2 Corinthians 8:12 (new international version) “For if the sincere willingness is there, it is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have or does not do. v11 Now finish it, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your ability”.
In other words, if you are willing, you will always find a way to do it!
We often find ourselves in situations where we need to hear from God, to have Him give us direction, to get a word from heaven. We get excited as we testify about hearing His voice and receiving His direction in a difficult place in our lives.
However, there are times when the direction He gives us, may not fit our plans or synchronize with our own desires. There are times when He may tell us to do something which is difficult for us, and we find out after all the struggling with it, that He only wanted to know if we were willing to do it.
It has been said that where the heart is willing, it will find a thousand ways, but where it is unwilling, it will find a thousand excuses….
An ambitious young man told his pastor he had promised God a tithe of his income. He asked him to pray for God to bless his career. At that time he was making $40.00 per week and tithing $4.00. In a few years his income increased and he was tithing $500.00 per week. He called on the pastor to see if he could be released from his tithing promise, it was too costly now. The pastor bowed his head and prayed, “Lord, thank you for blessing my brother’s giving according to his income. Now Lord, he wants You to bless his income back to what it was before, so he doesn’t have to give You so much”…..
Speaking of God giving someone a hard request….
Genesis 22:2 "And The Lord said, (to Abraham) take your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go into the land of Moriah and offer him for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell you of".
But let’s back up a little bit….
When we first hear of Abraham, he is called Abram. He is an idol maker from a family of idol makers for the region of Ur of the Chaldees. Abram’s father left Ur, with his grandson, Lot, his son Abram, and their families, to go to Canaan, but when they got to Haran, which is Turkey, and the father, Terah died at two hundred and five years old.
God then speaks to Abram, to continue to Canaan, which is where his father had desired to journey to. So at 75, Abram left Haran (Turkey) to go to Canaan with all his family and possessions.
James 2:23 refers to Abraham as “the friend of God”. This statement is a reference to the level of trust which existed between this man and the God that he was willing to follow and forsake all the other gods which he was familiar with as an idol maker. But in all his time spent making idols to those Gods, none of them had ever spoken to Him like the God of Noah who was his grandfather.
Genesis 12:1 “Now the LORD said unto Abram, Get out of yourcountry, and from your kindred, and from your father's house, unto a land that I will shew you. v2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. v3 And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed”.
We all know how long Abram had to wait, before God finally fulfilled His promise.
He was 100 and Sarah was 90. And when the 3 strangers showed up who were angels in disguise, on their way to Sodom, to save lot and destroy the cities. When Sarah heard them tell Abraham that she would give birth in 9 months, she laughed out loud. So when Isaac was born, his name meant “laughter”
Genesis 21:6 “ And Sarah said, God has made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me”.
I wonder if perhaps, there is not some laughing still left for all of us, because of the covenant our God has entered into with us. There is laughter when our joy is fulfilled, and the heaviness and pressure of Haran, the dry, barren, unfruitfulplace where we were, is left behind and we enter into the fulfillment of our Canaan, our place of promise!
A pastor shares that a lady in his church who was a very devout Christian, invited a group from the church to her home for dinner. They were all sharing together topics of spiritual interest to them all. In the midst of the give and take her teenage daughter, probably frustrated with all of the discussion of religion, asked, "Mother, you talk about religion all the time. Why are you so religious anyway?" This query brought a loud hush to the dining table. Her mother paused dramatically, pushed her chair back from the table, stood and said, "Every morning before you wake up, I rise and walk into the living room. I lift my arms to the Lord and ask, `Who's in charge here?' The answer always comes back: `Not you!' That's why I speak and live as I do. Because I am not in charge!"
Our life begins and ends with the realization that we are not in charge, and from there we can proceed to align ourselves to the One who is in charge. When we go out into the world knowing who is in charge, then we will live in such a way that it will show forth that knowledge!
A willing heart will experience the impossible made possible....
I totally believe the statement which I heard an evangelist declare when I was a teen-ager in church….
He said “Where God guides He provides!” I’ve never forgotten it!
All of us have abilities and skill sets in different levels and different areas. But we all have exactly what God needs, to do what He desires to do! And If we are willing, He is able!
The seeds of our miracle are activated by our willingness.
When the mind, the body, and the emotions tell you that they don’t feel like doing it. The will can over ride them all and push beyond, to do the thing that obedience demands. To do the thing that your higher purpose requires. To do the thing that will bring you to your God ordained land of promise. Willingness is about letting God be God!!
We, like Abraham, will all share in common, our own momentsof decision that we call the “crisis of belief” –where the “rubber meets the road”… These are turning point experiences, and tipping points, and some call it “Critical mass”, when it’s all on the line, it has all come down to this, and we know inside that things could easily go one way or the other.
It’s about Daniel choosing the lion’s den instead of praying 3 times a day… It’s the 3 Hebrews choosing the fiery furnace rather than to deny God… It’s Elisha choosing following Elijah over working on the family farm… It’s where we have to decide what we believe about God and our trust in Him is more real than what we see, hear, feel or think.
Dr. Viktor Frankl, author of the book "Man's Search for Meaning," was imprisoned by the Nazis in W.W.II because he was a Jew. His wife, his children, and his parents were all killed in the holocaust.
The Gestapo made him strip, and as he stood there totally naked. As they cut away His wedding ring, Viktor said to himself, "You can take my wife, you can take away my children, you can strip me of my clothes and my freedom, but there is one thing no person can ever take away from me--and that is my freedom to choose how I will react to what happens to me!"
Even under the most difficult of circumstances, happiness is a choice which transforms our tragedies into triumph. Sometimes the tipping point is when we determine that only I will decide how I respond to what has happened to me or what is done to me. Do we really, truly
believe that God is who He says He is, & that He will do what He says He can and will do, and put it all on the line…..
AND THEN GOD SPEAKS!!! Oh, Hallelujah! He still speaks today!
He speaks through His Word – What a treasure we have in our hands! Isaiah 55:11 – “…So My word that comes from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.” See this, He speaks to flesh out His word, and find someone to give it substance in the earth….
He speaks through circumstances – Good & bad. 1 Peter 1:6-7 – “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. v7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ reveals it to the whole world.”Jesus heard God speaking through figs, water, dirt, vines, stones, fish, bread, wine, storms and so much more….
He speaks through prayer – You may respond “DUUUUH! But how often do we see prayer as us doing all the talking, then we finish and go on our way….Prayer is a relationship, not just a religious activity. It’s a time of 2-way conversation w/ the God of all creation. We speak – He listens. He speaks – we listen & obey. What is God saying to you as you pray, or do you pray and go your way. What if you were to finish speaking, and just spend time listening to what He has to say back to your spirit and inner thoughts.
He speaks through people.. through friends and strangers who know nothing of what your situation and circumstances may be. Suddenly, they say something that you know is straight from God into *…..your life! Isaiah 30:21 “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when you turn to the right hand, and when you turn to the left”.
He will speak through ordinary things we do every day …. History was changed because David was taking lunch to his brothers, who were in the Israelite army. But delivering lunch, turned into delivering Israel from Goliath. David was there for one purpose, but God had him there for another. You are where you are for a greater task than you thought you were there for!God will use the place you live, the place you work, and the place of shopping and recreation….
