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Sermon of the Week 
Tuesday, July 09 2024

It’s Time To Get Desperate 

We sang the song today, “I’m desperate for You”……and I want us all to know, God is waiting for some folks to get desperate….Some folks will never get delivered until they are desperate enough…They will never get what they’re asking God for until they get desperate enough….

When the woman with the issue of blood touched Jesus, she was at the moment of desperation, and Jesus said, “Your (desperate) faith has made you whole”… it should say….“Your (desperate) faith has made you whole”

Take a look at James 5:16 “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much”. Another way of saying (When the righteous get desperate)  stuff happens)

The bible tells of a man who got unexpected company at midnight, and had nothing to give them to eat. He was desperate, andknocked on his neighbor’s door. The neighbor didn’t want to get up and respond to his need, but because he was desperate, he kept on knocking until the neighbor got up and gave him what he needed! It’s time to get desperate!

In Esther 4:16 we see the words of a desperate person…. “Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and then, I will go in unto the king, which is not in accordance to the law, and if I perish, I perish.”                      

God is looking for people who are desperate to see Him move. He is looking for risk takers who are ready to say, “if I perish I perish” just like Esther. God is looking for people with unshakable faith that are ready to move out of their comfort Zone and into the desperation zone. 

Tony Robbins said, “In life you need either inspiration or desperation”.                                                                                                                                                                                                  Jim Carrey said, ”Desperation is a necessary ingredient to learning anything, or creating anything, period. If you ain'tdesperate at some point, you’re not really interested in making a difference”.                                                                                 Anne Lamott said, “I've heard people say that sometimes God comes as the gift of desperation, whenyou've run out of any more good ideas for how to save and fix and rescue.”

Esther 3:13 gives a brief description of what the desperate times they were in, looked like….. “And the letters were sent by posts into all the king's provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all the Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to confiscate all their possessions”.

Esther was desperate to save her people, who were going to be exterminated. (that sounds familiar doesn’t it) Hey, guess what, Satan has arrived in our neighborhood, to steal, kill, and destroy…. We face the same scenario that Esther faced… If we could overhear what Satan is planning for our loved ones, and ourselves, as he meets in the conference room of hell with his demon commanders, believe me, we would get desperate! There would be no place for complacency. 

How desperate are we to see our family, our coworkers, our friends and neighbors we meet every day, come to Christ and follow Him?                   How desperate are we about our level of spirituality?                                                Wow, Enoch was known as the man who walked with God, in his time. What a reputation! And he was not because God took him! One day they just kept on walking to glory!

How desperate are we to know and obey His will for our life? How desperate are we for our nation, I mean after all, we have to live here? How desperate are for Holy Spirit to have His way in us?                                      Oh, I’m getting desperate!

Jacob said to the angel he wrestled with at Bethel, “I will not let you go until the blessing I receive!

Our level of desperation, will determine the depth of our walk with God. 

God is looking for some "Whatever It Takes” men and women and young people, who will live like Paul the Apostle who describedhow he lived his life, in Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ & I no longer live, (my self life) but Christ lives in me and the life I now live I live by the faith of the Son of God.”                                                                                                                     Hey, that’s another way of saying “Whatever it takes”

Is there a point in our lives when we were more desperate for God than we are now. What if we go back and start at that place, and this time turn up the heat, fan the flame, press in more, and learn a lesson from what cooled us down, so we don’t let it happen again. Was there a time when we prayed more, read our bible more, witnessed to others more, attended church more, or just had a greater passion for Christ.

There are sins of commission as well as sins of omission. We can sin by what we do, and we can sin by what we know to do but don’t do it!              When David was caught in sin, he writes in….                                                   Psalm 51:3 “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. v4 Against you, and you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight…”                                                                                                           Notice David realized this was about a violation of his level of relationship with God. He said “For I know my transgressions”…                             The word “transgression” means “to intentionally cross a forbidden boundary”… David realizes that the sins he committed, were because of the sins of omission. It’s what he didn’t do to strengthen his relationship with God that caused him to do what he did, to distance his relationship with God.

Jesus addressed the sins of omission in Matthew 16….

Matthew 16:24 “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his soul”.

Woah, that leads me to the question “Can a believer lose their salvation”… John Wesley said, if “once saved always saved is true, no virgin’s lamp should go out, no promising harvest should be choked with thorns, no branch in Christ that doesn’t bear fruit should ever be cut off, and thrown into the fire, no forgiveness could ever be forfeited, no name could ever be blotted out of the lamb’s book of life, no salt could ever lose its savor, no one who is lukewarm should ever be spit out of God’s mouth, a coin, a sheep, and a prodigal son can get lost, a backslider needs to reconsider his standing with God, or he can be lost for all eternity! I must agree with Wesley….  

