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Sermon of the Week 
Thursday, September 21 2023

Letting God Out Of The Box

Speaking of that, here’s a little humor..... I read that a father was visiting his son’s house, one night when he asked if he could borrow the newspaper. The son replied, “Dad, this is the 21st century, I don’t waste my money on newspapers. You need to get out of the box of the past, and into the internet age, but if you like, you can borrow my I Pad. I just got it so just take it out of the box. The father finished, and gave the lap top back. He said “Well son, you are right, the lap top worked much better than the newspaper, That spider never knew what hit him”.

I grew up in a culture and a family that gave any adult the right to apply the rule of learning to my seat of knowledge. That’s another way of saying that they had the right to kick my butt! I always felt I was being watched, judged and the sentence, was about to be carried out when I was around family or neighbors. Then on top of that, Bill Elliott didn’t agree with Lola Elliott, that I should ever have been brought into their home to be raised anyway, so I was the whipping boy for anything that happened, and he was quick to let me know that I was an outsider. So I say all that, to say that I was very fearful, introverted, and insecure, with very little training in relationships...                                                                                                 When God told me at 15, that He had chosen me and His hand was on my life, I ran from it for the next 4 years. I tried to put God in a box, and God didn’t like was my way of having some control in my life, by keeping God at a level where I could handle Him..... But I’m glad God didn’t stay in my little box!                                                                                                                                                                                              Come on....Say with me “Today, we’re letting God out of the box”.

I begin today with a scripture in Joshua 3:6 “And Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, “Take up the ark of the covenant and cross over ahead of the people.” So they took up the ark of the covenant and went ahead of the people”.                                                                                    They saw that God was where the box was. And they had gotten very comfortable with that arrangement. 

We all know the story of how God’s glory rested upon the arc of the covenant and it was manifested as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Amazing miracles, signs and wonders took place as God opened the Red Sea, provided manna in the wilderness, on another occasion, He filled the camp with quail so that they had meat to eat, He vanquished their enemies, and many other things, which let every one know that God was with Israel and they were His chosen people. But then we come to the time when David wanted to build a great temple (a bigger box) to house the arc, and God said no, that a box couldn’t contain Him, but David insisted, so God allowed Solomon to build the temple...God didn’t want to be put in a box, hidden behind a curtain....He wanted His glory to be seen everywhere, that all may know His greatness and power and love.

2 Chronicles 35:3 He also said to the Levites who taught all Israel and who were holy to the Lord, “Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel built; it will be a burden on your shoulders no longer. Now serve the Lord your God and His people Israel.

So they put the God box behind the curtain, in the Holy of Holies, where only the high priest could go, once a year, and be in the direct presence of God. 

When Jesus died on the cross, the temple curtain was ripped open, and the glory that was on the arc came out of the box, because God wanted His power and glory revealed to the world, in the person of Jesus. The work was finished, the glory now rested on the people who received Him.

But His followers began to build church buildings, to house the people that actually are the church, and the buildings became boxes where they could put God....and once again it became all about the box instead of the God that created the box. Folks promote their brand of the box, more than they promote the Lord...                                                                                       One day the telephone in the office of President Roosevelt’s Washington church rang, and an eager voice said, “Tell me, do you expect the President to be in church this Sunday?” The pastor replied, “I cannot promise you that,” “But we expect God to be there, and we figure it should be incentive enough for all Christ serving folks to be in attendance.”

On the day of Pentecost, God got out of the box. Pentecosthappened outside the box, but over time, folks continued to push Him back in the box of the church building again and again.....

Luke 14:23 “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled”.

The emphasis here was not just coming to the church box, but going out of the box and COMPELLING by the power of the Holy Spirit, so that as folks saw God outside the box, they would also come, and go forth to repeat the same. And the out of the box experience would continue...

Matthew 10:7 “As you go, (as you go)....proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ v8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give”.

Now that’s what “compelling them to come in” is all about. Let me tell you this morning, the house of God would be filled to overflowing with that kind of compellinghappening... God wants someone to let Him out of the box.....                                                                                                I love this cartoon, with God towering into the sky, and Kevinstanding beside the little box, trying to convince God to get in.... God says “Rodney, we really need to have a talk”....

Some folks need to stop using God and let God use them....

In the New Testament, the blind, the lame, the deaf, the leper, the demon possessed, and the dead folks, all found God’s power outside the box~~because the ecclesia were everywhere....

The first thing dead people did, that Jesus raised up, was to get out of the box!!! They got out of there, shouting and praising God!

It was in the breaking of the alabaster box, that the ointment was able to pour out upon Jesus...Nothing happened until it got out of the box....

When Lazarus came out of the tomb, yes, he was alive but he was still bound up, and when they got him out of the wrappings, he could then be free to live again....and go out and tell everyone what Jesus did for him....God is looking to unwrap us so we can live outside the box.....                                                                                                                                                                                    John Wesley provides the most convicting analysis on what living outside the box means “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you can.”

God is telling me to tell you, to break the alabaster box and anoint Him once again.... Don’t just come back to life, but get unwrapped and get set free to live outside the box....

Amazing things happen when you let Go and Let God!!!

