The Stamp of Eternity
June 16, 2001
(For printable version click here.)
Praise the Lord. I have been thinking so much of late about the men of God that have gone on before us. Many of them pathfinders forging through uncharted territories. Moving without the aspect or the help of other men or women but yet having something stamped, as it were, on their eyelids, upon their eyeballs, hallelujah, that was something other than the world in which they were living. Hallelujah. The men that Ravenhill talked about so often, he uses the phrase of “eternity stamped upon their eyeballs.” Hallelujah. You know, it takes a special desire, it takes a special individual, it takes a special aspect of character to desire something you cannot see; to desire to have something that seems so unattainable, and yet to persevere and to press, as it were, until you obtain that something. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. You know, you can press to have a new car, you can press to have a new house, you can press to have this or that, but nothing is as satisfying as pressing toward the mark of the high calling in Jesus Christ. Nothing is more eternal than grasping hold of the hem of a living God. Hallelujah. Can you say, “Amen”? Maybe you don’t believe it. Hallelujah.
I believe everyone needs a vision. I believe everyone needs a word from God, a personal vision, a personal word to sustain them in the midst of trouble, to sustain them when everyone else is quitting. Hallelujah. You know, we have all probably known those types of individuals who have persevered for one reason or another, hallelujah, but they all had a vision. Some men had the vision of being rich. You often hear the success stories about those individuals who desired to have financial security. Many pressed through, many persevered, many endured many hardships, hallelujah, in order to receive a momentary reward that did not bring their soul any gratification or any strength or vitality. It just made them lust more and want more of what they had, hallelujah, and then they were afraid someone was going to steal it from them.
I am so glad for the eternalness of the Word of God, so glad for the aspect of reality that goes beyond this sphere of human endurance or suffering. Hallelujah! Paul must have had something stamped upon his eyeballs other than a position of an earthly throne or an earthly crown. He must have seen something as though afar off.
I’m so thankful that God recorded for our posterity in the Lord the character of the men and women of God that we are told about in the Word. There was something very special about these men. Have you ever thought about Abraham? He didn’t have a fellowship to come to. He didn’t have people of like mind, hallelujah, that had a reality or wanted a reality of a living God. He lived in a pagan society. His father was a priest of a pagan god who was oftentimes off performing the rituals of the pagan society. Yet in the midst of that, that place of wickedness, Abraham heard God. We think we have it bad as we look out in the world and see the things that tempt us, the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, the pride of life, all those things that throw the glitter in front of our eyes and rattle the chain of prosperity, as it were, before us. My, my. This man in this position, this place and in such darkness and yet it says God spoke to him in the midst of his wretchedness. Hallelujah! A living God that speaks living words of comfort. He says, “Get thee up!” You know, it must not have been really easy for Abraham to do what Abraham did. How many of you have moved? Is moving easy? All the things that you have to do; not just the physical things, not those things that are practical, not those things that are natural! What about the emotional involvement of individuals that you have lived with and have formed a camaraderie with? Yet when you move there is a natural rending as well as an emotional rending, and yet there was something that Abraham desired. It says that Abraham sought after a city… He sought after a city whose builder and maker was God. (Hebrews 11:10) Hallelujah. No wonder he could stand upon the plain of Jordan and look out over the land of Canaan and see the green grass growing and see the fertility of the soil. You know, oftentimes in the evening I’ll get up here on the top of the brow of this little knoll and look out. You see the fields and they’re all green and growing and the wheat out there might be blowing and it’s so peaceful, it’s so beautiful, it’s so comforting. Yet, Abraham turned to Lot and he said, “Choose, choose you this day which way you will go. If you choose the south, I will go north. If you choose the east, I will go west or if you choose west, I will go east.” (Genesis 13:9) Why could he say that? Why could he make such a bold and daring statement? Was he not a man? Was he not having to deal with the aspects of his own emotions? He had a family. I’m sure he desired for his family to be comfortable, hallelujah, and yet he said to Lot, “Choose, choose…” I believe that Abraham knew that Lot would choose what was the very best. I believe that Abraham knew… You know, this was his nephew, you understand, he had dealt with this man all the way from Ur of the Chaldees. He brought him up. He knew his character. He knew his nature and yet he knew that there was a parting in the road and that Lot needed to make a decision upon his own recognizance, not following in the shadow of Abraham, or holding on to the coat of Abraham and making a cognizant decision to move in a certain direction. I’ve often wondered what it would have been like for Lot had he chose something less than what he ended up with. Hallelujah. Why could Abraham do that? Why? Because he had a vision, because he had a purpose, he had a destiny that he was cognizant of. Hallelujah!
