Freedom from Comparisons” Has anyone here been guilty of the sin of comparison? I’ll say that again so everyone can groan a little bit louder.... Has anyone been guilty of the sin of comparison?
One of my greatest obstacles in pursuing the ministry, was the failures and flaws of many of those who had been my mentors. As I watched their failures and their short comings, which contradicted many of the things which they had taught me, it caused me second thoughts. I started comparing my weaknesses to their failures. Let me be honest, it brought me fear, that I would not be able to measure up, or stand the tests, if someone as wise and capable as they were, could not, then how could I?
I was in danger of being so occupied with the failure of others, that I was not listening to what the Lord was telling me! I had to come to the place that whatever others had or had not done, it had nothing to do with my responsibility to follow Jesus for myself...
In our scripture today, Jesus is telling Peter what kind of death he would suffer for the cause of Christ. Peter looks around at John and it says.....
John 21:21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him(John)?” 22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain until I return, what is that to you? You follow Me!”
Or we might say “That’s none of your business, your focus should be on following me.” Jesus was looking for heroes, not busy bodies.
Don’t follow the sheep that follow the shepherd, follow the Shepherd. When the paramount motive of service is that we may get something, we miss what being a servant of the Lord is all about.
It’s easy to get lost, when you don’t have good directions, so Jesus was giving them a map for servants to follow. On some of our trips, before Serie came along, I had Winnie. We would drive through the night many times and she would sleep while I drove, and sometimes I would keep driving when I should have been sleeping. My “Winnie map finder” was asleep, so I would keep driving when I had no idea where I was going and get all of us totally lost. I didn’t intend to get lost, but my reference point was sleeping, so I was predestined to be lost without my “Map reader”.
Most folks don’t intend to get so lost that they can’t find their way back, but they get distracted by a lot of other lost people, and they don’t hear the Lord telling them, “Mind your own business, and just focus on following me. Satan wants us to focus on other things....
While the pastor was giving a sermon one Sunday, he heard two teenage girls giggling and disturbing the people. He interrupted his sermon and announced sternly, "There are two of you here who have not heard a word I've said." Well that quieted them down for the rest of the service.
But when the service was over, he was greeting people at the front door. Twelve adults apologized for going to sleep in church, promising it would never happen again....
No matter where we are in life we can easily find ourselves looking around, doing the comparing thing, and thinking:
● Why don’t I have as much as they have?
● Why don’t I have the opportunities they have?
● I wish I had the talents they have.
● I wish I had the looks they have.
● I wish I had the family they have. Comparison is such a “subtle sin” because it’s almost always
internal… and it’s one of Satan’s greatest tools against Christians
because it’s so easy for him to use it. He doesn’t have to really do
anything. He just has to convince us to take our eyes off of Christ and
simply look at something or someone else.
The Bible actually encourages us to be “imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises of God.” So, what we need to do is train ourselves how to compare properly. We need to lead our comparisons in the right direction — away from envy, pride, covetousness, and self-pity, and toward Christlike imitation and the fear of God.
This quote from author Jaquelle Crow perfectly sums up the kind of
comparison I want to talk about today:The more we compare ourselves, the more we need to compare ourselves. It’s an addiction. We’re on a quest for acceptance and joy, but we find ourselves paralyzed by the pressure to look, do, and be better than the people around us. Because of this, we are distracted from our purpose, our mission, and our need to pursue holiness.”
The big question we need to all ask ourselves, is “Who or what is going to define my worth”?
Comparison always forces us to see the world through the lens of
“better than” or “worse than.”
So you look at someone and determine that you’re “better than”. And that kind of comparison is called PRIDE.
And Pride transports you to the land of –ER:
In the land of -ER, my worth and value is defined by being
Thinn-er...Rich-er....Happi-er....Bett-er....Smart-er....Pretti-er...Healthi-er... Fast-er, Great-er, Nice-er, Young-er and on, and on, and on.....
Jesus called pride by the name Pharisee-ism... Luke 18 tells us the story of a Pharisee who stood up and prayed to himself: “God, I thank you that I am not the likeother men—robb-ers, evildo-ers, adulter-ers, and tax collect-ers.”The Pharisee determined that as long as he was more “-er” than the other “ers,” that made him
worthy and respectable and holy-er in God’s eyes.
Listen to this quote from Trevin Wax (this might offend some folks” “If you feel like you have reason to boast because you’re still a
virgin, because you’re heterosexual, or because you’ve never
been divorced, then you need a fresh dose of God’s grace. As
long as you’re looking up to God for salvation, you cannot look
down on anyone else.”Think about it.....how can a Christian –someone who says, “I did NOTHING to deserve my salvation. Iwas lost, on my way to hell, completely unworthy. I contributed nothing to my salvation except SIN…yet Jesus stepped in and saved me” – how can we boast in anything other than Christ Jesus and Christ Jesus alone?
If you take your eyes off of Divine grace, mercy and favor, your heart will immediately steer you towards pride & Pharisee-ism. It is well said that you should never look down on anyone, unless you are helping them up!
In Romans 12:3, Paul warns Christians that we should “not think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think.”
Comparison will pull you over into jealousy and resentment.
Jealousy says “I wish I had it.” Resentment says “I wish they didn’t
have it.” Have you ever had that friend who always haseverything go their way? And then, just maybe, for once, something didn’t go their way and internally you actually rejoiced a little bit? (“I knew it was coming, they didn’t deserve all they had anyway... Oh, the things I know about them, if only people knew what they were really like”...) And they call and you say, “Oh, I’m so sorry, that happened to you” but you’re not! (You’ve been waiting for it to happen all along) THAT’S MESSED UP!
Another cost of making comparisons, is INSECURITY, because what the sin of comparison does, is it makes us try to find an external conquest to satisfy an internal longing.
There is no external answer to your internal spiritual need.
External validation from someone or something can never fill
an internal void. Augustine used to say, “Our hearts are restless,
until they find rest in Christ.”The happiest, people in the world, are folks that don’t try to pretend to be anyone other than who God wants them to be.
They’ve discovered the secret that it’s hard to be distracted with
comparisons when you’re captivated by your calling.
In the gospel of John, Jesus’ first and last words to the disciples were
simple: “Follow me.”.... “Follow me”. Or, “be more and more like me.”
One of my favorite verses in all of Scripture is Hebrews 12:1-2, “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on
Peter’s calling – which is also our universal calling – is to keep our
eyes on Jesus and run the race marked out for us. You will never see an Olympic runner looking all around, checking out the crowd!
