Do you feel the odds are stacked against you Poopsie... Do you feel you’re running in a race where all the obstacles are shouting you can’t win... Are you seeing yourself at a disadvantage for what you have been asked to accomplish, and everyone else has all the disadvantages.
We’re going to get right into the foundational scripture for this message today...It’s lengthy, but gets us moving in the right direction.
Matthew 20:1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a landowner, which went out early in the morning to hire laborers into his vineyard. 2 And when he had agreed with the laborers for a certain amount, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And he went out later in the morning, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 And said unto them; Go work in my vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you. And they agreed. 5 Again he went out at noon, and did likewise. 6 And in the afternoon he went out, and found others standing idle, and said unto them, why stand here all day idle? 7 They said unto him, because no man has hired us. He said unto them, Go ahead into the vineyard; and whatever is right, that shall you receive. 8 So when evening was come, the lord of the vineyard said unto his steward, Call the laborers, and give them their pay.
9 And when they came that were hired in the afternoon, they received every man the same amount. 10 But when the first that were hired, came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man the same. 11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, 12 Saying, these last have only worked one hour, and you have made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.
13 But he answered them, and said, Friend, I do you no wrong: did you not agree with me for a certain amount? 14 Take what is yours, and go your way: I will give unto this last, even as unto you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with my own? Is your eye evil, because I am good? 16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few have received their calling”.
In order to properly understand this parable, you he will have to shift over to Kingdom thinking, and that means we use the standard of grace and mercy, instead of the standard of my works as compared to your works. This is not a competition.... The disciples even got into an argument about who would be greatest in the coming kingdom. Jesus is leveling the playing field and dealing with all of us on the basis of what we don’t deserve, but by grace, we receive it out of His mercy and favor anyway. I don't think I have to tell you that this was a difficult answer for Jesus' followers to swallow because it went against the accepted standard –The one who worked the hardest and longest should get more pay, is how they thought. But God's kingdom stands in contrast to the values of the world..This parable makes clear that there is a radical equality in His kingdom. And as Christ's followers, we are called to model that radical equality of God's kingdom. He came to give all things to all people.! In the parable, don’t miss that the owner gave all that he promised to everyone. Have you received all He promised? A fellow named Shakey went to a psychiatrist. “Doc,” he said, “I’ve got trouble. Every time I get into bed, I think there’s somebody under it. “you gotta help me, I’m going crazy! ” “Just put yourself in my hands for one year,” said the shrink. “Come to me three times a week, and I’ll cure your fears. ” “How much do you charge? ” “A hundred dollars per visit. ” “I’ll sleep on it,” said Shakey. Six months later the doctor met Shakey on the street. “Why didn’t you ever come to see me again? ” “Are you kidding....For a hundred buck’s a visit? A friend of mine cured me for free.” “Is that so! How did he do that? ” “He told me to cut the legs off of the bed! ”
Jesus came to level the playing field, so that you can receive all that He promised you. And it’s all free.
He’s cutting the legs off your fears, your doubts, and your suspicions.
He’s cutting the legs off your inferiority and poor self esteem. He’s cutting the legs off the lie that says you don’t deserve it! He’s cutting the legs off of the lie that says it will never happen!
He wants to turn your frown lines into laugh lines... Your dead zones into flourishing and abundance zones.... Your sorrowsinto shouting!!!
Romans 8:31 “What then shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is there to condemn us? For Christ Jesus, who died, and more than that was raised to life, is at the right hand of God—and He is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
36 As it is written: “For Your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 Do you not know that in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”.
He has all things for all of us. If God gives you all He has, amazingly, it does not diminish all things that He has for me. We can all have all that He has. Unless you understand “KINGDOM” You will never get it!!!
A level playing field means that no one in His kingdom has access to any more or less than anyone else! It’s a level playing field! He cannot give us any more than He has already given, and He will not give anyone of us any less than anyone else. The issue is never about what is available to us, it is always about what we’re willing to receive.
Have you positioned yourself to receive your breakthrough!? In the game of football, one of the player’son the field is called a quarterback. And the main goal of the quarterback is to advance his team forward towards a touchdown, by either throwing the football to one of his teammates, or handing it off to someone who will advance the ball by running it down the field. So the quarterback doesn’t throw or hand off the football haphazardly, he looks for someone who has gotten themselves in position to advance the ball.
If our quarterback was Jesus, the football was a blessing, and we were all there to advance His kingdom, we have to ask ourselves if we have positioned ourselves to receive what we have been praying for. And if you have watched any football, you will recognize that it is rare that the quarterback will throw the ball to a wide receiver standing still. And anytime the quarterback throws the ball, he is not throwing it to the place where the receiver currently is, but rather he is throwing it to the position that the pattern indicated for that particular play. There are a lot of people that sit and pray, expecting deliverance and breakthroughs and blessings to fall into their lap while they are sitting there, waiting, and even though I believe God has the power to bless however He chooses, but the more I experience life and the more I read the Word of God, the more I am convinced that most blessings and break throughs do not come by standing still, but by positioning ourselves and moving to where the breakthrough is going to arrive, in order for us to catch it. It’s not enough to be shouting, HERE LORD, I’m right here... We need to get moving to where the football of our blessing is going to arrive!
Position Yourself to receive it!! Before Abram could become the father of many nations, he had to first position himself in the land of Canaan. Before Esther could save the Jews from being killed, she had to first position herself in the king’s palace. Before Zacchaeus, who was too short, could see Jesus over the crowd, he had to position himself by climbing up the tree. Before Peter and the other disciples could catch a boat sinkingload of fish, they had first position their net on the right side of the boat. Before Peter could walk on water, he had to first position himself on the water and get out of the boat. Before the woman who struggled with the issue of blood for twelve years could get healed, she had to position herself at the feet of Jesus. Before Jesus could reconcile us back to God and defeat the power of sin and death, he had to position himself on the cross. Where has He been moving you to....Let Him get you in position!
Ephesians 3: 17 “May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 you will have power, together with all the saints, to comprehend the length and width and height and depth 19 of the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is now at work within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, (no expiration date) forever and ever. Amen.…
God is not satisfied with giving it all to those who are following Him now, so the Holy Spirit is always out in the marketplace, looking for more receivers, seeking out the people everybody else ignored, and He’s sending out a welcome to them on the same terms, surprising them (and everyone else) with Hisgenerous grace. In this amazing parable, of the workers, Jesus is saying, No matter the person. No matter their history. No matter where one comes from. It's not too late! There is more than enough room in God's power, pleasure and purpose, for everyone!" God makes no distinction, and we shouldn't either.He is not willing that anyone's life should be wasted, so Heextends His invitation indiscriminately and repeatedly, in order to gather as many people as possible into his kingdom to experience what they could never deserve. All of us are equally deserving--or undeserving--of the opportunity to receive, so the reward for all of us together is equal as we all stand on level ground at the foot of the cross. None are higher, greater, more deserving or more qualified than anyone else.
It's like the internet, everyone has access to all the internet at the same time, all you have to do is sign on, and receive it. Millions are signed on at any given time, and yet it doesn’t run out, it’s all there for everyone.
This is what it means to model the radical inclusiveness of God out in the world. It is not our opinions, but our example that will make a difference in this world we live in. Just imagine what the church would look like if everyone, throughout the week, and year, were inviting any and all who would listen to come accept the invitation to enter God's kingdom and be partaker of all the King has!
Just think about it....“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, will He not also with Him, freely give us all things in all situations”
What are “all things”? “We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose”
“All things” – your desperate circumstances, your crushing trials, your unbearable persecutions, and your extreme hardships in life – ALL THINGS, to show You His goodness, His faithfulness, His grace and favor through it all!!! God’s love for us is beyond measure. Jesus loved us so much that He actually bore all those things Himself, to assure us that we have victory in it and enjoy the favor of God through it all. We have His favor on us in the trials, and the conflicts and challenges we face. Hallelujah!
Favor means He has leveled the playing field to give you an advantage. Proverbs 18:22 “He who finds a wife (husband) finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.
For single folks, favor means you have an advantage in finding God’s choice for a life partner.
Psalm 90:17 “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands a it rests upon us.” You have favor on your job and in all the tasks you set your hands to....
Psalm 84:11 “For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk in obedience to Him”.
Favor assures that you will have the best possible outcome, and good things will be attracted to you, and not be withheld from you.
Acts 7:10&11 “But God favored Joseph and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt. So Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace”
Favor will put you in the good graces and good will of those in authority, those who can bring you to the place of your purpose.
Remember that in the darkest hour of Joseph’s life, God sent a Butler, a Baker, and a Pharaoh... The butler introduced him, the baker vetted him, and the Pharaoh financed his dream. Favor will bring all three into our lives.
Proverbs 3:1 “Do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, 2 for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. 3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man”.
Favor will give you long life, and cause you to live in peace and prosperity...
Grace, and mercy and favor, have leveled the playing field, so our job is to tell, and show and set the example, so they will believe and receive!
We celebrate the free gift that all may receive even though none of us are deserving of any of it, we rejoice that this privilege is ours and because we believe it, we want all who are willing to join those who are blessed and who are the redeemed of the Lord.
I want to read this prophecy over your life which God speaks about how He says that He will level the playing field for you.... Isaiah 40:3 “The voice of one calling “prepare the way for the Lord, make straight a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low, the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a shall be a plain. 5 And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Taken literally this passage from Isaiah describes how God is ready to reshape, readjust and shift things around for His people. He is moving to readjust and rearrange what concerns you, so that the way it is now, is not how it will be when his favor, grace and mercy is finished. This is describing how all things are subject to His purposes and cannot resist His strange and amazing working.... when you read that mountains, and valleys, (solid things that are not easily moved, resistant things that seemed fixed and resolute) are reshaped like clay in the potter’s hands in behalf of His people. Then it says He levels out the uneven places that make it hard to move forward and make progress.... and He builds an expressway there, or provides faster and quicker access to what He has prepared for you. In other words, He not only has it prepared for you, but He makes a way for you to get there quicker than you would otherwise have been able.
WELL, CAN YOU SAY “HALLELUJAH”, FOR A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD! GLORY! Praise God for good receivers. Thank you Jesus that you’re looking for folks who believe they can have everything You promised, and you’re moving them into position....You have evened the odds, and Your favor gives Your children the advantage, We overcome because you overcame. We are more than conquerors, because you have purchased the victory for us. Before the battle begins, the outcome is already decided. You had the answer before the devil created the problem. You meant it for good and not for evil. The battle is the Lord’s so we can enjoy the blessings. Thank You Jesus!
Receive the answer He has for you, receive the outcome He already decided was yours. Receive the victory before the battle starts! The battle is the Lord’s!! WE RECEIVE IT LORD!!!
If you would feel led of the Holy Spirit to support this ministry, in any way, you may send your donations to "Eagle's Rest, P.O box 2820, Key West, Florida 33040.... Thank you in advance and God richly bless you.. We look forward to hearing from you.
A woman is in the Police interview room and here’s why.....She was behind a man who was driving very slow, and she is tailgating this guy because she is in a hurry. He comes to an intersection, and when the light turns yellow, he squeezes through and leaves the woman sitting there at the red light. The woman goes ballistic. She honks her horn at him; she yells her frustration in no uncertain terms, while she rants and gestures. While she is in mid-rant, someone taps on her window. She looks up and sees a policeman. He invites her out of the car and takes her to the station where she is searched and fingerprinted and put in a cell. After a couple of hours, she is released, and she is in the interview room, and the arresting officer gives her personal effects to her, saying, “I’m very sorry for the mistake ma’am. I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, using bad gestures and having a tantrum and I noticed the ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ bumper sticker, the ‘Choose Life’ license plate holder, the ‘Follow Me to Sunday School’ window decal, and the Christian fish emblem on your trunk, and I naturally assumed you had stolen the car.”
When you’ve allowed the enemy to take advantage of a weak moment, it’s time to get mad. When you’ve given him the stick to beat you up with, it’s time to get mad. When you’ve stopped doing the right thing and allowed the Devil to pull you into his trap, it’s time to get mad.
I want to give you some Statistics which show us that the kind of aggressive Christianity that changes the world is in decline. This was once known over the world as a Christian nation but listen to me....
There are around 4,000 churches that close each year because of a 60% decline in church attendance. What this means is that the average church attendance has gone from around 140 to 40 people. That’s averaging out the big and small ones to come up with that.
It is expected that 4,000 to 7,000 churches will close this year as a result of the pandemic and all of its repercussions... Right now only 40% of the population goes to a church of any kind at all. And only 20% live out Biblical Christianity.(bear with me a minute) Only 27% of teenagers (generation Z, which is 7 to 22 yrs) attend church once a week and that drops down to 12% when they reach 18 years old.
Only 27% of Millennials (23 to 38) attend church regularly and living a Christian life is at the bottom of their list.
These statistics mean that with the present rate of decline, it’s time to get M.A.D! What if every Christian said, that’s not someone else’s problem, it’s my problem, and I must do something about it.... NOT ON MY WATCH! If we don’t, instead of a glorious church, it will be a declining church that Jesus comes back for. BUT, BUT,scripture clearly tells us that Jesus is returning for a victorious, overcoming church, which means that at some point something will happen, and the people of God will get mad enough at the Devil, to turn things around. Why not start here and now!
I want to open with this scripture today.... Matthew 11:12 From the days of John the Baptist until now (this date today) the kingdom of heaven (all that Jesus has reclaimed for us) suffers violent assault, and violent men (those with kingdom authority and dominion) seize it by force [as a precious prize]. The law of first mention, which Jesus uses here, indicates that beginning with John who was filled with the Holy Spirit in his mother’s womb....(see Luke 1:41) that John was the beginning of those who started operating in Authority and Dominion which Jesus came to reclaim, and a new season of restored power had begun.
This scripture is addressing those who are acting and living as though it all on the line and depends on their willingness to function and operate in kingdom authority and dominion, and who don’t stand back expecting someone else to do it!
Every day when we wake up, we enter the realm of the God of this world, who only respects and trembles at those who operate in Kingdom authority and dominion. We wake up to warfare, before we even leave our homes each day.
2 Corinthians 4:4 The god (small g) of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed through the indwelling of Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in vessels of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in these bodies the victory of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in and through us.
So, the first thing that M.A.D. represents is ManifestedAuthority and Dominion. It’s an acrostic....
