Sunday, October 26, 2008

Angels On Assignment:Part 2


Hebrews 13:2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. (NIV)

Angels are everywhere and you may encounter them unaware of who they are and what they are sent to do.

What do angels do?

Angels intervene in the affairs of man on behalf of God.
* They reveal God’s will to men, women, boys and girls. From John the Baptist’s father to Samson’s mother, from the Prophet Samuel when he was but a little boy to Mary the mother of Jesus when she was a young maiden, angels are sent on assignment from heaven to earth.
* An angel stood in the way of Balaam the prophet when he was determined to curse the Children of God.
* An angel was sent on assignment to interpret a dream for Daniel and another to shut the mouths of the lions.
* Angels announced the birth of Jesus to shepherds watching over their flocks near the town of Bethlehem that first Christmas.
* Angels were stationed to guard the way to the tree of life so that no person could live forever without the blood of Messiah, the Lamb of God.
* Angels do heavenly warfare against demons of darkness in a struggle between good and evil.
* Angel armies are now awaiting their deployment in full force against the anti-Christ in the last battle over earth and the souls of man.
* Angels open prison doors, offer the prayers of men on the altar of God, carry the souls of saints to heaven and walk among us as unknown agents of God’s providence.
* Angels are everywhere!
* They appear to saints and sinners alike: Cornelius; Hagar; Lot and the men of Sodom; Balaam; King Nebuchadnezzar and so many others.

So, now that we know what angels do … how do we get them to do it? This brings us to our Key Scripture for today.

Key Scripture: Psalms 103:20 Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

Angels excel in strength.

Angels are well able to whatever needs doing.

Angels move at God’s command.

An angel’s priority is to do whatever God commands them to do. God’s direct orders hold top priority for their activities.

However angels, like man, are not always under direct orders from heaven. Much of what angels are responsible for fall under the category of their prime directive:

They operate much like us Believers do. We respond to God’s commands, those “Thus saith the Lord” moments. Those directives which hold singular priority over every other good thing we are doing. When God speaks we drop what we are doing and respond to Him.

It’s something like I taught my children to do. Early in their upbringing, just after conception, I began to program them to recognize the voice of their father. I would continually get close to their mother’s stomach and speak to them words of comfort, words of encouragement and words of future. I quoted scriptures to them constantly, much like what God does in bringing us to our new birth.

After they were born I continued and expected them to understand. I told them that they would always know my voice and respond to me differently that they did other voices. When they were old enough I trained them to pick my voice out of the voices of many people speaking at the same time. It may seem a stretch but I instructed them that they did not have the right to not hear my voice when I spoke to them but that they should have their ears tuned to my voice. For what it’s worth, it worked for me and my family.

I tend to give my children great latitude in life. I taught them right and then let them experience life with the principles I had given them. I knew that I would not always be there to answer their questions, so I put them into situations early on where they had to make decisions on their own based on the principles from God’s Word which I had taught them.

I gave my children the right to live their own life within the guidelines we had set up for our family. In that sense and within those confines, they pretty much did their own thing. However, no matter what they were busy doing, when daddy called, whistled or otherwise attempted to get their attention, it was imperative that they leave what they were doing and attend to my command.

This ‘training up of a child in the way they should go’ took a lot of dedicated time but I believed that I was teaching them how to respond to God’s voice and how to prioritize their lives. Like I said, for me and my family … it worked and I would do it all over again the same way.

I see this as a Kingdom pattern. God has given us marching orders, limits, guidelines and goals. When we are not on a ‘commanded march’ for God, we are free to live our lives in accordance with the principles of God’s Word and our Prime Directive.

The Prime Directive for every Believer is to go into all the world and tell every person about Jesus, teaching them to observe and to do all that He has commanded. This can be done in so many ways and most of the time we are free to decide how we are going to do it.

However, when God calls us to a specific task, it holds priority and we must drop what we are doing and respond with our full attention and focus on the command of God.