No! They keep their eyes on the prize – they’re fixed on the finish line – and they stay in their lane!
Tap your neighbor and say, “Stay in your lane!”
Don’t worry about what someone else is doing in their lane.
God has marked out your lane, so keep your eyes focused and
follow him to the finish line.... don’t get distracted.
A minister bought a lawn mower from Gary who was having a neighborhood yard sale, but he returned it a few days later, complaining that it wouldn’t run. “Oh, It’ll run,” said Gary. “But you have to curse at it to get it started.” The minister was shocked. “I have not uttered a curse word in 30 years.” “Well, sir, Just keep pulling on the starter rope long enough —and it will all come back to you.” (that minister refused to leave his lane or his calling and purpose)
What is it to you that “Betty All That” can manage 5 kids while keeping her house clean, and afford Starbucks every day, and still manage to read a book a week? Stay in your lane and follow Jesus.
What’s that to you that “Bobby Better Than You”, doesn’t even have to study and he still aces the test while you study your butt off and barely
pass? Stay in your lane & follow Jesus.
What’s that to you if Marvelous Mark has a big house, nice car, a gorgeous wife, 2.5 kids, a golden retriever and a high poweredjob? What’s that to you? Stay in your lane & follow Jesus. Lord, some people have more talent than I do. “What is that to you? You follow me!”
Lord, look at how she treated me. “What is that to you? You follow me!”
What’s that to you that he/she/or they, can have/ or do/ or possess
whatever? Stay in your lane & follow me.
If you think you need Jesus PLUS something/ or someone else that’s in
another lane in order to be happy or satisfied, or have worth or value, then you’ve never truly met the Jesus of the Bible.
The beauty of the gospel is that even without all the stuff, without someone else’s talents or their approval, their things, their good looks, their money, you are still loved unconditionally by God and he has marked out a lane for you that no one else can fill.
Mark 8:36 “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul”?
When folks fall, they don’t need pity, they need perspective. When we step over into Pharisee-ism, it’s our perspective that needs adjusting.
For some folks, their lane will take them to the mission field and they’ll see many people come to know Jesus…for others it will be to pour into your neighbor or your co-worker for years and years, even when you don’t see any sign of God moving in their life. But God gets the glory in both cases.
For some your lane will be to raise your kids in the admonition of the Lord, day-in and day-out… for someone else it will be to live your life never having kids even though you may have desiredthem, but you glorified God in other ways.
For some, your lane will be to make lots of money and be successful in the business world… and for others it will be to exude the joy found in Christ even when you don’t have many worldly possessions.And in all of these various callings and outcomes, we can encourage one another, pray for one another, and rejoice in each other’s uniqueness...
Oswald Chambers wrote “The way we continually talk about ourown inabilities is an insult to our Creator. To complain over our incompetence is to accuse God falsely of having overlooked us.” Here’s what I know: If you are somewhere, God has called you there.
Wherever you are, at any given moment, God has sovereignly
appointed you to be there and has something specific for you to do.
God does not waste anything…and he most certainly will not waste
your life. Keep your perspective on track... Don’t be like the little boy...who was heading to McDonald's with the family, when they came up to a car accident. Usually when they saw something terrible like that, they said a prayer for whoever might be hurt, so the dad pointed and said to his son, "We should pray for those folks. From the back seat he heard his son’s earnest voice: "Dear God, please don't let those cars block the entrance to McDonald's." Don’t let McDonalds, become more important than the needs around you.
Once you put your faith in Jesus, you’re not a “just” …
You’re not just a teacher…you’re God’s representative in the
You’re not just a student…you’re God’s representative at your
School or university so they can see what Jesus looks like when he
studies hard and shows up for class.
You’re not just a nurse…you’re God’s representative in the
medical field and you’re what it looks like when Jesus cares for
someone who is hurting.
You’re not just stay at home mom… you’re God’s representative in your home so your kids can see how Jesus will never stop loving them, will be patient with them, will always be faithful to them, will never give up on them, and will always be there to put band-aids on scraped knees and
wipe tears away.Who or what is going to determine your value and worth?
If you’re going to compare, then compare with this....
repeat these statements with me and let them wash over your soul. Let’s repeat this declaration together...In Christ…
I am chosen – 1 Thess 1:4
I am changed – 2 Cor 3:18
I am a new creation – 2 Cor 5:7
I am forgiven – Eph 1:7
I am blessed – Gal 3:9
I am victorious – Rev 12:11I am set free – John 8:31
I am healed– 1 Peter 2:24
I am free from condemnation – Rom 8:1
I am more than a conqueror – Rom 8:37
I am dead to sin – Rom 6:2
I am alive with Christ – Eph 2:5
I am accepted in Him – Eph 1:6
I am complete in Him – Eph 2:5Only when my validation is from Christ and not anything or anyone else, will I be able to stop searching and comparing, and be wholly satisfied. Walking in obedience to Jesus is the end of my searching. I know that in Christ, I find my worth and true value and He is enough for me.
Lord, come take your place as my new reference point. I accept that who you designed me to be, contains my purpose and my calling. I accept my uniqueness and ask that I might glorify you by who I am. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, and completes me, in Jesus name.
The Doctrine of Sanctuary.... A doctrine is a system of beliefs which you have embraced enough that it becomes part of your lifestyle.
You might say, wait a minute, if we’re talking about sanctuary, then why are we looking at a life, threatening storm at sea on the screen. I thought sanctuary was a peaceful, quite place, free of the stresses and worries of the world. Well, stay with me today as we unwrap this. Mark 4:35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” Jesus never lets a good crisis go by without turning it into a valuable lesson. Tell someone, “Never waste a good crises”! Jesus and his disciples are in a boat on the Sea of Galilee along with several other boats, when a great storm erupts and begins to rock the boat. As the boat rocks with the waves, the disciples become frightened and wake Christ in an effort to be saved.
With a word of rebuke, Christ quiets the storm, creating sanctuary.Sanctuary, is defined as “any place of refuge”.. Any time we find ourselves in need of shelter from a storm, be it real or metaphorically, we are able to turn to Christ and, with a single word, his is able to bring us into sanctuary. Paul says that many have not entered into His rest, His sanctuary, because of unbelief.
Christ not only created sanctuary that day in the storm, but it exudes from him like steam from a tea kettle when things are boiling over. I know that my greatest desire is for my life to be fashioned into a sanctuary for God’s presence to be seen.
