Where Is Your Destiny?
April 19, 1998
(For printable version click here.)
I like congregational participation. We are supposed to be a Body, you know. We are supposed to be functioning as a Body. When one man is praying, we all should be praying, not minding babies unless we have to, or talking to one another or walking around. We are trying to get an interview with God. We are trying to move into the proximity of His presence. We are approaching Him on the behalf of others. Now, it may not be your problem, but that doesn’t mean you’re not going to have a problem when you walk out of here, or that you aren’t going to need Body participation at some point in time. Let me tell you something, there is no other way that you are going to get help, did you know that? God might come and intervene in a have-to situation, but the time of that type of ministry is over. God is not raising up one man to minister the fullness of God to the people of God. God is raising up a Body. He is raising up a people who desire to move into that type of relationship or that closeness with Him. It is through that avenue that God is going to express His feeling, His administration of liberty, and it is through this avenue that this salvation is going to come. You might be the one that testifies or you might be the one that witnesses, but it is going to be because you are in the midst of a Body that is praying and interceding for souls. HELLO!
Do you know that we would have a lot more testifying, a lot more witnessing, a lot more soul saving if we were concerned as a Body with regard to souls, if we were interceding for God on the behalf of the people? There is something about it, brethren. There is something about it. God raised Moses up in the midst of the children of Israel. I don’t think it was so much to lead them as to intercede for them. How many times did he find himself on his face before God, pleading for the sake of the people? For the sake of the people. You cannot lead if you are not willing to intercede. Why do you think Jeremiah suffered in the manner and fashion that Jeremiah suffered? For the people. He had a message for the people. Why do you think Ezekiel suffered the position and the place of rejection? He was a rejected man, do you hear me? Why? It was for the sake of the people. Yet it did not cause him to throw his mantle to the side. He didn’t. Why did God send His only begotten Son? Why? So that you and I might be saved! The problem with you and I is, once we get in, it seems just to be “ME,” and “MINE.” It doesn’t become a “you and I” type of a situation or a “we” type of situation. Hallelujah. We need to be cognizant of the heart of God in this hour with regard to circumstances, situations, and people. Hallelujah. We need to be cognizant of the pressure or the place of restriction or dealing that God has got us in. It is not only for the purpose of making you perfect or making you holy, or giving you the “OPPORTUNITY” of making it in, but it is for the purpose of bringing a body to a place of maturity in Christ.
You know, the one thing I like about driving is that you can get saturated with the Word of God. Tape after tape, tape after tape going into the machine, listening to the Word, Word keeps coming in, Word coming in. That is the only reason I like to drive. If it wasn’t for that, I probably would be flying; I wouldn’t be driving. You know, you don’t do the same thing flying as you do driving. You really don’t. Maybe there are too many distractions. Maybe it’s too much of an inconvenience. You have to get up out of your seat, take your bag out, rummage around in your luggage to find whatever cassette that you want to put in. You have to sit back down and all the time you are walking back and forth over people.
I have been listening to a man by the name of Leonard Ravenhill. I have six tapes. Oh my, how sweet it is! I am telling you, this man will make us faint and repent. He had the fire of God in his bones. He’s dead now, by the way. I heard that he died of a broken heart over the condition and the place of the church. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
All of this brings me to the word that the Lord has been speaking to me and I want to share it with you. I didn’t know whether I would get the opportunity. I like to strike when the iron is hot, if I might use that terminology.
You know that you and I have a destiny. Do you know that? You have a destiny, and it is not what you think it is. Did you know that? How can I say that? Well, it is because the scriptures tell me that. (Proverbs 14:12) Now, you probably have been working for retirement, a pension and a position in work, looking forward to that time of retirement. And if you are not retired, you’re looking forward to that life expansion opening up to you as young people going into your own place of independence and individuality. Isn’t that right? Or maybe you don’t think that way. Well, no matter how young we are or not, there are things that we are looking forward to and making plans about. How about just having a life that is just kind of smooth sailing? I hit you on that one, didn’t I? A life that is just smooth sailing, a place of security with peace and safety. What I mean to say is that we all have destinies. Well, the reason that there is such a thing as destiny is because God has a destiny for you, and you know something? The devil has a destiny for you. Where the problem lies is in the fact that we really don’t know what God’s intention for us is, and nine times out of ten our proposed destiny does not line up with His expectations. Why? Because we are more in tune with the devil’s destiny than with God’s. “Oh,” you say, “amen,” but is that really the fact? Are we really cognizant of the disparity between God’s destiny and that of the devil’s?