I see angels as no different. When God commands them to some specific task, they are focused on that assignment. However, when not engaged in a ‘command’ from God, they go about their daily affairs attempting to accomplish their Prime Directive.

What is the Prime Directive of the angelic host of heaven?

Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?

An angel’s prime directive is to serve the saints with the will of God.

Last week we read in Acts 12 that an angel came to deliver the Apostle Peter in direct response to the prayers of the church.

We also read the scriptures that tell angels attend to the prayers of the saints. In other words, angels pay special attention to our prayers. Some prayers are echoed throughout heaven, such as prayers of repentance while others are taken carefully in their hands and released in the face of God for His personal consideration.

Angels have a prime directive to listen to and attend to what you say.

After Daniel had prayed for twenty one days the Angel Gabriel appeared to Daniel and told him:

Daniel 10:12 Then he said to me, "Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. (NKJV)

Angels have the abilities beyond our imagination and they are willing to serve us and help us if only we will direct them by giving voice to God’s word.

Psalms 103:20 Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

This confirms every scripture you have ever heard about faith and confession.

Angels are on assignment to listen to your words. They are waiting for you to rise up in faith and be a voice for God’s word.

Angels are sent from heaven under the prime directive to serve the heirs of salvation, the Believers, those Born Again Children of God.

Unless your words, desires or intentions violate God’s commands, angels will go forward at your word.

Explain these scriptures … who actually does the work? Angels do!

Proverbs 18
20 A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

John 14
13 "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”

James 4
1 ¶ From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

Angels don’t go around doing whatever you ask when you ask against God’s will. However, they will do anything for you that is God’s will … and that’s a pretty good deal! Just …

Stick to the will!

What do angels do? They intervene in the affairs of man on God’s behalf.

How do we get them to do it?

We become a voice for God’s Word which is God’s Will.

Angels have a prime directive to serve you. When they are not actually engaged in a priority command from God they are present with you, listening to you, waiting for your faith filled words to be their next command.

God’s Word is God’s Will. Angels are enforcers of God’s Word in the earth. God has commanded Angels to serve you.

Believe the Word; Speak the Word; Pray the Word and angels will make it happen.

Personal accounts of modern day angelic intervention.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Study of the Miraculous:Part 3


2 Kings 4 KJV
1 ¶ A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, "Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves."
2 So Elisha said to her, "What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?" And she said, "Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.
3 Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few.

In Part One of this series on the Miraculous, we learned the truth that:
* God demands we participate in our miracles

In Part Two we heard the Prophet Elisha say:
* Don’t limit God

Part Three is entitled:
* Time, Place & People

Timing is a critical component of a miracle.

Everyday we enjoy the benefits of miracles all around us. Most of the time we pay no attention to these miracles and simply pass them by as though they were ordinary everyday events of life and not miracles at all

For example, one can imagine the miracle it truly is for God to imprint a tiny acorn with the schematics necessary to produce a mighty oak tree and eventually a whole forest. All of heaven and earth stand behind those pre-programmed forces of nature to give this acorn its rightful chance at becoming all God designed it to be. However, many acorns fail to achieve their potential.

One reason why acorns and people fail to reach their potential, fail to be successful in their calling, is timing.

2 Kings 4
4 And when thou art come in,

* As I said, timing is a critical factor in receiving from God. It is like the acorn which contains a prerecorded message of success. Given the chance, an acorn will accomplish its highest calling and become a whole forest. For this potential to be capitalized on however, the acorn must abide its season of waiting so that when the timing is right, it breaks open in the right time and in the right place to press toward destiny. If it opens too early or too late or in the wrong place, it will die never having fulfilled its call. But given the chance, all of the powers of creation are released to aid it and carry it to its greatest day.

Location is another critical factor. When Abraham was told by God to go to a place God would choose and sacrifice his son Isaac, Abraham started the journey. He walked three days northward until hearing from God to climb a mountain and build an altar. Abraham obeyed! The conclusion of that story finds that God had supplied a ram to take the place of Isaac and that the ram was being held captive and ready on that very mountain top where He directed Abraham to build the altar.

