so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. – 1 Corinthians 2:5
We are living in strange times, who would’ve thought that some virus could devastate the economy? It has shaken every part of our world as we know it. Our jobs, our families and more than that it has shaken the economy. And for some it has shaken a lot of things that you would’ve never thought possible. What will you be left with when all of this goes away? Will you have more money than before? Will you have your job? What will remain when the dust settles? or more importantly, will you be moved by this storm? Or will you take refuge in the Lord?
Paul reminds us in Hebrews 12:27 “This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken — that is, things that have been made — in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.”
Every distraction that has been the priority, our careers, our lives has been shut down. And we have been driven back to the basics of family and faith. I believe that God sometimes has to shake our world to re-focus our priorities in order to wake us up and for us to realize that He is our priority.
So where is your faith? Is it in man, money, possessions?
Or is it in Christ alone?
God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power – to overcome the obstacles and love – to help others and sound mind – ability to not panic, make wise choices, to choose faith over fear. – 2 Timothy 1:7
Have you ever thought that there was something too hard for God? Have you ever thought to yourself, “why am I even praying this prayer”? My hand is raised. I’ve been guilty of limiting the power of God in my life. Just think about it. You have an impossible situation in front of you and what is the first thought that comes to mind? Are we casting “that” in the sea and pursuing, believing for the impossible? Or are we casting that thought down and choosing to believe that it’s too hard?
What God is asking Jeremiah is the same question that He is asking you and I. Is there anything too hard for Him? Is there a family member, someone you may know of too far to save? What about the drug addict? too far gone to deliver? The diseased? Sickness is too far gone? Your situation too far gone that God cannot still show up and show off? Of course not, He is the same today and forever and hasn’t changed. The only one that has changed is YOU!
Our vision changes when we don’t believe in God for the impossibles.
Our Vision – Without the vision of seeing it come to pass, we will never walk into what He has for us. Do you have 20/20 vision?
GENESIS 15:1-6 < A VISION IS GIVEN >
15 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” 2 But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” 4 And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” 5 And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 6 And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
Abram was questioning God, “Offspring? I’m too old.”
When a vision is given by God, we need to nurture that vision. God has pregnated each one of us with a mission, His will in our lives. Even though it may sound strange or down right crazy. Will you believe the Lord?
GENESIS 17:15-19 < A PROMISE IS GIVEN >
Abram was ninety nine years old when God told him that he and Sarai would have a son. Genesis 17:15-19 . We learn in the previous chapter Sarai said to Abram " Behold now, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Genesis 16:1-6
We know by now that the Lord promised Abram a child. But he listened to his wife instead of waiting for the promise. What would you have done?
I have looked past over the years the friends and people that God has put in my life. Some have stayed but most have gone. Not on bad terms, we have just grown in different ways. It’s important to be around people with the same mindset, who not only cares just as much as you do for the vision that God has impregnated you with, but a friend who you can trust to give you Godly advice
In the book of John 11 we read the story of Lazarus.
It wasn’t Lazarus TIME TO DIE JUST YET.
SO MANY TIMES WE LOOK AT THINGS IN THE NATURAL AND NOT THE SPIRITUAL.
WHAT WE THINK IS DEAD TO US CAN COME ALIVE AGAIN IN HIM.
IF WE LET THE ENEMY PUT OUR DREAMS,
OUR PROMISES FROM GOD IN A BOX BECAUSE WE HAVE LIMITED THE POWER OF GOD IN OUR LIFE BY REFUSING TO BELIEVE.
THAT BOX WILL BECOME A COFFIN.
THE ENEMY WOULD LOVE TO SHUT US UP! AND PUT THE LID ON IT.
LET GOD OUT OF THE BOX!
AND LET HIM BE GOD!
BELIEVE FOR THE IMPOSSIBLE
21 “Lord if you had been here…he would not have died.” …Even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.
JESUS waited 2 more days after he died, why? It was jewish superstition that the soul could return to the body within 3 days of it being dead but on the fourth day there would be no hope for resuscitation.
There is still a rescusitator
There is still a redeemer
THERE IS ONE WHO IS SEATED AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE FATHER WHO IS INTERCEDING FOR YOU AND I THIS MORNING.
HE KNOWS WHATS AHEAD,
HE KNOWS MORE ABOUT US THAN WE KNOW of OURSELVES,
HE HAS THE PROVISION FOR OUR LIVES EVERYDAY!
Sometimes we may think He is delaying
THE BREAKTHROUGH but in reality He knows the hour to visit you in your state of hopelessness.
Martha said “But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.”
Before Jesus raised Lazarus
She was expecting a miracle because the one who performs miracles was in her presence.
“WHERE TWO OR THREE ARE GATHERED IN MY NAME, THERE AM I WITH THEM.”
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE INTERCEDE?
When you intercede for someone you are declaring truth in that persons life, whether it be healing, deliverance, salvation etc. you are canceling out the enemy’s plan, binding the work of the enemy and declaring the promises of God on that persons life…
Prayer that pleads with God your needs and the needs of others.
1 Timothy 2:1-5
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
[No prayer is too small no prayer is too big that He will not intercede ON OUR BEHALF]
We see throughout all scripture of people coming to Jesus when he was in their town interceding for a person on their behalf and every time that need was met.
Sometimes it was instant other times it required persistence
PERSISTENCE PAYS OFF
LUKE 18 – PERSISTENT WIDOW
And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” 6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
WE MAY QUESTION GOD, DOES HE REALLY CARE?