How about when we get in that situation or circumstance that the destiny of God begins to work against our interpersonal position of expectation? When it begins to work on that position of self-orientation, it’s kind of a different story. At least, it is for me. I can’t speak for you, I can only speak for myself. I can mumble and grumble, I can try to shut those aspects that are uncomfortable to me out of my life. Go in my room and close my door, put cotton in my ears. I don’t want to hear any more. I was in a service one time and there was a word coming and it really must have been the word of the Lord because this one individual who sat over in the corner began to hum. It seemed like the louder the speaker got, the louder this person began to hum. It just made me really know that whatever the speaker was speaking, the person in the corner, didn’t want to hear. We are a lot like that. Maybe some of us don’t intentionally hum out loud, but we have a lot of activity in our life. We have a lot of things that we want to be involved with in order to fill up the time, to fill up the space so God can’t talk to you or I about our destiny. We have a lot of things. We fill up our lives with a lot of different things, with a lot of business, so that we are occupied. We are preoccupied and that is what thwarts or stops us from hearing God speaking to us about the destiny that He has for us.
Now, when God puts the pressure to us, then we stop. We can turn off the radio for five minutes and say, “God, look at the dilemma that I am in, look at the situation, look at the circumstance that I am in. Can’t you do something about my circumstance?” So, it’s not so much, “God I want to know what you have for me, and how you are shaping and conforming me to the destiny that you have selected for me.” “God, I just want out of my predicament, I want out of my trouble. I want some ease; I want some relaxation. I want to be removed from the place of pressure.”
I am going to be ministering this morning out of John the 4th chapter. I am going to be talking about the woman at the well. I really don’t think that it is the woman at the well that I am talking about, I think I am going to be talking about you and I that have come to the well this morning. Isn’t that right? Doesn’t the scripture say that wells of living water shall spring up out of our soul? (John 7:38) Every one of you came with some thought in mind. Some of you came because it is Sunday and you always come, and you don’t really feel comfortable going anywhere else. Some of you came because of physical problems, some of you came because of mental problems, some of you came because of spiritual problems. Some of you came just to get edified. Isn’t that right? But, why did God bring you here? You know, oftentimes God will bring a congregation of people together for just one person. Did you know that? I have been in situations where people have come in with so many other expectations, so many other desires, so many other things that were crowding upon them that God had to manipulate them. If I might use that term concerning God. Had to work them, to begin to lay down their position of personal problem, their position of personal distress, their position of personal discomfort, their position of personal tribulation to get them up a little bit to where they could free the passageway. Move the baggage out of the realm of their soul, that the holy power of God could flow through them. Sometimes we’re more interested in our own personal environment that we bring into the congregation than we are or have the awareness of God’s desire or the environment that God is desiring to manifest in the midst of our assembling ourselves together.
It is a funny thing. I don’t know if I will ever understand it until I get to that position in God that I can see perfectly. But, it says in the Bible, that where two or three are gathered together, Jesus said, I am in their midst. (Matthew 18:20) That means that you and I have gathered together for the purpose of touching God and allowing God to touch us. It says that the environment we are in is the presence of Jesus. Now, what does that mean to you? Does that mean that some mystical, super spiritual atmosphere is going to be prevalent, or does it really mean that the entity of the personage of that figure of the Godhead is going to be in our midst? What does it mean to you? What does it mean to you as an individual?
You know, we stand on the brink of becoming like any other church. The thing that makes a church what a church is, as far as a denomination is concerned, is the attitude and the reality that the people have towards God. I mean, if they are willing to be ministered to by a pastor. Do you hear me? If they are willing to allow one man to orchestrate the whole move of God, then they move into a position or a place of bondage that is called “church.” They move into a position and a place of corruption. The power and the manifestation that God brings in the midst of the congregation is thwarted. Do you hear me? We are trying to move out of the realm of church thinking. We are trying to move out of the realm of denominational mentality. We’re trying to move out of that into the mind of Christ. If we move into the mind of Christ, it means that He is head, that He is above and over all things. He is over me, He’s over you.
There is a desire that Christ has, there is a meaning, there is a message, and that message should be resident from the very beginning of the service. We wander in here anywhere from 10 to 10:30 or 11:45. Brethren, it ought not be so. Now, listen to me. I am not trying to put a law on you. I am trying to put my finger on a problem that God is showing me. Do you know that Jesus Christ died at an exact day and at an exact time? A time that was prophesied exactly from the time of the prophets until the enactment of that prophecy. That in the garden, before the garden was, the Bible says that the lamb was slain, (Revelation 13:8) and in God’s mind, there was an exact time, an exact day, and an exact month, and an exact hour, an exact time! I am telling you. And then we treat the economy of God’s time as though it is at our disposal.
This woman at the well, she had a destiny and it wasn’t the destiny of the situation or the circumstance she was in. It was a destiny that God had ordained for her. Hallelujah!