Satan is counting on being able to distract us so much by the things Paul talks about, “being pressed on every side, crushed, persecuted, abandoned, struck down, and the pressures and responsibilities of life”, that we will not understand that we carry around in our bodies the victory of Jesus, the light of Jesus, and the life of Jesus, in every situation.
The violent (who are those who operate in the authority that Jesus has reclaimed for us) take the kingdom through delegated authority and power of attorney!
Every time you say “In Jesus name” you just operated in Power of attorney, or delegated authority! That’s permission to talk like Him, to act like Him and to do what He would do!!Satan can’t handle that!!
Every since the garden of Eden, the devil has been running rough shod over mankind, with the intent of robbing everyone of their God given purpose and assignment. God said “Have dominion and rule over the earth”
But to the shock and dismay of Satan, some have stood up and gotten M.A.D. and they got knocked down, and trounced on, and crushed, but they looked in the word of God and found out that it can be different. That we can change everything. Darkness can’t stand up to light!!
They got violent! They got sick and tired of being sick and tired! How many believe Jesus got VIOLENT! He saw Satan destroying people’s bodies with sickness, disease and infirmity... and He got mad. He saw those who were supposed to be Spiritual leaders, playing religious games and He got mad!
Look at this.... Matthew 21:12–13 “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and drove out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves”.
Covetous and greed had set up it’s operations right in front of the Temple entrance, blocking the path of worship and praise. It was a huge distraction, as doves, and oxen, and sheep were being sold at unreal prices so the temple leaders could make a profit. It was religion for sale. It exploited the poor and needy. A form of Godliness that denied the power of God.
Jesus wasn’t mad at people, but the greed which was using the people to do Satan’s work for him. Jesus wasn’t fighting the religious leaders, but the deception that was using them to accomplish Satan’s agenda of oppression and bondage. Sometimes when you strike the Devil, those who are doing his work, take a hit. That’s called putting some skin in the game....
We don’t fight people, but we wage war on principalities and powers and rulers of wickedness in high places. We Manifest His Authority and Dominion, and the Lord, sends angels to fight where we cannot. When we engage Satan’s forces in this dimension, Mighty angels of God, engage Principalities and Powers in a higher dimension... When that which empowers demons here, is cut off and defeated there.... Victory is the results and breakthrough is going to happen.
Don’t you quit till your healing is manifested. Don’t you quit until your family comes into the kingdom. Don’t you quit until you see, what Jesus came to reclaim for you!!!
What you don’t see here and now doesn’t mean it’s not in the second heaven dimension! Cut off the head, and the snake will die! I repeat, CUT OFF THE HEAD AND THE SNAKE WILL DIE!
So M.A.D. stands for Manifested Authority and Dominion.
M.A.D. also stands for Make A Demand....
When our spiritually awakened demands intensify, divine supply is guaranteed.
Matthew 7:7 says “Keep on Asking and Keep on knocking” … To wish for something, means to look for a miracle, a breakthrough, a turn around, or a new beginning, without doing anything to put a demand on it or to call it down. To Desire something, means To have a heart cry, to really want it, and to be motivated to see it happen, but it’s still half hearted, and is easily swayed by many things. But to Demand (oh yeah, come on now) – Is to bombard that desire with continuous prayer, decrees of the word, and fully believe that Satan’s kingdom will come down. We can safely say Desire plus Action which operates out of authority and dominion equals Demand.
Matthew 16:18 “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. ”The gates of hell cannot prevail”, means we go to the very source where Satan has gotten into your body and brought sickness... We go to the gate where Satan has gotten into your home and family and we shut it!...We go to the gate where Satan has gotten into your finances, your relationships, your work place, or any of your stuff, and we shut the gate.... He can’t get into what you’ve shut or bound. And he can’t stop or shut what you have released....The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Word of God and God’s angels are backing you up! Team, Team, Team!!
M.A.D. also stands for Make A Decision!
The conchs would say “Fish or cut bait”.... Make up your mind and don’t look back. Talk like it, think like it, act like it. Once you make the decision, get everything else out of the way that doesn’t belong. Mark 11:24 The Passion Translation “This is the reason I urge you to boldly believe for whatever you ask for in prayer—be convinced (make a decision) that you have received it and it will be yours”.
There was a woman with what was called an “Issue of Blood” –she had a life threatening issue! (what is threatening your quality of life, Child of God?) Twelve years, it had weakened her body and dominated her life. It appears that it had cost her, her husband. Now she is alone, no company, no lover, and no companion. But she made a decision to get to Jesus. This was her opportunity and she was not going to be denied. She pushed everything aside that wasn’t part of her decision!
Have you missed some opportunities? Relax, you can still make it, just make your decision and stay with it. I can almost hear her singing, “Pass me not O Gentle savior, Hear my Humble cry, while on other thou art calling, Do not pass me by”. She pushed through every obstacle, she took it by force, she put a demand on the crowd that day.... I’M COMING THRU! And she put a demand upon the hem of His garment, and pulled virtue out of Him.....
I’ve told you that when I heard God tell me to build a Christian radio station in Key West, it about wore me out. I had to make some decisions and not look back. I rejected everything that wasn’t part of that decision. For one year, I went to City commission meetings, every month, to get approval, with outany results. It wasn’t until the 12th month, at 11:00 at night, (The lawyer and I, were the only ones there plus the mayor). Mayor Hymen said, it’s late, I’m tired, what can I do to go home, and get rid of you folks? BAM, IT GOT DONE IN 10 MINUTES! Then I had to build a studio, put up a tower, get equipment, install everything and get on the air in 3 weeks time.... and God did it because we made a decision and never looked back. That station is now owned by the Billy Graham Association and is broadcasting the gospel to the Caribbeancommunity.
It's a whole other story, about how 12 foot angels showed up at my house (about 20 of them) to let me know it was happeningwhen it looked impossible.... they let me know that they had broken through in the 2nd heaven, so that it could all happen!And thousands of them were coming in for reinforcement to clear the way for what had to happen.
So, like the little woman, get M.A.D. And MAKE A DECISIONand don’t look back.
Another thing that M.A.D. also stands for is Make ADifference. It starts with yourself. Be the person you would like to find. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Be friendly and outgoing if you want to find someone who is. Be cheerful and positive if you want to attract that same quality. Clean up, Dressup, and show up, and watch God do the rest.
Also, Stop criticizing and belly aching and whining... and understand that if it can be changed, you can change it. Everyone say with me... “I can do this”....
Most things start with a domino effect. One thing setssomething else in motion and so on.... You may only be the first or third or twentieth domino, but when you activate your domino, it sets in motion a spiritual cause and effect.
Gideon was only one domino, but it set in motion a cause bigger than he was when he invested his domino, and the Midianites were driven from the land... Moses was only one domino, but he set in motion a spiritual cause and effect that liberated a nation of people and altered the course of nations... and what about some fishermen, a tax collector, a physician, and a zealot who formed the 12 disciples of Jesus and changed history as they knew it and we know it, because they made a decision to totally follow Jesus....What a difference they made!!
We had a friend named Bill, years ago, who was a former hit man for the Mafia. It cost him his marriage and his family. But he got arrested by the Lord, I mean, he got saved, quit the mafia, which was a miracle in itself... and started getting involved in the church. It was hard winning back the confidence of his wife. And we had many prayer and counselling sessions, but over time, they came back together as a family and started coming to church with him. We kept encouraging him to talk, act and think as though it was already done. And he never let his words, actions or thinking go contrary to what he was believing for.
You may ask, “How long”.... until it happens. Sometimes when you’re hammering a rock, the rock changes you before you, before you change the rock....and you become stronger, wiser, more patient and humble before you see your decision come to pass!!
Say it with me..... Matthew 11:24 “Believe you have received it and you shall have it” Stop looking for someone else to do it, and for someone else to start.
We should be asking.. If not us, then who. If not now, then when!
Without some sense of dissatisfaction with where we’re at, there is no desire for growth, and without an awareness that there is more, there is no hunger to receive all that God said we could have! MORE LORD!
“....Will you agree with me.... “if I truly believe, then it will change the way I speak, act and think. And I will get MAD enough at the devil for destroying and ruining so many lives, that I will rise up and Manifest Authority and Dominion, which shuts the gate and releases what Jesus has come to reclaim, and I will begin to MAKE A DEMAND because I have been giventhe keys of the kingdom of heaven, therefore, I make a decision and I don’t look back, because if I believe I have received it Ihave it. So I understand that I can make a difference, and Idon’t wait for someone else to do it, because it starts with mydomino, and a chain reaction begins”...
Get MAD enough to bury and be done with the thing that is keeping you from taking that next step into your very best self. What is that? What is the final frontier that is calling you and what is the thing that needs to be left with all the other things you’ve moved on from?
Last of all, M.A.D. stands for the fact that we are called to MAKE A DISCIPLE..
Look at this.... Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all people, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
That’s a clear mandate which we have been given and here’show you do it... Matthew 18:19 “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven”.
Find someone who agrees with you about what God is telling you that needs to be done.... start praying together, or go around the city and speak over it, get involved in some area of the community and volunteer to make it better...it may be the school system, law enforcement, the hospital, food delivery, or something with the homeless, maybe working with addicts, or 911, or perhaps marriage and family... There is much to be done that makes a difference. But we must move beyond wishing, desiring or just praying and put action with desire, and make a difference! Ephesians 6:10-11- “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceitfulness and lies of the devil”.
Make a disciple by imparting what God is saying to you, into that person and use the power of agreement for kingdom building. We all have a place in our hearts for a need that is not being filled, where we can make a difference.
IT’S TIME TO GET M.A.D.!!! But let’s get mad at the devil and avoid fighting people that he may be using. Storm the gates, and shut down the places where the enemy has built a highway for sin and division!
Prayer.....Lord Jesus, you’re calling us to establish your kingdom here on earth, so others may know and follow you. May your kingdom spread throughout our land and bring You more and more to this world in need of Your transforming power. Help me to be faithful in helping advance your kingdom here as you taught us, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”. Show me the path You have set before me, so I may follow Your leading. Father, I pray that Your reign may be seen more clearly in my life. There are people we love who, today, are outside of your kingdom. Lord, in Your mercy, bring them in! Help us to do Your work while it is day before the night comes when no one can work. Let Your heart beat among us and unify us throughout every generational or gender grouping. In Jesus Name, we destroy every demonic assignment against the peace and unity of the Body of Christ. We stand against every label that serves to divide Your people – labels like denomination, political party affiliation, race, ethnicity, nation of origin and economic status – and we declare that we are one in You, Lord. We stand against the spirits of confusion, arrogance, deceit and pride. We render their works null and void. We declare that we will be like-minded and there no division in the Spirit among us. Help us to walk worthy and fully pleasing beforeYou. As believers, help us to be fruitful in every good work. We ask You to strengthen and empower the leaders of our churches and help them to represent Your Kingdom in the earth. Holy Spirit, synchronize the heart of every true believer and unify our spirits to receive and submit to Your vision for our city. Help all of us to do our part to manifest Your vision for Your Church! Please help us all to serve You by manifesting real Kingdom change in the world, as we walk in the fruit of the Spirit demonstrating love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Hasten the day when the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever. In Jesus name, Amen!
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.
If you have children, you will have no trouble with my title.... They have a question for everything. I believe God wants us all to go back to that time in our childhood when we had a question for everything and we weren’t afraid to ask...
A friend once asked Isidor Rabi, a Nobel prize winner in science, how he became a scientist. Rabi replied that every day after school his mother would talk to him about his school day. She wasn't so much interested in what he had learned that day, but she always inquired, "Did you ask a good question today?" Rabi said "Asking good questions, is what made me decide to become a scientist."
Let me begin with a global statistic 139 million babies are born each day, and 62 million people die every day. Which is an increase in the world population of 77 million people every day.
The population of the world as of May 10th, when I checked, is 7 billion, 900 million, 800 thousand. That means, there are 7 billion, 900 million, 800 thousand people asking “Why” every day.
Of course this is taking into consideration that there are three kinds of people in the world, those who watch everything happen, those who make everything happen, and those who are always asking “why things happen”....People have a lot of questions....
Why do they put Braille at the drive through ATM? Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii? Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour? Why don't Psychics always Win the lottery"? Why isn't there a special name for the tops of your feet? Why is "abbreviated" such a long word?
God created the “Why” and put it in every human being. Hecreated a desire in mankind to search and discover.... as a matter of fact, in the gospel of Luke alone, Jesus answered a question with a question 89 times. In the gospel of Mark, there are only a few occasions when Jesus did not answer a question with a question. Jesus developed a questioning community with the disciples. He wanted them to seek deeper understandings of what they thought and believed as individuals and as a community.
Jesus asked some penetrating questions.......that demand an answer...
What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet lose their own soul? (Matthew 16:26)
Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? (Luke 12:26)
Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Are you not of more value than the birds of the air? (Matthew 6:25-26)
If God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, why won’t He take care of you—oh, you of little faith? (Luke 11:11-13)
So, we should never be afraid to ask, “WHY?” Because if we always settle for the easy answers we stop growing. Our relationship with God becomes stale. Our worship becomes predictable and routine and we get religious. (Yuuck) and the fellowship in our church community withers away to just mundane, idle chatter. It is imperative that we ask questions.God desires for us to ask questions as we come together. Questions about faith, hope, and His workings in our tests and trials.
1 Peter 3:15 always be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks you about the hope that is in you, and do it with gentleness and respect,
Jesus, in His humanity... fully man, yet fully God... spent every evening alone with the Father, receiving answers to the “why”, of each day of his ministry and the “why” of the day ahead, so that He could fulfill the will of God in His life.
John 5:30 I can do nothing on my own. I judge as the Father tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will.
To ask why, is not a sign of unbelief, it is a sign that we are healthy as Christians and are open for fresh revelation and new insight from the Lord. God put the “Why” inside of all of us, and that need to know comes from His spirit in us.
"Why?" -- Why is this terrible thing happening to me? -Why did I lose my job? -Why did I get sick? -Why is my family member sick? -Why did that wreck happen? -Why did they die so soon? -Why is my family so messed up? Didn’t Jesus say “Ask and it shall be given, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall open.”
We must ask from a position of trust. Not every question will get the answer we want or expected. So it’s vitally important that we ask from a position of trust in God.
When I don’t understand, I need to trust, until the answer is revealed.
