Things that prepare you for all God has for you.
God has confirmed our call as a church with Charlie being here, there was not really anything he said that we did not already know…some of the things he said to some of you may have felt new but you know in your heart of hearts, He had already been speaking it to you…
For example our worship teams want a new sound, I had already talked to them about being a multigenerational worship team, as we are but now they will press in and bring the excitement and life as well as the awe inspiring sound to our worship in an even greater way than we have ever seen before…why because their hearts are right, second they have the desire and agree with the desire God placed in their hearts…so it will happen…but even for them there are some basic keys we must have to prepare for God’s call
I don’t want us to miss out on anything God has for us so I want to challenge you this morning to revisit some of the basics so we are able to run our race with endurance to win! Losing is not an option
It is not rocket science or brain surgery to flow in the gifts of the Spirit it is the Father’s heart that each one of us do…in fact you may not know this but you are already equipped with a gift
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn toknow God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.(NLT)
God calls us to sell out to Him in all we do to be willing to change our attitudes, behaviors (to start thinking and acting like Jesus) we need to no longer look at things the way the world does but know the Father’s heart well enough that we change the world rather than the world changing us….we fight, have divisions, arguments, all because we don’t have His heart and mind yet, thinking like Him
He has equipped us already to do this…let’s jump down
For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 Foras we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
This is a list of some of the gifts God the Father pours out onto his kids…notice God through his grace has poured these gifts out on us…we have not earned them….we have not worked to make them happen…God has just given them to us to impact our world…
You have them, you might just not know it yet because you have not been in a position to hear and understand what God wants to do through you….
Someone could give you a router, a pressure cooker, air hammer, hot pepper corer but if you don’t know what they are or how to use them properly without either reading the manual or having others teach you…you could try to use them and hurt yourself or others or destroy what was meant to be a blessing…so it is with the gifts
We make it harder than what it is but we have the tools in our tool box to understand and flow in every and any gift all of the time if we are just willing
Jesus is God and yet he would take time to pray either to deal with an issue, like raising Lazarus from the dead or going off by himself to pray, Mark 1:35, Luke 5:16, John 17just to give three examples
Prayer is effective to moving mountains
“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
Simply, for Christ-followers prayer is the best way to communicate with God.
– Prayer is the vehicle for daily dialog with the One who created us. The importance of daily communication through prayer cannot be overestimated.
– It is mentioned over 250 times in Scripture.
Value of daily prayer
-Daily prayer gives us an opportunity to share all aspects of our lives with God.
-Daily prayer gives us the chance to express our gratitude for the things He provides.
-Daily prayer provides the platform for confessing our sin and asking for help in overcoming that sin.
-Daily prayer is an act of worship and obedience.
-Daily prayer is a way to acknowledge who is really in control of our lives.
God’s word is life so much so that I would challenge you that if you are listening to any teaching or reading any books by anyone who has not read the whole Bible through…in my opinion they do not understand the whole message of Christ and can easily lead others into error.
Let me remind you of one little passage Jesus said about the word…while being tempted by Satan he said this…
During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
It is God’s word that brings life, health, freedom, and apart from it we will have none….
If you read the entire story of the temptation of Jesus defeated Satan not with crazy gyrations or what I like to call Christian incantations but by the word…to defeat the enemy in your life and move in power it is by the word.
– One of our most powerful weapons is the “sword of the Spirit” which is the “word of God” according to Ephesians 6:17
What does this sword do? Hebrews 4:12answers that question
“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”
It is a living word which means it can have one meaning right now to meet a situation I am in at this moment and a year or ten years from now the same verse may bring out something totally different that is life to me then…
– Apart from God’s word we are direction-less
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet
and a light for my path.
As we study the word and listen to quality teaching from those in the 5 fold ministries listed in Ephesians 4 we can stand safe and secure
2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
2 Timothy 2:15
Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.
3) Fasting – is separating yourself from food for a period of time to focus on prayer, the study of the word, and the presence of God…Jesus made the assumption that this would be a normal part of every Christ followers life
And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. 17 But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face.
Practice your gift –God expects us to walk by faith in fact it is impossible to please God apart from faith so we must assess our gifts, begin to use what we know we have for the kingdom and begin to investigate and ask the Lord if there aren’t other gifts that we have like those listed in Romans 12 earlier and learn to develop them, study, talk to one of the Pastors about them and develop them to advance the Kingdom of God
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
God gave you gifts because he has good things planned for you and for others if you will but choose to use them for Him you will be fulfilled and change the world
I know some of you read the verses and say, “I don’t see anything I am gifted in there” two things first you may have some gift and because you have never explored it you don’t know you have it or second, God has so many different gifts, that we can’t even count them. In many cases the very things you love to do are part of the giftings God has given you to impact the lives of others!
1 Corinthians 12:4-7
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
Notice varieties of gifts, ministries, effects…look to develop what God has placed within you to change the world!
1 Peter 4:10,11
As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Then this last verse you hear me quote often
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Ladies and Gentlemen please don’t misunderstand me these are not works, these are acts of love….you should want to spend time with the Lord every day in prayer, you should want to read his love letter to draw closer to his heart, you should want to fast to separate your self from everything else…this is how we grow in intimacy and intimacy causes a relationship to be strong
God desires for us to flow in every gift powerfully but they must be guided by knowledge of who he is, if we don’t know his heart we will say and do anything that comes to mind, the enemy can easily trick us into believing things that are against God’s word, he can get us into a works mentality that will exhaust us rather than bring us to freedom so we can free others…intimacy does that
Then by faith, we begin to put to practice what we know and healing, deliverance, prophetic, freedom, love, joy, peace, all flow from us freely
God wants to give you everything and intimacy with Him causes a trust to be built that allows Him to give you everything in power.
Will you covenant with Him today to grow in intimacy with Him…pray, study His word, fast, and then practice the gifts he has given you?
NEXT WEEK IF YOU ARE READY FOR IT….PART OF THE VISION