We treat Christ as though He was our buddy-buddy. Now, I know that the Bible says that He was to be a friend that sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24) I want to read to you a scripture. Turn with me over into Revelation, if you would. Now, you need to have some understanding. How many of you relegate or categorize yourself in the same category that John was in? How many of you would measure up? I’m talking about a spiritual measurement of a man who has moved and suffered in Christ, for the sake of Christ. A man like Paul that said, that I might know him and the power of his resurrection…being made conformable unto his death. (Philippians 3:10) How about the atrocities that were committed against John when they tried to kill him? If you think it was the Windham Hotel out there on the Isle of Patmos, you’ve got another thing coming. How many of you have ever studied about Patmos? Not only was it desolate, it was a correctional institution for all the hard core, the unregenerated, the nonconformable, all the malcontents, the vile, the scum of the earth, and that’s where they stuck John. What a place to have church. Huh? What a place to have church; that’s where they stuck him. After suffering…I don’t know what he suffered before he got there. You would think at the end of the line, “That’s enough, God, I’ve done enough.” But here they stuck him out on this bare rock. Can you imagine the deprivation? You know, they didn’t care about these men. Do you hear me? They didn’t have any legal council, no rights activist union. They didn’t have any of that. I’m not saying that our prisons now are a place of a picnic, because they are not, but you let the humanity services get a hold of something in the prison that isn’t humanly right, and find out what happens. He had no human advocate. Do you hear, there was no one to intercede for him. Maybe they fed him, maybe they didn’t. They probably beat him, they probably would do all kinds of atrocities. I don’t know what kind of labor they put them under. But I imagine, they didn’t just let them sit out there. They abused these men. They were scum of the earth, they were nothing. They were expendable, and society could care less. All they wanted was a separation and a division between them and themselves, and this is where they stuck John, stuck him out there in the middle of no where. It says in Revelation 1, verse 10, that he, John, was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.
We get so buddy-buddy with Jesus. You know, there was an expression that my mother used to say, and it says, “familiarity breeds contempt.” Do you think that there is a contemptuous manner in which we as individuals consider God? We call Him “Father.” Some of us treat our fathers like dirt. And some of us treat Him like we treat our brothers. But this was John, this is the man that walked with Him for three years. This was the man that was closest to Him, had his head lying upon His breast. This is that man that Jesus said, if I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Oh, how many of you would want the chance of that type of immortality? How many of you would have been puffed up in your own soul? The greater the revelation, the greater the tribulation. The greater the position or the place of authority, the greater the place of degradation. The greater the exaltation, the greater the humility. Hallelujah. We need to examine our position of relationship, we need to examine our relationship to Him. We treat Him so buddy-buddy. There isn’t a reverence, there isn’t an awe, there isn’t a fear. We need the unveiling. We need the unveiling. We need God to come into us with eyes of fire. Eyes like fire, and hair like wool with fire coming out of His countenance.
John said that he fell as one dead. Have you ever had that experience? I haven’t. Do you think that is an experience that is relegated to someone in the past? Do you think that it is an experience God only wanted to share with John, that John might record it? I think John had the experience and recorded it that it might whet our appetite. That it might give us an understanding, a place of consideration of the magnificence of the magnitude of the omniscient, the awesomeness of God Himself. I believe he was seeing the reality of God for the first time in his whole life. In spite of all the suffering, in spite of all the things that he had done and the things that he had spoken, and the work that he had accomplished. For the first time in his life, he got a glimpse of reality of who the man and majesty of God was. And it said, he fell as one dead. He fell as one dead. The Bible says that no flesh (man) shall stand in the presence of God. (Exodus 33:20) Do you hear me? The presence of God brings death. I believe that he not only fell as one dead, I believe that death was working in him and that there was a revelation of him coming into and giving over to that spirit of death. It was the Word of God that preceded out of Him who was like unto the Son of Man, that brought him to a place of being revived. Brethren, we need a revelation. I’m telling you, we handle God so familiarly. We handle Him with such familiarity. Everyone wants to be on the right hand of God. We all are wanting to be lifted up into heavenly places. No one wants to fall at the feet of God. But, in order to sit at the right hand of God, there has to be a position, a place, an experience of finding yourself prostrated before His Eminence, before His glory, before the effervescence of His entire being, the holiness that brings and smites us. Isaiah found himself in the presence of God and he said I am undone,…. I am unclean. (Isaiah 6:5) We think that all we got are these little spots and these little blemishes. But, I am telling you, the Bible says something about the righteous scarcely being saved. (1 Peter 4:18) Do you know what that word “scarcely” implies? It implies just getting in by the skin of your teeth. How much skin do you have on your teeth? None that you know about, right? We treat God so lightly, so irreverently.
