Good Morning Saints of God
1 Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord. 2 Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. 3 They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths. 4 You have charged us to keep your commandments carefully. 5 Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees! 6 Then I will not be ashamed when I compare my life with your commands. 7 As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should! 8 I will obey your decrees. Please don’t give up on me! Psalms 119:1-8 (NLT)
The Psalmist tells us that we are blessed when we are in order. We are blessed in other words, when we do God’s will. We are blessed when we ask God for direction. But when we go without consulting God, or do without asking God, and then ask God to make the thing successful, we need to understand that God won’t bless your mess.
We need to remember that God’s desire is for our hearts and lives. Even though that is true we still pray for things, stuff, and wants much of the time, if not all of the time. We don't ask for God's wisdom to clear up the confusion and satan understands that in the midst of confusion there is mess. I am here today to tell somebody, God may bless you in a mess, but He will not bless the mess.
When we find ourselves in a mess, we often ask God to ordain our mess. We do that by praying from a place of confusion. You know, like wanting God to cause peace in a household where you aren’t even supposed to be. Make the job go well that God is trying to move you out from, or to make the situation easier when He is trying to get you to leave that place. Have you ever found yourself in a situation, where it seemed like the more you tried to fix it, the more you prayed about it to be fixed, the worse it got? Well chances are, God has been attempting to get your attention and tell you this is a mess. I didn’t ordain it, order it, or direct you to it, so I will not help you succeed in it.
We know that God is not the author of confusion... 33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. 1 Corinthians 14:33 (NKJV) and we know that everything should be done in order... 40 Let all things be done decently and in order. 1 Corinthians 14:40 (NKJV) but when we decide we really don’t need God to put us in order, or to correct our chaotic lives, God will let us feel His judgment. Can I let you in on something? God loves me and you so much that when we get outside of his holiness; when our actions take us to a place that doesn't reflect God's holiness, He will bring judgment into our lives to correct us until we say, OK I give up. The vise will tighten the more rebellious you are. He will use your finances, relationships, emotions, and your job to help you get your mind right. God does not want us confusing the orderly things He has ordained with the mess we have created.
Today's text lets us know that there are consequences to our actions and when we do not allow God to direct us… God Will Not Bless Your Mess. Are there some examples in the Word? Well, in the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve went against the will and direction of God, they were not blessed to stay in the garden, they got kicked out. 23 So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. Genesis 3:23 (NLT). The children of Israel were blessed to get out of Egypt, but when they got it twisted and began ordering their own steps; God did not bless their mess; they wandered in the wilderness for almost 40 years. Lot’s wife was blessed to leave the city with her life, but because she had to glance back in rebellion, God didn’t bless her mess; she turned into a pile of seasoning.
God did however bless those who were in His will, those who had a relationship with Him, those who knew His thoughts because they had the same thoughts. Look at the three Hebrew Boys… 14 Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you refuse to serve my gods or to worship the gold statue I have set up? 15 I will give you one more chance to bow down and worship the statue I have made when you hear the sound of the musical instruments. But if you refuse, you will be thrown immediately into the blazing furnace. And then what god will be able to rescue you from my power?” 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. 18 But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” Daniel 3:14-18 (NLT)
They could have allowed King Nebuchadnezzar to have his way and worshiped the golden idol, but they refused to bow down to any other God, even if it would cost them their lives. We need to understand, that we have to set aside our lives to be blessed by God.
Listen, God is not going to share your worship with any other gods. He doesn't want to be your number one god among others. Israel was often trying to look at God like He was an item on a buffet. God was jealous for Israel. I do not want to be one of 4 or 5 men in my wife's life. I do not want to be number one even among others. I am jealous for our relationship. You know why? Because I was created in God's image.
We often need to set aside who we think we are to please God. Set aside what we think we should do in order to do what God has asked us to do. Here they faced the fires of the fiery furnace, and they simply said “Whatever you want me to do God” and they were blessed because they didn’t get caught up in Nebuchadnezzar’s mess. Nebuchadnezzar’s pride and vanity led him to insanity, where he went about on all fours like an animal. It was a mess alright.