When God was let out of the box, Abraham and Sarah conceived a child at 100 years old..... Joseph was brought out of a pit, and a prison to become second in charge of Egypt....the walls of Jericho came tumbling down and the Hebrews marched in to take the city..... The sun and the moon stood still while God provided daylight so Joshua could win the battle.... oil, kept flowing in the famine for the widow of Zarephath and her son was raised back to life.....When God got out of the box, the woman with an issue of blood was healed, the blind saw, the deaf heard, the lame walked, and Peter walked on water.....                 

How does that translate to our lives? What would that look like? Honestly, I don’t fully know, but what I do know is that God didn’t call us to safe living. He called us to live out our faith, to take a chance on him. He called us to step out of our comfort zone and live in the realm of the supernatural, where He can show His power.

I am tired of limited, God in a box living... I am tired of living in fear instead of stepping out in faith. I am tired of missing out on miracles. I am tired of a God that can be tucked awayin our neat little box.. Come on, if you feel that... pray with me.... “Lord Jesus, you alone are God of the heavens and the earth. You are the God who is the same yesterday and today. You are the God of miracles, the God of the impossible. And, you promise that your power is available to us today. I ask your forgiveness for failing to recognize my own boxes in deciding how you can and cannot act, for limiting you by my own beliefs. I ask you to unleash your power in my life, to do exceedingly and abundantly above all I could ever ask or imagine. Have your way in my life, by the power of the Holy Spirit”.

Scripture teaches that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever; if Scripture teaches that we will do even greater works than Christ did while he walked the earth...Scripture teaches that if we have faith we can move mountains, so, who am I to settle for less than that.....

Ephesians 3:20 “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think”. 

I love this verse! It is such a great reminder of God’s power, of his ability to simply blow my mind with what he can and will do. I like to think about my dreams, knowing that God can do far more than anything I could ever dream up in my wildest imagination.                       ,But I can’t ignore the part that says “His mighty power at work within us”.... It has to be allowed to flow through us, not just to us! Let me say that again.... “Through us, not just to us”.....

Isaiah 35:5-6 “Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped; then the lame man will leap like a deer, and the mute person’s tongue will sing. For in the desert, springs will burst forth, and streams of water in the barren place.”                  

I fully believe that this prophecy is about any time, and any place where folks are willing to let God out of the box!                                                                     Dale Carnegie said, “When dealing with people, remember you are not just dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of habit”.                         Habits are necessary but they can trap us in a box....and become religion... it can rob us of the joy and freshness of a dynamic, new work of God in our lives. 

Let me give you 4 signs that God is getting ready to break out of the box in your life.....

1. If God Is changing your relationships with People, Places, and Things in Your Life, This Could Be in Preparation for a time when He is coming out of the box for you.... God doesn’t try to grow seeds in soil that is not good. And before God brings you into his greater presence, he will first make adjustments in your life.                               Scientists studied a native tribe in South America whose people had been dying prematurely for generations. After thorough investigation, the cause of premature death was determined. The disease was transmitted by an insect that lived in the walls of their adobe homes. This new information presented several options. They could move to another area where such insects don’t exist, tear down their homes and rebuild them, use insecticide to rid their homes of the bugs, or, continue as they have and die early. Surprisingly, these people chose to remain as they were and do nothing about their problem, because it would involve change.                                                                                                           Before God blesses you with a new level of the supernatural, He will begin to change around people, priorities, places, and things from your life that are putting limits on His presence and power. If God blessed us before He prepared us, so often, we would miss the blessing ormisuse it once we got it....

John 15:1-5. It says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. . . . I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he shall bear much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

Is some pruning going on in your life, If God is taking away some people, places, priorities and things in your life that are hindering your growth, then rejoice and get ready!

2. If God Is Taking You Through a Season of Repentance and inner Healing, This Could Be in Preparation for a new level of out of the box supernatural living....

Sometimes there are external barriers in our lives that are blocking God’s blessings. At other times, there are things within our own selves that are blocking us from going to the next level. But if we quit, we will never know what could have been.                                                                Bill Broadhurst, he loved to run and he entered a 10k race in Omaha, a race that champion runner, Bill Rodgers would win in less than 30 minutes. You see, Bill Broadhurst had a handicap, he was paralyzed on his entire left side from an aneurism early in life. But he still loved to run and for him to be in the same race as his hero Bill Rodgers was the greatest thing he could imagine. He was still running when the banners had all been taken down, the traffic had begun to flow on the roads, there was nothing left that would tell you that a race had even been run. 2 hours earlier, Bill Rodgers had finished the race and now Bill Broadhurst was nearing the place where the finish line once was. A couple of kids on bikes road beside him and said "Hey mister are you still running the race, it’s been over for hours, someone’s already finished first and won, why don’t you quit, the race is over!" Broadhurst replied, "I can’t, I have to make it to the end at the finish line". As he approached the place where the finish line used to be, Bill Rodgers, the winner, and about 30 people stepped out from an alley and placed a banner up and strung a ribbon across the road. And Bill Broadhurst stumbled through the ribbon and across the finish line. And the winner, Bill Rodgers,took the winner’s ribbon from his own neck and placed it around the neck of Broadhurst, and he said, "you are a winner”...                                                                           That’s what Jesus does, He takes the winner’s ribbon from His own neck and places it on us, and says “Well done my child, you were faithful, you didn’t quit, you overcame, you’re a winner.”