It was the four and twenty elders as they took off their crowns. They were in a place of authority, they were in a place of exaltation, but they chose to abase themselves at His feet. They took off their crowns and they divorced themselves from their position of individuality. Hallelujah! Not fleshly human individuality, but spiritual individuality. Do you hear me? They were above, beyond that place of humanness. They were in a place of being seated on a throne and they had a crown. There was something that had already been delegated. They had overcome and yet they divorced themselves from that position of spirituality. Oh my. Some of us are just trying to make it through, make it through by the skin of our teeth. Make it through, make it through. “If I can just walk one more day, one more hour, one more minute, be just a little righteous in the midst of all of it.” I am telling you, it says, Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. And has called us according to His service. (Romans 8:37) We are more than conquerors. But brethren, the way up is the way down. And most of us want to go up, but none of us want to go down. We treat God very lightly, very irreverently.
This woman at the well, she had a destiny. She had a life-style, do you hear me? She was very much involved in her life-style. She was doing her own thing, probably very happy about it. I don’t know. It doesn’t tell us, but she had a destiny to meet God. And when she met Him, it messed up everything. Do you hear me? It messed up her life, her ambitions, her desires, her expectations, her want of personal preference. We are so tied up in personal preferences that God can’t use us. He can’t use us, we’re too busy. We’re too involved, we’re thinking about us too much. We’re just too much into us, God can’t use us. There is a song we sing that has been coming over and over and over. It says, being poured out like wine. We sing these songs so easily. Isn’t that Jerry’s song, “Being Poured Out Like Wine Upon The Altar?” Is that scriptural or is it just a song? I was looking for it, I couldn’t find it. Being poured out like wine upon the altar, broken like bread to feed the hungry. We break a little bread and we pour a little wine and we think that suffices. And it does. “Oh, we’ve got to go back to work. Oh, I’ve got to go do this. Oh, I’ve got to be involved in things over here. My children need this, and my wife needs this, and my husband wants this. And I have to be over here, God. I’m sorry God, I don’t have time. I brought you my tenth.” Do you know that I found out something this weekend while driving home and listening to the tapes? If you delegate a tenth of your time to God, you will owe Him two hours and twenty-four minutes every day. Do you know something else I found out? That God requires interest on tithes that aren’t paid. (Leviticus 27:31) How much time have you given Him, how delinquent are you and I with the time we are to be in fellowship with Him? Not with each other, with Him. You’re required. What was the interest rate? Was it twenty percent? One fifth of the tithe, you had to add one fifth to the tithe. You have a flat tire and you’re stuck for three hours and forty minutes, God is collecting something from the tithe of your time. Instead of mumbling and grumbling and kicking the tires, get down on your knees and utilize it as a means by which you might get in touch with the Father and if that is all that He exacts from you, praise God. What if He smites you and lays you flat on your back for six months? Have you ever considered the fact that God is exacting from you what you owe Him? We have no idea, and you listen to me, because this is the word of the Lord. We think that God is a goody-goody God, and He is merciful, and He is kind, and He is longsuffering, and He overlooks all of these attributes of sin and degradation and iniquity that is in our lives. You’re wrong. God is an exact, an exacting God. He comes to collect what is rightfully His.
I just became aware of something. I had some news about a situation of some people that I know. In the midst of that, there was a tragedy that struck one of the family. Now I am very much aware of the position that this family has. I am also very much aware of the calling and the election that was upon their lives. I am also very much aware of the direction that they turned, that was contrary to the position and that place. Do you hear me? They turned in rebellion, they turned in individuality, they turned in their own position and place of self-preference, and they went after something else that would exalt them and not God. And it was years, do you hear me? They went on for years, and they attained and they attained. I want to tell you something, the time came for a payment to be made, and that payment was exacted upon one in the family. The price was high. Do you hear me? The price is high if you turn and rebel against God. If you begin to move in your contrariness and in your sedition, and in a position of resistance and stubbornness. If you begin to move against the flow of the Holy Ghost, and you begin to make deals with the devil. I’m telling you brethren, if you are not moving in God, if you are not doing what God wants you to do, then you are in league with the devil, and he is the one that is blessing you, it is not God and there will be an exacting of payment.
The devil will come to God and say, “This person owes me this amount of money and I’m asking that you give it to me now.” There is a time frame in God when God will remove the hedge. If you don’t believe that, you go into Hosea. When God reaches down and He removes the hedge that has been around you and He allows the tempter to come. Why? Because God has done everything that He possibly can do. He has given you everything that He can possibly give you. He has given you His Holy Ghost, He has given you His Son and He has given you the blood, by which you might be redeemed. If you resist, if you move in obstinacy and stubbornness, if you maintain your position of wanting to do your own thing, God has no alternative. He is compelled by His own nature of righteousness. Are you hearing me? God is compelled by His own position of authority to say to the devil, “go ahead, touch him,” and this thought is substantiated in the book of Job. What I am trying to tell you is that the hedge is being removed. I have been prophesying, I have been teaching, I have been preaching about the hedge being removed for over a year and I’ve seen the devil begin to come in, I’m telling you, begin to touch people with cancer, begin to touch people with all manner of illnesses, smite them. I’ve even seen death come in to collect. And yet, it seems as though we still maintain our position of superiority, our position of personal preference as though we are untouchable.