A sanctuary is a sacred place; a consecrated spot; a holy place in me that cannot be violated by sin; a place of refuge and protection; a place of shelter from the wiles and attacks of the devil. It’s a place in God, where I can live the abundant life. It’s a place in God where I am not such an easy prey for every wind of doctrine that comes along. It’s a place of safety from the raging storms of life where I have complete rest because I know that my God is with me.
It’s a place where I can live above sin and above the things of this world. In the world but not of the world. The song says....”Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary, Pure and Holy; tried and true, With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living, Sanctuary for You”. God is with us and it is his desire to that we allow Him to build our lives into a sanctuary for him to dwell in.
God made everything in Genesis, but it was only man, that He breathed His own life breath into. But we were made to be much more than “Holy wind bags”.... I remember as a kid, hearing my mom talk about sister windbag......So, I digress......He sent Jesus, to show us what the Spirit of God in us was supposed to look like.... We couldn’t see God, (Jehovah), but we could see the flesh and blood Jesus, who said “Follow me, and I will make you....”When we receive Christ as our Savior and lord, we receive a renewed “Holy wind bag” Anointing. To be containers of His breath. It’s as though mankind was holding it’s breath, until our redemption came and then we are released to pick up where Adam left off....and we can operate once again in what he lost. We were made to have God’s image and likeness on our lives. We weren’t made from spare parts, because we are like nothing God ever created before, and designed and formed for a unique purpose and calling.
1 Corinthians 6:15 “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 17 But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit. 19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”
So, verse 19 tells us that we have become the sanctuary of God’s presence. So, let’s look at what it means to be sanctuary. And we will use the Jewish Sanctuary cities to explore this.
God set aside 6 cities to be designated as sanctuary cities, and if someone could get to one of these cities, they would be safe from their accusers and persecutors until their case had a fair hearingand they were given a chance to defend themselves. These were safety zones. They are spiritual concepts of what is available to all of us in Christ.
If we are to be designated as places of sanctuary, how safe are people with us? Do we prejudge them, or jump to conclusions, and hold unforgiveness in our hearts. Do we love people, simply because God loves them and gave His only Son to provide redemption for them. Jesus died for us while we were sinners, not when we were deserving of His love. Do we insist that everyone measure up to our standards before we will love them.For God so loved the WORLD, that He gave His only son, so they could believe on Him. Do we love with Agape, God love, or with Eros, limited, frail, human love.
So, let’s look at these Sanctuary cities of refuge. Because, without these cities many people would have suffered and died unnecessarily. If it wasn’t for the grace of God, no one would have been able to enter in. The sanctuary cities were all located in high places. Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid”. If we look at our next scripture, then we see something remarkable about these sanctuary cities.... 2 Corinthians 5:20 "We are Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf, Be reconciled to God”. An ambassador is a representative of another kingdom. An ambassador operates out of an embassy which has it’s own laws and policies, which are different than the laws of the land which it is located in. An Embassy is about reconciliation . For example, the American embassy in China, still operates as under the American government. It is like locating a piece of America on Chinese soil. We are ambassadors of God’s kingdom who operate on foreign soil, under God’s government, by the Holy Spirit, in Jesus name, so that reconciliation can take place, man to God and man with their fellow man.
I realize that one political party decided to borrow the idea of sanctuary cities and then pervert it into something that was never intended, but Every place that a sanctuary city is mentioned in the bible, also asks a question of us. Sanctuary cities Were Available to everyone...How available are we? They Were Accessible to everyone.... Are we accessible? They were built on mountain tops so they could be easily seen..... Do people know our testimony or are we in the secret service? They were always prepared to welcome strangers...Are we welcoming and hospitable, or cliquish and exclusive? The gates were never closed.... How open are we to those outside our regular circle of friends and family, and are we willing to be inconvenienced and step outside of our comfort zones? They were a place of safety and security.... Are people’s hearts and hurts, and flaws and failures safe with us, or are we the loose lips that sink ships. How often in the church do the prayer lists become the gossip columns!
The first Sanctuary city we see is Kadesh, which means Righteousness. 2 Corinthians 5:21“For our sake He (God) made Him (Jesus) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him (Jesus) we might become the righteousness of God”. The Greek word “Righteousness”, is dikaiosunh (Dik-ah-yos-oo'-nay) which means “integrity, virtue, purity of life, correctness in thinking, feeling, and action”. So as we enter the sanctuary of Kadesh, we leave dishonesty, impurity, toxic thinking, feelings and actions behind. You may be a Solomon in wisdom, a David in praise, an Abraham in faith, or a Joshua in warfare, but if you’re not a Joseph in self discipline, you will end up like samson in destruction! Romans 6:13 “No longer yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your body as an instrument of righteousness (integrity, virtue, purity of life, correct thinking, feeling and action)” Paul is saying that our actions are about choices, but by making addictions a disease, we remove a person’s responsibility for their own actions. Sanctuary still demands that we take responsibility for our choices, that’s what recovery is..... guns and knives don’t kill people, bad choices do. Drugs don’t force themselves on people, bad choices do. So righteousness is correct thinking and action.... The second Sanctuary city was Shechem from the Hebrew (dzoo-gos') that name means Shoulder or government. Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His (dzoo-gos) shoulder; and His name is called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace”. We all need a good counsellor, in order to do life well, with all it’s twists and turns and ups and downs. Isaiah is saying, “You choose what you want, but I’ll take the Mighty God as my counselor”.... His government provides the guidelines that will keep me from going over the edge, wandering from the truth, and allows me to stay in his will and favor. The one who made it all, is willing to reveal His plan and His kingdom ways unto me. He’s the Father of Eternity, so He sees what’s beyond what I can see, He knows what’s further down the road that I’m traveling and He can position me in this life and the life beyond. He’s the Prince of peace so He can show me how to stay in peace in every situationand carry an environment of peace with me. He can help me keep my equilibrium when everything is upside down and inside out. He gives me solid footing when all around me is sinking sand.
