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Sermon of the Week 
Thursday, March 22 2018

 ….and I’m not talking about the Barry Manilow song by that name, even though I think it was a great song….(did pretty well for him anyway) I’m talking about the Even Now of scripture….So let’s start with….

John 11:14 “Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. v15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent that you may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. v17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had been in the grave four days already. v18  Now Bethany, (where Jesus was) was near Jerusalem, about 4 miles away. v19 And many friends had come to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. v20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went out and met him: but Mary remained in the house. v21 Then Martha said unto Jesus, Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. v22 But I know, that even now, whatever You ask of God, He will give it unto you”. 

Mary and Martha were disappointed with Jesus. He had healed total strangers…opened blind eyes, made the lame to walk, caused lepers to be cleansed, made the deaf to hear…. Now here is a close friend of Jesus, and they had watched their brother become more and more ill, and no Jesus, then they watched him breath his last breath, and no Jesus…. They joined with their friends and had his funeral service, and still no Jesus…. It is now 4 days later, Lazarus is gone, with no hope of any changing a hopeless situation…. 

Sometimes when you need a hero and you go to the Yellow Pages…. It skips right from herbs to hobbies… And they don’t list any numbers to call when you need an Angel….

I love to hear the testimonies of People who have prayed for work and found the perfect job. And of people have been sick and others have prayed for them and they have gotten better… but none of those things were in the realm of the impossible. I mean, people have found the perfect job without praying, sick people have gotten better without praying, relationships have been restored without God.

But when David stepped in front of Goliath with a sling shot…. I would say we’re getting into the territory of an “Even Now” situation….

When the Israelites started marching around Jericho, with just trumpets and pitchers and expect the walls to fall down flat… I would say we’re getting into “Even Now” territory!

Or wouldn’t you have to say that it was definitely an “Even Now” situation when Gideon needed the sun to stand still, so that they could win the battle! And we could mention Daniel in the lion’s den filled with hungry lions, Noah building a 450 foot boat with no water anywhere in sight….or Abraham and Sarah giving birth at 100 years old… Those are some good “Even Now” situations!

In all of these situations, certainly they must have thought of many other ways the outcome could have been achieved without such drastic measures being needed….

There are many things which are possible but they are not probable….People addicted to one thing or another have tried everything to break that addiction…was it possible yes, but the odds say that it is not probable. Through prayer abusive husbands have become loving caring life partners and awesome dads, wives and mothers who were witches and the other word that rhymes with it, have become encouragers and care givers like no other….and impossible teens who’s lives seem to be dedicated to making your life hell on earth, have become your best friends and future leaders and examples for others…. Yes, these things are possible, but the laws of probability give it a slim chance…. 

But there’s a key phrase which is located in the Lazarus story and applies to all of these stories and others as well…. v15 “And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent you may believe.”

You see, it is human nature to explain things away as coincidence, or chance, or fate, or even the strength of human resolve…. But there are times when God is looking to score a greater victory, so that all the ways that human reasoning would try to explain it away, fail miserably!

When Job was going through the terrible ordeal he went through…. He couldn’t answer his friends when they asked him why! Where is God now? He could only trust that when everything looked like it was going down the tubes …. God was going to come up with a way to get Himself Glory out of it!

I love Job’s words…. “Though God slay me, yet will I trust l Him”! “Yet shall I see God face to face!” Even Now I will trust Him!!!

All of you in this room are facing situations that are possible, but the odds say that they are not probable…. I’m here to tell you that God will find a way to get Himself some glory, if you’ll trust Him…. You see, what Job was really saying was ….GOD IS GOD AND I AM NOT!!!

If God is not in a hurry, why should you be! Get in step with His timing…..

Both Mary and Martha said “Lord if you had only been here, my brother Lazarus would not have died.”…. Like us, they saw things in the natural mind and through the eyes of logical conclusions. But God saw their thing and our thing, through eternal outcomes. 

Satan loves to get folks to explain things away as the way it would have turned out anyway…. Or Kay Sa Ra, Sa Ra, whatever will be will be.... But when God allows things to get to the place that it is virtually impossible….and He sets you up so that no one can get you out…. And then He does the impossible, it’s hard to explain the impossible away!