I was with a man this past weekend. Lovely man, loves the Lord, he really does. In the presence of God, he is very broken, but he has a problem. He’s captured in one area of his life by the spirit of nicotine. Now, if you want to smoke, you go right ahead and smoke. It certainly isn’t going to hurt me a bit. But if God speaks to me about you smoking, then I have a problem. I have to deliver my soul with regards to the word that God spoke to me. God gave me a word for the man. I told him that, “There is a need for you to overcome the spirit of nicotine, because there is destruction in front of you. The devil has been loosed, he has been given the priority to move against you on a physical level.” We can play around with it all we want to. There is another brother who is fighting throat cancer because of cigarettes. Do you hear me? I know about it, and the brother was ministered to about it. I’m telling you, I ministered to a man that had emphysema. He died of emphysema. Do you hear me? He died struggling. It was a spirit that killed him. He suffocated, he suffocated. The devil could have just as well taken a pillow and put it over his face. The only problem was that it took years to get there. We play around, we play around, we play around, we play around, but what God is saying is, “The playing around is over.” You may not walk out of the door and drop dead, but I am telling you, judgment is coming to the house of God. (1 Peter 4:17) We have not given God what He has asked. We have not given God the thing that is due Him and He is coming to exact it. Oh, you all are going to be glad to see me leave in May, aren’t you? I’m telling you that there is a burden upon me and it is not just me, there is an exactness that God is laying a line in the midst of my being. Do you hear me? And I’m falling short of it. I’m falling short and I know that there is an onus upon me to begin to do something about my shortness. God came to me. I really shouldn’t share that. There is an exactness that God is requiring of us.
I don’t know how we are going to take the presence of God. I don’t know how we are going to take it. Do you hear me? We’re so involved in activities. The devil is coming into our homes. Do you hear me? It is robbing us of our wives, of our children, our relatives. The devil is coming in and we’re still busy doing our thing. Still busy doing our thing. Busy, busy, busy, busy, while all the time God is speaking. He brings a word here. He brings a vision. He brings a dream. We cast it off as a silly thing. Don’t even take it before the Lord, don’t lay it out on the table. Do you know that when the letter came to the king, huh, or was it Ezra? The one that was written to Ezra, Nehemiah, or whoever it was. One of the prophets when they were building it, and Tobiah, didn’t he lay that letter before the Lord? All right, it was Hezekiah. Sanbalat, yes! When Babylon came down to invade and he sent a letter, it was blasphemous. Do you hear me? It insulted the Most High as though He was something very familiar. That was the problem. He relegated the Mighty God, the Awesome Power, the Omnipotent, Omnipresent, the Omniscient God, to just any other god, made of wood, hay or stubble. The Bible says Hezekiah rent his garment, put on sackcloth and ashes and he laid it, the letter, before the Lord. You know what? God was faithful. He brought him a word. He said, “Fear not, little flock.” But most of us cast it off as a bad dream or put it off to the side as just another word. Or worse yet, we add it to our collection of prophecies. Or, if we don’t like it, we rip it up. “That wasn’t God!” How do you know it wasn’t God? Did you take it to God and God told you it wasn’t God? What did you do with it?
Come on, brethren! Some of us have turned and we have gone to the brink of sin. Some of us are indulging in sin. Do you know that there is a restitution for sin, and it is not just the blood of Jesus Christ? Do you know that? It says that if you have offended your brother, you leave your offering at the altar, and you go and you make restitution with your brother. If I robbed you of something that was rightfully yours and I robbed you, and I come to God and I say, “Oh God, I’m a thief, forgive me, I repent.” That isn’t satisfactory. Did you know that? There has to be a humiliation, there has to be a dying to pride, there has to be a dying to self. I have to come to you and say, “Shari, you’re not going to believe this, but I took a hundred dollars out of your purse.” There is a requirement. Not this ushy, gushy, mushy love of God that we just go to God in private and say, “Oh God, I’ve sinned, please forgive me.” Well, if it is private sin, I suppose it is OK, but if it is public sin, and if your sin has affected the Body, there is a restitution that God requires. Why? Not because He is unjust or cruel or He wants to humiliate you, He wants to work within you through the process of deliverance. He wants to be sure that you don’t do it again. He wants it to come up before you every time the tempter comes to tempt you to move in that manner, that fashion. He wants it to come up before you again, and to confront you in the face, to remember your humiliation, to remember the shame, to remember the place of degradation. You see how the enemy lied to you, you see the death and the desolation that was worked into you. Don’t do it; I won’t do it again. We’re so used to sloppy agape. We think God is going to be merciful to us. He is merciful to us and it is the mercy of God that He says, the judgment is going to begin at this house first. You want more of God, you have got to give Him more of yourself. You have got to give Him more of your family. You have got to give Him more of your ambitions. How much of God do you want? Do you want Him more than your education? Do you want Him more than the money that is in your bank? Do you want Him more than your wife or your children? It is a requirement. I didn’t write it, don’t get mad at me, please. I didn’t write it. I DID NOT WRITE IT! I just happen to be the one that is speaking it.