Satan loves to take advantage of the answers that are delayed. His first attack is always to undermine our trust in God, and cast aspersions against him. Where was God when my child died? Where was he when my marriage was destroyed. Why has He let my family fall apart. In the midst of delays, I need to remember....
Isaiah 26:3-4 “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock”.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths”.
Let me give you one more....Jeremiah 17:7-8 “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes and never fails to bear fruit”. Ask your “Why’s” from a position of trust!
So my belief system says that Jesus has already been there ahead of me and he knows the way that I take. He’s prepared for my arrival, so that where he is, I may be also. That’s how Peter walked on the water. He simply went to where Jesus already was. He walked upon trust.
The answer to my “Why” is not always for me. It may be for someone else. It may be for the wife who is about to give up, or the child who is questioning their faith, the pastor who is ready to call it quits, or a soul that’s about to go into eternity unprepared.
Holy Spirit may be preparing us to encounter someone at their divine tipping point, and in that defining moment we were the one He chose to change a destiny, and in so doing, redefine their eternity.
My cousin James, was on his way to open his restaurant, when God told him to go to the hospital and see my adopted, atheist dad who was dying of cancer instead. He questioned the impracticality of not opening the restaurant on time, but he trusted that the answer was in his obedience. Did anyone hear that..... The answer was in his obedience..... And because his “why” was based on his trust in God, he led my dad in the sinner’s prayer and gave him a bible, which Bill Elliott was clutching in his hands when he passed into eternity. James 1:6-10 But let us ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways”.
We ask in faith.....and sometimes your “Why” will take you over into the realm of miracles. You will have to step over into the supernatural to find some answers. Because the answer lies outside the explainable and can only be found in the impossible. That leap into what made the sun and moon to stand still for Joshua, and the Red Sea to part for Moses, and Philip to be transported into the desert to meat an Ethopian Eunuch... might be where your answer will be found.
Listen to what Paul wrote to the Colossian Christians.... Colossians 1:27 “For God was pleased to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”.
Christ in you is the answer. As you grow in knowledge and wisdom by asking all the “why’s”, you become the answer looking for a question. So never stop asking in simple faith, believing that what Paul said to the Corinthians is true of each of us....
2 Corinthians 3:2 You are living epistle, for He has written upon your hearts, so that you may be known and read of all men.”
Your family, your friends, your coworkers and neighbors are reading your epistle that has been written through your own searching, and your own times of discovery. they are looking for some answers. So when God’s Spirit responds, are we willing to be the answer they can read from the pages of our lives?
For 7 years the Israelites were at the mercy of the Midianites.They would come and destroy their crops and treat them like slaves. Gideon, was threshing wheat by the wine press, so he could hide if the enemy showed up. Gideon was a man of God, and he asked in Judges 6:13, "If the Lord is with us, why then has all this befallen us?" God did not say to the “Why” of Gideon... “Who dares to question my providence”. Instead, hechose this very man to be the answer and the one to set Israel free. The man with enough gumption to ask why, was the very man with enough motivation to do something about it, because he asked from a place of faith and trust. In Exodus 5:22 Moses cries out, "O Lord, why have You done this evil to Your people? Why did You ever send me?" God chose a man who asked “Why, and was ready for action, and ready to be part of the answer, because he asked, believing God had the solution.
If God can’t do it, then it must be bigger than God. But nothing is bigger than God. That tells me that there is nothing that my God can’t do. But He still reserves the right to do it His way, in His time. Trust Him, all things are still possible to those who will trust and believe.
In the midst of our asking “why” we don’t have to ask “how”, because Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life”
He is always working on your behalf, even behind the scenes where you can’t fully see. In that place where you see no way out, in that struggle where you see no solution, in that problem where you have no answer, lay it before Him. Every worry. Every care. Be reminded that He is with you today, He knows your way, and has a plan. Trust Him right now.
Luke 2:48, Is where Mary, after three frantic days of searching, finds Jesus in the temple. Her first words are this question: "Son, why have you treated me so?" Jesus responded to that question with, "Did you not know that I must be about my Father's business?" The next verse says they did not understand the explanation. What we see here is that it was perfectly legitimate for Mary to ask why, but the asking is no guarantee you will get an answer that you understand. The answer was there, but it took time, and growth in her understanding before it became meaningful to her.
We should ask why, but we should also be patient, and recognize that the answer may not be easy to comprehend. Therefore, there is a need for patience and persistence in pursuing the answer until a foundation of meaning and proper application is established.
Hannah could not have children. She was baren and she went to the temple daily to pray that God would give her a child. She promised God that if He would give her a son, she would give him back to God. Well, she found out that she was pregnant after all those years, and when Samuel was 12, she brought him to the temple, to be raised for the service of God.
People must have asked Hannah why?.... Certainly God doesn’t require that of you. You’ve been childless so long, and now God would expect that of you!
Listen, no one else can walk your path of obedience for you. No one else can surrender for you, or even understand what you must do in obedience. But because Hannah did not lose her trust in God, and she remained faithful, Samuel became one of the greatest prophets God ever raised up for the nation of Israel.Because one woman questioned from a place of trust in God, her question became the answer for a nation of people.
A young boy traveling by airplane to visit his grandparents sat beside a man who happened to be a seminary professor. The boy was reading a Sunday school take-home paper, and the professor thought he would have some fun with the lad. “Young man,” said the professor, “if you can tell me something God can do, I will give you a crisp, new dollar.” The boy thought for a moment and then replied, “Mister, if you can tell me something God can’t do, I’ll give you a whole stack of dollars!” (come on church)
You’ll get some amazing answers when you ask your questions from a place of fullness and not emptiness.
Ephesians 5:18 “Be filled with the Spirit.” The Greek term used here is (keep being filled, or stay filled) with the spirit. Or remain in a state of being filled.
The disciples of Jesus faced many problems, many unresolved issues... betrayal, injustice, rejection, and false accusations.... but because they kept filled with the spirit, prison doors were opened, accusers were silenced, God’s power was revealed, and the gospel was preached throughout the land. Oh, stay full, of the spirit. Ephesians 6:18 “Pray in the Spirit at all times, with every kind of prayer and petition. To this end, stay alert with all perseverance in your prayers for all the saints”. I’ve often wondered how many of my “Why’s” have been answered while I pray to God in mysteries of my spirit. Paul said “Our spirit prays in mysteries, that our mind does not understand.... He also said “our spirit bears witness with God’s spirit” ....
Let me suggest some answers God might be saying to our Why’s ...... 1. Trust Me. I have My reasons but you’re not ready yet. 2. I have allowed this, so you will grow. 3. You weren’t willing to listen. 4. You’re asking for the wrong reasons. 5. I allowed it so you would rely on Me. 6. Just Wait, I’m bringing everything together. 7. I have something better in mind than you would have chosen. 8. I’m protecting you from yourself. 9. It’s time to grow in your walk with Me. 10. Because I love you.
One of the final moments of Jesus, in his physical body, was a “Why” moment.
Matthew 27:46 "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?'' The greater your nearness to God, the greater will be your anguish in his absence. No one but Jesus couldplummet to the depths of His “why”, on the cross. This was the ultimate “why” of absence, for in that window of time, we see Jesus experiencing our hell. Hell is the absence of God, and Jesus was there, to take the keys of death, hell and the grave and deliver them unto the church.
Something is wrong with a believer who does not ask why, when he feels the absence of God, who does not agonize over the absence of the stirrings and moving of the Spirit in their life. I don’t understand those who call themselves Christian, who immerse themselves in the world and never open the scriptures, or bow in prayer and worship and who never witness to others, that they might find the answer to the deep “Why” in their own soul...
Oh, God, Wake up a divine “Why”.... and let it cry out in the depth of our soul and spirit!
We will probably never know the answer to all of our “why’s”this side of heaven. But, what we can know and cling to are these truths: God is good. God is love. God is perfect.God is in control. And God never makes a mistake.
Prayer.....Lord, thank You that in spite of your “no” or Your “wait” or even Your silence, You know what is very best for me and You promise to work for my eternal good, not just my temporary satisfaction. Thank You that in every situation, in all the pain and pressure and circumstances beyond my control, You are making me more like Yourself, as I give up my will and surrender to Yours. I understand that I may ask why, with a humble heart as I am ready to receive whatever answer You provide. Thank you for helping me to see that it is not the question that creates obstacles in my relationship to You. Rather, it is the manner in which I present myself to You. Lord, You have given, and I have received the Holy Spirit. Please help me to be open to His counsel so I may continue to know You more and I may become the person You created me to be. Thank you also for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, as He intercedes for me in prayer. He knows my heart better than I do. I may yearn to know why, but it is You who knows me best.
When I approach You with an attitude of gratitude in my question of why, I demonstrate my trust in You. Your word says “without faith it is impossible to please You”, so I choose to believe that You have it all under control. Thank You for being a good, loving, all-knowing and ever-present God who will not let anything touch me that hasn’t first passed through Your handsfirst. In the name of Jesus, I give you praise and honor.... Amen
Thank God for all the moms and the treasure they are to our lives. Before I begin, I want to read this poem I wrote to my mom, who has been with the Lord for many years now....
I call it…. “The Mother Inside of You”
Your Mother is the place you came from, your first home here on earth...
She's the guide you follow, as your life takes shape and you discover your values and worth. She's the first love you experienced, the first heart entwined with yours,
no one can take that special place, In the eyes of a child, so adored. As time goes by, with it’s shifts and turns, your love continues strong and true, And the mother who carried you inside, Now, you carry inside of you...
My message today is…”Woman, Be Free”…. It’s taken from….
Luke 13:10-16 (The Message Bible) He was teaching in the temple on the Sabbath. v11 There was a woman present, so twisted and bent over with arthritis that she couldn't even look up. She had been afflicted with this condition for eighteen years. v12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over. "Woman, today you are free!" *.......v13 He laid hands on her and suddenly she was standing straight and tall, giving glory to God. v14 Thehead of the temple, furious because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the congregation, "Six days have been defined as work days. Come on one of those six days if you want to be healed, but not on the Sabbath."(sounds just like the devil talking)
v15 But Jesus responded, "You frauds! Each Sabbath every one of you regularly unties your cow or donkey from its stall, leads it out for water, and thinks nothing of it. v16 So why isn't it OK, for me to free this daughter of Abraham and loose her from the infirmity which Satan has oppressed her with these eighteen years?" Webster’s New World College Dictionary,fourth edition, defines the word “infirmed”: as, unsound,physically weak, dysfunctional in mind or purpose, not resolute, vacillating, unstable, shaky, not secure, disabled or defective.
The scripture text today, is the account of a remarkable recovery from a great infirmity, which had held this woman bent over and bowed down for eighteen years, so that her look and her life was downward instead of upward. Being bowed down, is not only physical, but moves into the attitude, and into a person’s spirit. She was powerless to help herself and we can be sure that she had tried again and again to lift herself up. She had been unable to turn her eyes upward to see the stars, her vision had been centered on things below and in this way, she is like many are attempting to find satisfactionwith earthly things without ever looking up to God who alone can straighten out their lives, and the maze they’re caught in. The Scriptures declare that she could in no wise lift up herself, but she found her way to church, and as she presses in with hope, that her condition can be changed,
she encounters Jesus in church. (that’s always a wonderful surprise!) As far as we know, by Jesus referring to her as a “daughter of Abraham”, or (Heir of Abraham). She has been going to church faithfully for 18 years…with no change. She would enter bowed down, and leave bowed down, week after week. But this week, Oh, BUT THIS WEEK...she encounters Jesus, not religion, not form, not ritual or tradition…. BUT JESUS, and her condition is loosed from her, as He speaks the words her body, soul and spirit need to hear…. Woman, today you are free!!!!... Immediately, her oppression is lifted off, as that word enters her spirit and pours through her body… and she stands straight and tall, in the eyes of everyone praising and glorifying God. Since today is Mother’s day, let’s bring this thing all the way forward from the first mom mentioned in the Bible.
Genesis 3:20 “And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living”.
We’re going to look at what the name “Mother” actually means…..I’m convinced that many women have a misguided understanding of what the name mother, fully means….
Pattie, who worked as a supervisor for the telephone company, was introduced to a district manager who was new to the company. He introduced himself as Ken, and Ken misunderstood her name and said, "Nice to meet you, Peggy." She decided not to embarrass him, in front of everyone and planned to correct him later. However, an opportunity never arose. So, finally she went into his office. "Ken," she said, "I've been meaning to tell you this for almost two months now. My name isn't Peggy. It's Patti." After a long pause, he replied, "Well, thank you, Pattie, and my name is Ben, not Ken….. If we’re confused about who we are, we will also be confused about who others are that we interact and relate with!Mom, your name means something important! In the original Hebrew, thename Mother, is “Chavah”. This name embodies both the essence of life itself and the creative ability to grant that life to others. The idea of “mother of all life” expresses not only the ability to physically give birth, but also to create, nourish, and enhance all facets of life. This is the ability of a mother - to take something from it’srough undeveloped state, nurture and develop it, and bring it to it’s full potential through her God given abilities.
Another Hebrew word which is used for the wordmother, is Chayah . This word means to experience life…. this is not merely the idea of physical birth, but has to do with the healthy enjoyment of life, and the ability to process the things of life, while keeping an attitude of joy and a positive sense of well-being. In 1Thessalonians chapter 5, there is a scripture that gives us a great formula for the healthy processing of all the things that life will throw at you, so that you may keep a healthy outlook of thankfulness, joy and positive well-being…. (Hear me Moms, God has your formula for happiness, fulfillment and contentment)
1 Thessalonians 5:15 follow (focus on) that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all people. Verse 16 Rejoice evermore (at all times in everything).
Verse 17 Pray without ceasing (at all times in everything). Verse 18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Verse 19 Quench not the Spirit (acknowledge and be aware of the Holy Spirit working in and througheverything).
Verse 20 Despise not prophesying (be yielded to the Holy Spirit to hear what He is saying as He brings you revelation).
Verse 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good(test everything by the Word of God, and good Godly council, from those who are sound and solid in the faith and in ministering the word of God).
Verse 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. (Leave those things alone, which pollute the well of your spirit and diminish the power of God in your life)
Verse 23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (God can only sanctify what we consecrate and separate unto Him)….Your tongue, your ears, your eyes, your activities, your relationships and friendships, your life patterns, and all the things that you dwell on and give a place of importance….
