Friday, January 29, 2016

All Dressed Up...

Ephesians 6:10-20

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, [c] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

I have to tell you to start with, this is a word the Lord gave me, in my prayer time this morning, for me.  I am going through a deeply personal storm today and I really needed this word, but I can’t help but feel that there are others who need to hear it as well so I am sharing it, believing that the Lord will comfort you and bless you as He has me today.

In the above scripture the Apostle Paul encourages believers to put on the armor of God.  Armor that is made available to all that believe.  In fact, as far as I can tell, being a believer is the only qualification one needs to adorn themselves with this armor.  But the Lord spoke this word to me in my prayer time this morning: a believer who has accepted the armor of God but does not pray, is like a man who puts on a tuxedo on prom night, who has no date, who hasn’t purchased the ticket to get in, and whose car sits in the driveway broken down - all dressed up with no place to go.

Paul tells us that as we take the shield of faith and the sword of the spirit it is to be done in the spirit of prayer.  It is this spirit: this heart, attitude, disposition, and lifestyle of prayer that qualifies us to use the sword of the spirit.  This clearly tells us that we are only qualified to use the sword of the Spirit in and through the spirit of prayer.  No one is properly prepared to use the sword of the Spirit who has not had their hearts and minds prepared through prayer.

Ecclesiastes 10:9-10a (MSG)

“9 Safety first: Quarrying stones is dangerous.  Be alert: Felling trees is hazardous.  10 Remember: The duller the ax the harder the work”

The sword in the hand of a prayer less man or woman is as dangerous as a machine gun in the hand of a 3yr old, it can be a means of mass destruction.  But the sword of the Spirit in the hands of a praying man or woman, can break satanic bondage, open the eyes of the blind, bring healing to sick bodies, open doors that have been closed, close demonic doors that have been opened, shake nations and set up the kingdom of God in the earth.
The Lord showed me an important principle this morning through His Word: men of supernatural power in the earth have always been men of prayer.  Joseph, Daniel, Elijah, Peter, John, and Paul were all men of prayer.

We can see in God’s Word that Joseph went from the pit to the palace, from a prisoner to a prince, we see Elijah on Mt. Carmel as he called down fire from the sky, and the heavens opened and gave rain, Daniel in a lion’s den protected from certain death by the power of God, Peter and John healing a lame man in Jesus’ name, and Paul, unharmed by its bite, shaking off a poisonous viper into the fire. But we must never forget that Joseph in the pharaoh’s house, Elijah on Carmel, Daniel in the lion’s den, Peter and John’s miraculous faith, and Paul’s overcoming power were the result of these men in a closet somewhere on their knees crying out to God.

I am facing a storm today that I have no idea how to navigate, a trial that has caught me off-guard and has for the moment taken the wind from my sails.  I know that God has brought me through many storms, I know that He will bring me through this one too, but it is only on my knees that I will find the direction to get through this dark hour and the strength to overcome.  This new attempt of the enemy to bring me discouragement will not prevail!  I might be knocked down, but I'm not out!  The Bible says that, "the name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous shall run unto it and be glad!"

I proclaimed the other night in Church that the devil was gonna know my name, I can see now that he does, because the devil don't mess with you if you ain't no threat.  But I got a name for you devil, in Jesus' name I will arise from this difficult hour of discouragement, like they used to say in the opening of the old TV show "The Six-Million-Dollar Man – "better and stronger" than I was before and with the name of Jesus on my lips, the enemy of my soul will tremble in fear!  As one of my brother’s spoke in church Wednesday: I am about to shake that tambourine!

II Corinthians 12:9-10

“9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Cave Is Not My Grave!

I Kings 1:1-18 (Read if you're not familiar with this story )

If you were to go back and read in I kings 17 you would find out that it reveals an important fact about Elijah, he was one of the inhabitants of Gilead.

I Kings 17:1
“And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.”

The point that I am trying to make is that Elijah was one of the people, in other words he was one of us, he was in the same mess as everyone else, he was surrounded by the same problems and the same sinful circumstances.  Elijah was in the world, but he wasn’t a part of it.  The importance of this fact should not escape us, because Israel’s spiritual condition was at an all-time low.  From generation to generation each of Israel’s kings had taken the nation “progressively” deeper into sin and farther away from God.  Sound familiar? 