Jesus said if we are going to truly follow Him, we must deny ourselves… The self life, will always try to insert itself between us and our relationship with Him. “Whoever loses his focus on the self life for my sake will save it” is another way of saying whatever it takes, we will follow Jesus!                                                                                                                                                                                       Too many Christians, are talking the walk, but not walking the talk.  When this happens, we’re not bridging that gap between knowing about, and talking about following Jesus and actually following Him.                                                          But when we get to the “Whatever it takes” level of living, the world’s culture will look at us, and no longer will they see a bunch of “wannabees” who have missed the message of the guy we claim to follow. But Instead, what they’ll see is a community of people who have once and for all made up their minds that being Christlike, is our only option. And it is then, that those who are watching us live our lives, will get interested enough to try it for themselves!                               

It’s not complicated, it’s called following Jesus. 

Our desperation, to have Jesus as our life style, means that we have a new standard for living our lives.

We not only need to get desperate, but stay desperate….. We are the people of God, who live a lifestyle of quite desperation…

But to follow Him, we must LET GO OF THE PAST

Philippians 3:13 Brethren, this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, v14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (In other words, whatever it takes)

If you don’t have clear goals, then anything, or anyone, or any place, or anyhow, will do. If you don’t have goals, then how will you know when you get there, that you’re there! 

It’s funny how, without realizing it, we can slip into “the good old days,” dwelling on the past, of how things used to be and how we used to do things. That’s when we begin to make it about us and our comfort zone, and not about Him. Jesus simply said, follow me. That means we may have to let go of moments of how it used to be and FOLLOW HIM!                    Being desperate means we must be willing to learn from the past, but move on from the past, and be willing to change whatever we’re doing that is pulling us back, and not allowing us to break free, bring it all to the here and now, where the rubber meets the road, and move forward in Christ.     

After all, didn’t Jesus tell us in Luke 5:37-39 “No one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved”. 

Wine here represents the ways of the Spirit, and the skins represent our earthly bodies, minds and emotions…..God is doing a new thing, but we won’t be able to fit it into the old wine skins of the way it was or used to be…. “Brethren, this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind I am reaching forward to those things which are ahead”.

Whatever it takes may mean, just HOLDING ON TO YOUR FAITH

Don’t allow the enemy to keep you in the prison of fear and doubt, that this is not possible or that is not possible. if you’re not operating in faith, you’re not operating in the power of the Lord.                                                             In spite of what it looks like, Inspite of the unknown and untested that’s coming upon you, in spite of how bad the situation is, hold on to your faith. 

Psalm 16:8... David declared, “I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken”.                                                                                                             John the Baptist, that free spirit who ministered in the wilderness, could not be confined by prison bars. His spirit was still free, because his faith went deep into the bedrock of the call of God on his life and the anointing upon his ministry. 

God already saw you on the other side, the moment He called you, and put His spirit within you…. He saw you enjoying the fruit of victory, long before you got there, living your whatever it takes lifestyle with a “Never the Less” mentality. No matter what my fears, the self life, and my vain imaginings are saying…. There is a “Never the less at thy word, I will do it” pushing all that back……                                                                              If He’s ever done it before, He’ll do it again! God is no respecter of persons…. He’s the same today as yesterday and will be tomorrow. He changes not, and His word is eternal and transcends time and circumstances, He’s still bigger than your impossibilities.

Whatever it takes may mean, JUST BE STILL…..

Sometimes “Whatever it Takes”, means To  literally relax and take your hands off and watch God move! We must learn how to let the Lord fight our battles…We must allow God to move in His own time and way.

Psalm 37:7 “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. 9 For those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land”.                                                                          When my son Chris, was 3, he tried to unplug the Christmas tree with his mouth. The saliva conducted the current into his mouth and tongue and knocked his head onto his back and melted a hole in the left cheek and lip. David was 6, and drug him into the kitchen and informed Winnie that Chris was dead. A neighbor took them to the hospital, I was working, and by the time they got him to the patient room, they watched the skin heal over and fill in the opening as Winnie quoted the promises that God had made.                             

When the Lord speaks specifically about a certain area that He has already done…. We can consider it already accomplished,  Youdon’t have to fight that battle… stop struggling, stop wrestling… just be still, and receive it. It was already yours! Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not yet seen…..

If you have $50.00 in your pocket, and you need $50.00, Why ask God for it? Reach in your pocket and apply it to what you need.

Mark 11:24 ”Therefore I say unto you, whatever things you desire when you pray, believe that you have received them, and you shall have them.”

One pastor announced to the church, “I have good news and bad news. We have all the money we need to finish our building project,the bad news is that it’s still in your pocket”!!!

Sometimes the hardest thing is to wait. To empty your mind and shut down your feelings, and emotions, and pain, so that you can tune in to the Spirit and know that we are Spirit beings who have a soul, that live in a body. Flesh always wants to be the bully, but what we feed and nurture is what will dominate in our lives.                                                                           Whatever it takes means, LAUNCH OUT AND MOVE FORWARD as the Lord directs. He’s already been where you’re going and He knows, what is waiting for you, even though you don’t. And that’s enough!                                                                       

Philippians 3:14 “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”. 

The only way you’re going to move out into the deeper water, is to step off the shore, or pull the anchor that is holding you in that spot.                 Ezekiel went through the different levels of experience himself….but he continued to press forward….Where you are now, does not determine where you must stay….God has level upon level waiting for you….