So this is about “Chayah”… experiencing a healthy life, keeping a positive attitude and doing life well…. by the way let’s remember that all failure is first a failure in values and basic life principals ….Don’t let grass grow on your God path, and don’t let the spiders of distraction weave their web around your spirit. The third Hebrew word for the name of Mother, is “Yech-aveh.” This word is found in Job (36:2)"Wait for me a little while, and I will show you (or I will Yechaveh)." This wordmeans, to cause to understand by expression, by revelation, by insight, or by manifestation…..Let me explain with this little story…. A daughter began to cry because she had lost her contact lens, and asked her mom to help her find it….the mom immediately began searching and in moments *…..found the lens. Her daughter said, “I have been searching for ½ hour, how could you find it so quick?” The mom told her she found it so quickly because they weren’t looking for the same thing…the daughter was looking for a contact lens, the Mom was looking for $200.00!!!.....that’s insight, understanding and revelation!!!! When you put all of this Hebrew stuff together, you have a mother, who through experience bringsexpression, revelation, and manifestation into the earth and she shapes and develops formless matter, carrying it within her until it is ready to be born. Then she continues to nurse this life, feeding, nurturing and sustaining it physically emotionally, and spiritually. And throughout its life, she helps to bring forth it’s undeveloped potential and guides and encourages this life to grow and experience its greatest and fullest manifestation. And by doing this, she is constantly giving birth to new levels of ability, potential and insight into the life experience, both within herself and within all those around her, earning her the title “MOTHER.” We desperately need Moms today, who are yielded to the Chavah, the Chayah and the Yech-aveh of God’s calling! The Civil war, between the North and the South, was fought over the issue of slavery. It’s bottom line was whether or not to allow an entire race of people to live their lives in bondage. Lincoln was assassinated because he dared to stand against a society which promoted this form of bondage. 620,000 of our country’s brothers, sons and fathers died in that conflict. Two years before Lincoln was assassinated in 1865, it became illegal to have slaves, the law was called the Emancipation Proclamation. The news rang out far and wide across the nation. The newspapers everywhere carried the headline…. “Slavery Legally Abolished! And yet something amazing happened....most of the slaves in the South went right on living as though they had never been emancipated…they continued in bondage and servitude. Slaves chose to remain slaves, though they were legally freed. Even though they were emancipated, they kept serving the same master throughout their lives and on into their children’s lives. It would be another 100 years, before segregation would end with “The Civil Rights Act of 1964! Sadly, what was true of slavery in this country, can be said of a multitude of sincere believers. All the official documents have been signed, all the legal matters have been taken care of (it’s called the word covenant of God). And God has accepted the “emancipation proclamation” presented to Him by Jesus on Calvary, when He said, “It is finished”…. In Christ, we have been set free forever! Heaven has declared that it is illegal for Satan to hold us in bondage to our sins, and condemn us for our past, our guilt, or anything else that we might name. Our Civil Rights Act, has declared that it is illegal for Satan to make any man or woman, feel less or be less than any other….Yet, so many of us still live in bondage because we will not accept the freedom available to us in Jesus. And sadder still, we pass that mentality on to our children, to experience it in their lives as well.
Getting back to this woman who was bowed down, whom Jesus released from bondage. I want you to notice that She was at the Right Place at the right time. The woman was aware of her spiritual infirmity and she did not go to the club, or the liquor store to drink her problems away and try to forget about her infirmity. Cause if you have a spiritual infirmity you need a spiritual “right place and right time”, where your spiritual infirmity will get spiritual attention and spiritual help. This woman decided that the temple was the right place for someone with an infirmity. There are over 2900 different people mentioned in the scriptures. Most of them are there, because they were at the right place at the right time. How many times have we prayed that prayer for our children…”Lord, let them be in the right place at the right time”… What a tremendous blessing that is….and what an awful curse to constantly be at the wrong place at the wrong time, which Satan will do his best to make that happen….! Satan wants to get us to buy into His bad news, so we will miss out on God’s good news that’s coming our way....I’ve come to tell you that God will still have the last say, if we give Him half a chance!
A well known artist asked the gallery owner, if there had been any interest in his paintings. "I've got good news and bad news," the owner replied. "The good news is that a gentleman inquired about your work and wondered if it would increase very much in value after your death. When I told him it would greatly increase, he bought all of your paintings at above what you’re asking." "That's wonderful!" the artist was overjoyed, so "What's the bad news?". With some hesitation, the owner said, "The guy that bought them was your doctor."… And yet, if you really think about it, since Jesus came on the scene, and brought His redemption power into our lives, any time can be the right time, any place can be the right place, and any situation can be filled with possibilities! The truth is that it is all a matter of our God consciousness and being God-inside-minded! I want to repeat a story I shared years ago.... Some may remember it.... The ship log tells the story….The year was 1820 and Peter Richleywas a very grateful man. He had survived one of the strangest and most harrowing events known to mankind. The story is true…..and The ship which he had been traveling on sank. He was rescued, however, and this ship sank. He was rescued again. But, this third ship sank. He was rescued for a third time, buthis fourth ship soon sank. And unbelievably, he was rescued for a fifth time, but the fifth ship sank as well.
On the high seas, however, he managed to stay afloat, and sure enough, as if on cue, another ship came by and answered his call for help.
This ocean liner was bound from England to Australia and traveled the same sea lane as Peter Richley’ssunken ships. The crew hoisted Peter aboard. Dry clothing was provided. The ship’s doctor gave him an exam, and pronounced him fit, and then the Captain asked an unusual favor. “There’s a lady on board who booked passage to Australia,” he explained. “She’s looking for her son who disappeared many years ago. She’s dying and she’s asking to see her son. She already knows everyone on board and since you’re the only newcomer, would you pretend to be her son, in her condition she won't be able to tell?”
Peter agreed. After all, his life had now been saved five times. He followed the Captain below deck and entered into a cabin.
There on a bed lay a frail woman with silver-hair. She was suffering from a very high fever. She was delusionaland she was crying out. “Please God. Let me see myson before I die. I must see my son!”
The ship’s Captain gently pushed the young man toward the bed. But soon, Peter knew why God has spared him. For lying there on that bed was the reason that he couldn’t seem to die. Here in front of him was the lifeline that had kept him from drowning five times. For lying on that bed was none other than Sarah Richley— who had prayed for ten years to be reconciled to her son, Peter.
The ship’s Captain stood in amazement as the young man rejoiced and embraced the sick woman. “I’m here mom! I’m here. It’s me!” Within days the fever had subsided and his mother awakened to find an answered prayer seated on the edge of her bed. God cannot ignore the heart of a praying mom!
In verse 12, it says “And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him.. I believe the bible story is telling each of us to position ourselves with desire, and expectancy for our“set free” moment. When God puts you in the right place at the right time, you can't help but get blessed and He specializes in turning the wrong place into the right place. Nahum 1:3 “The LORD has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet. v7 The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knows those that put their trust in Him”.
You will meet the right people, do the right things and even escape Satan’s hit team that are out to destroy you, and God does it simply by putting desires in your heart to go somewhere or do something, at a certain time and place, so that you end up being dead center at the place of blessing. The more you sit at His feet and just enjoy His presence, the more He fills your days with divine appointments!
Notice that When Jesus showed up, the woman’sPosture Was Changed. The scripture explains that the woman with a spiritual infirmity was affected in a way that crippled her physically for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. Her posture was downward and down cast. Jesus saw her and did something about it. He called her name and His words corrected her posture and launched her into her new freedom.
Jesus has good news for women, mothers, and sisters and daughters...to give them the right posture, to look up and move forward with self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth…. Those five words are… “Woman, you are set free.” Those Jesus’ words break the chains that bind you and all the things that push you down. Those words straighten not only your physical body but your mind, emotions, spirit and outlook. Jesus did something else, He touched her with the touch of compassion. There are many women who are bent over and crippled spiritually around us. They need the affirming, faith building words and the touch of Jesus that flow through those who have themselves been set free…..So they can do freedom’s dance and sing freedom’s song together. Isaiah 42:22 “But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in traps, and they are hiddenin prison houses: they are for a prey, and no one delivers, they are spoiled, and no one says, Restore. (it’s time for restoration!!!)
Ladies, you need to position yourself. If you get your identity from those who take you for granted, use you, and are only takers…. that’s will be the biggest influence in your life and you will become a reflection of that…you don’t need them, or their attitude! (Listen ladies, you need patience, but not a that much)!
A woman was out with her lady friends having a girlsnight out, when the most handsome man she had ever seen comes in and is seated at the next table. She can’t help staring, and noticing this, he comes over and says “I am willing to be yours for the evening”…for only $100.00. She agrees and presses the $100 in his palm and seals the deal, then when they got to the home she said, now, clean my entire house!
It’s time to position yourself for the master’s touch! He will also grow you, increase you, develop and equip you and you will not be the same person who first encounters Him. You will receive your God-ordained, upright position as He invades your life with the Holy Spirit. Keep it out of the ditches and he will get you there.
Jeremiah 30:17 The Lord, speaks clearly with his guarantee….”For I will restore health unto you, and I will heal you of your wounds, says the LORD; even though they called you an Outcast, saying, no one wants you or seeks after you”. Notice also that The Woman Stepped Over Into jubilant Praise…. This woman’s crooked back wasn’t her only problem…Her praise was broken and pressed down within her, just like her body was pressed down….She needed her praise to be set free, so she could be a jubilant praiser!.
The spirit of infirmity was replaced by the new spirit of praise. The spiritual bondage in her mind and soul and on her body was replaced by the set free spirit. Her spirit of infirmity of sadness and depression was replaced by the joyous spirit. That eighteen year spirit of hopelessness, was replaced by the hopeful spirit. Praises brought into her life, strength, security, purpose, stability, soundness, principals and values. BELIEVE THAT……WHAT HE’S DONE FOR OTHERS, HE’LL DO FOR YOU!!!!
I'm going to say something that may surprise you, but it is a fact. The Bible actually says more about praise than it does about prayer. And we all know the importance of prayer. Praise can cause walls and obstacles to falldown… (Ask Joshua…)
Praise can stop the fury of the fire that has come to consume you… (Ask 3 Hebrew Boys…) Praise can quench the appetite of the devourer… (Ask Daniel…)
The meaning of the name of the tribe of Judah is “Praise”….they were the praisers…..Judah had a son…his name was “Perez”…His name means “the breaker or to break forth”…When you praise, the breaker, eruptsthrough for you….
We have all heard the statement, “Let go and let God.” Well, I found out where this phrase originated…. A college student back in the nineteenth century took 6postcards and wrote a large letter on each one of the postcards: L–E–T---G-O-D. He then put them on the mantelpiece in his apartment where he was living. One evening a draft blew through the window and the “D” blew away. As he picked it up, what he saw on the mantle was a message from God, and the secret of the Christian life. Only by letting go can you let God and carry out His will in your life.
Jesus declared to the woman…. “Woman, Let Go, You Are Free”…
It’s amazing how the Lord is able to bring peace from our shattered pieces and fill up the hole in us with His wholeness. We will dare to believe that even with our shattered lives, we can still be used mightily and effectively by Him. Thank God for all the woman, who are bruised, but not broken, bowed but not destroyed, they may be down, but they are far from out! Through Christ, they dare to gather up the ashes of the past and trade them in for beauty, the agony of their spirit, have been replaced with the oil of joy and the spirit of heaviness has been replaced by the garments of praise.
Isaiah 42:3 “A bruised reed shall He not break, and the smoking flax shall He not quench: He shall bring forth judgment unto truth. (I like the message bible version)
Isaiah 42:3 (The Message) He won't brush aside the bruised and the hurt neither will He disregard the small and insignificant, but he'll steadily and firmly set things right.
If you are still struggling with some bitterness and unforgiveness that may have wedged itself into your heart? Maybe you just need to come to Him and let Him speak those glorious, liberating words into you….”Freedom belongs to you!!!!. Free to try again, Free to take the risk, free to be who God made you to be… Free to rejoice, Free to care, Free to love again…..
Redeemed Mom, you are stronger than those spirits that want to destroy your home, your marriage, your children, and your roll as Mom! Sometimes, just an ounce of mother is worth more than a pound of preacher!
1 Corinthians 7:14 (King James) “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified (Greek word ang'-koo-rah…to be an anchor, to restrain, to hold back) by the wife, or else your children would be unprotected, but now are they holy (hag-ee-ad'-zo… separated and consecrated).
We see this same force of action in 2Thesselonians 2:7 “For the mystery of iniquity is already working: only he who now lets (controls, restrains, holds back) will let, until he be taken out of the way”.
When Jesus told the woman, “Woman you are free”….another version says...”Woman you are loosed”…. So Jesus bound the spirit that was empowering the infirmity which had cause her to be bowed down, and then He cast it out of her body, mind and spirit! Stop coming against the symptoms and attack the roots!
Is the root, a broken heart. Or a wounded spirit, or a deception in the mind, or maybe your soul is weighted down and discouragement has knocked you down.... Has the battle lasted so long, it has worn you out depleted your faith and your hope...
Well, Hallelujah, if Jesus says you can be free, that settles it…and Jesus has already made the first move, He’s done His part, now we just need to receive it….
We’re going to pray….and As we do…..Be set free in Jesus Name….
I especially would like all the moms to come as we agree together…let’s gather around these wonderful gifts, God has given us….our moms….
Heavenly Father, as a mother gives life and nourishment to her children,
even so you watch over your Church to nourish it and give it life. You have entrusted moms with the care of every precious human life from its very beginning in the womb. You have given to women the capacity of participating with You in the creation of new life. Grant that every woman may come to understand the full meaning of that blessing, which gives her an unlimited capacity for unselfish
love for every child she may be privileged to bear, and for all Your children. Give her courage in times of fear or pain, understanding in times of uncertainty and doubt, and hope in times of trouble. As a child’s first teacher and guide, grant that our moms may be given the wisdom and council to nurture the faith of God, within their children, following the example of Mary, Elizabeth, and other holy women of God. Help these moms to grow daily in knowledge and understanding of Christ, not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Release in them the gifts, to impart this knowledge faithfully to their children, and to all who depend upon them. We speak blessing upon "spiritual mothers", those who, though they may have no children of their own, nevertheless selflessly care for the children of others -- of every age and place in life. Grant that they may know the joy of fulfilling this motherly calling of women, whether in teaching, nursing, religious life, or in other work which recognizes and fosters the true dignity of every human being created in Your image and likeness.