* What do you think would have happened if Abraham had have tired early on his journey and had climbed a mountain one day early or one mile short of his intended location? He would have been one day too early or one mile short of his miracle.

* Abraham called the name of that place, “Jehovah Jireh”. We say that Jehovah Jireh means ‘the Lord will supply’. However the correct meaning is:

Genesis 22:14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.

* Miracle provision is found in the right place at the right time.

* Many fail because they strike out prematurely. Having received a calling from God they immediately run out and ultimately do damage not having properly prepared. A calling is an invitation to come and be prepared. Many are willing to be used by God but are unwilling to be fully prepared for use.

Matthew 22:14 “Many are called but few are chosen.”

* Once prepared, servants are chosen to be sent … and sent to the right place. The right place is determined by God.

Acts 9:31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.

* In Acts 9:31 the churches are reported to finally have rest from their enemies and comfort of the Holy Ghost and multiplied increase after that the newly converted Saul of Tarsus was pressed out of the city. The young convert was continually stirring up opposition and in his zeal was perhaps out of time with the desire of God for the Jerusalem church. Anyway, his leaving was best and necessary.

* Sometimes we think we are ready when we are really not! While at other times we may choose our place of service instead of going with God’s choice.

* Believe me … Ecclesiastes is right:

There is a time and place for everything.

2 Kings 4
4 And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons,

The people you work with will make the difference. There is a marked difference between secret and exclusive, between things public and things private. Some things require a high level of sensitivity and expectancy without the common distractions of nay-sayers and the critical minded skeptics. God sets us in the body as it pleases Him!

* God does not want us burdened down with the weight of doubtful darts and probing questions when we are engaging in such critical moments of the miraculous. He even shut the mouth of Zacharias the priest in Luke 1, so that he could not sow seeds of doubt and disbelief. The 10 doubtful spies of Numbers 13 & 14 weighed heavily on those candidates for miracles and pushed them completely out of miracle territory.

* Who you include in your inner circle can affect your outcome.

Mark 5:37 And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.

* Jesus did not include all twelve of the disciples in every miracle He did. He took only His closest 3, Peter, James and John to the mount of transfiguration and to raise the little girl from the dead.

* You, along with those closest to you … sons and daughters born in your house. These are the ones you can depend on in times of great need. These will fight with you, not against you, but with you against the odds. (Genesis 14:14)

* It is important to know those who labor with you in the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 5:12) As well we are admonished to mark them which cause divisions among us and avoid them. (Romans 16:17)

Remember: When you are in pursuit of a miracle … Time, Place & the People you are connected to, are all important elements of success. Time, Place & People!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Angels On Assignment


Key Scriptures: Hebrews 13 NLT
1 ¶ Continue to love each other with true Christian love.
2 Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!

Have you ever wondered about Angels? Are they real? If so, then who or what are they what do they do?

For the next few minutes we are going to look at some scriptures in the Bible concerning angels. We will discover answers to many questions people have about these supernatural beings.

Before we go farther let me give you a couple of scriptures which will help to direct our thoughts as we study the scriptures together.

First, our Key Scriptures from Hebrews 13 tell us that angels may be among us, even now, and not be noticed as being special. Evidently angels do not always create a dramatic appearance.

Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

Next, Hebrews 1, verse 14, specifically states that angels are servant spirits, sent with purpose to administer God’s will for mankind. Basically we understand that these …

Agents of God’s Providence

… are ministers of the supernatural for man on God’s behalf.

Finally we understand that angels have … (include on one slide) …

Genesis 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Ephesians 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come

Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Daniel 10:13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

Ezekiel 28:14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

… specific rank, authority and ability based most likely upon their order of creation, whether Cherubim, Seraphim, Principality, Power, Might, Dominion or other classification.