3. When there are character issues or a wound deep within us, that is keeping us from living out our full potential as new creations in Christ, God will take us through a season of repentance and healing in preparation....but He’ll always be there at the finish line, to celebrate us.....

Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Don’t let wounds, fears, intimidation, and hurts of the past, keep you from running the best race you can, and from crossing the finish line and hearing His “well done”....                                                                                                                                          An old Peanuts cartoon has Lucy standing in the outfield of Charlie Brown’s baseball story. As a fly ball sails toward her, she remembers all the other times she’s dropped the ball. And she drops this one, too. Lucy calls out to Charlie Brown, who’s standing on the pitcher’s mound: “I almost had it, but then my past got in my eyes!” Hallelujah, He has settled the past, so we can do all things through Christ!!

4. If God Is intensifying and renewing Your Passion for Studying the Word and Spending Time in Prayer, This Could Be a Sign He Is Preparing You for a new level of, out of the box supernatural living. 

Philippians 3:13 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, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

We need a proactive prayer life and a working understanding of God’s word, to keep growing and moving outside the box, in the Lord. Without this, we are easily led away by our feelings, our desires, and the world’s deceptions and manipulation. And even with all that, we need to personally stay connected with God’s presence and worship, and praise and prayer in agreement with the body of Christ. If you have lost your passion for these things, you’re probably in a box. If your prayer life is stagnant, you’re in a box. If you can’t lift your hands and voice in the house of God, you’re In a box... come on now!                          I will guarantee that if you start praying every day for others, God is going to bring some amazing opportunities into your life.                                      Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you have not known”.                                                                                                           Mark 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours”.

Psychiatrist Paul Tournier, once compared faith to the actions of a trapeze artist who must turn loose of one bar and grab another, but there’s a moment after he’s turned loose of the first bar before he’s grabbed the second bar, that he’s hanging there in mid-air.                                                                                                         That’s the Christian life in a nutshell—letting go of the former things,in faith, the comfort zone, and the areas we’re holding back, and where we stopped growing and stretching, so you can take hold of God’s new thing. Doing the same old mandatory things will produce the same results and leave you struggling. Be spirit filled, not just religious. If you want to live abundantly, if you want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection, you’ve first got to let go of the bar you’ve been swinging on, which is where you’re moving from, and grab the fresh, new thing of God that is outside the box!!!.Oh, Hallelujah!                                                                                                                                                                      Let’s join in a prayer of letting go......”Lord Jesus, In this moment You have brought me to in this time and place, I let go of all thoughts and concerns that have filled up my mind. As I let go, I am able to receive. When my hands are formed into tight fists, I cannot open my hands to receive anything.When I hang onto tight control, and I close off my heart and my spirit,I cannot receive the blessings You have for me.

In letting go, I choose to receive your blessings. In letting go at this moment, I receive your loving presence around me and within me.

When I am feeling overwhelmed, I let go, so that I may receive your peace. When I feel afraid, I let go, so that I may receive love and courage. I let go of problems and challenges in order to receive your guidance and clarity. Lord, I let go because I trust you. You will hold me up, and carry me forth to where I need to be.

I let go and trust in the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit, inside of me.Help me to cease my struggle and surrender to You. I gladly receive the freedom, and release of letting go and letting you lead me and guide me. When I am weak, You make me strong, when I am confused, you are my way, when I am insufficient, You are my sufficiency. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge, my fortress, my deliverer, my provider, my ever faithful one, my God, in whom I trust. In Jesus name. 

Posted by: AT 05:10 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, September 08 2023

Let me start with some fun.....Father O'Malley answers the phone. The voice on the other end says "Hello, is this PastorO'Malley?" ..."It is" ...."This is the IRS. Can you help us?" ... "I will try" "Do you know a Ted Houlihan?" ...."Yes, I do" ...."Is he a member of your congregation?" ..."Yes, He is"...."Did he donate $10,000 to the church?" ....There is a pause, and pastor O’Malley says..."I believe He will now".

The message today asks the question....Who has sent you....Are you just doing your own thing, or are you sent....When Craig shows up at a fire scene, they can see his uniform and badge, and know he’s not just taking a stroll and happened on the scene....They know He’s sent by the fire department, this is official business, not monkey business.                                                                                         EXODUS 3:14 “And God said unto Moses, “I Am That I Am.” And He said, “This is what you shall say unto the children of Israel, ‘I Am has sent me to you”.......When Moses outdid the Pharaoh’s magicians, released the plagues, parted the Red Sea, and drowned the Pharaoh’s army, I would say, it was a pretty good clue, He was sent. WHAT A CALLING CARD!                                                             Remember, When Moses was first sent by God, at the burning bush, it was “check in your attitude time. Lay down your ego and don’t pick it back up... God told him to take off his shoes, because it was Holy /7854Ground.                                                                                                                                                   Exodus 3:5  “Do not come any closer”, God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”                       Moses also bowed himself to the ground so that he would not look upon God’s manifested presence. He understood the privilege of standing in the presence of the Great “I am”. He knew that it was a special privilege  and honor to hear the voice of God and to be sent by Him....                                      Holy Ground is a place of consecration, it is a place of surrender, it is where we step out from behind the wheel and let Jesus do the driving.... We stop giving excuses and asking questions and accept His answers and His direction... The song says “this is holy ground, we’re standing on Holy Ground, for the Lord is here and where He is, is Holy (repeat)                      

I’m afraid that we have lost so much of that today in the church world, and as a result, we have lost the power, and the passion that goes with this revelation of His glory. Sent ones have taken their shoes off....

