The Line Has Been Drawn
September 4, 2004
(For printable version click here.)
Glory to God. Hallelujah! If you have your Bibles, you might want to open them to Joshua. I wonder if any of you have ever gotten into the Word and gotten stuck in a particular place? What I mean is, that every time you want to read somewhere else, you always go back to where you were the time before. Well, that’s what I have been experiencing lately with this passage in Joshua. I think Joshua is a very appropriate chapter for the end-time people because it was a chapter that was written at the turn of a dispensation, for lack of a better word. Things were changing from the government of God through Moses to the people, to the government of God to the children of Israel as ministered by Joshua. They had been under a tutor. They had been under a governor, as it were, a taskmaster. How would you like to be under someone who could call serpents forth for your disobedience and rebellion? I daresay that probably three-quarters of this room… Well, I can’t speak for you! But nevertheless, we find ourselves in similar sets of circumstances and similar situations and it has only been by the mercy of God that we have not been consumed.
I am finding that God is drawing, as it were, a line of demarcation in the sand. How many of you have flown overseas? Do you know that when you fly overseas they have a point of no return? Did you know that? They have a point of no return and it is somewhere out there over the Atlantic Ocean where they can’t go back. They have to go forward. I am finding that the church is in a similar place. We are coming to a similar line that God is drawing in our theology. It is going to ascertain what we really believe. Whether we really believe the Word that we have been hearing and preaching for so many years, and for those of you that are just now hearing, that fact is going to also try you as to whether or not you believe it. I suppose that could be a problem for those of you to whom it may apply, but the fact is, the amount of time we have heard is not going to move the line and the reason for that is because, I believe, we are living in the last days. I believe we are living in the end-time. I believe that there is a job that God wants to do with a particular people in a particular place and I believe it is for this particular time. Hallelujah. Jehovah, I believe, is drawing a line. A line, as it were, in the spiritual realm, and He is asking all of us who are willing to believe that this is really the fact to commit ourselves to His plan and His purposes. Not as the church has done it in the past, for we have done it on a part-time basis. The Scriptures say that “to him that heareth what the Spirit says.” (Revelation 2&3) What I mean by part-time can best be explained in some of the excuses we give as to why we can’t serve Him full time. “Well, I have a family.” That’s right, you do. I could agree with you, for I, too, have raised a family. I know what it is to have bills and to have children, to have to put food on the table, to have to put clothes on their backs, to have to put a roof over their heads. But I also know what it is that, when God requires something of you, there is an action that is required of you and there is the necessity to move under that unction in order to please the Father. I very much want to share something with you. My personal situation was not a situation that we always ate steak, because we didn’t. We found many ways to cook beans. I have probably eaten beans about every conceivable way that you can eat them. I even had them disguised, but they were still beans. And you know, my kids weren’t malnourished. They didn’t have rickets. They didn’t have this or they didn’t have that. God has always been faithful to do for me what was required in order for me to do what He wanted me to do. Hallelujah. There is also something else that you need to be aware of and that is, I never had enough money to do the will of God. How about you, Tom? Have you ever had enough money to do the will of God? Oh, no. It has never been an, “in the bank for me,” kind of venture. It has always been, “Step out there in space.” Hallelujah. But I have seen God move in many different ways, in many different circumstances, and it has strengthened my resolve to serve Him. But you know, we can pray all day long, “God, strengthen me, strengthen me, strengthen me. God, give me what I need. God, help me do the will of God,” but there is something of a requirement that God brings to us where we have to take ONE step out there in the midst of nothing. Hallelujah. But one of the most important incidents in all of this is that we must know what the will of God is for us.