The Bible says that Ahab, the son of Omri, did evil in the sight of the Lord above and more to provoke the anger of God than all of the other Kings of Israel that were before him.  And now, here stands Elijah, alone against this flood of ungodliness and perversion.

Have you ever felt like you’re all alone?  Has it ever seemed to you like you’re the only one trying to do right or the only one who is standing for righteousness?  You know what I mean, the only one on your job, the only one in your family, the only one in your school, in your town, or maybe even in your church.  Sometimes to a lot of people it seems like they are the only one trying to live a pure, holy, and separated life.

I’ve got good news for you today, it only takes one!  It only took One David to get rid of Goliath.  It only took one Moses to lead nearly three million people out of bondage in Egypt.  It only took one Ezekiel to turn an entire valley of dry bones into a mighty army of God.  I want to tell you today, the Holy Spirit is urging me to tell you: you can make the difference on your job, in your family, in your school, in your town, in your church, and in your world!

The devil wants you to believe that one person can never make a difference and he goes to great lengths to try and convince us, but the devil is a liar.  I remember what one of my professors in seminary told us, he said, “Always remember: no matter how dark it gets one light changes everything.  The only way that darkness can overtake the light and win the battle for righteousness in each generation, is if that generation refuses to let their light shine.”

When it came to knowing and demonstrating the power of God, Elijah was no push over prophet.  He knew the power of God, through his ministry the dead were raised, the widow of Zarephath went into supernatural provision and was sustained through the famine.  He had a poverty crushing, death destroying anointing.  He was bold as a lion and mean as a bear, Elijah was a man’s man.  He stood alone against a wicked king, and his wicked wife, and an entire religious system that had turned against God.

I know a lot of people that can stand as long as they got someone to lean on, as long as people are backing them up, patting them on the back, and encouraging them.  But if you are ever going to do any real kingdom work, you might as well know: sometimes you have to stand alone.

It’s always nice to have friends that are willing to stand with us.  I’m not gonna lie to you, pats on the back feel pretty good most of the time.  I am always grateful when others bless and encourage me, but I have come to understand a very important principle through God’s Word:  at some point you have to be able to stand on your own two feet.

You have to be able to praise when nobody else is praising, dance when nobody else is dancing, pray when nobody else is praying, and preach the Word when everyone else is snuggling up to the world.  Sometime you have to preach yourself happy.  When David looked around and couldn’t get anyone to pat him on the back or speak an encouraging word to him, he encouraged himself in the Lord.

Elijah was a man who knew how to stand, but in our text we find the prophet hiding in a cave.  The cave is a place of isolation: most of the time when there is a strong attack against you the devil will try to Isolate you, cause you to withdraw from others.  The Cave is a place of Depression: one of the greatest signs of being in a cave is the spirit of depression. Isaiah calls it, “the Spirit of heaviness.”  The Cave is a place of Fear: fear is the opposite of faith, faith always mobilizes, but fear always paralyzes.  And the Cave is a place of death: the cave is where dreams, vision, anointing, and callings go to die.

Unfortunately, it seems, the cave is a spiritual reality.  At some point almost every single one of us, in our walk of faith, will experience the cave.  The cave is a spiritual condition: you can be rich and be in a cave, you can be surrounded by people and be in a cave, you can be anointed and be in a cave, you can be a pastor and be in a cave, and you can be a prophet and still wind up in the cave.  You can cast out devils on Sunday and be in the cave on Monday!  No one is exempt from the cave!

Most of you know what I’m talking about, you know what it feels like to be in a cave, to feel isolated and alone.  You know what it feels like to run as hard and fast as you can and feel like you haven’t moved.  You have to really strain your eyes to see anything good ahead of you.  Some of you are fighting feelings of discouragement because you haven’t seen the manifestation of your promise yet.  You’ve been faithful to God, but it seems like nothing is happening.  The devil has you questioning your calling and your anointing.

The great prophet, a mighty man of God, found himself in a cave.