Why else would Jesus wait two days when he knew all that was happening with Lazarus… Why else would he wait till the improbable became the impossible?.... But Martha finally got it, it began to register with her, and she blurted out…. “Even now, you are able to raise Him up”…..

Albert Einstein said…”Out of the clutter, find the simplicity. In all the discord, find the harmony. In the middle of all the difficulty lies the opportunity.” 

But the Angel Gabriel put it this way when he spoke to Mary in…                                                                     Luke 1:37 “For nothing is impossible with God.”

It takes great courage to walk on water…. And faithfully follow what we know to be true… and courage is just another word for determined faith…. Determined because we have separated fact from fiction, and all that is not part of the Creator’s play book, is only fiction.

A lady in one of the churches I pastored, came to me and told me of a woman who got the pink ribbon and was in the final stages of cancer. The cancer had turned this healthy woman into an emaciated vestige of her former self. She said they only gave her days to live and asked me to please pray for her. I prayed about this and asked the Lord, how I should approach this impossible situation… The Lord put peace in my heart and assured me that “Even Now” He was able to do the impossible. I found the house and they told me she was up in the attic. I made my way up to the dingy, dark unfinished attic, and there was a cot and a small dresser, the only furniture up there. She was so far gone, that she hardly made a lump in the blanket that covered her. I walked over and the words “I have come to minister the right of healing” came out of my mouth. ( I have never said that before or since) I shared some scriptures on healing, prayed the prayer of salvation, anointed her, and told her to begin to receive her healing…. I had brought a handkerchief and I anointed that and asked her to keep it on her chest, and not take it off till she was healed. To be honest, my faith was struggling and the smell of death was strong in that attic. But God be praised, a few months later, she was whole, restored, and back on the job. Everyone had given up, and she was just waiting to die, but God had an “Even Now” He hadn’t used yet, just waiting for that woman!!

We all face situations that look like they’ll never work out. The odds are against us and we’re tempted to settle where we are. We begin to think "It wasn’t meant to be…" That’s how it could have been when Hezekiah was told he would die and to get his house in order….but he believed that the grace of God was bigger than the covenant of death….he reminded God that he had been faithful and obedient, and had lived a Godly life. God repented and gave him another 15 years of life!  

The scripture tells us that if we could see it, it wouldn’t be faith…. Can we pass the test of staying in faith when we don’t see anything happening? When God is silent? When you’re calling out to Him and you don’t hear anything?

Faith is knowing that, every battle is about conquering the thing that would defeat us… every struggle is about overcoming the limits that would confine us… every hinderance is about rising above it to move to a larger place….The challenge is to be the person God has called you to be in spite of all the forces that try to make you into something else.

We are not identified by the battles and struggles that come against us…we are identified by how we respond to those battles and struggles of life….

Confucius said “The diamond cannot be polished without friction and man will not be finished without some trials.”                                                                                                                                                     Take me to the place in your situation, where you have thought of giving up…. Now stand in that scary, frightening, seemingly hopeless place and declare…..”EVEN NOW”…COME ON SAY IT, 
“EVEN NOW”…. Father I’m going to let you be God in this…. I’m going to let you do this Your way! 

Martha told Jesus, “By now he stinks”….When something hasdied in your life, the stink begins. When a marriage dies, the stink begins. A friend betrayed you and hurt you, and now, like Lazarus, it stinks, it’s a mess. but unless you’re willing to deal with your stinky stuff, you probably won’t get your miracle. 

We make excuses, “they hurt me, they walked out of therelationship, it wasn’t my fault, that’s right, sure I’m angry and bitter.” No, you’ve got to do your part and let go of the stink. Forgiveness is a great deodorizer, for the stink of the people that have done you wrong, deal with the stinky stuff, and God will deal with the rest .  

You’re not done yet! It’s not over till it’s over. You have yet to see what God is going to do with the stink! Even Now, God will resurrect what you thought was dead.

