My text today is taken from Mark 1:3 (the message bible) “Watch closely I’m sending My messenger ahead of you… to Prepare for God’s arrival, prepare the way of the Lord, clear the way and make His paths straight”!
In the time of John the Baptist, when a king would travel…. his elite and trusted guard, would go out well in advance to prepare the route by which the King would come. They removed obstacles along the way, they eliminated any anticipated problem spots, and secured the area. They were authorized to do whatever was necessary to prepare the way, in order that the King’s travel, his destination and his purpose would be fulfilled.
Mark begins his gospel with a word picture of an unorthodox evangelist named John the Baptist, who lived in the wilderness, dressed in a camel’s hair garment, and ate locusts and wild honey, crying out repent, prepare the way of the Lord…. to be honest, many might be thinking…. “Really Lord, is this the best, prepare the way person, you could find?”
Certainly someone who fit in a little better, who wasn’t such an isolationist, and had better communication skills, could do a much better job…and what are those things crawling in his beard….Lord, At least get this guy a better outfit and some deodorant might help as well!!
But then, wait a minute….. God chose us…. FIGURE THAT!!!! HE EVEN CHOSE US!!! With our past, with our failures and our mess….Just as he chose the least likely, when he called fishermen, a tax collector and a political zealot… We have been chosen, authorized and uniquely equipped and positioned, to be the forerunners and advance team of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. To prepare the way, wherever we are, so that His purposes can be fulfilled. Our clear mandate is spelled out for us in Matthew 6:10 “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven”……..
I came across this poem again as I was preparing, which I thought would fit into our subject of “preparing the way of the Lord”….
O Lord I'm your willing servant, You know that I have been so, for years. I'm here in this pew every Sunday and Wednesday, I've stained it with many a tear. I've given you years of my service, and I've always given my best. I've never asked you for anything much, So Lord I deserve this request. Please don't send me to Africa, I don't think I've got what it takes. I'm just a man, I'm not a Tarzan, don't like lions, or rivers, or snakes. I'll serve you here in suburbia, In my comfortable middle class life, but please don't send me out there in the bush, where the natives are restless at night. I'll see that the money is gathered, I'll see that the money is sent, I'll wash and stack the communion cups, and I'll tithe 11 percent. I'll volunteer for the nursery, and I'll go on every youth retreat, I'll usher, I'll deacon, I'll go door to door…. Just let me keep warming this seat!
When the people asked John the Baptist, ‘What shall we do, to prepare? His answer revealed that our preparation would move out into and touch every area of our lives…. he told them: ‘He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise’. To the tax collectors he said, ‘Collect no more than is appointed you’. He told the soldiers, ‘Rob no one by violence or by false accusations, and be content with your wages’. There is no area left untouched, no stone unturned, when the King makes His way into our hearts….and into the mainstream of society.
We prepare the way for the Lord to come into our family, our community, and our job, by our words and actions….. We prepare the way of the Lord through our kindness and compassion to others…..We prepare the way of the Lord by speaking the truth in love…..We prepare the way of the Lord by living in an attitude of repentance and righteousness….. We prepare the way of the Lord by living in God's grace and forgiveness and by giving grace and forgiveness to others…. We prepare the way of the Lord by submitting to His ways and His will…..We prepare the way of the Lord by who we are, where we are and by understanding why we are gifted uniquely as we are…. We prepare the way of the Lord through the Life university of spirit led living…..
You see, life is my college, heaven is my citizenship, Jesus is my principal, the Holy Spirit is my teacher, angels are my class mates, the Bible is my study book, trials and temptations are my exams, winning souls is my assignment, prayer is my attendance, a crown of life is my degree, praise and worship is my classroom, and grace is my tuition!
Following a great sermon on lifestyle evangelism one family thought they had better do something to witness for Jesus. So they invited their new neighbors to dinner the following Friday night. When it came time to eat, the wife was anxious to show their neighbors that they followed Christian standards in their home. So she asked little 5 year old Johnny to say grace before the meal. Little Johnny was feeling a bit shy, since there were strangers at the table. "I don't know what to say" Johnny said…There was an awkward pause, when mom gave a reassuring smile and told him…."Well darling, just pray what Daddy said when we had breakfast this morning." Trying to be Obedient, once again the boy bowed his head and repeated with the same tones his dad had used, "My God, what are we doing, inviting these awful neighbors over for dinner tonight?" (OOPS! Wrong quote)
The Christian Church has always believed that Jesus who first came at the time of Augustus Caesar will come again at the end of the age, but we also believe in the continual coming of the Lord by the Holy Spirit into the hearts and lives of the people of earth. This is foundational evangelism at it’s very heart and core.
We cannot fix or predict the times of His continual visitations, for He always comes unexpectedly and suddenly when hearts are ready to believe and receive Him. But the fact that he tells us to prepare the way of the Lord, indicates that so much of what we do, as we simply live our Christian lifestyle, in the who, when, where, what and why of our journey, becomes the prerequisite to His showing up, again and again in behalf of ourselves and others! Have you ever wondered why the folks that are so sensitive and easy to get their feelings hurt, are so impatient and judgmental of others?
But when Christ becomes incarnate in us, He brings a reset program in our lives…..there comes a realignment of priorities, principals and purpose…. A rebuilding of dreams, hopes and destinies….a release of strength, clarity, and giftedness….A renewal of dependency upon Him, His power, His word, His plan…. and less dependence upon other things. Dependencies on the wrong kinds of things, that’s ll the thingswe so quickly and easily see in the lives of others, but they are things we are blind to in our own lives….
An airline in a third world country had experienced a terrible shortage of pilots, which meant long lines and a lot of angry, frustrated passengers. The airline was desperate to hire any pilot with experience. So as everyone boarded a plane, two men dressed in pilots' uniforms walk up the aisle of the aircraft. Both are wearing dark glasses, one is using a guide dog, and the other is tapping his way along the aisle with a white cane. Nervous laughter spreads through the cabin, but the men enter the cockpit, the door closes, and the engines start up. The passengers begin glancing nervously around, searching for some kind of a sign that this is just a little practical joke.
The plane moves out on to the runway, and begins to accelerate faster and faster down the runway, and the people all realize they're headed straight for the water at the end of the runway. Just as it begins to look as though the plane will plow straight into the water, loud, panicked screams erupt, filling the cabin.
At that moment, the plane lifted smoothly into the air. The passengers begin to relax and laugh a little sheepishly, and soon all retreat into their magazines and books, secure in the knowledge that the plane is in good hands, and is now being flown by computer.
Meanwhile, in the cockpit, one of the blind pilots turns to the other and
says, 'You know, Bob, one of these days, they're gonna scream too late and we're all gonna die'!!
People want a guide they can trust!!!!! Who not only will talk the walk, but walk the talk!!!! The messenger cannot only effect the message, but destroy it’s credibility entirely!
Some folks actually think that John the Baptist was an evangelist for the Baptist denomination…. But he was more than that, Peter was not Catholic, James was not Presbyterian, Luke was not Lutheran….and Matthew was not a Mormon…. Not only that, Jesus was not Jewish in religion, he was only Jewish in nationality. The problem we sometimes have is that we want to change the gospel into our image, instead of allowing it to change us into Christ’s image!...,Often our denominational label becomes more important than our message of redemption and eternal life in Christ and the resurrection reality….
So, how do we begin to prepare the way of the Lord?
One thing we don’t do is, we don’t throw up our hands and say, “Let’s wait until He gets here and then He will change everything that needs to be changed.”……we are often like the disciples, who were waiting for Jesus to overthrow Rome, the way He turned over the money changers tables and drove them out of the temple…YEAH, GO JESUS….YOU GET EM GOOD LORD!!!!
Becoming part of God’s advance team, is not always convenient. It’s not always comfortable. It’s not always what we want to do. Usually it takes us on a path we would never expect or choose. The reason they had foot washing services in the early church, is because they got their feet dirty carrying the gospel message…..That message is that God replaces fear with faith, pain with purpose and obstacles with opportunities…
His advance team is the place where people look around, see what they think Jesus would be doing if He came back today, and then do it in His name and by His grace and power.
They look around and see darkness and bring light into it….they look around and see sorrow and they bring comfort and hope into it…. they look around and see strife, and bring peace into it, they see loneliness and bring friendship into it….they see sickness and disease and bring healing… they see bondage and bring liberty and release….They are waiting for Christ to come again, but they aren’t content to just sit by and cross days off the end time calendar, and count end time signs like prisoners in jail waiting for their release day, they get involved now.
Isaiah 57:14, the prophet cried out….. “Prepare the way, Blast open a road! Open up a way! Make room for God! Push over the mountains! Raise up the valleys! Smooth out the rough places!” In other words….“Lead, follow, or get out of the way!!!!....Get out of the way and let God lead. Set aside whatever gets in God’s way and let God have His own way. Even the great apostles Peter and Paul had to learn that to prepare the way, meant to get out of God’s way.
Remember what happened when Jesus told his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem where his enemies would crucify him? Peter rebuked Jesus! No, this couldn’t possibly be the way! “Crucifixion must never happen to you, Lord!” Peter wasn’t just speaking for himself there…..he spoke for all who expected the Messiah to be a conquering hero, which was just about everybody. No, the way of the cross couldn’t possibly be the best way that God could come up with!!!