Many times I have listened to the Bible. Many times I have read the Word of God, as it were, from one chapter to the other chapter, men of God, men after men after men, women of God who have remained steadfast and sure. Why? Because there was something of a reality that they had, hello, that was not natural, that was not coming from some natural aspect of reasoning or mental facility of working of their minds. It was something that they were seeing, as it were, from afar off. Hallelujah. But what they were seeing was vitalizing something within their soul and it was making a demand upon them that they be formed in a particular fashion and behave in a peculiar manner that was different than anyone else! Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah! God is speaking to Abraham’s I believe in this hour. God is speaking.
Have you read of Noah? Have you thought of Noah? Have you wondered about Noah’s circumstance and his situation on a natural plain? You know we’re only told a few sparse facts, a few things concerning Noah. But he must have been a man of like passions. He must have had emotions. He must have had fears. He must have had trepidation. He must have had emotional attachments. It wasn’t as though Noah was a man unto himself. He must have had a father. He must have had a mother. He must have had uncles. He must have had brothers, might have had sisters. He surely had grandmothers or a grandfather somewhere in the society in which he lived. We are not told that he was separated by death from any of those aspects. But considering the longevity of men’s lives in that hour, we can assume that there was much of his family that was still alive. Much of his family might have still been living, maybe not his immediate family but there were cousins and there might have been uncles and aunts and who knows what else. Yet there was something in Noah that motivated Noah to move in a certain direction that was contrary to the flow and the norm of the society in which he lived! Why? There must have been something stamped, as it were, something eternal that he was seeing far beyond the naturalness of his abiding circumstances. I wonder if he ever had to wrestle with doubt. Do you think along about the fiftieth or sixtieth year of building the ark and doing the things that God had told him to, that he might have thought, “Well, you know, you think I might have missed it somewhere along the line?” I believe that there was something of the natural aspect of the tendency of man that he had to wrestle with, that he had to come into conflict with, even as Jacob came into conflict with the angel. Oh, wily Jacob, oh, sneaky Jacob. He that was conniving and doing all manner of things to insure and establish himself so that his fear of Laban swallowing him up would not be realized. Never once did he realize or come to some conscious conclusion that his destiny was something that was set out before him, not by man, but by God. It wasn’t until Bethel that he came to a place of confronting the reality, as it were, of the living God. He was coming into conflict with the reality of this desire that God had for him and the destiny for which God had chosen him. Do you know he did not do it so much for Jacob’s sake as he did for Abraham’s? Hello. Hallelujah. Do you know, as for all of that matter, God made a promise, as it were, and God was held by His Word and by the word of promise that He had given to His friend Abraham. Have you ever thought what it would be like to be called the friend of God? Have you ever wondered what it would mean or what the consequences would be if you were considered a friend of God? Hallelujah. It’s not a good place to be in from a natural perspective. It’s not a good place to be in if your eyeballs are looking for something that is comfortable. If you’re looking for something that is friendly, if you’re looking for something that is easy, if you’re looking for something that is smooth and smooth sailing and no rocking of the boat, you cannot be in the category or be considered, as it were, a friend of God. Anyone who was ever a friend of God was always in trouble. He was always being persecuted as Paul was persecuted. Hallelujah, hallelujah! How could Paul do what Paul did and with the fervor and the intensity with which Paul did it? It was because he had a vision that went beyond the natural perspective. It went beyond his natural surroundings, went beyond his natural set of emotions and natural affections, it went beyond! The Bible says, and he saw, that he was as one that was born out of due season. (I Corinthians 15:8) Why was he saying that? Because he knew that there was a people that were to come and they were coming in a time frame when he would have long