2 Corinthians 4:17-18 “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen”
My message today is “This Too Shall Pass”….. When I had the privilege of my only experience of passing a kidney stone, (thank you Jesus) …they comforted me with these words…. “This too shall pass” .. But at the moment, all I wanted was some morphine to stop the pain… I heard those words spoken by Winnie, while she was carrying each one of our children. “This too shall pass”…I’m sure every expectant mom has uttered these words…. When each of our children entered their teen years, Winnie and I comforted each other with those words…”This too shall pass”….and thank God it did! Speaking of young people, I often see where young lovers have carved their names in trees, and most folks think it’s cute and romantic, but it makes me wonder why so many young lovers carry knives with them on their dates…Hmmmmmm!
One of our favorite TV detectives is Columbo, with his junky car and disheveled appearance, he is always underestimated by those he is investigating. And it throws them off guard and gives him the advantage. His famous set up in every show, is that he asks questions of the suspects, who realizes they are about to be caught, then he leaves the room, but he doesn’t actually leave. He waits for them to trip themselves up by making a phone call or saying something to their partner in crime, who is nearby. At that critical point, he re-enters the room and says, “excuse me, but just one more thing”….. Gotcha!!! “Just one more thing”…. That’s the way it always is with the human experience… JUST ONE MORE THING! THERE IS ALWAYS ONE MORE THING TO GET THROUGH, TO WORK OUT, TO RESOLVE, AND TO OVERCOME….
I want you to try and remember that stress, that disappointment, that deep concern you had on a certain date in the past… the date I’ve selected is October 10, 2013, (are you thinking) Oh, you can’tremember. You just proved that whatever it was, “This too shall pass”!
My mom’s favorite saying to us was “Get over it, in 100 years, you’ll never know the difference…. She was so right!
Many folks believe that the statement, “This too shall pass”… is in the bible, but it isn’t a bible quote….(SAY WHAAAAAAA!) It was one of the favorite quotes of Abraham Lincoln, and it is also said that an Eastern monarch gave command to his wise men to invent a sentence, that could always be displayed, which would be true and appropriate in all times and situations. And they presented him the words: "And This, Too, Shall Pass” It can make you laugh and rejoice, because you are glad that a lot of things are over and behind you…. It can make you cry because you wish so many of those wonderful and cherished times could have lasted a lot longer or never ended at all…
Someone has said, you can never really go back home, because you’ve changed and it has changed…..You’re at a different place now. But the truth is also that you can never really leave home, because it’s part of you…..We visited one of the churches we pastored many years ago. We were shocked, because we hardly knew anyone there. Folks had moved on and new folks had come. Those who were there before were forgotten, and their accomplishments were now replaced by others who had taken their place. New methods, new vision, new personalities, but the same message of the gospel. (hallelujah)
When I hear the words “This too shall pass” I hear another statement. “I shall pass this way but once. Any good that I can do, let me do it now, for I may never pass this way again” And I am reminded that we must all do what we can do now, in this present time, because what we do will either help the next ones who are standing in the wings, or it will make it harder for them. How I raise my family, gives them a foundation for raising their families. How I do ministry will give the next person a leg up, or make it harder for them. This sign in the harbor is one we all need to take heed of “You’re responsible for your wake”…..
I think of the incredible epitaph which is spoken about David and the life that he lived. Yes, he fell and he got up, and he fell, and he got up, but oh what he accomplished, even to the point that David, had a heart after God…. But here’s the awesome statement that became God’s permanent record of David’s life…. Acts 13:36 “For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep and his body was buried with his fathers…” Who here wouldn’t want to hear God speak those words over your life….
Once I preached on the topic of "Suffering" and following the service a
woman met me at the door and said, "I really had no idea what suffering really meant till I heard your sermon". I’m still not sure how to take that comment…..
When I hear the words “This too shall pass”…. I see the principal of seed time and harvest… One sows, another waters, but we all rejoice together in the harvest…. The old slogan of years past is still true today…. “Only one life, will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” As we sow the seeds of Christian charity, believing that the Lord of harvest will always fulfill His covenant with the seed, our labor shall never be in vain in the Lord. Little is much when God is in it!
A man working on the Golden gate bridge needs a cable to hold on to in the strong winds, and the dizzying height, something to hold him steady and keep him from falling. I believe this declaration can be that kind of stability in our lives….”This too shall Pass” can be a life line….
To be a believer in Christ is to understand that with all the things that have come and gone, we are part of a world within a world, a kingdom within a kingdom, that shall not perish and shall never pass away.
While the words “This too shall pass” are not in the bible, there are some verses which give us a look at the grand scheme of kingdom overview….. Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. 1 Corinthians 13:10 When that which is perfect comes, that which is in part will be done away.
God deposited His perfect gift in imperfect vessels, so that the perfect is not going to come, it HAS COME. Eternity is within us, which makes us immortal and eternal beings. What if we lived as though we could never die? The bible refers to physical death as sleep. It’s like waking up to a new day. The bonds of earth will pass, and loose us to ascend to our God and enter that heavenly realm, where we shall be with Him eternally. We shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is… Pinch your flesh container and say with me… “This too shall pass”… Scripture tells us Job 23:10 “He knows the way I have taken; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” And God is making it clear right here, that His blessings and promises, far outweigh and far exceed any human failings and curses which we may encounter in our earth journey, in its many trips around the sun, as we encounter the solar system as well as the molecular world of plagues, diseases, and various afflictions. Then there are the lessons of life we must all learn in the school of hard knocks… Not to mention the trials and tests we must all endure. But He tells us not to focus on all these things, but focus on letting the gold which these things produce in us… shine, shine, let it shine….
Often, this gold making process in us is like watching a parade. You can only really see about 4 or 5 floats or marching groups at a time. But if you go up in a helicopter, you see the beginning of the parade all the way to the end and everything in between, So the key is to move up higher like Paul on the deck of the sinking ship. It still sank, but Paul moved up higher and saw the end from the beginning, and he saw that this too would pass. He saw the outcome and was able to save everyone on the ship, by getting wisdom that is from above. God sees the beginning and the end of our parade, He sees that you have already overcome, He sees that you came through it stronger and better off than when you went in.
No, we won’t be spared every time, but we will be purified and more valuable to the kingdom when the process is finished….
Isaiah 41:9 “You are My servant.’ I have chosen and not rejected you. 10 Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will surely help you; I will uphold you with My right hand of righteousness”.
Everyone who believes in Christ will be healed, either here or here and there. We will all receive perfect bodies, no longer susceptible to sickness or disease, or malfunctions of any kind. One day Winnie is going to rise and they’ll find a metal hip joint on the ground with no body attached. Cherie’s knees will be left behind, and they’ll find a prosthetic laying around with no Scott anywhere to be found. Paul says “and we shall be changed”…. That’s another way of saying “This too shall pass’….
There’ll be no more memory problems, weight problems, or dysfunctional issues of any kind. We shall be like Him….
No matter what problem, troubles, trials, tests, storms, turmoil, plague, pestilence, or limitations we have encountered… “This too shall pass.” In the midst of all that is not yet, is the inspiration and the hope of what will surely be…. And it becomes the due north needle on the compass of our journey.
It’s the slaves in the bowels of a slave ship singing and African chant… (Hum it) and God used it to touch John Newton’s heart and he quit the slave trade when he wrote the words to that mournful chant. And the pain of those slaves came through as….
“Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like Me, I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see”…. Through many trials, toils and snares, I have already come. Twas grace that brought me here thus far, and grace will lead me home. When we’ve been there ten thousand years. Bright shining as the sun, we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise, than when we’ve first begun….
I have bad news and good news for you….The bad news, you are dying! It’s no joke, biologist tell us that every day, to some extent, each of us are dying...The cells and atoms in our bodies are dying. In fact, every atom and every cell that is now in our bodies will die off within the next seven years. In essence, we are experiencing a daily dying of our physical being. This too shall pass…..But the good news, you are being restored! Just as the cells and atoms in our bodies are dying, likewise new ones are being created to take their place. It is my understanding, (and I make no claim to being a biologist) this process makes a complete transition every seven years. So that every seven years, you become a completely different person.
Every seven years Winnie gets a completely new and different husband….
But one day that cycle will be terminated and there will be no more death or dying. We will become new and stay new forever….
The finish line in a race is all the way around the track from the starting line…. God will usually require that we finish what we’ve started before we begin something new. While we are still here in this season and time… we have to live by the principle that Inorder to step into a new season of life we have to complete the last one. Often, God won’t give us a new word until we’ve been faithful in the last word. When it comes to this principle, many folks want to keep their cake and eat it to.
God will often take us through one thing, before He puts new things on us. The danger is that we compare what’s happening in our lives with what’s happening in the lives of others, but that only creates discontent, and frustration. Jesus told his disciples when they were comparing themselves with the other disciples…. “What is that to you, your focus should be on following me.”
The weather service has super computers that can do 232 trillion operations a second and it still cannot tell the weather a month into the future. God knows the end from the beginning. With all our comparisons, we cannot grasp why our heavenly father would work a certain way in one person’s life and another way in someone else, even though they may be in the same situation. But they have a different destiny….
In one situation God told David to go up to battle and he would win… In another situation God told David if he went up to battle he would lose. David could have thought that because he won the last time, he would win this time, and he would have been DEAD wrong! David was a warrior king and lead his army into battle, but there came a time when God told him to no longer go to war with his men. His season changed, and now he was to be the ruler and the statesman and not the fighter.
Each season may require a different strategy, so as we enter the new season, we can’t take for granted that it will be like the last time… This too shall pass….
Have you ever struck out? You were sure you could at least get on base…. I need to be careful when I say this, but you can miss your seasons and still fulfill God's purpose for your life. Let me explain it by using a baseball analogy. You can strike out several times and still win the game. Striking out doesn't mean its all over, just that at bat is over. The best hitters in the world are also some of leaders in striking out. Sammy Sosa had more strike outs than anyone else in baseball for 3 years in a row! 1997 - 99. But...In 97 he had 36 home runs, in 98 he had 66, and in 99 he had 63. In the record books of the top ten home run hitters in a season in baseball, he occupies positions 3, 5, 6.
If you miss a season it can have serious repercussions, but you can still have a great final season, if you just don't quit. All of us can admit that we’ve missed what God wanted us to do at one time or another. But praise God, that is what makes grace so amazing, and that is why we sing so much about it and celebrate its power in our lives.
Don't make permanent conclusions about your present seasons. Whether you speak them out loud or just start thinking them….
"I just mess everything up" …."I never get it right"…. "I will never love again, I’ve been hurt too badly"…."I don’t think I will ever find happiness"….. "Things will never get better"… Listen, No one needs all that extra pressure when they’re in a difficult season!
How different would David's story have been if 1 Samuel 30:6 didn’t say, "And David encouraged himself in the Lord”. Listen, we have enough things to discourage us without discouraging ourselves! Stop presiding over your own funeral. Stop digging your own grave!
We are the people of the resurrection…. And “This too shall pass”!!
If the devil hands you the mike to say some final words, stand up there and shout out…
Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
And then finish it off with 2 Timothy 1:12 “for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day”. (When This Too Shall Pass)
Prayer….. Lord, when things get complicated and intense, calm my heart, and bring me to Your place of peace. I know that no matter how things turn out, when You are at the center of my life, I will still be standing when it’s all said and done. Let Your Spirit keep me balanced as my spirit stays open to your truth. Lord, Grant me courage to do what is right, no matter what others around me are doing. Speak Your words into my spirit and let Your will be at the center of my convictions. When I am weary and fear and worry and doubt surround me on every side, let me trust in Your mercy and find rest in You. I know it may not be easy and it may take time, so give me patience and perseverance that I may remain strong and resolute. I place my path, my direction, my goals and my very life in Your wisdom, Your love, and Your grace. In Jesus name, Amen.
Revelation 21: 4-6 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done”…
Stuart Hamblin wrote country and western songs and before he got saved he was well known in that day and time for a song hewrote titled "I won’t go hunting with you Jake but I’ll go chasing women" He also wrote “If You've Got The Money, Honey, I've Got The Time”… “The Twist”… “Young Love”… ”Hello Mary Lou” ..”Oh Lonesome Me”.. “This Ole House”…“Blue Moon Of Kentucky”.. “I Walk The Line”…
Well, Stuart got saved and John Wayne made a bet that Stuart wouldn’t last six months writing gospel songs. Sometime after the six months was up, Stuart saw Wayne who told him "you cost me some money, Stuart-- I made a bet that you wouldn’t last six months". Stuart said "It’s no secret what God can do". John Wayne said, that sounds like a good song title and so Stuart went home that night and wrote the song "It is no secret what God can do." And the rest is history.. He was inducted into the country music hall of fame, He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was known as one of the most prolific gospel song writers of all time. I guess John Wayne really called that one wrong.
You see, Stuart Hamblin, had a new beginning and became a new man….
As the line says in his song “It is no secret what God can do”…..”WHAT HE’S DONE FOR OTHERS, HE’LL DO FOR YOU”…..
When I was a kid, we used to play “soldiers” we would run around with make believe guns, sometimes they were toy guns or sticks, shooting at the other team and play “war”. During the battle we would get shot, fall down, count to 10 and jump up saying “new man coming *……in”. Those were the days, when we jumped up and said “new man coming in”. What a privilege in Christ to jump up and yell, “New man coming in”
When Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden, the relationship between God and man was changed, and God immediately beganmaking arrangements to bring man back to him. To do whatever it took to hit the reset button and restart that relationship. Right then and there, he made them a promise.. Satan will bruise your heel but you will crush his head. A mother and her 7 year old daughter were reading the story of Adam and Eve and how sin came into the world, Jessica and her mother talked about why bad things happen in the world. Later that week, Jessica was sick and had to stay home from school. Feeling quite miserable, she told her Mom, “If only Adam and Eve hadn’t eaten the fruit, I wouldn’t be sick.” And before her mother could answer, Jessica added, “Of course, if they didn’t eat it, we’d all be sitting here naked!”
Every time we see the rainbow we’re being reminded that God is in the business of making all things new again! When the sin of man reached it fullest, and God decided to do a reset, God found Noah, and through the flood he made all things new again,Through Abraham God started a new relationship with man, and all things were reset and made new again. And then after 400 years of silence God spoke again to man, in the form of a little child in a manger in Bethlehem.
He isn’t dependent on what we might think is possible, but He makes the impossible, possible so that all things can be new again.
The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 5:17 made this statement “Any one who is in Christ is a new creation, the old has gone and the new has come.”
We often refer to salvation as the new birth. But what if we called it the “New Beginning”… because it truly is. This new birth brings about a new perspective, a biblical outlook in which we see everything is in God’s hand…even the mysteries of life that we can’t understand.