When God speaks, common things become significant things, they become miraculous and life changing moments….
When God speaks, He doesn’t tell you the whole story. He tells you what you need to know at the moment because our mission is all about developing our faith when we can’t see, and we must trust Him & take the steps He’s calling us to take until we can see.
A Willing Heart says yes to God……Exodus 35:29. “The children of Israel brought a free will offering (a willing offering) to the Lord, all the men and women whose hearts were willing to bring material for all kinds of work which the Lord by the hand of Moses had commanded to be done.” Oh, yes, there it is, their willingness is the seeds of the impossible…. Several times in this chapter you see those words, (they were of a willing heart)…
So He brings us to moments of decision, to moments of courage, and to
moments that change the course of our life and the lives of others –
God wants us to know that there are times when we are sent into situations to make possible the breakthrough for many others. How could Abraham have understood that as he walked up Mount Moriah to offer his son Isaac… He was an Old Testament type and example of another Father who would take His son up another mount called Calvary. How could he have known that as he lifted his knife and was interrupted by an angel. That he was a type and shadow of another Father who offered his son as a substitute for us all.
Because we were willing, others were able to break forth into joy and laughter… Others found their purpose and their destiny!
I would say that one of the most pivotal statements that sums up the life of Abraham, and describes this “Friend of God” so well, is found in Genesis 22:1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did test Abraham, and said unto him, “Abraham”, and he said, Behold, here I am”. Wow, so, before God said anything… Just called his name… We hear Abraham say…. “Here I am”… or “Whatever You want, I’m yours”… “I am Willing”…
I hear Moses make a similar statement….He said, Lord if you don’t go with us, then I’m not willing to go…..
What is it that keeps you from being willing….
Three guys are fishing when a boat pulls up beside them to get directions, and they were really shocked, because in the boat which pulled up to them, sat Oral Roberts…
The first guy says, “Sir, I’ve suffered from back pain for years. Can you help me?” Roberts touches the man’s back, and he feels instant relief.
The second guy points to his ears and says that he would like to be healed of deafness. Roberts tosses the hearing aid into the lake, and the man gains perfect hearing.
As he turns to the third fellow, the guy instantly recoils and screams, “Don’t touch me, don’t touch me! I’m collecting disability!”
Where your treasure is, there your heart is also….If your treasure is in the wrong place your heart will not be a willingheart….
On one occasion, David was struggling with his priorities and he was having a crisis of belief…. Church, what we love the most affects what we’re willing to do…..whatever you love most – that’s your idol. If God asked you to give it up, could you? So we hear David praying…
Psalm 51:10&12 “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me…Grant me a willing heart, to sustain me.”
I find that the word willing is Naw dab here, (To offer yourself)Where the heart is, all the rest follows.
A willing heart is a heart that pursues the heart of God….
So as we have read, God tells Abraham, “Give me your son”…and Abraham thinks on it throughout the night, (I mean, after all, the Baal worshipers and Americans are the only ones sacrificing babies) So after a night of prayer and surrender…In Genesis 22: 3 it says he left early in the morning to go to the place where Isaac would be sacrificed. He left the results to God, and understood that his job was to obey!
A mother wanted to teach her daughter a spiritual lesson. She gave the little girl a quarter and a dollar for church "Put whichever one you feel God telling you to, in the collection plate, and keep the other for yourself," she told the girl. When they were coming out of church, the mother asked her daughter what she chose to give. "Well," said the little girl, "I was going to give the dollar, but just before the collection the man in the pulpit said that we should all be cheerful givers. I knew I'd be a lot more cheerful if I gave the quarter, so I did."
Martin Luther said “All that I have tried to keep in my handshas only been lost, but all that I have placed into God's hands I can never lose”
The little widow woman, was willing to give the prophet the last of her oil and meal…The little boy was willing to give the Lord his lunch… The disciples were willing to walk away from everything and follow Jesus…. Noah was willing to build a boat in the desert when there was no rain… The three Hebrew children were willing to eat bread and water to take a stand for God…
James 1:22 “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, otherwise you deceive your own selves”.
James 2:14 “What does it profit, my brethren, though a man say he has faith, and has no works? can faith alone (without works) save him?
James 2:21 “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? v22 Seethen how faith combined with his works, and by works his faith was made perfect?
v23 And the scripture was fulfilled which says, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God”.
A willing heart is constantly receiving heavenly deposits….it says that it was imputed unto him (deposited in his earthly account) because he believed and obeyed God’s word to him….
A Willing Heart Is God’s Point of Entry to work and have His way in your life…. Proverbs 4:23 “Guard your heart with all diligence; for out of it flow all the issues of your life”.
A willing heart allows God to have access to our life. As we do, we give Him access into our world, in all that we do….To live in His presence, to allow His presence to be to be the most important thing to you…
I have shared this before, but it begs to be shared here…..
When God wants to drill a man, and thrill a man, and skill a man. When God wants to mold a man to play the noblest part. When He yearns with all His heart to create so great and bold a man, that all the world shall be amazed. Watch His methods, watch His ways! How He ruthlessly perfects, whom He royally elects! How He hammers him and molds him, and with mighty blows converts him into trial shapes of clay, which only God understands. While his tortured heart is crying and he lifts beseeching hands! How He bends but never breaks, when his good He undertakes. How He uses whom He chooses, and which every purpose fuses him. By every act induces him, to try His splendor out- God knows what He's about when He sends His glory out.
A Willing Heart doesn’t give the Lord visitation rights, a willing heart gives the Lord residency and occupancy. A willing heart becomes God’s dwelling place. Can He feel comfortable to set up His permanent residence, and tabernacle at your center?
God gave Moses these instructions in Exodus 25:8 “Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them”. It was one of the first ordinances which God gave to the people. Then Paul goes on to translate this into New Testament language in… Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service”.
The willing heart, finds Him to be a place of refuge, a strong tower, our rock, our firm foundation, our righteousness, our strength, our hope, our healing and deliverance, our triumph, and all sufficient portion….
In an interview with missionary Gladys Aylward, who rescued 100 orphans by crossing the mountains in 12 days to bring them to safety as the Japanese ravaged the country side. In the interview, she was talking about when she was a lonely missionary in China. She had prayed for a spouse and believed God had answered. But nobody ever came. She said that she asked God about it, and God told her that He had chosen someone for her and called them, but they had refused the call. She said they had missed the will of God and the wonderful opportunity of sharing a lifetime with her”. (I think she should have said, “OK God, who is next in line, but what do I know”?)
How important to ask God to keep within us, a willing heart!The world has yet to see what God will do through a willing heart that is totally yielded to Him. We should all pray the prayer of David on a regular basis, “Lord give me a willing heart”…..
As we close let us pray a Prayer of Agreement….
Father, thank You for calling me to be part of Your kingdom here on earth. Lord, l want to live in Your presence, so I pray that I might always have a willing heart of love and commitment that would spill over into my words and actions in every place I am and in all that I do. May I be eager to study Your Word so I can reach others through the opportunities provided to me.
