Power of the Cross #2
I am closing out the Movie Mountains Series today, ending with the 2nd part of the Power of the Cross.
I’ve focused on speaking the words of God, and was moving into the study or consumption of the Word of God, but I seem to go back to a familiar theme that the Lord is trying to get into us about who we are in Christ. Our faith, being overcomers. I can’t seem to shake that. I believe it’s the hour we are in that all hands need to be on deck I guess you can say concerning the physical and spiritual manifestation of the Kingdom of God on earth. I’m starting with our thought life but lets see where I go with this.
What’s in our head, usually comes out of our mouth, right? Concerning our thought life, as believers, our minds and thoughts should be truth based solely on the basis of the Word of God.
I know it is a journey to get our minds to move into that position, but as we have been trying to do the past couple years here at The Furnace, it is moving from a basis of what can I do for myself through my own consciousness, and my own abilities, to a God focused conscience which is based on God’s promises and His will.
We have preached from the beginning, having a Heaven on Earth mindset in all things that it will cause us to focus on the truth of Words of God and what will come from that focus is a life that is fruitful and even earth moving for us individually, and for others we have contact with. Its something we stress here. God is for us, and in that life, God wants us to be for others. What we receive, we give.
And we live the life because the Word of life is in us and a heart for God motivates us.
When Jesus was teaching His Disciples how to pray in Matthew 6:9, He starts with:
“in this manner, pray to our Father who is in Heaven.”
Jesus begins by having us focus on a place not of this world. A place where God is. Where His perfection is located. A perfection that was on this earth at one time and will be present in the new heaven and earth that will come.
Then Jesus says, “Your kingdom come.”
Jesus not only establishes that His Father is in a place of perfection, He purposes us to pray to God the Father that His perfect Heaven would come here. Jesus then proceeds to say that God’s Will, capital W, will be established on this earth. So that means that all the power and freedom, and perfection of heaven would be established here. If not in its entirety, then in the places where Jesus’ people are.
Jesus wanting us to speak it into reality here. Prayer does that. But we must have that heavenly reality in us to do that. It is a heart focus. It is who we should be. A heavenly reality produces faith, because faith comes from the Word of God as we spoke of last week, and the Word is a heavenly reality, especially as it becomes a part of a participating believer in Jesus Christ.
Jesus proclaimed and allowed His Followers to experience God’s will when He walked this earth, and He put it on us to continue to fulfill God’s will when He went to be with the Father. Overly stressed here, but so important.
“Your kingdom come, Your will be done” should be branded on our hearts. Our general life focus should be “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” “Lord, in and through me!”
Then our heart and mind focus would be on heavenly things, not on earthly things. That focus only being attained by the renewing of our minds in Christ Jesus. Renewing our minds in the Word of God.
Having a renewed mind from ingesting the Word of God causes us in Christ to be secured in our faith. That faith as we have stated before is what moves mountains.
Security, secured faith breeds confidence. Confidence produces an “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” When you have the, “I can do all things” branded into your spiritual consciousness, speaking to a mountain to move is nothing for us. We have read that verse enough times and this one too.
Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
The transformed renewed mind through the power of the Holy Spirit will cause us to discern all things in Christ. How can it not? Because the word of Life is implanted in us. Good, acceptable, and perfect will be normal life. People today do live it.
The Lord has been pushing me into His word. Be in the Word. Be the Word. Be in my face, and be my Word. You are going to need it and be it. In these days, you’re going to need it. All of it. Keep your spiritual mind open at all times. Keep your ear open to my voice. Don’t miss what I say. My Word will come alive to you in this day. Listen. Stop, focus. See. Believe. Do!
If you are focused on truth, slipping and falling will not be an action we participate in anymore. The word of God is a firm foundation.
Matthew 7:24, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
Colossians 2:6, “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, “
We have to understand what God is doing here. He is doing it to Pastor Milt and myself. Jesus through the Holy Spirit is positioning His church back into a full Glory that He envisioned. We have to move there.