By His grace, He’s given us a new way of life.
By His love we have a new relationship; we are God’s children and Hisfriends.
By His power we have a new freedom, our trust is in something eternal.
By His Spirit we have a new heart; we are dead to sin and alive in Christ.
By His word we have a new direction, His will, His way, and His time.
By His promises we have a new confidence; All fear is gone.
By His wisdom we have a new purpose, and new meaning.
In Gal. 6:15 Paul also wrote to the church… “The only thing that counts is the new creation.”
Paul is telling us….”Don’t go by how it looks, how you may feel, or even what you have known”….. The only thing that counts is the new creation. One man said, “I was a drunk, spent all my money on booze, neglected my family, and was a terrible husband, but somewhere at the end of my rope, I met God. I gave my life to Jesus, and since then I am no longer a slave to drink, no longer a slave to pornography, I dropped my filthy language, and my family has been restored.” Over and over again, in the midst of our sinfulness God is hitting the reset button and making all things new again.
In Genesis 1:1 God created something out of Nothing, and He is still able to do everything that needs to be done to create a new beginning, out of NOTHING!
It doesn’t matter where you’ve been, or what you’ve been through. It doesn’t matter how you’ve failed, or how you’ve fallen short. God says that your new address is a NEW BEGINNING!
We’re like the man who had an old shotgun which he brought to a gunsmith, hoping to get it fixed up. After looking it over, the gunsmith said, “Well, this would make a very good gun if it had a new stock, and a new lock, and a new barrel.” God’s new beginning is lock, stock and barrel….I have to admit that I have had a couple of cars that could have been good running cars if you jacked up the radiator cap and drove a new car under it…..
You can see this in John 14:3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, (a new beginning) I will come back and welcome you into My presence, so that you also may be where I am (in your new beginning). 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”… you already know the way, to God’s new beginning…. BELIEVE, TRUST, AND OBEY!
Let’s say that a guy was jumping around screaming with joy and you couldn’t help but notice it. He was making such a hoopla you would have thought that he won a million dollars. People stopped what they were doing, you could see the smiles on their faces when they heard the man shout for joy - then, you could see the shock on their faces as the realization came over them that the man making all the commotion, the man who was shouting, and jumping was a man who had never walked a day in his life. Let’s say that this man had sat at the gate called beautiful in the Temple for over 40 years. In over 40 years no one had ever seen him walk, stand or run. They looked once, they looked twice, and yes it is indeed the man who cannot walk - and he is shouting and jumping around. He has met his new beginning….
There’s a scripture you need to hang on your refrigerator…
Acts 3:20 “Times of refreshing shall come from the Lord….” Refreshing here, is renewal, to be revived, to breath again, to be restored, to enter into the blessing……
An elderly couple passed away and found themselves at the pearly gates. An angel was there to welcome them. First he showed them their mansion. The husband, overwhelmed by the sheer luxury of it all, asked, "How much does this place cost per night?" The angel replied, "Sir, this is heaven, it doesn’t cost anything." Then they were taken to the dining room where table upon table was piled high with the most delicious foods you could imagine. Againoverwhelmed by the glory of it all the man asked, "How much for the meals?" The angel said, "You forget, this is heaven, it’s free." Then they were taken to the most fantastically beautiful golf course they had ever seen. As the man stood there open-mouthed the angel said, "Now before you ask, there are no greens fees, this is heaven, everything is free." The man looked at his wife and said, Why did you take such good care of me, I could have been here 10 years ago!"
How about believing with me, that we can have some heaven to go to heaven in!!! I believe that’s what the Father has in store….
When I see our Father God, in the book of Revelation, declaring, “See, I’m making all things new.”….. I thrill at the fact that the one who says that in the future, is the same one who speaks to us here and now. He’s the same….. there is no shadow of changing with Him…. We fully believe that what He can do then, He can do now! He tells us…. “I Am the Alpha and the Omega, I Am the beginning and the end”.
In his book Dare to Believe, Dan Baumann illustrates the unique experience of knowing that something is ours, yet having a future longing to enjoy it more fully. He explained that at Christmas time he would always do a lot of snooping, trying to figure out what was in the gifts underneath the tree.
One year he discovered a package with his name on it that was easy to identify. There was no way to disguise the golf clubs inside. Baumann then made this observation: "When Mom wasn’t around, I would go and feel the package, shake it, and pretend that I was on the golf course using those clubs on the fairway and the green. He says….I was already enjoying the pleasures of a future event; namely, the unveiling, and then the enjoyment of those clubs. It had my name on it. I knew what it was." But only "Christmas would reveal it in its fullness." Friends, It may look like hell right now, but Christmas is coming!!!
There are many areas of our lives where our Lord, has gift wrapped new beginnings for us, but they are waiting to be unwrapped and enjoyed. They already have our name on them, they are already ours, we just need to unwrap them and step into them….
Jesus unwrapped new beginnings for the blind, the lame, the leper, the demon possessed, the deaf and oh yes, the dead….!!!
What if we lived knowing our new beginning was just around the corner, like we knew it was already ours, Our name is right there on it…. Can you see what it feels like, what it looks like, and how it will change your entire life!
Whenever and wherever Jesus shows up, New beginnings show up with Him…. Isaiah 43:19 “ Behold I will do something new! Now will it spring forth, will you not be aware of it”?
This indicates that we can have a new thing and not be aware of it. So I thought about that…. What would keep us from being aware of the very thing we dreamed of and prayed for when it comes. Or what would keep us from receiving it when it is already ours?
Have you felt there was more, but you don’t know exactly how to get there? You knew that you were capable of more than you’re seeing right now, but it would be too uncomfortable to take the steps necessary to take that journey… Or perhaps, you have no trouble seeing others doing the very things you secretly desire, but you can’t see yourself doing it…
Believe me, I never could have seen myself doing what I’m doing today. I was a popcorn speaker. Pop up, open up, and sit down! I was terrified to speak in front of anybody. I thought I had nothing to say that everyone had not already heard. My first sermon in church was on a Wednesday night, when the pastor was away, and he asked me to do the sermon. I got up, a nervous wreck, spoke for 5 minutes and the pastor’s wife stepped up and bailed me out! At that moment, I was thoroughly convinced that I would never be a preacher. But then, I received the infilling of the Holy Spirit, and you couldn’t shut up the Holy Spirit in me.. *……In other words, the Holy Spirit is saying “Go for it”!!!!
I love Ecclesiastes 9:10 “Whatever opens up, grab it, and do it. And do it heartily unto the Lord!”
Galations 6:9 “Let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due time we will reap the reward if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to the family of faith”.…
This is the process which allows us to discover our strengths and weaknesses and turn our weaknesses into our strengths. It is the program God has given us to find and use our gifts to build up and encourage the body of Christ. In the process, we begin to step over into the New beginnings which God has put our name on….
The way you finish your current season will determine how you begin the next one. So finish well….
Remember the words of the prophet Zechariah 4:10, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin” I don’t know what doors you are waiting on God to open in your life, but I want to encourage you—press into the doors God has offered to you right now and watch Him go to work on your behalf. You may not feel like your current role is one of significance, but I can assure you—anything God has given you to do is significant. It is your new beginning, and it’s custom made for you…
Missionary Jim Elliot so famously said, “Wherever you are, be there with everything you’ve got”.