Thank You for the many whom you have given me as examples,who fully yield to Your purposes as they glorify You andinfluence others for the Kingdom. Father, it is by Your grace that You have transferred me from the dominion of darkness into the kingdom of light where You give me direction for each day. Lord You have willingly given Yourself to me, that I might give what I have received. It is in bringing Your joy and glorious hope to others that makes my spiritual journey so fulfilling and worthwhile. May I give even as I have received of You until that day when faith becomes sight and I see you face to face. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Romans 5:3-4 “We can rejoice when we run into problems they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time, until finally our faith, hope, and trust are strong and steady”.
Amen, this is because we’re relying upon the lord, not the FFF…(the fickled finger of fate)
*…..Charlie Brown had built a beautiful sandcastle on the beach, he had worked on it for hours. Finally he stands back, looks at it. He concludes that It’s wonderful. Just as he’s admiring it, a huge wave comes up and wipes out his sandcastle. Now, he’s standing where his beautiful masterpiece was, on level sand, saying to himself, "I know there’s a lesson in this, but I’m just not sure what it is."
(so much like all of us, isn’t he?)
*…..Often it’s not our problems that are the problem, it’s our issues… One young man told his psychiatrist “I have more issues than a newspaper”…. So maybe your problem is actually an issue! Our issues come from past experiences that were never resolved. As a result they keep reappearing in our current situations. Issues have to do with our attitude, our perspective and our preconceptions as we approach a problem…. Our issues are there to blackball us, make us hostages, and hold us for ransom.
*…..When we were planning to move from Connecticut to Florida, my son Chris, who was 5, had mixed emotions. He came to me one day and said, Dad will I still have problems when we move to Florida? I had to tell him the bad news, “Well, Chris, you are going to have to take yourself along with you to Florida”.
We bring our issues with us everywhere we go. It’s easy to happen and we may solve the problem and still continue to have an issue which predispose us to have negative and toxic reactions to future situations. *…..A favorite story at General Motors is about a fellow who bought a new Pontiac and complained to the company that the car was allergic to vanilla ice cream. He said that when he went to the store to get strawberry, chocolate, cherry or cookie dough, it starts fine, but when he buys vanilla, it won’t start. They sent an engineer out to check it and finally he went with the guy to the store to try it. Sure enough, when he bought the other kinds it started, but when he bought vanilla it wouldn’t. They finally figured out that the problem was not an allergy, but the other ice cream was in the back of the store, and the vanilla was right at the front. The problem was vapor lock. When he got the other ice cream, the car was able to cool down because it took longer. But with the vanilla, it was in and out and the car couldn’t cool down and got vapor lock! This guys problem had become a Vanilla issue!!!
*…..Some of our issues come from blaming someone else…. It’s their problem, not mine… (Really?) One of the greatest temptations we face which never gets to the root of our own issues, is POINTING THE FINGER OF BLAME AT SOMEONE ELSE for our problems. While it was true that David’s son Absalom had betrayed him, it didn’t do David any good to play “the blame game”. David was still responsible for his own issues.
*…...In the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz, a very girlish looking Judy Garland sang one of the most remembered songs in film history, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” In that song, Garland’s character, Dorothy, was expressing her heartfelt desire to escape to some far away place where all of her problems would just “melt away like lemon drops.” Dorothy envied the BLUE BIRDS in the sky who had wings to fly “somewhere over the rainbow”. Dorothy asked, “Why, oh why, can’t I?” In real life, Judy Garland was not so different than the character she had played in The Wizard of Oz. She wanted to be able to escape all her problems and was tormented by the fears and insecurities of having been through a number of broken relationships and 5 husbands, Judy Garland turned to alcohol and drugs to escape. Tragically it was those very things she thought would give her peace that led to her premature death. Waiting to do the right thing when all our issues are resolved, is like waiting till you stop bleeding, to go to the emergency room! The choices and actions of a “cheating spouse” can certainly have a devastating impact on the faithful mate’s ability to ever make a commitment again. And can become an issue. The choices and actions of a dishonest business partner or co-worker can certainly destroy your ability to trust.And become an issue. The choices and actions of an unfair school teacher or coach or boss, can affect other relationships if you let it. And well, you know….. But at what point do you make your own choices and stop blaming someone else for your life. No matter how right you are, continuing to BLAME someone else for everything, doesn’t resolve your own issues, does it?
*…..If anyone should have issues it is Horatio Spafford. Hewas a businessman in Chicago who was a dedicated Christian. He had some serious financial reversals, and during the time of readjustment, he lost his home.” In the stress of it all, he sent his four daughters and his wife away to England for a vacation while he dealt with it. In midocean the French steamer carrying his loved ones collided with another vessel and sank within twelve minutes; 230 people lost their lives. The four daughters were drowned, but his wife was rescued. She wired her husband, “Only I am saved.”
Spafford was overcome with grief. He had lost his property, his four precious daughters were lost at sea, and his wife was dealing with grief alone, on the other side of the world. He could have had some serious issues with bitterness, with the French steamer company, and with God who had allowed all he held dear to be destroyed.
Instead, he chose to put all of his trust in God and wrote a song that has comforted thousands since that time”: “When peace like a river attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea-billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul…..And Lord, haste the day when our faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul. It is well, it is well, it is well, it is well with my soul”….
*…..Sometimes our problem is that we have problems with our problems because we Juggle too many things….and it springsfrom the heavy demands of our lifestyle whither we chose it or it was thrust upon us… and things become compounded….
The cure for being brainwashed, is to make sure you’re blood washed. *…..2Corinthians 4:8 “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed, we are perplexed, but not in despair, v9 Persecuted, but not forsaken, we are cast down, but not destroyed.” *…..If you could finish this sentence, what would you say….. “I would have one less problem without “that”… What would “That” be? So if “That” is the big one… because it’s the first thing that came to your mind…. begin to focus on and deal with “that” until “that” is no longer a problem. Then you can move on to the next “that”….
*…..When people have gotten too overboard with plastic…. (I’m talking about credit cards). And they can never seem to get them paid down. Financial advisors tell you, to make your minimum payment on them all, but pick one and put extra on it till you pay it off, then the next and the next till you have them all paid off.
But the real problem is not your debt, it’s the unresolved issues that keep getting you in debt that is the real culprit!! That is where your real “THAT” actually is!
*…..People develop serious disorders, and breakdowns, when they try to juggle too many things all at once… (This guy has clearly gone over the edge already, he can’t stop juggling) But you will hear on the news that in their overloaded condition,they suddenly go over the edge and snap… and they put their foot in their mouth, or someone gets highway rage, or they shoot someone in their delusion, or they do some other crazy thing that they might not have done otherwise. *…..There was aNew England preacher named Phillips Brooks who was known for his poise and quiet manner. At times, however, he (like us) suffered moments of frustration and irritability. One day a friend saw him pacing the floor like a caged lion. "What’s the trouble, Dr. Brooks?" asked the friend. "The trouble is that I am in a hurry, but God isn’t”. He said, "The hardest task in my life is to sit down and wait for God to catch up with me."
*…..God promised in his word to always be there but sometimes it seems as if he giving us the silent treatment. Where are you God when I’m struggling, when I’m hurting, when I’ve lost my way?
Usually the teacher is silent during the test. The test is there for you to apply what the Master has been teaching you… It’s now time to use the principals you have received, before the storm is rocking your boat.