The next sanctuary city is Hebron –from the Hebrew (kheb-rone')which means Fellowship. (Here’s something about Hebron.....) Caleb stood when all the rest except Joshua, refused to go into the land, and Hebron was given to him as his inheritance. He inspired a spirit of courage and faith in the fellowship of a nation that day. In the midst of fear and intimidation, he provided a sanctuary of courage and faith. There is sanctuary in fellowship, It was at Hebron that God showed Abraham the land that he and his offsprings would later on possess and he opened up the way with his faith and obedience. Abraham and Sarah were both buried at Hebron and because he believed God an nation received their promised homeland sanctuary. God first set David as king over Judah at Hebron, where he ruled for 7 years before becoming King over all Israel. Our fellowship is deepened by our history togetherand the testimonies we share with one another. Hebrews 10:25 “Do not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but continue to exhort one another and so much the more, as you see the day approaching”. Paul also mentions in Hebrews that the builder of the house (referring to Jesus) is worthy of more glory than the building itself. So, our coming together creates sanctuary as Jesus remains the center around which fellowship occurs. Notice also that in the sanctuary of fellowship, Paul says that exhorting should take place. To exhort, is to stir one another up by sound teaching and counsel. To give urgent appeal and give warning and good advice. So in the sanctuary there is a stirring up, urgent appeals, warning, sound teaching and good counsel. This provides a place of safety, security, protection and boundaries. The next Sanctuary city is Be zer – from the Hebrew (beh'-tser) which means Fortress or fortified place. Proverbs 18:10 “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and they are safe”. Psalms 18:2 “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, my deliverer, my God, my strength, in whom I will trust. He is my buckler, the horn of my salvation, and my high tower”.
Life is full of struggles, difficulties, and problems. Some are bigger than others. But whether the Christian’s trials in life are of the garden variety or more along the lines of major tragedy, there is always something we can do while we’re waiting and believing for God to handle the big stuff. I’m not saying that God is not interested in the little stuff, but is there something I can do until God does what He does. In 1937 architect Frank Lloyd Wright built a mansion for industrialist Hibbard Johnson. One rainy evening Johnson was entertaining distinguished guests for dinner when the roof began to leak. The water seeped through directly above Johnson himself, dripping steadily onto his bald head. Irate, he called Wright in Phoenix, Arizona. “Frank,” he said, “you built this beautiful house for me and we enjoy it very much. But I have told you the roof leaks, and right now I am with some friends and distinguished guests and it is leaking right on top of my head.” Wright’s reply was heard by all of the guests. “Well, Hib, until I can get someone there, why don’t you move your chair?” Proverbs 22: 3 “A prudent man sees the evil, and prepares himself: but the simple do nothing, and suffer the consequences.” Thank God for sanctuary, but is there something God has given you to do in order to fortify yourself and remain in a place of safety, until your breakthrough comes? Strengthen your walls by forgiveness and reconciliation. Kick the devil out of your finances by having a budget and staying with it. If it’s not in the budget it doesn’t exist. Cut back on the spending and stop scratching every itch you get. If you want to stay healthy, change the way you eat.... I’m working on three things right now, “watch the grain, watch the sugar, and watch the dairy products”.... those are the three biggest problems in body illness and lack of wellness. They are the biggest causes of inflammationin body systems, and the biggest cause system failure. Anyway, what the sanctuary of Bezer is saying to me that God is willing to do all things, and He has provided us a safe place, if we shut the door and keep out the devil.... Come on, sing it with me.... “Shut de door, keep out the devil, shut de door, keep the devil in the night. Shut de door, keep out the devil. Light de candle, everything’s alright”!!! The next sanctuary city, is Golan, in the Hebrew, it is (aheekh-mal-o-see) which means completeness or wholeness. Colossians 2:9 “ For in Him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And you are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power.” This is the sanctuary of His wholeness and completeness. The sanctuaries exist to give anyone accused of anything, a chance for a fair hearing. Jesus sits at the right hand of God the Father, eternally representing us. When the accuser of the brethren comes before Him, he can’t touch what we’ve put under the blood of Jesus. Satan cannot touch anything under the blood, when we have applied the sacrifice of Christ’s finished work on the cross. Is there something in your life that is not under the blood? The work of forgiveness, and reconciliation is effective to all who have genuinely repented. If you’re holding a grudge, if you have unforgiveness, if there are secret sins which keep cropping up, if anger, resentment, jealousy, or the love of the world have not been brought into subjection and put under the blood, then don’t put it off another day. 1 Corinthians 9:27 “I keep control of my body, and bring it under subjection to Christ, lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway”. Jesus came and provided a sanctuary, so that we can be whole and complete in Him.
The last sanctuary city is Ramoth (raw-moth af-an-is-mos'') which means the Heights, or High places. You’re gonna love this one.... Psalm 121:1 ‘I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. 2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth’. Colossians 3:3 “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your thoughts and affections on things that are above, not on things that are on earth”.
Paul begins this powerful statement, with the “If” of our faith, hope and trust. The “if” that can determine heaven or hell. The “if” that can make the difference in success or failure. It’s the “if”of regret or the “if” of resolution. It’s the “if” of despair or the “if” of great achievement. It has built within it the highest heights or the lowest lows. How can those with such great potential, be among those who accomplish so little.... it’s all in the “ifs” of life.
Hidden with Christ in God, is a beautiful description of sanctuary. In that place, the high places are available to each and every one of us. The high places of God are not just a possibility, they are the responsibility of every child of God. You are equipped with the wings of faith, the eyes of spiritual sight, ears to hear the voice of God, you have been given the mind of Christ, revealed in his word, and a heart that feels what He feels and longs for what he longs for.
The greatest question is who do we live to please? If our day to day choices are to please Him, then there is no limit to how high He will take us. Within the sanctuary of the high places, all limits are removed, and we become qualified and empowered. Therefore, I decree to you by the Spirit, that you have been given the anointing to make a difference, the anointing to be a forerunner and a pacesetter, to open the way and breakthrough so that others can follow. –A greater level of blessings, a greater level of the favor of God upon you, greater results where you have seen very little, a level of achievement that will follow you in future generations. I decree the maximum you are capable of, the top performance you are capable of, and the highest place that God is calling you to. I set you free of any baggage you’ve been carrying, any force, or person, or organization that is holding you back. By the Spirit of the God of Elijah, you are the head and not the tail, above and not beneath. I declare and decree that you shall reclaim any ground you have yielded to the kingdom of darkness. Every curse is breaking that is affecting you. Generational and ancestral garbage is leaving, and as they fall off, you will be propelled to thethe high places, Into His wholeness and completeness, you have been brought into a fortified place of protection and safety, you shall lift up those around you and bring them along with you, others may sink around you but you shall stand on solid ground, His righteousness in you shall produce correctness in thinking, feeling, and action as you seek those things which are above.... receive it now, in the name of Jesus.