When Isaiah spoke to the Jewish nation and said “ Behold I will do something new! Now will it spring forth, will you not know it”? This verb “know” in the Hebrew language is “YADDA”, IT IS far more than cerebral awareness and consent. It has to do with the total giving of yourself, as in the husband-wife relationship within marriage. Adam knew Eve and she bore a son… Abraham knew Sarah and she bore him children. This is a knowing, which gives birth to the new thing of God! Often when a couple are expecting a child, the husband will say “we are pregnant” …That’s about the level of commitment by both of them… God says I will make a new beginning, and we say… We are making a new beginning…YADDA! I KNOW IT!!
Sometimes we miss God’s new thing because we don’t feel that we deserve a new beginning. We just settle for whatever we’ve got. When you feel like that and think like that, you have to know that God doesn’t agree with you. God sees you through the eyes of Grace and mercy. And when God sees you, this is what He says… Deuteronomy 28: 8 “The Lord shall command the blessing upon you in your storehouses, and in all that you set your hand unto, and He shall bless you in the land which the Lord your God gives you. 11 And the Lord shall make you plenteous in goods…..12 The Lord shall open unto you His good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto your land in His season, and to bless all the work of your hand: and you shall lend and not borrow. 13 And the Lord shall make you the head, and not the tail; and you shall be above only, and you shall not be beneath; if you hearken unto the word of the Lord your God, which I command you this day, to observe and to do them…”
When you do what only you can do, God will do what only He can do. God is a promoter of the faithful, not the discontent or impatient. In other words, if you want God to promote you into the next season, of your new beginning, get busy investing yourself right where you are, (whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might).
We could certainly say of Paul, that he did what he did with all his might. He was killing Christians wherever he found them with all his might. God knew that here was a man that was totally committed to what he was doing… Listen to his words… "Forgetting what lies behind, I press on towards the goal for the prize of the Heavenly calling of God in Christ Jesus." Through the Spirit, God has transformed Paul, and being open to that Spirit, he finds himself ready to act in new ways to relate to God in a totally new beginning.
I challenge us all to watch for those new ways God is presenting to us, to get on board and follow them to the new thing God has for us.
When Paul says “forgetting what lies behind”…. He’s telling us not to limit Him to what He’s done before, or what we may have experienced before.
When the children of Israel were up against the Red Sea, and the Egyptian army was bearing down on them… Moses had to quite them down and hear God for that time of transition… Egypt, coming down on them with Chariots and horses and foot soldiers, represented the former things. The other side of the Red Sea represented the New Thing. How easy it was for them to let the former things, hijack the new thing. The deciding factor was which one would they believe was the most real to them….Your new thing has to be more real that the former things…..
Perhaps you are hearing this right now and facing a situation so overwhelming that unless God does something that transcends human imagination, you don’t know of any way that it can ever work out. But think of this…Maybe what the Lord’s getting ready to change IS YOU rather than the circumstance, and then, He can change the situation!
Perhaps God wants our focus to be on the creator of New Beginnings more than the new beginning itself! Winnie was after me to tell her the surprise I had for her on her Birthday. But I refused to tell her, because I wanted it to be a beautiful surprise. Even though she pressed me, I refused to give in…
God is like that…. He wants us to know that it’s coming, because we trust Him, and we trust His word, and we trust His character.
His perspective is so much more far reaching, because He sees the new thing, and then all that the new thing is connected to, with all it’s ramifications for our lives and the lives of others. If He were to tell us, we would limit it to our small, Key hole view, and miss everything that it really is, in it’s far reaching implications. He sees the seeds in the apples on the trees in the seeds in the apples on the tree…. and that has already taken you into thousands of degrees of connection!!
He saw that I would skip my senior year of high school, and go to college, where I would meet my partner for life, and end up in New England where she lived, and become the pastor of our first church there. And by meeting her, have 3 children, who would follow us in the ministry, and meet her nephew, who would come to Key West and be a vital part of the ministry here, and by coming, he would meet his wife, who would also be his partner in the ministry, and on, and on, and on…
I’m glad I told some folks about God’s new beginning. The lady that T-boned me in a blizzard in Connecticut and as I pried my damaged door open and walked over to her driver’s door window. The Holy Spirit whispered to me that God had arranged this meeting. That’s what I told her, “God allowed us to connect”. Well, that shocked her, but it opened a door to introduce her to Christ. She received her “New beginning”, went to bible college and became a missionary.
New beginnings have far reaching implications beyond which our minds cannot begin to fathom, as we step over into them in simple obedience.
What the Lord wants us to understand when He says He’s going to do a new thing and “Now shall it spring forth” …. It is already in process. You can’t see it yet, but it’s already set in motion; just like after a long, cold winter, up North, there’s a change going on inside the Earth, where it can’t be seen underground, preparing to bring the approach of spring. In the midst of what has perhaps been the cold, bitter winter of your soul—or the drought of a long dry spell—the Lord says He has set in motion that which will bring about deliverance and bring a time of growth, development, refreshing, and fruitfulness. When you’re upset, weak, lonely, worried, anxious, depressed, in danger, need courage, struggling with loss, struggling with finances, struggling with work, in danger, or you have sinned or missed God…. He has a “NEW BEGINNING” FOR YOU!
When God’s “new thing” sprouts in you, it may look like winter, but you will catch the fragrance and beauty of the springtime of His purpose before you ever see it. Hear Him as …God would say to you… “Hear my words as I declare the kinds of things I can do and My inexhaustible resource of wisdom and power. Don’t confine Me to what I’ve already done or try to anticipate what I will do next. And though you may be captive, exiled, or guilty, My “new thing” is still there for you. I am your complete Deliverer, making a way for you where there is no way. I am renewing my covenant with you.. I have not forgotten my promise to you and My word will not return unto me without all being fulfilled. It shall be line upon line and precept upon precept. I have waited so that I could be generous and abundant unto you. You are coming into my fulness and my completeness. You shall put on my fulness like a garment and you shall not take it off. I come in My wholeness and completeness to make you whole and complete. My “new thing” will prepare you for whatever is to come, and out of it, you will find new themes and new mountain peaks, in your praise unto Me as you view horizons which you have never dreamed that you would see. Trust and obey”….
was told to me, that Moses was walking down the street when he bumped into George W. Bush when he was president. “Hello,” Bush said. “Nice weather we’re having, huh?” Moses took one look at the President, turned, and ran as fast as he could in the other direction. A short time later Moses was walking down the same street and there was George Bush again. Once again Bush tried to initiate a conversation. And againMoses turned and ran the other way. Bush was tired of this bizarre treatment, so the next time Moses ran away from him, Bush chased him down, and demanded to know why Moses was avoiding him. Moses who was out of breath, told him, “The last time I talked to a bush I spent 40 years in the desert.”
We have come through one of the most turbulent election cycles in our lifetime. Relationships have been sacrificed on the altar of politics. violence and revolution has become the new paradigm..... Justice has becomes the casualty, and truth has become trampled in the streets... Before the election, there were people we liked a lot and some we didn’t like that much. After the election, we still like the people we liked and don’t like the people we didn’t like that much. The big difference now is that we are all grouped into “winners” or “losers”…. Many folks have been afraid to voice their political opinions because it will put them as a target for somebody, regardless of where they stand. I have heard so many remark at how things have shifted so quickly, and how things are easily accepted, which would never have been accepted or even permitted just a short time ago….
But life will try to put us in categories, and label us. So often we grow up in either the group of winners, or the group looked at as losers….