been gone and passed over, as it were, and to become part of that great cloud of witnesses! Yet his heart desired to be, as it were, one of the two witnesses. Hallelujah. But he was not disgruntled by his being born out of due season. He says, “I’ve run my race. I’ve fought my good fight.” He said there is a crown… (II Timothy 4:7-8) My, if someone were to stand up with such a surety and such confidence with regards to the reality of Jesus Christ and the position or the place of relationship that they have in this hour, in this day, we would call him mad! Yet the men of God have always been, as it were, mad for the sake of Jesus Christ. They’ve always been fanatical, as it were, for the goal or for the destiny that God has spoken unto them. They have always, as it were, poured out their lives, they have sacrificed. Husbands have sacrificed wives and wives have sacrificed husbands and husbands and wives have sacrificed children, as it were, to perpetrate and to bring forth the will of God and the destiny for which God had created them. Why? Because there was something that was on the back of their eyeballs that was called eternity! Hallelujah.
We can get so bogged down, as it were, in the midst of the set of circumstances of life that come our way. God wants us to move with tenacity and with determination. Oftentimes even if we move as a blind man… I’ve often wondered what kind of problems Noah had in building the ark. He never built a boat before. I don’t even know if he knew what a boat was! Hallelujah. They had never had an experience, hallelujah.
There is a need for us to have a vision. There is a need for us to know with a surety the destiny to which God has destined us to be. Hallelujah. We need to know it. We need to have it firmly within our grasp! Children need to have it, parents need to have it, brothers need to have it, sisters need to have it! Hallelujah, wives need to have it, husbands need to have it, individually! And as they have it individually, they will corporately begin to come together. Men have always tried to bring men and women together on the basis of church. Some have brought men and women together on the basis of salvation. Some have brought men and women together on the basis of baptism of the Holy Ghost. Some of them have been brought together on a denominational doctrine, hallelujah, but it has not made them, as it were, one. Why? Because the vision or the position of focus is not on something that is eternal, it becomes the aspect of the work and the thing that you are wanting to build as a manifestation of your dedication and your loyalty to Jesus Christ! It has nothing to do with it, has nothing to do with it!
If men could get into heaven by the edifice or the thing that they build as far as a denomination is concerned, heaven would be crowded with church builders. And I’m not talking about spiritual church builders; I’m talking about natural, physical church builders who run a church according to a corporate law! Hallelujah, hallelujah. I can guarantee you that they have places to lay their heads. I can guarantee you that they have vehicles and cars and planes by which to carry them to their destinations. I can guarantee you that many of them have never spent one day in jail. I can guarantee you that none of them have suffered in the manner and fashion that those who have built the church of God in a real and living way have suffered! Hallelujah, hallelujah.
The Bible is full of testimonies of men and women and of children who have served the Lord with a tenacity. I wonder about Samuel. I wonder about Samuel. You know, I look at some of these children and they’re the same age as Samuel when Samuel was brought and given unto the Lord as a gift. How many of you mothers would take your children, your only child and a child that came after much pain and much anguish without guarantee that you were going to have another child? There wasn’t anything written in the contract with regards to Samuel with Hannah, hallelujah, that, “God, You have to give me another issue if the issue that comes is given to You.” There was no clause; there was no fine print. How many of you would take your only child and the hope of one child and bring it into a foreign place and give it to the care of a foreign man? Hallelujah. What character, what desire, what tenacity, and what determination of that child! What was he, three to five? He was brought before, as it were, and presented unto the Lord. Hallelujah. I don’t know, maybe they built them different in those days. Hallelujah. But he was a child that had a yearning and a desire that went beyond the place of natural affiliation, association and comfort. He must have had something within him that desired to hear God.