I guess that if you want to get mad at me, that is just fine and dandy. Please forgive me. Forgive my humanness that moves into the realm of your soul. But, be sure it is humanness and not the finger of God. Do you know that God allows situations to be created in our everyday circumstances which allows us to make decisions. How will we respond, for Him or against Him? It has to be one way or the other. If we respond in the wrong way, it’s not just that we missed God. There is a judgment that is exacted down the road. If we make a decision on the basis of our thinking, or how we acted today, yesterday, the day before that, and the day before that, and all of the overshadowing that we have been overshadowed with as far as our familiarity and circumstances are concerned and we made a decision not based upon the word of the Lord or the moving of the Holy Spirit. If we make a movement on the basis of our humanity, God will judge it. God judges it.
You know something, brethren, that the swiftness of God’s judgment is coming faster than it has in the past. In the past we have had years, but I believe that there is an exactness now. I know it has been said before, and I’m going to say it again, and probably you are going to hear it in the same manner that you heard it the last time that it was spoken by somebody else, but there was an exactness and a timeliness and a swiftness to Ananias and Sapphira. Do you hear me? There was a swiftness, there was no waiting and then going out and pondering what the Lord was going to do. That loving, merciful God spoke through Peter and said, “The feet of those that carried thy husband out,” as they approached, “are going to carry you out.” And she gave up the ghost, and it said, “fear fell upon the church.” You know, it is much easier to give your wife, children, husband, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers up to God as a sacrifice than it is to have the devil come and exact payment.
The woman at the well, she had a destiny with God. You have a destiny with God. Now, the outcome of your destiny can be just as glorious and victorious as the woman at the well, or it can be of an entirely different matter.
The five wise and the five foolish virgins had a destiny in God. They each had the same destiny. They each had the same calling, they each had the same election. One wasn’t better than the other one, as far as the quality of make up and the position of potentiality that they possessed in God. They were the same. Ten virgins, but five were accepted. Why, why, why? Have you ever asked why? “Why, God, do you speak these words to me? Why do you give me this revelation? Why, God, do you give me this understanding? Why do you give me the Holy Ghost? Why, God, do you give me the blood of Jesus? Why do you give it to me? Is it so that I can come and sing songs and join myself together with other people? Or is there a purpose in your mind, is there a destiny by which I might fulfill in that position, in that place, how can I be used in that fashion, in that manner?” If you come to that point, God will say, “Will you be poured out like wine? Will you be poured out, poured out, poured out, poured out, poured out, poured out, poured out, poured out?”
I am reminded of a situation where the Lord told the person to give a certain amount of money, and he gave the money. Praise God, praise God. God came back to him; he didn’t know that it was God. Came back to him and knocked on his door. Gave him a hundred dollars back or whatever it was, gave it back to him. Well, what do you think he did with it? If God told him to give it, he should have given it. There was a requirement, there was an exactness. He stuck it in his pocket, unbeknownst to him that he was saying to God, “I really didn’t mean it. I really didn’t mean it. I was just giving to get. And as I gave, you gave back.” God was asking him, “Will you give it, give it, give it?” When it comes back to you, will you say to God, “God I don’t want it. God, don’t give it to me. Don’t give it to me God. God, I gave it to you, here, give it to me. I couldn’t get loose of it fast enough.” We give to get. What if there is no blessing in it? God has got to promise us a blessing to get us orientated and get us moving in the right direction. What if there is no, no, no? Do you know that John Wesley had a lot of money? Or at least a lot of money came through his hands. Do you know that he had a lot of money and do you know what he did with it? He expended it to orphanages, ministries, literature and Bibles. Being poured out means being poured out. Being poured out. There are two operations of the same thing, being poured out and broken. Poured out is not enough, there is also a breaking that comes. The Bible says that it is a broken and contrite heart. (Psalm 51:17) How many of you have broken and contrite hearts? How many of us can testify to the brokenness of that position of the pride of life? Of course, we have all been delivered of that. No, we haven’t been delivered of that. God is working. How many of you have been delivered of the lust of the eyes? “I see, I want, I came, I saw, I conquered. I move, I see, I want.” It is presented, I want something in my soul. “I want that, I want that, I want that.” It doesn’t have to be that, it can be just having my own way. My own will. “I want my own way, my own will and don’t you stand in my way, don’t you stand in my way!” John Paul Jones! Some of us fly the flag that John Paul Jones flew. “Don’t tread on me, don’t you dare put your hand to my business.”