It reminds me of a little girl, dressed in her Sunday best, who was running as fast as she could, trying not to be late for church. As she ran she prayed, "Dear Lord, please don't let me be late! Dear Lord, please don't let me be late!" About then, she tripped on a rock and fell, getting her clothes dirty and tearing her dress. She got up, brushed herself off, and started running again. As she ran. she once again began to pray, "Dear Lord, please don't let me be late... But please stop pushing!"                    Sometimes God has to give us a gentle nudge, to get us there....

Little by little, nudge, by nudge, Moses went from “Let Aaron speak for me, because I am a man of stammering lips”, to standing before all of Pharaoh’s magicians and army, in the power of that manifested glory. By some nudging from God....He began to understand that it was not about him anymore, it was about the one who sent him....

Moses began to see that The Great I Am, will do what He needs to do, when He can just find an instrument that will let Him be the All sufficient, All knowing, All seeing, All Powerful God.... Someone who will understand that when God is fighting for you, none can stand against you....

He’s the way maker, the Red Sea divider, the food multipling, disease cleansing, Demon overcoming, mountain moving, life giving, All sufficient, Creator and healer, the I am that I am......and He’s nudging you now...

If you know the answer to the question “Who Has Sent You?” Then you aren’t surprised when He does the impossible, performs the unbelievable, releases the miraculous, and brings forth the un-imaginable....

That’s why one of the most important things in the resume of John the Baptist is found in John 1:6 “There came a man who was sent from God. His name was John”. What a statement.....You can have degrees, and certification by this or that organization, and titles on top of titles.... but do you have this item in your resume folder......”He/She was sent from God”....That statement levels the playing field of life....

It's important because if you are sent by God, you don’t have to wonder what you should be doing, because it’s clear in your God contract you have been given, by the one you owe your existence to...                                                         Mark 16:17-20 “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 If they take up serpents and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.                           19 So then after the Lord had sent them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. 20 And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following”.                                                                                          Do You believe the one who has sent you?                                                                   The New Testament name for the church that you have become part of    is “The ecclesia” or sent ones....                                                                             When Winnie and I got married, we understood that we didn’t just go to a church, we were sent there. My job moved us around, and when we went to a new area, the first thing we did, was find out where we were being sent to. After seeking the Holy Spirit’s confirmation, we would find a church that needed workers, and volunteer, to teach, lead worship, play music, work with children, youth, men, women, boys and girls clubs, wherever there was a need, because we were sent there. The Lord, our master had already made that decision, it was ours to accept....                                                                                                                “God can’t steer a parked car.” We have to start our engines and give God access to us. He will pass over the best and the brightest for the available and obedient.

From the time that David was born, then Chris, then Karen, we made our decision that our children were to be part of a new sent generation....  We would love to have them with us now, so we could see our grand kids and great grand kids, but we want them to know the glory of God and the power of God, that comes by being sent by Him.... Right down to our little Parker who is entering the 2nd grade and goes around her neighborhood witnessing for the Lord, and our great grand babies who love to worship and dance before the Lord in His house....That’s all they have ever known.  That, to us is far better than being able to see them every week.... because we prayed “Lord send them” and now we are going to rule and reign together with Christ forever and forever..... What could be better than that!!! What a great deal God has given us....

In Acts 10:17-20, While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision he had received while praying on the roof top, (that he was to eat the unclean animals God revealed to him and he was repulsed at the thought) the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon's house was and stopped at the gate.                                                                                             18 They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there. 19 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said tohim, "Simon, three men are looking for you. 20 So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them."                                                                                                  God told Peter to go to people he used to avoid – the Gentiles!                           If you’re willing to be sent, you will see things differently than you used to... You will be willing to do things you never thought you could ever do, you will go where you never ever thought you would go.                                                         Peter, go into your world. Take who you are, your background and experiences, your strengths and weaknesses, your lifepreparation, and the good and the bad and I’ll use it to impact your world!

God said, Go with My message to a place where others will talk bad about you and accuse you, because you make them feel guilty for not being willing to be sent themselves!                                                                             God said Go, because He doesn’t show favoritism to anyone....                                                Acts 11:2 – And they accused Peter..." v2 And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, the apostles and brethren that were of the circumcision contended with him, v3 saying, you went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them."  The ones who were supposed to have his back, were now criticizing him...                                                                                            Acts 10:34 Then Peter began to speak: "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.                                                                                   You may have to minister to folks you wouldn’t have anything to do with before! Folks who will never thank you, praise you, or even appreciate you.... as a result they all were saved and filled with the Holy Spirit..     So, you know that Jesus turns to the Father and says... “Hey Dad, that’s my kid, see what he’s doing, aren’t you proud of him. Dad I love to see them growing and developing, bless them and let them know we’re with them and let others know that we have sent them.”