1 Kings 19:9-10
“And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?
10 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”

Notice Elijah’s Language, “I have been.”  Not I am, not I will be, but “I have been.”  Elijah was essentially saying: I’m done, I’m through, I’m finished, and I came here to die.  The cave is the place where dreams die, it is the place where visions expire, it is the place where passion and enthusiasm and desire surrender to apathy, indifference, and hopelessness.  It’s the place where fear reigns and doubt robs the heart of any expectation of better things.  Elijah Found himself in a cave, afraid of Jezebel, running for his life, wallowing in self-pity, mad at God, and mad at God’s people.  He was Ready to give up, throw in the towel.  But then something happened, the Lord passed by.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I am glad in my life that the Lord passed by.  I was in a cave, a tomb of my own making.  I had given up on God, given up on righteousness, given up on my calling, but then the Lord passed by.  I was doing my own thing.  I didn’t care about anything or anybody, but then the Lord passed by.  I was doing the church thing, fooling myself and everyone around me, but then the Lord passed by.  I was lying in a hospital bed with the doctors shaking their heads, but then the Lord passed by.

One word from God turned Elijah’s cave, his tomb, into a womb.  One word from God and the old prophet came out with a new anointing, a new vision, and a new fire!

I am glad that my tomb became a womb and that God didn’t allow me to die in the cave.  And I want to tell you today that it doesn’t matter how long you have been in the cave, how far down into that cave you have traveled, Jesus is about to pass by.  Today is your opportunity to turn your tomb into a womb.

God told me to tell someone: you’re on the verge of a new revelation of the glory and power of God, of a new level of anointing, and you’re getting ready to see the greatest manifestation of the power of God you’ve ever seen.  The devil has tried to push you into a cave and roll the stone over the door and call it your tomb.  I want to make a small correction and turn the T into a W and tell you the devil spelled it wrong.  The Lord is about to pass by, Jesus is coming by and with just one word from God your tomb can become a womb.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Jesus, We Have A Problem

II Kings 2:19-22
And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water is naught, and the ground barren.
20 And he said, bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him.
21 And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land.
22 So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.

[Before I get to the text, I don’t know who it is, but the Lord gave me this word for some people who have been praying and asking God and seeking God for something and you haven’t seen any evidence of any change.  But I prophesy to you right now: God has been working on it, it’s in process, it’s in transit, and it’s on the way.
I do most of my shopping online these days.  I go online and order something and I pay for it with my debit card.  It’s mine the instant I pay for it, but I have to wait a couple of days for it to show up in my mailbox.  The company gives me a tracking number so I can see that it is on the way and I know that it is coming.
God told me to tell somebody that what you have been praying for is on the way!  It’s already been paid for, it’s yours already, and it’s just about to show up!  Here is your tracking number

Mark 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received[c] it, and it will be yours.”

I’m prophesying to somebody who has the faith to believe it: Somebody’s getting ready to step into some prepared blessings, I know you can’t see it right now, but just over the hill there’s a blessing waiting for you, just around the corner there’s some glory coming out of this trial.]

In the passage in II Kings, the men of the city come to Elisha the prophet and they tell him in essence, “We have a problem.  From the outside everything looks pretty good, but we have a problem.”

Some of you have a problem!  How long are you going to keep going around the same mountain, fighting the same battles, struggling with the same addictions, wrestling with the same fleshly lusts and desires, falling down at the same place over and over again, giving into the same temptations again and again before you are willing to admit you have a problem?

If you can’t look at a pretty woman without lusts rising up in your heart you have a problem!  If you can’t see somebody else blessed without becoming jealous, critical, and envious, then you have a problem!  If every time things don’t go your way you run to the fridge and gorge yourself, you have a problem!  If you still get angry and resentful and hold a grudge every time somebody says something about you or disagrees with you, you’ve got a problem!  If you can’t keep your gossiping tongue off your brothers, sisters, and pastor, then you have a problem!
My question for you today is: How long are you going to put up with attitudes, addictions, hang-ups, and lusts of the flesh that are self-destructive, and in absolute disagreement with the word of God, before you holler, “Help me Jesus, I have a problem!”?  The only problem that cannot be overcome in Jesus’ name, is the one you will not admit to having. The first major step to a turnaround and a breakthrough for you and I, and for these men was admitting that there was a problem.

The next step is taking your problem to the right place.  I believe in AA and other 12-Step programs.  They save lives when the person following the steps understands that the only power that can change our situation is the power of God.  But recovery programs are just Band-Aids applied to the surface if you don’t go spiritually deep enough and deal only with the fruit, but not the root.  The only power that can change the root is the power of God.

