either Jesus paid it that we might be made the righteousness of God, or He did most of it and now we have to do our part?

My Bible tells me that righteousness with God is a gift not based on my performance.

God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.  2 Cor. 5:21

For by one man’s sin death reigned through him, then how much more will those who receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the ONE, Jesus Christ.  Rom. 5:17

 

How many of your sins did Jesus die for before you were born?

How many of your sins did Jesus pay for at the cross?

How many of them was He referring to when He said, “IT IS FINISHED”?

At the time you were saved, how many of your sins did He forgive?

The answer to of these questions is, ALL OF THEM.

There are only 2 kinds of righteousness:

1.   Righteousness of man – self righteous

2.   Righteousness of God – a gift from God through Jesus paying for all your sin and God crediting your account righteous.

Ill. Part of the Armor of God we are told to wear is the Breastplate of Righteousness. So the devil cannot get condemnation into our hearts.

You may ask then what is the motivation to stop going back into sin?

The only proper motivation – love for God and what He has done for me. That is why we sing – amazing grace.

There Is A River!

There Is A River!
Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, will not- we fear, THOUGH

4 times the word “though” describes something that would cause fear in most people, but it does not cause fear in us. Then the word,

SELAH = stop and think about that.

3 sections of Psalm 46 divided by the word Selah.

Milk = verses 1-3  

Meat = verses 4-7

Strong meat = verses 8-11

Each section emphasizes a growing awareness of God’s Presence which enables us to live in quiet confidence whatever comes our way.

We have been on milk we are told to believe God’s presence with us even though He is invisible. If we do believe w/o seeing Him, we  become fearless in this life. This is the milk babies are fed. It is the first fundamental teaching of faith to trust God is with us. He will be to us what we need – refuge in the storm, strength when we are weak, a very present help in trouble.

Today we are called to go deeper and believe something is happening even though we don’t see or feel it. 4 words declare truth we cannot see or most of the time feel.

“There is a river.” Psalm 46:4

The river represents the life of God.

PIC of River

God has always had a river.

Garden of Eden had a river divided into 4 rivers. Ill. Bar b-que.

Ezekiel saw it in a vision and wrote about it in Ezk 47.

-        He described it coming out of the Temple of God. Life flows in abundance out of worship. Worship is not music but music can be used to worship God.

John in revelation saw the river coming out of the throne of God.   

Jesus told us about it – rivers – springs – wells that are invisible.

Psalmist in Psalm 1 said we need to be lie a tree planted by rivers of water and our roots getting constant renewal from the river.

Everyone say out loud. “There is a river!”   

The Lord is the source of this river.

“God is in the midst of her”  Psalm 46:5

One thing different about a river from a lake is a river is going somewhere. It’s going somewhere. The life of God is not stagnant but is going somewhere and He would like you to flow with Him.

-        Jer. 29:11 Your life is to be going where God has planned!

“There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the Holy place, of the tabernacles, of the Most High.”  Vs 4

There are streams branching off from this river of God that go into all the earth. The result is the city of God rejoices over this.

I am looking at the streams now. Everyone born of God’s Spirit has the river in them and as you go out into the world and share Jesus this stream of God reaches into all the world.

This is not automatic. The stream flows and make the city of God glad when you obey HS in you and flow with Him in ministering as He leads you. Ill. Food ministry we have is awesome. Very proud of all workers. But if we only give out food then we are no different from a government agency who give out food. But when we put a gospel tract or take time to minister Jesus to people this makes glad the city of God!

Why because the streams from the river of God are flowing into new territory. A river is always going somewhere. God has plans for your life to go somewhere HE has in mind.

-        What if you don’t want to go where He has planned for you to go? You have free will but He will not give up on you.

“The kings heart is in the hand of the Lord, AS RIVERS OF WATER; HE TURNS IT TO ANY PLACE HE WILL.”  Proverbs 21:1

          ill. How does a river change course. Only 2 of the 4 rivers that were in Eden still exist today where we believe Eden was located. How did that happen? How does a river that was once over here change it’s course.

Change happens through time and pressure.

          God changes people’s hearts through time and pressure. This is why prayer is so important. HS knows how to reach someone. Life is better when we flow with the river of HS rather than resist the river!  

What does it take to flow with the river of the Holy Spirit?

1.   You have to become a river bed.

Ill. Pam and I with Alice Becraft and it was talked about becoming a river bed for HS to be able to flow through.

2.   Trust God and go with the flow.

Ill. Whenever there has been a revival of God it only lasted until man tried to control it. There is a reason that the ark that God had Noah build did not have a rudder!

God wants to take us into new places we don’t even know exist! He wants to give us experiences that we don’t even know how to ask for! But to get there we will have to lay aside our reasoning, our analytical mind, and allow Him to take where He wants our lives to go.

          Ill. Ezekiel saw this river in a vision and one part he describes part of it as ankle deep, knee deep, hip deep, then over your head.

3.   Don’t despise small beginnings.  

God often chooses little places, little things, little people to bring His glory like Bethlehem, Nazareth we would not even know about except God choses to do big things there. Wildwood, Florida qualifies!

-        God will use this church to host a worldwide revival if we all will become a river bed, and trust God and go with the flow and leading of HS and not try to control God.

The life God has planned for us is all about following where He is going and what He is doing.

#1 question people ask is, “How can I discover God’s plan for my life?”

“The two most important days of your life are day you are born, and the day you find out why.”  Mark Twain

Most people want to fill a need in the world and that is not bad but it is just the world’s needs are endless. We want assignments from God and God will give those from time to time. The answer to what does God want me to do with my life is not necessarily an assignment. The answer to what does God want me to do with my life is a relational one not an assignment.

          Ill. If God gave you a life assignment you would run off and do it without Him. Instead the life He has planned for you is always about flowing with Him and doing what He is doing now and saying the same thing He is saying.

Ill. When people get frustrated over not know what God would have them do with their life – the best thing for them to do is leave them alone with God. After they have spent time alone in worship or soaking music and bathing in how much god loves them or how good God has been to them - - - then they can begin to hear God talk about what is next for their life.

What makes God glad? What make the city of God glad?

“the streams make glad the city of God,”  Psalm 46:4

When you flow with God’s river inside you leading you step by step and day by day you are fulfilling your destiny and pleasing God. He will make divine connections for you.

          Some days may not be so exciting and may not look like you are being led by God. Today it may be caring for your family. Another day it may be serving as a missionary to a foreign country.

          When kingdom assignments end – we don’t lose our identity, because our identity is not tied to what we do – our work does not define us.

Our identity is becoming a river bed so the HS river can flow through every part of my life and bring life wherever He leads me.

Concl: There IS a river. It is real. Your first experience of the river is when you are born of God’s Spirit and HS brings Himself inside your body to make it God’s temple.

Has that happened to you? Are you sure? If not let’s ask Him in.

Many have the river of HS in them – saved but not allowing the river to flow. Instead built dams of resistance around the river.

-        Break up those dams of resistance. Stop telling God what He needs to do and surrender to His will and let Him lead.

 

Ill. Back before Medicare and health insurance people would go to the church to get prayer for healing. We hear of greater miracles happening today in India and Africa simply because all they have is faith. The same God available there is available here!

I just came here today to tell you 4 words.

There IS a river!

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.