*…..In the book that bears his name, Job 23:8 Job wrote, “I go east, but he is not there. I go west but I cannot find him. I do not see him in the north for he is hidden. I turn to the south, but I cannot find him”.
You’ve been waiting on Him for a better job. For better health. For a better marriage. Or maybe it’s about something for your children or a family member, and it’s just not happening. Some folks had to wait for their one and only, and some should have waited a little longer and then there was that job promotion that should have been yours.
*…..The danger in the waiting, is that we revert to the two year old mentality… “I can do it myself”…If God doesn’t do it, I’ll do it myself…. *…..That process has a name… It’s called Ishmael. He’s the son that Abraham had by Hagar because he couldn’t wait for God to do it the way He promised, through Sarah. God promised an Isaac but Abe and Sarah got Ishmael, and the Arabs have plagued the Jews every since. Ishmael isanother way of saying “I did it my way”…..
It describes Peter warming himself by the fire of the very ones who are getting ready to crucify Jesus… It describes Samson as he grinds grain at the Philistine camp with his eyes poked out… it describes the issues of Judas as he betrayed the savior for 30 pieces of silver, and it is the offspring of all who go their own way, when God is drawing them and tugging at their hearts.
*…..The story is told of two hunters who came across a bear in their path, they dropped their rifles and ran for cover. One man climbed a tree while the other ran for a nearby cave. The bear sat down between the tree and the cave. Suddenly, the hunter in the cave came rushing out, and almost ran into the waiting bear, where he turned around, and dashed back in. The same thing happened a second time. When he did it the third time, his friend called out from up in the tree, "Woody, are you crazy? Stay in the cave till he leaves!" "I Can’t," said Woody. "There’s another bigger bear in there."
Running away, or taking matters in our own hands, doesn’t solve problems, we just run smack into bigger problems than the ones we got impatient with….
*….. When you focus on problems, you find a lot more problems. When you focus on possibilities, you find a lot of opportunities…. Every problem has within it the seeds of it’sown solution…God made it for you and you for it. Jesus in you, is the answer and the solution.
*…..Psalms 34:19 “A RIGHTEOUS MAN MAY HAVE MANY TROUBLES, BUT THE LORD DELIVERS HIM FROM THEM ALL”
*…..Comparing your problems with others, doesn’t make your problems go away and it doesn’t resolve them….You may feel better about your problems, but you still have them….You must compare your problems with God’s solutions…
*…..These words were found on a wall in Cologne Germany were Jews had been hiding from the Nazi’s. “I believe in the sun even when it is not shining. I believe in love even when I don’t feel it. And I believe in God even when he is silent.”
*….Child of God, Isn’t it a comfort to know that our Father already has our solution. He had the answer before we had the problem!!!
*…..Psalms 18:3 “I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies”.
…..Psalms 116:17 I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.
*…..Psalms 116:12 What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? v13 I will drink the cup of His salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.
DAVID had been complaining, and letting his problems identify who he was. But then he realizes his problem isn’t going to get any better by complaining about it……or by giving up…… or by running away from it…….or blaming somebody else. David now understands his first response should have been to call on the Lord and receive the answer that was waiting there all the time!
We call A PLUMBER when we have plumbing problems. We call A DOCTOR when we have health problems. We call TECH SUPPORT when we have computer problems. We call A MECHANIC when we have engine problems. Why do we do that… because they already have the answer to fix it and get us rolling again…..
Call upon Him, and then GIVE IT TO HIM!
Don’t keep taking it back again…. Give it away!
*…..Here’s a unique and interesting twist for you….Isaiah 58:6 For this the fast that I have chosen. To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? v7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to your house? when you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you hide not yourself from your own flesh? v8 Then shall your light break forth as the morning, and your health shall spring forth speedily: and your righteousness shall go before you and the glory of the LORD shall be your rereward.
Wow, the Lord is telling us to fast, (lay aside) our problems and start focusing on helping others with their problems, and in doing so, our light or (our solution) will break forth and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed.
*…..The word Rereward that is used here is what we would refer to as a “serendipity” You are seeking one thing, and something far better happens, and it’s more than you originally were after in the first place. In this case helping someone else causes you to receive more than you gave!
*…..Psalms 55:22 “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain you. He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved”.
DAVID was carrying one of the heaviest burdens a man can carry. It would have been one thing if he had been betrayed by an enemy. But he was betrayed by his own son, Absalom …….someone he loved……someone he trusted. How do we survive when we have been hurt by someone we love? How do we move on when someone we thought was our friend turns into an enemy? We do it by letting it go, and casting OUR PROBLEMS UPON THE LORD. The word Cast means to “throw or hurl forcefully, with intention and purpose”….
*…..When you cast it on the lord….He Gives Purpose To The Problem!
When problems come, why don’t you start getting excited about how God is going to work it out when you cast it on Him….
*…..He will use your problems to DIRECT you, Sometimes God must light a fire under you to get you moving. Problems often point us in a new direction and motivate us to make changes. Is God trying to get your attention about something you’re not seeing? "Sometimes it takes a painful situation toget us to change our ways or our methods." We will either make an excuse or make a commitment to His leading.
*…..God uses problems to INSPECT you. People are like teabags if you want to know what's inside them, just drop them in some hot water! Is God testing your faith and your trust for something that is ahead? What is the test bringing out in you?The irritation in the oyster produces a valuable pearl… The lump of coal, through great pressure, becomes a valuable diamond (a girl’s best friend)
James 1:2 “My brethren, count it all joy when you are tested. v3 Knowing this, that the testing of your faith is workingpatience. v4 So let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing”.
*…..God uses problems to CORRECT you. Some things only get done when the heat is turned up. If you were like me, as a child, when your parents told you not to touch a hot stove. You probably learned by being burned. Sometimes we only learn the value of something - health, money, a relationship, or the Lord’s presence - by not having it.
*…..God uses problems to PROTECT you. Genesis 50:20 “You intended it for evil, but God intended it for good”. A problem can be a blessing in disguise if it prevents you from being somewhere or doing something which would cause you harm.How many times have we been delayed by a problem, only to find out that a terrible accident took place and without the delay, we would have been involved in it.
*…..God uses problems to PERFECT you. When you respond correctly to the problems that come, God uses them to buildcharacter. Your money, and all your stuff are going to be left behind, but your relationship to God and your character are two things you're going to take with you into eternity.
So, knowing that God is using problems to DIRECT, to INSPECT, to CORRECT, to PROTECT, and to PERFECT us, we will no longer worry or fret over our problems. We will surrender our problem to God’s will. We will trust in Him for the best possible outcome to whatever issue in us, He is dealing with.
Thank God we are not alone. In every trial, through every test and for all of our struggles, the Holy Spirit helps us, guides us, keeps us, teaches us, speaks to us, reveals to us, instructs us, testifies of Jesus to us, comforts us, calls us, fills us, strengthens us, prays for and through us, prophesies through us, bears witness of the truth, brings joy and freedom, lives in us, renews us, produces fruit in us, gives gifts, leads us, enables us and delivers us, convicts and convinces of sin, sanctifies us, empowers us, unites us, seals us, and gives us access to the Father and the Son….
Prayer of agreement…..