Do you desire to hear God? Or do you just want God to speak to you and to bring you some comfort or solace? Do you want God as men and women want medicine? They go to the pharmaceutical company to buy whatever it is to alleviate their position of suffering? Why is it that you and I want God? Is it so that we can be healed, is it so that we can be comfortable, is it so that we don’t have tribulation or trouble? Bible says that not just one but many of the apostles, it says that we enter into the kingdom of God through much tribulation. (Acts 14:22) Not tribulation that just troubles, but tribulation that brings up from within you the anguish of soul that begins to cry out for the deliverance from your position of human bondage! Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah! Men and women of God that have suffered, Hebrews talks about it and they’re not all written, they’re just mentioned. Hallelujah. …for the hope and for the fact. Let us turn over into Hebrews. Let’s read a few verses of those.
Hebrews 11:1, Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. We want to see it, we want to touch it, we want to experience it. I don’t know how many of you have prayed for deliverance with the urgency of, “God, I want it now!” Oftentimes I have found myself in a position or place of trouble and not liking the trouble that I was in, not liking the pain or the discomfort that it was bringing to me and my prayer wasn’t, “God, give me the strength to abide. God, give me the ability to longsuffer. God, let it be that the purging of the fire of God work to it’s fullest.” It was, “God, get me out of here! God, loose this chain that is upon me! God, bring some comfort to my soul!” I am so glad that God did not answer my prayer, although at the time I was very vexed with the fact that He didn’t do what I was asking Him to do. I am very glad that He persevered with my sniveling, as it were, and my recanting of His grace because He knew that there was something that was invisible to my eyes. He was waiting for the time when that which would be invisible would become tangible and visible. Ah my, we can be Christians for only so long on someone else’s doctrine. We can be Christians for so long on someone else’s faith, on someone else’s desire to know God. But we can only be Christian for as long as we’re able, humanly able to withstand the pressure of the tribulation that we are in. It takes something eternal to last until the end, the bitter end sometimes. It takes something that you see that is not of natural substance, that you cannot lay your hands upon, that you cannot give an adequate description or an ability to describe the thing that you see in the spirit that is holding you strong, that is holding you firm. Hallelujah, hallelujah.
I like the scripture that speaks in James. He talks about a man of faith and asking of God, it’s James I believe. But he said, let him not ask with doubt and with fear and trepidation. He said, let him not ask with doubt or fear or trepidation, but let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. (James 1:6) It then makes an interesting statement, he says, a man that asks and wavers is like an unstable individual who is blown about and tossed as by any wind or wave. What does that tell you? That means that there’s going to be waves, that means that there’s going to be wind, that there’s going to be a ferocity of strength that comes against you. But you have to stand in a position or place with steadfastness! Hallelujah! If it takes a day, if it takes a week, if it takes a month, if it takes a lifetime of standing… There was the story of the man who God gave the job of pushing against a rock. Many of you probably saw it on the e-mail. He had been given a job. He lived in a place and out in front of his house was this big rock. His job was to go out every morning and push and strain and work to move this rock. Hallelujah. So every morning he would go out and every day he would spend the whole day from morning till dark, from light to dark pushing against the rock and year after year after year after year after year went by and never did he move the rock one little iota. One day the devil came to him and said, “What you’re doing is futility and frustration. You’ve been doing all of this all of this time for so many years and you haven’t moved the rock one inch!” He began to complain to God about his position, his set of circumstances and the frustration and futility of his existence. Have you ever done that? You know it was quite simple. God said, “I never said you would move it. I never said your job was to move it. Your job was to push against it and because you have been obedient to push, look at yourself!” The man turned and looked at himself in the mirror and he saw in front of him a man that had been transformed. The strength and the sinew of his flesh had become strong and hard. His skin had become brown and there was a set to his face. There must have been something in his face of determination that he was going to do what had been apportioned unto him to do. There was something indelibly written on his character because he was steadfast in the thing that was appointed unto him.
