VISION: Seeing What Heaven Sees

VISION: Seeing What Heaven Sees

Mankind is born on this earth, blind. It’s not physical blindness. It is spiritual blindness: But God is the great revealer of hidden things. He gives VISION to see what actually is:

  • Matthew 13:44, ESV  “The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

YES + YES = YES∞

Message Scripture  

  • 2 Corinthians 1:19–20, NLT For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” He is the one whom Silas, Timothy, and I preached to you, and as God’s ultimate “Yes,” he always does what he says. For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.

One of the most effective tactics of every demon in hell is to suggest and insist that God is the one to blame every time the Devil steals, kills, or destroys. This tactic further characterizes him to be against us and ultimately, the God of NO. 

  • 2 Corinthians 4:4, ESV  In their case the God of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

GOD wants to show you what Heaven already sees – HE is the GOD of YES!

1.    God’s Says YES to Everyone & Jesus Is the Proof 

  • John 3:16–18, ESV  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

  • Luke 4:19, ESV  “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

  • Matthew 11:28, ESV  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

  • John 12:32, ESV  “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

  • 2 Peter 3:9, ESV  The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

2.    Seeing His YES Invites Our YES

  • Mark 2:14, ESV  And as he passed by, he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

3.    Our YES Puts the Rest of Heaven’s YESES Within Reach

  • 2 Corinthians 1:20–22, The Message  Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete.

Closing

You’ve been saying NO. It’s time to say YES!

 

Steve ParrishComment
Mother's Day - Shannon Williams

What’s Your Name?

Joshua 2:1~And Joshua the son of Nun sent two men secretly from Shittim as spies, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” And they went and came into the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab and lodged there.

For Rahab, harlot or prostitute was less a description and more like a last name she carried with her everywhere she went. It’s what she was known as in the city and how she was referred to by Joshua in his account in the Bible. It’s how we all in the Christian world refer to her even today. Rahab the Harlot.

So what’s your name?

_____ the extrovert?

_____ the “just a mom”?

_____ the exhausted/worn out/used up?

_____ the liar?

_____ the cheater?

_____ the workaholic?

_____ the addict?

_____ the “past his prime”?

_____ the not enough/too much?

_____ the unlovable?

_____ the loser?

_____ the victim?

We all have these names we carry with us. Sometimes they are names thrust upon us by the people in our lives. Sometimes it’s a name we’ve earned for better or for worse. Sometimes it’s a name we decide to pick up and carry because of the circumstances we have faced tells us that’s who we are.

In this account in Joshua, Rahab the harlot is no doubt well aware of her name. She’s carried the ridicule, the judgment, the shame of that name for many years.

It wasn’t unusual in this era for an inn and a brothel to be located in the same building. Many scholars have said Rahab was more than likely in the business of both. So weary travelers could find a place to rest and could also order room service of a more intimate variety. It’s easy to assume that many people of stature, influence, world traveler types came through her door. Her home and business were also situated atop the city walls. From this position, Rahab would be privy to all the latest news and happenings around the area.

Surely she’d heard of how the children of Israel had been led through the wilderness by their God with the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.

She’d probably heard about the entire Egyptian army that was wiped out when a man named Moses stretched out his hand over the Red Sea and how all that night the God of these people drove back the waters with a strong east wind, turning the sea bed into dry land so his people could escape.

She’d heard how the God of the Hebrew children had provided clothes and sandals that didn’t wear out for 40 YEARS! Caused water to come forth out of a ROCK to quench their thirst! And gave His people bread from HEAVEN every morning!

These stories she’d heard had caused her faith to build and her courage to rise up.

Joshua 2:8-13 Before the men lay down, she came up to them on the roof and said to the men, “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction. And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that, as I have dealt kindly with you, you also will deal kindly with my father's house, and give me a sure sign that you will save alive my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.”

Rahab’s not just changing her name, she’s changing her entire family tree!!**

For some of you, as far back as your can track your heritage, all you can see is brokenness, despair, the branches of your family tree are defined by addiction, abuse, dysfunction, chaos.

So here we have Rahab the harlot who risks EVERYTHING to help the children of Israel take over her city. She lies to officials to protect the spies. This is treason! A crime punishable by death.** She was also a Canaanite, the most hated enemies of Israel. So Rahab is a lying, Canaanite HARLOT!

Joshua 6:15 On the seventh day they rose early, at the dawn of day, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times. It was only on that day that they marched around the city seven times. And at the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city. And the city and all that is within it shall be devoted to the Lord for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent.

How were they going to know where Rahab and her family were? When the time came for the city to be taken, Rahab took a scarlet cord and hung it from her window. Not unlike the blood that was spread across the doorframes of the homes of the children of Israel. Because of the blood, death passed over the Hebrew children. Rahab made a declaration with that scarlet cord concerning who her God would be. In the process, she not only saved herself, she saved her entire family.