These men in II Kings took their problem to the right place.  You have to know where to go when you have a problem. You don’t take your car to the dentist to get it fixed, and you don’t ask a plumber to fix your teeth, and you don’t want preacher operating on your brain.  They may all be nice people, but you got to go to the right person when you got a problem or the problem just gets worse. 

You may have some good friends that will pray with you when you ask, but I don’t care how good a friend they are, you are not going to get the deliverance you need sounding out your problems to people who are struggling with the same problems you are.

David said: when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to that rock that is (higher) than I.  When you’re in a fight, in a struggle wrestling with an Issue, whether it’s spiritual, financial, emotional, or sexual, whether it’s an addiction or a bondage or a habit.  You better go to someone that is higher than you, someone who has that under their feet, someone who is not wallowing in the same mess, you need someone who can show you what it looks like to be free.

They said to the prophet: This place is pretty, we like the neighborhood, it a nice place, we like the view, and from all outward appearances everything looks good.  But the water is naught, the water is cursed, it carries some kind of poison in it and it is making the ground barren.  In other words: It’s killing our future.  It was not killing the men or the women, or even the trees, it was killing the fruit.

We need some men in our country that are concerned with more than pretty, we need some men who desire purity and power, and that more concerned about being good, than just looking good.  We need men who will cry out to God, “We have a problem!”

The Word says that the water was causing the women to miscarry.  That means, nothing was being carried to full term.  Nothing was being birthed.  I’m writing today to some of God’s people that have let something into your heart and it has poisoned the life stream.  You’ve become unproductive, your life has become barren, you have no joy, no peace, you have no passion for life, you’re full of bitterness and anger and resentment and unforgiveness.  You’ve let envy, jealousy, and strife creep into your heart, and now even when something good is initiated, it ends up drying up and dying because your life stream is poisoned.

Proverbs 4:23 “Keep (Guard) your heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues, (streams) of life.”

Until you get that poison out of your heart your life is going to be barren, you will poison every relationship, every endeavor will be fruitless, and you will make people miserable.  You will poison your ministry, and everything you say and do will carry the toxin of the poison in your heart, and no one will want to be around you.

The biggest problem that most people have is that we want to blame everybody else.  We want to blame it on the preacher, on the boss, on the wife, the husband, the rebellious kids, all those hypocrites in the church, or the devil.  We want to blame it on our environment, where we were born, what we didn’t have, or what we couldn’t do.  The truth is that we all have things we could complain about, but there can be no change or deliverance until we admit, the Problem is me.

“It’s not my brother or my sister but it’s me O lord, standing in the need of prayer.”

These men said: Everything around us is not the problem, it’s in the stream, it’s the bitter waters that are cursing the ground and we are losing are future, no babies are being born, no fruit is being produced in our lives.  These men made a decision that day to fight for their future and to fight for their destiny. 

One of the devil’s greatest fears is that you will become who you are destined to be, and to do what you are destined to do.  You have a divine D.N.A. that was put in you before you were ever born, and every time the devil looks at you, he sees the potential you of your destiny.  The devil believes in you more than you believe in yourself and he is afraid of that seed you carry, that potential to become what God has ordained you to become, and he wants to kill the seed before it’s ever born.  Satan is a dream killer.

The men of the city said in essence, “This is not right and we do not accept it.  It is not normal and we are not satisfied just to be in a pretty place and watch our destiny being stripped away from us.  We have a problem, but we’re going to the problem solver.”
They decided their future was worth fighting for!

I wonder how many reading this believe that your future is worth fighting for?  How many are willing to fight for your children to be delivered from the hand of the enemy, fight for the destiny of your grandchildren?  Fight for your marriage, fight for your health, fight for your ministry, fight for your God given destiny?

I’m trying to tell you, if you want it you are going to have to fight for it.  The devil ain’t going to sit back and watch you waltz into your destiny without a fight.  Those children, grandchildren, those future prophets, apostles, pastors, teachers, and evangelists are not going to walk into their callings without somebody fighting for them.

There are so many believers today who have lost their fight, lost their fire, lost their passion.  They’ve settled down, they’re satisfied just to know their saved and not going to hell, they don’t care about anybody else.  They’ve become barren, unproductive, sterile, and unable to reproduce.  No spiritual births, no power to heal the sick or cast out devils or deliver the bound and the oppressed.