It is so true of us in the position of life that we are finding ourselves in. We want some sort of visible result. We want the horns blowing. We want the band playing. We want the recognition of the position of our righteousness, as it were. Hallelujah, hallelujah. We do not have eternity stamped upon our eyeballs. We do not want eternity stamped, as it were, on our eyeballs. We are not able to penetrate the fog of our humanity. We’re not able to go beyond the veil of our own flesh. Hallelujah. So often we get discouraged and frustrated and we get all down. Hallelujah. It must have been in Hebrews when he says, therefore strengthen those feeble knees and those hands that hang down. (Hebrews 12:12) I don’t know, maybe it’s the Catholic influence of penitence, that we think that we have to have a certain demeanor of apathy or patheticness of human emotion in order to please God and chastise ourselves sufficiently. I’m telling you, God knows how to chastise you! There’s no flagellation that you can do of your own flesh that’s going to bring one iota of righteousness. But I tell you what will bring righteousness is that your steadfastness in the position and the place in which God has planted you. You know, my mother used to say, “Bloom where you’re planted.” But we don’t like sometimes the place we’re planted and sometimes we don’t like who we’re planted with! We’re a rose and we get planted by a petunia or we get planted by a pansy and we don’t want to be by pansies and we don’t want to be by petunias. We want to be with the other roses and we don’t want to be with just the other roses, we want to be with THE other roses, hallelujah, those that smell good, those that look nice, those that have some value. OR people look at them and say, “Oooh, ahhh, isn’t that nice. Oh, so lovely!” Hallelujah. You know that I was raising roses for some time while I was in California and there was something that the Lord once spoke to me one day as I went out into my rose garden. Hallelujah. I had roses everywhere and as I walked out into my rose garden there was this one rose that had spent itself. I looked at it and the petals were drooping and falling, the fragrance had left it. As I walked through the garden, I walked by the spent rose and I left it, because, you know, the tendency is to clip it off, to discard it, to throw it away for it had gone through its position of being prime. It had done what it had been apportioned to do and it had done its job well. Hallelujah. I thought, “Well, if it has such strength and vitality and perhaps, perchance the seed that it produces will give me more of the thing that I have so enjoyed.” So I allowed the seed to come to a place of fruition, do you hear me? Hallelujah. But there’s no beauty in it and finally there comes the time of the clipping. You come and you clip it, and you take it and you break it open, and let it dry and come to a place to where you are able to take it again and plant it into the ground, that it might bring forth many more roses of like quality.
It’s amazing to me how God, as it were, moves to bring forth a strand that is pure. I’m not talking physical; I’m talking spiritual. Hallelujah. You know, we received some garlic this year. I didn’t know too much about garlic, but I found out that big garlic will produce big garlic’s, little garlic’s will produce little garlic’s, hallelujah, and there’s more value in the big garlic. When you begin to harvest your field you don’t take all of your garlics down to the market and sell them. What you go do is you go through and you pick out the biggest ones and you cull out, as it were, hallelujah, those that are not fit or do not bring forth the quality that you want. There’s a quality that God is looking for, and it is not that God disqualifies you and I, it’s that we disqualify ourselves by the position and our place of personal preference, hello, and the things that we desire, the things that we look at and the contentions that we have. Does contention bring you to a position of frustration or futility or does it make you ascend, as it were, upon the mountain that you might get a clear view of peace and harmony? Does contention make you angry, does it make you frustrated, does it make you hurt? What does it do for you in the aspect of the eternal scope and the work of God? Hallelujah. Does it bring out of your character something of a tenacity and a determination? Did you know they have some dogs that they train to bite? Is it the Bulldog where once he locks his jaw…a Pit Bull? They train the Pit Bull to bite. A Doberman is a lot like that also. The fact of the matter is, the Doberman is made in such a way that his mouth has to reach a certain point in closing before it can open again when he goes to bite. That’s what makes him such a bad dog. They call it vicious, but there’s something in the makeup of the dog, do you hear me and the breeding of the dog that they have bred into the dog and the Pit Bull is the same way only his jaw locks. I believe he could not open his mouth if he wanted to. That’s why you can hit him with baseball bats, you can do whatever you want to do with him and all they do is they hang on. There’s a tenacity and a determination within the character and the fabric of the animal.
