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Sermon of the Week 
Saturday, July 22 2017

....

My first 19 years of life were spent on the farm. I have cut down many trees and split many pieces of fire wood. Along with all the things that had to be done on the farm, I made my expenses by selling firewood by the truck load. A good saw or a sharp axe meant the difference between money in my pocket or an empty wallet. So I fully appreciate the opening scripture for the sermon today....

Ecclesiastes 10:10 “If the iron is dull, and nothing is done to sharpen the edge, then greater strength must be used, but wisdom is profitable to succeed and prosper.” 

A young man badly needed a job, so he sought to be hired by a lumber company. He went to the foreman and asked for a job and the foreman asked him if he had his own axe? The young man said, that he did  and the foreman said, “this is Bill, if you can keep up with him, then you can have a job.” The young man looked Bill over, he saw that he was an old man and the he thought, “no problem  I know I can cut down twice as many trees as this old man!” So the two men started cutting down trees. The old man would cut a tree and the young man would cut a tree. About every few trees, the young man would notice that Bill would sit down and stop cutting. At those times the young man would swing even harder “now is my chance to get ahead in my  tree count.” Hour after hour went by, and at the end of the day, the foreman went back and counted the trees. Bill had twice as many trees as the young man. The young man couldn't believe he had been beaten by this old man “I worked twice as hard, I never rested, I just kept cutting, and kept cutting.” Bill asked if he could see the young man's axe and he held it next to his own axe  son,” he said, “you didn’t stop to sharpen your axe, Oh, yeah, you can really swing away, but it will wear you out cutting down a tree with this dull thing.”

2 Kings 6:1 "The company of the prophets said to Elisha, “Look, the place where we meet with you is too small for us. 2 Let us go to the Jordan, where we can cut trees and build a place there for us to live.” And he said, “Go.” 3 Then one of them said, “Won’t you please come with your servants?” “I will,” Elisha replied. 4 And he went with them as they went to the Jordan and began to cut down trees. 5 As one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron axhead fell into the water. “Oh, my lord,” he cried out, “it was borrowed!” 6 The man of God asked, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it there, and made the iron float. 7 “Lift it out,” he said. Then the man reached out his hand and took it.”

The first thing I see here, is that the man who lost his cutting edge, was honest with himself and Elisha. He cried out!

So often, we want everyone to think that we are spiritual giants; we need nothing; and we are in control.  Where are the honest hearts that will cry out and say, “I just don’t have the fire I used to have!  I am not as close to the Lord as I used to be!  I need the power of God operating through me to get the job done! I've lost my cutting edge..."                                                                                                                                                        What we need are honest hearts that will tell the truth about our condition.  We just need to come clean and tell the Lord the truth about where we are!  He already knows, but He wants us to acknowledge it  as well. Before we can recover the cutting edge as individuals and as a church, we must first come to the place of total and absolute dependence upon God and His power!  When we do, we will see souls saved.  We will see the manifest power of God in our services.  We will experience His power in our midst!  In ourselves we can do nothing, but through Christ we can do all things!                                                                                 

I also see in this account, that the man who lost his cutting edge, confessed that he was using an axe.... that wasn't his....The lesson for us is that we need to find our own gifting, instead of trying to copy or borrow someone else's.... I'm not diminishing the need to learn from others and benifit from books or self-help articles. But if you try to become someone you're not, you're not being true to yourself. Every person has been created by God with their own unique finger prints, their own voice print and their own eye print which is found no where else. Someone has said it well, "We were created as originals, let's not die as copies of someone else."

Craig D. Lounsbrough....“The paralyzing fear we have is that we will venture so far that we will lose ourselves and we will never be found.” 

In the story of Jacob and Isaau, Jacob could only see himself as inadequate because he compared himself with Esau. All he could see was Esau  the strong one...All he could see was Esau -- the popular one....All he could see was Esau -- the first born....All he could see was Esau -- the skilled hunter....All he could see was Esau -- the preferred one of his father....He figured the only way he’d ever be blessed would be to be like Esau...But God didn't want another Esau, He wanted a Jacob!                                                                                                                            Someone has said, "stop trying to be someone else, someone else is already taken".....