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are yet without sin…
QUESTIONS TO ASK OURSELVES:
Are we pressing in for the need that we have been asking?
Are we pressing in for the needs of others
OR we just stop asking
stop pressing and
It’s NOT TIME TO GIVE UP ON GOD — KEEP PRESSING IN
In this particular story of the Canaanite woman we see that she had to press in for God to deliver the promise.
The Faith of a Canaanite Woman –
persistence pays off
21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.
JESUS DID NOT SAY A WORD WHEN SHE PLEADED FOR MERCY FOR HER DAUGHTER.
– where most stop praying
– where most give up on the need
In verse 25 “She came and knelt before Him”
Don’t stop pleading, don’t stop kneeling before Him asking for that need in your life or of another to be met!
Studies have shown that being thankful improves our physical and emotional health. Holding on to feelings of thankfulness boosts our immune system and increases blood supply to our heart. Daily guided exercises or the habit of keeping a weekly gratitude journal can increase our alertness, enthusiasm, and energy, and improve our sleep. People who describe themselves as feeling grateful tend to suffer less stress and depression than the rest of the population.
On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance.
ITS COMMON TO SEE A GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO HAS THE SAME OUTLOOK AND THE SAME ATTITUDE OF A CONDITION HUDDLED TOGETHER.
LIKE NEGATIVE NANCY, DEBBIE DOWNER, PESSIMISTIC PAT, AND A FEW OTHERS WERE THERE.
13 and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” 14 When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” (DO YOU WANT TO BE HEALED?)
SOMETIMES WE ARE NOT PRESENTED WITH A QUESTION FROM GOD BUT AN ACTION AND THAT ACTION IS THANKFULNESS, PRAISE AND HONOR!
HE WANTS TO SEE OUR HEARTS REACTION TO A MIRACLE OR A BLESSING.
“I will give thanks to you with all my heart, O Lord my God. I will honor you forever because your mercy toward me is great.”
And as they went they were cleansed. 15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice;
(STOOD AT DISTANCE) IT WAS LAW THAT THEY HAD TO KEEP A DISTANCE BETWEEN OTHERS. JESUS IS STANDING IN FRONT OF THEM. RELIGION KEEPS US FROM GIVING THANKS, RELIGION KEEPS US FROM BELIEVING THE IMPOSSIBLE.
16 and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. 17 Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”
THE LEPERS WERE WANTING HEALING BUT ONLY ONE CAME BACK WITH A SOUND OF PRAISE!
BE THANKFUL. IF WE ARE NOT CONTENT AND GRATEFUL FOR WHAT WE HAVE AND WHO WE ARE, THEN WE ARE NOT LOVING GOD AS WE SHOULD.
There are many treasures in this world that we can find that has value, that is of worth. But only One treasure chose to find us, He chose to become flesh and dwell among us. There is no other treasure that we must embrace not just in this holiday season but everyday.
For thousands of years, God’s chosen people had waited for the fulfillment of his promises, and for four hundred years, God had, so it seemed, gone silent.
…Until one night in a little town called Bethlehem, Immanuel, God with us was born.
HIS SILENCE IS NOT HIS ABSENCE, HE IS IMMANUEL, GOD WITH US.
This child, the creator of the universe, the almighty God who spoke creation into existence. Came and humbled himself to become a baby. He was not laid in satin sheets, but in rags. He was not laid in a bed of gold befitting a king but in a feeding trough for animals. There he was the greatest gift of all — In simple wrapping.
Luke 2:8-19 In the same region there were shepherds in the field. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and they were filled with fear. Angel said ‘fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And fthis will be a sign for you: you will find a baby gwrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel ha multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
jand on earth kpeace lamong those with whom he is pleased!”
When the angels went away the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.
I like verse 19 when “Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.”
Jesus said in Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is there your heart will be also.”
Are we truly treasuring Christ?
When we treasure the words of what he speaks in our time of difficulty those words will come to mind that will give us the courage the faith to help us get through the battles.
I believe when Mary was kneeling at the cross at the time of His Crucifixion, we could see Mary with tears flowing her down face. She knew the purpose of her Son, but still she felt the pain of a dying loved one. I believe her mind would go back to the night Jesus was born and remembering the words of the what the shepherds spoke to her. “Glory to God in the highest,and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
When life has taken a turn for the worse always treasure the Word. Always go back to the Word.
Who and what are you leaning into? That is the question.
26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” – Genesis 32:26
Maybe at times we have wrestled with God about a certain situation. We think of all the why’s. Why hasn’t He fulfilled that promise in my life, why hasn’t He performed this miracle that He said He would do? Our mind could go in a thousand directions off of just one why. But we are told to not lean on our own understanding. So who and what are you leaning on?
When we experience the pain from those “why’s” we have two options.
Lean into God
Lean on self
It took me years, I mean years to learn not to lean, to listen to others, to figure out my understanding of the issue. But to “Be Still and know that I am God” resting in Him will divert your own solution to the issue.
Questions to ask yourself:
Are you leaning on His guidance? The direction of the Holy Spirit?
Or are we leaning on ourselves to figure the why’s of life out?
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – James 1:2-4
Jacob didn’t understand in that moment but he still leaned into Him…
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. (Struggle, trial, sickness, temptation,) In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”- Proverbs 3:5
…And whenever God is ready there will be a blessing in the release.
James 1:12 blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life.
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