Some of us run from an encounter with the devil. We want to run and hide. Hallelujah. We want to get into the closet, and pull the door shut, and hope the devil doesn’t know we’re there and the whole time God is wanting you to rise up in the Holy Ghost and to move in the spirit of love and adoration towards Him. To move in a manner that exalts Him and to be a vessel that is willing to be broken. The vessel on the potter’s wheel had no thought or concept of what is in the potter’s mind. But it is not so with us; we think that we know best, we think that we know better. I have raised up four children and every one of them without fail thought they knew more than I did. Most of them still think they know more than I do.
Have you ever thought that if you respond on a natural level to a situation, you will respond to God on a spiritual level in the same manner, and in the same fashion? Why do you think that it will be any different? Oh, God loves us. God wants us. God has a desire. God went out of His way. Do you hear me? In John 4:4 it said that, He must needs go through Samaria. Now, I haven’t ever looked at the map, but I would be interested to look at a map to see if Samaria was in line with the position or the place of His travel, or whether He went out of His way. You know, when the Bible says, he must needs go through Samaria, it means that there was a compulsion that was upon Him to move in a particular manner, to move in a particular way. HELLO! Am I putting you to sleep? Are you sure? You’re getting pretty quiet.
There is an exactness that God is requiring from us in this hour. I don’t know what to do brethren, with the calling and election. I don’t know what to do. I love every one of you. I want to see you succeed. If I see you standing on the edge of a precipice and I know that you are contemplating suicide, I have to do whatever I have to do to intervene and to succor you from taking the step. I have to move under the unction. Believe me, I don’t like being up here anymore than maybe some of you like me being up here. Because, I know that in the exactness of God, there is a path that God is creating for me as I speak. Do you hear me? As I speak, as I speak judgment, as I speak the righteousness of God, God is creating for me a situation that is going to exact from me the exactness of which I am speaking to you. Two-edged sword. Who would want to be a minister of the gospel? They are writing their own will and testament. I am telling you, it is not an easy thing to be poured out like wine. And I am not suggesting that I’m being poured out like wine. I’m telling you that if we desire to move into God, there is an exactness that God is going to require of you and I. You can sit around on the peripheral. You know, I believe that there are levels in God, I really believe that. I really believe it. I believe that there are levels in the kingdom of God. Do you hear me? I believe it, I believe it. Pray for me if you think I am deceived, because I believe it. It’s not that others won’t attain in the kingdom to a higher level, but I believe that there are positions of authority that God relegates or gives to us because of our service, because of our willingness to be poured out unto Him.
The problem with you and me is, we look at the here and now. Our little cubicle, four by six, six by six, whatever it may be. That is our place of focus. We’re not focusing upon the reality of the kingdom of heaven that is coming. We wrestle, we wrestle, we wrestle. We’re like Jacob. He may have walked differently, but his attitude, his nature was not changed. That was prophetic, you know, don’t you? It was all prophetic. It was telling him he was going to go through tribulation that was going to try him as gold in the fire. Fourteen years of laboring under a pharaoh type of taskmaster. Fourteen years. I think we need a revelation. Individual, personal revelation of the awesomeness of God. I think we need it. I think that we need to get down on our faces before God, in our personal closets and begin to pour out our soul unto Him. Oh, yes!
Some of you are having dreams, you need to get your house in order. You know, the thief is coming, he’s coming. The thief comes to rob, to steal and to destroy. That’s what he comes for. Do you hear me? Some of you are being chastised because of your lack of responsibility. You’ve been given a gift, a calling and you’re more interested in your position of personal preference, personal comfort than you are in blessing the body of Christ and lifting God into a place where the people might be able to come. Leonard Ravenhill said that, “Worship of God is being in the presence of God and so struck by His awesomeness and the reverential power of His holiness that it is unspeakable. There is no noise, there is no word.” Now, I don’t know about that, because I have never been there. But that is what he said, and I believe the man said it under the unction of the Holy Spirit. Because he said it, and because I believe it to be the unction of the Holy Spirit, there is something in me that says, “OK, if that is worship, I want to know that place of worship. I want to experience it. I don’t want to be sidetracked from it. I don’t want to be diverted from it. I don’t want to be manipulated or moved from it. I want to be able to receive it in its fullness. I want to participate, I want to worship you.” I really believe him because of some of the testimonies I heard about the pouring out of the Spirit in ‘48, where people would come in and the Spirit of God would smite them, and nobody said nothing for hours except for in their own soul or in their own little place of humility, confessing their sin. I’ve got a funny feeling in my bones that when you come to that place of worship that what you will be doing most of the time is repenting for your wretchedness because of the glory and the vastness of His holiness. My, don’t you want that? I believe you want that place.