Shannon L. Alder....“Remember, before the flood, the village idiot was the spiritual man who built the ark and saved his family. Keep being you and never give up marching to the rythm of your own vision!” 

When King Saul sent the young man David out to fight against the giant. He attempted to put his own armor on him. Scripture tells us Saul stood head and shoulders above the men of Israel. David must have looked pretty funny when Saul put his bronze helmet on David’s head and  his own heavy coat of mail on him. David straps on Saul’s sword over the armor. Then David tries to go forward and is so restricted by Saul's armour, he can hardly walk. 

When David saw and heard Goliath's boasting, he remembered his own skills  He is a good Musician, but he's also good at throwing rocks. He was the first rock and roller! That's the gift that would ultimately  bring him before the King and set him on the path of his destiny. We know the rest of the story; he would be victorious over the giant, and become one of the greatest kings of Israel. But it was rock throwing and music that got him there. 

PROVERBS 18:16 A MAN’S GIFT MAKES ROOM FOR HIM, AND BRINGS HIM BEFORE GREAT MEN. (don't underestimate your gifts)

- Your gift will take you to places you never dreamed...-- Your gift will elevate you in due season...-- Don’t neglect the gift that God has given you...-- Don’t set your sight on what others have and others are doing...-- Allow God to continue to grow the gift that He has placed with you, even if it's just throwing rocks.

I see in the story of the lost axe head, another paradigm.....                         when we are working for the Lord, as we should, we are actually operating with borrowed power that comes from outside ourselves.    The power to serve the Lord does not come from within our selves, but it comes from the Lord, by His Spirit. When we confess that "there's no way.... it can't be done, it's impossible".... we've forgotten whose power we are operating under. 

That's why Jesus said, Romans 8:11 "if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you". 

Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”                                                                                                                                                                        

Guard the anointing, we need to be especially careful with the power entrusted to us.  Samson began to think that he was the source of the power and could do what ever he wanted with no consequences, but one day he arose as before and realized that the power which he had taken for granted, had been taken from him. Guard the anointing, guard the power, guard your relationship with the source.  

If a flower isn't growing, you can't change it unless you change what the flower is absorbing. Change the soil and you can change the flower......                                          

Life is an echo canyon, it sends back to us the things we are sending out... If you want love, give love....If you want truth, be truthful...If you want respect, give respect... The things you give out will return to you again....

In the account of the lost axe head, as soon as Elisha heard about the problem, he called the man back to the place where the axe head was lost.  Before it could be recovered, they had to go to the place where it had been lost. That's what true repentance is, going back to get it straight

Hoseah 6:1 "Come, and let us return unto the LORD, and He will heal us, and He will hold us up". 

Before we can recover the power of God in our lives, we must return to that place where we lost the power.  We must uncover the reason.... Is it because our priorities have become misplaced?  Is it because we are guilty of trusting the arm of the flesh instead of the power of the Spirit? Did we get focused on the wrong things. Where did we lose the power?  

Can we be honest about that place where we compromised or disobeyed....that place where we got dull and lost our edge...                  As someone... said, "As soon as the rush is over, I'm going to have a nervous breakdown. They owe me that much, I worked for it, and nobody is going to cheat me out of it!"...(God has a better way)

When someone else acts irrational, its “ugly, rude and dispicable.”  When we do it, it’s our nerves, or we're under pressure. When someone else is  set in their  ways…they're obstinate, stubborn and hard headed.  But when we do it…it's firmness, determination and taking a stand. When they don’t like you…they're prejudiced, narrow minded and bigoted.  But when we don’t like them, we're just a good judge of character!                                                                                                                   Someone posted on Facebook, "I don't think there's enough Starbucks or Expresso, to get me through this".