Jesus turned and said, “Get out of my way! You are a stumbling block, you’re an obstruction to me.”
Later on, there was another well known occasion when Peter again found himself dismayed at the direction God was choosing to go in. In the book of Acts, God was making it clear that the gospel was for Gentiles, as well as for Jews. And this meant that Peter and the others would have to give up their squeamishness about coming into fellowship with people they had grown up believing were unclean and were outsiders.
Peter saw a vision of unclean animals being lowered down to him on a sheet, along with the command to take and eat. Immediately he exclaimed, “But Lord, I’ve never eaten anything that is unclean and not kosher!” This happened three times, and Peter finally understood what God was getting at. The church’s barriers of clean or unclean, us and them….had no place in the church Jesus was building, and it needed to be removed out of the way, so the gospel could move forward. Peter and the others were going to have to let go of the way they were raised as Jewish followers of Jewish tradition, and think and view Gentiles differently and no matter who they were or what they had done, to welcome them as Jesus welcomed them.
It has been well said that “To those who have faith, no explanation is necessary. To those without faith, no explanation is possible."
When Saul, later known as Paul was persecuting the church, his teacher and rabbi, whose name was Gamaliel , advised him that he might well be fighting against God! If this movement is of God, you can’t stop it, he said! And when Saul, had his encounter with the risen Christ, who appeared to him on the road to Damascus, the first words of Christ, were.... “Saul, Saul, why are you fighting against me”?
That’s what John the Baptist was telling the people of his day…. “God is on the move, God is about to come to you, so let’s Get out of His way!!!
An atheist was getting enthusiastic in his presentation at a national conference of atheists….when he said "It's great to see so many highly motivated atheist here today". A voice from near the front said "I'm a Christian”. Seeing an interesting discussion which could add to his presentation, he turned to the man and said "Why are you a Christian? The man said "Because my father was, and my father was because his father was". This wasn't quite what the speaker had been aiming for, so he tried a different way: "What if your grandfather had been insane? And what if your father had been insane as well?". "Well", came the reply from the Christian "I guess I would be an atheist then."
We are where we are to prepare the way of the Lord….
Our own wants and hopes and dreams, no matter how good and noble they are, must take a back seat and second place….when God shows up, and begins to call us into our greater purpose.
Psalms 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. v11 Cast me not away from Your presence; and take not Your holy spirit from me. v12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with Your free spirit”.
Let’s not be like the church that had a man die from a heart attack during the service. When the ambulance arrived, they checked half the congregation before they discovered who the dead man was… (give out a good amen or hallelujah once in a while, so the paramedics will know you’re still alive!!!)
inspection creates expectation. Take your weight for example; until I stepped on the scale, recently, I thought I was 180 lbs. Once I weighed myself I was no longer in denial about my actual weight, it changed my thinking, and my actions began to match my expectations.
Life is what happens to you while you are making other plans, and doing other things…so be sure to put God first when you’re making your life plans and choices ….and doing your everyday life stuff!
Palm Sunday, is a marker in the triumphant journey of Jesus…. On this Palm Sunday, I am picturing in my mind, a high mountain that must be overcome in order to continue our journey…It may be mountains of sickness, or mountains called the burdens of life, or perhaps they are mountains of life’s pressures and responsibilities, which we all must deal with, that stand in our path….and they must be climbed….
When mountain climbers are moving toward the top of a mountain, they often come to a sheer rock face, with no footholds or handholds for the average climber to find. An expert rock climber will go before them, with a rope and a clip filled with pylons. As he moves up through those places where it looks unclimbable and impossible, he drives the pylons, into the cracks and crevices and secures a rope to them, so that others can climb up and over the places, they never could have gotten over and beyond before…..
Palm Sunday, which is referred to as the triumphant entry, was one stop in Jesus triumphant climb as He conquered the mountain of sin, sickness, bondage, and death…which he alone could climb and be the path finder for all of those who would follow…..and the pylon which He drove into the top of that mountain was a blood stained cross….
Isaiah 22:22 And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. v23 And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to His father's house. v24 And they shall hang upon him all the glory of His father's house, His offspring and those who follow Him.
Now, speaking of overcoming the mountains that stand in our way…this scripture really excites me with it’s power and promise of victory to every offspring, born of the Spirit, in Christ Jesus…..
Ezra 9:7 Since the days of our fathers we have been in a great and desolate place because of our sins, even unto this day, and for our iniquities, we, our kings, and our priests, have been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day. v8 And now for a time, grace has been shown from the LORD our God, to leave us a way of escape, and to give us a nail in His holy place, that our God may open our eyes, and revive us in our bondage.
But most important, do we really understand that we are where we are right now in our lives, living on the street where we live, working at the job we work at, connected with the people we are connected with, in the city, the state, the country we are in, to prepare the way of the Lord?
How many people have died not knowing that they could spend eternity in heaven instead of missing it forever, because Christians haven’t understood their greatest calling and purpose? You are at just the right place at just the right time… to simply look around you, be aware of your environment, and find a need and filled it….And as you give that unto the Lord, God will bless it, and enable you to populate heaven and empty hell!!! The young 26 year old pilot, who took 149 people to their death as he crashed the plane at the foot hills of the alps, lived around Christians who could have changed his destiny. Instead, 150 people, on a normal day, going to meet family, enjoy vacation, and just enjoy a great day of life, They were scheduled to land at 11:20 am….but they crashed at 10:39….
the dead included 16 German schoolchildren on an exchange trip to Spain, two teachers, two babies and two leading opera singers. Maria Radner, was travelling with her husband and baby. Fellow performer Oleg Bryjak, who interprets, also died. Carol, 68, and her son Greig, 29, were enjoying a European trip together. These folks probably worked with Christians, lived in the same neighborhood, on the same street, but for many, no one ever cared enough to tell them about Jesus, the Palm Sunday path finder….
Luke 14:23 “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled”.
Witnessing isn’t done in the church, the church is where we come together to celebrate and rejoice and acknowledge what Christ has done and is doing, in and for us. This is where we get encouragement and teaching on how to live a purpose filled life. Remember that Moses started out as a basket case, himself, so be encouraged!
Like John, we have a single all-encompassing mission and calling while here upon the earth…. “Preparing the way of the Lord”….
We have an incredible message to share, that our God is bigger than your past, stronger than your depression, more powerful than your pain, your hate, your anger, your doubt, your fears, your shame, your guilt, your disorders, your self-destructive patterns, your loneliness, your scars, and He’s bigger than all the cares of this world!!!
People will hurt you, God will heal you…People will humiliate you, God will honor you…People will judge you, God will justify you.
Our God is entirely predictable in fulfilling His word to us, for He holds time itself accountable to His will and purposes…He died on the Feast of Passover, He was buried on the Feast of Unleaven bread, He rose from the grave on the Feast of Firstfruits, He sent the Comforter on the feast of Pentecost, He will gather us at the Feast of Trumpets and we will celebrate with Him the Feast of Tabernacles for a perpetual Feast of Sabbath Shemitahs!
To walk by faith means to see opportunities in the midst of opposition. A pessimist sees only the problems; an optimist sees only the potential; but a realist sees the potential embedded in the problems.
Paul did not close his eyes to the many dangers and difficulties he would face in ministry, but he did look at them from the divine point of view and saw them as awesome opportunities.
Faith simply means obeying God's will in spite of feelings, circumstances, or consequences. There never was and never will be an easy place to serve God…but great opportunities often come, disguised in the form of great challenges.
Isaiah 59:19 declares, “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.”
The standard God has raised up and given unto us has a name….that name is Jesus, our pathfinder…. His love is unquestionable, His power is unconquerable, His impact is unmistakable, His meaning is undeniable, His mystery is unexplainable, His sacrifice is incomparable, His sacrifice is unimaginable, His depth is immeasurable and His absence is unthinkable! “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him, would never die, but have eternal life!” OOOOHHHH….WHAT A GOD, WHAT A GIFT we are privileged to follow and walk in triumph as He leads us!
Congregational Prayer of agreement….
Lord Jesus, help me this day with a new attitude and plenty of gratitude. Let me make the best of each and every day to clear my mind so that I can hear from You and prepare the way of the Lord. Please open my mind and my eyes so that I can see and understand that You are working through all things in my life. When I sin, let me repent, and confess with my mouth as I believe in my heart, and receive the forgiveness of God, even as I forgive others who have transgressed against me.
And when this world closes in on me, let me remember Your example Lord, to slip away and find a quiet place to pray, when I'm pushed beyond my limits. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your Spirit of life that surges throughout every cell of my entire being, strengthening me and restoring me to complete wholeness. I release and cast away any undue worry or concern. Continue to use me to do Your will. Thank You for Your blessings that allow me to be a blessing to others. Keep me strong that I may help the weak.
May I grow in faith, that I may have words of strength, hope and encouragement for others. May I be one who daily prepares the way of the Lord, for those that are lost and can't find their way. For those that are misjudged and for all those that are lonely and misunderstood and for those who don't know You, personally and intimately. Help me to replace any wrong thinking and wrong doing in my life, with thoughts and acts based on your Greater redemptive truth and purpose…
Help me to refocus on the future, and the plan and purpose that You have for my life. I recommit myself to you, Lord… and I open my heart and life, to Your redemptive sacrifice, that connects me with all that you offer to me, including the perfect, custom plan for my life. I am in the right place at the right time. I declare, that You have made it possible for me to life a life of triumph, according to Your word, and that I am whole and well in mind, body, and spirit….In the mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.”