Do you feel the odds are stacked against you Poopsie... Do you feel you’re running in a race where all the obstacles are shouting you can’t win... Are you seeing yourself at a disadvantage for what you have been asked to accomplish, and everyone else has all the disadvantages.
We’re going to get right into the foundational scripture for this message today...It’s lengthy, but gets us moving in the right direction.
Matthew 20:1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a landowner, which went out early in the morning to hire laborers into his vineyard. 2 And when he had agreed with the laborers for a certain amount, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And he went out later in the morning, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 And said unto them; Go work in my vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you. And they agreed. 5 Again he went out at noon, and did likewise. 6 And in the afternoon he went out, and found others standing idle, and said unto them, why stand here all day idle? 7 They said unto him, because no man has hired us. He said unto them, Go ahead into the vineyard; and whatever is right, that shall you receive. 8 So when evening was come, the lord of the vineyard said unto his steward, Call the laborers, and give them their pay.
9 And when they came that were hired in the afternoon, they received every man the same amount. 10 But when the first that were hired, came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man the same. 11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, 12 Saying, these last have only worked one hour, and you have made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.
13 But he answered them, and said, Friend, I do you no wrong: did you not agree with me for a certain amount? 14 Take what is yours, and go your way: I will give unto this last, even as unto you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with my own? Is your eye evil, because I am good? 16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few have received their calling”.
In order to properly understand this parable, you he will have to shift over to Kingdom thinking, and that means we use the standard of grace and mercy, instead of the standard of my works as compared to your works. This is not a competition.... The disciples even got into an argument about who would be greatest in the coming kingdom. Jesus is leveling the playing field and dealing with all of us on the basis of what we don’t deserve, but by grace, we receive it out of His mercy and favor anyway. I don't think I have to tell you that this was a difficult answer for Jesus' followers to swallow because it went against the accepted standard –The one who worked the hardest and longest should get more pay, is how they thought. But God's kingdom stands in contrast to the values of the world..This parable makes clear that there is a radical equality in His kingdom. And as Christ's followers, we are called to model that radical equality of God's kingdom. He came to give all things to all people.! In the parable, don’t miss that the owner gave all that he promised to everyone. Have you received all He promised? A fellow named Shakey went to a psychiatrist. “Doc,” he said, “I’ve got trouble. Every time I get into bed, I think there’s somebody under it. “you gotta help me, I’m going crazy! ” “Just put yourself in my hands for one year,” said the shrink. “Come to me three times a week, and I’ll cure your fears. ” “How much do you charge? ” “A hundred dollars per visit. ” “I’ll sleep on it,” said Shakey. Six months later the doctor met Shakey on the street. “Why didn’t you ever come to see me again? ” “Are you kidding....For a hundred buck’s a visit? A friend of mine cured me for free.” “Is that so! How did he do that? ” “He told me to cut the legs off of the bed! ”
Jesus came to level the playing field, so that you can receive all that He promised you. And it’s all free.
He’s cutting the legs off your fears, your doubts, and your suspicions.
He’s cutting the legs off your inferiority and poor self esteem. He’s cutting the legs off the lie that says you don’t deserve it! He’s cutting the legs off of the lie that says it will never happen!
He wants to turn your frown lines into laugh lines... Your dead zones into flourishing and abundance zones.... Your sorrowsinto shouting!!!
Romans 8:31 “What then shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is there to condemn us? For Christ Jesus, who died, and more than that was raised to life, is at the right hand of God—and He is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
36 As it is written: “For Your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 Do you not know that in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”.
He has all things for all of us. If God gives you all He has, amazingly, it does not diminish all things that He has for me. We can all have all that He has. Unless you understand “KINGDOM” You will never get it!!!
A level playing field means that no one in His kingdom has access to any more or less than anyone else! It’s a level playing field! He cannot give us any more than He has already given, and He will not give anyone of us any less than anyone else. The issue is never about what is available to us, it is always about what we’re willing to receive.
Have you positioned yourself to receive your breakthrough!? In the game of football, one of the player’son the field is called a quarterback. And the main goal of the quarterback is to advance his team forward towards a touchdown, by either throwing the football to one of his teammates, or handing it off to someone who will advance the ball by running it down the field. So the quarterback doesn’t throw or hand off the football haphazardly, he looks for someone who has gotten themselves in position to advance the ball.
If our quarterback was Jesus, the football was a blessing, and we were all there to advance His kingdom, we have to ask ourselves if we have positioned ourselves to receive what we have been praying for. And if you have watched any football, you will recognize that it is rare that the quarterback will throw the ball to a wide receiver standing still. And anytime the quarterback throws the ball, he is not throwing it to the place where the receiver currently is, but rather he is throwing it to the position that the pattern indicated for that particular play. There are a lot of people that sit and pray, expecting deliverance and breakthroughs and blessings to fall into their lap while they are sitting there, waiting, and even though I believe God has the power to bless however He chooses, but the more I experience life and the more I read the Word of God, the more I am convinced that most blessings and break throughs do not come by standing still, but by positioning ourselves and moving to where the breakthrough is going to arrive, in order for us to catch it. It’s not enough to be shouting, HERE LORD, I’m right here... We need to get moving to where the football of our blessing is going to arrive!
Position Yourself to receive it!! Before Abram could become the father of many nations, he had to first position himself in the land of Canaan. Before Esther could save the Jews from being killed, she had to first position herself in the king’s palace. Before Zacchaeus, who was too short, could see Jesus over the crowd, he had to position himself by climbing up the tree. Before Peter and the other disciples could catch a boat sinkingload of fish, they had first position their net on the right side of the boat. Before Peter could walk on water, he had to first position himself on the water and get out of the boat. Before the woman who struggled with the issue of blood for twelve years could get healed, she had to position herself at the feet of Jesus. Before Jesus could reconcile us back to God and defeat the power of sin and death, he had to position himself on the cross. Where has He been moving you to....Let Him get you in position!
Ephesians 3: 17 “May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 you will have power, together with all the saints, to comprehend the length and width and height and depth 19 of the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is now at work within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, (no expiration date) forever and ever. Amen.…
God is not satisfied with giving it all to those who are following Him now, so the Holy Spirit is always out in the marketplace, looking for more receivers, seeking out the people everybody else ignored, and He’s sending out a welcome to them on the same terms, surprising them (and everyone else) with Hisgenerous grace. In this amazing parable, of the workers, Jesus is saying, No matter the person. No matter their history. No matter where one comes from. It's not too late! There is more than enough room in God's power, pleasure and purpose, for everyone!" God makes no distinction, and we shouldn't either.He is not willing that anyone's life should be wasted, so Heextends His invitation indiscriminately and repeatedly, in order to gather as many people as possible into his kingdom to experience what they could never deserve. All of us are equally deserving--or undeserving--of the opportunity to receive, so the reward for all of us together is equal as we all stand on level ground at the foot of the cross. None are higher, greater, more deserving or more qualified than anyone else.