I found out another interesting fact. I ought to go on these trips more often. I found out about another interesting fact. It is in Romans where Paul is talking in the 7th chapter. He is talking about being old wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death? Brother Ravenhill was explaining that the Romans had three ways of crucifixion. You thought one was enough, right? They had three ways that they could kill a man by crucifixion. One was the way that Jesus died, the cross that extended itself out and had a piece of it coming up this way. The other way was the X cross, where they would strap a man in an X position. The other way, and I guess I am going to have to do a little investigating of this, but I think that if a man killed a man and he was judged guilty, they would take the dead man and strap him to the killer. That man would have to bear about that dead body until the corruption of the body that he was bearing killed him. This is the illustration that Paul is using in the 7th chapter. Who shall deliver me from this body of death? Isn’t that something? Adam is strapped to us and there is the need and the power of the Holy Ghost to bring and to loose the shackles. Paul doesn’t leave us in that state of suspended animation, wondering whether or not we’re going to be putrefied by the corruption of this dead body. The worst part about it is, the straps are the things that we hold on to. It’s not that it is strapped to us involuntarily, you understand. We hold on to it. Paul said in the 6th chapter, he said that he was baptized into Christ Jesus and that we were buried with Him in baptism unto death. He said, like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Newness versus oldness, newness versus position of corruption, immortality versus mortality. We’re holding on to that which is corruptible. You know what I visualized it as? I could see God coming and offering us incorruptibility, and He says, “Give me your corruptibility, and I will give you my incorruptibility.” We in turn say, “No, no, I want my incorruptibility.” He says, “Oh, no, I’ll give you everlasting life, not in the hereafter, but I will give you immortality.” We respond, “Oh, no, no, no, I want to hang on to my mortality.” You know, that is what it is really like, do you understand?
God comes into your life, and He creates a situation that is painful, disastrous, that devastates you and you get mad at God. God doesn’t give you what you want when you think that He should give it. He doesn’t move in the manner and fashion that you think that He should move, and you get mad at God. You’re saying that you want “my mortality.” “I want my corruptibility. I want this more than I want what I want from you, and what you have to give me. I want humanity.” What are we saying? What are we wanting? What are we desiring? Come on brethren! Paul said, who shall deliver me from this body of death.
That woman could have resisted God at the well, you know that? She had the option. She had the option; she could have resisted. “You’re a psychic, you’re operating under the operation of Satan. You’re moving in the spirit of the devil. You’re a diviner.” She could have done that, you know that.
I was listening to some scripture this weekend and it was talking about Mary and Martha. I want to share with you what God said to me as I was contemplating on that word Jesus spoke to Martha. I said to God, “Did she like that? Did she like the answer?” God said, “No, she did not like the answer.” It was a resistance. I mean, I was so cognizant of the conversation as I was listening, that I spoke something to my wife about it. We think that we would be different if Jesus was here. You know, Martha had an expectation. She thought Jesus was going to put everything right. She thought that Jesus was going to chastise Mary. Have you ever had that kind of attitude? “God, I’m being treated very unfairly in this situation. I’m being treated very unfairly. You’re not handling me in the right manner, or in the right fashion. There is a consideration, there is an administration of justice that you need to minister so that I can be OK.”
Every one of us can think of similar situations. Every one of us can think about how God has spoken to us in that situation, and the feeling that rose up in our hearts because it wasn’t what we wanted to hear. You know something, she didn’t like it. She didn’t like it. Martha did not like the answer. We’re not told about it, but I would be willing to ask her, if I am going to think about those things when I see her, whether or not she murmured within her soul about the fact that Jesus did not vindicate her? “What am I to do God, all this stuff has to be done, somebody has got to do it?” She didn’t like the answer and you know what, I would not have liked the answer. Do you hear me? I don’t believe that you would have liked the answer. I think that you probably would have responded the same way that you respond in other situations that God puts you in. You don’t like it and yet, it is the voice of God. In the administration of the word, God gave Martha a word of rebuke, but He also gave Martha a door, an opportunity to be delivered. Because He pointed out to her the direction of travel that she was going was a wrong direction and she needed to reverse her course of action and move in the direction that her sister was going.
Now, maybe there was a spirit of competition between them. Maybe that would have been very humiliating for her. Maybe she felt like she would have been defacing herself to allow Mary, who probably if the stories are true, came out of a very bad situation. I don’t know if that was the same Mary, but I believe that it was. Hallelujah! That she should use her as a role model. God not only gave her a direction, He exalted one above the other. Mary has chosen those things that are expedient. What was it that she chose to do? Where was she in positional relationship? At His feet. Isn’t God marvelous. At His feet.
Oh, brethren, what does the scripture say about taking heed unto so great a salvation. I am going to close with that scripture. Let’s find it. I don’t know where it is. I’ve given you just about everything that you can take and probably a little more. (Hebrews 2:1-3) Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at anytime we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them which heard him; Hallelujah. Amen. God bless you.