Ezekiel 47: 3 “Going on eastward with a line in his hand, He led me through the water; and it was ankle-deep. v4 Again He measured, and led me through the water; and it was knee-deep. Again He measured, and led me through the water; and it was up to the loins. v5 Again he measured, and it was a river that I could not pass through, for the water had risen; it was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be passed through”. 

It is time to keep launching forward into the deep end and allow God to take control. We must lay down our mindset, lay down our way of thinking, lay down our attitude and perception of things,and be desperate for the move of God. And the new thing He is bringing our way.

Luke 5:4 When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Oh, my, I feel a prophetic voice in that for us today. Do what you’ve never done, go where 

you’ve never gone, be what you’ve never been and you will see what you have never seen. 

Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results…. Jesus said, try a new way, a new approach, a new method , and the harvest you desire will come to you. The results you need will be waiting for you. 

Whatever it takes may mean CRYING OUT IN DESPERATE PRAYERS Intercession is when we put ourselves in the place of the one we are praying for….(now that will make you desperate) I would never want to be in some people’s place! And yet if I’m desperate enough for souls, I will choose the intercessor’s path, even though my mental and emotional self would say no! 

The Lord rebuked me this week, because I spoke a negative word about Biden. He said, have you prayed for him before you passed judgment on him…. Woah, I immediately stopped and began to pray for President

Biden. Because the health of the country is at stake! So now, I’m praying that he would stop lying and be honest with the American people! My next step is to go to the polls and vote… pull the lever, use the power given unto me, and sign on the dotted line…                                                                                                                     Our opening scripture today, says in… James 5:16 that “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (gets results)”. That sounds like desperation to me!

Here’s the exciting part…. If we are willing to do whatever it takes, we can trust God to do the same….To go out of His way, to walk in our shoes, and feel what we feel…

Hebrews 4:15 “For we do not have a high priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted just as we are, yet without sin”.                                                                                    1 John 5:15 And we know that if He hears us when we pray, we know that we have the requests that we asked of him”.                                                      This means that Jesus puts Himself in our place as the great intercessor, so that we might take our rightful place in His victory…. He became our substitute, so we could stand in His health, His righteousness, His supply, His riches in glory, His completeness and His victory….

Our God is relentless and unstoppable….                                                      He was there with a saving hand out, when Peter stepped out of the boat                                                                                  He did whatever it took, to reach a prodigal son at his lowest point….. When Paul was the hatchet man for the religious leaders, killing Christians, and trying to destroy the church, God tracked him down and did whatever it took to turn him around….                                                           When the 3 Hebrews were so desperate for God that they were willing to be thrown in a fiery furnace, the fourth man did whatever it took, and 

showed up in the flames with them…..                                                              When the Israelites were up against the Red Sea, with Pharaoh closing in, God did whatever it took, and opened the Red Sea so they could cross…..

Over and over again, we can see that when God saw believers who were willing to do whatever it takes, He more than matched their dedication….. He moved mountains; He made a path through the sea; He brought water in the desert; He held the moon in it’s place; He made an axe head to float; and a donkey to talk; He healed the sick and raised the dead, commanded demons to leave, and over ruled Kings and kingdoms, made something from nothing, and breathed a part of Himself into every human being, and we call it life! God is relentless and unstoppable….                                                                                 

It is never too late, this side of heaven, to get desperate for the Lord, and start living a life style of “whatever it takes”.                                                                      It is never too late for the Church to turn it around. It is not too late for the message of Christ to put new passion in our hearts and direct our paths. Time is still available to shrug off our self-reliance and embrace our utter inability to do anything apart from the power, love and mercy of Christ.

And when God sees that level of desperation in us today, He will move heaven and earth to do whatever needs to be done, in our behalf, or the behalf of our family. And He will do it in ways we had never thought of. And perhaps He will do it in a way never done before…..

Isaiah 55:8"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts".

And we say, “Lead me guide me, have your way…..Oh, Lord, my king Have Your way!”                                                                               

Closing Prayer…. 

“Lord Jesus, speak Your words of wisdom and guidance over our lives today, for we live in desperate times, which require desperate measures. Be with us, Father and enable us to speak the right words, make the right choices, and choose the right opportunities. Guide us in choosing which direction will open the right doors and cause relationships to flourish, and the right connections to take place.                                                Lord, help us to follow Your ways as You lead us into a life of fulfillment and joy. Let us be like a well-watered garden which thrives and is productive because the roots are firmly planted in Your word and Your love. Lord, help us grow in character and in developing our God given skills and talents for Your glory. Lord, by Your Spirit, lead usand teach us as we grow in greater spiritual discernment and wisdom.           

Help us to see and understand the positives and negatives in every situation, opportunity, and decision that we face. we are weak, but You are our strong tower. We trust in Your mighty power to surround us, guide us and keep us.Father God, give us the boldness to seize and pursue all the opportunities and goals that You’ve planned for our lives.                                                                                                                                  Lord, When we become overwhelmed with the pressures of life and the decisions that are placed uponus, please give us Your peace that surpasses all understanding. Clear ourminds to follow You with all of our heart, our soul, our mind, and all of ourstrength. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, we pray, Amen”.

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