It's like the internet, everyone has access to all the internet at the same time, all you have to do is sign on, and receive it. Millions are signed on at any given time, and yet it doesn’t run out, it’s all there for everyone.
This is what it means to model the radical inclusiveness of God out in the world. It is not our opinions, but our example that will make a difference in this world we live in. Just imagine what the church would look like if everyone, throughout the week, and year, were inviting any and all who would listen to come accept the invitation to enter God's kingdom and be partaker of all the King has!
Just think about it....“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, will He not also with Him, freely give us all things in all situations”
What are “all things”? “We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose”
“All things” – your desperate circumstances, your crushing trials, your unbearable persecutions, and your extreme hardships in life – ALL THINGS, to show You His goodness, His faithfulness, His grace and favor through it all!!! God’s love for us is beyond measure. Jesus loved us so much that He actually bore all those things Himself, to assure us that we have victory in it and enjoy the favor of God through it all. We have His favor on us in the trials, and the conflicts and challenges we face. Hallelujah!
Favor means He has leveled the playing field to give you an advantage. Proverbs 18:22 “He who finds a wife (husband) finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.
For single folks, favor means you have an advantage in finding God’s choice for a life partner.
Psalm 90:17 “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands a it rests upon us.” You have favor on your job and in all the tasks you set your hands to....
Psalm 84:11 “For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk in obedience to Him”.
Favor assures that you will have the best possible outcome, and good things will be attracted to you, and not be withheld from you.
Acts 7:10&11 “But God favored Joseph and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt. So Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace”
Favor will put you in the good graces and good will of those in authority, those who can bring you to the place of your purpose.
Remember that in the darkest hour of Joseph’s life, God sent a Butler, a Baker, and a Pharaoh... The butler introduced him, the baker vetted him, and the Pharaoh financed his dream. Favor will bring all three into our lives.
Proverbs 3:1 “Do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, 2 for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. 3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man”.
Favor will give you long life, and cause you to live in peace and prosperity...
Grace, and mercy and favor, have leveled the playing field, so our job is to tell, and show and set the example, so they will believe and receive!
We celebrate the free gift that all may receive even though none of us are deserving of any of it, we rejoice that this privilege is ours and because we believe it, we want all who are willing to join those who are blessed and who are the redeemed of the Lord.
I want to read this prophecy over your life which God speaks about how He says that He will level the playing field for you.... Isaiah 40:3 “The voice of one calling “prepare the way for the Lord, make straight a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low, the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a shall be a plain. 5 And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Taken literally this passage from Isaiah describes how God is ready to reshape, readjust and shift things around for His people. He is moving to readjust and rearrange what concerns you, so that the way it is now, is not how it will be when his favor, grace and mercy is finished. This is describing how all things are subject to His purposes and cannot resist His strange and amazing working.... when you read that mountains, and valleys, (solid things that are not easily moved, resistant things that seemed fixed and resolute) are reshaped like clay in the potter’s hands in behalf of His people. Then it says He levels out the uneven places that make it hard to move forward and make progress.... and He builds an expressway there, or provides faster and quicker access to what He has prepared for you. In other words, He not only has it prepared for you, but He makes a way for you to get there quicker than you would otherwise have been able.
WELL, CAN YOU SAY “HALLELUJAH”, FOR A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD! GLORY! Praise God for good receivers. Thank you Jesus that you’re looking for folks who believe they can have everything You promised, and you’re moving them into position....You have evened the odds, and Your favor gives Your children the advantage, We overcome because you overcame. We are more than conquerors, because you have purchased the victory for us. Before the battle begins, the outcome is already decided. You had the answer before the devil created the problem. You meant it for good and not for evil. The battle is the Lord’s so we can enjoy the blessings. Thank You Jesus!
Receive the answer He has for you, receive the outcome He already decided was yours. Receive the victory before the battle starts! The battle is the Lord’s!! WE RECEIVE IT LORD!!!
If you would feel led of the Holy Spirit to support this ministry, in any way, you may send your donations to "Eagle's Rest, P.O box 2820, Key West, Florida 33040.... Thank you in advance and God richly bless you.. We look forward to hearing from you.
A woman is in the Police interview room and here’s why.....She was behind a man who was driving very slow, and she is tailgating this guy because she is in a hurry. He comes to an intersection, and when the light turns yellow, he squeezes through and leaves the woman sitting there at the red light. The woman goes ballistic. She honks her horn at him; she yells her frustration in no uncertain terms, while she rants and gestures. While she is in mid-rant, someone taps on her window. She looks up and sees a policeman. He invites her out of the car and takes her to the station where she is searched and fingerprinted and put in a cell. After a couple of hours, she is released, and she is in the interview room, and the arresting officer gives her personal effects to her, saying, “I’m very sorry for the mistake ma’am. I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, using bad gestures and having a tantrum and I noticed the ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ bumper sticker, the ‘Choose Life’ license plate holder, the ‘Follow Me to Sunday School’ window decal, and the Christian fish emblem on your trunk, and I naturally assumed you had stolen the car.”
When you’ve allowed the enemy to take advantage of a weak moment, it’s time to get mad. When you’ve given him the stick to beat you up with, it’s time to get mad. When you’ve stopped doing the right thing and allowed the Devil to pull you into his trap, it’s time to get mad.
I want to give you some Statistics which show us that the kind of aggressive Christianity that changes the world is in decline. This was once known over the world as a Christian nation but listen to me....
There are around 4,000 churches that close each year because of a 60% decline in church attendance. What this means is that the average church attendance has gone from around 140 to 40 people. That’s averaging out the big and small ones to come up with that.
It is expected that 4,000 to 7,000 churches will close this year as a result of the pandemic and all of its repercussions... Right now only 40% of the population goes to a church of any kind at all. And only 20% live out Biblical Christianity.(bear with me a minute) Only 27% of teenagers (generation Z, which is 7 to 22 yrs) attend church once a week and that drops down to 12% when they reach 18 years old.
Only 27% of Millennials (23 to 38) attend church regularly and living a Christian life is at the bottom of their list.