Rahab went on to marry Salmon who was of the tribe of Judah. The first chapter of Matthew gives the genealogy of Jesus. In Jewish tradition, genealogy typically lists the men. The genealogy of Jesus in Matthew goes back 42 generations and includes 5 women, one of which is our Rahab.

Matthew 1:4-5 …Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5 and Salmon the father of Boaz by RAHAB, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse…

Circumstance called her a Canaanite. Her own choices deemed her a liar and a harlot. God called her family.

And this is the GOSPEL.

Hebrews 11:31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient…

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 8 calls us children of God, heirs of Christ. Family. With a new name.

Mother's Day - Jennifer Gillihan

Conquering Unexpected Pitfalls

 

Choose What Voice You Listen To

  1. Enemy

    • lies

    • worry/fear

  2. God’s Word

    • noise cancelling headphones to the enemy’s voice

    • truth and life

LIE: nothing to offer

TRUTH: Mark 6: 30-56 Jesus fed the multitude with just 5 loaves and 2 fish with leftovers

LIE: you could never…

TRUTH: I don’t need anything special. Be a WILLING VESSEL

2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

LIE: not enough finances

TRUTH: Psalm 50:10 Cattle on a thousand hills

Matthew 6:25-35 Birds of the air-fed, Grass of the fields-clothes with flowers, How much more YOU???

 

Stop The Comparison Game

the Bible’s truth regarding comparison:

1 Corinthians 12:12,15,17 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were any eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?

Isaiah 64:8 Who am I to look down upon the work of the potter?

 

Flex Your Muscles!

Mark 4:20(NIV),24(amplified) Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop-some thirty, some sixty some a hundred times what was sown. Then He said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear. By your own standard of measurement [that is, to the extent that you study spiritual truth and apply godly wisdom] it will be measured to you [and you will be given even greater ability to respond] - and more will be given to you besides.

a. plant that seed, small as it may seem

b. reap the crop - The next time Jesus went to Decapolis 4000 people came to listen

Mark 4:31-32 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.

Mark 5:19-20 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

 

Closing:

What now? Whatever situation you face, doubts you have, lies you’re being told…

1. Ignore the voice of the enemy and focus on God’s truth

2. Stop playing the word’s comparison game and play God’s game instead

3. Work. Build up those muscles. Climb up out of those pits. Storm up that mountain! Take ground for ourselves AND those around us.

Mother's Day - Bree Elliott

UNDERCOVER

Psalm 91:4 “He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.”

Isaiah 61:3 to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

2 Chronicles 20:21-25 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his[c] holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.” As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another. When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing[d] and also articles of value—more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it.

TAKING GROUND: Priming Your Future

 

Priming Your Future

 Legend has it that a man was lost in the desert, just dying for a drink of water. He stumbled upon an old shack - a ramshackle, windowless, roofless, weather-beaten old shack. He looked about this place and found a little shade from the heat of the desert sun. As he glanced around, he saw a pump about fifteen feet away - an old, rusty, water pump. He stumbled over to it, grabbed the handle, and began to pump up and down, up and down. Nothing came out. 

Disappointed, he noticed off to the side, an old jug. He looked at it, wiped away the dirt and dust, and read a message that said, “You have to prime the pump with all the water in this jug, my friend. P.S. Be sure you fill the jug again before you leave.”

He popped the cork out of the jug, and sure enough, it was almost full of water! Suddenly, he was faced with a decision. If he drank the water, he could live. Ah, but if he poured all the water in the old rusty pump, maybe it would yield fresh, cool water from down deep in the well, all the water he wanted. 

He studied the possibility of both options. What should he do, pour it into the old pump and take a chance on fresh, cool, water or drink what was in the old jug and ignore its message? Should he waste all the water on the hopes of those flimsy instructions written, no telling how long ago? 

Reluctantly, he poured all the water into the pump. Then, he grabbed the handle and began to pump, squeak, squeak, squeak. Still, nothing came out! Squeak, squeak, squeak. A little bit began to dribble out, then a small stream, and finally it gushed! To his relief, fresh, cool water poured out of the rusty pump. Eagerly, he filled the jug and drank from it. He filled it another time and once again drank its refreshing contents. 

Then, he filled the jug for the next traveler. He filled it to the top, popped the cork back on, and added this little note, “Believe me, it really works. You have to give it all away before you can get anything back.”

                                    ~ Chuck Swindoll

 

 

Matthew 13:31–32, ESV He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

  • The seed for the farmer represents food for today without risk.

  • The seed for the farmer represents a crop for the future with tons of risk.

  • Faith and trust are required!!!

THE HARVESTS OF YOUR TOMORROW ARE PRIMED BY YOUR FAITH-FILLED ACTIONS TODAY  

Biblical Examples:

  • Ecclesiastes 11:1, ESV Cast your bread upon the waters,for you will find it after many days.

  •  1 Kings 17:10–16, ESV So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.” And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” And she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.” And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son.For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.” And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.

  •  John 6:9–11, ESV “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish,but what are they for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted.