I think I am probably one of the most fortunate people on the face of the earth because I know the will of God for my life. For me it is a settled issue. I meet so many people who say, “I don’t know what the will of God is. Could you pray for me to know the will of God?” That type of situation is very easy for me to answer, “My Father, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” So, everything that I am supposed to be doing is supposed to be bringing forth the kingdom of God. I am supposed to be expending myself for His business. For me personally, what that equates to on a natural plane is that I don’t get any Social Security. I don’t get any Medicare. I don’t get this. I don’t get that. I am not saying that those things aren’t there and that you can’t use them. I am not saying that. What I am saying to you is that if God is your hope, if God is your trust, God will not let you down. If you want to do it and if you don’t believe me, prove me wrong. I have a history in God, and what that history has revealed to me about God is that God has sustained me.
I had an accident many, many years ago when I was a young boy, and it did something to my foot. It’s what the medical community calls a dropped foot. Well, one of my sons says to me, “Dad, if you go to this person… He is a physical therapist.” They have got another word for it, a kinesiologist. Yes, that is what it is. “I will pay for it if you go.” I walked in and he said, “Well, I need to know your medical history.” I said, “You will have to ask the Holy Ghost. I haven’t been to a doctor in 26 years.” Well, it is really 12 years. No, it has been 13, 14 years. I don’t even know when I was last to a doctor. I said, “I don’t know. I can tell you that I have had this accident and that accident and God has taken care of it.” I said, “Other than that, I don’t know.” There is something of a reality that God has brought into my life. Number one, we never could afford a doctor. We didn’t have all these little government programs when my kids were growing up. I wasn’t eligible. I was just above poverty level, so I wasn’t eligible. I was working for a living, so I wasn’t eligible. I wasn’t eligible, so my kids didn’t get to go to the doctor. We just prayed for them. Poor, neglected kids. But, you know, every one of my children came out of the childhood with the reality of the ability of God to heal. Every one of them. Now, that doesn’t mean that they don’t go to doctors, because they do. But that’s their choice. That’s not my choice. I don’t run their lives. Every man has to work out their own salvation. I did my very best. I did my very best, and what they have to do now is their responsibility. I turned them loose a long time ago. Some of us don’t turn loose of our kids. Do you know that?
I am ministering to you out of Joshua the 24th chapter. I’ll tell you now in case I forget to read it. It is where Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel together at Shechem and He was drawing that inevitable line in the sand. Hallelujah. He was drawing an inevitable line and He recounted for them all the things that God had done thus far, and He also told them why God did it and why they were in the place they were in when God had to do what God did. Did you follow that? He was recounting their history in God.
How many of you have a history in God? Do you use it? I use my history in God all the time. Do you know that? “Well, God, I remember when…”
You know, we went to India, and my oldest son wanted to go to India. I said, “Uh-oh.” Well, this is my firstborn. I have four children, but I have only one firstborn. I only have one firstborn, and it is not that I love my firstborn more than my second born or my third born or my fourth born. I love them all, but he is still my first born. He is still my first born, and he wanted to go to India. Now, listen to me. I have been to India a number of times. I know how rough it is. I want to tell you something else. I don’t even like India. But nevertheless, God said we had to go to India and therefore, because God said it, we did it! Come on. Come on. Hallelujah. And you know, in the going there is something of a love that God gave to me for the people of India.
Now, George, you can’t hold my words against me. He wants to go back to India and he is always coming to me saying, “We.” I say, “What’s this ‘we’ business?”
Hallelujah. So this son of mine wanted to go to India and I said, “Well, I really have to pray about this. I have to really pray about this.” I did pray about it and God said, “Let him go.” I said, “God, do You know what You are doing?” You don’t talk to God that way, do you? Did you ever wonder if God knew what He was doing? Well, I know that you are probably much more mature than that. You’ve had lots more experience in God. You probably know the reality of God a whole lot better than I do. But you know, sometimes I wonder, “God, do You really know what You are doing?” But yes, He does. I am not being irreverent. Please believe me. I am not being irreverent. I am talking to you about the position, the place that you and I find ourselves in with regard to doing the business of God. He is the Alpha and the Omega. Of course He knows what He is doing.