These statistics mean that with the present rate of decline, it’s time to get M.A.D! What if every Christian said, that’s not someone else’s problem, it’s my problem, and I must do something about it.... NOT ON MY WATCH! If we don’t, instead of a glorious church, it will be a declining church that Jesus comes back for. BUT, BUT,scripture clearly tells us that Jesus is returning for a victorious, overcoming church, which means that at some point something will happen, and the people of God will get mad enough at the Devil, to turn things around. Why not start here and now!
I want to open with this scripture today.... Matthew 11:12 From the days of John the Baptist until now (this date today) the kingdom of heaven (all that Jesus has reclaimed for us) suffers violent assault, and violent men (those with kingdom authority and dominion) seize it by force [as a precious prize]. The law of first mention, which Jesus uses here, indicates that beginning with John who was filled with the Holy Spirit in his mother’s womb....(see Luke 1:41) that John was the beginning of those who started operating in Authority and Dominion which Jesus came to reclaim, and a new season of restored power had begun.
This scripture is addressing those who are acting and living as though it all on the line and depends on their willingness to function and operate in kingdom authority and dominion, and who don’t stand back expecting someone else to do it!
Every day when we wake up, we enter the realm of the God of this world, who only respects and trembles at those who operate in Kingdom authority and dominion. We wake up to warfare, before we even leave our homes each day.
2 Corinthians 4:4 The god (small g) of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed through the indwelling of Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in vessels of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in these bodies the victory of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in and through us.
So, the first thing that M.A.D. represents is ManifestedAuthority and Dominion. It’s an acrostic....
Satan is counting on being able to distract us so much by the things Paul talks about, “being pressed on every side, crushed, persecuted, abandoned, struck down, and the pressures and responsibilities of life”, that we will not understand that we carry around in our bodies the victory of Jesus, the light of Jesus, and the life of Jesus, in every situation.
The violent (who are those who operate in the authority that Jesus has reclaimed for us) take the kingdom through delegated authority and power of attorney!
Every time you say “In Jesus name” you just operated in Power of attorney, or delegated authority! That’s permission to talk like Him, to act like Him and to do what He would do!!Satan can’t handle that!!
Every since the garden of Eden, the devil has been running rough shod over mankind, with the intent of robbing everyone of their God given purpose and assignment. God said “Have dominion and rule over the earth”
But to the shock and dismay of Satan, some have stood up and gotten M.A.D. and they got knocked down, and trounced on, and crushed, but they looked in the word of God and found out that it can be different. That we can change everything. Darkness can’t stand up to light!!
They got violent! They got sick and tired of being sick and tired! How many believe Jesus got VIOLENT! He saw Satan destroying people’s bodies with sickness, disease and infirmity... and He got mad. He saw those who were supposed to be Spiritual leaders, playing religious games and He got mad!
Look at this.... Matthew 21:12–13 “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and drove out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves”.
Covetous and greed had set up it’s operations right in front of the Temple entrance, blocking the path of worship and praise. It was a huge distraction, as doves, and oxen, and sheep were being sold at unreal prices so the temple leaders could make a profit. It was religion for sale. It exploited the poor and needy. A form of Godliness that denied the power of God.
Jesus wasn’t mad at people, but the greed which was using the people to do Satan’s work for him. Jesus wasn’t fighting the religious leaders, but the deception that was using them to accomplish Satan’s agenda of oppression and bondage. Sometimes when you strike the Devil, those who are doing his work, take a hit. That’s called putting some skin in the game....
We don’t fight people, but we wage war on principalities and powers and rulers of wickedness in high places. We Manifest His Authority and Dominion, and the Lord, sends angels to fight where we cannot. When we engage Satan’s forces in this dimension, Mighty angels of God, engage Principalities and Powers in a higher dimension... When that which empowers demons here, is cut off and defeated there.... Victory is the results and breakthrough is going to happen.
Don’t you quit till your healing is manifested. Don’t you quit until your family comes into the kingdom. Don’t you quit until you see, what Jesus came to reclaim for you!!!
What you don’t see here and now doesn’t mean it’s not in the second heaven dimension! Cut off the head, and the snake will die! I repeat, CUT OFF THE HEAD AND THE SNAKE WILL DIE!
So M.A.D. stands for Manifested Authority and Dominion.
M.A.D. also stands for Make A Demand....
When our spiritually awakened demands intensify, divine supply is guaranteed.
Matthew 7:7 says “Keep on Asking and Keep on knocking” … To wish for something, means to look for a miracle, a breakthrough, a turn around, or a new beginning, without doing anything to put a demand on it or to call it down. To Desire something, means To have a heart cry, to really want it, and to be motivated to see it happen, but it’s still half hearted, and is easily swayed by many things. But to Demand (oh yeah, come on now) – Is to bombard that desire with continuous prayer, decrees of the word, and fully believe that Satan’s kingdom will come down. We can safely say Desire plus Action which operates out of authority and dominion equals Demand.
Matthew 16:18 “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. ”The gates of hell cannot prevail”, means we go to the very source where Satan has gotten into your body and brought sickness... We go to the gate where Satan has gotten into your home and family and we shut it!...We go to the gate where Satan has gotten into your finances, your relationships, your work place, or any of your stuff, and we shut the gate.... He can’t get into what you’ve shut or bound. And he can’t stop or shut what you have released....The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Word of God and God’s angels are backing you up! Team, Team, Team!!
M.A.D. also stands for Make A Decision!
The conchs would say “Fish or cut bait”.... Make up your mind and don’t look back. Talk like it, think like it, act like it. Once you make the decision, get everything else out of the way that doesn’t belong. Mark 11:24 The Passion Translation “This is the reason I urge you to boldly believe for whatever you ask for in prayer—be convinced (make a decision) that you have received it and it will be yours”.
There was a woman with what was called an “Issue of Blood” –she had a life threatening issue! (what is threatening your quality of life, Child of God?) Twelve years, it had weakened her body and dominated her life. It appears that it had cost her, her husband. Now she is alone, no company, no lover, and no companion. But she made a decision to get to Jesus. This was her opportunity and she was not going to be denied. She pushed everything aside that wasn’t part of her decision!
Have you missed some opportunities? Relax, you can still make it, just make your decision and stay with it. I can almost hear her singing, “Pass me not O Gentle savior, Hear my Humble cry, while on other thou art calling, Do not pass me by”. She pushed through every obstacle, she took it by force, she put a demand on the crowd that day.... I’M COMING THRU! And she put a demand upon the hem of His garment, and pulled virtue out of Him.....