We have been looking at some things we need to do in Overcoming our Roadblocks To Healing!
We will continue to examine a list of at least twenty roadblocks to Divine Healing, and victory…..In this message, we will pick up where we left off at Road block # 11…
The three categories of these roadblocks to healing, are manifestations of either a lack of knowledge, unbelief, or reaping what we have sown.
Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free”!
The Lord refers to healing as the children's bread, or a basic part of our redemption package. He wants us to have healing, and wholeness more than we want to have healing and wholeness, since He provided it before we even asked Him for it!
Normally, Parents don’t wait till the children are starving to go get something for them to eat. They go shopping and put food in the refrigerator and the cabinets so the child can just open it and get what they want….it was there waiting for them before they got hungry….The children’s bread is there waiting for us to receive it!
We concluded last week with Roadblock # Eleven: Trying to measure spiritual things by natural means! We cannot try to explain or solve things in the natural realm, which have a Spiritual root and cause…natural logic will usually fall short… Spiritual things must be spiritually discerned….and spiritually understood….For example, every person has a God shaped place inside….they can try to fill it with all the things of the natural world….money, pleasure, possessions and success, but only God can fill the spiritual place in us that is reserved for Him alone!
Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
1Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
“Jesus addressed the issue that the spiritual realm governs the natural realm, when He said…. Matthew 21:21 “Verily I say unto you, If you have faith, and doubt not, you shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if you shall say unto this mountain, Be removed, and be cast into the sea, it shall be done”.
Our reference point and our perspective can make the difference in victory or defeat. If you don't stay diligently grounded in the source of everything that exists in the natural, which came by the Word that created it, doubt will begin to enter in and get a foothold. You’ll forget that you are not subject to natural things but they are to be subject to you…and you will jump over into the natural as your source.
Our faith is in someone who cannot fail, never has and never will. (say it with me….”He cannot fail” )…AND THAT IS YOUR SOURCE!!!
God writes a lot of great reality show scripts... the trouble is, he's been stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play the parts.
Jesus was clear that the natural realm is subject to the spiritual realm…
The garden of Eden was a place where the natural dimension was clearly subject to the Spiritual.
Genesis 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. v. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth. Adam said it and it was so….”you’re a frog”, and it was, “you’re a duck”, and it was….”you’re an apple”, and it was!
Matthew 18:18 “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven”.
(tell someone, “you need to listen, God is talking to you”)
Roadblock # Twelve: Dealing With That Thing Called Fear!
The 6 questions women ask that strike the most fear in men are: 1...What are you thinking about? 2...Do you love me? 3…Were you looking at that woman? 4...Do I look fat? 5...Do you think she is prettier than me? 6...Would you remarry if I died? ….Men…be very afraid!!!!!
Job said this about fear… Job 3:25 “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me”.
Worry and fear neutralize faith – They are faith in reverse – as we believe the wrong things…Worry and fear begin to work against us instead of for us to create the thing we fear. There is no fear in faith since perfect trust will cast out all fear – because faith works by loving trust; You cannot be in faith and fear at the same time. James 1:6 “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. v7 Let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. v8 For, a double minded man is unstable in all his ways”.
So fear is another manifestation of unbelief….It is the belief in the outcome that you do not want to receive… so, that what you don’t want to receive, is what you end up receiving!
Here’s some insight for you…. Fear is a thing of the heart…you fear because something is near and dear to your heart….So our constant challenge is to lead your heart and don’t let your heart lead you, and you will conquer your fear.
1 Chronicles 22:19 Now set it (be established) in your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God.”
Roadblock # Thirteen: Taking Control Of Negative Confessions!
James 3:10 “Out of the same mouth comes forth blessing and cursing. These things ought not to be so. v.11 Does a fountain send forth at the same time sweet water and bitter? v.12 Can the fig tree, bear olive berries? Can a vine, bear figs? So can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh”.
The words of your mouth reveal your true beliefs - If you are walking in faith, it'll show, because your words are a mirror of your heart. It is critically important that we say about ourselves what God's Word says about us and think about ourselves as God thinks about us, through the eyes of love and grace.
If God says we are healed, it is okay for us to say we are healed, regardless of our feelings. It's imperative that we consistently confess the Word of God- not just our feelings or our fears.
Our words give us direction and attract our God given future. He watches over His Word to perform it on our behalf. But we must continually be speaking His Word over our situations and relationships. When we confess the word, He releases the angels to perform it and they show up to adjust things in our lives and to conform to the word!!!
Roadblock # Fourteen: Double-Mindedness!
The Greek word for Double minded is (dipsuchos…to stand in two places) I’m amazed at how many really sick people are out on the waters around Key West and the Keys, diving, fishing, and boating…. ….they are out there even though they are sick….and I say this, because they called their jobs and told them that they couldn’t come in because they were too sick!!!! They are double minded! We become double minded when we are struggling because we want to stand in two places!
If you do not go after what you want, you’ll never have it….
If you do not ask, the answer will always be no….
If you do not go forward, you will always remain in the same place…
Paul says, Romans 4:20 “Abraham staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; v.21 And being fully persuaded (totally convinced) that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform”. (He was not double minded)
Like Paul and Abraham, we need to be "fully persuaded".
Some speak words of faith, but their actions contradict their words. Some speak words of faith when they are around other faith walking people, but the rest of the time, they speak their problems or their feelings. The bible calls these folks double minded. Scripture makes it clear that they will not receive anything from God, because they are not full convinced that God will do what He said He would do.
God measures us by our hearts… and our words come from what is in our hearts, and Jesus is the high priest of our confession. When we fill our hearts with His words, then He watches over those words to perform them!!!
Roadblock # Fifteen: Misunderstanding the meaning of “If It Be Thy Will”!
”Some folks, pray with their eyes and their brain both shut” We might also call this the "Whatever will be, will be" perspective; Many people will claim, "God will heal me if it is His will to heal me", not understanding that His will is His Word and healing is clearly declared all through scripture.
A person who prays this way is clearly walking in doubt and unbelief, and doesn’t know the word of God, or isn’t certain what they actually do believe.
Someone has said that these People want the front of the bus, the back of the church, and the center of attention. What we need is the center of God’s will! Scripture tells us that we must pray in confidence, knowing what His will is when we pray…
1John 5:15 “And if we know that He hears us, (because we know His will expressed by His word) whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him”.
We must speak out of our position in Christ and not out of our experience at the moment…..
Romans12:2 “Be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”.
Roadblock # Sixteen: Vain Repetitious Prayers! Many people think that the way to get God to move on their behalf is through asking for the same thing over and over and over again, thinking they can twist His arm, not realizing that the mere act of doing that is a demonstration of their unbelief.
Matthew 6:7 “But when you pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. v.8 Don’t be like them: for your Heavenly Father knows what you have need of, before you ask Him”.
If you truly ask in faith, you don't need to ask again. Instead you need to declare the answer and solution God gives you….and walk in the answer, not the problem.
God didn’t save us to turn us into beggars, but transformed us into children of the most high God, Heirs and joint heirs with Christ! He told us to reign in life as kings and priests unto our God!!!
Romans 5:17 “For if by one man's offence, death reigned, how much more then shall they which have received of the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness, reign in life by one, Jesus Christ”.
The Holy Spirit has deposited the DNA of Christ within us, so that we have this problem you see, accepting that there is anything that is not possible with God!!
Roadblock # Seventeenth: "Trying" Instead of "Trusting"! As long as you are "trying", you are not fully "trusting" - Don't "try" to do it, just "do it”!
If you’re trying to swim, chances are, you’re close to drowning! You have to trust the principal of buoyancy and displacement. Perhaps that’s why the Holy Spirit is referred to as water so often, because just as water has buoyancy, He holds you up!
Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. v.6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths”.
Roadblock # Eighteen: Prolonged Sorrow! This Is like a poison, you don’t realize it’s spreading all through your system, until it’s finally got you! Sadness, Depression, Hopelessness,…. Or Simply Not Walking In Joy can block your victory...
Prolonged sorrow will bring emptiness, lack and poverty. However, Joy is a manifestation of faith. If you have lost your joy, it is a clear signal that you are not walking in the God-kind-of-faith.
Prolonged Sorrow can introduce many ailments into your body, mind and spirit. Joy in your spirit is medicine to your body. If you’re not laughing enough, that might be your problem….Joy is also the best cosmetics ever, for your face! It’s No wonder, then,
Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dries up the bones”.
If you need a good laugh, just look at yourself in the mirror first thing in the morning……
Roadblock # Nineteen: Is Impatience! Faith without patience just simply isn't faith. We have to understand that God's timing is perfect. On our part, we must believe that we have received when we pray. If we are getting impatience about the manifestation, then we apparently don't believe we received it, or that God heard us. But we must know enough about God, to know that He is not slack concerning His promises.
Hebrews 6:10 “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which you have shown toward His name, you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. v.11 And we desire that every one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: v.12 Do not be complacent, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises”.
The only exercise some people get is flying off the handle, Taking things too far, dodging responsibility, pushing their luck, and rushing to conclusions….