The same God that took out a world with the flood, blessed those who were in order…
1 Then God blessed Noah and his sons and told them, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth. Genesis 9:1 (NLT). When we want to be blessed, we have to seek God... 6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. John 14:6 (NLT). It makes sense to go toward the light to seek out the truth, so you know the way to Go.
If you don't know your purpose or your goal, can I tell you it is usually because you are out of order. Every man and woman has a work assigned to them by God. This becomes their purpose, their reason for being on the earth, their calling, their destiny. Abraham had an assignment for his life, as did Joseph. Moses was called to perform a specific life-task. David had a destiny and so did Daniel, Jeremiah, and all the prophets. Esther was raised up "for such a time as this." John the Baptist fulfilled a definite role, as did Peter and John. Paul had a purpose, a reason for being and so do you. How do I know what God's purpose for me is? For one thing the Lord's work will be bigger than you.
The size of a person’s heart may be judged by the size of their work. By size I do not mean numerical or financial strength. I mean this; is the work larger than the person working? Is it fulfilling a purpose far greater than the people involved? The Bible tells us that you cannot serve two masters; you must serve one or other. If your work is first with you and your pay (what you get out of it) is second, then the Lord of work, who is God, is your master. But if your pay comes first with you, and your work comes second, then the pay is your master, and the lord of it is the devil. You can believe church that it matters which you serve. The King of Kings who of course is Jesus, or the Slave of Slaves who is clearly the devil.
Another way you can know if it's Gods will or your mess is God's work always originated with Him. This is one of the most important lessons we can learn. I spent many years creating and carrying out my own plans, asking the Lord to bless them. Finally, I understood that instead of always trying to get the Lord to bless what I wanted to do, it was much simpler to find out what the Lord wanted to bless, and simply do that. Great synergy and blessing is released when we simply cooperate with what God has already purposed to do. When we do that heaven backs us up with tremendous power and authority.
Be encouraged. The Lord has a purpose for you, and a destiny for you to fulfill. But be aware, things will not always go the way you think they should. That is because the Lord is calling you to something bigger than yourself, something beyond your ability, something you cannot create or complete without Him. It takes time. Noah walked with God for five hundred years and spent one hundred years building the ark. Abraham was one hundred years old before he finally saw God’s promise come true. Moses spent forty years in Egypt, then forty years in the desert, before God sent him to Pharaoh. Jesus prepared thirty years for an earthly ministry of three and a half years. Church, learn to walk with God. Find Grace, discover the one thing and do that. Focus on being, not doing and when it is time for you to do something you can be confident that your labor of love will be the work that God blesses.
Let me shift gears here for a minute. Can you say that you know what it's like to be born again with a defect? Let me say this to any person who is born again there is a pretty good chance that you were born again with some defects. Because I’m born again does not mean that I’m perfect. Wherever you’re sitting in this sanctuary, everybody around you was born with something. We were born in sin and shaped in iniquity and my sin may not be your sin but you got issues. I want to look at a passage from Leviticus in maybe a different way than you have before... 16 Then the Lord said to Moses, 17 “Give the following instructions to Aaron: In all future generations, none of your descendants who has any defect will qualify to offer food to his God. Leviticus 21:16-17 (NLT)
When I read Leviticus chapter 21 it seemed if God was prejudiced against people with disabilities, but I know that doesn't line up with the context of the Bible. I know that the Old Testament is types and shadows of Christ and the church, so I know I need to think deeper than the physical. I believe God wants to tell us that we need to get the spiritual in order because He isn't going to bless our mess. He has compassion for the hurting but if we are to be used by Him we need to clean up the mess. Don't be discouraged; you have the Lord to help you with that.
So God says to Moses; these are the people that you can’t use for my kingdom, the people I don’t want representing me are blind... 18 For any man who has a defect shall not approach: a man blind or lame, who has a marred face or any limb too long, Leviticus 21:18 (NKJV)
Please don’t get stuck thinking about physical blindness. Helen Keller was interviewed and asked “what’s worse than being blind?” She said the only thing worse than being blind is having eyes but having no vision. There is something to be said about people who claim to love God but have no vision for their lives. Maybe you have shared the vision that God has given you to folks who try to talk you out of it because they can’t see what God is showing you. You’ve got to get away from people who are blind because all they’re looking at is the here and now and focusing on the temporal instead of the eternal, which ends up in a mess every time. And God isn't going to bless the mess.