I’ve told you that when I heard God tell me to build a Christian radio station in Key West, it about wore me out. I had to make some decisions and not look back. I rejected everything that wasn’t part of that decision. For one year, I went to City commission meetings, every month, to get approval, with outany results. It wasn’t until the 12th month, at 11:00 at night, (The lawyer and I, were the only ones there plus the mayor). Mayor Hymen said, it’s late, I’m tired, what can I do to go home, and get rid of you folks? BAM, IT GOT DONE IN 10 MINUTES! Then I had to build a studio, put up a tower, get equipment, install everything and get on the air in 3 weeks time.... and God did it because we made a decision and never looked back. That station is now owned by the Billy Graham Association and is broadcasting the gospel to the Caribbeancommunity.
It's a whole other story, about how 12 foot angels showed up at my house (about 20 of them) to let me know it was happeningwhen it looked impossible.... they let me know that they had broken through in the 2nd heaven, so that it could all happen!And thousands of them were coming in for reinforcement to clear the way for what had to happen.
So, like the little woman, get M.A.D. And MAKE A DECISIONand don’t look back.
Another thing that M.A.D. also stands for is Make ADifference. It starts with yourself. Be the person you would like to find. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Be friendly and outgoing if you want to find someone who is. Be cheerful and positive if you want to attract that same quality. Clean up, Dressup, and show up, and watch God do the rest.
Also, Stop criticizing and belly aching and whining... and understand that if it can be changed, you can change it. Everyone say with me... “I can do this”....
Most things start with a domino effect. One thing setssomething else in motion and so on.... You may only be the first or third or twentieth domino, but when you activate your domino, it sets in motion a spiritual cause and effect.
Gideon was only one domino, but it set in motion a cause bigger than he was when he invested his domino, and the Midianites were driven from the land... Moses was only one domino, but he set in motion a spiritual cause and effect that liberated a nation of people and altered the course of nations... and what about some fishermen, a tax collector, a physician, and a zealot who formed the 12 disciples of Jesus and changed history as they knew it and we know it, because they made a decision to totally follow Jesus....What a difference they made!!
We had a friend named Bill, years ago, who was a former hit man for the Mafia. It cost him his marriage and his family. But he got arrested by the Lord, I mean, he got saved, quit the mafia, which was a miracle in itself... and started getting involved in the church. It was hard winning back the confidence of his wife. And we had many prayer and counselling sessions, but over time, they came back together as a family and started coming to church with him. We kept encouraging him to talk, act and think as though it was already done. And he never let his words, actions or thinking go contrary to what he was believing for.
You may ask, “How long”.... until it happens. Sometimes when you’re hammering a rock, the rock changes you before you, before you change the rock....and you become stronger, wiser, more patient and humble before you see your decision come to pass!!
Say it with me..... Matthew 11:24 “Believe you have received it and you shall have it” Stop looking for someone else to do it, and for someone else to start.
We should be asking.. If not us, then who. If not now, then when!
Without some sense of dissatisfaction with where we’re at, there is no desire for growth, and without an awareness that there is more, there is no hunger to receive all that God said we could have! MORE LORD!
“....Will you agree with me.... “if I truly believe, then it will change the way I speak, act and think. And I will get MAD enough at the devil for destroying and ruining so many lives, that I will rise up and Manifest Authority and Dominion, which shuts the gate and releases what Jesus has come to reclaim, and I will begin to MAKE A DEMAND because I have been giventhe keys of the kingdom of heaven, therefore, I make a decision and I don’t look back, because if I believe I have received it Ihave it. So I understand that I can make a difference, and Idon’t wait for someone else to do it, because it starts with mydomino, and a chain reaction begins”...
Get MAD enough to bury and be done with the thing that is keeping you from taking that next step into your very best self. What is that? What is the final frontier that is calling you and what is the thing that needs to be left with all the other things you’ve moved on from?
Last of all, M.A.D. stands for the fact that we are called to MAKE A DISCIPLE..
Look at this.... Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all people, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
That’s a clear mandate which we have been given and here’show you do it... Matthew 18:19 “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven”.
Find someone who agrees with you about what God is telling you that needs to be done.... start praying together, or go around the city and speak over it, get involved in some area of the community and volunteer to make it better...it may be the school system, law enforcement, the hospital, food delivery, or something with the homeless, maybe working with addicts, or 911, or perhaps marriage and family... There is much to be done that makes a difference. But we must move beyond wishing, desiring or just praying and put action with desire, and make a difference! Ephesians 6:10-11- “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceitfulness and lies of the devil”.
Make a disciple by imparting what God is saying to you, into that person and use the power of agreement for kingdom building. We all have a place in our hearts for a need that is not being filled, where we can make a difference.
IT’S TIME TO GET M.A.D.!!! But let’s get mad at the devil and avoid fighting people that he may be using. Storm the gates, and shut down the places where the enemy has built a highway for sin and division!
Prayer.....Lord Jesus, you’re calling us to establish your kingdom here on earth, so others may know and follow you. May your kingdom spread throughout our land and bring You more and more to this world in need of Your transforming power. Help me to be faithful in helping advance your kingdom here as you taught us, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”. Show me the path You have set before me, so I may follow Your leading. Father, I pray that Your reign may be seen more clearly in my life. There are people we love who, today, are outside of your kingdom. Lord, in Your mercy, bring them in! Help us to do Your work while it is day before the night comes when no one can work. Let Your heart beat among us and unify us throughout every generational or gender grouping. In Jesus Name, we destroy every demonic assignment against the peace and unity of the Body of Christ. We stand against every label that serves to divide Your people – labels like denomination, political party affiliation, race, ethnicity, nation of origin and economic status – and we declare that we are one in You, Lord. We stand against the spirits of confusion, arrogance, deceit and pride. We render their works null and void. We declare that we will be like-minded and there no division in the Spirit among us. Help us to walk worthy and fully pleasing beforeYou. As believers, help us to be fruitful in every good work. We ask You to strengthen and empower the leaders of our churches and help them to represent Your Kingdom in the earth. Holy Spirit, synchronize the heart of every true believer and unify our spirits to receive and submit to Your vision for our city. Help all of us to do our part to manifest Your vision for Your Church! Please help us all to serve You by manifesting real Kingdom change in the world, as we walk in the fruit of the Spirit demonstrating love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Hasten the day when the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever. In Jesus name, Amen!