We are also given to understand that there are differing degrees of authority even within the order and rank. Among the Cherubim was found ‘The Anointed Cherub’, and among the Principalities we see Michael as a ‘Chief Prince’, also called the ‘Prince of Israel’, as well we find other Spiritual Princes ruling the heavenlies over nations and regions such as Persia and Greece in the book of Daniel.

Angels are basically divided between fallen and unfallen. Fallen angels are those who followed Lucifer, formerly known as the ‘Angel of Light’, ‘Son of the morning’, and the ‘Anointed Cherub’ who covered all things for God, in his rebellion against God. We are told that one third of the angelic population fell in this attempted take over by the Cherub Lucifer, now known as satan, the devil, the dragon, and that old serpent, (Revelation 20:2) … the same serpent of Genesis 3 who is still the accuser of mankind. (Revelation 12:10)

Those angels who remained faithful to God continue to serve Him and mankind in efforts to put down this sinful rebellion against their Sovereign once and for all. It is one of these faithful angels which we will now read about from the book of Acts.

So, to set the stage for this journey let’s turn to an angelic account in the book of:

Acts 12 NKJV
1 ¶ Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church.
2 Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
3 And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread.
4 So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.
5 ¶ Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.

Acts 12 NKJV
6 And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison.
7 Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, "Arise quickly!" And his chains fell off his hands.
8 Then the angel said to him, "Gird yourself and tie on your sandals"; and so he did. And he said to him, "Put on your garment and follow me."
9 So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.
10 When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.
11 And when Peter had come to himself, he said, "Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people."

Acts 12 NKJV
12 So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying.
13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer.
14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate.

Acts 12 NKJV
15 But they said to her, "You are beside yourself!" Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, "It is his angel."

Acts 12 NKJV
16 Now Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.

It is evident that the first church in Jerusalem believed in and accepted the fact that people were given angels on assignment to guide, guard and protect them … personal angels … guardian angels.

Angels were then and still are today very much a part of the every day will and plan of God for mankind. These ‘Agents of God’s Providence’ are continually on assignment as messengers of God sent forth to minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation.

Angels intervene in the affairs of mankind, both the individual and the corporate affairs of families, churches, governments and nature. God has not left man without aid, comfort and assistance in times of need.

There are two basic questions I want to answer in this simple study.
1. What do angels do?
2. How can we get them to do it?

First: What do angels do?

In answer to this question, as I said earlier: Angels intervene in the affairs of mankind according to the will of God. They intervene:

* On the behalf of children

Matthew 18:10 Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. (again – guardian angels)

* On the behalf of sinners

Acts 10:3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.

Luke 15:10 "Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

* On the behalf of nations

Daniel 10:13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

Exodus 33:2 "And I will send My Angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanite and the Amorite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.

* On the behalf of believers

In Public Worship:

1 Corinthians 11:10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

In Prayer:

Revelation 8
3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.

In Times of Trouble:

Acts 5:19 But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said …

Acts 27
23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,
24 Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.

Psalms 34:7 The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them.

For Direction:

Acts 8:26 ¶ And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.

For Deliverance:

Acts 12:7 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.

In Death:

Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

And these are but a very few of the more than 280 times we find God’s faithful angels intervening in the affairs of mankind throughout the bible, not counting those evil encounters from the fallen demons of darkness which visit the souls of man in efforts to steal, kill, discomfort and destroy God’s creation.

God’s angels intervene in the affairs of mankind to affect God’s good will upon the earth. But, can we depend on the assistance of these beings today? And, if so, how do we access their help? How do we get them to do what they can do for us?

The bible gives clear instructions on how to get angels involved in the daily affairs of your life. If you will learn and follow the simple principles laid out in the Word of God, you can depend on angelic assistance on a continual basis.