Send Your Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to all mothers who sorrow for children that are ill or estranged from their families, or who are in trouble or danger of any kind. We ask your blessing on all those to whom You have entrusted motherhood. May Your Holy Spirit constantly inspire, enlarge, refresh and strengthen these as the supernatural mothers You designed them to be. Let the example of their faith and love shine forth.
Lord, Grant that we, the sons and daughters, may honor them always with a spirit of profound respect, honor, and appreciation. May our mothers, receive Your Grace abundantly in this earthly life, and may they look forward to eternal joy in Your presence in the life to come. We ask this through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns, world without end…..AMEN.
Matthew 10:7-8 And proclaim as you go, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons..Freely You have received, freely give”.
Of course the most popular and most well known place where Jesus mentions the Kingdom is in the “Disciple’s Prayer”.....Where Jesus instructs us to ask the Father for “Thy Kingdom Come in earth as it is in heaven”....So what does that look like, and exactly what is that we ask the Father for, when we pray the prayer Jesus asked us to pray. Jesus grew up under the oppressive rule of the Roman Empire whose founder and ruler was Julius Caesar followed by Mark Anthony and then Caesar Augustus. There have been 61 monarchs who have ruled over England and it’s tribute territories. America had to break away from that type of government, in order to find its own sovereign path and destiny.
We who have not grown up in areas where the rule of a King or a Queen is the way a society functions, really don’t have an accurate view of what a “Kingdom” is... In a kingdom, the ruler’s word is the law of the land.
An Arch Bishop was to do the wedding service for a certain King and Queen to be. He noticed the bride was very stressed out, so he asked what was wrong. She replied that she was awfully nervous that she would not remember what to do. The Archbishop told her that she only needed to remember 3 things.
First the aisle, cause that’s what she’d be walking down.
Second was, the alter because that is where you will meet.
And third, was the hymn because that is the song when they arrive.
Simple... The aisle, the altar, and the hymn. But while the bride was walking down the aisle, thefamily and friends of the king were horrified to hear her repeating those 3 words in order to remember them and stay calm...
Aisle, alter, hymn (I'll alter him) What made her calm, stressed them out like you just wouldn’t believe!
The modern version of Christianity has altered the true meaning of what it is to be part of a kingdom. We’ve become feel good, seeker friendly, happy hour, I’ll do it my way, instant blessing junkies! Bosses are having to be retrained so they don’t ask someone to do something in a way that might offend them, or so it’s not racial, or politically incorrect or incorrectly gender specific.... (What?)That’s not a kingdom....
So if we are told to pray “Thy Kingdom Come”, shouldn’t it be important to understand what we are asking... I think you know what I’m saying...
Revelation 19:16 “And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
A ‘Kingdom’ as “a very real place, ruled by a King who influences and oversees his Kingdom with His personality, His values, his morality, His lifestyle, his standards for living and His decrees, so that the people begin to reflect and live those things out as part of their belief system.
The Prophet Isaiah says that “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” When Adam sinned, he did not lose his religion, he lost dominion over the earth.
Jesus came to restore the Kingdom dominion on earth that Adam lost. The belief system of Jesus, is that He is bringing His kingdom into the earth to be the solution to earth’s problems. The Bible is about a king, His Kingdom and His Royal Family who are committed to His rulership.
The Kingdom of Heaven is a real place, with a culture where there is peace, joy, daily bread for all, forgiveness, love, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, selflessness, respect for all, healing, gentleness, and self-control.
God’s divine passion is to bring the influence of heaven’s culture into the earth by spreading His kingdom throughout the earth. In every home, every business, the marketplace, the streets and byways, every county and state, every country and island of the sea!
Psalm 33:5 “He loves righteousness and justice and the whole earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord”.
Isaiah 6:3 “And one angel called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.”
You will see what you’re looking for, what you focus on..... If you look for evil, wickedness, debauchery, the curse, and evidence of the depravity of mankind... you will surely find it....Every kingdom is constantly attacked by other kings who wish to invade it, take it over and subjugate the people.
But what if we look for and hold fast to God’s righteousness, His justice, His lovingkindness, and His grace and mercy.... Cause it’s everywhere....
Psalm 108:5 “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, And Your glory over all the earth”. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’ll find it!
When God placed Adam in the garden, He gave Adam a lot of responsibility, but there was accountability. That meant Adam had to give an account for how he handled that responsibility. Being in a kingdom clearly means that we must account to the King, his statutes, his life values, rules and laws which bring order and purpose to the lives of all those under the king’s rule. “God told Adam [to] guard the garden and keep it, not just the material and physical things, but the laws and principals by which it functions. If I follow the King’s requirements, then the garden, (the worldwhich is filled with His glory) will meet my needs and pour out blessings on my path each and every day.
The Kingdom of God is one of the key elements of the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament. Drawing on Old Testament teachings, it describes the relationship between God and those who receive Christ in the context of a King and His bride.
The bride gives herself to her husband at the betrothal ceremony, which is what we call receiving Christ as Lord and Savior.
The public event which seals this is our baptism in water, where we publicly proclaim that we belong to Jesus for the rest of our lives.
After the betrothal ceremony, the husband goes away to prepare the house (this is usually a year) that they will live in while the bride prepares herself to be pleasing to him when he returns. She spends this time becoming the wife He will want when he comes back to receive her. She never knows when he will return so she stays ready and prepared.
But he gives her a betrothal gift to bind their promise. Jesus gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit to be with us and in us until He returned.
If I want the king’s protection and provision, then I must obey what the king desires of me. A portion of everything I have and my gifts and abilities belong to the King and the kingdom which He represents.
Listen to Paul as He describes this...
Romans 12:1–8 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members,
and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ (our king) we, though many, form one body, (the kingdom) and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully”.
Paul even stated that he didn’t own anything in this world, but he was only the steward, who was using things to glorify the King.
I lease my car, it belongs to someone else, but I am required to return it in as good a shape as I got it. It’s a blessing, but it is also a responsibility which requires me to be accountable for every scratch and dent.
I rent a condo, but it is required of me that I present it back at the end of my lease in good a condition that the owner will approve of.Our bodies are on loan from God and one day they will be turned in because they have an expiration date.
1 Corinthians 6:20 “For you are bought with a price: (God is the owner) therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.”
What if we see our bodies, our abilities and talents, and all that we have, as on loan from Him, and we are accountable for what we do with it all, knowing that there will be a final inspection.
I mean, I may be able to hide things and have secrets from you, but nothing is hidden from Him, before whom all things are revealed.
Jesus gave us careful instructions to follow until He returns, and He gave us Holy Spirit to show us all things and help us in our preparations while He’s away. We are to manage the spiritual kingdom in His behalf, until the kingdom comes physically to this earth. So that the physical is ruled by the spiritual and not the other way around.
The owner of the company gave a brief speech to the employees then introduced the CEO. The CEO stated that he had started out sweeping floors and cleaning toilets, then went to the mail room, from there he went on the line, and then into management, before becoming a CEO. He then stated that if everyone would be diligent and be good managers of the job they’re given, there is no limit to what they can achieve. He turned it back over to the owner who complimented him on a great speech. The CEO then said “Thanks Dad”....
You are the owner’s children and he has destined you for management.
You see, we don’t have a blessing problem, we have a management problem. God didn’t send rain in the garden, until Adam was in the garden to manage what grew. He placed Adam in the garden to manage the garden of Eden which was supposed to be a global prototype.
Management is the primary reason He put people on the earth.”
God will not give you what you pray for, He will only give you what you can manage. God has heard everyone’s prayers, but when He doesn’t seem to answer, He is protecting us from things we cannot manage.
Why would God give me 10 million dollars, if I can’t manage to tithe
on what I already have? God trusts you and blesses you based on management, not your prayer requests. You fast and pray and wonder why God’s not responding but Jesus gave us a law of the kingdom.... it’s called seed time and harvest. Sowing and reaping... He said “He who is faithful in little shall be given much”.
God gave you a job to see how you manage other people’s property, so He can give you your own. God is watching to see if you pay your bills on time, and called in sick on the job but you weren’t, or didn’t keep a promise, or only did what you had to but never went the second mile...
We were placed in the kingdom to solve problems.
Joseph was the answer, going to Egypt to solve a problem that didn’t even exist yet.... David thought he was taking lunch to his brothers, but didn’t know he was the solution to a problem named Goliath.... Moses was brought into the kingdom to solve a problem that existed 400 years before he was born.
You are the solution in search of a problem to solve. “You exist because you are the fulfillment of God’s desires. That’s your assignment, and right now the problem is coming your way for a solution. You were not born just to make a living, get a pay check, work, eat, sleep, pay bills, and repeat the cycle, until you die. People get paid for the problems they solve, they don’t work for money really, but they get paid for solutions, that’s what people pay for. Doctors, lawyers, mechanics, cooks, teachers, firemen, cops, farmers and on and on.... make their money solving problems.
The graveyard is filled with people who never solved the problem they were born to solve, so their life had no depth of meaning. The problems you encounter, show up to introduce you to yourself, to your giftedness, to your value. If there was no Goliath there would be no King David — that giant problem was the ticket to his greatness. Stop trying to run away from the key to your greatness. David was not important until he killed Goliath. Your value goes up when the problems are solved. When you see difficulties on your job, don’t run from them embrace them. You are never remembered for the things you avoided. You are remembered for the problems you solved.
You don’t have to look for money because money is looking for you, if you are the solution. Money follows solutions.
Bill Gates is one of the richest men alive because he found a solution, called a computer for the average guy. IBM turned him away and now IBM is using his software. “Fast food businesses are so successful because they solve a problem. You don’t have to get dressed up, spend an hour waiting, no, it’s paper plates, napkins and let’s eat and go.... then they added drive through so you don’t even have to get out of the car... and we give them money non stop because they solved a problem.
“We get so busy trying to pay light bills and water bills, we walk past the problem every day that was designed to make us great. Jesus solved the problem of death, that’s why he’s so famous. He solved the most important problem on earth...The number one fear of humans is death, and Jesus gave you the solution to share with everyone you meet. Provision will follow solutions. You were born to solve the greatest problem mankind has. You’ve been given the keys to the kingdom. Believe me when you give people the solution to the greatest problem of mankind, God will make sure that provision will follow you. You were not saved to go to heaven, you were saved to give everyone you can, the keys to the kingdom, so they too can solve the problems of the world.
God calls all of us to manage the harvest. God’s kingdom is about life and growth. Everyone of us has the seeds of life and growth within us, we just need to find the right soil to be planted in so we can achieve and unlock our potential.
Every barren place, every needy area, is the soil that is calling your name so that you can plant the seed that is in you and see life and growth take place. 90 percent of success is in a person’s head, so find yourself, step into the barren place and be the life that is needed there.
Don’t be trapped by what you have already done or not done so that it makes you question what you can do. Don’t be so preoccupied with what has happened that you can’t embrace all that God has created you for. What is keeping you from being the answer right where you are. Don’t let the things you’ve done, keep you from the great things you are created to accomplish.
Paul says, Philippians 3:13-14” “This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, I’m pressing forward unto those things which are still ahead. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
It’s time to stop grave digging.. God doesn’t care what you have done if you are willing to do what he still wants you to do.
You have to get out of the graveyard of the past, in order to accomplish your future destiny. Negative, toxic memories don’t go away, you have to send them away. Their shelf life has expired, they have no place in your new life....
God says, Isaiah 43:18 “Do not call to mind the former things, pay no attention to the things of old. 19 Behold, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming”.
God wants your future to be greater than your past. He cancelsout your sins because he wants to bring forth your righteousness... He forgets your failure because he wants to see your success.... He is more interested in what you are born to do, than He is in what you have done. He doesn’t hold our past against our future and He doesn’t measure our future by our past.
Ephesians 2:1-4 “But God, who is rich in mercy, with His great love wherewith He loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, He has quickened us together with Christ, (by grace you are saved;) 6 And has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus”.
I have an announcement... Change is coming! Our lives are in a constant state of transition. Life is always moving forward; nothing ever remains the same. We are continually being transported--whether suddenly or gradually--into the new, the different, the unexpected, or the untried. God wants you to use change for your benefit, so that it enables you to accomplish your God-given purpose in life. Change will bring problems which you are there to solve. We can still experience security, confidence, and freedom in the uncertainty of our changing world if we know who we are and that wherever we are in whatever circumstances, we bring solutions to problems around us. Determine that you won’t be the victim but the solution. Let those waves of change sweep you forward into what God has designed for this time and this place!
Prayer......Lord Jesus, Help me to remember the reason I began this journey with You. Help me to see the purpose behind Your plan and provide me with the necessary grace and perspective. Keep my focus set upon Your high calling, as I find strength for the next step, and discover faith to keep moving forth and to believe that miracles are possible today and in everykind of circumstances.
Lord, I know that You are ready and willing to answer and to release Your power and might. As I stay grounded in Your word and focused on the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen, Yoursolutions shall be revealed. You are my source of love and life and the giver of a sound mind and receptive spirit. I know that You are the controller of everything and that nothing escapes Your attention.You have given me all that I require to walk in joy and peace. I rest in Your promises, and when life gets crazy, You give me sweet rest and having done all, I stand and give you all the praise and glory in Jesus name.
Declare.... God has put me in the right place at the right time to bring the solution to the problems in my path. They will release my blessing and the resources which I have prayed for. I will praise the Lord that changes which are coming are not the enemy but the messenger from God for my good.
Sounds like a job add in the newspaper, and it is actually an add which God placed in His book and it’s found in the help wanted section of Exodus...(oh, you didn’t know Exodus had a help wanted section?)
Exodus 17:8 “Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 9 And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.” 10 So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hurwent up to the top of the hill. 11 And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword”.
I want us to take a closer look at some of the names mentioned in this story...It's interesting to me that the name “Amalek” means the “Nippers”... or the people who cut off the head. The head represents the authority, so they represent everything that is looking to take away your authority or your power.
The place of the battle was Rephidim which means “place of rest”but the nippers want to destroy your rest so you will be weary and worn out. Our Rephidim is a battle we want to win. Jesus talks about entering into His rest, (His Rephidim) and those who have not won that battle, are fainting along the way. The Nippers are getting them!