*…..Lord, help me to respond to my problems in the right way.Let me understand that many of my problems come to reveal and bring resolution to all of my unresolved issues. Give me the self-control not to complain, the resolve to not quit, or give up, and the courage to not run away. Lord, I will not blame my father, my mother, the person who did me wrong, and the people who betrayed me. I will not blame anyone else for mywrong attitude and my wrong perspective. Lord I turn my problem over to You and I cast them upon you, so that I can move into the serendipity You have in store for me. I will trust in You for the best possible outcome. May Your will be done in my life, as you would desire it. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Now, Cast it…with purpose and with intention upon the Lord!!!! And receive His DIRECTION, His INSPECTION, HisCORRECTION, His PROTECTION, and His PERFECTION through the difficulties, the struggles, the adversities and the challenges that come our way!!!!
Give it all to Him….
*…..The old song says…. “Leave it there, leave it there, Takeyour burden to the Lord and leave it there. If you trust and never doubt, He will surely lead you out, Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.
We all know folks who are always a day late and a dollar short… they’re always a brick short of a full load… you would think their checkbook is made of rubber the way their checks bounce….
Like the woman at the bank who had cashed a check and just stood there staring at the money….The teller asked her, “did I give you enough?” The woman said, “I’m sorry, but no you didn’t”…. So the teller counted it again and the woman continued to stand there staring at it. The teller said, “Mam, I recounted it and I’m sure it is correct” "Yes," she said. "But it is still never enough!!"
If you’ve been sowing but aren’t seeing your harvest, don’t quit….The Lord of the harvest has made you for the harvest and He made the harvest for you. It has been divinely decreed and appointed….
There may be a delay, but you will reap in due season.He’s getting you ready for what He’s getting ready for you!
Please remember, that the greatest oak was just a nut that held it's ground!
Jesus said “call (or keep on calling) and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things such as you have not seen” Will you believe Him?
God Ordained That You Have More….But don’t undo what God has ordained for you, by speaking constant words of doubt and unbelief. By spewing out complaints and words that are toxic to your harvest. Sometimes we need to declare crop failure on all the stuff we have been sowing that we don’t ever want to reap, so that we can reap, what we truly desire….
Someone was interviewing an executioner. They asked him, “how long have you been working in this job? Well, he said, around 10 years… And how is everything going with your job there? Well...it’s hard to say, he said, but no one has complained so far”. (REALLY!)
The burning tongue syndrome…. empowers the executioner to destroy our harvest, with the power of our tongue.
James 3:6 “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity, that can defile the whole body, and set on fire the course of nature..( ghen-eh-ah'… the cycle of seedtime and harvest)”
You are ordained to reap more than you sow…. God has set up the spiritual realm, just like the natural realm, to operate on the principal that you always reap more than you sow. You sow in faith, you reap grace and favor. Sow a kernel of corn and you get ears of corn. That’s around500% increase with every single ear of corn. Sow a grain of wheat and you get a head of wheat with multiple grains. The multiple effect is true with most grains!
Would Someone say “MORE”…
That’s a good prayer to pray over your tithe and your offerings…. MORE!, MORE! You are creating a path for your seed to follow, just like a farmer plowing the row which he will plant his seed in….Give direction and purpose to your seed! Speak over your seed… declare…MORE LORD!
Sowing and reaping are clearly spiritual principals, therefore physical laws are governed and founded upon spiritual laws. First comes that which is spiritual, then that which is natural. That’s why scripture tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto us. The founders of our country understood this, which is why they consulted the Bible when writing our constitution…
Titus 1:15 “Unto the spiritual, all things are spiritual”.
(it doesn’t say to “whackos” all things are spiritual… it doesn’t say to the pathetics who call themselves prophets, all things are spiritual…. It doesn’t say to saved, but do whatever you want people, all things are spiritual…. It says to the SPIRITUAL all things are spiritual!!! That means “those who are led by the Spirit of God”!!!!
1 Corinthians 6:12 “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient (soom-por-yoo'-om-ahee…cannot make the journey with you) all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. v20 For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's”.
So, we deduct that stinginess, selfishness, insensitivity, hypocrisy, and compromising your Christian values, do not glorify God…. They must be laid aside as an encumbering weight….Lay aside every weight that you might win the race.
Listen, Sowing and Reaping Is Training For Reigning…..The centurion whose servant Jesus raised from the dead, understood this, when he said “I have authority because I am under authority… Being under authority so that you have authority is important because Life is a series of problems and our problems reveal whose in charge in our lives. Living with lack and never having enough is a problem. When you have Exusia, which is knowing that you are backed by God’s authority, because you are under His authority, you begin to exert rulership over lack through mastering the power of sowing and reaping. You not only read and listen to the word, but you are applying the word.
Either you are in a problem now, you’re just coming out of a problem or you’re getting ready to go into another one.
The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort. God is more interested in making your life holy and happy, than He is in just making your life happy.. (No one said YEAAAAAAY) ….
Our God is more interested in what I am than what I do. That’s why we’re called human beings, not human happenings….. Sowing and reaping exerts power over the power of the enemy because it breaks the power of lack and insufficiency….It Reveals our God Given Authority and our God intended Destiny…. Sowing and reaping exerts power over the power of the enemybecause it breaks the power of lack and insufficiency…
Since we’re dealing with sowing and reaping, deposit and withdrawal…. What about Galatians 5:22, 23.. The “fruit of the Spirit” scripture. It tells us about a spiritual harvest from the seed of the word which we sow in our lives. “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” And yet we have church members who can’t stand one another, pastors and boards that can’t get along, marriage partners who are like oil and vinegar, Christian families that are in turmoil, One church putting down and trashing another one, and on we could go….
Have you noticed that God doesn’t put you with folks who are always stroking you, who are always sweet, and dripping with honey… Have you wondered why you get stuck with the ones that try your patience, who stretch your long suffering and who rattle your love meter!
Two guys were talking and one said I’ve had it, I am so upset I had just get away from my job. I can’t be around that guy, and I cannot work for that creep another minute after what he said to me. The other guy said, well what did he say that was so terrible… Well, he said “You’re Fired”!!!
Someone has said …Don’t let your successes go to your head and don’t take your failures to heart.
Speaking of fruit, God says you are to have fruit to shareall around you…. It’s not just for you…. It’s for them… They need your fruit….. It’s for Grumpy Gladys, for Feisty Francis, for Larry Loveless, and Peculiar Patty….. “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good” They’re not an interruption in your life, they are the purpose for your life…..
Corinthians 6:2 “Don’t you know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters”? v3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? how much more the things that pertain to this life”?
Remember saints, You are not here merely to make a living, to save for retirement and have a little fun and recreation. You are here to make Jesus famous, you are here to enrich, beautify and transform the world, and weimpoverish ourselves if we forget our mission….
Jesus was born to reign and so were you. . There is not even one child of God that was born to fail or be a victim of this world! In fact, Jesus said that though you are in this world, you are not of the world. This world is for training, but we have a destiny that is separate from it….Therefore, refuse to be ruled by the world and its diabolic systems that are all programmed for failure.This kingdom we are part of will rule over it all when everything else has turned to ashes…..
Sowing and reaping puts a demand upon the soil….orwhatever it is planted in… When the seed touches the soil, inside the seed there is an awakening as the soil embraces the seed and the seed responds and puts demands on the soil.