To learn how you can partner with those angels God has commanded to minister for you, be here next week for the conclusion of, ‘Angels on Assignment’.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Study of the Miraculous Series: Part Two – Don’t Limit God


2 Kings 4 KJV
1 A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, "Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves."
2 So Elisha said to her, "What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?" And she said, "Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.

In Part One we concluded that in order for a person to receive a miracle most often they must be willing to participate in the miracle process and they need to:
1. Be motivated to depend on God and not the arm of man;
2. Offer what they have to God for His touch;
3. Obediently follow the prescribed course of action required for God’s intervention:
* (this can be anything from dipping in the river Jordan seven times, to walking the isle at a church and humbly submitting to the laying on of hands for help);
* and finally, they should:
4. Use the blessings and benefits received for that which God intended when He blessed them.

We pick up in Part Two with verse 3 of Second Kings 4

2 Kings 4 KJV
3 Then he said, Go,

* Two thirds of God is Go! Human action is most often a required element preceding divine intervention. What would have been the outcome for Naaman in 2 Kings 5, if he had not dipped seven times in the Jordan River as instructed? What would have happened to Noah had he not have built the ark, (Genesis 7), or Moses had not he have gone down into Egypt, (Exodus 3) or if the widow of 1 Kings 17 had not made the prophet Elijah a little meal cake first?

* What would have happened if the Children of Israel had not been willing to participate in God’s plan and crossed over into the Promise Land in Numbers 13 … Oh! … they didn’t did they? Well, see what happens … they all died in the wilderness without inheriting the promises of God.

* One’s refusal to do their simple part is often the single downfall of God’s great plan for mankind. Go, here, is not a suggestion nor an option, but a command. When speaking with the lawyer in Luke 10:25, Jesus concluded the parable of the good Samaritan and solved the question of who his neighbor was in verse 37 by saying, “Go and do thou likewise.” Go and do are two cornerstones of the Believer’s gospel responsibility whether they are seeking salvation for themselves or others.

2 Kings 4 KJV
3 Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours,

* Sometimes when one does not possess what they need to get them from where they are to where they are going, borrowing is God’s provision for the interim.

* Deuteronomy 15:6 & 28:12 give us to understand that God’s aim is to bring us to the place where we will not need to borrow but shall be the lenders.

* However, in Exodus 3:22 & 11:2 the Israelites were instructed by God to go and borrow silver, gold, jewels and clothing from the Egyptians before leaving Egypt and thus spoil their captors. These borrowed riches of the sinners would later be used to make the instruments of worship for the wilderness tabernacle.

* God is not against borrowing.

* But borrow with a plan and plan not always to have to borrow.

* Borrowing can also be a test of humility. Will one obey God when they must first humble themselves in the sight of others? Will one admit that they need and then ask for that need to be contributed to? The humility of simply asking for help is and has always been one tenant of receiving the miraculous.

* There is also an element of merging the natural with the supernatural to make a miracle. In 1 Kings 17, Elijah’s miracle comes from both the natural brook and the supernatural supply of raven’s food. When the brook dries up Elijah is not sustained only on the supernatural … God could have made water to flow from a rock or a jawbone of a donkey as He did for others in their hour of need. (Exodus 17; Numbers 20; Judges 15). Rather Elijah was instructed to proceed to his next miracle location which would require a natural supply from a widow’s meal bin and the local drought proof well as well as the supernatural supply from God’s miraculous increase.

* When God is unable to motivate people to supply what they can and give what they have, He often does not perform miracles. This can also be true where the only ingredient required from the lost and hurting is trust in God’s goodness and power. (Matthew 13:58 & Mark 6:5)

2 Kings 4 KJV
3 Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels;

* My brother once told me that the hardest position to fill is one with someone in it. I think this true as well in regard to miracles. Perhaps many are not spiritually filled because they have not yet emptied themselves of other non-spiritual things of the world. I am not talking about stuff. There is nothing wrong with stuff. You can have stuff and stuff not have you.