He is moving those who want separation from worldly ideals back to a righteous holy faith-based lifestyle that believes nothing is impossible with God. He is moving us individually to live a faith that is unmoving, not only just to see miracles, which to me is secondary to our overall faith; We are to foremost know God the Father at a level far exceeding the level as we know Him now.
There are believers, but then there are friends of God. Believers know of god, friends of God know Him deeply and intimately.
They receive understanding of the heavenly realm as well as the earth, and all of the deep things in between, because God the Father tells them. There lives are fully evident of that relationship.
Many of us are only mildly scratching the surface of the Christ following God knowing lifestyle.
When you think about it, we shouldn’t even be preaching and teaching what we do in church. It should be just a testimony time for all of the great things that God has done in our lives and the lives of others through us. We should all be discipling new believers in the faith here, not going over things that we should have already taken to heart. Amen!
We need to be burned and shaken from our complacency. We pray weekly Pastor Milt and I that the church as well as us personally will be shaken right into the Glory of God.
Our personal man-made Jesus lifestyle is beyond weak and powerless in the overall witness of the Word of God.
I pray for us that the dross would be burned off of us. Dross is brought up in the Bible.
Dross is a foreign matter; they call it a scum that is formed on the surface of molten metal. When looking at gold when it is refined, it is heated up and basically boiled, and the dross or inferior waste metal comes to the top.
The metalworker skims the dross that has drifted to the top of the boil and throws it away because it is worthless, what is left after the skim is purely refined gold.
That is what God wants of us. We need to be purely refined. We cannot function at the capacity He requires to live glory to glory if we are living in repetitive sin, or have any complacency, or lack of faith in our lives.
The last day’s church will be a church that allowed themselves to be burned in the fire of the Holy Spirit who will abandon themselves to Christ alone.
People who have a spirit like John the Baptist, a Nazirite, being the called out ones, set apart people, in the Spirit, who will have nothing to do with the things of this world. Really it is easy to attain, but few do it because like the young rich ruler, we think about what earthly things we may lose, when we could be gaining all of heaven.
Holiness, repentance, sinlessness, being set apart, being forerunners for Christ in the last days, seems to be foreign speech today in many churches.
But truthfully, I don’t want to stand before Jesus and tell Him, “Oh, I just wanted my people to be comfortable so I didn’t talk about that hard stuff.” Or, “we are all about getting people saved, but not living out a fulfilled Godly life empowered in the Holy Spirit because we didn’t want to scare or offend anyone. “
You know what Jesus would do with me? He would spew me right out of His mouth. I would be instantly judged, and judged severely as a Shepard, and I can’t do that. What other pastors do is on them, I won’t be judged before Jesus for them, only myself.
But again, you will stand before Him too. What will He say to you? On my part, and I know Pastor Milt’s part, I want Him to say to you, “Good and faithful Servant.” Amen!
From more than one vision here, we know that a reckoning is coming soon. We are going to have to make a decision. Are we for Christ or not? And I believe God is going to torch the fence, no more fence riding, no more having two masters, because we will be brought into the “Valley of Decision” as to whom we are going to follow. And we know, those not grounded and living the Word of God will probably turn and walk away to their condemnation. I don’t want that on my shoulders.
We are here to produce lifelong followers of Jesus Christ who will not be moved by the turbulent winds appearing in this age. Its time for the meat of the Word, and move past the milk. Milk makes your ears itch to me. Meat causes faith and surety.
Looking at Romans 12:2, this verse states transformation comes, or a metamorphosis in the actual translation when we renew our minds. Think of an ugly green caterpillar that transforms into a beautiful Monarch Butterfly. Many of us think we are ugly on the inside. I know it. I have felt that way too. But the Word of God is there to turn something ugly into something beautiful. Something strong and unbending to the trials of life, but we must be prudent with patience, with desire to do anything we have to, to move us into a place of uncompromising faith.
God’s Word and His truths that are to be infused into our hearts and minds turn us into a force to be reckoned with. Because what can our enemies do to us who have a supernatural resolve in faith in God? Nothing.
All the junk we deal with is because the world is broken because of sin. When we aren’t broken anymore because the Word is life in us, its upon us to stand in the righteous power of the Word and through the Word’s peace and love and mercy to slay the power of the earthly sin nature’s dragons. You know what I am talking about because we seem to battle them everyday, one way or another.