(impatience can cost you, big time) because the hurrider you go the behinder you get!!
Roadblock # Twenty Is REAPING WHAT YOU SOW!
Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. v.8 For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. v.9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not”.
We Can Reap Unhealthy Life Practices!
You can have all the faith in the world, but if you are constantly dining on fast food, don't expect prolonged healthy living; Unsanitary conditions, bad eating habits, a negative environment, and other risky health patterns, can open the door to sickness in our lives. What we eat is who we are. Sow healthy habits into your lifestyle and reap a healthy body.
We Can Reap Un-forgiveness! Jesus told us to pray that we might receive forgiveness from God as we forgive others. If you are not in right standing with your wife, your children, your fellow man, and your God, it hinders the flow of the power of God; Someone has said that Forgiveness is a manifestation of Godliness.
Maybe someone has dumped their resentment, bitterness and stinking thinking on you and it has affected you and the way you feel and see things…
It’s time for ALL THE EAGLES to get set free… I’m glad you came today.. The word of God has creative power…..release that creative power in faith as you believe today..
Could you reach out to Him in surrender and pray with me right now….
“Lord, Jesus, I know that You see and You feel all the pain in my heart, the hurt and the resentment, the anger and guilt, the fear and insecurities. You see it all. I desperately need Your healing for my physical conditions and my hidden wounds and emotional scars. Today, by faith, I’m taking the steps towards my healing.
Help me to admit the things that have had a negative and self-destructive affect in my life. Help me to release the person that wronged me. Help me to replace wrong thinking and wrong doing with thoughts and acts based on your Greater truth… Help me to refocus on the future, the plan and purpose that You have for my life. Thank You for bringing revelation and healing to my life today. I recommit myself to you, Lord… Right here, right now, in the stillness of Your presence.
I receive Your healing life flowing through me now, bringing peace to my mind and healing energy to my body. I receive the embrace of Your powerful healing love, I give permission for Your health and wholeness to enter my mind, body, and emotions. I declare that the works of the devil are destroyed in our lives, that he has no more power over us. That he is a defeated foe and that what he has attempted to do is a bluff and an illegal attempt.
I overcome by the blood of Jesus and the word of my testimony. Jesus is Lord and Ruler of our lives. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I will believe the report of the Lord - not the report of man or of demons. God declares that by His stripes we are healed. I believe this and confess this. I receive this provision for my family and myself. My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit 1 Cor 6:19, redeemed, Eph 1:7, cleansed 1John 1:7, and sanctified by the Blood of Jesus Hebrews 13:12.
My members, (the parts of my body), are instruments of righteousness Romans 6:13, yielded to God for His service and for His glory. The devil has no place, no power and no unsettled claims. All has been settled by the Blood of Jesus, Romans 8:33-34, I overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by word of my testimony, Rev 12:11. My body is for the Lord and the Lord is for my body 1 Cor 6:13.
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your healing life that surges throughout every cell of my entire being, strengthening me and restoring me to wholeness. I release and cast away any worry or concern about my health. I trust Your healing love and Your life-giving presence to restore me now. I open my heart and life, to Your renewing, creative love, that connects me with Your healing, revitalizing life.
I am created in the image of God, and blessed with strength and wholeness. I believe that the power of God blesses me and sustains me with perfect health. I declare, according to Your word, that I am whole and well in mind, body, and spirit….In the mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.”
(closing slide) Let us lift our hands together and praise Him for the Spirit of freedom and liberty, which He brings as we open ourselves to His healing flow…..
Today we will look at some things we need to do in order to Overcoming Your Roadblocks To Healing!
We will examine a list of at least twenty roadblocks to Divine Healing, and victory…..
Each of the areas which block our healing, are manifestations of either a lack of knowledge, unbelief, or reaping what we have sown.
We could find exceptions for every principal stated in the Bible… but we have not been called to major on exceptions, but, in simple faith, to believe what is promised in God’s covenant with His people. Let’s leave the exceptions with God. Our heavenly Father, who means what He says and He says what He means. He promises healing to each of His Blood-bought children. He even calls it the children's bread. He did what He promised and He has already provided for our healing 2000 years ago. He wants us to have healing, and wholeness more than we want to have healing and wholeness!
He said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free”!
The reason we have not yet received, probably has to do with, one of the following reasons….The First Category we will consider, is just plain old IGNORANCE!
Because Romans 10:3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God….(and speaking of ignorance…)
A little girl asked her mother,"How did the human race come about?" The Mother answered, "God made Adam and Eve; they had children and, so all mankind was made." *…..A few days later, the little girl asked her father the same question. The father answered, "Many years ago there were monkeys, and we developed from them." The
confused girl returns to her mother and says, "Mom, how is it possible that you told me that the human race was created by God , and Papa says we developed from
monkeys?" The Mother answers, "Well, dear, it is very simple. I told you about the origin of my side of the family, and your father told you about his side."
So, you need to decide which side you’re on……
John 10:10 The thief only comes, to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly…… Let’s not let the thief rob us of His abundance….
The First Roadblock Is Religious Thinking! There are a lot of people who look at their religious traditions and say, "that's not how my church does it" or "that's not how my church brand, taught me"; As long as you treat your tradition as more sacred than the Word of God, you will stop the flow of God on your behalf. Any kind of tradition that doesn't have it's origins in God’s word can be a hindrance to receiving whatever it is that God has for you. It’s amazing how many will reject anything that is contrary to their traditions or their denomination, even if it’s contrary to the word.
A pastor arrived at his new church and discovered that it had "bats" hanging on the pitched ceiling of the sancturary. He called someone to ask what he should do with them and they explained, that if he should put them all in a bag and drive them out to the country and let them go, then, he would be rid of them, but when he got back to the church, the "old bats" were waiting to get in.
The Preacher also tried a couple of other things that didn't work. So one day he saw the pastor from down the street and he asked him if he had ever had a problem with "bats" in his church. The Preacher said, "I use to, but now I baptize them and take them into membership, and they haven't been back since."
Traditions of men will shut down the healing and supernatural power of God in the church; When Jesus began His ministry, it was traditionalism that prevented many people from receiving His teaching.
Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, by the tradition of men, and not after Christ. Mark 7:13 Through your traditions, you have made void, the word of God.
Roadblock # Two: Is Rejecting The Truth!
Mark 6:2 states, “He began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing Him were astonished, saying, what is the source of these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto Him, that even such mighty works are wrought by His hands? v.3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joseph, and of Juda, and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us? (These are Jesus’ biological family and his siblings). And they were offended at him. v.4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is without honor, in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. v.5 And He could there do no mighty work, but that He laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them”.
People rejected Truth because they were offended by Him - they saw Jesus as too ordinary; They couldn’t get beyond the natural realm, to believe for the supernatural. They felt like they knew Jesus and they knew that He was born out of wedlock. I’m sure they felt that Jesus didn’t have the credentials to be such a strong spiritual leader. They didn't think Jesus had enough religious standing to be making the claims and the statements that He was making. They accepted religious teaching over God’s truth, the word of man over the word of God and rejected their own salvation and deliverance.
Jesus had no servants yet they called him master, He had no degree yet they called Him teacher. He had no medicines yet they called Him healer, He had no armies, yet kings feared Him. He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world. He committed no crime yet they put Him to death. They all walked away, but He will never walk away and He lives forever more!!!
Roadblock # Three: is A Lack of accurate Information!
(It’s important to Get good, reliable, accurate, believable information) Ignorance is bad enough, and we are all ignorant in some areas…..but when a person says “I don’t know, and I don’t care”….ignorance has partnered with Apathy and that my friend is dangerous, because it may just reproduce something you don’t want !!!!
Romans 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah said, Lord, who has believed our report? v.17 For, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. v.18 But I say, Have they not heard? For the sound went into all the earth, and the words unto the ends of the world”.
Many teach that it is not always the will of God to heal you, but It is not likely that you will trust God for your healing if you have not heard the truth of healing being taught. If you have not been exposed to Truth, it would be hard to believe what you have not heard. Faith comes and is developed through hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
If you need a healing, you need to get the Word of God on healing – lack of the Word of God and ignorance of the Covenant that He has made with you, will prevent you from receiving your healing… Also, not understanding the source and cause of sickness as well as the source of healing will slow your recovery.
Isaiah 53:4 Surely He has borne our grief, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. v.5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed……. Unless God directly and clearly tells you that there is a season you’re in before the healing comes, but even then believe and know that He wants to heal you…
Roadblock # Four: Very little understanding of the Character of God! Jesus said, Whom do men say that I am? And his disciples answered and said, Some say you are John the Baptist returned from the dead; others say Elias, or another of the old prophets. Jesus asks: "But whom do you say that I am?" Religious scholars answered, "Thou art the Logos, existing in the Father as His rationality and then, by an act of His will, being generated, in consideration of the various functions by which God is related to his creation, but only on the fact that Scripture speaks of a Father, and a Son, and a Holy Spirit, each member of the Trinity being coequal with every other member, and each acting inseparably with and interelational to every other member, with only a trinitarian subordination within God, but causing no division which would make the substance no less whole." And Jesus answering, said, "HUUUHHHHHH?"