Moses’ name which was given him by the Egyptian princess who found him in the Nile river, means “lifted out or lifted up”. When Moses got weary and his hands couldn’t be lifted anymore, the battle went against Israel. When we stop praising and lifting up the name of our God in the pressure cooker of life, we begin to lose our power and authority, and Satan gets an advantage. Praise and worship is our rod which we lift up and defeat the enemy!
But God called on some lifters! Aaron and Hur answered the call! Aaron means “Messenger of strength and encouragement”..... Hur means “To burn with inspiration”.
When the Nippers are working, God is looking for some messengers of strength, and encouragement, who are hot with inspiration!
Everybody needs somebody to come alongside and lift up theirarms when they get tired and the nippers are at work in their lives.
Whatever else you take away from this message, do not miss this: Make it your aim, in the name and power of Jesus, to be a lifter. The add is still in God’s book...”Lifters Needed”.... Allow others be arm lifters in your life when you need it. I mean, Moses was the head hauncho, Miracles, signs and wonders, revelations, and prophecy, were his normal, but even he needed some lifters.... Don’t let pride or false humility keep you from asking for and accepting loving helpfrom one another. Make it your aim to come alongside people in your life, including your sisters and brothers in the faith, whose arms – and hearts – are weary from the battles they must fight.”
Hebrews 12, puts out a call to us today.... Hebrews 12:12 Therefore lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, (get back on mission and purpose) so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed”.
In team sports the winners may lift the team captain or the coachonto their shoulders and carry them around the field as a show of solidarity and team effort. The team is acknowledging that it took everyone to bring them through to victory. The church can only win, when everyone is celebrated, lifted up and included as an important part of every victory and achievement. The givers, and the intercessors, and the workers, the inviters, and the volunteers, the encouragers and all the lifters....Every time we come together should be a time of Aaron and Hur ministry to one another....
The bible tells us that we need to lift up our eyes, enlarge our perspective or see the bigger view of our God, ourselves and our world...You don’t know what someone else is dealing with and going through. Lifters can make all the difference.
We were at Big John’s Pizza and Winnie felt to encourage the owner. She told her how wonderful their food was, and how it was the only pizza place we eat at in the area. She complimented the waitresses and the pizza makers. Then said “Thank you so much for being here”. When we left, she followed us out the door, and told us how much it meant. She said they almost closed during the pandemic, but struggled to stay open. She handed us two 25.00 gift certificates, and said that Winnie had made her day....
Look at Psalm 121...”I will lift up my eyes to the heights
to where my help comes from. My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let my foot slip—
He who watches over me will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over His chosen will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over us—
the Lord is our shade at our right hand; the sun will not harm usby day,
nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep us from all harm— He will watch over our life; the Lord will watch over our coming and going
both now and forevermore. DAVID WAS A LIFTER!
When he was alive, my friend Lynn Moody, used to call me and ask if I wanted to join him at the airport for some air time over the reef. He would find out where the big groupers and snapper were from the air, mark the spot on the GPS, then come back get in the boat and go out and spear them. Rarely did I turn him down, because I loved lifting up my eyes to the heights, and seeing things from that perspective. All my problems, and all my challenges seemed so small from up there. The church, Key West, and the Keys, seemed so insignificant from the heights. Lynn was my lifter....He would get me above it all....
What has filled your gaze lately?.... your situation at home... problems on the job.... your financial situation.... conditions in the country... your children, or a troubled relationship....come up higher... get a new perspective....Your perspective can make all the difference.. Speaking of perspective.....
A young boy of 9 years old, had to go with his father to the funeral of a friend of his, that the boy didn't even know. When he got there, he stayed in a corner, by himself. When a man approached him and said, "Enjoy life boy, be happy because time flies. Just look at me now..I didn't enjoy it when I was young." The man then passed his hand over his own head and left.
Before leaving, his father forced him to go by the coffin and look at the person inside. When he looked in the coffin, he was shocked that the man who was talking to him, was the same man in the coffin!
For several years he was not able to sleep properly. With nightmares and psychological disorder, he was terrified of being alone. he visited many psychologists. He never turn off the lights at night throughout his adolescent years....Years later he discovered something incredible that changed his life. The guy in the coffin had a twin brother. His change in perspective changed his life....
Colossians 1:13-20 [God] has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created,
things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him Godwas pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross”.
That pretty much covers the human condition... Would you tell someone..
“Lift up your eyes, He’s got you covered”.....
Another word we could use here is the word “Magnify”.....To make larger and larger not only in size but in importance. We can magnify the problem, or magnify the problem solver.... Jesus had your answer before Satan had your problem....
When you see something from far away it seems small and unimportant, but the closer you get, the larger it becomes. The object didn’t actually get any bigger, but your perspective, or view of it, changed. Once you were face to face with the object, you saw it in its full size.
Folks are OK with viewing the Lord from a distance, till life is out of control, then His importance in their lives is magnified because they know it’s important to get closer to Him in their times oftrouble. Somebody needs to pray for some trouble to come on some folks!!
Psalm 34:3 Oh, magnify (make large, and important) the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together.
Somebody needs to magnify the Lord right now!!!! Come on!! MAKE GOD GREAT, recognize Him as worth the HIGHEST VALUE, SPEAK UP about Him, and make Him the most IMPORTANT thing in your life. Come magnify the Lord with me! “Whatever we focus on, to a large degree, determines what we become.” If you think about it, that’s both an encouraging statement, and a scary one, depending on what you focus on. If I focus on fearful things, I’ll become more fearful. If I focus on negative things, I’ll become more negative. But, if I “lift my eyes” that’s something else. “What we focus on, we empower, we magnify, and enlarge. Good multiplies when magnify it. Negativity multiplies when focused on it. The choice is ours: Which do we want more of in our lives?”
When you get your perspective right, you find what the 14thcentury theologian Nicholas of Cusa wrote in his book “The Vision of God”... He described the “Omnivoyance” of God. “Omnipotence” means God is all powerful. “Omniscience” means God is all knowing. “Omnipresence” means God is in all places at once. “Omnivoyance” means that God is always watching over us and nothing escapes His loving gaze.
So, this morning, whatever impact, and whatever effect this season is having on you, lift your eyes to God, shift your eyes from your fears to your faith, and know that God, the maker of Heaven and Earth, the Omnivoyant one, is watching over you.
I’m declaring that this is the year of the lifters, when they lift their eyes to the heights, and the Lord becomes magnified in their lives.
Lord according to your word, “Let the eyes of their understanding be enlightened; that they may know what is the hope of Yourcalling, and the riches of the glory of your inheritance among the people....Be magnified, oh God, be high and lifted up, so that once again Your glory may be seen among the people!
Divine lifting up will manifest as promotion and favor....
David the psalmist was really “David the lifter”
There is an example of this divine lifting in the account of 2 Samuel 9... It is the story of Mephibosheth. David remembered that his friend Jonathan had a son. He asked if there was anyone left in the lineage of Saul, for the sake of Jonathan, and announced that he desired to bless such a person. Mephibosheth was summoned; all that belonged to him was given back to Him. Mephibosheth had been forgotten but his day of divine lifting came, He went from a pitiful beggar to sitting at the king’s table every day. He was given his own house, and bestowed with honor throughout the kingdom. Mephibosheth had referred to himself asa dead dog that has no value, but David, the lifter, saw him the way God saw him.....When God finds a lifter, anything is possible!
Through the Divine lifter, Esther a slave girl in a foreign land was made Queen. Abraham, the idol maker, became the father of the faith. David the shepherd boy became the Giant killer. Moses, the most wanted fugitive became Moses the deliverer of a nation, the man in demand....Jacob the deceiver became Israel the chosen....Joseph went from the pit to the palace... Ruth the Moabite outsider, became part of the lineage of Christ....
And I declare that this is your time of lifting. The Lord will remember you and His favor will lift you up. When God promotes you, no man can demote you. When God’s favor is upon you, it doesn’t matter who’s against you... With divine lifting; an ordinary person is able to achieve extraordinary results..... Divine lifting brings people from the dust and into their destiny. When God decides to visit you the atmosphere will change and attitudes will be transformed. You will be the head and not the tail, above and not beneath. Doors will open that were shut, and you will have friends in high places. The impossible will become possible, and what could never happen will be the new normal in your life....AND HE SHALL BE MAGNIFIED!
Isaiah 10:27 “And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off your shoulder, and his yoke from off your neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing”.
The anointing is a powerful Divine lifter!
This word anointing, in scripture means, to be authorized and given permission and access to power from on high.
Priorities are established over time through consistent effort. If you want to be physically fit, it takes more than one trip to the gym. If you want to become a doctor or a lawyer, it takes more than one class. Your continued, consistent efforts will show where your priorities really are. And God says that we are to seek Him first and all the other things will be added to us.
Are you looking for His favor? For supernatural intervention? For an anointing that allows you to experience God on a deeper level, to move mountains of impossibility? Then put Him first! When you place God first, you are telling Him that you are ready to serve Him, that you are ready to take on the mantel of His fresh anointing.
The anointing is God’s mark of distinction that separates you, your family, your household, your life, your finances, your physical well-being, your emotional health…from everyone else. You are a child of the King, set apart to glorify Him.
Consider what God’s anointing did for David. He was the youngest of eight kids, and he was left out in the field to tend sheep. He was ignored by his brothers and was the least in his father’s house. BUT…when God saw David’s heart He poured out His anointing…and David was no longer just one of eight sons. He was set apart, distinguished as the one who would one day become King. David did not accomplish great success in his earthly life because he was talented or charismatic, but it was by the anointing that he was promoted and given favor.
The anointing is a catalyst and activator. It takes what God has placed inside of you and activates it to accomplish God’s destiny for your life. The anointing activates the power of God in your life, giving you the ability to do the seemingly impossible.
It is the anointing that gives you strength when you are weak, that gives you joy when you should be filled with sorrow. It is the anointing that makes you as bold as a lion and gives you courage when those around you are shrinking in fear.
Under the anointing, no weapon formed against you will prosper. No enemy will be victorious. Every yoke will be destroyed. Every burden will be lifted. Every crooked way will be made straight.The yoke of anxiety, fear and confusion is destroyed by the anointing of the Lord.
Maybe today you feel like a victim due to circumstances beyond your control. But the awesome power found in God’s anointing can bring you the total victory in an instant. If you’re facing an impossible situation, He is the God of the impossible. When He anoints you, He will make a way where there seems to be no way.
The anointing is not optional. If you want to be used of God, then it will require the anointing, It’s a package deal. Because everything and everyone that God uses, He anoints. You cannot get close to God and build a relationship with Him without the anointing. If you want to experience God’s power to be demonstrated in your life, you need His anointing. There is no substitute.
Our anointing is not static but it always desires to be flowing. It grows or increases as we walk with the Lord and we increasingly obey and make ourselves available to Him. Our anointing manifests itself in a variety of ways: in Samson it was manifested as immense strength, in David it was manifested in victory against all odds, in Elijah and Elisha in miracles of provision, positioningand resurrection. In Moses, the anointing was manifested in hisleadership, which was from God’s mouth to Moses’ ear. In the apostles of Jesus, it was manifested in amazing signs, wonders and miracles of healing. In some it is apostolic, in some it is evangelistic, in others it is pastoral, and in others it is prophetic or in the area of teaching.
It is His anointing that makes us victorious and more than conquerors. We are anointed as kings and priests before God. People are appointed for a fixed period of time but we are anointed forever as we abide in Christ. Our anointing has no expiration date.
Let me close by giving you some scriptures about the lifting power of the anointing...
1 John 2:27 “As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you”.
1 Samuel 16:13 “Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward”.
Isaiah 45:1 “Thus says the Lord to His anointed, Whom I have taken by the right hand, To subdue nations and to loose the loins of kings; To open doors before him so that gates will not be shut.”
Prayer....Heavenly Father, today I am standing upon Your Word. Idesire to live under Your anointing. May everything that my enemies have used to try and entangle, ensnare and defeat me be broken in Jesus’ name. Touch my life that I may operate in the Divine authority that comes from the anointing. Lord, Break the yokes of bondage in my life and set me free to be a lifter in the situations I encounter. Help me to put You first and of greatest importance. I desire to keep my priorities where they should be…so that I may serve your Kingdom and glorify Your name. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen!
I want you to find someone and take a moment to allow the anointing to do what you could not do, and they cannot do. Let the anointing make the difference. Trust the anointing to accomplish it in Jesus name. Be lifted up, by the anointing and set free by the anointing.
As we continue the message from last week, I am considering this topic in the context of Palm Sunday, also referred to as “The Triumphant Entry”...
Matthew 21:1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
v5 “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
Until now, Jesus is known as the son of Joseph... but here he is hailed as a king who is coming to take His kingdom.
Jesus knows that what is happening on Palm Sunday, will culminate in the resurrection 8 days later on Easter morning.
Palm Sunday was a forerunner event, declaring that Jesus was going into the enemies camp and taking back what he had stolen all the way back to the garden of Eden! He was righting a huge wrong that had held mankind under it’s power too long.
In a little place called Jerusalem, just a dot on the map, the kingdom of Satan was about to be overthrown, as Christ’s followers are empowered from on high, to bind and to loose. To redeem and restore, To overwhelm and over power, the power of the devil.
Jesus is proclaiming “Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come to give life and that more abundantly”!
This is the day of Taking it back, and enforcing the victory of the king of kings and lord of lords!
As I think of Putting a demand upon the word of God, I think of Exodus 33:18 as Moses is standing on a mountain, and he has followed God’s commands and obeyed the direction he has been given. But the task is much greater than his ability. He is overwhelmed by the weight of the task he has been given. He needs some confirmation, some tangible witness that he’s on the right track and that he hasn’t missed it.... “And he said, I beseech You, shew me Your glory”. Moses is putting a demand upon the words he has been given, and the one who has placed him in the situation he is in.
God showed himself to Moses and displayed His glory before Him. Now let me take you to another verse that deals with here and now....
Haggai 2:7 And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts.
8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts.
9 The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, (the word peace here means wholeness and completeness) saith the Lord of hosts”.
Joel calls this the last house, in the last days, where God will pour out His spirit upon all flesh....What if we put a demand on the word of God, for this house in this time....!!!! Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come, and you shall be witnesses unto me (of My power) both in Jerusalem, (your house) and in all Judaea, (your neighborhood) and in Samaria, (the surrounding cities) and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
If you’re thinking right now that this is talking about somebody else, you’re wrong. It’s talking about you....