After trying a new shampoo for the first time, a guy fired off an enthusiastic letter of approval to the manufacturer. Several weeks later he came home from work to a large carton in the middle of the floor. Inside were free samples of the many products the company produced such as soaps, detergents, tooth paste, and paper items. “Well, what do you think?” his wife asked smiling. “Next time,” he replied. “I'm going to send a letter to General Motors!”

Listen, whatever is going on, stay positive, keep your attitude… I know we all slip, but get back up and watch your confession…. Some good things are on there way to your address!                                    If you’re holding a cup of coffee and someone bumps into you and you spill coffee everywhere….the reason is that there was coffee in your cup. If it had been coke, tea, or milk, that’s what would have spilled out…. The point is not that you spilled it, the point is that you can only spill what is in the cup. When life comes along and bumps you, whatever is in you will come out. Does joy, gratitude, thanksgiving, and longsuffering come out, or anger, bitterness, harsh words and frustration come out? When life bumps you it may be to find out what’s in your cup.

Kurt Hahn has said….”There is far more to us than we know. If we can somehow be made to see it, for the rest of our lives, we will be unwilling to settle for anything less.” 

Our God is more than the season you’re at, and greater than the stinky moment you may be in!

Like Jacob at Jabbok, may we also lay hold of God, saying, "I will not let You go, until you bless me." To such faith the Lord will never turn away, but will always respond by revealing Himself in new and greater ways. He that refuses to be denied shall not be denied.

Hudson Taylor, who was such a powerful and effective missionary and did such a wonderful work for China, went through some dark days of confusion and disorientation in his younger life. Even though he was brought up in a Godly home, he chose to go in the opposite direction. One day, when his mother was home, a great burden gripped her for Hudson, and she went up to her room to plead with God that "even now", as far from God as he was, the Lord would save him. She said that she would not leave the room until she had the assurance that her boy would come to Christ. At length her faith triumphed, and with peace in her heart, she rose quite certain that all was well, and that "even now" in spite of how it all looked, her son would be saved. Mean while, her son had walked into his dad’s empty office and suddenly the Spirit of conviction came down upon him like a mantle as he fell to his knees in repentance and turned to the Lord. He called his mom, and was ready to tell her the good news, but before he could say anything, she shouted I knew it, I knew it, I knew it! She said God already told me!.... Hudson Taylor, went on to become God’s voice of blessing to China and the world. It was possible because of a mom, who came to her own “Even Now” moment!

I want to encourage someone to step over into “I am crucified with Christ, never the less I live” so you can get free to experience “Even Now” faith… no matter what it looks like, feels like, or how it appears to be right now! There is no freedom like the freedom of the cross! 

You’re not the first to face situations that look like they’re never going to work out. When you don’t seem to get any better or get well, when you can’t see how you’ll ever get out of debt. When you wonder how can you ever accomplish the dream that is in your heart…Yes, the odds are all against you, but God is not!

He’s the one who put the dream in your heart, He put the desire to be debt free in you, He lit the spark in your spirit that you could be healthy, well and whole. 

Oh, I love the song that says, “He didn’t bring us this far to leave us. He didn’t teach us to swim to let us drown. He didn’t build His home in us to move away. He didn’t pick us up to let us down”!

A woman got on the plane in the economy section, but noticed that first class was much better, so she went up to the last seat in first class. The steward asked her to move back to economy, but she refused. The pilot went back and she still refused. Another passenger in first class said he knew the woman and went back and whispered something to her. She immediately got up and went back to economy. The pilot asked the man, “what in the world did you say to her?” I just told her that first class wasn’t going to New York!

Friend you may be tempted to take things in your own hands, butstay right where you are because God is getting you right where He wanted you all along!    

Whose report will you believe…Yes, there will be times in life when, the medical report doesn’t look good, but you declare, “I believe even now You can heal me.” Your business is hanging by a thread, but even now You can prosper me. Your marriage looks like it’s over, but even now You can restore the love and passion.” when it looks impossible, the odds are against you, you don’t see how it can work out, you dig your heels in and get a good dose of even now faith. “God, even now You can turn my child around. I’ve had these panic attacks I’ve struggled with it for years, but even now You can set me free. I’ve been believing to have a baby, the medical report says it’s not going to happen; but God, I’m bold enough to believe that even now, in spite of how long it’s been, what I’ve been told, what I feel, I know You have the final say. I believe that nothing is too hard for You. I may not see a way, but I know You have a way.” I choose to believe the report of the Lord!