  • Luke 6:38, ESV “give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

 

9 Big Primes to Consider 

1.    Take the Obedient Next Step

  • Matthew 19:20–22, ESV The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?”Jesus said to him, “If you wouldbe perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful,for he had great possessions.

  • Disobedience clogs up the flow of heaven in our lives. Fortunately, obedience is the best Kingdom drain cleaner there is!

  • Deuteronomy 28:1–15, ESV “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways. The Lord will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. And he will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. The Lord will establish you as a people holy to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in his ways. And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you. And the Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground, within the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. The Lord will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them, and if you do not turn aside from any of the words that I command you today, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you.”

2.    Forgive Something Big, Bigly

  • Many times, we forgive at such a measured level that we aren’t actually forgiving anything. We are actually exacting a series of repayments over time until we’ve determined that they’ve earned our forgiveness.

  • Luke 15:21–24, ESV And the son said to him, “Father, I have sinnedagainst heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” But the father saidto his servants, “Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” And they began to celebrate.

3.    Bless an Enemy

  • People become our enemies because they do something to hurt us. Our typical responses are to pay them back or cut them off. Scripture teaches us to bless our enemies and promises repayment… for us!

  • Romans 12:18–20, ESV If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”

  • The Lord will repay, not your enemy, BUT YOU!!! The Lord will repay your act of blessing with blessing!

  • Proverbs 25:21–22, ESV If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.

  • The act of blessing an enemy will bring them face to face with a grace so powerful; it could potentially lead them to salvation! 

4.    Give Something Extravagant

  • John 12:3–5, ESV Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii (a year’s wages) and given to the poor?”

5.    Go All Out to Win Someone

  • Luke 19:5–10, ESV And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.”So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house,since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

  • We’ve bought into the “you don’t have to say a thing, just shine your light…” mentality and it’s not effective.

  • Luke 8:16, ESV “No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.

6.    Walk on Water

  • Matthew 14:28–33, ESV And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

    • Walking on the water was Peter’s idea!

    • He walked on the water!!!

    • Try something new!

    • Stretch beyond your ability, beyond the natural!

    • Don’t be afraid to fail!

    • 1 Samuel 14:6–10, ESV Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.”And his armor-bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart. Do as you wish. Behold, I am with you heart and soul.” Then Jonathan said, “Behold, we will cross over to the men, and we will show ourselves to them. If they say to us, ‘Wait until we come to you,’ then we will stand still in our place, and we will not go up to them. But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ then we will go up, for the Lord has given them into our hand. And this shall be the sign to us.”

7.    Worship One Time Like David

  • 2 Samuel 6:16–22, ESV As the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, and she despised him in her heart. And they brought in the ark of the LORD and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it. And David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD. And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts and distributed among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins to each one. Then all the people departed, each to his house. And David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants’ female servants, as one of the vulgar fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!” And David said to Michal, “It was before the LORD, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the LORD—and I will celebrate before the LORD. I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your eyes. But by the female servants of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor.” Go for Something Too Big

8.    Do Something Undeserved

  • We are famous for measuring our generosity by the worthiness of the recipient. But everything Jesus did for anyone, including you and me, was for the completely undeserving. When we do something for someone who is undeserving, we look a lot like Jesus, and heaven notices and responds.

  • 1 Samuel 24:2–20, ESV Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel and went to seek David and his men in front of the Wildgoats’ Rocks. And he came to the sheepfolds by the way, where there was a cave, and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the innermost parts of the cave. And the men of David said to him, “Here is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold, I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it shall seem good to you.” Then David arose and stealthily cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. And afterward David’s heart struck him, because he had cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is the Lord’s anointed.” So David persuaded his men with these words and did not permit them to attack Saul. And Saul rose up and left the cave and went on his way. Afterward David also arose and went out of the cave, and called after Saul, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the earth and paid homage. And David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘Behold, David seeks your harm’? Behold, this day your eyes have seen how the Lord gave you today into my hand in the cave. And some told me to kill you, but I spared you. I said, ‘I will not put out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.’ See, my father, see the corner of your robe in my hand. For by the fact that I cut off the corner of your robe and did not kill you, you may know and see that there is no wrong or treason in my hands. I have not sinned against you, though you hunt my life to take it. May the Lord judge between me and you, may the Lord avenge me against you, but my hand shall not be against you. As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Out of the wicked comes wickedness.’ But my hand shall not be against you. After whom has the king of Israel come out? After whom do you pursue? After a dead dog! After a flea! May the Lord therefore be judge and give sentence between me and you, and see to it and plead my cause and deliver me from your hand.” As soon as David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” And Saul lifted up his voice and wept. He said to David, “You are more righteous than I, for you have repaid me good, whereas I have repaid you evil. And you have declared this day how you have dealt well with me, in that you did not kill me when the Lord put me into your hands. For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away safe? So may the Lord reward you with good for what you have done to me this day. And now, behold, I know that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand.