Sent people begin to receive gifts of discernment, knowledge, wisdom, healings, and miracles because they’re letting God call the shots and  they are willing to just be the instrument He chooses.. Hallelujah......           Moses had only a staff. David had only a slingshot. A little boy had a simple lunch of 5 barley cakesand 2 fish, that somehow fed 5,000 people. The question isn’t whether what we have is good enough for God—it’s whether we will offer what we have for his service. And watch Him do  the rest...                                                                                                       Don’t be like the following little guy who just didn’t get it..                                                   Little Tommy's new baby brother was screaming up a storm and didn’t sound like he would stop soon.Johnny asked his mom, “Where did you get him from, mom?”“He was sent to us from heaven, Johnny.” Johnny responded: “Wow! I can see why they threw him out!”.                                            Have you been trying to avoid some folks that God sent you to, that you wonder if heaven kicked them out?. You might as well give up and surrender!                                                                                                                       1 Corinthians 1:6-29 “For yousee your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God haschosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, has God chosen, and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are: That no flesh should glory in His presence.”

Paul is saying that we need to understand that it isn’t about us, because we could never do it in ourselves, it is about the presence of the one who said, “If you are willing to go for me, I will be with you, in you, and upon you....the Sent ones of God.... I want us to look at these 4 scriptures....    Of the benefits which come with being a Sent one....

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,   a people for his own possession, to proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.                                Ephesians 2:6 He has raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus...

2 Corinthians 5:20 “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, (sent ones) and God is making His appeal through us”. Wow, and another Wow, And the Holy Spirit is signing folks up even as I speak!!!

I know Saul’s story is a lot different from Peter’s, but they both have this in common: they’re both a good example of how Good, God is, in the sending business.                                                                                                         The sons of Sceva found out how important it is to be a sent one.              You can believe, Satan wants to know who sent you....                                                                                                     Acts 19:13 Then some Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name  of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” 14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this.                                                                          15 But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was, leaped on them, overcame all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded”.                                                       Satan will be askingfor sure, “Who sent you”!                                                                                                                                                    God equips those He sends....So don’t rule yourself out, because You’ve been signed up...Moses was 80 when he liberated the Israelites from bondage. Sarah and Abraham were 90 and 100, respectively, when they became first-time parents in a covenant to create a great peoplewho would change the world. And of course, Noah was 500 years old when he started building the ark. The results of their actions show that God’s timing is perfect. Age is no impediment to being used powerfully by God. Moses was a stutterer...Samson was a woman chaser....Paul   was a murderer....Jacob was a liar...The woman at the well, was a prostitute....The man of Gadara was demon possessed....Gideon was hiding in fear when he was chosen.....if you’re imperfect and flawed, then you’re the right person....

Now, that brings us to our main point. (This sermon really only has one point – and this is it) God is Sending You                                                                            John 17:18) As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.                                                                                                                                  John 20:21) Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has  sent me, even so, I am sending you."                                                                                 He sent angels to announce many things, but He sent Moses to speak to Pharaoh, Jonah to speak to the Ninevites, Nathan to speak to David, Jeremiah to speak to Judah, and Elijah to speak to Ahab.                                     God is in the sending business. It shouldn’t surprise you that accepting His forgiveness and receiving Him as Lord of your life, also means being sent in His behalf, and for His glory.                                                                    Instead of just going to work, what if you’re sent, instead of just going shopping, what if you’re sent.... Instead of just going to lunch, what if you’re sent... Instead of just being a mom or dad, or son or daughter, or grand dad or grand ma. What if you’re sent.... Oh, it changes everything! Now His business is my business, His purposes become embedded in my purposes, and there is another dimension added to everything I do!                    You have to go anyway,....                                                                                                WHY NOT BE SENT?                                                                                 Colossians 3:1-3 If you have been raised up with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.3 For you are a new creation, and your life is embedded with Christ in God.

Jesus lived His life with a sense of Divine urgency. Look what He said.. John 9:4 I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day, for the night is coming, when no man can work.                                                      Jesus lived like there was no tomorrow, no second chance, and no do-overs... He knew our nature. When you lose your sense of urgency you stop witnessing. When you lose your sense of urgency you stop praying. When you lose your sense of urgency, just any old thing will do, and you begin a spiritual decline. Less study of God’s word, less concern about your family’s or your friend’s eternal destiny... other things become more important than being sent by the lord....                                                                                                                                Someone wrote this prayer.. they prayed....”Precious God, forgive the mewho tries to override your call, by arguing for a compromise, an easier, less challenging way. Forgive the me who hesitates, puts you on hold for a while, because I miss the urgency within your voice, and the reason why, just now, that you have sent me”.                                                                                                      John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat (purpose) is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work which He sent me to do.

Prayer......Lord Jesus, heal in me whatever You see that needs healing. Heal me of whatever might separate me from you. Heal my memory, heal my heart, heal my emotions, heal my spirit, heal my body and heal my soul. Lay Your hands upon me and heal me through and through. Lord, I am praying for what only You can do. I’m praying for a miracle. I know that you are my source from which it will come. I trust in You from the beginning to the end of it.                                                                     Bless me with the faith to always believe, and to affirm that my miracle is on it’sway. Lord, my limitless and abundant supply is even now being made manifest. I believe and declare Your power and authority to conquer the darkest enemy, break the strongest barrier, and silence the greatest deceiver. Your name is Worthy, Glorious, Mighty in power and I claim victory today in Your name. I believe and receive that Your mightiest warriors are now fighting this battle with me.                                                        Father, guide and direct me by your Holy Spirit, as I choose to follow in your way.Give me the wisdom to seek You first, before each decision. Enlighten me and guide me through the wise counsel of Your Word. May I be enabled and Spirit led to minister to others in a way that brings You fullness of glory. In Jesus name, Amen

we are going to send you into this week, wherever you go, whatever you are doing, anywhere, anytime, for every reason....We declare that you are the Sent ones of the Father.Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.... We’re going to believe for “Miraculous Mondays, Tremendous Tuesdays, Wonderful Wednesdays, Terrific Thursdays, Fabulous Fridays, Spectacular Saturdays, and Supernatural Sundays!!!  In Jesus’ name!!!