I used to love that program called Extreme Makeover, where they would send the family away, and the community would come in and totally build them a new home or drastically renovate their old home….They would bring them back and a bus would block their view, and at the right moment everyone would shout…”Move that bus”….Well you need to look at someone *….and tell them….”Move that stone” John 11:39 “ Jesus said, Take away the stone from the grave”. The Lord will strengthen and anoint you, but only you can roll the stone away from the place of that dead thing…. Sometimes life has a way of trying to seal you in with the hopeless looking things. 

The bible tells us that before they entered the promised land, every Hebrew male was commanded by God to be circumcised at a place called Gilgal. You can find it in Joshua 5: 1-9 There were some things in their hearts that had to be taken away, there were some things in their lives and their value system, that had to be removed, in order to experience the life of miracles, signs and wonders. And in verse 9 we are told that the name Gilgal means                                                 To “roll away the reproach”… They had left Egypt, the place of bondage, slavery and captivity, but Egypt had not gotten out of them. That bondage, slavery and captivity, was sealed in them and would be an anchor that they would drag wherever they went. 

All of us must experience our own Gilgal, where the reproach is rolled away… where every thing that would keep us out of our promises, our inheritance, our destiny must be rolled away, so the clear light of faith, hope and the glory of God can flood the tomb where every dead dream, every dead relationship, ever dead promise can live and thrive again! Jesus told them “Roll away the stone”…. I’m coming in!!!!

In Judges 16:1-3 Samson went to Gilgal and while he was sleeping, in verse 2 it says that the people surrounded the city that they might kill him. But in verse 3 we read that in the middle of the night, he got up and took hold of the doors of the city gate, together with the two posts, and tore them loose. He then lifted them to his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron. (Hebron means “the place of fellowship”). Samson removed the offensive  barrier and entered the place of fellowship.

Psalm 107:15-16 says, Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron. .

We must roll away every stone that would try to destroy our fellowship with our Lord. That’s exactly what these distractions of disappointment, loss, betrayal and unforgiveness are trying to do in our lives….Jesus is ready to anoint us to rip the gates off and meet Him at Hebron, the place of renewed fellowship. 

Yes, people will look at you strange when you don’t get all down and negative like most folks…. And you keep on singing and rejoicing in spite of everything… They don’t understand, because they’ve bought into the lie, that you just have to go with the flow….

Joe had asked Bob to help him out with his deck after work, so Bob went straight over to Joe's place. When they got to the door, Joe went straight to his wife, gave her a hug and told her how beautiful she was and how much he had missed her at work. They worked until it was time for supper, and Joe complimented his wife on her cooking, kissed her and told her how much he loved her. As they continued working on the deck, Bob commented about how Joe made over his wife. Joe said that he'd started doing this about six months ago, because their marriage had gotten bumpy and it had really revived their relationship…things just couldn't be better. Bob thought he'd give it a go. When he got home, he gave his wife a massive hug, kissed her and told her that he loved her. His wife burst into tears. Bob was confused and asked why she was crying. She said, "This is the worst day of my life. First, little Billy fell off his bike and twisted his ankle. Then, the washing machine broke down and flooded the basement. And now, you come home drunk!"

When you do the right thing, folks may misunderstand, but do the right thing anyway!

John 11:43 “And Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” v44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” Let’s get it straight…. We talk about resurrection life, but RESURRECTION LIFE IS NOT JUST FOR THE LIVING, IT’S FOR THE THINGS THAT HAVE DIED! We are told by the Lord that if we’re still struggling and wrestling with stinking stuff, we’re not dead yet! 

Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me”. 

