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Sermon of the Week 
Wednesday, May 25 2022

The River

I’m reminded of the pastor During Prohibition who was having a baptismal service at the river, and he chose to preach on the evils of alcoholic beverages to all the candidates who were new Christians. He shouted, "If I had all the beer in the world, I’d take it and throw it into the river." The congregation cried, "Amen!""And if I had all the wine in the world, I’d take it and throw it in the river."                                                The congregation shouted, "Amen!"

"And if I had all the whiskey and the rum in the world, I’d take it all and throw it in the river." And the congregation cried, "Amen!"

After the sermon the preacher stepped into the water, with his words hanging in the air, to the shouts and applause of the congregation. The song leader stood and announced, “We will now join together and sing, Shall we gather at the river”....

Let me invite you to gather at the river today as we begin by seeing some references to this river topic in some inspiredscriptures given by Holy Spirit to some of God’s river people in scripture... 

Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with youand through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.”

Ezekiel 47:9 “And it shall come to pass, that every thing,wherever the rivers shall come, shall live, and there shall be abundance, because these waters shall come, and they shall be healed and everything shall live where the river flows.

Psalm 36:8 “They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Your house Oh God, and You shalt cause them drink of the river of Your pleasures”.

John 7:37-39 “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his center will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified”. 

Hallelujah, Whenever, and wherever Jesus is glorified, when He is high and lifted up, the river is released to flow.....

I want us to unwrap some of God’s promises about the Riverwhich is mentioned so often in scripture.

God is looking for a people who can see what no one else is seeing. That kind of people are called watchmen in the bible.... They are not watching people, they are not called to watch the enemy... they are called to watch God!

They are called to see His character, to see His nature, and to see His power. 

When folks begin to focus on these things and speak them out to others, we call it revelation or prophecy...

It’s how Peter was able to say in Acts 3:6 “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have I give unto you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk”.

Peter tapped into God’s river....

The disciples had boldness, spiritual insight, and power, because they were flowing in the river of God...

That river was released by staying in the presence of Jesus. They had a boldness of speech and authority that did not come from being simply religious. Religion may provide boundaries, but those boundaries can’t handle the surge of the river of God. It will overflow religion every time. Religion will always bow the knee to the river of God.

God wants to overwhelm what we have known and experienced, and show us what it looks like in the overflow....

I love this item called “The Fellowship of the Unashamed”

I am part of the "Fellowship of the Unashamed." The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow down,back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, limp hands, colorless dreams, chintzy giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I now live by presence, lean by faith, love by patience,lift by prayer, and labor by power. My pace is set, my stride is fast, my goal is Heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, and my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, deterred, lured away, turned back, diluted, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I am a disciple of Jesus. I will keep going untilHeaven returns, give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes. And when He comes to get His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My beliefs will be clear, my hope will be strong and my stand unshakable. I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ . . . WHEW!

It's time that we must learn the ways of God’s river once again....

As we do, we become one, with the purpose of the river.....

To Be a vehicle of Life

To sweep away and dislodge every work of the enemy

To cause everything that is stagnant, to become fresh and vibrant again

To see lack and insufficiency be swept away by His abundance

To see weakness and weariness give way to strength.

To exalt Jesus in all His greatness and power.

Ezekiel saw what others could not see... Ezekiel 47:3 “The angel walked to the east with a measuring tape and measured off fifteen hundred feet, leading me through water that was ankle-deep. 4 He measured off another fifteen hundred feet, leading me through water that was knee-deep. 

He measured off another fifteen hundred feet, leading me through water waist-deep. 5 He measured off another fifteen hundred feet. By now it was a river over my head, water to swim in, water no one could possibly walk through”.

It's time for that which is invisible to become very visible in the physical realm where we all live. It’s not enough to be satisfied that the things of God are spiritual not physical... It’s time for faith to become sight. It’s time to touch the untouchable, hear the inaudible and see the invisible..