We need in the church of Jesus Christ, men and women, believers who are willing to stand up and say:  We are not satisfied with pretty, we don’t want to just be politically correct, we don’t want to draw a crowd just to watch them wither and die on the branch because the water is bitter.  Lord, we have a problem!  Come and heal our land Jesus through the purifying power of your Word.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Honey Is On The Ground

I Samuel 14:1-30

VV. 25-27 - “And all the people[g] came into the forest; and there was honey on the ground. 26 And when the people entered the forest, behold, the honey was dropping, but no man put his hand to his mouth; for the people feared the oath. 27 But Jonathan had not heard his father charge the people with the oath; so he put forth the tip of the staff that was in his hand, and dipped it in the honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes became bright.”

We don’t know how long Jonathon was in this situation.  We know that there were six hundred other men in the same situation he was in.  But Jonathon decided that something wasn’t right, he decided that it was not right for the child of God to be hiding in fear of the enemy and so Jonathon made a decision to do something, something the others may have looked at as insane.  He decided to follow the example that had been set by David, he decided to make a run at his enemy.

Jonathon decided to take a run at his giant.  I don’t know who the Lord got me out of bed for this morning, may be it was just for me, but I’ve got a feeling that somebody that has been knocked down is getting up, someone’s getting ready to fight, somebody’s getting ready to make a run at your giant.  The devil has been laughing at you, criticizing you, and harassing you and you’ve had enough.  Nothing will change until you get fed up!  It’s time to break out!

You may be the only one of six hundred, or six thousand, but one is all it takes if that one believes and trusts in the name of Jesus!  Moses, Elijah, Gideon, and David were all just one man when they decided to obey and trust God, but they overcame and defeated the enemy!

You may be in a difficult situation like Jonathon, a bad place, a painful place, or between a rock and a hard place.  You’re being pressed on every side, it seems like there’s no way out, but I prophesy to you, you are coming out!  You’re coming out of financial trouble, coming out of sickness, coming out of depression and discouragement, coming out of Marriage trouble, coming out of attacks against your ministry, you're coming out of the pit and you’re going to the palace.

Joseph was thrown into a pit and a prison, but he didn’t stay there, he came out and went to the palace.  The three Hebrew men were thrown into the fiery furnace, but they didn’t burn up they came out and got promoted.  Daniel was thrown into a den of lions but he didn’t stay there he came out and became one of the greatest men in the Kingdom of Babylon.

“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers them out of them all.” - Psalms 34:19

Just knowing you’re coming out would be enough for most of you.  But God said to tell you that not only are you coming out, you’re going to do some damage on your way out.  You’re getting ready to put some stuff that’s been in your face, under your feet.  You’re getting ready to step on top of the thing that’s been on top of you.  God shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.

Shortly means quickly: the issues you been struggling with for a long time, and battles you’ve been fighting for a long time are getting ready to come to an end - suddenly!  Suddenly that court battle is going to turn around! Suddenly that medical condition that’s been dragging on for years is going to clear up!  Suddenly that strained relationship is going to be healed!  Suddenly that financial burden you’ve been under is going to be lifted!

You have been praying for a son, a daughter, a husband, and it looks like they’re farther away from God than ever before, but suddenly God is going to put a hook in their jaw and he’s going to do in an instant what you’ve been waiting years to see.  Somebody reading this is standing on the edge of a miracle.  It’s time to take run at your enemy!

Maybe you are in a place like Jonathon was at this very moment.  No matter which way you look there is no help in sight and it feels like the worlds closing in on you.  It feels like you’re all alone, people all around you are being blessed, but you’re going through hell. You look around you and see other people and it seems like their life is just a great big bowl of cherries.  Then you look in your bowl and all you see is the pits.

The pits are the left overs, the rejected parts, the hard inedible parts, but if I look in a bowl and see cherry pits, it tells me that there were cherries there, because no cherry tree produces only pits.  And it tells me somebody else got there first and somebody else got the sweet part.  They got the beautiful house, the new car, the best paying job, the best girl, the best guy, the best church, the best friend, the best calling, the best talent, the best gift and you got the pits.
I just want to tell somebody that has feels like the sweet things in life have passed you by: if you will keep on walking, keep praying, keep praising, keep confessing the word, keep believing God’s promises, then you are on a collision course with some sweet stuff!