So it was off to India we go, and when we got there, after a time, the devil smote my son. The devil smote him big time. I remember we were in this little podunk town out in the middle of nowhere. Prodatur. Sick. This boy was sick. He was really sick. Well, George and I went to God and began to intercede. You’ve got kids. You know how it is when one of your children turns up with something that is really bad. This boy was… How old was he? Twenty-six years of age and he was sick. He was really sick. On top of that, I knew that the sickness was not of natural origin, that it was a spirit that was attacking him and somehow the knowing of that seemed to exacerbate the problem for me. I knew it wasn’t just a simple thing like dehydration. I knew there had been a spirit of death that had been sent out to touch him. And hard as I could pray, as much as I could pray, it wasn’t doing any good if I did not have the faith to believe! You see, it was not just his battle, but Jehovah was touching something deep down in my soul. The things that we do as unto the Adonai, no matter how small or insufficient they may seem, God takes them very seriously. This young man was given unto the Jehovah when he was a brand new baby. He became the Lord’s from that point on, for the Great Elohim to do with as He would want. I really don’t know what you would have done. You would probably have said, “Well, praise God,” and went on about your business, but I am thinking, “Well, what is the quickest and fastest way that I can get him home?” All the while, God is saying to me, “If you only believe. If you only believe. All things are possible if you only believe.”
Now, let me tell you something. We were in the middle of the trip. We still had three weeks left to go and where we were going was rougher than where we were. So it was that my frame of mind was not, “Will we go on?” but, “How do I get this boy out of here?” So it was that George and I decided that we would take the train that night back to Madras. Oh, boy. You want to talk about a train ride. It is only about 250 kilometers or something like that, but in India it’s an all night affair, and this boy was really ill! George had one of his arms draped around my shoulder. This boy is taller than I am. He is six feet one inch tall. He’s got one arm draped around my shoulder, and one arm draped around George’s shoulder. We’ve got our arms around him and we are walking to the train with him. He is sick. He is dragging. He is half-walking, half-dragging. He is sicker than a dog. Can’t keep fluid down. And it is hot. All the time God is saying, “If you could only believe.” And you know what? God is not telling me to talk to him. He is telling me to keep my peace. Because you see, he has to make the decision what he is going to do. You know what I mean? He has to make it. I can’t make it for him. God is telling me, “Hold your peace.” So we put him in the train, and we are going back to Madras and we are sponging him down. George and I were taking turns all night long sponging him down, sponging him down, and working him over trying to keep him cooled off. He is burning up with fever. He is throwing up and can’t keep any fluids down, and all the time God is saying, “If you can believe. If you can believe.”
We are talking about turning loose of our children into the hands of God so that they can grow in God, so they can have their own history, so they can have their experience in God. We want to hold on to them. We want to latch them down. We want to tie them down, take them off, cage them in or channel them. “Oh, well, I am just giving them a little parental help, working circumstances, working situations so that they go a certain direction.” God’s saying, “If you only believe.”
Well, God provided a doctor for him when we got back to Madras, and he came into our hotel room which was at the YMCA, stuck a nail in the wall, hung a saline bottle up, stuck a needle in his arm, gave him some medicine and he began to get better. We still had three-quarters of the trip ahead of us. So I am saying, “What are you going to do, son?” My inclination was to, “Get out of here as fast as you can get. Go. I will pay the fare. I will do whatever is necessary to get you out of here.” I am not saying it, but it is in my heart. It is in my mind. Of course, you would have been different, wouldn’t you? Yes. You would have been the stalwart of faith. You would have been the paragon of strength and virtue. “Oh, yes! We are going to overcome!” Well, it is all well and good when it is my flesh, but when it is somebody else’s flesh, I don’t have that right, that prerogative.