Psalms 42:7 The Psalmist calls it “Deep calling to Deep”….
It is a powerful phrase which is an incredibly simplistic description of how the forces which the great designer put within us, interact with the forces all around us. It is a word picture of God’s intentions, when He placed Adam in the garden and the man who came from the dirt, now takes charge of the dirt and becomes the force which molds and shapes it, and puts a demand upon it to bring forth.
Notice it does not say when “Shallow calls to Deep”…That would describe those who live with the perspective of “ME, ME, ME, I’m in love with me, me, me”…..GIMME, GIMME, My name is Jimmy”….When you give it, give it away! Don’t hold onto I.O.U’s because that’s the path of regret… I’m not talking about entitlement, I’m talking about how the creation works and how God set it all up. Give and it shall be given unto you…
There are those live a life of self-gratification, and they’ve had a pacifier shoved in their mouth at birth and they’re still sucking on it at 35! Popularity calls and they abandon their values to follow after it. Wealth calls and they abandon their principles to follow it. Convenience calls and they forsake the tried and true to embrace it…..This shallow approach can be like a spider web which starts in one corner of the church and before you know it there are spider webs from one end of the church to the other, all calling “ME, ME, ME!!!
Notice also, that it does not say when Deep calls unto Shallow”…. For then the call is just as futile and frustrating. For this describes those who truly have a yearning for more, but have surrounded themselves with those who settle for less and second best in their lives. It describes the eagle who has it’s feathers clipped and it has lived with turkeys, eaten with turkeys, and partied with turkeys so long that it starts identifying as a turkey, but deep inside there is always a part that knows better and knows there is more!
And somewhere in the process, as we answer all the calls of this world, we forsake, the Lord’s call… We have a call from heaven, let’s pick up the phone…
Luke 9:23 “And he said to them, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
v24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it, but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. v25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? v26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels”.
They announced at school that the circus was coming to town. One little guy had never seen a circus, so he pleaded with his dad to let him go. His dad said that if he got his chores and homework done, he could go. He finished his homework and chores and was handed money for the circus. He rushed downtown and heard the music, then saw the circus coming down the main street. The parade was the grandest thing he had ever seen. Caged animals snarled as they passed, bands beat their rhythms and sounded shining horns. There were acrobats and magicians, horses and elephants, and flags and ribbons swirling overhead. Finally, after everything had passed where he was standing, the traditional band of circus clowns, with floppy shoes, baggy pants, and a brightly painted face, some on stilts and some in funny cars, brought up the rear. As the clowns passed by, the little boy reached into his pocket and took out his precious money. Handing the money to the clown, the boy turned around and went home. What had happened? The boy thought he had seen the circus when he had only seen the parade that was advertising what was to come!He had settled for less than he could have had…..The best is yet to come, God’s not finished with you yet!!
Romans 8:22 “For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now”. (until what) Then is goes on to say that it’s all waiting for our adoption and redemption… WE ARE THE ADOPTED AND THE REDEEMED. No more waiting….Let it all begin!
When Deep calls unto Deep, There is a divinely ordained exchange which takes place between the NEW ADAMand the creation around him, which is holding it’sresources in readiness for his call and his summons. We can hear and feel the intensity of that conversation….
Deep calls unto deep, is the powerful description of what happens when we understand and obey God’s command. As we invest the seed we have been given in every area of our lives, and allow it to come in contact with the forces which will cause it to reproduce and multiply.
In the far East there is a bird called the Huma. The people there believe that if the shadow of that bird comes upon your head, then you shall be given a crown. They’re close, but no prize in that box of Cracker Jacks!!
The truth is there is such a bird that is described as a dove… And all those who allow the shadow of its Holy Spirit wings to fall upon them, shall be crowned with favor, mercy and grace! Lord, may all those who are here allow that shadow to fall upon their heart and spirit, that we might hear the call of Deep calling unto Deep, and let the shallow places go!!!
Sowing and reaping puts a demand on God’s sovereignty, Isaiah’s prophecy echoes down the timeline of history: Isaiah 9:6, 7 “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder … of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.”
The government (the power of oversight) rests on His shoulder, not on the shoulder of any person, team, organization or network. You are in charge of your seed, and God is in charge of the oversight and increase….Hewaits for us to do our job, so He can do His! He watches over His word to perform it!
God says “Prove me in this, that I will open the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing such as you can’t contain…. God’s sovereignty supersedes every other force or power.
I don’t need to understand the complexities of this interaction between the soil and the seed to activate it. I simply sow the seed and God gives the increase.
Colossians 1:16 “For all things were created by Him, and for Him. v17 And he is before all things, and by Him all things consist”.
Malachi tells us that as I obey it’s principles, It holds the destroyer at bay. It is the breaker of lack and insufficiency. So we can pray, “Give us this day, our daily bread (our strength, provision, health, and connections) for this day and know it will be enough!
When we are bombarded by a blizzard of questions which all spring from the uncertain shallows of our lives, it is Good to know that in our faithfulness to this basic law of creation… there is a rest, a peace, and a sense that all is well with my soul for those who have resolved the issue, that He who is Sovereign over all, is Faithful.
That’s why Paul made the blessing which he declared in 2 Corinthians 9:10 “Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness”.
This blessing declares that you won’t ever lack seed to keep the cycle going, or to jump start your harvest cycle if it’s in a slump.. (sow your way out of it) and you won’t lack provision for all you need… It contains resources for your own needs, and enough to sow back to God, and into the lives of others, for change and transformation. The harvest you need is all contained in the seed you already have…
I want to close again with….
Isaiah 55:10 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and returns not (in the form it was sent), but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater. v11 So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent It”.
May your seed be released and come under the higher law of God, for increase and multiplication!!! I release your cycle of blessing and provision…..May it send shock waves out into your family and your relationships and release the gospel to be spread here and beyond.
I would like us to pray the prayer I pray day after day that is based on the feeding of the 5000 When Jesus took authority over the lack and hunger of the multitude who needed to be fed, this is what He did…
He took the loaves and fishes, He blessed it, He broke it, and He gave it away..
Let’s pray it together …“Lord take me, Lord bless me, Lord break me, and give me away”
The Pastor was in the middle of his sermon when he noticed a man had fallen asleep in front and was snoring, with his head on his wife’s shoulder.
The pastor stepped down and whispered to the wife, “Wake up your husband, he’s creating a distraction”.
The wife smiled and replied, “Pastor, You put him to sleep. You wake him up.”
(May the Holy Spirit awaken all of us this morning at a new level… It’s not by might nor by power but by my Spirit says the Lord)
The message today is about Deposits and Withdrawals
Paul told the church that his desire was to stir up their pure minds by way of remembrance. That’s what He desires to do today in all of us…..
Jesus began one of His well-known parables by saying “A farmer went out to sow his seed”. He talked about the different kinds of soil, saying that some seed fell among hard ground, some fell among the thorns, some fell on stony ground, and some fell on good ground.
We must ask ourselves what kind of soil we are. Are there hard, stubborn areas… are there thorny areas where other things are choking out the word…. and are there stony areas where the word cannot penetrate and get rooted?