9.    Give Away Something You Love

  • 1 John 4:10–11, ESV In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 

  • John 3:16, ESV “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Closing

  • Matthew 9:27–30, ESV And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” When he entered the house, the blind men came to him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” And their eyes were opened.

  • Choose Your Big Prime

 

TAKING GROUND: Reclaiming Lost Ground

1 Samuel 30:1-6 ESV, Now when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid against the Negeb and against Ziklag. They had overcome Ziklag and burned it with fire and taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great. They killed no one, but carried them off and went their way. And when David and his men came to the city, they found it burned with fire, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep. David's two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters.

We have all experienced moments of victory in our lives. Moments where we finally realize some personal successes. When we marry the perfect partner for us. When our kids achieve some great things. And then there are the moments that it seems to all fall apart. That the success we once enjoyed, or the peace we once had is lost. Well today we are going to begin the business of RECLAIMING LOST GROUND!

David’s LOST GROUND:

  • David had a history of military success. He defeated Goliath the Giant and the armies of the Philistines. He was the hero of the nation of Israel.

  • 1 Samuel 18:6-9 ESV, As they were coming home, when David returned from striking down the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments. 7 And the women sang to one another as they celebrated, “Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands.”8 And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?” 9 And Saul eyed David from that day on.

  • David had to run and Hid from Saul

  • As David has made camp and returns to find everything gone!

  • All eyes are on David as the one to blame.

Like David we can all find ourselves in these moments where we ask ourselves, “What just happened!” Things are seeming to go well and then the bottom falls out.

There are times when an unexpected detour is necessary to actually get us to where we are going. But we also must recognize when what we are facing is the ground that God has given us has been lost and needs to be recovered!

Our GROUND:

God establishes the territory of your life and it is up to you to discover/uncover every corner. God’s intent from the beginning was for us to experience his unmeasured goodness. Without Limits! And to have dominion over our worlds.

EVERY PROMISE THAT YOU HAVE YET TO SEE FULLFILLED IN YOUR LIFE IS LOST GROUND!

SURRENDERED GROUND

Surrendering is not simply giving up. Rather it is yielding power, control, or possession to another. It is the ground we willfully give up. It is giving someone or something the legal right to occupy your ground. Causes for surrendered ground include:

  • Neglect – “I used to be…” “I used to have…”

    • Proverbs 4:23 NLT, Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

    • 1 Timothy 4:14 ESV, Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you.

    • Revelation 2:2-5 ESV, “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first.

  • Personal Sin – Our sin gives up our right to the full measure of God’s goodness. It is the squandering of our inheritance.

    • Hebrews 12:1 ESV, Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

    • James 1:14-15 ESV, But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

  • Bitterness, Unforgiveness, Pride, Anger, Fear – All of these represent a distrust for God’s best intentions for our lives. These things cause us to be bound.

    • Matthew 6:14-15; Matthew 18:23-25; Hebrews 12:14-15

STOLEN GROUND

This is the ground that has been fought over and that the life, other people, and the enemy has done their best to take from you. Causes of stolen ground include:

  • Tragedy – Life events that happen that are beyond your control. Sickness, Death, Loss of Employment, Accidents, Failures.

    • John 16:33 ESV, In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

  • Attack – Someone that has an agenda that is contrary to God’s plan.

    • John 10:10 ESV, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

When we are able to identify the areas of our lives that are less than God’s desire for us, requires that we make a posture adjustment and begin to reclaim what is rightfully ours.

RECLAIMING OUR GROUND

1. KNOW YOUR BOUNDARIES

  • This does not mean that you should know your limitations but understand the things that God has for you. If your life does not resemble that which you have been promised than it is up to you to find the corners of you “land” and pursue the full realization of those things.

    • Jeremiah 29:11 ESV, For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

    • Psalms 16:5-6 ESV, The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

  • If the Lot Lines of your life are not pleasing than you are probably working of someone else’s plan.

2. ENCOURAGE YOURSELF

  • 1 Samuel 30:6 ESV, And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.

  • Declare the promises of God over your life! Prophesy to the dry bones! Shake the dust off of yourselves and speak life into your situation. David probably reminded himself of every victory and ever promise that he had. He was his own cheerleader.

    • Ephesians 6:13 ESV, 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 firm.

3. FIGHT!!!

  • Putting on the armor of God is an indication of your willingness to fight.

  • You will NEVER take back the ground that God has for you without a fight.

    • 1 Timothy 6:12, ESV Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

  • Know that you are not fighting alone.

    • Deuteronomy 1:30 ESV, The Lord your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes,

    • Jeremiah 1:19 ESV, They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you.”

  • David pursued the armies that had destroyed his camp and carried off his people.

    • 1 Samuel 30:17-19 ESV, And David struck them down from twilight until the evening of the next day, and not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men, who mounted camels and fled. David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and David rescued his two wives. Nothing was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken. David brought back all.

4. PLUNDER THE ENEMY

  • 1 Samuel 30:20 ESV, David also captured all the flocks and herds, and the people drove the livestock before him, and said, “This is David's spoil.”