That is another thing that really bothers me. We think that ministry is telling others what to do. Ministry has nothing to do with what other people do. Hallelujah. You know, they are always asking me in some places, “What about this? What about this?” What about this? Do you have the Holy Ghost? It says, In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. (II Corinthians 13:1) You go to the Holy Ghost. You speak to the Holy Ghost. You let the Holy Ghost speak to you. You come speak to me and I will tell you whether or not the Holy Ghost is talking to me about it.
Prophecy has been so abused in the church it is pathetic. It has basically destroyed the church, almost to the point of making it almost incredibly unbelievable. Why? Because prophecy has been something that has been used to control people in the church to do what one man wanted the church to do. Well, I tell you what. One thing that irks me is private, personal prophecy. Private, personal prophecy. It really bothers me. It says, “In the mouth of two or three witnesses let one prophecy.” How can you do that when you have got two people off in the corner of the room, and one person giving another person a word of personal prophecy? You know, I have seen it destroy lives and if anyone thinks that they are guiltless, blood guiltless, for whatever destruction they do in that, they are wrong. I don’t agree with private, personal prophecy. I am not saying that there aren’t situations where a prophecy shouldn’t be given in private, but it should be given with the consent of the elders and there should be two or three present when the Word is given. Brothers and Sisters, we are supposed to be working in cooperation with the Body. I don’t mean everybody’s dirty laundry has to be put upon the line for everybody to see it. That is as bad as the other and has nothing to do with edification, exhortation or building the church. Hallelujah. Quite frankly, it is not that men are not guilty, but I find the women more involved in that type of shenanigan than anybody else. I don’t know. Maybe it is the women’s club mentality. The Private, Personal Prophecy Women’s Club. Giving these little words of personal prophecy. If it is prophecy, spit it out in the midst of the congregation, and let the congregation judge the word. You know, if what I prophesy to you is not correct, you have a responsibility to correct me. I do not think that I am afraid of being corrected. It doesn’t mean that I won’t be embarrassed and I won’t be humiliated, but I am not afraid. I am not afraid of being corrected because I know that my strength lies in the correction that comes to me through the Body.
You know, Brother Cec has, in times past, kind of irritated me. This was a number of years ago. Of course, none of you have probably ever been irritated by him. I thought he was laying a little hard on the prophetic ministry. I said, “What about all these other ministries, brother Cec? This one and that one. Why are you picking on the prophetic?” He was telling people that you need to try the word, you need to test the word, you need to ask the word, you need to question it. “What are you doing? Trying to ruin my reputation!” But, I thank God. I thank God. I thank God that He puts us in such a place that we have to be accountable, we have to be responsible and we have to be able to be corrected with regard to our moving in the midst. You know, in the tabernacle, it is the gold rings that hold the bar. Holds them in place. They don’t grab hold, they hold it in place. If it weren’t for the rings that are on the board, that is indicative of the Body, there would be no holding. Is that right? Why is it that we resent correction? Why do we resent correction? You know how your children act sometimes when you correct them? That is how we act sometimes when God corrects us. “How could you do this to me?” Hallelujah.
So Joshua was gathering the people together and he comes up to this place and he is drawing this indelible line in the sand. Hallelujah. When I get finished with this, I want to go into Judges because it is so apropos. The other place that the Lord has had me is in Judges 6 and 7. Hallelujah. That is, if we have time. Hallelujah. He said in Joshua 24:13, I have given you a land. But remember that God is prophesying, that Joshua is prophesying to the people, so it is God that is actually talking to the people. Now, if Joshua is a type of Christ and Christ is the first(fruit)born, then it is really showing something that is pertinent to a firstfruits company, and if this is indeed the fact, then in some respect, it would be apropos to those of us who believe in firstfruits. How many of you believe in firstfruits? How many of you believe that there is a firstfruits company? A people that is being called out of a people? How many of you want to be in the firstfruits company? All right. Well then, God is prophesying to you. Hallelujah. He said, I have given you a land for which ye did not labour.