Acts 10:38 For, God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. If you fail to understand God’s loving, accepting nature, the fact that God is love, and that He gives only good things to His children, you may not be receptive to receive your healing. You can know the character of God by looking at Jesus. Jesus, in His earthly life, was the reflection of the character of God. He continually demonstrated the will of God by healing the sick. It is undeniable that the Word of God promotes healing from cover to cover;
But many Christians don't understand that healing is included in the work of redemption, and they have already received it. It is important that we be constantly listening to and studying the Truths of the Word of God; Yes, there is sickness in the world, but we don't have to accept it as ours. The higher truth is that we have been redeemed from the curse! Remember that Jesus told us that it is the thief (Satan) who came to steal, kill, and destroy. …When the plagues rained down upon Egypt, God’s people were spared, as they rested under the covenant of blessing!
Roadblock # Five: Misunderstanding the Healing Process! Many have dismissed the healing message simply because they were not healed instantly. After receiving prayer and saw no difference when waking up the next morning with the same problem.
Because of this, they give up, they continue accepting and expecting the problem, and they continue down the path of relying only upon man's remedies. Scripture clearly explains that many times healing is gradual, but healing always comes in one way or another when the true God-kind-of-faith is release. It is through faith and patience that we inherit this promise; (let me say, here…that even after you’ve received healing, you can expect to be attacked by reoccurring “lying” symptoms which come to get you over into doubt and unbelief) This is where we continue to “Resist the devil” and watch him flee…..!
Hebrews 6:12 “Do not be complacent, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. v.13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no greater, He swore by Himself, v.18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us”.
Roadblock # Six: Lack of repentance! Mark 6:12 “And they went out, and preached that men should repent. v.13 And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them”. Proverbs 3:7 ….”fear the LORD, and depart from evil. v.8 It shall be health to your navel, and marrow to your bones”.
An unrepentant heart can hinder healing – True repentance means that we have turned our backs and walked away from the Sin. Are you clean before the Lord; Sometimes people have sin in their lives that they refuse to deal with; We stand in the righteousness of Jesus - But that does not give us a license to continue in sin - If we are knowingly and willfully walking in disobedience, then our healing and victory can be delayed.
Roadblock # Seven: Lack Of Spiritual Authority. We need to be confident of the authority that we have in Christ, the power that we have in His Name, and know how to pray the prayer of faith. You must believe that you receive when you pray and avoid vain-repetitions, that are egocentric and not bible based and faith centered… Mark 11:24 “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever you desire, when you pray, believe that you have received them, and you shall have them”.
We are the delegated authority stationed at the intersection of our lives, where we intersect with our environment, physically, mentally and spiritually. We are appointed to manage the traffic at our intersection and choose what can come through and what cannot.
Job 22:28 “You shall also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto you and the light shall shine upon your ways”.
1John 5:15 “And if we know that He hears us, for, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the (legal and binding) petitions that we desired of Him”. (our attorney, who represents us, is Jesus)
Roadblock # Eight: Lack of Authority in Demonic Activity!
Mark 3:27 “No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, unless he first binds the strong man; and then he will take back his (stolen possessions)”.
There are times when people don't really need a healing, but they actually need deliverance….There are spirits of sickness, infirmity and addiction that want to bring us into bondage. Not all physical problems are directly caused by demonic activity, but certainly, a lot is. We each need spiritual discernment to know if it is a spiritual thing or just a physical thing; Christians Can Become Demon Oppressed, or Demon Obsessed, But Not Demon Possessed. We have one master and that is Christ… But Satan can take advantage of us in seasons of weariness and exhaustion. It’s good in times such as that, to have an accountability circle, for support to give us reinforcements and insight.
Roadblock # Nine: Failure To Break Inherited Curses.
Ezekiel 18:2 ….”The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge”
So many folks live in a dead zone.. only looking to each day with more torture and fear and dehumanization. It is purly demonic and depraved. It must be broken!
Isaiah 53:5 “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities. (Aveel….those who are bowed down beneath perversity, wickedness and sin,) the chastisement (satisfaction or price) of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed”.
Scripture speaks of inherited curses, but it also tells us that we have been set free from all curses due to the work of the cross. Once again, we have authority in Christ, the power of His Name, and the power of His Blood, so we can break any inherited curse. We must declare, “No More” in Jesus name
Roadblock # Ten: Lack Of Faith!
Mark 9:17 “And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto You my son, which has a dumb spirit; (I think that spirit is very active today, because folks are doing some real dumb stuff) v.18 And wherever it takes him, it tears him: and he foams, and gnashes with his teeth, and pines away: and I spoke to your disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not. v.19 He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me. v.20 And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tore him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. v.21 And he asked his father, How long has it been since this came unto him? And he said, since a child. V.22 And often it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if You can do anything, have compassion on us, and help us. v.23 Jesus said unto him, If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes. v.24 And the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help my unbelief. v.25 And Jesus rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, you dumb and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him, and enter no more into him”.
Jesus was exposing one of the biggest hindrances to Divine Healing…. the lack of faith; Faith is a major requirement to releasing the power of God on your behalf.
We all have available to us the measure of faith to get the job done, but, unbelief insolates and isolates us from the healing power of God for our life. Many Christians believe that it is not the will of God to heal them, so the results of that negative belief, is what they end up getting! (You have enough faith, if you release it and use it)
Roadblock # Eleven: Trying to measure spiritual things by natural things!
The question has long been asked….Why did the chicken cross the road? Many have tried to respond…here’s how some people might have responded to the question…..Socrates the philosopher: The question is not "Why did the chicken cross the road? But is rather, "Who was crossing the road at the same time, whom we overlooked in our haste to observe the chicken crossing the road?"
Martin Luther King, Jr.: I envision a world where all chickens will be free to cross roads without having their motives called into question.
Grandpa: In my day, we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Someone told us that the chicken had crossed the road, and that was good enough for us.
Theory of relativity: The point is that the chicken crossed the road. Who cares why? The end of crossing the road justifies whatever motive there was.
Albert Einstein: Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road moved beneath the chicken depends upon your frame of reference.
Buddha: You must transcend this or you will never discover your own chicken nature.
Ralph Waldo Emerson: The chicken did not cross the road - it transcended it.
Thomas The Torturer: Give me ten minutes with the chicken and I'll find out.
Chicken Preacher: And God came down from the heavens, and He said unto the chicken, "Thou shalt cross the road." And the Chicken crossed the road, and there was much rejoicing.
CAPTAIN KIRK: To boldly go where no chicken has gone before
Colonel Sanders: You mean I missed one?
The Department of Homeland Security: ….This administration will do everything within its power to provide free access to ALL chickens on ALL our roads, everywhere, at ANY cost.
Hillary Clinton: That is my chicken, and I didn’t break any laws by letting it cross….
Dr. Phil : Don't lie about your chicken. Confront it. You can’t get beyond what you don’t confront.
Jewish Chicken: Vaat? The pig crosses the road and no one notices. But I cross the road and now it's a Federal case already?!
Key West Chicken: Hey! Back off, I'm walkin' here!
We cannot try to explain or solve things in the natural realm, which have a Spiritual root and cause…natural logic will usually fall short… Spiritual things must be spiritually deserned….and spiritually approached….
Matthew 21:21 “Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If you have faith, and doubt not, you shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if you shall say unto this mountain, Be removed, and be cast into the sea; it shall be done”.
Our reference point and our perspective can make the difference in victory or defeat. If you don't stay diligently grounded in the Word, doubt will begin to enter in and get a foothold. You’ll forget that you are not subject to natural things but they are to be subject to you….
God writes a lot of great reality show scripts... the trouble is, he's been stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play the parts.
Jesus was clear that the natural realm is subject to the spiritual realm…The garden of Eden was a place where the natural dimension was clearly subject to the Spiritual.Genesis 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. v. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.
God has given us a higher law, which we use to govern all the affairs of this life. The principles and values within the bible will apply to every situation, broken place, and circumstances of life…. May we indeed mount up with wings as eagles and soar in the high places, looking unto the hills where our help comes from….
We will continue the subject….”HEALING BELONGS TO YOU” In next Sunday’s message…..
HEALING BELONGS TO YOU… by Pastor Charles C. Elliott
Some of you have physical needs today. You may have a chronic ailment that you can’t seem to get beyond. You may have sharp, stabbing pain that occurs suddenly & unexpectedly. Some of you have recurring headaches. Others may be experiencing the discomfort of arthritis or problems in your circulatory system or digestive track. Perhaps your struggle is in the respiratory system. Regardless of the sickness, disease or pain, we all need to come to the FULL knowledge that we can be healed, and it belongs to us in the redemptive work which has been provided for us! I am sharing this message today to build your faith to receive! HEALING BELONGS TO YOU!!
THE FIRST STEP TO RECEIVE YOUR HEALING:
Know that you know, that you know, that it is God’s will to heal you,
Now, there are exceptions, when God sovereignly moves, such as in the case of Paul with his “thorn in the flesh”, but we can get ourselves really messed up if we start living on exceptions!
A guy was suffering from a miserable cold and begs his doctor for relief. The doctor prescribes pills. But after a week, the guy's still sick and the nagging cough persists. So the doctor gives him a shot. But that doesn't help his condition either. "Okay, this is what I want you to do," says the doctor on the third visit. "Go home and take a hot bath. Then throw open all the windows and stand in the cold winter air, until your entire body is shaking uncontrollably." The patient vigorously protested, saying "Doc, I'll get pneumonia!". Exactly, said the Doctor " Pneumonia I can cure, colds are a little harder"
Faith is resting, and ceasing to struggle or fret! Because it is based on, the expressed will of God, not on our desires, feelings or wishes. If it only took our needs, to get God’s response, then all of our needs would already be met!