  • When the Israelites fled Egypt, they plunder the Egyptians. When the Israelites entered into the promised land, they plundered the cities of the enemies.

  • What the enemy intends to for your harm, God will use it for your good.

  • Don’t be satisfied with simply regaining what you’ve lost but push the enemy back.

    • Matthew 16:15-18 ESV, He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

5. KNOW YOUR PLACE

  • Mephibosheth – Lost everything but was restored by the King. 2 Samuel 9:1-12

  • You are a child of the King. All that has been given to Jesus is ours to enjoy. We are co-heirs with Christ. We get to enjoy relationship with the Father, all the benefits of being a citizen of the Kingdom, and the promise of eternal live.

CLOSING - the pain of lost ground is real. Whether it be ground that was surrendered or stolen, the pain of what was or what could be is real. God’s desire for you is to find his abundant life. Step number one is really identify and confessing the areas in your life that have been lost. And God, who is faithful will begin to lead you into his “green pastures.”

TAKING GROUND: Partnering With Heaven

Luke 23:46, ESV Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.

in this life you are going to launch out to take all types of ground. You can do this one of two ways: 1) Solo – you jump and try to stick the landing; or 2) Connected To Him – you jump, in His direction toward His voice listening to His directions so He can catch you every time.

As you launch forward to take ground throughout your lifetime, you will find that everything in this world will fight against the good things God has for you!

CONFIDENCE – (latin: confidere) to have full trust

The Bible reveals a CONFIDENCE deeply embedded in those who partner with heaven. Over and over they rush forward with the confidence that heaven is with them and will back them no matter what they face.

  • Moses & Pharaoh – (Exodus 14:10–16) ESV When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly… Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

  • Joshua As They Enter Canaan - Deuteronomy 3:21–22, ESV And I commanded Joshua at that time, ‘Your eyes have seen all that the Lord your God has done to these two kings. So will the Lord do to all the kingdoms into which you are crossing. You shall not fear them, for it is the Lord your God who fights for you.’

  • David & Goliath - Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.” 1 Samuel 17:45–47, ESV

  • Elisha & Arimeans - 2 Kings 6:13–17, NIV “Go, find out where he is,” the king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.” The report came back: “He is in Dothan.” Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city. When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

  • Jeremiah - Jeremiah 1:18–19, ESV And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you.”

JESUS COULDN’T RAISE HIMSELF BUT KNEW HIS FATHER WOULD!!!

  • Acts 2:26–27, NIV (Ps 16:9-10) Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay.

  • Acts 2:24, NIV But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

John 16:33, ESV I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart (STIR UP COURAGE) I have overcome the world.”

  • spoken prior to going to Gethsemane

  • spoken prior to Judas kiss, being bound, taken to Annas,

  • spoken prior to being sent to Caiaphas

  • spoken prior to catching a glimpse of Peter denying him

  • spoken prior to being sent to Pilate, the crowd demanding punishment

  • spoken prior to being scourged with a flagrum,

  • spoken prior to being fit with a crown of thorns, a purple robe on His torn flesh, and paraded him before the crowd, demanding His crucifixion.

  • spoken prior to being turned over to soldiers for crucifixion

  • spoken prior to being unable to carry the 175lb crossbeam

  • spoken prior to his arrival at Golgotha

  • spoken prior to being stripped naked, clothes gambled for

  • spoken prior to being bound to the beam, nailed through wrists and feet

  • spoken prior to being lifted up and placed on display

  • spoken prior to being mocked before a crowd including his mother, family and friends.

  • spoken prior to Luke 23:46, ESV Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.

  • spoken prior to piercing His side

  • spoken prior to pulling Him down, wrapping his body in burial cloth and placing his body in a borrowed tomb.

In The World: tribulation

In Me: peace, because I have overcome

Stop doing life on your own! Stop trying to stick an impossible landing! Give your life to Jesus and watch him win for you over and over and over!

Psalm 91:1–16, ESV He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge— no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot. “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.

TAKING GROUND: Detouring With Clarity

Isaiah 6:1, ESV In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.

God reveals land He has for you via the logos Word (Bible), the rhema Word (the Word spoken to you by the Holy Spirit) the inspired Word as you listen to preaching/teaching, words of your leaders speak into your life, prophetic words delivered by others, visions, dreams, and the things in your heart that grow into conviction as you follow Jesus. These are wonderful experience of increasing revelation! Far less wonderful experience are DETOURS!

The DETOUR for Isaiah:

  • he was born a Hebrew in Judah, 700 years before Jesus

  • he was a prophet and his wife a prophetess

  • he prophesied during the spiritual, social and economic decline of Israel in the shadow of the Kings of Assyria.

  • he prophesied during the reigns of the Kings of Judah including Uzziah (Azariah), Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah – Isaiah 1

  • this Isaiah 6 moment came during his ministry during the regin of Uzziah, the first King. King Uzziah (Azariah) , was a king who - he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, 2 Kings 15:3, ESV

  • this Isaiah 6 moment was “ In the year that King Uzziah died.” Any time a king died, there was a radical shift in the nation, God’s dealing with that nation, the kinds dealing with spiritual leaders.