Posted by: AT 02:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, September 01 2023

Don’t Let Go...                                                                                                 When this statement came to my spirit, as I was preparing to start my  day on Tuesday, I immediately thought of a fellow in the bible, named Eleazar....He’s found in the book of 2nd Samuel and he was one of David’s mighty men. There were 30 men in this circle of elite warriors, and the three were the elite among the elite!                                                            Ishbosheth, the son of Hachmon was the leader of the Three Warriors.  In one battle, he killed 800 men with his spear. (He wouldn’t let Go)  Shammah stood in the middle of a field that was being ravaged by the Philistines and slew an entire companyof Philistines. The crops were saved, and the Lord gave Israel a great victory.                                       (He wouldn’t let go)                                                                                                                    In 2 Samuel 23:9 we see the 3rd warrior in this elite group..... that really got my says....                                                                                                “Every one of the Israelite soldiers turned and ran, v10 except Eleazar. He slew thePhilistines until his hand was fixed to the sword, so that he couldn't let go”. (that means it had become an extension of himself You couldn’t tell where Eleazar ended and the sword began) When Eleazar finished, all the Israelite troops had to do,was come back and take the spoils of the enemy, and theirweapons and armor. The Lord gave Israel a great victory that day. (He wouldn’t let go)                            

That really grabbed me and demanded further research in light of our topic today. It was interesting to me that this victory was the place where David slew Goliath...It was known as the valley of blood. The enemy will often take us back to places where God gave us the victory to see if he can win it back, and undo the damage we have done to his kingdom.                                                                                                              As I look back on my Christian walk, my greatest battles have been fought on the same battle grounds as before, over the same things time and time again, some of those same things, that I’d already dealt with    and walked away from victorious, were going to have to be fought and won again. Satan doesn’t give up easily and he is a sore looser!                                                                             That’s why 1 Peter 5:8 says “Be alert and be vigilant. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for opportunity to devour”.  But one greater than Satan is in us....                                                                                             Ephesians 6:17 we are told to “take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God”. Don’t let go of your sword....The same weapons that beat Satan last time will beat him this time! He hasn’t changed his strategy, and truth is greater than his lies. Our sword is bigger than all of his weapons, and when he is threatening and roaring, we should be reminding him of his ending! We win, he loses.... it’s settled, no reprieve, not do overs, and no question... He’s the biggest loser that ever got kicked out of heaven....                                                                                                                         We can learn from Eleazar, who was left alone in that field, cause every one who came with him had run off..... And when you look around, and the folks that were supposed to have your back are running away.....You find that everyone that says that they are in the fight with you are not always covering your back. People will run off and leave you when things get uncomfortable or may cost them something.                                                                But Romans 8:31 says “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can stand against us”?                                                                           My God never fails. I’ve got to remember that this battle isn’t about me, it’s about Satan trying to challenge God....And our God has never lost a battle, and He never will... just make sure it’s his battle you’re fighting, not your own....                                                                                              Elijah had the same situation, as he faced the 450 prophets of Baal,  alone and no one was standing on his side.... But he understood that this was not about him... it was between Baal and Jehovah... Thank God, the battle is the Lord’s! That makes you a winner....And I like the way Elijah rubbed it in.... He poured water on the sacrifice and the altar, to say to the Devil, “My God is more than enough”..... Not only will God defeat you, but He’ll rub your nose in it, Devil, and use it for a testimony to draw people to Himself and make the end better than the beginning! When the devil is making it harder than it already was, remember Elijah, as he showed everyone that God is more than enough!                                                                                                        Say it with me... “All things work together for the good of those who are the called according to His purposes”                                                                                   Some years ago, a young girl had a sever heart condition and was not expected to recover. She regretted that she had not been able to do more for the Lord in her short life. Her pastor suggested that she make a list of people in their little town who needed Christ and pray that they might receive Him as savior. She took his advice, made a list, and prayed daily for each person. Some time later God began to stir a revival in the village. The girl heard of the people who were coming to Christ and prayed even more. As she heard reports, she checked off the names of those who had come to the Lord. After the girl died, a prayer list with the names of 56 people she had prayed for, was found under her pillow. All had put their faith in Christ—the last one on the night before her death.... Don’t let go, grip your sword! She didn’t let her condition stop her mission.                                                                                                             Getting back to Eleazer, this guy Eleazar, knew his weapon. He had spent countless hours getting familiar with using it. He wasn’t always this   good with the sword, and I’m sure he had the scars to prove it! But he wouldn’t let go! At the beginning, he might have had lessspectacular wins... but he didn’t let go.... You start with a splinter, and soon you’ll be removing logs from your vision.... You start with self discipline and you end up with prosperity and success.... You start with witnessing to one person, and you find yourself ministering to groups of people.... He who   is faithful in little shall be given much.... Don’t you let go!!                                                                               Eleazer kept training until he became not only one of thirty, but one of three....When you pick up the bible to read it, say to yourself, I’m going   to become an expert in the word of God. When you are asked to pray, say to yourself, I’m going to be an expert in prayer....(Jesus didn’t teach them how to preach, he taught them how to pray)                                                 Those who refuse to let go, are not willing to settle for second best. A teacher, in English class, was guiding the class through present, past, and future tense in verbs, and she wrote a sentence on the board and asked if it was past, present, or future tense.                                                                               She wrote“I am a beautiful person”.... One boy eagerly raised his hand and said, “I believe that would be past tense”.....                                              You can’t be thin skinned and fulfill your purpose and calling....I’m sure there are a host of demons, who have been put in charge of offenses and emotional wounds....                                                                                                                                                                                        Can you take constructive criticism, and honest appraisal.... Sometimes it takes 3 or 4 times for me, but when my daughter Karen gets on me, it hits the mark. As a matter of fact, if Winnie wants to make sure I get it, she has Karen tell me.... (Now don’t all of you get any ideas)Winnie,  don’t give them Karen’s number...please....                                                                                         But we all need to get beyond ourselves, right? DON’T LET GO, of your witness, and your spiritual values and goals, because you got offended or got your feelings hurt...or it didn’t go your way....Offenses don’t rule you any more.... the Holy Spirit does....                                                        Harrison Ford was told to quit acting and stop fooling himself, he would never make it... Harrison Ford’s first role was as a hotel bellhop in “Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round”. Ford had all of two lines. One day the head of new talent, a man who worked on the set, asked Ford to come into his office. “You're never going to make it in the business, just forget about it,” In spite of that man’s rejection and predictions, Ford would go on to act in more than 50 movies, and of course, become one of the faces of Star Wars. He also got to have the last laugh. As he was telling the story, one night as he was out to dinner with a group of movie *.......executives, a waiter placed a business card in front of him. On the back was a note from that vehead of talent who was now a waiter....who said he'd never make it. It said, "I really missed that one, didn’t I".                                        I know my message is about not letting go, but I have to cover the other side of holding on.... the other side of this is called a Stronghold. Satan uses this principle of not letting go, to defeat us, and he uses it effectively.... You’ve got to know when to walk away, & when to run!! 2nd Corinthians 10:4 says: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds”.