At one time our country was a farming society before we became a city and suburb society. In the days when most of America was rural communities, we were all about sowing and reaping. If there is one powerful principal that farmers know well, it is that if they don’t put it in the ground then it will never spring up, out of the ground. If there’s no sowing there can be no reaping…..
God’s kingdom is established on the principal of seed time and harvest.
But in our current economic culture, we are more familiar with the banking terms, of deposits and withdrawals.
You earn money, then you put it in the bank so you can withdraw it, in the form of checks, debit cards, an ATM, or with an App on your phone or computer….
We are depositing in our spiritual account those things which we will then be allowed to draw out at the appointed or due time…..
Someone has said, “Having a good sized bank account can give a person a good feeling until they realize that banks are insured by an agency of thefederal government that's over $22 trillion in debt”.
Will Rogers said, “Banking is set up just like the creation of our government. –It is a system of checks and balances. If you want to cash a check, you actually need to have a balance”.
A man was walking along the beach, enjoying an afternoon vacation stroll, when he heard someone screaming. Looking around he saw an obviously distraught woman kneeling next to a little girl. The man quickly determined the child had swallowed something that was blocking her airway and held her up by her heels and gave a few quick thumps to her back. Sure enough, the child started to sputter and cough, spit a coin onto the sand and was able to breathe.
“Oh, thank you sir!” cried the grateful mother. You seemed to know exactly what to do. Are you a doctor?”
“No, ma’am,” the man replied. “I’m retired, but I am the treasurer of my church.”
(He knew how to get money out of anyone)
How you treat money and material stuff says a lot about a person…is it an end in itself or a means to an end….Someone has said that your money is an extension of yourself because it represents your time and energy which you have invested…. We either own our stuff or our stuff owns us…. If we understand that it all comes from God then we can hold it in open hands instead of clenched fists…..
In Mark 10:29 we read… “And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that has left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, v30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life”.
It’s clear that the Lord doesn’t measure us by what we have but what we’ve given and how we manage what we have.
There is one person who comes to mind as an example of this scripture more than any other, and it is the biblical account of the man named Job.
In the midst of Job’s suffering, and in the lowest point of his life, when he was losing everything he had spent his life managing and increasing. One of his friends, who had come to sit with him, named Eliphaz, gives him this important prophetic word which is a light at the end of the tunnel….. It is an important principal for all of us… to not give greater importance to the test, than the testimony which it is producing in us for His glory.
Our story, can be our most powerful witness to those who are watching, if we will keep the right attitude and not let the process get lost because of our misunderstanding of heavenly economics.
Here’s the prophetic word, which Eliphaz spoke to Job…..
Job 22:24 “Then shall you store up gold as dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks. v25 Surely, the Almighty shall be your defense, and you shall have plenty of silver. (silver represents redemption) v26 For, then shall you have your delight (satisfaction and fulfillment) in the Almighty, and shall lift up your face unto God. v27 You shall make your prayer unto Him, and he shall hear you, and you shalt pay the vows you have made. v28 You shall also decree a thing (establish in earth as it is in heaven), and it shall be established unto you and the light (illumination and clarity) shall shine upon your ways”.
I have mentioned before that as a boy, I had a glow in the dark plaque on the wall at the foot of my bed, that said “Forget not in the darkness, what God has promised when the sun was shining”….. God always has a light at the end of the tunnel.
Many would take Job’s words which he speaks further along in chapter 29 as feeling sorry for himself or bragging and boasting, but what Job is doing is taking inventory of what he has stored up for the very time of need which he finds himself in….Job is a wealthy man up to the point that he began to lose everything…. He knows about deposits and withdrawals… so hear his words in this context….
Job 29:12 I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. (ching, ching…. deposit)
Job 29:13 The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. (ching, ching… deposit)
Job 29:14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem. (faithfulness and obedience to God’s word…ching, ching… deposit)
Job 29:15 I was eyes to the blind, (ching, ching) and feet was I to the lame. (ching, ching)
Job 29:16 I was like a father to the poor. (ching, ching….deposit)
So, Job is counting the seed he has sown as deposits which he has made in his spiritual account…..(Ching, ching, ching…money in the bank)
You can have the greatest opportunities for high yield investments all you like, but the bottom line is about actually laying it down and making the investment. Until that transaction takes place, all of your knowledge and interest in the opportunity will count for nothing. If the investment shoots up in value, it won’t benefit you at all, unless you are actually invested in it.
Mathew 6:20 “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.”
It’s not just our money that we are spending, we are also spending a piece of our lives. Every Birthday is far more than just another marker on the journey, it is a time to reflect on how we are either spending or investingour lives.
Someone said, “Only one life will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last
Jesus told us to be careful about storing up treasure for ourselves on earth, but not being rich toward God in the areas that really count the most and cannot be taken from you by thieves, deflation, or rust and dust…
When Paul was in a Roman dungeon, he didn’t feel like he had done a lot with his life. In the conventional wisdom of the day, he had every reason to anxious and uncertain about his life. His life is basically over. He is in a dungeon in Rome, awaiting his time to be executed by the evil tyrant, Nero. He was destitute. He didn’t even have a coat to keep him warm. He was not a world-renowned best-selling author and conference speaker. At this point, he didn’t know, as one author put it, that centuries later people would name their sons Paul and their dogs Nero. He was just a lonely old man, chained to a Roman guard, but Paul understood that God had made the greatest deposit in His life, by sending His only son, so he felt that no price he could pay, would compare to that Divine deposit in Him, and that no power on earth could touch it!
Footprints on the Moon. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon. As he stepped onto the surface he uttered his now famous line, “that’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” That historic event happened almost 50 years ago but those first footsteps are still there undisturbed. In fact, NASA estimates that those first footprints will be there for a million years because there is no wind or water or animals to disturb them. As we walk through life, we leave imprints on others lives that not only can last a lifetime, but can last for eternity. Spend money on a meal and it’s gone in hours…. Spend money on a car and it depreciates as soon as you drive it off the lot….Spend money on a house and it starts falling apart along along with your body….invest in things eternal and they will outlast the footprints on the moon!!!!
If we keep in step with the Spirit and we sow to the Spirit, the Spirit will use us to leave a footprint in peoples lives that can last for eternity.
We are given some good advice in Hebrews 10:35 “Cast not away your confidence, (boldness to act on what you believe) which has great recompence (compensation) of reward.
Hebrews 10:36 “For you have need of patience, that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise”.
Jesus paid a debt He did not owe because we owed a debt we could not pay…..Jesus took the curse so we could receive the blessing. He bore our judgment so we could receive the rewards of His finished work.
He has sown His seed and made an amazing investment in each of us. Will our lives produce a return on His investment?
Listen to what Paul says about the investment God has made in us…
Ephesians 1:14 “For it is the earnest (pledge and security) of our inheritance until redemption (full payment) of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory”.
The “earnest of our inheritance” means that He has already made the down payment, to guarantee the inheritance which is ours.
Let’s call this The Generosity Factor….He has signed His name in blood to activate that guarantee….and the determining factor, is about how much has He guaranteed and secured in our account that we have access to. But know that we activate His generosity factor with our giving and our obedience….
We are told that the amount in Ephesians is more than we can think or ask….