Lazarus was dead 4 days….Four is considered as a perfect number…there are 4 seasons, 4 directions, 4 primary colors, 4 periods of the day, and 4 elements. This tells me that even though Lazarus was dead, he was in the perfect place at the perfect time for a miracle! There was no question as to how dead he was. THE MAN WAS DEAD! That should shout to all of us….                                                         When I give up the struggle, when I stop fighting what I cannot win, when I reach the end of myself, I will find His life, His strength, His power!

We need to go back to that place where we stopped hoping, and decided to just live with the problem, and ask ourselves, “is my God bigger than this problem? Is He greater than this bondage? Is He more powerful than this sickness”? Get a fresh look at your God, there on your knees…He is still Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord my provider! He is still Jehova-Rapha, the Lord my healer!is He still El Shaddai, the God who is more than enough!” When you remind yourself who your God is, your improbabilities, and your impossibilities begin to wither before Him. 

Know that It is never too late for God. Know that God specializes in man’s impossibilities. Know that God will often require us to do something, in faith, that goes directly the opposite of how we feel. Know that when we are fed up with the stink and roll away the stone, then God is free to bring our dead situation back to life! Know that the greater the problem, the greater the miracle!

Let’s take a moment and examine what’s in our cup, because what you’re dealing with and what’s been rubbing you the wrong way may just be showing you what’s inside….Does a fish become a fish by swimming under the water, or does it swim under the water because it is a fish? Does a bird become a bird once it learns to fly through the air? Or does it fly through the air because it is a bird? Which is it? Of course, the bird is a bird, and therefore it flies…What we do flows out of who we are and who we are is the source of what we do….Who we are is redeemed, delivered, healed and set free. We do the works of Christ because that’s who we are!

Philippians 4:11 “I do not focus on my lack, for I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content. v12  For I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound, everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to be in need v13    For I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me”.

I have a challenge for you today….In the bible where Jesus said “Lazarus, come forth”… I want you to put your name, or your child’s name, or your family member’s name in there and begin to call them forth…. Judy, Bill, Martha, Jack….. Come Forth! And keep calling, until you get peace in your heart and spirit that it is done…. You may not see it yet, but in your heart you know it’s done! Perhaps there are some things that seem to be blocked and sealed up where you can’t get to them….we’re in agreement here, that they begin to come forth!


 

Posted by: AT 04:29 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, March 10 2018

Here’s what a few folks had to say …..

Ten Boom…..“ The center of God’s will is our only safety - let us pray that we may always know it!” 

Billy Graham stated that…"Most of us follow God’s will the way we follow a wheelbarrow. We push it in front of us in the direction we want to go." 

Francine Rivers….“God's will isn't some hidden, mysterious thing. Jesus told us openly and daily what his will for us is.”

Elisabeth Elliot…..God’s intention when He made the acorn was the oak tree. His intention for us is ‘the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.’ Many sessions of letting go, must go into our reaching that measure. The more you perceive God’s will in your life, the less terrible the losses seem.”

Matthew 28:18 “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, Allpower is given unto me in heaven and in earth”.

Listen to me….you cannot have more power than all power. You can look at it sideways, upside down, flip it, dip it and tip it…..there’s no power that stands up to ALL POWER!!

Now you may wonder what could be better than that….What could possibly compare to that…? Well, I’m going to tell you….

Hebrews 13:8 tells us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever”!

He not only has all power, but He has all power all of the time!! You don’t have to talk about how it used to be….Or how it could be….Or how you wish it was! Cause it’s the same thing right now, in this time, as it ever will be, for whatever that is which you are dealing with….!!!

The Holy Spirit always at all times, operates in the will of God….

Jesus always at all times, operates in the will of God….

So how then did Jesus tell us to live while we are here on this earth? What did He tell us to base all of our requests and all of our desires on? How did He tell us to begin our petitions and every prayer?                                  Look at it….Matthew 6:9-10 “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven”.

When Jesus was facing the terrible ordeal of the cross, how did He pray? When He knew that they were going to beat Him, drive nails in His hands and feet, thrust a spear in His side, and leave Him hanging there in the worse pain imaginable……

He prayed, “Not My will but Your will be done”…

With the salvation of all mankind hanging in the balances, Jesusknew that you couldn’t do any better in any situation than the power of God’s will!!!