Jesus came in the flesh so that all might see the reality of the God head. He came in the flesh so that we could touch the untouchable, hear the inaudible and see the invisible.... Jesus commanded His disciples to show the people, that the sick could be healed, the bound and oppressed could be delivered, the dead could be raised, and all manner of disease and infirmity was no match for the river of God!

You start ankle deep, but then He calls us waist deep, and armpit deep, then you find yourself swimming in that river... 

LAUNCH OUT INTO THE DEEP, LET THE SHORELINE GO... LAUNCH OUT, LAUNCH OUT, IN THE RIVER OF GOD!!

Wherever you are, there’s more!

Wherever you’ve been, there’s more!

Whatever you’ve seen, there’s more!

Whatever you’ve dreamed, there’s more!

It’s time to go deeper and believe something is happening even though we don’t see it or feel it. 

4 words declare a truth that we cannot see or most of the time even feel, but if God has it for us, I want to receive it. 

“THERE IS A RIVER.” Psalm 46:4

David the Psalmist in Psalm 1 said we need to be like a tree planted by rivers of water and our roots constantly drawing from and getting constantly renewed from the river. 

Everyone say out loud. “THERE IS A RIVER! “

Notice also that David says “God is in the midst of her”  Psalm46:5

It’s where the will of God, the intentions and purposes of God are... and the empowerment and authorization which enable us to accomplish His will, intentions and purposes, wherever it flows. 

Tell someone, “JUST GO AHEAD AND GET IN THE FLOW” 

The waters of a river are always going somewhere, it is always moving and flowing.

It may upset some folks that there’s a lot of debris that is swept along in the current of the river. Because a river breaks things free, and it loosens and carries away things that are not in God’s purposes and intentions. Don’t get so focused on the debris, that you forget why you’re in the river. There will always be debris. There will always be a lot of stuff that people are being set free of, and released from, but GOD IS IN THE MIDST OF THE RIVER. That’s what matters... Leave the debris with Him. It’s being carried away. 

Trust Him, that when the river is flowing, it will all be resolved in the river. The temptation is to get distracted by the stuff, and get out of the river.... Stay, and go deeper, but keep moving with the river of God....

The river of life will remove all the debris from people’s lives, from their mind, from their eyes, from their heart and their soul. It will wash emotions clean, memories clean. Bitterness, andunforgiveness get washed away. 

In every great revival movement, there is a lot of stuff that get’scaught in the current of the river. Often, those who are spectators, or who are content to be ankle deep, like to point out the mess, instead of the bigger cleansing, freeing purpose of the river....There are always critics and religious folks who fear that the river may change things, and shake up things. I say, Let it shake....let it rock and roll, baby! 

God’s river is an instrument of fresh, new Life

It comes to sweep away and dislodge every work of the enemy

It causes everything that is stagnant, to become fresh and vibrant again

It causes lack and insufficiency be swept away by abundance

It causes weakness and weariness give way to strength and power.

OK, check out this.... .  Proverbs 21:1 “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, AS RIVERS OF WATER; HE TURNS IT TO ANY PLACE HE WILLS.”

I shared last week about some spiritual principles I have learned from Gold Rush. Something else I learned on Gold Rush.... Sometimes the gold they are looking for is under the river bedwhich is providing their water source for the wash plant. There have been some episodes, that they have had to divert the river, in order to get at the gold. They do this by digging out a new channel for the river to flow in, then breaking through the artificial dam they have created, to let the river be diverted in a new direction which allows them to mine the gold.

Don’t miss this.... Keep preparing your channel, because God is always looking for a new channel for His river to flow through. You may think that God could never use you like “so and so”.... You could never be that or do that.... But are you willing to be the channel and let God decide what can and will happen when you do!!!

God diverts the river and someone like Nickie Cruse who was a gang leader, becomes an international evangelist, leading thousands to Christ, Some like Saul of Tarsus, who went about murdering Christians, becomes Paul the Apostle out of season and the Apostle to the gentiles.  

Can you just be the channel and let the river do the rest?

Paul said “it is not me, but it is Christ in me”.....

If you say, “I can’t do that.” YOU’RE RIGHT!