FAITH IS EXPECTING GOD TO DO WHAT WE KNOW IT IS HIS WILL TO DO. When we are convinced that God wants to do something, it is not difficult to believe that it will happen, for we have surrendered ourselves unto it. The same grace of God that provides for our salvation also provides for our physical healing. If you know you are saved, then you can also know you are healed
The Hebrew word, for atonement, is (kawphar, to cover, to seal, to cure, to cancel, to put off or put away).
In Genesis 6:14, When God gave Noah instructions concerning the ark, he said, "Pitch it within and without with pitch.") or, (Kaw-far') “Cover it, Seal it, inside and out with pitch.” Now understand, that his faith, had to be “kawhar”, before the ark could ever be “kawphar”…..
The ark was made of gopher wood which is another name for resinous trees, woods that are used in ship-building; most likely cypress, which was used "in some parts of Asia exclusively as the material for ships, it was used in Athens for coffins, and in Egypt for mummy cases.
In other words, God instructed Noah, “the covering you build for the people and animals, needs a secure covering that will not be compromised by the forces that come against it.”
The root of the English word “cover”, signifies to pardon sin, as to provide a cover from God's judgment.
.Leviticus, chapter 4 gives instructions for bringing a young bull to the tabernacle for a sin offering. After the elders laid their hands on the bull (to transfer the people's sin to the bull), the bull was killed. The priest then brought some of the blood of the bull into the tent and sprinkled it seven times before the veil, which is before the Holy of holies. Some of the blood was put on the horns of the altar and the rest of the blood was poured at the base of the altar of burnt offering. By means of this ritual, *..Leviticus 4:20 tells us, "the priest shall make an atonement [kaw-far’] for them, and it (sin and it’s results) shall be forgiven (taken away from) them".
Matthew 8:16-17 makes it clear that Jesus healed all diseases on the basis of the atonement…..
Matthew 8:16 When the evening was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: 17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaiah the prophet, saying, for He, Himself took our infirmities, and bore our sicknesses.
The reason Jesus healed every kind of sickness, making no exceptions, was that He was our atonement, it is repeatedly stated in the gospels, “He healed them all.” The only time and place when he might not have healed everyone who came to him was when he preached in the synagogue of his home town of Nazareth. Even there, the Bible does not say that no healings took place; it simply says
Matthew 13:58, And he did not do many mighty works [supernatural acts of great power], because of their unbelief.
Psalms 107:17-20 Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered afflictions because of their iniquities. 18 They drew near the gates of death. 19 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. 20 He (God) sent forth his word (Jesus) and healed them; and he rescued them from the grave. Jesus was the word of God, before the word became flesh, and lived among us.
When a little girl was told by her mom that she was going to get her a new dress as a birthday gift. She began to tell everyone that her mom was having a new dress made for her. Then, her mom took the little girl to the store and let her pick out the pattern and the material she wanted for her dress. The girl believed her mom’s word before she ever saw the dress. Her faith in her mom’s word became the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. It’s the same way with us… salvation for our soul, and the healing of our body, comes by believing God’s word, that He will do what He said through His atonement. Our Faith that comes by that sure word which we have been given, becomes the substance.
Shock the devil and tell him, I’m not going to be healed, I am healed, in the atonement!
.Romans 3:23-25 declares: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption [full ransom] that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation (our covering) through faith in his blood,
Propitiation is also a reference to the lid of the Ark of the Covenant (in the Temple); also called the mercy seat. It points us to the slab of gold that rested on top of the ark of the covenant. Images of two cherubim stood on this slab, facing each other. This slab of gold represented the throne of God and symbolized His real, tangible presence in the place of worship.
On the Day of Atonement, the high priest sprinkled the blood of the sin offering on it, symbolizing that God had accepted the sacrifice. So, the mercy seat was the central point at which Israel, through her high priest, could come into the presence of God. The priest, by acting in obedience to God’s word, was then standing in the heavenlies in behalf of the people.
Propitiation is the means by which we can stand in the heavenlies to receive covering for every earthly need. Remember, (kawphar, means to cover, to seal, to cure, to cancel, to put off or put away).
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the (heavenly) throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
THERE IS GREAT VALUE IN GOD’S REDEMPTIVE NAMES (I know we’ve done this before, but it’s important that we understand that the names of God are evidence and substance for all our needs!
I want to share six of the Lord’s covenant, redemptive names which were revealed for a specific purpose and situation: so we would know His redemptive PLAN which He has set in motion for us.
The blessings revealed by each of these names are all part of the atonement.
Jehovah-Jireh – Gen 22:14. The Lord will provide – an offering. Christ was the offering provided for our complete redemption.
Jehovah-Nissi (Ex 17:15), the Lord is our banner [victor, captain]. When Christ, by the cross, triumphed over principalities and powers, it made it possible for us today to say, “thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Jehovah-T-sidkenu (Jer 23:6), the Lord our righteousness. He became our righteousness by bearing our sins on the cross; therefore our redemptive privilege of receiving “the gift of righteousness” is an atonement blessing.
Jehovah-Shalom (Judges 6:24), The Lord our peace (completeness). This name reveals to us our redemptive privilege of having his peace. As Jesus said, “My peace I give unto thee.” This blessing is in the atonement, because, as Isaiah said, “the chastisement of our peace was upon Him,” and we are told in Ephesians that “he made peace by the blood of his cross,” and, “we are brought near, to enjoy fellowship with Him, by the blood of Christ.”
Jehovah-Shammah (Ezekiel 48:15), the Lord is there, or present. Jehovah Shammah said “Lo, I am with you always;” and, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
You can have your own personal Shammah place–in Christ, all the time every day! (get your Shammah on!)
Jehovah- Rapha, Exodus 15:36. I am the Lord (your physician) that healeth thee This name shows our redemptive privilege of being healed. Isaiah, chapter 53, proclaims, “Surely he hath borne (lifted off) our sicknesss and carried (in Himself) our suffering.”
The very first covenant God gave his people after the Red Sea crossing, was the covenant of healing, where he revealed himself as our physician. This is not only a promise, but God said it was to be “a statute and an ordinance forever.” None of the blessings that his names reveal have ever been withdrawn or outdated. There is no expiration date! It says the old were not feeble, (they were able to keep up with the young folks) and even their shoes and clothing did not wear out…..
When You and I stop believing in healing, we are changing “The great I Am” to the “Great I was” because we are saying we no longer can receive these blessings, But the word of the Lord endures forever! He is still my provider! My banner! My righteousness! My peace! My present help! And my healer! Jesus Christ IS the same, yesterday, today and forever! (do I have an amen!)
THE BRASEN SERPENT LIFTED UP IN THE WILDERNESS WAS A TYPE OF CHRIST (it is the physicians symbol, in every doctor’s office)
As their curse was removed by lifting up the type of Christ, who, was bruised by the serpent, and died in our stead, Jesus declared in
John 3:14-15 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
“Moses told the people…Everyone that is bitten, and is dying, when he looks upon it, shall live.”
Those who looked only at their symptoms, and not at the lifted up serpent, died in the wilderness, but those who looked upon the brazen serpent lived! And they were healed!
THE SECOND STEP TO RECEIVE YOUR HEALING
Is to be sure you are right with God, because our redemptive blessings are conditional. (we mentioned that those who were bitten had to look upon the standard that was lifted up by Moses)
James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another…that you may be healed.”
3 John 1:2 “Beloved, I wish above all else that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.”
Psalms 66:18 “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”
There is something wrong when a person only desires the blessing but not the Blesser Himself. It is hypocrisy to seek His mercy while rejecting his will. When we touch the heart of God, we move the hand of God….Don’t ask for a blessing while rebelling against the one who is the blesser.
Proverbs 3:7-8 Be not wise in your own eyes: fear (give reverence to) the LORD, and depart from evil. 8 It shall be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.
Our healing should be desired so that we will have strength for the service of God, and living in the will of God! We must desire good health for God’s glory not our own agenda.
We shouldn’t desire the healing or the blessing, more than we desire Him! That puts everything all backward, and it’s a sign of spiritual immaturity a “me, me, me” mentality! This is a sign of Children that don’t want to grow up!
Psalms 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desire of your heart. If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord and do that which is right in His sight… the Lord will take away from you all sickness.
Naaman, the leprous general of Syria, was given his healing… when he surrendered his will to the word of God!......Do you want your body healed? Present your body and your will to the Lord as a living sacrifice, knowing that IT IS GOD’S WILL TO HEAL YOU!
But if we look within, there are also wounds and healings that go beyond the physical.
Many times we find that it is easier to receive physical healings than those deeper wounds and brokenness of the soul. We show off our physical scars, but we tend to hide the emotional and mental scars that we bear…we all have our share of broken places! They are the Scars of abuse....Scars which come to diminish us....Scars of criticism....Scars of neglect….prejudice…or hatred and bullying . Sexual abuse… emotional abuse… or even spiritual abuse.....We can be wounded by the prejudices of society…..By our family…parents…children…brothers…sisters…aunts & uncles…...By our Friends…or just acquaintances…..One thing’s for sure… we all have hidden wounds somewhere, from someone.