I submit to you that, Jacob was a deceiver, Peter had anger issues, David had an affair and arranged to murder someone, Noah got drunk, Jonah ran from God and became whale vomit, Paul was a serial murder, Miriam was a gossip and insurrectionist, Gideon was afraid of his own shadow, Sarah was a mocker and a scoffer, Elijah was bipolar, Moses was a stutterer, Abraham was too old, and Lazarus was too DEAD!
If God could reveal His power in these folks, then He’s able to use you and me.
A man entered the lobby of an apartment building and asked the cleaning person if they knew where Mr. Bob Smith lived. Oh, yes, said the man. They went up to the 4th floor and he knocked on the door several times and waited, then knocked again. He told the cleaning person, “I guess he’s not home”.... Oh, no, Mr. Smith is standing in the lobby, where you came in.....
Well, when God comes knocking on our door.... don’t be somewhere else...doing something else, because you didn’t put him first. Be there to answer the door.
He has more power than you will ever need to do what you need to do.
So last week, we talked about Dunamus power, “The power to overwhelm what has tried to overwhelm you”... “Power over all the power of the enemy”...Dunamus is the H.S. power source within us.
We also mentioned “Exesusia” power... which is delegated authority, as we are the called the Eclessia or “sent ones” who are his agents in this earth, who go in His name to enforce his judgment on satan’s kingdom.
The third Greek word which we covered for the power we have received, is “Ischus”, which means that a little becomes much. Jesus said, The little mustard seed becomes a mighty towering tree.... The little boys 5 loaves and 2 fish, fed a multitude when placed in the master’s hands.
A little widow’s oil and meal, fed the entire village through outthe famine because she gave it to God and operated in Ischuspower. Matthew 25:21 The master said unto him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
We can see that how that as we are faithful in how we handle the little we have, it will determine how much we are given...
Ischus operates from a place of contentment. We are satisfied with what we have been given until the Lord chooses to give us more.
The fourth Greek word, for power, which we didn’t get to last week, is “Kratos”, which is invincibility. This means that the power you have within you cannot be defeated or overcome. Let me explain that....
In Mark 4:34 When Jesus told the disciples to go over to the other side of the lake, and He would meet them... They got into a storm that threatened to sink their boat and they were terrified. Jesus shows up, rebukes the storm, and then rebuked them for having so little faith... Why, because they were under His orders, to go to the other side. While they were under that powerful command, nothing could stop them except their own fear and unbelief. When you’re moving in obedience to the Lord, and you’re doing what He asks you to do... You have Kratos.
Luke 10:19 “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you”.
When the 3 Hebrew children were thrown into the fiery furnace by the king, they were able to walk around in the flames with the fourth man, without being consumed, because they had Kratospower. They were fire proof! The power of the flames was not greater than the power that was with them.
Kratos is about living in obedience to God and seeking to live in the will of God. Jesus said, “Father, not my will but thy will be done” look at several scriptures on this... Romans 8:31 “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can stand against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifies (restrains, conquers, prevails)”.
Also look at...1 Corinthians 6:12 “Many things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient or profitable for me: Many things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any (but Christ).”
This power comes as we surrender more and more to the lordship of Christ in our life. You see, this authority and power is not something you struggle to get. If you’re still struggling, you haven’t understood it yet. If you’re struggling you haven’t surrendered.
I was hanging out with a friend who is a Christian but doesn’t always act like it. Our eyes met and I really wanted to say something to him, but decided to just let the Holy Spirit speak to his heart, knowing that my words wouldn’t be as powerful as holy Spirit’s inner work. So I just prayed for him, and after a little while I walked away from the mirror.....
(Tell someone, “you just need to stop struggling and just surrender”)
Ephesians 2:19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and outsiders, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, is fitted and joined together, and grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
We are more powerful together than we are apart. Jesus sent his followers out 2 x 2 so they could strengthen one another.
I remember once two of us were in Philly, and we were knocking on doors, for the purpose of witnessing to those who didn’t know Christ. Well, a fellow let us in and he had porn all over his walls. (I mean wall to wall) Well, my witness buddy, started in judging him and I had to grab my partner and take him outside to instruct him. I told him, you pray and I’ll talk. Well we showed the man the love and acceptance of God, because this man had a perverse, orphan spirit. But when he felt real compassion, he began to open up and received Christ, and then he was open to scriptural teaching.
I was witnessing to one fellow who had chosen the gay life, and as we talked, he said he had committed every sin a person could commit. When I told him he had not committed the greatest sin of all because he wasn’t dead yet... He asked me what it was.
You know, folks think of many things when you say the greatest sin... Well I told him the greatest sin is refusing to accept Jesus Christ as savior. We ended up praying together and he received Christ...
You can put a demand on any circumstance and any situation, and command it to fulfill God’s purpose and plan.
I need to close this with a revelation that Holy Spirit brought to me, and I call it the Prayer of Peter.. I use it when I’m not sure exactly how to pray because I’m not sure what God’s will may be in a situation. You remember when Peter saw the Lord walking on the water. He said Lord if it is you, bid me come to you on the water. (He put a demand upon the Lord, to reveal himself) So wherever Jesus is in any situation, that’s where I want to be. At that time, Winnie was scheduled for a total hysterectomy. Which meant she could no longer have children. As we brought it before the Lord, and prayed the prayer of Peter, Holy Spirit told me that if she went to the hospital, it was because there was someone who needed Christ, and she was their last hope.
Well I accepted that and added.... Lord, I can only accept that she is going into the hospital if it’s for that reason, but once she witnesses to that person, I expect her to be totally healed. Soafter several cancellations, one of the new converts in our church, came up to her and asked to pray for her. He prayed and she was instantly healed. Servant authority meant that whatever purpose God had in the situation, it came first and then, all the other would be added unto us.
Matthew 6:33 “For the Gentiles strive after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you”.
Can you see here, that the things you might struggle to get, will come through surrender, and putting God’s plans, and his purpose first in our lives....If you’re struggling, you haven’t surrendered.
Jesus said, Matthew 9:5 “For which is easier, to say, Your sins be forgiven you, or to say, Arise, and walk? 6 But that you may know that the Son of man has power on earth to forgive sins, (then He said to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house”.
What the Lord is telling us is that salvation is a package deal, for spirit, soul and body.
The Greek word for salvation, which is the language the new testament was originally written in... is “Sozo” which means wholeness, completeness, and wellness. It carries the idea of being physically healed of diseases and to be delivered from the power of sin and Satan.
Psalm 103:2-4 “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy…”
We see this also in Isaiah 53:5 “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”
We need to accept the whole ball of wax, the package deal. Your complete salvation package is waiting to be received. We not only are able to say, Thank God I am saved, but we can say, thank God I am healed and delivered from the power of sin and Satan!
Our actions in faith, put a demand on God’s power
It’s time to put a demand on what God said was yours!
Jesus said more blessed are they who not only hear my word but do it!
My Sunday morning message, April 3rd, presented at Eagle's Rest Ministries, Located in the Double Tree Resort, Key West, Fl. Join us each Sunday Morning in the Tortugas Banquet Room, at 10:30, for a time of prayer, praise, worship and the Word.
This message is titled
Putting a Demand On The Word Of God
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of God, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
OK....Fasten your seat belts boys and girls, we’re going to cover a lot of ground today as we encourage one another in the Lord...
I will open this message by saying that when we put a demand on God by declaring and standing in faith, on His own word over a situation, He is obligated to back up what He has promised. Isaiah 45:23 “I have sworn it by My own self, truth has gone out from My mouth, a word that will not be revoked: Every knee will bow before Me, every tongue will swear allegiance”.
When God told Moses what to do to open the Red Sea, and he did it, God was obligated to cause the waters to part and open a path across.
When we obey the requirements which the Lord gives us, which tells us the things that are pleasing unto Him, He says that it puts a demand upon His integrity, because God cannot lie... so that He must honor what He has said, when we come in the right spirit.
Isaiah 45:11 “Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and God His Maker: Ask me of the things that are to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands, command ye me”. (Let me give you an example) When you put a seed or a plant in the ground, it immediately puts a demand on the soil, to nourish, supply and sustain it. God’s word is seed which we plant by faith in every situation and circumstance of life, and by doing so we put a demand on the situation and command that it line up with God’s word which He has sworn by His own immutability.
When a woman is pregnant, the baby inside begins to put a demand upon her body, which changes her physical appearance. The baby feeds off of the mother’s system, demanding nutrition and whatever it needs to come to the place of development so that it can be ready for birth and survival outside of the womb when the time of deliverance and manifestation has come.
When we are born again, (which is another term for salvation), we are placed in a womb of spiritual development. In that place, we grow and develop by feeding on the word of God, we draw nutrition from Christian fellowship, as fellow believers impart guidance and wisdom from their own experiences, and we gain insights into the practical application of truth and knowledge. God provides pastors, teachers, those with spiritual discernment, and leadership which keeps us from error and deception.
Look at Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come, (He came once on the day of Pentecost, so He doesn’t keep coming, now He in-dwells us, the moment we receive Christ) and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
There is no Holy Spirit for children and another for adults... We all receive the same Holy Spirit when we are saved. The only difference is that we are in different stages of development in understanding spiritual principles and concepts.
I wouldn’t give a 10 year old child the keys to my car and say “drive down to the grocery store and do my shopping for me”...If they somehow made it, I would probably be eating candy, ice cream and soda pop all week!
Scripture is clear that there is a “filling” of the Spirit, which brings us into the operation of the gifts of the Spirit.... 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 — 1. The word of wisdom 6. The gift of prophecy 2. The word of knowledge 7. The gift to discern spirits 3. The gift of faith 8. The gift of tongues 4. The gift of healing 9. The interpretation of tongues
When Acts 1:8 says “You shall receive power, after the Holy Spirit is come”....
This word Power, has 4 Greek meanings... (I realize we have touched on this several times, but it’s at the core of this message...”Putting a Demand on God”....and we need to revisit it...
The first word in the original Greek, in which it was originally spoken, is “Dunamus’, Which means “The ability to overwhelm what’s been overwhelming you”.... Someone said, If what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, I should be able to bench press a semi-truck by now!!!
It also indicates that the very source of power is now within us, by the Holy Spirit! It’s not your might or strength, it is God’s power flowing through you....The source of the power, the dynamo or generator of power, is now within us.
Listen to the words of Jesus... Matthew 12:28 “If I am casting out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you. 29 For who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man and plunder his goods? Only someone even stronger—someone who could bind him up and then plunder his house”. Strong men are demon spirits which rule over strong holds. Strongholds are addictions and patterns that people struggle to overcome. They may be Unbelief, or Orphan spirits where you Feel Unloved or unwanted, it can be Sexual strongholds, Feelings of shame or guilt, poor self worth on one hand or pride and hedonism on the other. A stronghold is a lie that we have allowed to distort or confuse our thinking. With our permission, a lie can gain the power to affect our behavior and our life style. A stronghold is an incorrect thinking pattern that has molded itself into our way of living and it keeps us from spiritual freedom, development and success. Satan takes advantage of these patterns to get authority in our lives ...
2 Corinthians 10:4 “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of this world (or human origin). On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”
There are strongholds over people’s lives, over businesses, over communities and cities as well as countries.
To change these things, we must attack the strongman that is holding it together through the divine power of Jesus Christ and His words which He has put in writing for us to use.
This country began under a stronghold of greed and lust for power. There are many great things, but these constantly want to undermine it. Our city has many great things going for it, but underneath everything, there is a stronghold of pleasure, perversion, and excape-ism, constantly at work.
Our capital in Washington, is a symbol of our democratic form of government, but it is under a constant threat from the strongholds of lust for power, greed, lawlessness, and deception.
If you can identify the strongholds you can bind the strong man and dismantle his kingdom which he has built around himself.
Listen to something powerful from Jesus....
John 16:7 “It's for your advantage that I'm going away, because if I don't go away, the Helper (Holy Spirit) won't come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you. 8 When He comes, He will convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment 9 upon sin, because they refuse to believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I'm going to the Father and you will no longer see Me. 11 and of judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged”.
I want everyone to see here, that The strongman, has already been judged. You are appointed to carry out the judgment that has already placed upon him! As we enforce what God has already judged, we’re putting a demand upon His judgment, that it be carried out in the earth.
Jesus sent 72 followers out into the surrounding area to practice what He had been teaching them.... Luke 10:17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name.” 18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions (demons) and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Notice he said as he sent them out, that “Satan had fallen from heaven.’ That was describing the judgment upon the devil... so as he sent them out, it was to enforce the judgment which had already been passed on Satan. Satan falling, meant that he had lost his authority with believers who know how to command through God’s word.
The strongman of sickness, injustice, poverty, lack, deception and perversion has already been judged.... Now, we are impowered to enforce that judgment. When a law has been established, the judge has the power to carry out or enforce the sentence.
Pray this prayer with me.... “Lord Jesus, help me to see any area of my life that is dominated by rational or irrational strongholds. Forgive me for allowing the devil to develop his lies into my mind, and help me now to uproot and cast down every one of his lies by the power of Your word. I know that Your Word will renew my mind to think in agreement and in harmony with You, so that I can put a faith demand, on all that you promised. I am asking You today to help me make Your Word a priority in my life! In Jesus name”.
It starts with me. I must be willing to honestly face any stronghold in my on life, and pull the log out of my own eye, so I can see to take the splinter out of someone else’s eye!! As I grow in spiritual practice, I will begin to bring others with me on the journey of freedom and authority.
Sometimes our problem, as one fellow said, is that I want to follow Jesus, but I just want to give a good slap to some people too!
The Second, word for power, is the Greek word “Exusia” which is delegated authority.
Ephesians 1:22 “And He (the Father) has put all things under His (Jesus’) feet and given Him to be head over all things unto the Church, (that is a description of delegated authority and power of attorney) which is His body (His physical and spiritual representative in the earth). You and I, as believers, have become God’s agent in the earth, with all of heaven backing you up.
With that authority, you are like the police officer, who steps out in traffic, puts up his hand, and 18 wheelers grind to a halt, because he has delegated authority and the entire police force stands behind him and backs him up. That truck knows that it may be bigger than the officer, but it’s not bigger than the entire nationwide police force that backs him up! In Christ, you are far more than you may be seeing right now!