Look at it…Ephesians 3:20 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us”
Then in another place we are told that He guaranteed all things to the church
Ephesians 1:22 And (the Father) has put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things unto the church, v23 Which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all (that’s everyone) in all (that’s everything).
I would say that this is an incredible investment!
We also see Matthew 13:23 “But he that sows his seed into the good ground is he that hears the word, and understands it; so that the seed might bear fruit, and bring forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. (now that’s some great return on your investment)
This applies to relationships, our marriages, and every area of our personal lives.
We are told clearly how to activate this cycle of investment and return which we’ve been reading about and which Jesus spoke about…
Luke 6:38 “Give, (our time, our love, our charity, our resources) and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you give out it shall be measured back to you again”.
Jesus told us that the greatest among us are those who serve…. Because it activates the cycle of deposit and withdrawal…
Speaking of serving….An insurance agent went from one staff person to another at a church trying to find out who was in charge. The treasurer said, “Not me; I just help take care of the money.” The secretary said, “Not me, I just keep notes, file and answer the phone.” The assistant pastor said, “Not me, I am here to help the pastor get the job done”…
By this time the insurance agent is quite frustrated and says, “well, who IS in charge around here anyway?”
The lady who serves the coffee had heard what was happening and she pipes up and says, “I’m in charge, NOTHING happens around here until I make the coffee!” (now that’s an important deposit) she was sowing into every ministry in the church
Oh, yes, of course there’s Malachi 3:10 “Bring all the tithes (10 percent of our increase) into the storehouse, that there may be meat in My house, and prove Me now with that portion, says the LORD of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. v11 And I will rebuke the devourer (the lack and insufficiency) for your sakes”.
(can anyone say “I’m right here Lord”)
So, how did this work out for Job, in this time when he was watching everything go down the tubes….and he began to call upon the deposits he had made his entire life….
After God warned Job to not get proud about it, and have the right attitude in remembering that it all comes from Him. …..everything turns around….
Job 42:10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends, and gave Job twice as much as he had before. v11 Then all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, came and ate bread with him in his house: and every man also gave him money, and everyone gave an earring of gold. v12 So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand mules. v13 He also had seven sons and three daughters. v15 Andin all the land no women were as beautiful as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren. v16 After this Job lived a hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, even four generations. v17 So Job died, being old and full of days”.
Job received twice as much as he had before, finances, herds, family, and length of days….
You can sow and grow a Revival…..
Revival and restoration are described as a process of deposits and withdrawals……
Hosea 10:12, “Sow in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you”.
Amos 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
When evil abounds, when the people love darkness instead of light, when good is called evil and evil is called good…. It’s the right time for revival.
When you see Disasters, distress, perplexity, evil abounding, people’s hearts failing them for fear….
Folks want answers to their dilemmas and they’re not finding them. They have no solution to their overwhelming problems. The worse it gets the deeper the hunger for the reality which only God can give….
Listen, All The Boomerangs Aren’t in Australia…. So, get ready, it’s coming back….The seeds we sow are the boomerangs we throw… I have seen many folks who don’t like the harvest they are getting, but they try to change the harvest without dealing with the boomerangs they are throwing….! To change the harvest, you have to change the seed you’re sowing….
"We sow a thought and reap an act; We sow an act and reap a habit; We sow a habit and reap a character; We sow a character and reap a destiny."—
God has sworn and bound Himself by His own word, and has taken an oath to honor His own law of sowing and reaping. Sometimes God must correct our attitude so that we do everything with gratitude before we see His exactitude!
If your spiritual life is dry and barren, it’s because you haven’t been depositing lots of prayer, bible study and obedience into your life bucket. It might be that you’re no longer hungry and thirsty for the things of God enough to lay aside other things. Without the heaven sent rain, there is famine and bareness, but when you stay thirsty my friends….. there will be fruitfulness and abundance. So stay thirsty my friends….
Forth-giving is about deposits that shape your own future…..Every one of us has the power to sow the seeds of change in our own lives… It doesn’t come in one giant leap, or a total make over, but with a lot of small seeds sown.To sow kindness where my flesh wants to sow impatience. Sowing Gentleness, patience and longsuffering where my flesh wants to react with harsh anger. Sowing unselfish love where my flesh wants to sow selfishnessand insensitivity.
Many folks want to take short cuts and try to get around God’s laws that govern sowing and reaping, but none of us are THAT SMART!
A car was involved in an accident in a street. As expected a large crowd gathered. A newspaper reporter, anxious to get his story could not get near the car. Being a clever fellow, he started shouting loudly, "Let me through! Let me through! I am the son of the victim, that’s my father." The crowd opened up and made way for him.
And there, lying in front of the car on the ground was a jackass.. So much for shortcuts!!!!
Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. v8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. v9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not”.
Keep going, keep growing, keep sowing…..
One of the greatest running backs in NFL history was Walter Payton. Although he was just 5’10” and 202 pounds, Payton set the all-time rushing record of 16,726 yards. During his 12-year career, Payton carried the football over nine miles. If you divide that number by the number of times he ran the ball, you discover an amazing statistic: He was knocked to the ground on average every 4.5 yards by someone much bigger than himself. He set the record because every time someone knocked him down, he got up and ran the ball again. He kept getting up and getting up and getting up. That’s one of the overlooked secrets of a great harvest.
When you are knocked down by discouragement, by adversity, by the dry times, keep on going and keep on sowing seed. Churches are closing every week in this country, Christians are giving up and just quitting, because they don’t see it, they stop believing it’s theirs… Satan is a deceiver, stop listening to your feelings, your emotions, and your doubts and fears… GET UP AND CLAIM YOUR HARVEST!!!
Old Jack was a homeless man who lived in the streets. He didn’t have many friends and he had given up on life with no expectations that anything good could ever happen in his life. All his luck was bad luck. On a cold February day, a finely dressed lady came up to him and said that she wanted to treat him to lunch. He could hardly get to his feet, so a passer by, helped him getto his feet.
So, they went to a nice restaurant, where the owner told her he didn’t want old Jack there. She told him that she was the CEO of the bank where he did his business, and she was holding his mortgage. He waited on them personally after that. She said Jack, do you remember me. But he couldn’t remember. She said, Jack, years ago, I came here fresh out of college to find work. I was out of money and I had wandered the streets for days without finding anything. I came in here and you were behind the counter. I asked you if I could work for a meal. You said it was against company policy. Then you made me the biggest steak sandwich I had ever seen and a cup of coffee. You led me to a table and I watched you pay for it. I got a job the next day and worked my way up to CEO of the central bank. I have made arrangements for you to get a job there, and give you an advance so you can buy what you need and get a place to stay. I am so glad I can give back to the person that was there for me in my darkest hour…..
Old Jack made a small deposit which brought great returns that came back to bless him at his lowest hour. Don’t quit, keep going and keep sowing. God keeps accurate records.
The seeds for the coming Revival have been sown and it’s being stored up for your appointed time when it is time to draw it out….You don’t have to wait till you’re starving to eat, or dying of thirst before you drink… “Come and dine the master calls us, come and dine”…. The table is spread…! You can have some heaven to go to heaven in!
It is still true today as it has always been….2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”.
Receive His forgiveness, Receive His restoration, Receive His healing,