If you're tired and fed up with your old routine... if your passion for the Lord has diminished....if you feel youʼve lost your spiritual momentum that you used to have...if serving God has become just another commitment or obligation on your weekly calendar...if you can't seem to find the time to tithe, to pray or attend the house of God....if you're irritable and easily frustrated in your relationships with your family, friends and coworkers... if you're doing more and enjoying it less....It's time to sharpen your axe.

When we are dull spiritually, molehills in life seem like huge mountains.       A dull spiritual edge causes us to become overwhelmed by our circumstances and renders us incapable of seeing God's bigger purpose for life's trials. When our spiritual edge is dull we are unable to rejoice in the valley experiences and give God thanks in everything and know His peace and joy and contentment in our lives. A dull spiritual life fails to see a big God who is able to do far beyond what we could ever ask or think. 

You can settle on being a butter knife, which doesn't need much of an edge to do it's work... because it meets with very little resistance, and you could do a lot of things without God's power, but you won't accomplish much beyond soft butter and when the task gets greater, you'll have no cutting edge. 

And you can't get much cutting done, banging on a tree with just the handle. If you don't keep sharpening your axe, you will fly right off the handle! Scripture calls it "sounding brass and tinkling cymbols".                                                                                                                                                Galatians 3:3 "Are you so foolish to think that having begun in the Spirit, you are now made perfect in the flesh? 

If we were honest, we could all pinpoint areas of our lives that stand between us and our having the power of God on our lives.  Was there a time when you were more passionate in the faith, more zealous, more willing to make whatever sacrifice necessary. We need to go back to that point where we lost it, and make a course correction. When you lose your edge, you're not reaching your full potential. We not only need to be honest with God but we need to be honest with ourselves. 

Late one night, a preacher was driving on a country road and had a terrible wreck. A farmer stopped and said, "Sir, are you okay?" The preacher said, "Yes, thank God that I had the Lord riding with me." The farmer said, "Well, you better let him ride with me, because the way you drive, you're gonna keep him busy."

There was a young woman, really truggling with life, after having a miscarriage, and she just couldn't move on beyond her loss. She had prepared the baby's room and bought baby clothes. She had planned a great gathering for when she brought the baby home. Her entire life at that point had been orbiting around this child that was going to be part of her family. Now there was only emptiness. She had a dream, that she was standing at the clothesline, fighting the wind as she pinned sheets up to dry.  She looked up to see a strange lady in the yard, smiling, wearing a brown gown and a white, old-fashioned bonnet and carrying a basket.  When the lady waved, she returned the stranger’s greeting as best she could with a mouthful of clothespins… The lady turned and moved on.  But she noticed two things:  the basket was empty but the lady struggled to carry it with two hands as through it were very heavy. She realized what the Lord was showing her, that her  emptiness was weighing her down. It was an emptiness that was too heavy to carry.  And she knew who sent the lady to let her know.”                                                                                                                             It is often emptiness that weighs us down, not fullness.  

It is the emptiness that is too heavy to carry.  It is an absence of something that drains us. A silent anger enters, doubt and discouragement and a sense of hopelessness moves in where faith, hope and peace once were. It may be that a terrible sense of emptiness is behind all our compensating, putting on a good face, our frantic pace, our crowded calendars.  We try to fill the emptiness with busy-ness, and it only gets heavier, and the next thing you know we have lost our axe head, and our cutting edge.                                                                                                                                                                       What God chooses, He cleanses.....What God cleanses, He molds.....What God molds, He fills.....What God fills, He uses.

OUR GOD RESTORES....The young man in our scripture story, firmly reattached the axe head to the handle and went back to work chopping down trees.  He had recovered the cutting edge at an altar of repentance and was able to do what needed to be done. Wherever you lost your cutting edge, in a broken relationship, an injustice you suffered, an abusive situation, great disappointment, or just a gradual drifting away from your spiritual anchor, it can be retrieved. Do you need to go back to the place you lost it, or that your edge got dull. 

What you do now, how you see yourself this moment, what you do with your time, will determine what time will give back to you in return.

Time is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift to God.