If you say, “I’m not up to that.”.. YOU’RE RIGHT!

He only asks, “Will you be the channel?” ....”Are you willing?”

If you are, He will divert the river and choose the channel you provide Him....

Every move of God lasted until man tried to control it....

Every move of God lasted until man got distracted by something else.

Every move of God lasted until it became inconvenient and God found a new stream.....

Did you know that the ark that God told Noah to build, did not have a rudder. God steered it, and God brought it through the flood. 

When God finds a person who will let Him steer the boat, there is no limit with what He can do!

God wants to take us into new places we don’t even know exist! He wants to give us experiences that we don’t even know how to ask for, in the time and place we are now! But to get there we will have to allow Him to take us where He wants our lives to go.

Don’t despise small beginnings...... The mighty Mississippi river finds it’s source as a small tributary flowing out of Lake Itasca, in northern Minnesota. It flows 2,552 miles, across 32 states and a sliver of 2 Canadian provinces, until it empties into the ocean at New Orleans. It enter the gulf with such force that the fresh water pushes back the salt water for 7 miles. With all it’s twists and turns it is 3,710 miles long, the fourth longest river in the world. And it all began as a spill over from Lake Itasca.   

God often chooses little places, little things, little people to show His greatness and bring His glory. God chose a virgin in an obscure little village called Bethlehem to give birth to the savior of the world.... He chose some fishermen on the sea of Galilee, who were doing what unnamed generations before them had doneto reach the world with the gospel.... He chose a young Jewish maid named Esther, to redeem a nation doomed for genocide by Haman... we would not even know about these nobodies, except God chose to let His river flow through them and do some big history changing things thru their surrendered lives.

The river of God is about a relationship not an assignment.....                                        Most people want to fill a need in the world,and that’s not a bad thing, but the truth is, the needs of the world are endless. If managers and planners could do it, it would be done!  We want assignments from God and God will give those from time to time. The answer to “what does God want me to do with my life”, is not an assignment. The answer to what God wants me to do with my life is a relationship. 

The river of God is about a moment by moment relationship! It is not event driven, it is Spirit driven. “My spirit bears witness with His spirit”.

If God gave you a life assignment without a relationship, you would run off and do it without Him. 

Instead, the life He has planned for you is always about flowing with Him and doing what He is doing now and saying the same thing He is saying.

When people get frustrated over not know what God would have them do with their life – the best thing for them to do is just get alone with God. After they have spent time alone in worship and being emersed in how much God loves them or how good God has been to them - - - then they can begin to hear God talk about what is next for their life.

When you flow with God’s river inside of you, leading you step by step and day by day, you are fulfilling your destiny and pleasing God. He will make all the divine connections for you.

Our identity is not tied to what we do – our work does not define us. 

Our identity is becoming a river bed so the HS river can flow through every part of my life and bring that life wherever He leads me. Break up those dams and barriers of resistance. Stop telling God what He needs to do and surrender to His will and let Him open up and release His river within you..

I just came here today to tell you 4 words.  

There IS a river! Won’t you plunge in today.... Lord, let Your river flow!

Song.... There is a river....

Prayer.....Father, You are the Source of all Living Water, and we yearn to go so much deeper in the river of God. Lord, for times of refreshing, healing, and deliverance, keep us all in the river.Thank you for flowing all across this land with the river of God.

Today, we declare over our lives a new beginning, and a deeper walk, as deep calls unto deep. Holy Spirit our Comforter and Friend, we thirst for the rivers of mercy, let the rivers of grace keep pouring down over us. Holy Spirit flow through our day. Show us things we have never seen before. Forgetting those things that lay behind us we press on towards the high calling in Christ Jesus. Give us the wisdom and discernment to know the how, when, where, and to whom of the river’s purpose. Let us never be the same, as we leave the dry parched places behind us, and we open ourselves to Your divine flow. 

Let us never be the same as Your spirit fills us again and again.Release those Living Waters You have placed inside of us and may the river of God's power flow mightily through us. We long to be used more and more for Your Glory, in Jesus name....Amen.

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