Now, our Christian heritage plays a very important part. You know, as Christians, we have a history. I am not talking about Christ and what he has done for us. I am talking about all those in Christ that did what God wanted them to do that you and I might partake of what we have in this hour. Do you know that it was just a job for Christianity to maintain some stability in order for us to have the ability to be Christian? Do you know that people died for the sake of being Christian? It was and is in many societies a “terminal disease.” Not for the sake of the revelation of the Word, not for the sake of the revelation of sonship. Just for being a Christian! People were burned at the stake. They were rent asunder. They were tortured. They lived in dens. They lived in holes. It says that many of them refused to be delivered for the sake of being Christian in order that we might have a heritage delivered unto us! (Hebrews 11:35) That in and of itself should be enough to encourage you and I to do greater.
As I was growing up in the Lord, I was an avid reader, and I wasn’t reading these Christian love stories. You know, these Christian love stories. Oh my goodness. They call it a Christian bookstore. I call it a Christian pornography shop. I don’t believe that our children need to be entertained. I really don’t. We sit them down in front of TV. We turn the TV on and let it go. I had kids. I raised them on Disney. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with Disney till I found out that Disney was a drug addict and a lot of the things that he developed were on the plane of one of his drug related trips. So what does that do for my children? All of that stuff being poured into them. They are young. They are impressionable. What is it doing for their constitutionality in regard to God? It is not doing anything! And do you know what? All of it has shown up in the later years of Disney. It says, “You will know a fruit. You will know a tree by the fruit that it produces.” It is producing sorceries. They are producing witchcraft. They are producing pornography. You might ask me, what is wrong with The Little Mermaid? Do you know that the mermaid in Africa is a figure of fertility and it is a god who is called Mammy Water? Here is a man that comes from Calabar. He will tell you about Mammy Water. Do you know that more than half the nation is enslaved to this little mermaid? Yet we think it is so entertaining, so cute, so inconsequential. We think that it is inconsequential. We think it is inconsequential. We let our children look at it. Worse yet, we sit down and look at it! And walk away feeling somewhat edified? Well, what was edified? I can guarantee you it was not the Holy Ghost. Hallelujah. So, you see that there are many things that we are involved in on a natural plane, on a natural level, that are not good for us to be partaking of. They are not productive in producing Christ.
I had a young lady walk up to me one time and she was talking to me about her conversation with the Lord about raising her children. I really appreciated what it was that she had to say. It was a revelation to her and as she shared it with me, it became my revelation. We are on the subject of kids, so I am just going to go on and give it to you. She said that she was down in her basement one day and she was talking to the Lord. I said, “Do you often go down in the basement to talk to the Lord?” She said, “Well, I do spend a lot of time down there because I have a lot of laundry to do. So I guess I do go down in the basement to talk to the Lord.” I said, “Well, if God is meeting you down there, that is the place to be.” She said the Lord came to her and began to talk to her. He said, “You are not raising your children unto Me.” And she was startled. I mean, this is a good Christian mother. Do you understand? She loves Jesus. She loves the Word. She is teaching her children the things of the Bible. She is memorizing scriptures. They are home schooling. They are doing all the right things that Christian people are supposed to do and yet the Lord says to her, “You are not raising your children unto Me.” She said, “Well then, who am I raising them to?” He said, “Unto yourself.” Think about that. I got to thinking about that. You know, I had to repent. I taught my children how to be responsible. Oh, yes. My son. He is a good worker. He is very responsible. Everything reflects on me, you understand. Everything they are that is good reflects something of that goodness back at me. Well, at least, I think it does. It reflects something about me, and if it’s all good, then what am I? Praise the Lord, I have done a terrific, tremendous job. They are walking in the kingdom. They are preaching the Word. They are raising their children and all the time I am in a position of deception because I did not raise them unto the Lord. I raised them unto myself that they might be something of an adornment that I can wear! How much of my Christianity should come under that scrutiny? Wasn’t there somebody here today that said that we need to examine ourselves on our theology and our relationship with Jesus Christ, and to determine whether or not it is based on Biblical principle?