Bob Perks wrote, "If I had only realized..that time really does fly, I would have been more careful how I used my time....If I had only known...when my mom said, "One day you'll appreciate all I did for you," I would have told her "I appreciate you now," and I would have told her more often. If I had only known... that life really is too short, I would have lived it more and done a better job....If I had only known, that regret can last a lifetime, I would have listened to my heart more.....If I had only known...that love is the best response, I would have loved more....

If I had only known...that hope is a life preserver, I would have held on longer.....If I had only known...the value of touch, I would have touched more lives, more often and longer....if I had only known...that "try and try again" is not a limit you set, but it is steps worth repeating until you succeed, and I would have accomplished so much more....If I had only known...that you expected more from me, I would have given more than you expected.....If I had only known...you were feeling so low, I would have been there for you....If I had only known....

Steve Jobs said at the end of his life...."I have come to the pinnacle of success in business. In the eyes of others, my life has been the symbol of success. However, apart from work, I have little joy. At this time, lying on the hospital bed and remembering all my life, I realize that all the accolades and riches for which I gave up everything, and was once so proud of, has become insignificant with my imminent death. Please treasure your family's love, love for your spouse, be true to your faith, love your friends...Treat everyone well and try to get along with folks. These are the only things that really count in the final count down."

Scripture just says of the man who lost his axe head....“He reached out his hand and took it.” All you need to do is accept His forgiveness, His grace and His mercy, His healing, His liberty, His joy and peace, and and keep on chopping!!! But don't forget to keep sharpening your axe!

(Chorus, "reach out and touch the Lord as He goes by".....)

 

Posted by: AT 06:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, July 15 2017

Sometimes it is louder and stronger than other times.... but if you listen you will hear it.....

John 21:1 "And afterward, Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way. v2 Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. v3 “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter had told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” 

So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. v4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. v5 He called out to them, “Friends, do you have any fish?” “No,” they answered. v6 Then He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

Jesus' relationship with the deciples began with a miraculous catch of fish when He called them to follow Him and become fishers of men. Now, He is reminding them that they have moved to the wrong side of the boat. The catch of fish was to jar their memories and remind them that He was their source and the call of God on their lives was greater and stronger than their circumstances. 

(this is the third appearance of Jesus to the disciples) and our story takes place following the resurrection when the shock waves of redemption have gone out from an empty tomb, setting the stage for a new day for the kingdom of God in the earth. 

It's also a time when the resurrected Jesus seeks out the deciples who have counted Him out as another experience that was "fun while it lasted" and they've gone back to fishing. Too many folks go to revival services and figure the revival ends when the meetings are over. So Jesus shows up to let them know that new power and authority are available and a new beginning is in store for the church on the other side. 

It seems that our country is divided between those on the left side and those on the right side, but Jesus is all about the "other side"..... 

It's about moving from the side of "just making a living" and over into "more abundant life", it's about moving from the side of secret followers of Christ and over into "you shall be fishers of men"... it's moving from the side of "I can't" and over into "I can do all things through Christ".....

Moving over to the other side of the boat will take you places you never dreamed you could go, and it will stretch you and test you. The other side will move you beyond your limits and expand your boundaries. Time after time, men and women have looked back in amazement at where God brought them when they moved to the other side of the boat. 

There were two men who were living on a houseboat that was tied up in the harbor and sharing expenses. One night, the boat broke loose from its mooring and drifted far out into the open sea. One of the men got up in the morning before his ship mate and going out on deck, noticed there was no land any where in sight. He had no idea where they were, or where they were going, and  he began to shout out to his ship mate, “Joe, get up quick; we ain’t here any more!”

When you respond to the master and cast on the other side of the boat, you'll often respond like Dorothy as she spoke to her canine companion....in the Wizard Of Ozz...."Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas any more"

This account of the third appearance of Jesus, took place on The Sea of Galilee, which is a fresh water lake about 12 miles long and six miles wide. It lies some 685 feet below sea level and is about 200 feet deep. Fishing was and still is an important industry on the lake. But Jesus was about to show them that whatever this area had been before, it was about to become a place where the Kingdom of God was about to be established and it would be the launching pad for signs, wonders and miracles. 