In the body of Christ, that should not be the case…. In Luke 15:3–7 Jesus told His followers a parable…."Which of you, if you had one hundred sheep, and lost one of them, wouldn't leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one that was lost, until he found it? When he has found it, he carries it on his shoulders, rejoicing. When he comes home, he calls together his friends, his family and his neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!' I tell you that even so there will be more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance."
My message today, is titled “God Always Wins”….. Wars may rage, plagues and pestilences, famine and political ideologies may seem to be ruling the day, but God will always have the last word. Even if He has to chase us down….
Romans 8:28 still says….”And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose”.
God always wins. But not every person will win with Him – only those who put their trust completely in Him thru thick and thin – who refuse to be beaten by circumstances but instead see God’s creative hand shaping His purposes in the thick of it all.
Paul, was in prison but refused to be a prisoner of the situation, or let it be the measure of his effectiveness or his life’s calling.
We may wonder how Paul could keep his faith up and sing praises in such terrible circumstances. How could He stay happy while things looked so bleak? I’ll tell you how. Read It in Ephesians 3:1: “For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles.” You can miss it if you don’t read it correctly …. Paul doesn’t say, “in prison for Christ Jesus.” He says, “a prisoner of Christ Jesus.” Small word – big difference. Everyone else looked at Paul said, “Oh, man, tough luck to be a prisoner of Rome.” Paul looked at it all and said, “What a privilege – I’m a prisoner of Jesus Christ.” Paul knew what most of us never get. It’s not about us; it’s about Him. It changes your whole life when you see that every circumstance in your life is at His direction and for your good – even the ones that look like prison at the time. He’s in charge, and He can be just as exalted by our adversity as by the good times, and that’s all that matters. So, if you put your name in there, it changes everything….
(your name) ____________, a prisoner of Christ, here for God’s glory!!! GOD ALWAYS WINS! He cannot lose… after all it isn’t just history, it’s His Story! He is the central figure, after nations, kings, presidents, and all the kingdoms of this world have come and gone….HE REMAINS!
Graeme Keith was treasurer of the Billy Graham Association for many years. He told of riding an elevator with Graham once when a man got on and recognized the evangelist. He said, “You’re Billy Graham, aren’t you?” Graham answered, “Yes, I am guilty of that.” The man said, “Well, you are a truly great man, I am so honored to meet you.” Graham answered, “No, I’m not a great man. I just have a great message from God, and I’m delivering it the best I can.”
The Apostle Paul knew that, and it allowed him to live a humble but joyous existence – not boasting in Himself, but boasting in the service of His Lord and Savior, regardless of how God brought it about.
I Corinthians 15:57 “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
God never loses. It’s a hard truth to grasp; it doesn’t always look that way. It sure didn’t for Paul. He had long hoped to arrive in Rome as a preacher; instead he arrived as a prisoner.
Where others saw defeat, Paul saw, and experienced victory even in his chains. Paul saw God using his adversity to forward the gospel, turning his test into triumph, a hard place into a high place, a rocky path into a red carpet, and lock-up into a set-up for God’s glory!!!! Orrin Woodward….. “
A person either hates losing enough to change or he hates changing enough to lose.”
If there had been no prison, there would have been no letter. To the Philippian church. The Philippian believers were greatly edified as they saw the attitude which Paul exemplified. And, that letter became part of the inspired Biblical collection, so that not just the Philippians were edified, but Christians over two millennia! Paul also wrote to the Colossians, the Ephesians and Philemon from that prison situation. Had he not been “put on the shelf” those letters may never have been written. And had he wallowed in his own seemingly God-forsaken circumstances, none of this would have happened.
Paul reminds me of John Bunyan whose preaching was so biblical and powerful that it was rejected by the compromised 17th century Church of England. They jailed him in order to silence him. So, he *……preached in the jail courtyard. Soon not only were large numbers of prisoners coming to hear him preach, but hundreds of citizens of Bedford and the surrounding area came daily and stood outside the prison to hear him explain Scripture. So, they revoked his outside privileges, *…..placed him in a solitary cell and thought they had silenced his voice.
But Bunyan spoke loudest of all through what he wrote in that cell – We know it as “Pilgrim’s Progress” – perhaps one of the greatest Christian classic, that has ministered to millions of people – the most widely read and translated book of all time outside the Bible itself. GOD ALWAYS WINS!
Israel arrived at Canaan 40 years after they were delivered and walked out of Egypt. Has there ever been a people who saw God’s hand at work in their behalf more than they did…. Going before them, keeping their bodies even in old age, bringing water from a rock, raining down manna when they had no food, defeating their enemies, showing them the way through the wilderness….and all that with his visible glory!! When they finally got to the place of entering into Canaan, Moses sent 12 spies into the land to check things out, but they brought back a mixed report.
Their view of God, determined their view of their situation. Joshua and Caleb said, “Man, it’s a great place God has brought us to– full of fertile soil, flowing with milk and honey.We have never seen such an abundance.” But the other 10 said, “Man, it a tragedy waiting to happen. They’ve got giants there that make us look like grasshoppers. They said, the tragedy is that God ever brought us out of Egypt to this terrible place. Everything here wants to kill us. We will all die if we go in there.”
They Judged God by the standards of Man and it lowered their expectations. They forgot that God Always Wins!!!
When Hudson Taylor went to China as a missionary, he adopted Chinese dress, including the pony tail. One day as he waited for a boatman to ferry him across a river, a wealthy Chinese man came up, insisted he have the boat and pushed Taylor into the mud, unaware he was a foreigner. Taylor was angry but did not strike back. But as he got up, the Chinaman recognized he was a foreigner. He said, “What! You a foreigner and you did not strike me back when I struck you?” Taylor replied, “The boat is mine. But come; I will take you wherever you want to go.” On the way, he was able to share Christ. The gospel advances when we place gospel values and principles over personal rights and feelings –it’s becoming harder and harder in our entitlement generation– but it is the attitude that puts us on God’s winning side. James 1:2 “ Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, knowing that it’s intended for good purposes in your life”. Martin Luther said, “Live as if Christ died yesterday, rose this morning and is coming back tomorrow.” In other words, live like it’s about Him, not you”.
An airline passenger, was weary from a long week, frustrated with the crowded conditions, and beset by crying babies around him, and finally asked the flight attendant, “Is there any way I can get bumped up to first class?” She replied, “Not unless we hit some turbulence.”
My dear friends, I promise you that whatever turbulence comes into your life, God intends it to bump you up to a better place. So let’s do as James suggests and as Paul exemplifies:
We might as well go ahead and get it settled…. GOD WILL HAVE THE LAST WORD… HE WILL HAVE THE FINAL SAY!!!
As they took Jesus’ lifeless body down from the cross and laid it in a borrowed tomb, Satan was boasting to all the demon hoards“This time I win.” And for that dark Friday and dismal Saturday it appeared he had.
What Satan intended as the ultimate evil, the most hopeless of hopeless situations…..God used for the ultimate good. The tomb that man had shut up and the powers that be, had sealed as final and done…. God rolled the stone away and Jesus walked out on Sunday morning. Hey, hey, Friday may be here, BUT SUNDAY IS COMING, Resurrection is promised, redemption drawethnigh, restoration is His guarantee!!!
PSALMS 118:17 "I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD." Come on…. Make it personal… “I SHALL NOT DIE BUT LIVE AND DECLARE THE WORKS OF THE LORD”!