So what if all your appliances go down it seems one after another after another and after another and it appears Satan is trying to take every last dime you have? Happened to us. Add on auto issues too. Yes, I will be real with you. One day, I got all dribbly, mad, looked up and said “God what is going on?” “How much more can we take?” Really it was, “How much more can I take in my I just lost my faith boo hoo state of mind.”
It’s like in a second I went from a Old Seasoned Spirit Filled Pastor to a 5 year whiney child. I left the house to come here for something, I heard the Lord say, “what you been preaching on?” Silence on my part. A bit of irritation too. Like God speaking to Adam in the Garden after he ate the forbidden fruit. “ Hey Adam! What’s up?” Crickets…… or us in Louisiana, frogs…. with the crickets.
Brad…….. (Me in silence not wanting to hear what He is going to say, because I know what He is going to say, because I read Jesus saying it many time to His disciples…… )
Brad, Oh Ye or you of little faith. Brad do you actually believe what you preach? Oh, Smack Down! “I’m like, I guess not.” Then I get my usual response from Him. Believe Me. Not to long after this exchange a large check as a gift comes from an unexpected party that would help cover some of our loss. Boy did I feel dumb. And this isn’t the first time He has done this. I’ve felt dumb before. Because I know better. We all know better.
God is a God of the fulfilled promise. He always fulfills His word. Amen! We need to know His word and speak it over our lives over and over and over again to the point that if our house burned down, we would be like “Dang” “what you gonna do about that God?” And leave it at that. Job lost everything, but God gave it back and more. Because He is a good Father!
We may be a House of Prayer here because we believe that intimacy with God in the secret place is so important, but we are also a House of the Word of God, because a praying person who continually digests God’s word will not only be strong in their faith, but moving mountains will be something that is not hard for them. The Word of God is a foundation of prayer.
For those who ingest the word and know God, sinning will be an afterthought, but fulfillment of the Will of God is something that they will do naturally. And when bad winds blow, our response will be, “You have got it God,” because we hid His word in our hearts.
God’s transformation or metamorphosis by His word transforms us to the extent that the past person is totally removed to now look like the image of God.
So our minds as Children of God should be focusing on the good.
Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
I guess this brings me to a thought of why don’t we think of those things.
Why do we go in the direction that we go in when something doesn’t work out even though we know the truth? I ask you in here because the majority of you have lived in the faith for years, but we still seem to creep into believing untruths. Why can’t we focus?
I don’t know the full answer, but for some, is it information overload, I think that the Body of Christ has become fractured because we hearing and looking at to many different things. The news can whack you out. Even following the prophetic there can be too much. In these last days, we are getting hit from all sides. I see it as a good reason for Jesus to come back. It seems we are totally dumped on.
The early church had a singular focus, like the Apostle Paul it was preaching Christ and Him crucified. Salvation and discipleship. Personal growth in Christ, but not running after every word and direction out there.
Colossians 3:2, “set your affections on things above.”
This is the point of this sermon. Affections for things above come from God speaking in His Word about the above, about the heavenly things, life. We should limit our focus to the Word and Prayer.
The point is, as we set our affections on the things of heaven, you know the things above, nothing should be impossible for us, because we have a God who is heaven, “Our Father who art in Heaven, “who makes the impossible possible.”
“Thy Word have I hid in my heart.” The power of it. Say that with me. “Thy Word have I hid in my Heart.” Say it again, “Thy Word have I hid in my heart. “
Thy Word have I hid in my heart will cause us not to be anxious of anything.
Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Thy Word have I hid in my heart will cause us not to fear.
Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Thy word I have hid in my heart will cause us to have faith that our bodies and our minds can be healed.
James 5:15, “and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up.”
Thy word have I hid in my heart will cause us not to worry about what we need.
Matthew 6:31, “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
John 14:14, “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”
We need to get that into our hearts. Then nothing on this earth will move us into unbelief. Being free in Christ and having His nature will be something that we will live out, and how can Jesus not say, “Good and Faithful servant, enter into your rest.”