The Gospel writer doesn’t record it here, but I’ve been around the church long enough to know that there must have been a moment of stunned silence when Jesus the carpenter told fishermen how to fish. “Did you say, "The right side of the boat Lord"? You’ve got to be kidding. We’ve always fished out of the left side of the boat, never the right. This is the way it’s always been done in Galilee. I mean, in this community, fishing is all about doing it from the left side of the boat. My goodness, if you change that, if you go to fishing from the right side of the boat, who knows what will happen next? That’s a slippery slope if I’ve ever seen one. Why, we could end up with people fishing off the backside of the boat and the front of the boat, and the next thing you know we will have women on the boats, and then we’ll have to put on clothes, and well, Lord, civilization and life as we know it could go right down the tubes. Oh no, this can't be right, the only way to fish is from the left side of the boat.” 

In the final analasis, it has been said by those much smarter than me, that we will only regret the changes we didn't make.....

Sure, Jesus could have made the fish swim into the net while it was on the left side of the boat? Why go to the bother of having them take the nets out and put them in on the other side? For that matter, couldn’t Jesus have made the fish just jump into the boat? 

How many times do we do what we do, and then ask Jesus to bless it. We don't really seek to hear His opinion, we just do it and pray, "Bless it Jesus" .... That's like if you were shooting a gun and it was "ready, shoot, then aim"....

But the real story behind the story was "obedience".... do I do it God's way or my way? You can’t go against God, go against what He is telling you, and expect the best outcome. You can’t do all the wrong things and expect good things to happen. 

Psalm 51:12 King David in his prayer of repentance said, “Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me”. 

In John Wesley’s day, the other side of the boat, was known as “field preaching.” You see, the only place for Anglican preachers to preach was in the established church, never outside the pulpit. But John Whitefield noticed that the common, working people weren’t in church. They spent their lives working in the mines from early morning until dusk, covered with coal dust, never able to put on a clean shirt and make it to the 11:00 Sunday service. 

So he started going out to the coal fields at 5:00 in the early morning, preaching to them on their way into the mines. John Wesley thought that fthe ield preaching which Whitefield was doing, was dreadful. He called it “an abomination.” But finally Whitefield persuaded him to try it, and lo and behold, it worked! People listened and responded and some were converted. So Wesley wrote in his journal, “I determined to be more vile,” and he preached on the street corners, in the marketplaces, in bars and brothels, and even standing on his father’s tombstone. And thousands began to come to hear the Word because he was willing to “cast his net on the other side.” 

The other side may look different for each person. I recall that the starchy and conservative Wesley, walked up to a prostitute on a street corner and asked her how much she charged for one hour.... she told him, he paid her and spent an hour sharing the gospel with her and led her to Christ. 

When Paul was chained to a guard on each side, I'm sure he said, I've got you where I want you and you can't get away from the gospel I preach. I wonder how many Roman guards Paul led to the Lord. 

Sometimes like the deciples we have to come to the end of our resources and the end of ourselves in order to have one of those "other side" meetings with God. The disciples had been fishing all night. They had done all they could do, all that was humanly possible. It is at the point where we are ready to give up that God shows up. He's been waiting for us to wave the white flag of surrender. 

I am reminded of the mother who's son was always disobeying her, and no matter what she said, he would do the opposite. After an especially trying day, she finally threw up her hands and shouted, "All right, Billy, do whatever you want! Now let me see you disobey THAT!" 

I want you to notice in John 21:9 "When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.....v12 and Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” v13 Jesus took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish".

Where did Jesus get the fish and the bread? We don't know, but we know that He made wine from water, He made apostles out of nobodies. He got it the same place he has your stuff and mine! He didn't need the fish they caught, because He was showing them that He would supply all their needs according to His riches in glory..... He extends the same promise to us when we obey him. He already has what we need, before we ask....

Peter T. Forsythe was right when he said, "The first duty of every soul is not only to find its freedom but to find its Master". In settling the issue of who is our master, we discover our freedoms and our best selves. 