There is no scene so dark that God cannot brighten it.
There is no label so permanent that God cannot change it.
There is no heart so hard that God cannot soften it.
Proverbs 21:1 “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turns it however he wills to”.
That person can be a boss, a spouse, a child, a co-worker, a classmate, a politician or judge, a parent or even a king.
It’s not over till it’s over and it’s not done until it’s done! It doesn’t matter how hard the enemy fights or how bad it gets, our God can change things. No matter how the enemy punches, God has a counter punch.
Our unwillingness to get along, and to forgive and cooperate with God’s program, is not going to stop God from completing His plan. There is no power, there is no authority, there is nothing in all the earth that can stop God from accomplishing what he has set out to do. Period.
Someone said, “Self-control is to a person what brakes are to a car: without it, a crash is inevitable.” Joseph showed self-control when he could have retaliated against his brothers. As second in command he had the power to crush them for what they had done to him, but he didn’t. Instead he blessed them…. As believers we march to a different drummer. The high road in the Christian life is not revenge or retaliation but forgiveness. Remember the Lord is our defender and HE ALWAYS WINS!
There are some battles where God has to do most of the fighting and our part is standing strong in our faith, keeping our confession right, and stay open to His quite inner voice…..
Philippians 3:13-14 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”.
Too often we remember the tragedies of life rather than the celebrations of life. We identify more with the hurts and injustices done to us than the promises God gives us in each of those situations. So, rather than focusing on our hurts, failures, hardships, disappointments, and regrets, let’s build some monuments that remind us of how God took care of us and how God used those times to make us what we are today. To give us concern and compassion for others, because we believe and are fully persuaded that as Philippians 4:19 declares “My God will supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. v20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen”.…
The Jewish people still celebrate the victory God used Esther and Mordecai to bring, in one of the dark days in their national history. They celebrate how God took care of them and every generation is reminded of the goodness and faithfulness of God.It’s called the Feast of Purim and they read the book of Esther and whenever the name Haman is mentioned they boo and hiss and beat on wood but every time the name Mordecai or Esther is mentioned they shout and cheer.
They are remembering that GOD ALWAYS WINS!
WHEN GOD WINS, THE PEOPLE HE USES ARE OFTENUNEXPECTED
A shepherd boy, David, becomes the King of Israel
Fishermen who Jesus chose, become world changing apostles
A baby adrift in a basket, named Moses, becomes a national deliverer
He took Joseph from a prison, to the second to Pharaoh
Paul, the persecutor of Christians, became the apostle to the gentiles
A rugged wilderness man named John, prepares the way of the Lord
And a baby lying in a manger in a cow barn becomes the King of Kings!
If we said we have never felt that God could use us, or that others could do a better job….. we’d be lying…. We’ve all felt that way at times….no one is an exception….. Speaking of struggling with the truth….
A Minister was walking down the street when he came across a group of kids, who had surrounded a dog, and concerned thatthe kids were hurting the dog, he went over and asked "What are you doing with that dog?" One of them said, "This dog is just an old neighborhood stray. We all want him, but only one of us can take him home. So we've decided that whoever can tell the biggest lie will get to keep the dog."
Of course, the minister launched into a lesson about lying .."You kids shouldn't be having a contest telling lies! Don't you know it's a sin to lie," and then he ended with, "Why, when I was your age, I never told a lie." There was dead silence for about a minute. Just as the reverend was beginning to think he'd gotten through to them, the smallest child gave a deep sigh and said, "All right, preacher, you get to keep the dog."
I Corinthians 1:25 “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. v26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. v27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to amaze the strong. v28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, v29 so that no one may boast before him”.
I think what Joseph said to his brothers as they stood before him in Egypt, where they had come to purchase grain, after their betrayal, after being sold as a slave, and after years of prison… They didn’t recognize him because he looked like an Egyptian, and held the position of second only to the pharaoh, who was the most powerful person in all the region. And as they knelt before him, he fought back the tears, as he spoke those powerful words that said it all.
“You meant evil against me, but God intended it for good.”Genesis 50:20
One of my favorite John Piper quotes is “God is always doing 10,000 things, and we might be aware of three of them.”
If life shows us anything, it shows us that….
God is at work when evil seems to be winning…
God is at work when our plans have become frustrated
And God is at work all the time, any time.
Because God always wins, we can submit and surrender and let Him lead and direct our lives. He will use us, no matter who we are or where we’ve been or what we’ve done!
Maybe Satan has been using you for a punching bag, and putting the label of “loser” on you…. “You should have done better with the family thing”…. “You should have done better with the job, or your Christian walk”…. Or whatever he has tried to get you with the loser sucker punch.
Your God Never Loses…. Give it all back to Him… while you’re struggling with your 3 things, He’s already working on 10,000 ways to turn around those very situations.
Even as believers face death and the grave, they can go forth shouting, “Ain’t no grave can hold this body down”….. God Always Wins!!!!
Give it totally to him, today and trust Him when you don’t understand….
Our Prayer…….Lord Jesus, I know that I need to walk in forgiveness, because you’ve forgiven me, the moment I ask. But I realize that the reason I struggle with a lot of things is because I haven’t forgiven myself and others that I need to. I believe You died and rose from the dead, so that I could walk in victory in every area of my life. Lord I praise you for the wonderful future that you have prepared and I will not lose heart when faced with the pressures, anxieties, and troubles that come in this fallen world.
Thank You, Holy Spirit for preparing us for kingdom living, which breaks off the labels and shackles of the present circumstances. Continue to transform us into faithful servants who live to hear you say “Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your master.” May we walk by faith and not by feelings, opinions, or the situations of the moment. Lord, You know our hearts better than we do.. You do not see us according to our flesh, but through your transforming work of redemption. Renew our minds and give us confidence with the truth found in Your written and revealed words.
Guard our hearts from a critical spirit, and help us to not lose our direction when we feel the pressures that would lead us into doubt. May we always remember the cost of our freedom and the sacrifice You willingly made. Help us to live our lives for Yoursake at our workplace, with our friends and families, and wherever else we may go this week. We bow our hearts before you as we lift our voice in praise, In Jesus’ name….
Once again as you have done many times before….. Let it go, because God always wins! You can trust Him with it…..See it leaving your hands and going into His hands… See it coming off of your shoulders and landing on His shoulders….. You don’t have to carry it any more!!!
This little guy whose picture is on the screen, has discovered his feet and he is infatuated with them. My hope is that we will all rediscover our feet so we can watch our step, before we leave here today…
I want to open by sharing about a young couple, who were madly in love, and decided to get married. But as the wedding day neared, both grew nervous over secret problems they had never shared with anyone. Privately, the groom-to-be approached his minister. “I’m really concerned about this marriage,” the young man said.
“Don’t you love her?” the pastor asked in surprise.
“Of course,” the groom said. “But I have unbelievably smelly feet—and I’m afraid my fiancée won’t be able to stand them.”
“Oh, is that all?” the pastor replied. “Look, all you need to do is wash your feet twice a day and wear socks all the time.”
Meanwhile, the nervous bride had privately approached the minister’s wife. “I’m so worried,” she sobbed. “I have really bad breath when I wake up each day!” “Oh, that’s nothing,” the pastor’s wife replied,” everyone has bad breath in the morning. Don’t worry about it.”
“No, you don’t understand,” the bride implored. “My morning breath is so awful, my fiancé won’t even want to be near me!”