Like the bumper sticker says….”LIFE HAPPENS” (some stickers use other words to say the same thing)
A soldier will come back from war – he has shrapnel in his body; he’s limping; he’s got bandages on his arms and around his head…or perhaps missing limbs….In six or nine months he’ll be physically okay. But the emotional wounds, those hidden wounds, from the ravages of war will be with him for a long, long time to come.
I have an uncle, who became an alcoholic during and after World War 2. Every time Frank got drunk, he was back on the battlefield, reliving the horror, with bombs exploding, gun fire, and death all around him. In reliving those horrible moments, his wife and sons would pay the price of his flashbacks and abuse.
Our sin situation requires a Savior… But our emotional wounds require a Healer! We’re saved, but we still have broken places! When we repent we are born again of the spirit, but we need a healing of the mind, will and emotions! Salvation puts us in a right relationship with God…
But there are still hidden wounds that hinder our relationships with those around us, which have to be dealt with. We may get healing on the outside but still need healing on the inside! We are too often aware, that we never become all that God wants us to be, and has planned for us to be, because Satan keeps using those hidden wounds and scars against us, to frustrate us and defeat us! These unresolved issues and hurts, result in not being able to trust, being afraid to hope again, becoming defensive and building walls around us, not fully believing that everything is really possible with God…. Our hidden scars want to convince us that we are the exceptions to the rule of faith!
In the 1980 movie “Scarface” – Al Pacino said, “The only one I can trust is Me.” (that’s not spiritually, emotionally, mentally or physically healthy) If you don’t trust – you can’t love…and if you can’t love – you can’t really live the abundant life.
We know down inside that there are some things that clapping, dancing, shouting, saying hallelujah, and speaking positive, in themselves, only take us just so far… After the victory march is over, we know, deep down inside that something is still missing…because the hidden wounds are still there. Doing only outward things and expecting an inner change, is like saying because I live in a garage, and that makes me a car or a lawnmower! Healing is a powerful substance, not just a feeling, or an activity, or goosebumps, or a routine.
In a panic, when her two-year-old swallowed a magnet, a mom rushed him to the emergency room. "He'll be fine," the doctor promised. "The magnet should pass through his system in a day or two." "Well, Doctor, how will I be sure?" she asked. "Well," the doctor suggested, "you could stick him on the refrigerator. When he falls off, you'll know it’s gone." It would be great if we could know that the inner healing was done that easily…….But Here’s Some steps to inner healing….
1. Reveal It to God (or we could say..”let the light shine in”)
Psalm 39:3 “I kept very quiet but I became even more upset. I became very angry inside, and as I thought about it, my anger burned even more. v.7 And now, Lord, what am I waiting I for? My only hope is in You.
The real power of bringing it before the Lord is in acknowledging it, speaking it out and confronting instead of denying it. This first step is about being honest and transparent…
(a). With yourself – stop keeping it in…confront yourself…get honest with yourself… tell yourself “I need to deal with this!”. (b). Be honest with God – don’t be afraid to talk about somebody to God… He saw it happen, He already knows……..“God, I have resentment in my heart toward so-and-so…” (God won’t have a cardiac arrest, or be in shock, when you tell him!) (c). Be transparent with One person you can trust – someone who’s shown they don’t have a personal agenda, someone who isn’t trying to prove how spiritual they are…you have to be very careful with this one, but you have to do it… accountability is an important part of the healing process….
2. Release The One Who Victimized You… Let them out of the prison of your own forgiveness… This is for your sake, not theirs! Stop seeing them as the villain, and understand that they are victims as well.
Luke 6:27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, v.28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
Until you can love their soul, beyond the offence….do what’s best for them…Bless them and pray for them… the work isn’t done yet! YOU’RE STILL IN PROCESS! Something is still broken…. Whatever happened to you – Jesus went through it TO SHOW US HOW.. Were you humiliated? So was Jesus....Were you abused? So was Jesus......Were you betrayed? So was Jesus.....Were you done wrong? So was Jesus......Were you falsely accused? So was Jesus.
What did He do? In His humanity, He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
3. REPLACE OLD INFORMATION WITH GOD’S NEW TRUTH
Instead of playing that old information about what happened in the past, over and over again…and reviewing and rehearsing it…. Play this…. Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (the New King James) “…but be transformed by replacing old information with God’s truth.”
The more we replace that old negative, self-destructive, self-defeating information with God’s truth, the quicker we will release healing within! This is transforming Word Power, not “Mind over matter” or healing through the power of the mind…
A leader in a Christian Science church was talking to a member of the congregation: "So how is your husband today?" he asked… "Oh, I'm afraid he's very ill." "No, no," corrected the leader, "You really shouldn't say that - you should say that he's under the impression that he's very ill ." The woman nods in agreement, "Yes, I'll remember next time, Elder." A few weeks later the leader saw the woman again. "And how is your husband at the moment?" "Well", she replied, "he's under the impression that he's dead!"
#4. Refocus On the Future
Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, v.14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
“What does God want me to be?”...“What does God have for me to do?”...“What’s my calling ... my purpose…my destiny?”...“What ministry does God have for me?”
You may not know the answers yet but you have begun to work toward the future and a good indicator that you’ve broken out of the old mind set of the past…is that as you’re looking ahead, you’re asking…How’s my relationship with God? How’s my prayer life?...How’s my Bible reading going?....How’s my praise and worship?....How does my attendance to the House of God reflect my values?....How is my giving reflecting my priorities?....How’s my personal discipline and how am I doing at delaying personal gratification and ruling over the lust of the flesh?
I have to determine that My past will not regulate and control my future… my wounds will not hold me back from my healing… Think of that person and that situation that has adversely affected your life… and let it go… that place of rejection, hurt and woundedness…. And As we close this message today, let’s…
1. Release it to God 2. Release the person or persons involved 3. Replace those thoughts with Gods greater truth 4. Refocus on your new future.
I wrote a poem that simply says “Does it Really Matter” and I was thinking of it once more as I wrote out this message…."Does it really matter where you’ve been. Does it really matter what the scar. Does it really matter what the sin. Or how you happened to fall this far. What matters is that what Jesus paid, Brought healing for your life … Today".
Maybe someone else dumped their resentment and bitterness on you and it has affected you and the way you feel and see things… It’s time for you to be free… and I’m glad you came today..
Proverbs 3:7-8 fear (give reverence to) the LORD, and depart from evil (self destructive ways). 8 It shall be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.
Could you lift your hands in surrender to Him and give reverence to the Lord in this moment of release…. The word of God has creative power…..release that creative, transforming, redeemptive power today as it flows into you today!
Prayer…. “Lord, Jesus, I know that You see and You feel all the pain in my heart, the hurt and the resentment, the anger and guilt, the fear and insecurities. You see it all. I desperately need Your healing for my physical conditions and my hidden wounds and emotional scars. Today, by faith, I’m taking the steps towards my healing. Help me to admit to You the things that have had a negative and self-destructive affect on my life. Help me to release the person that wronged me. Help me to replace thoughts of that wrong doing with thoughts of your Greater truth… Help me to refocus on the future and Your plan and purpose for my life. Thank You for bringing revelation and healing to my life today. I recommit myself to you, Lord…
We begin today in the 16th chapter of Judges and I want to read the 27th and the 28 verses.
"Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistine--Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, beheld while Samson was made sport. And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only once more, O Lord, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes”.
Many people might say, “My life is nothing like I thought it was going to be in Christ. I had such aspirations; I believed that all things were possible in Christ. I truly wanted to glorify God in the earth. But now when I look in the Bible and then look at my life, it seems as if I fall so far short of what I am supposed to be.” You see, there is a weakness in each of our hearts, just as there was in the hearts of those in Samson’s day. It is this inability to believe beyond what we can see with our natural eyes that in turn opens the door to discouragement and disillusionment in our lives.
So how do we get beyond this limited vision? Is it through more Bible study or attending church more frequently? Our natural tendency is to conclude that if we just read more, study more, pray more, and do more, somehow our lives would be an ambassadorship of glory to the Name of God—only to realize later that all we have done is studied more, read more, prayed more and done more….and those are good and commendable things, but they may not necessarily bring the glory of God. It is only God who can get us beyond this limited vision.
Haggai 2:6–7 “For thus says the Lord of hosts; Yet once more, just a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts” If you seek me with all your heart you shall find me!!!! From my experience, it should probably more correctly say, If you seek me, I WILL FIND YOU, says the Lord!!!!
In other words, the time has come that “Once More” I will fill you with My glory,” says the Lord. The word glory in the Hebrew text means weight, honor, esteem, glory, majesty, abundance and wealth. The Lord will fill us with what we could never have achieved on our own. It does not come from human effort but rather from simply believing God. That is why the Scripture says, “The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the Lord of hosts” (Haggai 2:8). God possesses all the resources of this earth, and He will endow us with all that we need to build, restore and fill this last temple period with His glory.
The “Once More” inside of Samson, could not be silenced by the entire Philistine nation, which had gathered to celebrate his final defeat…..They could not silence the force of his heart’s cry as he shouted out from the depths of his spirit….. once more, O Lord!!!!!