When we come to the end of us, we come to the beginning of God. When we come to the end of what we can do, that is when we are ready to see what God has already been doing, before we got there. 

He gives health where there was only sickness. He gives strength when there was only weakness. He gives life where there was only death. He gives hope where there was only despair. He gives forgiveness where there was only shame. He is the God of new beginnings. When we move over to the other side of the boat.

I believe this account of Jesus and the diciples tells us that the answer is closer than we could ever imagine. Again, let's remember that their boat was only 8 to 10 feet wide, and it was all just 8 to 10 feet away!!! It is as close as our willingness to obey and do what God is asking.

Elizabeth Elliott said "When we’re not sure what to do next, then do the next thing.”.....and guess what, the next thing is obedience!

If we are going to receive the answer God has for us, we are going to have to do what He says, when He says it and where He says to do it. 

I have known many people who have prayed for an answer to their problems, but when the answer came they didn’t like it. They already had it fixed in their head how God should do it. They did not want to humble themselves and would not accept what God was asking them to do. They did not want to look foolish. They did not want to do the difficult thing God was telling them to do. They didn't want to make the necessary adjustments in their own lives, and in their own priorities. They wanted God to do it all for them. They wanted him to wave his hand and make it all go away. But when that happens, we must do what Peter did..... he said "NEVER THE LESS"..... (can I hear a "never the less")

There was a very weak and sickly man who lived in the deep back woods in an old log cabin. His condition grew worse, but he could not afford a doctor. In front of his cabin was a huge boulder. One night he had a vision. God told him to go out and push the massive rock in front of his home, until he told him to stop. The man got up early in the morning, and *.....with great excitement, he pushed on the rock as long as he could. After a rest he pushed some more. The vision he had was so real that it inspired the man and gave him hope. Day after day he pushed. After 8 months of pushing the rock, the man was getting tired of pushing the rock so much, and in his tiredness he started to doubt his dream. He measured from his porch to the rock, and he realized the boulder was in the same place as when he started. 

He leaned against the rock and was feeling very discouraged, because he had invested so much time for nothing. But as the sun was setting in the west, Jesus came and sat down next to the man. He said, “Son, why are you so sad?” The man replied, “Lord, I have pushed with all that was within me for many months, and that old rock is right where it was when I started.” Jesus said to him, “I never told you to move the rock, I told you to push the rock.” Jesus told the man to step in front of the mirror and look at himself. He was amazed. He had been so sickly and weak, and what he saw in the mirror was a strong muscular man. He also realized that he had not been coughing all night. It dawned on him that he had been feeling better for months, and it was all because he had been pushing  not moving the rock. Then the man realized, that the plan of God was not to change the position of the rock, but to change him. Through obedience, he had stepped over to the other side!

I'm sure that's why Jesus said in Matthew 4:4 “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every [rhema] word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” 

John 6:63 Jesus also stated, “The (rhema] words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life”.

When God gives a rhema for us to act upon, He often confirms it by a second rhema, II Corinthians 13:1 tells us that “in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every (rhema) word be established” 

In our daily reading and meditating on God’s written (logos) Word , we need to ask God to speak to us through His Word and give us (rhema) insight into it. The Holy Spirit can cause certain passages to stand out with significant meaning or application for our lives and become a quickend (rhema) word burning in our spirit. The rhema word of God is the doorway to the other side where He has prepared what we need. 

There will always be those things that will try to keep you from crossing over to the other side. People, circumstances, distractions, our own pride and stubborness, and our failure to understand the real issues. But it is far better to say no to all these things, than to say no to God and fail to receive what He has in store for us. 

Be faithful right where you are called to push your rock. Right where you are is the launching pad which God will use to take you where you need to be. Jesus was always making something out of nothing, and he has not changed. He is still the same today. When everything you have tried in life turns out to be nothing, he can make something out of it. Just be faithful. 