There should be something of an eternal purpose in us that makes us hang on to God when we can’t see Him. That makes us hold on, as it were, or press, as it were. Maybe we don’t even have the hem of his garment. But there is the hope and there is the expectation that as we press long enough, if we endure long enough, if we longsuffer long enough, if we move with the determination and tenacity and we’re not sidetracked or caused to get our focus off of “THE” aspect of eternity. It says if a man wants something from God he has to ask with steadfastness. That doesn’t mean you ask once and then you walk away. It means that you ask and you ask and you press and you press and you are determined to press and press and press! That is the test of your determination: if you are doing the pressing tomorrow that you did today and you press tomorrow as you did tomorrow and the day after tomorrow! Do you continue to press, to press and press until God says, “That’s enough!”? We want five-minute prayer and we want twenty-year results. It’s not in the book. It’s not in the book. It’s not in the book, hello!!! Not one of those that are written of in the book obtained the promise, not one. Not one of them obtained the promise but you know in the aspect of them not obtaining or the mention of them not obtaining, it tells me that they were pressing as though they were going to obtain. (Hebrews 11:39) And Paul states it very clear, Paul speaks it very plain, he says, “I press toward the mark of the high calling in Christ…” (Philippians 3:14) We can’t even imagine the eternalness of the calling! We are so carnal, so prone to this flesh and the mind of man and we become so frustrated or angry or we get sidetracked so easily. I’m telling you this is a day and an hour to have eternity stamped upon your eyeballs so that when everything you look at is overshadowed. Are you looking through the eternalness of God? Do you understand? It’s as though it is like a contact lens that has God on it, the character and the reality of heaven upon it. And you put it upon your eyeball and every time you look at something, every time you hear something, every time you’re involved in something, you’re looking through, not through the aspect of your humanness, but you looking through, through the aspect of eternalness that reveals the magnanimity of God, what a different perspective. No wonder Paul could rejoice in tribulation! Do you think the man was not hurting? Do you think Paul and Barnabus weren’t hurting? You don’t think that they were suffering? You don’t think the flesh was crying for some sort of relief? They didn’t put bandages upon them. Most of the time they just rubbed them down with salt, not only because it tormented them but it was some sort of a purifying agent and they figured if the whipping didn’t kill them, the salt might. Yet at midnight! How many of us would have been scrounging for a soft place on the rock, trying to find some comfortable position? Have you ever laid in bed and flopped around like an old fish on the bank and complained about the hardness of the bed or the inability to find a comfortable position? Think about Paul and Barnabus down there in the prison, in stocks, in chains, backs bleeding! Think about Peter, think about James. You know they didn’t treat these people very nice, do you know that? They didn’t give them good clothes to wear, they didn’t put them in clean cells, you know they didn’t do that. They didn’t give them food to eat, hallelujah. They didn’t give them water to wash in, didn’t give them facilities in which to go to the bathroom, come on. Hello. And yet down in that position instead of sleeping or finding some comfortable position or lamenting or commiserating with each other, they began to sing, they began to sing, began to sing. Oh that we would have eternity, that we would have eternity stamped upon our eyeballs. I was told that little Anna was singing, teaching some woman that came to visit her, teaching her how to sing “Jesus Loves Me.” She began to teach her how to sing “Jesus Loves Me.” Sometimes it takes a child…not understanding. I don’t know, it must be very frightening, must be very intimidating, must be very difficult and yet in the midst of all of that she begins to reach out and minister, as it were, to someone else. Moving by, I believe, the Spirit of God because of her situation, because she doesn’t know any better and because there might be some aspect of eternity that she’s seeing. Hello. I don’t believe for one moment that a child cannot look beyond the veil of the flesh and look into the heavenlies, hallelujah, and see Jesus. In the midst of their suffering, in the midst of their torment and anguish and in the midst of all of their childish behavior and yet in the midst of all of that, something of a reality of the kingdom of God is seen.