Paul the apostle has a warning for all of us, he wants us to know that many times it is all about what we want that we seek after, not what God wants…. 

Paul knew the feeling that comes sometimes when the flesh wars against the spirit…He said “that which I would do, I do not do, and that which I would not do, that is exactly what I do”….

Jesus told His disciples that in those times, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak!

As a golfer approached the first tee, he looked out at a difficult fairway with a green surrounded by water, he debated if he should use his new golf ball. Deciding that the hole was too treacherous, he pulled out an old ball and placed it on the tee. Just then he heard a voice from above say loudly: "Use the new ball!" Immediately, he replaced the old ball with the new one and walked up to the tee. As he stood there waiting to hit the ball, the voice from above said, "Take a practice swing!"  With this, the golfer stepped backward and took a huge practice swing.  Feeling more confident, he approached the tee when the voice stopped him by saying "On second thought, use the old ball!" (I’ve had that voice speak the same thing to me) Now some folks would have just gone ahead and hit it any way!!!!

Romans 12:2 says it this way….”And 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”.

You see, we can be sincere and our heart can be totally in a thing, but if we don’t keep renewing our mind, our flesh and soulish man will overrule our spirit man, and we will get caught in a vicious cycle where our wants, our wrong thinking and our lusts and desires, can override God’s will.             A century ago, there was a bishop who pronounced from his pulpit and in the monthly publication which he edited, that heavier-than-air flight was both impossible and contrary to the will of God. What an irony it is, that the Bishop had two sons, named Orville and Wilbur! Bishop Wright was very sincere and sure of himself, but he was still wrong.  

We must understand that we are a Spirit, which has a soul, that lives in a body…. If the soul rules, then we will be ruled by the emotions and soulish will and intellect …. If the flesh rules, then we will be ruled by the appetites and desires of our flesh…. If our redeemed Spirit rules, then we will rule our soul and flesh by the principles and values of God’s Word and God’s Will! We can be sincere and still be as wrong as Wright!

Consider these 5 things as you seek the will of God in your life….

First, Put your thinking cap on… get all the information you can before you make a commitment. 

Second, we must be willing to weigh the long-term consequences and outcomes of alternative courses of action. Avoid tunnel vision. 

Third, we must be willing to take advice. We may not follow through with the advice, however, nothing but good will come to us from carefully weighing what they say. No one person knows everything. 

Fourth, we must be willing to be brutally honest with ourselves. He who only has themselves for a counsellor, has a fool for a client.

Fifth, we must be willing to "Wait on the Lord" while continuing to watch and listen. Delay is not a no, usually it is a “Not Yet” but sometimes it is a “You have to be kidding”!!! But nothing is the right thing to do till God answers. He said call and I will answer you…. That’s His promise and if you will do #1-5, He will answer! 

Roger Stauback led the Dallas Cowboys to the World Championship in 1971’ While he was on the field, Coach Landry sent in every single play.  Stauback admitted that his position as a quarterback who was never allowed to call his own signals was a source of frustration for him.  

Landry told Roger when to pass, when to run and only in emergency situations when a play was falling apart, could Stauback change the play (and he had better be right when he did!).  Even though Roger considered coach Landry to have a “genius mind” when it came to football strategy, pride said that he should be able to run his own team.  

Later on, Stauback said, that he had to face up to the issue of obedience.  Once he learned to submit to Landry’s authority as head coach, there was harmony, fulfillment, victory, and he was trusted to call more and more plays on the field."  When we begin obeying God's plays, then we will also have harmony, fulfillment, and victory!

Hebrews 10:36 “For you have need of patience, that, after youhave done the will of God, you might receive the promise”.Patience is not the ability to wait, it is the ability to keep the right attitude while you wait!

Sometimes we have to do all we know to do, and leave the outcome to the Lord. Our problem is that we are like the kid that planted some seeds so he could grow a garden, and he kept digging up the seeds to  see if they were growing and they never did!

There is a point where you leave it with God and just let Him do it!

We come to the place where we realize that while we are working on all

this stuff in our lives, God is using all that stuff to work on us. He is more interested in working on our character than He is in all of our accomplishments, because our character is forever, but our trophies and titles on earth will fade and disappear.