God said, I don’t want people who are lame who sit by the pool every day either... 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, "Do you want to be made well?" 7 The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me." 8 Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk." John 5:2-8 (NKJV)
God wants us to not depend on other people too much but to put our trust in Him. I’m not depending on anybody to do anything for me unless God ordains it. If I can’t get it I’ve got to trust God to give me the resources I need. I've got to stop blaming other people; stop acting like a victim and start acting like a victor; stop playing the blame game and say, “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me!”
This passage also said I also don’t want people with broken feet... 19 a man who has a broken foot or broken hand, Leviticus 21:19 (NKJV)
1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; Psalms 1:1 (NKJV)
The man who doesn't do the things in Psalm 1:1 has broken feet. God says I don’t want people who keep going back to what I delivered them from. God says, you cried when you were in the middle of it and I delivered you from it and every time I turn around you’re back in it. I can almost hear Him saying, are you out of your mind, you barely survived the last time. When God shuts the door you better change your address, get your number changed and move in another direction. This is the time when you have to walk away from some stuff. Walk away from some people and it is not personal; it’s business. I’ve got to get what God has for me and if you’re draining me and fighting me, then you are blocking me from my goal and you better get to stepping before I walk over you. I don’t want people with broken feet who keep going back to what they’ve been delivered from. God won't bless that mess.
God said not only broken feet but broken hands. You see; anybody with a broken hand doesn’t have the ability to hold on. God sent me to tell some of you today that this is the season of holding on. I know you’ve thought about quitting, but God says when you get to the end of your rope tie a knot and hold on. God is saying, keep holding on because my Son is coming. Look at your neighbor and say don’t you dare let go. Well Pastor; what am I holding onto? I would tell you look... 6 Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV) or look to Jesus words... 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen. Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV)
The person next to you might not be praising because everything is going right and they are on a mountain top. They may be giving God glory with all the strength they have left. Maybe they are hanging on with all the faith they have. Somebody on your row might have almost got high last night, almost let go, almost committed suicide, but decided to hold on a little while longer. God I don’t know when you’re going to do it but I believe that weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Things may be a mess, but my hands still aren't broken and I'm hanging on to your hands as you're holding onto me.
When the devil tries to remind me of my handicap, I tell him, "Do you know who my Father is"? I’m so thankful that as messed up as I am, I know who my Father is. Not my biological father, I’m talking about my heavenly father. My Father holds the power of the world in His hand. Leviticus is the book of law and if we were stuck in the Old Testament we would be bound by the OT law. We would be too messed up to serve but because of Jesus we’ve got grace. When the devil tries to remind me of how messed up I am, I tell him... 9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 1 Corinthians 15:9-10 (NKJV)
Every now and again you ought to remind yourself that I am where I am not because I’m so good but because of His grace. As a matter of fact when I want to talk about his grace, there’s only one thing I can say about it…it’s amazing! Look at the words of the Apostle Paul... 7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. Philippians 3:7-9 (NLT)
With all of my brokenness God is still willing to use me. In spite of all of the things that are wrong with me, God has a purpose for my life. The enemy is a dirty fighter; he tried to do everything to mess Jesus up. He wanted to make sure he didn’t meet the mandate of the law so he tried to physically disqualify him. He took a 9 inch spike and ran it through his hands to make sure His hands were broken. He took a twelve inch spike and drove it through His feet so his feet were broken. The blood from the crown of thorns was in His eyes so that He was blind and couldn’t see. But he made one mistake. When they got to the top of the hill they lifted Him up and Jesus said If I be lifted up I’ll draw all men unto me. No wonder I praise Him. If you knew all my issues, all my mess, everything wrong with me and how God loved me anyway, you would give Him the glory too. So now let me separate the room. If you’re perfect just sit there and be quiet, but if you know you dragged yourself into church with all of your mess and got the nerve to shout anyway… Give God the glory. We aren't asking God to bless the mess we are asking Him to bless us even though we are messed up. Rev Todd
In His Service
Rev - National Chaplain
Soldiers For Jesus MC
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