JESUS LOVES ME THIS I KNOW
FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO
LITTLE ONES TO HIM BELONG
THEY ARE WEAK BUT HE IS STRONG
I think sometimes they put us to shame. We are so sophisticated. We’ve got names for everything. Big long names. Sometimes we can’t even pronounce them. Doctor says them like water rolling off his tongue. Simplicity, it says if you’re not as a child, you cannot enter into the Kingdom. (Mark 10:15) You must come to God as a child. Not that you come down and you digress into childhood, but there’s a simplicity about life, do you hear me? The purpose for which we are born, the purpose for which we have been created is that we might be able to fulfill to the extent and to the position that we can fulfill the will of God. To bring forth the evidence of His kingdom within our soul, within the community and the home in which we are planted, as it were. In the midst of the tribulation and the suffering that we have to endure there’s something that God is wanting to bring forth out of that midst. That as the fire burns and the wood succumbs to the heat and to the flame and begins to disintegrate into ashes, loose, loose, loose, begins to disintegrate, as it were, into ashes and become, as it were, nothing, hallelujah! Out of the midst of that nothingness comes the reality of eternity. James says, let him ask in faith, nothing wavering, nothing wavering, not one, nothing, no emotion, no thought. That doesn’t mean you won’t have emotions, come on! That doesn’t mean that you’re not going to have thoughts, come on! It means that you do not have to succumb to your emotions. You know some of us are dominated and motivated by emotionalism. Hallelujah. …nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive… Let not that man, that woman, that child think that he shall receive anything! Can it be any more plain? I didn’t write it. Now if I didn’t write it and James wrote it by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, what was God saying in the midst of all of it? He says you and I need to see beyond our natural set of circumstances and see something of the eternalness of God and the purpose for which you and I were created. Why were you created? To bring up a good business; to be happily married; to have children that are successful in life or Christians, why were you created? No, all of that are events that happen in the course of living. But I was created for the purpose of bringing forth the reality of God and His kingdom. I was created, as it were, for this hour, this time, for this purpose. For this reason were we created, that we might have fellowship with the eternal Godhead. Then it says that the fullness of the Godhead dwelled within Him fully, doesn’t it? (Colossians 2:9) Then it says, ye are, isn’t that right? Ye are complete in Him. Or am I getting two scriptures together? Hallelujah. Hallelujah. It says that we are complete in Him, if indeed we are in Him. You know, I can’t be in me and in Him at the same time? I can’t be in my emotional environment and makeup and be in Him. I can’t be in my intellectual position of understanding and achievement and be in Him. One of the writers said when I am weak He is strong. (II Corinthians 12:10) Hallelujah. God has ordained it that such a process, such a way, that such a life, that such a living might bring us to an eternal purpose other than the purpose for which we so often become accustomed to on a natural level. Hallelujah. I want to read that verse, then I’m going to close.