When I was growing up, or when I had a family, the mood was to get back to the basics of Christianity. That is why the home schooling movement began, you know. It wasn’t so much what they were doing in the schools, because what they were doing in the schools wasn’t so bad as what they are doing now. Though you still have the home schooling movement, it is not as invigorating and as aggressive as it was then. It was the Christian thing to do, and it became something of a ritual with many parents. We had a home schooling group come out to the farm one day as a school exercise. Boy, was that an eye opener. Christian? Not in the least. Not in any way, shape or form. Do you hear me?
There is something of a perspective that we need in regard to our position of responsibility and accountability before God. I’ll tell you the way that the Lord has dealt with me about it. This is my personal dealing that God deals with me. Maybe He doesn’t deal that way necessarily with you, but nevertheless… I was reading one day a scripture that said that there were these things, these people, this group of people that were coming to the Lord to be rewarded for their effort and God said, “depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” (Matthew 7:22-23) Go through the list. It is everything that you and I are doing. Now, what makes us different from them? Let me give you a clue by asking you question, is it about Him, or is it about you? Is it about Him or about you? That’s exactly what it amounts to. It is whether it is about Him or about you because He said, “I do not know you.” Which means, “I do not know Him.” There’s never been an exchange going on. Paul says it differently. He says, “I die daily.” I diedaily. (I Corinthians 15:31) We think tribulation is getting the electricity turned off. We were without power for two or three days and we were just miserable. Can you imagine that? We think that’s tribulation.
I knew a woman who lived out in the bush in Africa, and she had no power except for a little generator that they would turn on when they wanted to take showers or something. And she had to deal with witch doctors all the time. She was out there in the bush, do you understand? We were coming there. We were feeding her. We were working with her in building, supporting and encouraging her in the Lord. I got a letter from her one day and she said, “You know, Brother Burt, I am a little worried. I am a little concerned. I am not being tribulated.” I know her circumstance. I know where she lives. I know what she has to deal with. I know she is plunked down in the middle of a heathen society that is working to kill her. Do you know that they tried to poison her? They tried to poison her. They couldn’t kill her. Then she is telling me, “I am a little concerned. God is not tribulating me. It is like He is putting me on a shelf.” I wrote back to her and I said, “Maybe you are on vacation.” I said, “Enjoy it!”
What is tribulation to you or me? I was stuck in Little Rock traffic for an hour-and-a-half. That was real tribulation. I got this big car that wants to go down the road at a nice speed, and it rides comfortable, and the air conditioner works, and I am cruising on and I can get to my destination and do what I want, and I am stuck right there in the middle of Little Rock. Stop. Go. Stop. Go. Stop. Go. And of course, everyone around me is irritated, and there are these guys jockeying over here and jockeying over there and jockeying here and jockeying there. So I said, “I’ll start jockeying.” And every time I jockeyed, I got farther back in the line!
What do they say about patience? The Scripture says something about, Tribulation worketh patience. (Romans 5:3) How is it that you or I think that we can get patience any other way than with tribulation? Paul said it a different way. He said, “I die daily. I die daily.” I like Job’s attitude, too. You know, we suffer a lot in the flesh. This has been something of a real blessing to me and something that I have been able to use many times against the devil, when I can feel something in my body working away to disturb my physical harmony and my peace and serenity. Of course, you don’t have that problem, right? You are all healthy and vibrant with arches that are up, and backs that work right, and bones that don’t creak, and elbows that don’t ache, and arms that don’t hurt, and heads that don’t feel like they are going to explode sometimes. You don’t bother with any of that, right? Job looked at the worms. Now, he must have seen them eating his body. I want you to think about it. He was sitting in the ash heap with a piece of potsherd. What is that? It’s a piece of broken pottery or something of that nature. Scraping himself and he is not saying, “Oh, woe is me. I wish I could die. Oh, woe is me. God, why don’t You take me? It would be better for me if I were dead.” Maybe sometime he did say that, but this time he didn’t say that. He said, “Worms, eat away. Eat my flesh.” He said, “Chew it up. Swallow it. Digest it. Carry it off. Feed it to your little ones.” Because he said, “That flesh that you are eating and consuming is the same flesh; it is the same flesh that I am going to stand before my Maker with.” Worms, no matter what they do with it. They can carry it off. They can die. They can disseminate into the dust and by the Word of God, that flesh can reassemble itself, come forth out of the elements, by the command of the Word of God. Is it any more difficult for God to return and replace something in my flesh that was there and has been disposed of, than it is for God to draw into the ground and breathe into it and it become a living soul? Is it just theology? Is it just rhetoric? Or is it something that we have to believe in and have to have the reality of in order to overcome the prince of this world? Loose!