* God does not mind us having stuff but He does not want stuff to have us. This was the barrier to the young rich ruler receiving his miracle in Matthew 19:21 and Mark 10:21. Again I quote from my brother’s wisdom: “Jesus did not say ‘give up’ as the man heard, rather Jesus said ‘give to’.” The young rich ruler went away sad because his stuff had him and that’s what Jesus is concerned about in many lives today. If this young rich ruler had just trusted and obeyed Jesus and emptied himself, he would have been filled with true riches from heaven that could never be lost.

* There is such potential in empty vessels.

* Full vessels may be at their greatest day.

* For over two decades this concept of seeking empty vessels and lifting them to God to fill has been at the forefront of our church growth and kingdom expansion philosophy. Like Pastor Kendal Bevil once said, “even chickens die off to the size of the coup.”

* When the vessel we are pouring into is not yet full, there is such expectancy of more to come from God. When we are fully satisfied, expectancy and excitement about a greater future seems to wane a bit.

2 Kings 4 KJV
3 Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few.

* This is where many people can limit themselves and the hand of God. The prophet knew that he should and he did direct her to get a big vision of supply. A vision that would more than meet her immediate need. A vision that would supply her and her family for many days to come so that she would never need another financial miracle for the rest of her life.

* If you are going to go for a miracle, go for a big one! What is the use of wasting all that God on a miracle that barely meets your desperate temporary need. He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all you could think or ask according to what is working on the inside of you. (Ephesians 3:20)

So, what should you do if you want a miracle?

* Get ready to do something in partnership with God.
* Empty yourself of selfishness.
* Ask God for your miracle.
* Don’t limit God to your current need.

How can a person limit God?
> 2 Kings 13:18-19 King Joash limited his future miraculous victories by his own limited actions. Elisha was angry with him for not getting more.
> In 1996 I was praying about the church purchasing a van and I took a drive to get away and pray. As I sat at a red light on Twin City Highway I began praying in the spirit. I was agonizing over the expenditure of these resources. The need was evident and growing but I was needing assurance from the Lord that the money would be there. I knew and operated under the principle that under normal circumstances God only pays for what He orders. I was not looking for a miracle I was looking for the divine guidance we need to order our normal daily lives in respect to need verses income. I really wanted to be wise. At that red light God’s voice invaded my moment and I heard Him clearly speak louder than my thoughts, interrupting my thinking and praying. He simply said, “When it is all over and done with, I would have been willing to give you more than you will get … (there was a pause for a second and then He said) … go for it.” This gave me a whole new point to consider when considering kingdom matters that may stretch me beyond my current means and even often into the realm of the miraculous.

* Don’t Limit God
> John 10:10 Jesus came to give you abundant life
> 2 Peter 1:3 and all things that pertain to life and Godliness
> 2 Peter 1:4 … exceeding great and precious promises

What size is a miracle … one size fits all!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Get Up!


Our story begins in 2 Kings 6 verse 24. It is about the year 887 BC. King Jehoram, (Joram), the son of the former evil King Ahab and that wicked woman Jezebel, was King over the ten northern tribes called the Kingdom of Israel and his capital was the city of Samaria called Shomeron in the Hebrew, it was a city built by Ahab’s father, Omri.

Israel and Syria had been at war for years and at this point King Ben Hadad of Syria was laying siege to this hill top city once again. This siege lasted so long that food supplies were all but non-existent. People were selling and eating donkey heads and small coarse seeds just to survive.

One day during this siege the King of Israel, King Jehoram, was walking on the wall of the city and as he passed by a woman she cried out for his help. He told her that if God was not going to help her how could she then expect a King to help. Perhaps in anger the King further inquired concerning her petition.

This is where the story gets a bit hard to imagine. It seems this woman had agreed with another woman to kill, boil and eat her young baby son in return for the second woman’s promise that when the agreed to time came, they would then kill, boil and eat her son as well. As the story continues, this woman speaking to the king informs him of her plight in that after the two women boiled and ate the first child, the second mother refused to keep her bargain and had hidden her son. (Why she hid him is still up for consideration.)