Billy Graham…."When wealth is lost, nothing is lost, when health is lost, something is lost, when character is lost, all is lost." 

Then we see Colossians 4:12 ......“That you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God”.

God is serious about this…. He wants to bless your socks off…. The Father is wanting you to know that in all of your stuff, there is a yellow brick road straight into His will, and His will is all the power you need! His will can accomplish all you ever dreamed, ever hoped, and ever desired. 

There are some folks who call themselves believers, but they can’t trust God with their finances. And they prove it by not following             Malachi 3:10 which says “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,   and prove me now with it, says the Lord”…. So they steal from God and give it to the Devil or finally realize they can’t keep it anyway….

A fellow was in church during the offering and in spite of the fact that God’s tithe of his income was $100.00, he pulled out a five dollar bill. A guy behind him tapped him on the shoulder and handed him a hundred dollar bill. He dropped it in the offering for the guy and told him, “that was very generous of you”… the guy said “oh, not at all, it fell our of your wallet”!!!

You can trust God that He only wants the best possible outcome for you, even more than you want it!  

1 Thessalonians 5:18 “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you”.

We thank Him for His authority and Lordship…We thank Him for His holiness, His goodness, and His righteousness…We thank Him for His mercy, His grace and His kindness. We thank Him for His wisdom, His justice and His faithfulness….

We may not thank Him FOR everything that happens, but we can thank Him IN everything that happens!!

You don’t have to settle for less, you can choose the will of God and never have to look back with regret!

Someone asked Saint Francis of Assisi, while he was weeding the garden at the monastery…. “What would you do if you found out that you were going to die at sunset” He said, “I would finish weeding this garden”…..

When you’re moving in the will of God, there is a joy and thanksgiving that enters your life like nothing anything else can offer you. You will live knowing that all is well, and You don’t need to worry or fret…..                      There is a knowing that everything will work out for good, and everything is bringing you into the promises of God for your life ….Don’t wait till you see it, begin to thank Him now, as His will begins to unfold!

*…..Author and speaker and life coach, Lindsey Rietzich….“Something important I have learned is patience, and turning each failure into a learning experience. ..Instead of calling them "failures" I call them "lessons". Instead of saying, "I failed at that," I say, "I learned from that." Each failure has taught me something incredibly valuable and by recognizing this I can see the hand of God in all the situations of my life.” 

*…..look at Matthew 10:8 “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely you have received, freely give”.                         

There is incredible power available when you are operating in the will of God….So Jesus has clearly stated that this is His will for all believers…. It also tells us that when we are in the will of God, we can expect these things to happen when we move forth, at work, shopping, at the beach or pool, and as we move around in our neighborhood…..

There is power over sickness, devils and even death, in the will of God.

When you are walking in the will of God, Rulers and those in authority come under the influence of God’s will. Your children, your spouse, your relatives, your neighbors, those who are lost, and even your enemies come under the influence of God’s will….

How clear He has made it….seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you!

*….Now, I really want you to grab hold of Philippians 2:13 “For it is God who works in you to will and to do His good pleasure”.

Let me break this down by saying that the promises of God are the expressed pleasure of God….Therefore all the promises of God are found in the will of God…. Doing His good will and pleasure is possible by bringing ourselves into harmony with the promises which are clearly stated in His word and His word is how we know His will….

*…..We must have pro-active faith! The bible tells us that faith without works is dead. You can pray for good results on an exam without studying at all but unless you have a photographic memory, it isn’t going to happen.    

You can pray for good health and not eat well or sleep well or exercise. It all depends on how much you really believe Him - because if you truly do, you’ll do what He says. If you never open a bible and take time to know God’s word, you don’t know what He has promised…..

*…..God can make something out of nothing….that’s how He began the world, and all the planets, the galaxies, and the universe…. But if He did it all, and you could just set your spiritual life on cruise….that would leave us out of the equation… that would leave faith out of the deal. There would be no reason for prayer or obedience, or setting goals, or compassion….   If God was doing I all!