I know I’m talking to some people that have been in some bitter places and you’ve tasted disappointment.  Some of you have experienced the bitterness of divorce in your life.  Some of you are acquainted with the bitterness of a long season of sickness.  I know there are those reading this who have watched their dreams slip through their fingers.  Some of you have cried bitter tears as you have watched your children choose a rebellious road and walk away from God and get tangled up in the ways of the world.  And I wish this part wasn’t true but it is: Some of you have been hurt, and it wasn’t the devil that did it, it was church folk.

I love the church with all my heart, but there’s a difference between being in church and being in Christ, and some of the meanest, most critical, and self-righteous people on earth are church folks.  And a lot of good people have been hurt by mean spirited lukewarm snobby nosed church folk.

When you look at your life all you see is the pits, but God told me to tell you, that he’s getting ready to give you sweet for your sour, beauty for your ashes, peace for your pain, joy for your sorrow, and hope for your despair.  Weeping may endure for the night, but Joy cometh in the morning and I see the sun rising on a brand new day for you.

As Jonathon and his armor bearer move out in faith, God gave them a great personal victory.  Not only that, it encouraged the rest of the army and turned the whole battle around.  After a good deal of fighting and knocking down the enemy; they come to a place where there was honey on the ground.  They didn’t have to climb a tree or fight the bees for it, all they had to do was reach out and take it.

Somebody needs to hear this today, all you have to do is reach out and take it. Jesus already climbed the tree, and let them nail him to it.  Jesus already fought the bees, and spoiled principalities and powers making a show of them openly.  All the blessings of God, all the provisions of God, are within your reach.  All you have to do is reach out and take them.  It’s time to take a run at your enemy!  The battle is the Lord’s!  Your enemy was defeated by Calvary and the honey is on the ground!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Come, He Told Me