This overwhelmed the King and he tore his clothes in despair swearing that the prophet Elisha was to blame for all this trouble and that he was going to cut his head off this very day. When the King arrived at Elisha’s house, Elisha was sitting with the Elders of the city and this is what the King said:

2 Kings 6:33 … "Surely this calamity is from the LORD; why should I wait for the LORD any longer?"

Let’s pick up right here in the story and read beginning with the next verse as we go into chapter 7.

2 Kings 7 NKJV

1 ¶ Then Elisha said, "Hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the LORD: ‘Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.’"

2 So an officer on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God and said, "Look, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, could this thing be?" And he said, "In fact, you shall see it with your eyes, but you shall not eat of it."

3 ¶ Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, "Why are we sitting here until we die?

4 "If we say, ‘We will enter the city,’ the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore, come, let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall only die."

5 And they rose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians; and when they had come to the outskirts of the Syrian camp, to their surprise no one was there.

6 For the Lord had caused the army of the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses—the noise of a great army; so they said to one another, "Look, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us!"

7 Therefore they arose and fled at twilight, and left the camp intact—their tents, their horses, and their donkeys—and they fled for their lives.

8 And when these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried from it silver and gold and clothing, and went and hid them; then they came back and entered another tent, and carried some from there also, and went and hid it.

9 Then they said to one another, "We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, some punishment will come upon us. Now therefore, come, let us go and tell the king’s household."

1. God can make it rain anything He wants

* In this story God is going to make it rain silver, gold, food, drink and clothing … all the basics of life!

* And God is going to make it rain hard … abundant rain … more than enough!

2. God can make it rain in a hurry

* God is a God of the suddenly

* Joseph went from the prison to the palace in one moment

3. In times of trouble people generally fall into two groups:

* The ‘There Is Nothing We Can Do About It’ Group

* The ‘Let’s Do Something’ Group

2 Kings 7:3 … "Why are we sitting here until we die?

God gives deliverance through delivers.

God may be setting you up right now … right in the midst of some trouble or tragedy. When everyone else around you has given up might be time for you to get up, not give up. I said:

* Get up, don’t give up!

God has a plan … What may seem like a surprise to you is a plan to God … God has a plan, He will succeed and right now you have a chance to participate. Remember, God demands that we participate in our miracles.

I am telling you like Elisha told those in famine in a city under siege in his day: If you can receive it … God is going to rain His blessing and bounty on this nation and the communities we live in and those who are willing to believe it are candidates to receive it.

These are the days to get up, not give up. Look around you … what is God trying to give you?

If you will get up, God will cause your enemies to hear a noise and leave you a blessing behind that’s overwhelming and ripe for the taking.

Right now I challenge you to change your defeatist mentality and get that stinking thinking out of your brains. Believe me … when its all over and done with, God would still be willing to have given you more than you are going to get … go for it!

Challenge your thoughts and conquer your feelings. God is not against you … God is for you … He is against your enemies. He may have only allowed your enemies to get this close to you so that you could spoil them with your faith in Him.

Stand up, lift up your hands, open up your mouth and declare that you are not going to be a part of that ‘There is nothing I can do about it’ crowd. Instead join the ‘I’m going to do something’ crowd.

Once you change your mind you have won half of the battle. The next step is to go forward and engage life’s demands. Get up and get involved in harvesting what the enemy is letting go.

What is it that the enemy does not want anymore, does not value anymore, is trying to get rid of and run off from?

What is it that God is telling them to drop and leave behind for you to boldly go into their camp and claim for yourself? Ask God to show you, then you go and get it. He will make a way … your enemy will even help you and all of your worries will be over in an instant.

* God can make it rain anything He wants.
* God can make it rain in a hurry.
* Don’t just sit there until you die?

> This is a time of great opportunity … &

Remember: It would be wrong to not tell everyone else about it!