  • this was a moment where a detour appeared. It was unexpected moment of great change with an unsure outcome.

WHO/WHAT CAUSES DETOURS? as detours appear on our landscape, very often we become fixated on who or what created the detour. Detours can be:

  • God’s course correction in our lives

  • results of our poor choices

  • byproduct of our personal sin

  • the general curse of “this world”

  • consequence of another’s poor choices

  • effort of an enemy

  • attack of the god of this world

Regardless of cause or creator, a detour needs to be navigated with clarity. In order to move forward and continue taking the ground He has for you, it’s critical that you do so with your eyes wide open!

DETOURING WITH CLARITY

1. See The LORD

  • detours are messy and we get fixated looking at them. It’s critical to get up higher and see The LORD!

  • Isaiah did: Isaiah 6:1–5, ESV In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.

  • maintaining a proper view of God as you navigate a detour can be the difference between debilitating distraction and destiny.

  • acquiring a fresh view of Him is critical in detours!

  • detours are unexpected, but He is unchanged by the detour as well as his good purposes for you!

  • You may not know what a day holds, but you know WHO holds your day!

2. See Beyond The Detour

  • Isaiah 6:5–7, ESV And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

  • see Him! don’t look back, don’t fix your eyes on the here! fix your eyes on Him!

  • Hebrews 12:2, ESV looking to (fix your eyes on) Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

  • look at HIM as you take steps forward: we end up where we are constantly looking!

  • regardless of who/what caused the detour, he holds your day

  • Romans 8:28, ESV And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

  • Joseph: Genesis 50:19–20, ESV But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

3. See The Chance To Learn & Grow

  • detours gives sight to new things and require new driving skills

  • you can spend your time being irritated and resist or you ask, “LORD, what can I learn in this season?

  • Romans 5:3–5, ESV Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

  • growth doesn’t happen in a La-Z-Boy, it happens in the uncomfortable places where you’ve never been before.

4. See New Opportunities

  • too often we look back and see what was lost, but we need to look forward to see what is to be gained!

  • Isaiah 43:18–20, ESV “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The wild beasts will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches, for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people,

  • this route has unexpected opportunities

  • when God creates detours, it’s usually for our growth, and our growth leads to greater fruitfulness

5. See New Relationships

  • Ruth/Boaz: Ruth 2:2–4, ESV And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favor.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.” So she set out and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers, and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the clan of Elimelech. And behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem. And he said to the reapers, “The Lord be with you!” And they answered, “The Lord bless you.”

6. See It Through

  • it’s critical to persevere through the detour! Jesus did: John 1:5, ESV The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

  • John 16:33, ESV I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

  • 1 John 5:4–5, ESV For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

  • Isaiah 6:8–9, ESV And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” And he said, “Go…’

CLOSING:

  • if you don’t follow Jesus, you are experiencing constant detours to capture your attention. You’re actually stuck in that detour! Say yes to Jesus and get going on your journey with Him to possess the great land He has for you

  • if you do follow Jesus, and you are in a detour, make it count! Get everything out of it you can and travel through into the next great season of your journey!

TAKING GROUND: Dakota Elliott

Dakota Elliott - Flip Your Focus

Numbers 13:27-33 NIV “They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.” Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.””

Joshua and Caleb were looking at the same giants, the same fortifications, the same problem.

Notice:

  • “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

  • It doesn’t say “we were”.

What was the ten spies focus on?

  • Expectations

  • Their own ability

  • Their strength

Flipping your focus is acknowledging your source

What was the two spies focus on?

  • His Calling

  • His ability

  • His strength

If we want to Take Ground in our marriages, in our workplace, in our children’s lives, in our schools, we have to FIRST flip our focus.

The Israelites spent 40 years in the wilderness because of the wrong focus.

Your best life, your future, the ground that God has destined you, and this church to take can only come when we FLIP OUR FOCUS.

TAKING GROUND: Moriah Willams

Moriah WIlliams

“For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood.” Hebrews 9:16-18 ESV

Main Idea: Through the death of your will, a life of purpose is born in Him

*Lower your pride to elevate His praise*

2 Timothy: Second epistles of Paul to Timothy, Paul says “No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.”

  • A soldier doesn’t live the same way a civilian does.

  • Mentally are never the same

  • They carry a weapon

Isaiah 2:11 “The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.”

If you want gods will//humble yourself and allow God to work

*Exchange expedient desires for eternal rewards*

Luke 14:28 “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?”

  • Running a race for God, not the right gear.

  • Putting on the right gear, sometimes means taking the wrong gear off

Surrender: To cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to the authority.

2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

TAKING GROUND: Connor Gillihan

Connor Gillihan - Growing Relentlessly

Big Idea: We are called to be actively continuing growth in Christ through our actions.

Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith towards God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgement. And this we will do, if God permits. Hebrews 6:1-3 NASB

1: God calls us to continue growing in Him throughout our walk

  • Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about Christ, let us press on to maturity Hebrews 6:1

God wants us to be transformed and take ground for the Kingdom in our lives. We should be growing constantly. Hebrews 6:1 shows us that our journey through our walk with Christ is a process of continuing growth. Life can be busy. Living a weekly routine that does not grow us can become a normalcy. I am just as guilty of becoming wrapped up in routine and not seeking growth at times.

2: We must partner with Christ in order to continue growth.

  • And this we will do, if God permits. Hebrews 6:3

Action Steps:

1: identify an area of your life that God is challenging you to grow

We can do this through prayer, reading the scripture, and/or examining our lives and what God has laid on our hearts. I would challenge everyone here today to spend the next day or two thinking on an area that you can actively work towards improving instead of just going through the motions of life. Once you have something, write it down. It might not seem grandiose or large. It could be to be more patient, kind, humble, positive, or prayerful, but if God is calling you to a change, it is important to him. That makes it a priority for us.

2: identify a plan for improvement of your life.

We can begin this by getting direction from those who have gone through this situation before. We can ask God to show us the steps to begin action. Then, we must actively engage in a plan to improve our lives. Prayer is an important factor in this since it is the invocation of God’s power

TAKING GROUND: Journeying from 'NOW' to 'THEN'
  • Genesis 37:5, ESV NOW Joseph had a dream…

  • Genesis 41:39–40, ESV THEN Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.”

God reveals land He has for you VIA: Bible, Rhema, prophecy, dreams, visions, leaders, preaching, things in your heart that grow into conviction.

Once land is revealed, there is a journey to be taken, preparations, plans, work!

The from ‘NOW’ to “THEN’ Journey

  • Dream 1 - Genesis 37:7, ESV Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.”

  • Dream 2 - Genesis 37:9, ESV Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”

  • His dream happened when He was 17 years old

  • That same year he was sold to slave traders, landing in the house of Potiphar

  • He served Potiphar 11 years, when he accused of rape by Potiphar’s wife

  • At 28 he was thrown into prison two years

  • At 30 he interpreted a dream for Pharaoh and was released from prison and elevated to 2nd in command in Egypt.

  • 9 years later, at age 39, his brothers arrive in Egypt, he remains unknown

  • For the next two years his brothers journey back and forth, and after Joseph reveals his identity, the bring their father.

  • At age 41, almost 25 years later, he is reunited with his father who bows down with his brothers to Joseph

Why does it take so long to take the land God has for us? There are a number of reasons, but THE BIGGEST? the WHO YOU CURRENTLY ARE must journey to the WHO YOU NEED TO BE, so that the OPPORTUNITY can MATURE and the OUTCOME can be HIS BEST

  • most ground promised is conditional - are “if you do X, then I will do Y…” therefore “if you don’t do X…

  • Samson was promised great ground, but it was polluted by his failure to BECOME the man who could live out the vision.

  • too often we often think our greatest obstacle to us taking our promised land is our CIRCUMSTANCES when in reality, the greatest obstacle is actually WHO WE ARE.

TAKING HIS GROUND WILL REQUIRE YOU TO BECOME SECOND

  • We see ourselves as the center of everything!

  • Joseph’s 1st Dream: “MY SHEAF AROSE, YOUR’S GATHERED AND BOWED DOWN.”

  • Joseph’s 2nd Dream: “I HAD ANOTHER DREAM! YOU WERE ALL BOWING DOWN TO ME.”

    • the fact that he told family

    • the way he told family

    • how he celebrated a second dream

  • He was filled with PRIDE – improper assessment of self; measuring yourself with a standard other than God’s (over value or under value).

    • Proverbs 16:18, ESV Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

  • PRIDE will always place self at the center of the vision (I can’t do it, or I can do it)

    • God’s has called me to do great things vs. God wants to do great things for others and he is allowing me to play a role.

  • Situations have a way of revealing our PRIDE so it can be dealt with:

    • no opportunity offered when you feel like you should have one

    • an opportunity “beneath you” is offered

    • someone else gets the opportunity you should have gotten

    • when you struggle with feeling overlooked, under-appreciated

    • when you feel like someone holding you back

    • when you feel like you should be in charge instead of them

  • Joseph saw himself as center, but:

    • in the end, the real story was the people that would need his help

    • in the end, his role was never more than second:

      • we will only ever be stewards

      • Genesis 41:39–40, ESV THEN Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.”

      • his FIRST-SHIP and our SECOND-HOOD must be established or our entire lives will be out of alignment.

  • Joseph’s transformation was remarkable in this arena – the way he honors his family and brothers in remarkable.

TAKING HIS GROUND WILL REQUIRE YOU TO SOW/REAP HERE FIRST

  • there is an exciting piece of ground in your future, but before you get there, the piece of ground you stand on now matters!

  • Here is not a circumstance you are passing through, it’s the foundation that the building will be built on.