Sometimes you just have to stand your ground. A state senator who was running hard for a second term in office, had a busy morning chasing votes (and didn't have time for lunch) he arrived at a church barbecue. It was late afternoon and he was famished. As he started down the serving line, he held out his plate to the woman serving chicken. She put a piece on his plate and turned to the next person in line. "Excuse me," the senator said, "do you mind if I have another piece of chicken?" "Sorry," the woman told him. "I'm supposed to give one piece of chicken to each person."

"But I'm starved," the senator said. "Sorry," the woman said again. "Only one to a person." The senator was normally a modest and unassuming man, but he decided that this time he would throw a little weight around. "Do you know who I am?" he said. "I am the state senator" "Do you know who I am?" the woman said. "I'm the lady in charge of the chicken. Now move along, mister."

Be secure in your obedience to Christ, because there are many things that will try to intimidate you and overwhelm you and move you from your calling and your faithfulness to Him. 

Let's face it, God's ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. Isaiah says it's because His ways are higher and His thoughts are higher. STAND YOUR GROUND!

Sometimes the Lord Jesus won't ask you for your agreement, He just asks for your obedience. In your relationship with God, success, promotion and miracles follow obedience, even when what he is asking you to do seems ridiculous to you. The reason many have difficulty obeying, is because  they struggle with agreement. When Jesus told the disciples to cast their nets on the other side, it made no sense to them. Jesus didn't ask them for their agreement, He asked them for obedience. 

Daniel took a stand against the King of Babylon, rather than disobey God. He didn't have to agree to being thrown in a den of lions, but his desire to obey, was stronger than his disagreement. The three Hebrews took a stand against the king and his advisors rather than disobey God. Moses took a stand against Egypt's Pharoah, rather than disobey God. All of these were promoted and walked in miracles because they obeyed God.

When Jesus told Peter to cast the fishing nets on the other side of the boat, Peter answered, Luke 5:5 “Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word [rhema] I will let down the net”    v6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. v7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink".

Peter's desire to obey was stronger than his need to agree.... so he said "NEVER THE LESS".... (let's say it together)

Can I just tell you one more story...... it comes from the autobiography of John Kenneth Galbraith, about Emily Wilson, his family's housekeeper:

He says "It had been a long weary day, and I asked Emily to hold all telephone calls and please don't disturb me, while I had a nap. Shortly after I had laid down, the phone rang. Lyndon Johnson was calling from the White House. "Get me Ken Galbraith. This is Lyndon Johnson." He said. Emily said "He is sleeping, Mr. President. and he said for me to not let anyone disturb him." "Well, wake him up. I want to talk to him." Said the president.  "No, Mr. President, you see, I work for him, not you". When John Galbraith finished his nap and called the President back, Johnson could scarcely control his pleasure. He said, "John, you tell that woman I want her here in the White House, she's the kind of staff I need." 

We are not who we once were, when we first started out on this fishing trip and we're not who we're going to be ... the other side has changed all of us... so why stop now? Let's go on and watch what God has prepared on the other side! We don't have to be stuck where we are, we don't have to settle for less than God promised. Remember, the boat they were in was just 8 to 10 feet across. Thats how close they were to all they needed. You're closer than you could ever imagine!

All that you ever dreamed is closer than you might think, and it's not about distance, it's about deminsions. In the very place of emptiness, there is also a deminsion of abundance. In the very place of sickness and disease, there is also a deminsion of wholeness and healing. In the very place of lack and barreness, there is also a deminsion of more than enough....

The other side is about become what God designed you to be. It's about becoming your best self,  the best you can possibly be. The other side is calling to every one of us!!!!

When you know by the Spirit what to do, then start where you can. Do the next thing....Kill your lions, bears, and Goliaths. Listen to the Spirit of God for his secret counsel which shall be revealed and confirmed openly. He will provide and you will not come up short. You will be graced and favored in ways you never imagined. And as you do, you will prosper in ways greater than you can ask or think, in the place, time and purpose of God. ...

Seek and you will find, ask and it shall be given, knock and the door shall open..... This statement of Jesus is about stepping into all that is available on the other side, the deminsion of "more than you could think, or imagine".

 

 

Posted by: AT 08:55 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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