Let me describe a stronghold like this....

In South America, they catch monkeys by understanding one of the downfalls of the monkey. They can’t let go. They attach a box to a monkey tree. They make a hole just big enough for the monkey to stick his tiny hand into it. Then they put the monkey’s favorite fruit in the box. The monkey reaches in the box and grabs the fruit, but the hole is too small to let it pull it’s hand out with the fruit in it. The monkey will refuse to let go of the fruit, and pull it’s hand out. So the trapper just walks up and puts a collar on the monkey and breaks the box. The monkey gets the fruit, but it is now a slave to the trapper.                                                                 A Stronghold is an offense or emotional woundyou refuse to let go of... Strongholds will make you a loser instead of a winner. Strongholds begin by holding on to hurts, abuses, bad experiences, disappointments, emotional wounds or injustices in our lives. They begin to be part of our identity..... A rebellious nature, fierce independence, and trust issues, becomepatterns, and emotional triggers which keep folks from pressing in, pushing through, and holding tight to the things of God and total dependance upon God!                                                                 Strongholds keep pushing God out of His rightful place in our lives. 

Strongholds must be pulled down, if we are going to do and be, what God has in store for us. Let me give you a suggested list ofsome things that must be dealt with here.....

*........1. UNCONFESSED, SECRET SIN IN YOUR LIFE.... Good news....The cross is greater, and God’s love is strongerthan any and all sin....                                                                                                                         1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.“                         Repentance means that we will now intentionally live a life that is different from the sinful pattern we used to engage in.                                                      *.......2. OCCULT ACTIVITY..... If you have ever knowingly or unknowingly dabbled in any occult-like practices in your past? That may be where you issues stem from. Weyi board, palm reading, tarot cards, experimentation, Wicca, fortune telling (not Chinese cookies) zodiac signs.... are a few. These things are like placing a “vacancy” sign on your life for evil spirits to find a place to inhabit.                                                                                           Renounce any commitments or oaths you made to any of those groups and declare your allegiance to Jesus Christ as sole Lord and Savior of your life. Tell them they must leave and never return, in Jesus name.                                                                   The Spirit of Jesus who lives in you, and to whom you now haveallegiance, is greater and more powerful than the evil presence behind what you just told to leave and never return.                                                              *.......How about LIES YOU MAY HAVE BELIEVED..... about yourself, and lies about how God sees you. Lies that the enemy has been playing over and over in your mind for years, which, in your pain, you’ve unfortunately bought into. “God will never forgive me”, “I’m too far gone”, “God won’t heal me”... “God doesn’t love me”...God can’t use me”....etc.                                                                                                                         If what you’re “hearing” or feeling, “brings you shame or guilt, or pushes you away from intimacy with God, it’s not of God and must be rejected..                                                                                            In Philippians 4:8, we’re told what to focus on instead of the lies, that want to defeat us. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”                                                                    *.......3. UNFORGIVENESS: If you are still nursing bitterness against someone/ or people, the enemy will take advantage of that to keep you defeated. The people who wounded you may not deserve to be forgiven, but we forgive because Jesus Christ forgave us for an even greater sin against God. We forgive because it sets us free, from the stronghold produced by bitterness or resentment.                                                                                                                         The solution is (yes, you know it), forgiveness. When you forgive someone, it’s not that you’re allowing them to “get away scott-free”, but rather, it’s you,trusting that God is wise enough, powerful enough, and loving enough, to handle justice on your behalf.