I was inspired by the story of Trey Wood was born with only one arm. I believe you will also….Most people assumed that his handicap would prevent him from participating in a sport like football. Instead of feeling sorry for himself, Trey decided to prove the experts wrong. Not only did he learn to play football, he received an athletic scholarship to Sam Houston State University. He went beyond expectations and earned a starting position as a defensive back. One of his responsibilities was to knock down passes when the football was thrown in his area. Another one-armed young man named Dawuan Miller also had a dream to play football. In spite of his disability he, too, earned a scholarship and became the starting defensive back for Boise State University. Both players made first team. Both excelled at their positions. Despite lacking an arm, Wood broke the career record for Sam Houston State with eleven blocked kicks. Dawuan silenced the doubters by using his one arm to intercept two passes in playoff games.
On September 16, 1995, Sam Houston State, played Boise State in football. For the first time in the history of the sport, two colleges played a game with one-armed defensive backs starting for each team. Few will remember the score of the game, but no one who was there will forget how two one-armed players’ gutsy performances overshadowed the rest of the talent on the field. Each of these two football players did more with one arm than most people do with two. When people with limited ability, apply themselves, they can accomplish incredible feats. You can do amazing things in spite of any limitation you may experience, if you will dare to believe it!
George Elliot…said "It's never too late to be what you might have been." -- …..--Inventor Thomas Edison…..said "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." …...When Dr. Seuss wrote his first children's book, it was rejected by 27 publishers. By the time of death in 1991, his books had sold more than 200 million copies in 15 languages. Since his death another 22 million of his books have been sold. What if he had quit after his 26th rejection from a publisher? But he tried once more…
When Gideon cried out “Where is the lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob….it was in a time when the Philistines had overrun their fields, and their possessions, and they were having to sneak around by night, just to reap some of their own crops, and avoid the enemy at their door. Knowing the glowing stories of God’s miraculous intervention over their enemies in the past…and Gideon was putting a demand on God’s integrity and faithfulness by saying, “Once More Lord”…..It was a covenant man calling upon a covenant God!!!! And his cry ascended to the God who hears, the God who Sees… the God who Knows…and the God who Remembers!
Samson wanted God’s power, but he also wanted what the world had to offer… The Godly women, who lived lives which honored God and were true to His word, were just not Samson’s cup of tea! While he hated the Philistines, he loved the philistine women….Amazingly, God still continued to use to use Him, because of His people who cried out to Him day and night. But there came a point when the ramifications of his disobedience caught up with him, and the harvest of his sin came home to roost! With his eyes poked out, chains on his hands and feet, and stripped in shame before his captors, Samson remembered what it felt like to experience God’s power! A cry came forth from the deepest depth of his being, “Let me feel Your power once more, Lord”!!!!
There are countless numbers, who were brought up in church, they were once committed to serving God and inspiring others, but something happened, and life has a way of push it away or force it down and trying to shut it up….but it will not be silent! We can deny it and make other things our priority, but it will continue to call out…..”let me know that once more, let me feel your cleansing, your love, your power “once more”!
Two friends met on the street. One looked depressed and almost on the verge of tears. The other one said, "Hey, how come you look like the whole world caved in?" The unhappy friend said, "Let me tell you. Three weeks ago, an uncle died and left me forty thousand dollars." "That's not bad, said her friend" "Hold on, I'm just getting started. Two weeks ago, a cousin I never knew kicked the bucket and left me eighty-five thousand free and clear." "I'd like that, said her friend" "Last week my grandfather passed away. I inherited almost a quarter of a million." "Then how come you look so despondent, she asked"...."This week ……..nothing!" ….…..
Alexandra the Great fell into deep depression, and when asked why, he said “I have nothing left to conqueror”…..
We have entered the feel good era of Christianity….Preaching has been replaced by feel good illustrations. Holiness has given way to happy hour. Commitment has been replaced by fun and entertainment. Our pews are empty, and so are our altars. We get more excited about a shopping trip than we do about a revival meeting. We wink at sin and cringe at the holy demands of God. We have lost our fire, our power and our desire for the pursuit of God. We would rather play than pray. We would rather have our ears tickled than our hearts set fire by the Word of God. We would rather be entertained than challenged. We would rather stay like we are than become more like He is.
You can see it in our homes. You can see it in our communities. You can see it in our streets. You can see it in our entertainment. And, most devastating of all, so often you can see it in our churches! That is why our nation is in the shape it is in today. That is why our churches are in the shape they are in today. That is why the majority of our young people have little desire for the Lord. We have been weighed and found wanting!
Thank God, there is still hope! And that hopes springs from passionate men and women of God who are crying out day and night….once more, Lord, once more!!!
God is listening for the cry of Repentance – Genuine repentance is the only hope our nation has for survival. God calls on all of us, to “turn” to Him “with all our heart”. He calls on us, to“rend” our “hearts” and not our “garments”. God isn’t looking for mere external displays of religion; He is looking for heart change. He is looking for a people who are broken and who are willing to change. He is looking for a people who will be sorrowful “with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning”) This is the kind of people God will bless, restore and use.
God is Listening For A Cry Of Restoration … God calls on all the people, from the oldest to the youngest, to come back to Him. He calls for those occupied and consumed by the matters of this life to put Him first again, a place where He is our first priority.. He’s calling on the spiritual leaders of the people to come back to Him in an intense relationship, that is much more than the Pastor’s job or the deacon’s role, or the going through the motion of doing church. God wants His people to seek His face once more. He wants them to get hungry for Him one more time. God calls His people back to a place of closeness and holiness, God is calling His people back to Himself.
I could be wrong, but I believe the church will experience one more earth shaking, purifying revival and reformation before the Lord comes. I believe that God still has a remnant of people who love Him more than they love their sins. I believe that God is going to purify His church and bring us to a place of repentance and revival one more time.
When He does, there will be no doubt as to Who is in control. There will be no doubt about Who is to be worshiped and glorified. Even the enemies of the church will have to acknowledge that God walks among His people. There will be no doubt about Who is doing the work. I personally believe that the Church needs to cry out to heaven for the Lord to visit us once again and manifest Himself among His people with heaven sent revival “Once More”.
Romans 13:14 “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”
As we journey together towards the final setting sun, that men will see on this earth as we know it, we will continuously experience checkmates in our personal and corporate lives. In these dark times of seeming defeat, we must always remember that behind every circumstance there is a supernatural power at work, and the King, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, will always have one more move to make!
No matter how desperate your situation--it may even look like you have lost everything--but THE KING HAS ONE MORE MOVE up His sleeve. How do I know this? How can I be so confident to declare this to you? I know because our King has a well-documented history of last moves. I know this because...
...Seas don’t just split open to allow people to pass through on dry ground, by themselves. ...Water doesn't just spring forth from a rock on its own. ...Food enough for around 6 million people, doesn't just accumulate on the ground every night as a random event. ...An old man holding up his arms does not determine the outcome of a war. ...Thick city walls don't just fall down flat when people blow horns. ...Men thrown into furnaces and lion’s dens do not just walk out without a scratch of smell of smoke… ...A jar of oil doesn't just keep refilling itself. ...Actual dead men don't just walk out of their graves except in a fictional TV series. ...Wading into a dirty river doesn't cure leprosy. ...The blind don't see, or the deaf hear, or the cripples walk just because someone touches them or puts mud in their eyes. ...Threatening storms don't just stop because someone talks to them....Shackles don't just miraculously fall off on their own and prison doors unlock themselves and open……
In the game of Chess, a checkmate, means that you have no more moves left to make. You are blocked on every side, with no escape and nowhere to turn. Checkmates in life, can be ...An incurable illness...A broken relationship...A wayward son or daughter...Financial ruin......A past that is destroying your future. Satan was crying “checkmate” as they took the bleeding, torn body of Jesus down from the cross and placed it in the tomb…. But the King always has one more move that the devil has not considered.
Haggai 2:23 In that day, says the Lord of hosts, I will take you...and I will make you as a signet: for I have chosen you, says the Lord of hosts”
A signet is a sign of the authority of God. God was saying, “I will make you a sign to this generation, for I have chosen you—even in your captivity and despair.” Before we called out, it was not our choice but His! We are God’s secret weapon, that He puts into play just when Satan thinks he has won total victory. He is calling us to be ambassadors of the kingdom in this last generation. God is calling His whole church— in every place, and out of every denomination. Nothing is over until God says it’s over!
The only choice we have is whether or not we will hear His voice and respond to it. Either we believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life—that He can bring us into freedom and do the miraculous through our lives, or not!
Remember, the Lord has promised: “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former”...A greater glory, once more visited upon His church! Once more, He will pour out the oil and fill every vessel… Once more we will enter into the promised land covenant…. Once more, we will see souls saved and set free, families restored, and God’s people set ablaze for Him…..Once more!!!
God heard Samson’s cry and He hears yours. He longs to do more in your life than you have ever envisioned.
A whole generation is dying in its sin, but now the voice of God has come once again, calling you to rebuild. He is calling you into a freedom and ability that can come only from Him. I implore you today in Christ’s name to step out of all bondage and captivity—whatever it is in your life that has convinced you that God will never use you. Leave that place behind! As you respond to His voice, the Lord will strengthen you, give you His Word, fill you with His Spirit, and cause you to be a demonstration of His resurrection life in this generation! Your “once more” is calling…..answer the call!