Matthew 14:22-32

22 Then He made the disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds.  23 And after He had dismissed the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was many furlongs distant from the land, beaten by the waves; for the wind was against them.  25 And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea.  26 But when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out for fear.  27 But immediately He spoke to them, saying, “Take heart, it is I; have no fear.”
28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water.”  29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus; 30 but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”  31 Jesus immediately reached out His hand and caught him, saying to him, “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?”  32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
“Come,” is was really Jesus’ way of telling Peter, “You can do it, it’s your turn, quit making excuses, break free of your fears and walk in faith.”
So many of us live beneath our potential, too often we live what we’ll call the “safe life.”  So many times we sit back in our comfortable safe places and talk about everything we would do for God “if” He ever called us.  But every once in a while you run into someone who heard Jesus say “come” and they stretch beyond the edge of comfortable and follow Jesus in faith.
What will you do when Jesus says “Come?”
You and I may never actually physically follow Peter out on the deep blue sea, we may never be in the situation or the circumstances that Peter was in when he literally got out of his boat in the middle of a life threatening storm and in the presence of eye witnesses, walked on top of the water.  To be honest I can hear a sigh of relief in my spirit as I write those words, because as exciting as it is, and as encouraging as it is to read about Peter walking on top of the water, and Peter putting that which was over his head under his feet, the truth is most Christians have no desire to walk on the water when there is a perfectly good boat anywhere nearby.
But while we may never physically leave the safety of a perfectly good boat and leap out onto a raging sea. There will be times in our lives as we follow Christ that we will be challenged to duplicate that same reckless faith and abandon that Peter had when he let go of everything so he could hold onto a word.  There is going to be, at some point in your faith journey, a time when you have to choose the high road or the low road.
It takes a certain measure of faith just to ride out the storm. It takes a certain measure of faith to keep your sanity when all hell is breaking loose against your family, your finances, your health, and your ministry.  Some people are quick to criticize those other disciples as being fearful and faithless: But I don’t because I know how it feels to be in a storm, and I know how much faith it takes just to stay in the boat.
It took faith to keep praising, to keep trusting, to keep tithing, and keep sowing, and keep confessing when I couldn’t see any relief in sight.  I couldn’t feel any relief in my body, and I couldn’t see anything but storm clouds and rough waters. It took faith to stay in the boat when the doctors told me last year I had cancer, but I had abandoned ship before in a storm and I nearly drowned.
No, I will not condemn them!  They made it thru the storm, they made it to the other side and that’s something to shout about right there.  I made it: I didn’t feel like I was going to make it, it didn’t look like I was going to make it, the doctors report said I wouldn’t make it, but here I am on the other side.
I only have one thing to say about those other disciples, they missed the opportunity to take the high road.  They were brought to a place where they could have chosen a greater glory, they missed the opportunity to have the testimony of a water walker.  Their testimony was, “We made it, we survived, we rode out the storm, and we’re still standing.”
But when Peter began to testify, his testimony was different.  Yes, he was in the boat with the rest, yes he feared like all the others disciples, but when Peter saw Jesus walking on the water something on the inside of Peter told him, “I can do that, if Jesus can do it, then I can too.  All I need is a Word from the Master.”
Maybe all you need to go from surviving spiritually, to thriving is a word from the Master.  Maybe all you need to make your “2016” greater than your “2015” is a “can do” word.  There may be a thousand voices telling you that you can’t do it, and a thousand reasons why can’t do it: You’re not educated enough, you’re not old enough, you’re too old, you’re the wrong color, you’re from the wrong side of town, you don’t have enough money, and you don’t have any experience.  But if you have a “can do” word from God, you can do the impossible: You can go where they said you could never go, and you can do what they said you can never do, and you can be what they said you could never be, and you can have what they said you could never have.
“I can do all things through Christ” Philippians 4:13
“If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth” Matthew 9:23
“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
Peter had a word: “Come!”  That’s all he had, but that’s all he needed!  No doubt the disciples probably argued with him and told him, it was impossible and begged him to stay in the boat, and stay on the same faith level that they were on, but Peter had heard the Call!  Everyone in the boat had the same opportunity Peter had to walk on the water, the circumstances were the same, Jesus was the same, the word was the same.  They chose to hold on to the boat, but Peter chose to act on the Word. 
When Peter acted upon the word, he stepped into a brand new anointing.  He stepped into a supernatural water walking anointing, He began moving and walking and operating in the same realm and the same anointing that Jesus was functioning in: – Romans 8:11
11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Let me make a point here: Jesus didn’t force Peter to get out of the boat, Jesus didn’t threaten Peter. Jesus didn’t condemn the other disciples for not walking on the water.  Jesus simply came to them all in a way that presented an opportunity for them to move to another level in their faith.  He created an avenue for them to step from one realm of anointing to another, He called them to a higher experience, and a higher manifestation of His power in their lives.  But only one took that step: That step separated Peter from the rest of the disciples.  That step drew a line between the boat sitters and the water walkers.
Peter you say only walked on the water for a moment, but let me say this, I’d rather have a moment of walking on the water, than a life time of sitting in the boat.  I prophesy and I declare to you today that there is a new stirring in the spirit, and many who have been comfortable and satisfied in the boat of mediocrity and religious expectation and traditions of man are getting uncomfortable.
The Spirit is calling you to “Come!”  And many of God’s people are realizing that they weren’t created for the confines and the restrictions and the limitations of a boat sitting religion.  In other words, we are discovering our destiny, we are discovering our purpose, and we are discovering the power that resides in us.
And we are discovering that we are not boat sitters, we are water walkers!  We are finding out that we are not chickens, we are eagles!
Some of you reading this: You can’t figure it out, you’re uncomfortable, you’re uneasy and kind of edgy and irritable; nothing really satisfies you, you’re not satisfied by what you eat or the job you have or the car you drive.  You leave church feeling like something’s missing and you want to blame it on the Pastor, or the praise and worship team, or the teacher or the evangelist.
But the truth is: It’s not their fault, a different job or different food, or a different church, or more money, isn’t going to fix it.  The problem is that your spirit has heard the Master call to you, “Come!”  Your spirit wants to break free but your flesh is trying to keep you in the boat.  It’s the anointing that is calling you, and it’s the anointing that is pulling at you.  The same anointing that pulled Peter out of that boat. It’s that same word that called Peter to a life in the supernatural.
Jesus is calling you to “Come,” what will you answer?
When Jesus says “Come,” everything you need to accomplish the work He called you to is contained in that word.