But God wants us to exercise faith, and participate in His works.He gives us incredible promises, and as we believe and obey, and offer him what we have and when we do, we see miracles. 

*…..Our giving, our confession, and doing our part in faith is the activating force which sets in motion something far greater than ourselves. 

There are defining moments in our faith journey, where we step outside of our safe zone, believe His promises and everything changes, and It will never be the same again. 

As an 18 year old rock and roller…. The day I decided I was tired of hearing the faith exploits of other folks, and how God showed them His miracle power, and provided amazing answers to prayer...and I decided that’s what I wanted to see in my journey…. I broke my guitar over a tree, and stepped into my own faith journey…. I have never looked back with regret….. Nothing was ever the same again! 

Yes, there are many all around you, who have settled for less, but they’re not you… There are many who work all week and settle for a week-end of partying to try to fill the hole that only God can fill, and they’ve been doing it their entire lives….God has available, that “something more” that we’ve all been looking for….

*….Over the space of 4,000 years (from Abraham to now), God’s promises have been thoroughly tested and found by millions to be true.

Like the two men were riding a bicycle built for two when they came to a steep hill. It took a great deal of struggle for the men to complete the climb. When they got to the top the man in front said to the other, "Man, that was even harder than I imagined it would be!" The guy in back said, "Yes it was. And if I hadn’t kept the brakes on all the way we would have rolled right back down the hill."

LET THE BRAKES OFF…. IT’S TIME TO LET GO… GOD HAS PROMISED…

You have plans, God has bigger plans…. You have faith, God has bigger faith… You have a dream, God has a bigger dream…

*….A promise is an IOU that God gives us…. It’s also called a blessing…. But the IOU is no good unless someone cashes it in! God is doing all He can do to get you to cash in your IOU….

*…..Deuteronomy 28:2 “And all these blessings (IOU’s) shall run after you, and overtake you in the way you go, if you will obey the voice of the LORD your God”.

Listen to what’s chasing you down and trying to get on you….                       *…. The promise of His presence - surely I am with you always to the  very end of the age.  

The Promise of joy - My joy shall be in you that your joy may be complete.  The Promise of eternal Life - whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal Life…. 

The promise of power - He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak … 

The promise of guidance - Whether you turn to the right or to the left your ears will hear a Voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it"…. The Promise about your family - The Lord blesses the house of the righteous… 

The Promise of health and healing- By His stripes we are healed…         The Promise of protection- The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe….

The Promise of provision- And my God shall provide all your needs according to His Glorious Riches in Christ Jesus.... 

The Promise in time of temptation - God is Faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.... 

That’s only the tip of the mountain of Blessing that is trying to catch you! 

He is no respecter of persons which means that if He did something for someone else, then He is willing to do the same for you…..

If Moses, Daniel, Elijah, Paul and the disciples saw signs, wonders and miracles, then so can you, in the will of God!

*….His goal and His pleasure is a relationship with us! He will never leave us, Never forsake us, Never mislead us, Never forget us, Never overlook us, and Never cancel our appointment in His appointment book! When we fall, He lifts us up! When we fail, He forgives! When we are weak, He is strong! When we are lost, He is the way! When we are afraid, He is our courage! When westumble, He steadies us!  When we are hurt, He heals us! When weare broken, He mends us! When we are blind, He leads us! When we are hungry, He feeds us! When we face trials, He is with us! When we face persecution, He shields us! When we face problems, He comforts us! When we face loss, He provides for us! 

He is everything for everybody, everywhere, every time, and every way. God is in control, If we are on His side, and that means all is well with our soul.

*….Let’s speak a blessing over one another as we prepare to close….

*….When you are weak, may you receive His strength! 

When you lose your way, may He show you the way! 

When you are afraid, may you know His courage! 

When you stumble, may He hold you steady!  

When you are hurt, may you know His healing! 

When you feel broken, may He mend you! 

When you cannot see the way, may He lead you! 

When you hunger, may you be filled! 

When you are tried, may you feel His presence! 

When you are persecuted, may He shield you! 

When you face loss, may He provide for you! 

When you come to life’s end, may He carry you safely home!

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