Somewhere, somewhere, somewhere we have to begin to put into action what we believe. We can walk around and prophesy it all day long until our lips fall off, and it won’t do us any bit of good unless there is a demonstration of the reality of the Word… It says, And the Word was made flesh. (John 1:14) Do you know that He suffered in His body every infirmity? Isn’t that what it says? Maybe your Bible doesn’t say that.
You know, Brother duCille tells the story of the thin Bible. I tell the story of the holey Bible. If it is not pertinent, if it is not real, if it is not something that is pertinent, take a pair of scissors and cut it out. Cut it out. Cut it out! This is either a Living Word or it is a good storybook. When you are all through cutting, you are going to have a holey Bible. A Bible full of holes. But you are not going to have the reality of the substance that is in the Word, and you will have eliminated everything that is apropos to the character and the consistency of the living God. Hallelujah. To God be the glory.
Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth. (Joshua 24:14) That is what we are talking about. That is what we are talking about. Look up the words about sincerity and truth. It is not that you just go about preaching, preaching, preaching, teaching, teaching, teaching, prophesying, prophesying, doing this, doing that. It means the reality of walking what you are talking! Walking what you are talking. Oh, hallelujah. You know that my faith has to work for me personally as well as, what would you call it? Externally?
I was talking to you about my son in India. I want to get back to him. We just can’t leave him there in the room in Madras. So my feeling is, “Let’s just get him on a plane. Let’s get him out of here. Let’s get him home where it is safe and sound. Where there is sanitation. Where there is proper medical attention.” You know, it seems so much easier for us to believe, at least for me, to believe for myself than it is to believe about something that is afflicting my wife or my children. “Well, go ahead and kill me, but don’t you touch my wife. Don’t touch her. Don’t touch her. Don’t touch my children. Don’t touch them!” And nevertheless, God touched him. I tell you. He was getting better. But he was white, pale, no color, and we were going up to Hyderbad. We were going to take this trip and I said, “Well, OK.” He said, “Dad, I feel like I want to go on up to Hyderbad.” I said, “Well, OK.” I am thinking the whole time, “There is an airport in Hyderbad. There is no problem there. I can get him out of there.” Because Nasapur was on the horizon. Yes, Harley’s place. It was on the agenda, and I knew it was a hard one. No electricity. No running water. No sanitation facilities. You don’t know what it is that you are eating. It is not that they don’t take good care of you, because they know our frame and they do their very best, but nevertheless, they don’t have the things that we have, that we are accustomed to. Most certainly, some of the germs that are there are some that I have not had to deal with.
The first year we were there, we never drank water. We drank Thumbs-Up Cola. Thumbs-Up Cola. That is all we drank. That is all we could get. You couldn’t get any fresh water. Do you know what they would do? They would take the old water bottles and fill them up and recycle them. My goodness. So we just drank Thumbs-Up Cola. Brother duCille told me, “If you don’t have the faith, don’t look in the kitchen.” I want to tell you, I never looked in the kitchen. Never looked in the kitchen. Sometimes the kitchen was part of the whole house, but I would not look over there. I always made sure that my back was to it when they were fixing the food. Sometimes, the kitchen was a little shack outside where the chickens were running around. “You are for dinner tonight.” Another one gone. Don’t look in the kitchen. Whatever you do, don’t look in the kitchen.