  • Faithfulness on this piece of ground is the stepping stone to future pieces of ground. (this job, this ministry, this income, this house, etc.)

    • Matthew 25:21, ESV His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’

  • Here is also the training ground for there - crawl, walk and then run

  • Here matters!

    • Joseph was not out in the field with His brothers

    • Joseph was not part of the harvest or it’s solutions

    • Joseph was not building rapport with the team

    • Joseph was looking to the day when all would bow down.

  • part of sowing/reaping is doing so in spite of pushback - failed with Potiphar’s wife, but quickly learned in prison.

  • you cannot allow someone’s wrong actions to keep you from right action

TAKING HIS LAND WILL REQUIRE YOU TO WIN OTHERS TO YOUR CAUSE

  • early on, Joseph’s greatest weakness was his people skills

  • all ground is taken via favorable relationships

  • relationships of today will lead you to the army you will need tomorrow to accomplish all that God has called you to do.

    • The seeds of good deeds become a tree of life; a wise person wins friends. Proverbs 11:30, NLT

  • Fifteen years from now you will need the references of someone in this room.

  • There are no unimportant people in your world!

  • Winning your enemies is critical

  • Josephs greatest transformation was his people skills

Joseph was clearly one of the most flawed people to start with, but he allowed the process of God top shape His life! During your journey, you are in His process of being transformed from who you are into who He’s called you to be! Surrender to His Process!!!

  • Isaiah 49:1–3, ESV The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name. He made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow; in his quiver he hid me away. And he said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”

TAKING GROUND: Strengthening Your Faith

In order to possess the land God has for you, you are going to need to many things such as favor, opportunity, resources, wisdom, help, etc. The list is long. But on that list, you will find that there is one essential that you cannot do without called faith.

Whether you know it or not, you already have faith inside of you. God put it there. It exists. But the truth is, in order for you to take possession of all God has for you, the faith that you currently have is not enough. But there is good news. Your faith can grow!

FAITH is the process of hearing, believing and acting upon the things God says, causing the supernatural release of things promised.

FAITH: EVERYONE RECEIVES A PORTION FROM GOD

  • Ephesians 2:8, ESV For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

  • Romans 12:3, ESV For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure (GK – metron) of faith that God has assigned.

FAITH: MEASURED IN TERMS OF STRENGTH

  • some function with no faith: Mark 4:40, ESV He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”

  • some function with little faith: Matthew 17:16–20, ESV And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

  • some function with great faith: Matthew 15:25–28, ESV But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

FAITH: IMPACTS YOUR ABILITY TO TAKE THE GROUND

  • Hebrews 3:19, ESV So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

  • Matthew 9:29, ESV Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.”

  • Mark 11:23–24, ESV Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

FAITH: CURRENT STRENGTH NOT SUFFICIENT TO TAKE FUTURE GROUND

  • Matthew 17:19–21, NASB95 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. “But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

FAITH: CAN BE INTENTIONALLY INCREASED

  • Luke 17:5–6, ESV The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

    • the disciples wanted Jesus to increase their faith

    • their request was out of alignment with kingdom principles

    • the kingdom functions like a seed

    • the process of faith increasing is in the process of faith functioning

  • seeds planted create more and more seeds and faith exercised increases faith!

EXERCISING FAITH TO INCREASE FAITH


1. INGEST THE WORD

  • Romans 10:17, ESV So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

  • clarifies God’s character and will

  • clarifies your prerequisites and methods

  • define the things that are actually in your lot

  • read and listen to it

  • listen/re-listen to preaching

  • read books

  • reread/listen to prophetic promises

2. TELL OBSTRUCTIONS WHERE TO GO

  • Matthew 21:21–22, ESV And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

  • asking has a place - whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith

  • declaring plays a key role in faith-filled prayer - if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen.

  • let mis-alignment be a magnet

  • be bold to pray

  • be persistent

  • partner with others


3. FAST

  • Matthew 6:16–18, ESV “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

  • fasting is not a hunger strike to convince God to do something

  • fasting intentionally creates a difficult moment for you to rely on God to sustain you through the discomfort.

  • the pain of fasting is the same as the burn of lifting weights – it’s the evidence of stretching to the next level.

4. LEAN IN TO MOMENTS REQUIRING FAITH

  • Matthew 14:28–29, ESV And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.

  • Romans 12:6, ESV Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;

  • step out a little farther

  • don’t look for a substitute – trust God!!!

5. TITHE, GIVE, REPEAT

  • Malachi 3:7–12, ESV From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, ‘How shall we return?’ Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts. Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.

  • Luke 16:10–12, ESV “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?

6. SPEAK LIFE OVER THINGS THAT ARE CURRENTLY DEAD

  • Ezekiel 37:3–6, ESV And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

  • 1 Corinthians 10:10, ESV nor grumble (onomatop – to mutter, murmur, complain), as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.

CLOSING:

Genesis 12:1,4, ESV Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. So Abram went,