“Well, I have an idea,” the pastor’s wife said . “Set your alarm just a few minutes before your husband wakes up. Run to the bathroom, brush your teeth, and gargle with mouthwash before he gets out of bed. The key is not to say anything until you’ve taken care of your breath.”
In time, a beautiful wedding was held and the bride and groom enjoyed the day without once worrying about their secret problems. For several months they managed to keep their issues to themselves.
Until one morning, the husband awoke before dawn to find that one of his socks had come off in the night. Frantic, he searched the bed, afraid of what might happen if he didn’t find his sock soon. His bride woke with a start, and, without thinking, blurted out, “What in the world are you doing?” “Oh, no!” the young man wailed. “You swallowed my sock!”
Where the feet go, the entire body goes with it. Without good balance, there is no stability. What affects the feet, affects the whole body and can limit what you can and cannot do.
I recently read that one of the top things that puts soldiers out of commission is foot problems. If you can’t walk, you can’t fight, you can’t fulfill your normal duties, and you are greatly hindered in doing a lot of things…
Here’s some foot facts for you….75% of all Americans will experience foot problems at some time in their lives….If you think you need a new pair of shoes, the oldest preserved shoe, incidentally, is 5500 years old…. The average adults takes 4,000 to 6,000 steps a day…25% or sixty million Americans in the United States have flat feet…. there are 250,000 sweat glands in your feet…. it wasn’t until the 19 hundreds, that women’s shoes were different from men’s…. Plantar fasciitis affects about 10% of the US population….. 25% of all the bones in the human body are in your feet. When these bones are out of alignment, your entire body is out of whack.
I have a Kodak moment of a time when Winnie and I both were affected by plantar fasciitis and had great difficulty walking. It was very painful and uncomfortable. We had to do special exercises to get our feet back in working order. Instead of our feet being just an appendage, it was like our entire life had become all about what our feet had limited us to do….
Lana Wilder is quoted as saying “The dream is only out of reach when you choose to keep your feet flat on the floor and refuse to take the leap.”
Our feet are about the way we walk, how we walk and where we walk.
God told Moses in Deuteronomy 11:24 “Every place where the sole of your foot shall tread I have given it unto you”. At that moment God instituted a program of foot care for Moses, that would influence an entire nation of people, and change all of history!
It is concluded by most, that Moses was second in line for the throne of Egypt. He was groomed and shaped to walk that path, even though he was Hebrew by birth. His training was designed by God, in Egypt’s palaces, with access to the best education available, to prepare him to lead his people out of Egypt to the promised land. The oppressor was being prepared to be the liberator… The mystery of righteousness was at work in the midst of the mystery of iniquity! Believe me, the natural mind can’t figure this kind of thing out…. It’s a God thing, and it is marvelous!!
But Egypt was instilled and implanted within him. When he was forty, Moses saw there were two different pathways he could walk out through his life. One path, the Egyptian path, involved being known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter, involved the pleasures of sin, and involved in being caught up with the treasures of Egypt.
Moses realized something: that if he stayed in Egypt, he would probably follow this path of sin and worldly pleasure. He knew that for the good of his soul he needed to follow the other path. This other path, the Hebrew path, involved refusal of his adoption as an Egyptian, it would involve mistreatment, disgrace and walking away from whatever his heart desired in material goods.
So by faith, Moses chose to be identified with the people of God. By faith, Moses chose to be mistreated along with the people of God.
Deep within, he knew that faith demanded a response to God's Word, and God's revelation. Moses knew from revelation that Israel was God's covenant people, the chosen people, the people of the promise, the people belonging to God. His feet were taking him, where his brain was struggling to understand. So, Moses identified himself with these people.
That's what the path of Moses’ feet was declaring louder than any words could say. The world says, I won’t believe you when you talk the walk, I’ll believe you when you walk the talk!!
I quote Kate McGahan “We set our own limits. Some of us do like the Chinese women who bind their feet. The binding is painful at first but eventually you get used to it and the pain is not as bad. The saddest part of all is that by binding your feet with the choices you have made, you forget that there was ever another way to live.”
God wants to amaze you with what He can do as you let him guide your feet…. And take the binding off….
I heard about a quick thinking country boy, who applied for a salesman's job at a huge city department store, you could get anything there. The boss asked him, "Have you ever been a salesman before?"
"Yes, I was a salesman in the country" said the country boy.
The boss liked the looks of him and said, "You can start tomorrow and I'll come and see you when we close. You’ll get paid hourly + commission"
The day was long and boring for the young man, who was used to staying very busy on the farm, but with little pay. So, finally 9 o'clock came around. Sure enough, the boss showed up and asked, "How many sales did you make today?" "I only managed to make One" said the young man.
"Only one" (the boss was shocked), "Most of my staff make 20 or 30 sales a day. How much was the one sale worth?"
"Three hundred thousand, three hundred and thirty four dollars," said the young man. "How in the world did you manage that?" asked the completely amazed boss.
"Well" said the young man "this man came in and I sold him a small fish hook, then a medium hook and finally a really large hook. Then I sold him a small fishing line, a medium one and a heavy duty one. I asked him where he was going fishing and he said down the coast. I said he would probably need a boat, so I took him down to the boat department and sold him that twenty eight foot schooner with the twin engines. Then he said his Volkswagen probably wouldn't be able to pull it, so I took him to the car department and sold him that new Deluxe dual cab Cruiser."
The boss took two steps back and asked in astonishment, "You sold all that to a guy who came in for a fish hook?"
"Well, No" answered the country boy "He came in to buy a box of Tylenol forhis wife and I said to him, You're weekend's already shot, you may as well go fishing."
God can make your way prosperous and give you good success….“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delightsin his way. Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, for the LORD shall lift him up”. He said that He would make us the head, not the tail, above not beneath…..
Craig Lounsbrough has good advice for anyone…“I can get on my knees and pray all day, but until my heart and my ego are down on their knees, nothing will be different once I’m back on my feet.” We’ve got to give the Lord something to work with!….
To Moses successor, Joshua, God spoke once again about the feetto a new generation…. Joshua 1:2 “Now therefore arise, you and all your people, and cross over the Jordan into the land that I am giving to you. v3 I have given you every place where the sole of your foot will tread, just as I promised”
Sorrow may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning!
A little further on in Deuteronomy 11 after this great promise that God would give them every place their foot would tread…. He tells them in verse 26… Deuteronomy 11:26 "Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse." This word came as the camp was pitched between the two mountains, Mt. Gerizim and Mt. Ebal… Gerizim means blessing, and Ebal means the curse…. They had to decide to direct their feet close to the blessing or walk next to the curse.
If you were to ask most people, “Do you want to be blessed or cursed”? Most folks would say they want blessing! But the bible says in the last days they would call good, evil, and evil good. Sowhen things get all twisted and perverted, often folks become oriented that whatever they desire to do in their own walk, will be good enough. I hear folks say, “I’m going to hell, and I’ll have plenty of company, and we’re all going to have a hell of a party”
Moses had to have a revelation from God to break with Egypt and the lifestyle he had been groomed for…. You see when God told Moses to take his shoes off, Moses was taking off his preconceived ideas that had hindered and disqualified him for the walk that he must walk. He took off prejudice, compromise, the world’s rose colored glasses, wrong priorities, and that being good is good enough. He put on God’s favor, compassion, heaven’s values, and God’s will for his life. When God shows up, leave your shoes and your worries at the door…
God is letting us know that it is not about our ability, but our availability! When He calls, He qualifies and equips…
Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light unto my path” .. David is saying that our walk needs some foot care from the one who created our feet and the path they are to walk in, if we are to keep from stumbling and falling, and not lose our way to the mountain of blessing, take your shoes off.