Now, all this time I was thinking, “This boy has to get home.” God is saying to me all the time, “If you would only believe.” And I can’t say anything to him. He said, “What do you think I should do?” I said, “I can’t make that decision for you. You have to make it. I can encourage you. You have to trust God. You have to know what God is saying. You have to make your own decision.” When we were getting ready to go to Nasapur while we were up in Hyderbad, it was, “D-day.” I said, “Son, it is, ‘D-day.’” And I meant, “departure” day. You are going home. I said, “What do you want to do?” He said, “Well, Dad, I really want to go on.” When he made that decision, he just began to get stronger and stronger and stronger in the Lord and he went and he overcame and I overcame. Hallelujah!
I am telling you that God is able to take care of our children, and He is able to take care of any of those things that we are willing to put upon the altar. You wonder why I don’t like India. It has always been an altar for me. Always. I have never gone to India when it hasn’t been an altar. Never.
I was going through a family crisis. Everything was coming apart at the seams. The devil was coming in and ripping and shredding and that was a time that we were going to India. I said to God, “I can’t go to India this time, God. I can’t go to India this time. My children need me. I can’t go.” Brother duCille called me up one day and he said, “Well, I need your decision. Are you going or not going? I need it by such and such a time the following day. I have to make the tickets.” I said, “All right. I will pray tonight and I will give you a definitive answer in the morning.” I had been vacillating back and forth because I knew that God wanted me to go to India. I remember waking up that morning. It was very early in the morning, and I was sitting by the side of my bed and I just began to weep before the Lord. It was all about my children, you know. I said, “God, I can not afford to go. My children need me. At any other time I could go, but my children need me. I need to be here at this particular time.” And God, very sweetly, very gently, He came and it was like He was sitting on the bed next to me and He said, “You really cannot afford not to go.” He said, “If you will go, I will do for your children what you cannot do.” It wasn’t an easy decision to make. It wasn’t without struggle and sacrifice. It wasn’t without pain. It wasn’t without consequences and it wasn’t just smooth sailing. What I want to say to you is that, when I made the decision to go and I put my children upon the altar, God honored my commitment and has not been slack in His oversight. He has moved time and time and time and time and time and time again and He is still moving to do things for them that I have no ability to do.
There is a position, there is a place and there is a requirement of us with regard to what we believe. Do we really believe that we are in the end-time? Do we really believe in the sons of God message? Do we really believe in the firstfruits company? Is it that we really want to be a part of that facilitating of God in the last days? Then there has to be an outworking of that function in the midst of whatever environment that we find ourselves, whether it is health, whether it is financial, emotional, marital, whatever it is! There has to be a working out of that reality of God and an authority that we assert in that situation! You know, the reason we don’t have the authority or the power is that we are wishy-washy, vacillating back and forth between the reality of what we are seeing in the Word and the reality of what is around us and the things that we touch, taste and feel. Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood. (Joshua 24:14) Now, you could go from here into Judges 6 where it talks about Gideon and the three hundred and the calling and the election. The first thing that Gideon was required to do was to go into the high place and take down the altar and take down the grove of his father. Then he took his father’s oxen and he slew them and put them upon the altar. Oh my. Boy! Put away, he says, the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. 15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, boy, you could preach about that one, couldn’t you? or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. (Joshua 24:14-15) The scripture that comes to me here is Hebrews 3:15, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
You know, some of us are in a place to make that decision individually. Some of us are in that place to make that decision corporately, but whatever the position, whatever the place, it is a decision that has to be made in order for us to participate and receive the benefit of what we preach.
God bless you.