*........4. HEREDITY..... You may have picked up on the fact that certain unhealthy behavioral and thought patterns present in your life was also present in your father’s (or mother's) life, and his father, and so on. Sometimes, unhealthy, even ungodly family traditions and family patterns is passed down from generation to generation to generation until someone stands up and says, IN JESUS NAME, NO MORE!

Be intentional about rejecting the bad parts and embrace the good parts of your heritage. Here the master inviting you to come over to the other side, where He has a fresh start and new beginning for you. Surrender it to Him and be willing to let go of the toxic part of your heritage.                       Millions have reached the peak of their destinies in spite of significant wounds locked up in their past. Rahab was a prostitute, yet, by faith, she helped out the Israelites in time of need and as a result, became the great grandma of one of the greatest kings in Israel and was included in the lineage of Christ.                                                                                                 Joseph was hated by his brothers and sold into slavery by those who were supposed to love him, yet, by trusting in God, He became the prime minister of the greatest nation in the world in his time – Egypt.                                 Jabez had such a hard beginning in life that his mother named him, “pain”(the literal translation of his name), yet, by faith, when he prayed, God blessed him beyond measure and expanded his territory so he never suffered need. My friends, a greater destiny awaits you, Don’t let go!

Let me get to my next scripture before I run out of time....                                                   Genesis 25:21 “Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. 22 The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. 23 The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” 24 When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. 25 The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau. 26 After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. 

What’s apparent here is that Jacob wouldn’t let go.... God let his mom know that what would happen in the future, began in the womb, and would end up with Esau serving Jacob. That Jacob was intended to be the first born, but Satan tried to intervene and change history...                           Come on, say with me Jacob wouldn’t let go!!! Rachael refused to go by what she saw or felt, because she had heard from God.... Through all the rebellion, through all the willfulness and stubbornness, Rachael would         not let go of what God told her... She held on and saw the day when her son was made the heir, and received his place in the blessing of God. Somebody needs to get a word from God for their family, and never let   go of it....

Genesis 32:24 “Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

As a result of Jacob’s tenacity, God renames him, he steps over into his destiny, and history was changed. Why is this story here, so we can do the same thing.... refuse to let go of the future we have been promised. Refuse to let go of the anointing which comes with our calling...               Refuse   to let go of the portion that has been reserved for us. Refuse to see ourselves as anything less than God has said we are....



Hosea 12:3 “In the womb he took his brother by the heel, and                  in his maturity, he had power with God...                                                                                                              How’s your spiritual maturity level?

Psychology Today says this about maturity...                                                           (I’m gonna save you a lot of money here)

*.......A mature person is able to keep long-term commitments and has  the ability to delay gratification.                                                                                                                             *.......A mature person is unshaken by flattery or criticism. As people mature, they sooner or later understand that nothing is as good as it seems, and nothing is as bad as it seems. 

*........A mature person possesses a spirit of humility. Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. Mature people aren’t consumed with drawing attention to themselves.                                      *....... A mature person’s decisions are based on character, not feelings. Mature people live by values. They have principles that guide their decisions. They are able to progress beyond merely reacting to life’s circumstances, and are proactive as they live their life.                                    *........ A mature person expresses gratitude consistently. They have  found that the more they mature, the more grateful they are, for both big and little things. They have discovered contentment.                                        *....... A mature person knows how to prioritize others before themselves. The pathway out of childhood is getting past your own desires and living to meet the needs of others.                                                                                   *........ A mature person seeks wisdom before acting. A mature person is teachable, they don’t presume they have all the answers. The wiser they get, the more they realize they need wisdom. They’re not ashamed of seeking counsel.

What a powerful statement Hosea shares....                                                                “And in his maturity Jacob had power with God”.. I close with...                                                          Ephesians 4:15 “Speaking the truth in love, we should grow up in all things into Him who is the head, Christ.”                                                                                                        *.......Prayer of agreement.......Father, wecry out for an encounter with You, as you do Your work in our hearts. I pray that You would take this heart, and mold it to look more and more like Jesus. I yearn to go deeper in Your Word that  my mind and my will would be molded by Your will. Holy Spirit, give me the strength to walk in Your wisdom, that would empower me to be a reflection of the glorious Kingdom of our Lord and Savior.                                        

Thank You for the grace that has saved me and the grace that continues to keep me and guide me in truth and in obedience. I pray that out of Your glorious riches, You may strengthen mewith power through Your Spirit in my inner being, so that Christ may dwell in my heart through faith.  

And I pray that as we together, are rooted and established in love, with all the saints, that we may grasp how wide and how long and how high and how deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that we may be filled to the fullest measure of all the fullness of God.” In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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