How many have mistaken Mount Ebal for Mount Gerizem… and we now have a lot of very busy Psychiatrist, rehab centers, broken homes and families, heart issues, addicts, and a rising crime rate…
The little children’s song…”Oh be careful little feet where you go, oh, be careful little feet where you go, for the father up above is looking down in love. Oh, be careful little feet where you go.”
Mahatma gandhi said “I will not let anyone walk around in my mind with their dirty feet.”
Don’t let other people’s dirty feet, cause you to be compromised in the path God has called you to walk in… Don’t let the compromised living of those around you, influence your commitment to get to the promised land of your personal Divine destiny. Don’t let the pull of the world’s shallow fun and compensation for the pain in their lives, fool you in coming short of God’s glory in your life.
Hebrews 11:1: begins with the words …“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for”
We must be like Moses, who saw the end of the journey from the beginning and lived, spoke, and acted as though it was as good as done. Listen to his words as he speaks in the past tense of fullfillment, even though they had not actually walked in it yet and were far from Canaan…
Deuteronomy 26:1 “And it shall be, when you come (with his words, the past overtakes the future and delares it so) When you come into the land which the Lord your God has given you as an inheritance, and you possess it and dwell in it, (he’s laying it out before they ever lay eyes on it) v2 that you shall take the tithe of all the produce of the ground,
which you shall bring from your land that the Lord your God is giving you, and put it in a basket and go to the place where the Lord your God chooses to make His name abide. v3 And you shall go to the one who is priest in those days, and say to him, ‘I declare today to the Lord your God that I have cometo the country which the Lord swore to our fathers to give us.”
Moses is saying, “If God says it, it’s a done deal, you can walk it out, you can put your foot on it”….
The Hebrew children had come into possession by an ancient deed which secured it for them from generation to generation. God held the title deed to what He had promised, so that no one could snatch it from them, or trick them out of it. And He is holding the deed to your promise. Your healing, your abundance, your marriage, your future and your hope. And the devil and all the demons of hell cannot snatch it out of His hands…. Hallelujah!
It’s already given, and He will not repent of what He has given. God is not a man that He should lie. That means what He has given is available to those who will see it as done, and receive it by a covenant God to His covenant people. Claim your covenant deed…. With man it is impossible but with God all things are possible, to those who believe…..
We must surrender our plans to His plans, our way to His way, our thoughts to his thoughts, He knows the way that I take and after I have been tested I will come forth as gold.. Keep on walking…..
A woman went to the doctor for her yearly physical. The nurse started with certain basic information. "How much do you weigh?" she asked. "I’m 115 lbs" she says. The nurse puts her on the scale. It turns out her weight is 150. The nurse asks her, "And what is Your height?" "I’m 5 foot 8 inches" she says. The nurse checks and sees that she only measures 5 feet 5 inches. She then takes her blood pressure and tells the woman it is very high. The woman starts crying, and yells “Well Of course it's high, when I came in here I was tall and slender! Now I'm short and fat!" The world will mess with your head if you let them!
We must give up our fantasies and accept God’s word as our reality.
When God met Moses at the burning bush, and told him to take his shoes off, (in that moment, God was preparing, and anointing Moses’ feet to walk out of Egypt, followed by the nation of Hebrew people”….Moses wanted to tell God. “Here am I, send Aaron…. But God knew him better than he knew himself….
God was preparing his feet by fire… His feet were being purged of every trace of Egypt’s influence, and his mind was being cleansed of his stink’n think’n, so that he could fully walk in and stand as the representative of Jehovah as he spoke to Pharaoh and released the plagues of God’s confirmation seal, which brought Egypt to it’sknees….
God is preparing your feet now, to walk in places you have not been, have not seen, and have not even imagined.
I want you to see this scene which John captures for us in….. John 13:4-14 “As Jesus Rose from supper, He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feetand to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you shall not be able to go with me.”
Jesus was anointing their feet, blessing their feet, preparing their feet, for an amazing journey that would lead from an upper room of communion and into their destiny, to bring God’s kingdom into the earth.
As you hear this message today, he’s anointing, blessing and preparing your feet as well, for the places He has already given to you, the places that are already yours, that He has planned for you long before you arrive. You just have to walk them out as though you already have them…..
That’s the meaning of Ephesians 1:22 And He (The Father) has put all things under His (Jesus’) feet and given Him to be head over all things unto the church, (that is a description of delegated authority and power of attorney) which is his body (His physical and spiritual representatives in the earth).
Past completion of the finished work, comes together with present reality through the claims of faith, so that future promise might now be our guaranteed possession! (let me say that again) Can you Say … “I have the answer and I’m waiting for the right questions”
Jesus said to the disciples, Luke 24:39 “See my hands and my feet, that I am He. Handle Me and see, because a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see me having”.
Jesus wanted them to handle His feet, and his hands, His side and head… They were the deed of inheritance he made available to us, written in blood, and the canvas was His body.
His feet were nailed to a cross, so your feet could walk in power and authority. His hands were nailed so that you could lay hands on the sick and they would recover. His side was pierced so that His compassion through us, might pour out to all who needy, His head was pierced so we could receive discernment, wisdom, and knowledge. He did it all so you and I could stand on and claim the promises, and cross over into every covenant guarantee He has given unto us.
Chorus, ‘ I’m Standing, standing, standing on the promises of Christ my savior. Standing, standing, I’m standing on the promises of God”…..
Prayer……Father, thank You for establishing my steps. Thank You for shifting things in my favor. I declare that You are ordering my steps and leading me into the life You have prearranged for me.Lord, today I stand believing that You are working behind the scenes on my behalf. I thank you for giving me Your strength to continue believing until I see every promise fulfilled. As I walk in love and wait on Your marvelous plan to unfold. I declare that You are opening doors for me that no man can shut. Father, thank You for Your protection, Your faithfulness and goodness in every area of my life. I stand strong on Your word as I set my heart and mind on You. It is Your Word of truth which releases me and sets me free as it deposits faith in my heart. I receive Your strength to make it through the challenges I face and I declare that You have equippedme for victory in every area of life. Lord, thank You for completing what You have started in me as I continue walking in Your truth. Lord Jesus, I am confident that you are bringing me into victory as I put my trust in You. I speak life and joy and health into my family, my community and my own life and I believe Your word which goes forth out of my spirit and my mouth, shall not return void, but it shall accomplish all that it is sent forth to do, in Your mighty name, Amen!
RECEIVE AND WALK IN THE TITLE DEED WHICH IS WRITTEN ON THE PARCHMENT OF HIS FLESH….
It’s time to take your shoes , and let Him give you what He desires… He has already declared that it’s yours, long before you ever get there to set your foot upon it…..
Listen friend, God sent someone who was willing to come and take His shoes off for you. Those unshod feet, walked up Calvary’s hill, carrying the cross that should have been mine. Then those beautiful feet were pierced by nails. But those feet marched into hell and took the keys from Satan, and marched out victorious as our kinsman redeemer. All this, so that we might receive the inheritance that Satan had stolen, but the nail scarred feet of Jesus, are our guarantee that it has been redeemed.
Exodus 6:8 “And I will bring you there, concerning all which I did swear to give you, and I will give it you for an heritage, I am the LORD”.