Back in Hebrews 11:3, Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. 4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness… Do you notice how he brings it down out of the reality of the eternalness, the spiritual, super-spiritual, non-tangible aspect, down to a position of humanity? 5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. I don’t know what’d happen if we pleased God today. Do you ever think about it? I think the Bible tells us in Revelation what will happen. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. 8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. How many of you start going on a trip without having a destination or a map that tells you how to get there, or directions? And when you get someplace and you can’t find out what you’re after, what is your thought or your position of response? Hallelujah. 9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. 11 Through faith also Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed… There’s hope huh, because we know that Sarah wasn’t a paragon or an epitome of faith. She laughed in the tent’s door when the Word of the Lord was spoken by the heavenly beings and yet the Bible records her as having faith. 12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. 13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises… Are you willing to have that written as an epitaph, upon the stone that they put over your grave that you died in faith not having received the promise? (You know that doesn’t say that you didn’t receive it.) It means that you strove and you contended for it diligently and with much perseverance and longsuffering. …but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. You know that’s a mouthful in itself don’t you think? Do you think God would be ashamed of us because of the testimony by which we call Him God? But now they desire a better country… 17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up is only begotten son, 18 Of whom it was said, That Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him a figure. 20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. 21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones. Do you think he saw the resurrection? Do you think he saw, as it were, the saints that came out of the grave and walked in the city and in the streets of Jerusalem? Do you think? 23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment. 24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt… Can that be said of us, and written or spoken as a testimony of our life and of our labor, or work? 27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. 28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. 29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. 31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace. It’s amazing isn’t it, the plan and the mercy of God. Do you know that Rahab is mentioned in the lineage of Jesus? Consider the background, consider the reproach and yet consider the testimony to which had been ascribed to her and written, as it were, and preserved for so long a time that you and I might be aware of the deed that she did. 32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: 33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. 34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38 (Of whom the world was not worthy)… This world! Why? Why? Because they were of the other world. Because there was something of eternity and a glimpse of reality that had whetted their appetite that nothing else, nothing else was good enough or strong enough to deter them or to detract them.
Where are your eyes fixed? What is your heart set upon? Is it eternity and the reality of the Being we call God? Because if it’s not, it will not support you or hold you in the midst of your tribulation, in the midst of your trouble. Hallelujah.
Father, we thank You. Thank you for the Word of God. Thank You for the testimony of men and women and children. Father, we sang a song tonight that says, “I have decided to follow Jesus.” The words come very easily until tribulation comes, until the adversary rises up and he begins to roar like a lion, until we feel the flesh, as it were, rending and tearing and the pain and the suffering and the position of agony that we’re in. I’m reminded of a little man… The first time I ever heard that song he came into our living room and his seven children from Romania. A man who had tasted the hatred of Satan for Christianity and he sang it with determination. He sang it with boldness and he sang it with commitment. He said, “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back.” Father, the Word says that a man that sets his hand to the plow and he looks back is not worthy of the plow. (Luke 9:62) Let us not look back. Let us not look to the right. Let us not look to the left, but God give us, as it were, the indelible stamping of the reality of heaven. Let it not be a place to us as though it were a dream or a figment of our imagination but let it be something of a reality in the sense that our soul might cleave unto it. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light, and God appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might. So, this the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down; his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all of his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain. Since the man was showing discouragement, the Adversary (Satan) decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into his weary mind: “you have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn’t moved.” Thus, giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man. “Why kill myself over this?” he thought. “I’ll just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort; and that will be good enough.” And that is what he planned to do, until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord. “Lord,” he said, “I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?” The Lord responded compassionately, “My friend, when I asked you to serve Me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all of your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But, is that really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewy and brown, your hands are callused from constant pressure, your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much, and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven’t moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. This you have done. Now I, My friend, will now move the rock.”
At times, when we hear a word from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants, when actually what God wants is just simple obedience and faith in Him and prayer. By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it is still God who moves mountains. -When everything seems to go wrong…just P.U.S.H.!
-When the job gets you down…just P.U.S.H.!
-When people don’t react the way you think they should…just P.U.S.H.! -When our money looks “gone” and the bills are due…just P.U.S.H!
-When people just don’t understand you…just P.U.S.H.