Our authority is servant authority.... Our authority is always given to serve others and lift them up. The believer’s authority is never to lord it over, or to elevate ourselves. If we are doing it right, others will elevate us and give us position and recognition.
Mark 10:42-44 Calling the disciples to Himself, Jesus *said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them. But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant... Jesus washed the disciples feet.....He cooked them a meal on one occasion, He paid the ultimate price for our sins, by taking our place on the cross....
Power always has within it the possibility to corrupt and be used for selfish gain unless it is servant authority. We don’t have to blow our own horn all the time. If you play the piano, you don’t just tell them, you convince people by sitting down and playing the piano! Someone said that every parent of teenagers should have a dog, so that when they get home someone is glad to see and appreciate them.
I recall in a blizzard in Connecticut, a lady came flying out of a side street and crashed into the side of my car. I pulled over, said a little prayer and walked over to her car. She was crying and in shock. I asked her to crack the window and said “God has brought us together today”... I prayed with her, my wife and I followed her to her house to get her information, and led her to receive Christ. She was in church that Sunday and many Sundays after. She went off to Bible college and became a missionary. Servant authority operates in compassion.
I had to choose to operate in servant authority, not civil authority....or human strength and effort, I only had to let the compassion of Jesus shine through me.
Our authority is always to serve and lift those around us.
Next week I will continue this message, Putting a demand upon the Word of God...
If you would feel led of the Holy Spirit to support this ministry, you may send your donations to "Eagle's Rest, P.O box 2820, Key West, Florida 33040.... Thank you in advance and God richly bless you..
In Christ we are covenant people who belong to a covenant keeping God. (Tell a couple of folks “Get ready for blessing and favor from God”) Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with endurance the race set out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”.… We don’t make Jesus, Lord. God the Father has already done that, whither we do it or not. God the Father has exalted Christ to the absolute highest place. On the Mark, is about getting everything in proper alignment. The question I want to ask is, “Does Christ occupy an exalted, prominantposition in our life?” Is our focus dedicated to seeing Christ exalted in our homes, on our jobs, in our decisions, in our marriages, in our relationships in general, in our future plans, in our free time, in our finances and all of our pursuits? Is anyone witnessing the exaltation of Jesus in our life? Is anyone bowing to Christ and confessing He is Lord because of the exaltation of Christ in our own life? How often this past week did you use the name of Jesus (in the proper context) in any kind of demonstration that Christ is Lord of our life? If we aren’t centering things around Him, how will anyone know He is exalted in our day to day interactions? Talking about Jesus will keep us from talking about things we shouldn’t be talking about....amen (come on!) What I am trying to say is that the Lordship of Christ in our lives is something that should be easily seen and heard by anyone who may be around us. That’s about being aligned and on the mark as we enter each day, each activity, each interaction.... Ethan Suplee got serious about his life. He was over 500 lbs. when he realigned his priorities.....In one year, he went from the picture on the left to the picture on the right. Ethan had to replace old patterns and habits, with new patterns, in order to change his life. I think too many folks believe that they can just add Jesus to their lives like they add an exercise class or a doctor’s appointment. Jesus isn’t an “add on.” He is to be our “new life style!” We don’t just add Him to a list of other activities and relationships, we center onHim and our new life revolves around Him! He’s not the dessert after the main course! He is the main course.
Theologian A.W. Tozer likens the Christian life to runners in a race. He comes up with 4 things they have in common.
1. If they can’t obey the coach, they can’t be on the team
2. They can only face in one direction, and that’s forward. 3. They can never turn back, once they start. 4. They no longer have plans of their own, because the race comes first. When I was in High School, I competed on the track team. (Don’t I look good) I specialized in the 100 yarddash, the 300, and the relay.... All of these have three common denominators, preparation, getting to the starting line and trying to outrun everyone else on the track....When the coach said run 10 laps, he never said, “If anyone feels like running 10 laps, I would like for you to give it a try”.... So, you ran 10 laps because the coach knew what was best for you. Your feelings, your emotions, and what is convenient, aren’t always your best counselors.... Shortly after joining the Navy, a new recruit asked his officer for a week-end pass so he could attend a wedding. The officer gave him the pass, but told the young man he would have to be back by 7 p.m. Sunday. “But sir, You don’t understand, sir,” said the recruit. “I’m in the wedding.” “No, you don’t understand,” the officer shot back. “You’re in the Navy!”
When Christ is Lord, we don’t make plans and then ask God to bless them. We ask God what He will bless and then we do it. If our lives don’t show that Christ is Lord, our witness means nothing.
I had a lady in one of our churches who listened to all the Christian CDs, watched Christian TV, attended church faithfully, but one day her frustrated teen ager played several recordings to me, they had secretly made, of her at home, having a tirade and cussing a blue streak that would make an auctioneer blush.... Well, those kids, are not going to think much of her brand of Christianity.... And they are away from Christ today! .....You think they’re not paying attention.... Oooooh, yes, they are!
If we’re not making it our prime objective, to be witnesses for Christ, then we’ve forgotten why we’re even in the race....
On your mark, get ready, get set! Acts 1:8 “And you (put your name in there) will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth (everywhere you go, in everything you do).”
Meet Nathan. On the track, he’s usually out in front...He enrolled at University to study Math. During his first week, he tried out for the University track team, along with nearly 200 other freshmen. At the end of the tri-out, Nathan was ranked in the top five of those recruited. He’s an extremely good athlete, and achieved a lot of acclaim at His High school. So when the first string was announced, there was no surprise that he’d been chosen.
Leading up to the first event, he was told he needed to be initiated into the squad, which involved him getting blind drunk along with the rest of the lads. Now, Nathan is a Christian so he refused. And as a result, he was dropped from first string. And when the team lists were announced for the first event of the season, he had been put at the very bottom on the seventh team.
Following Jesus takes commitment. How do you stand for Jesus in that kind of situation? I like what Teebow had to say... “I love sports, but sports has to come last after Jesus. Jesus comes first”
(On Your Mark, get ready, get set)
1 Peter 3:15 Amplified bible “In your hearts set Christ apart (as holy—acknowledging Him, and giving Him first place), as Lord. Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance (by faith)that is within you, and (do it) with wisdom, sensitivity and respect”.
I Peter tells us to always be prepared, to always be ready and be open to the tug and pull of the Holy Spirit in your life. God could have you witnessing in some of the oddest and most unexpected places.
We’re not called to be judges, we’re called to be witnesses.... Although you can be a fruit inspector.....
A week ago Friday, we were at Denny’s and a new waiter came to our table. We were talking and Winnie asked him if we could pray with him about anything.... He told us that he had come here from Texas and was trying to get settled. He started away from the table, and we told him we would be praying for him, and invited him to church and gave him our information.....We will follow up next time at Denny’s... Everybody say “Get Ready, Get Set”....
Listen, no single approach to witnessing is better than another. If we are going to share effectively, we will need to share sincerely and authentically out of our own personality and experience. It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict and convince, if we’re living the life....
GET READY CHURCH.... God has some great opportunities waiting for you....People are looking for answers in these troubled times.
As I was putting this message together, I remembered when I pastored in Weathersfield, Ct. we decided to just pick an area and start knocking on doors and giving out information. About the fifth house I went to, they invited us in. They prayed and received Christ and Diane and Lloyd were in church that Sunday, with their family. After a while, she told us about her sister. She said, pray for my sister Barbara... she is one bad gal... cusses, drinks, and has a terrible temper... I can’t ever see her in church. We’ll Diane brought her kids to church, and the sister came to see them in the Christmas program, and at the end I gave a short message and invited anyone who needed to receive Jesus. Barbara came to the altar at the end, and got saved. Barbara had a Divine transformation. She brought more people to that church than anyone else, ever had, and became a real evangelist and witness for the Lord.
Come on, Get Ready, Get Set....
I love the story of Philip as he walks south on the road to Gaza. Acts 8 :27 “So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” 30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. 31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him”.
Someone say “GET READY”
Believe it, the same Holy Spirit that’s speaking to you, is speaking to that person He’s leading you to, so you can get on the mark and get set!
We don’t know how many were brought to Christ as a result of that meeting, but we do know around that period of time, Ethiopia became a Christian nation....Because one believer ... stayed on the mark....
I have led many individuals to Christ and they have gone out and won thousands to Christ, that I would never have been able to meet or reach.
I love those kinds of stories and I believe it should be your story.
But the most famous Christian you never knew, may have spent years working behind the scenes in Children’s church. They may have spent decades serving in Women’s Ministry, or Men’s ministry. Or perhaps they were a faithful witness for many years at a job where their biggest roll was to be a light for Jesus there.
They never led anyone famous to Jesus. No one went out after encountering them, to change the world in any visible way that we know of. So how could they be the most famous Christian you never heard of.
Because they did what Jesus called them to do. They stayed faithful to whatever they were given to do. They never gave up. They may have served in many locations and positions. But they stayed on the mark!
On Your Mark, Get Ready, Get Set... Two gas company servicemen, an experienced supervisor and a new trainee, were out checking meters in a neighborhood. They parked their truck at the end of the alley and worked their way to the other end. At the last house a woman looking out her kitchen window watched the two men as they checked her gas meter. After finishing the meter check, the senior supervisor challenged his younger coworker to a foot race down the alley back to the truck to prove that an older guy could outrun a younger one. As they came running by the house, they realized the lady from that last house was huffing and puffing right behind them. They stopped and asked her what was wrong. As she gasped for breath, she said "When I see two gas servicemen running as hard as you two were, I figured I'd better start run too!" Hey, if you start running your race, and they see you running, you may inspire someone else to run their race as well!
Get ready by submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Get on your mark, by being where God wants you. Get set by knowing the voice of the Spirit and knowing your testimony. Then GO with “determination, wisdom, sensitivity and respect.”
I came across a list titled: “Top Ten Greatest Canadians.” I knew Wayne Gretzky had to be on it, and he was number 10. Alexander Graham Bell was on it. So was the First Prime Minister of Canada. At the number two spot was a person that I had never heard of. It just said, “Terry Fox, athlete.”
Terry was a young man who was diagnosed with a form of bone cancer. To save his life, they had to amputate his leg, well above the knee. When he was getting treated, he was frustrated at the care and the lack of cancer research at the time. He didn’t want to sit at home and do nothing. He felt that there was something he could do about it. So he committed to run across the entire country of Canada to raise money. He wanted each Canadian citizen to donate at least a dollar. To accomplish his goal, he would run a marathon’s distance each day until he finished. He started in St. John’s in Newfoundland with just a few people there to see him off. Word quickly spread about his run, which he did with one prosthetic leg. By the time he reached Ontario, he was a national celebrity, and treated like one. However, his run was not easy. He often got horrible blisters from the constant running. He got shin splints and extreme fatigue. Despite this, he pressed on. Terry’s run lasted 143 days and 3,200 miles, before he had to stop due to the cancer coming back. But he raised 25 million dollars for cancer research.
In Philippians 3, Paul compares our Christian life to a race, similar to the one that Terry did. Like him, the apostle says we have a reason to run. Like him, we keep our eye on the goal. Like him, we are also encouraged along the way. Terry ran to raise money for cancer. Our race has a far, far greater cause. It’s about the eternal souls of mankind.
GET ON YOUR MARK, GET READY, GET SET.....
Listen Church, we can afford to waste time, looking back. When you spend time looking back in a race, it slows you down and you might even trip and fall.... In Christ we have been made righteous, we have been made right with God, we are forgiven, we are given favor, so we press toward the prize, which is the high calling of God in Christ, till we cross the finish line. Don’t look back..... stay on the mark!!! 1 Corinthians 9:25“Everyone who competes in the games trains with strict discipline. They do it for a crown that is perishable, but we do it for a crown that is imperishable. 26 Therefore I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight like I am beating the air. 27 No, I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified”.…
In one cross country race... the folks along the way had tables set up with water and oxygen available if needed... Once the runners had all passed, the tables would be folded up and everything put away. But there was a young girl who was way behind everyone else. But she wouldn’t quit. Her face was blood red, her hair a sweaty mess, and her body language said she was exhausted. She could hardly continue on. But next to her was her mom and brother, who were encouraging her to continue on despite her frustration and exhaustion to make it to the finish line and finish the race.
Listen, child of God, run the race He’s given you! People are praying that you’ll make it, that you won’t give in to the fatigue, the discouragement or the lie that you’re not making any difference. No matter what someone else’s race is, only you can run your race. But Hallelujah, Jesus is in it, to win it with us! As we live our Christian lives and head toward the finish line, and we’re tired, our body may ache, we may be out of breath, but the Lord doesn’t sit or stand on the sidelines. He doesn’t yell encouragements from afar. Rather, He is running right with us, like the girl’s mother and brother. He takes hold with us, and encourages us forward. He strengthens and cheers us with His Word when we are tired, and faint, and feel like we can’t take another step sometimes.
Song.... It reaches to the highest mountain, and it flows to the lowest valley, Oh the blood that gives me strength, from day to day, it shall never lose its power!
Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give wayand the mountains fall into the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake. 4 There is a river whose refreshing streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. 5 God is “within her, she will not fall. God will help her, though 6 Nations are in uproar, and kingdoms fall, He lifts His voice, the earth melts. 7 The Lord Almighty is with us,the God of Jacob is our fortress. 8 Come and see what the Lord has done.”
I believe the Holy Spirit is saying to someone today....Get Ready, Get Set, and you will see what the Lord has done.... The workman is worthy of his hire.... Your labor in the Lord is never in vain!
Come and see what the Lord has done!!! You need to get ready and get set for your harvest.... You’ve sown in faith and you shall reap in due time, and this is your due time, your harvest time!!
Matthew 9:36 “When Jesus saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then He said to his disciples, (and to us)“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Pray to the Lord of the harvest, (the Holy Spirit), to send out workers into His harvest field.”
The Lord of the harvest is Holy Spirit.... Jesus said, and when He is come, He will convict of sin and convince of righteousness... That deals with the person who has never made Christ Lord of their lives, and the person who has fallen away from Him.
Let’s stand and obey what the Lord is saying here....
The harvest is ready, join together and release workers for the harvest....
I’m starting with the harvesters in this room.... Let’s believe together for each personal harvest that is represented here....
The seed is the word, the water is your prayers and tears, the fertilizer is support, encouragement and our example, the harvest equipment is obedience. Join with someone and call out some names in agreement, break down the barriers of resistance, and enter in to the harvest cycle...