There is a Way

Are you feeling weak, vulnerable, weary, in despair, frustrated, trapped, condemned? Are you desperate for change in your life, your marriage, or your family?  I believe God wants to set people free and heal hearts.

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10:39 - Extreme Islam believes that a little leaven leavens the whole loaf. So they think they need to purge out the leaven. They don’t believe in grace, but that they have to earn their way to heaven. And they have to be as pious as possible and to die in a holy war. They’re devoted to carrying out this perverted holy war. As believers, we have to walk in true devotion. We need to be MORE fervent than this extreme islamic group. We need to praying for hearts to be changed. God is the solution. The times for us to shake our head are gone. It’s time to be about the Father’s business. The true weapon that will make a difference is prayer. Pray for God’s great movement to take place.

Father, we look to you, God. You tell us in your word that there’s a way that seems right to man, but its end is destruction. We know that when we do things in the flesh, that brings corruption and destruction.
There are many grieving because of this attack. Give leaders discernment. Empower them. That they would heed you.
As we’re debating about this now, as presidential candidates argue, I remember how king Saul was trying to please the people. And its not about people pleasing but following you.
I pray you’d flood this earth… You say the effectual prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
We pray for healing for France. For a great movement of your spirit to thwart the demonic forces that are corrupt and polluting minds with false religion.
We stand in the promises of your word. We pray your ministry of transformation in Jesus name.

10:45 - As I was seeking the Lord early this week, for what he wanted to say, He wanted this to be a “ministry Sunday”. And this has taken a form I didn’t anticipate. He gave me specific things he wants to speak into our lives. If we heed these things - hear, receive, submit - I promise God will do a great work in your life, your family, your community, the church. And those things with which you struggle will be broken.
As the Lord lays these on my heart, I’m reminded of a dear friend who lives in Namibia, Pastor Kamonga. I had the privilege of training Kamonga and helping him plant churches. Two were in Botswana where I was. He had to go 20km through an area that was riddled with elephants, lions, and extremely dangerous wildlife.
He traveled through this on a regular basis either on foot or by bicycle. 20km. Because he believed in the Word of God and the calling of God.
He asked me to assist him with some baptisms. We baptized 15 or more in the river, known to be riddled with crocodiles and hippos. Earlier in the week someone was taken by a croc. I told him, “You realize there are crocs in the water?” He said, “Yes, but we’re doing God’s work, and God will protect us.”
What can I do with that? I went in the water and others went in to look out for crocs. And it was a great day.
Kamanga’s life has been threatened numerous times by the witch doctors.
When I visited him, he would always have me preach. One time, he said, “These two are living together unmarried. What should we do?” And we’d go over the Word.
God was doing all kinds of things in his village because we believed God for who He is and what He told us to do. When we believe His Word, God can/will do great and mighty things.

The Lord showed me 5 biblical things I need to be doing as a pastor, taken from the life of Jesus.
1. Built a relationship with His Father
2. Preached the gospel of the kGod on a regular basis
3. Met the needs of the people.
4. Made disciples through the power of the Holy Spirit.
5. He gave His life as a sacrifice for us.
~~
1. Jesus prioritized spending time with the Father. His life had a passion for God. His heart longed to touch the hart of His father. Luke 6:12; Mt 14:23; Mr 1:35.
Jesus lived a life of prayer, starting every day in communion. Ending every day in close relationship. At times, spending the whole night in communion with the Father. He was in touch with heavenly father all times.
Each day he filled the well of his being with the presence of his father. This is the Son of God in earthly body on Father’s mission. First thing each day he filled.
He then lived all day with heaven in mind. He managed his time by moving from BEING to BEHAVING. From BEING Son of God to BEHAVING like the Son of God.
BEING - Experiencing the joy of His Sonship. DOING - Doing the will of the Father. This made his doing so effective b/c he received grace and power from the Father. Being focused on the father all day long enabled him to do.
The reason we stumble and fall and have heartache, division, destruction is that we’re not focused on the presence of God all day long and aren’t focused on doing His will.
In “In Steps To Christ” Jesus’s humanity made prayer a necessity. If the Savior of Man, Son of God, felt the need of prayer, how much more should feeble, sinful mortals feel the necessity of fervent prayer? We’re called to consecrate ourselves. In the morning, first work. Let your prayer be “Take me O Lord as wholly thine. I lay all my plans at thy feet. Use me in thy service. Abide with me. Let all my work be wrought with thee.”
Each morning “consecrate” - devote yourself, set yourself apart to God. Surrender all your plans to him.
Many of us study Experiencing God - The “Crisis of Belief” is when we head out one way and His Word brings us to a point that we understand what He’s saying, but we need to be willing to do what He’s saying.
EG White: Surrender all your plans to him to be carried out or to be given up. As His providence shall indicate. Thus day by day you may be giving your life into the hands of God and thus your life will be molded more and more after the life of Christ.
The reason so many of us are in so much pain is that we KNOW what the Word of God says, but we’re not willing to do it.

When the Lord told me he wanted today to be a ministry Sunday, I had an idea of what we wanted us to do. But then he led me a very different way. The main reason my children struggle is that they’re not obeying. They want me to bless them heal, guide, deliver, redeem, but they’re not willing to obey.
I love my children. I will give my life for my kids. Not any question. But I don’t cart blanche give them whatever they desire. But I want to raise them in a way and guide their lives to be obedient to God. And when they step out of that, I bring discipline. I want them to experience the blessing that comes from obedience. And God does the same for us.

Jesus said, “My house shall be called a house of prayer.” Not a house of preaching, singing, Bible study. My church, as you gather, unite as one and seek me, you shall be known as a people of prayer.
When I your pastor and we his people live a life of prayer like Jesus and become intentional about our discipleship and spiritual formation, God will use this church as a sanctuary for spiritually transformed lives. And our families will be xformed as well. But we must be a house of prayer.
A key to being a house of prayer—I’ve shared it many times before—it’s not about petition. Recognize the greatness and glory of God. Like in the Model Prayer. You bow your knee and your life to God. You wait on God. You become earnest and sincere before God. “I bow my life to you.”
Php 4:6ff -  6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Sometimes when you’re asking for God to change your spouse, he really wants to change you. Change your children? He wants to change you to be the example they need.

Mt 21:13 -  12 ¶ Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.
13* And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’”
14 Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.

As we gather, we’re to be about leading the people to the throne of grace to experience the presence of God and His power. When we live connected to the heavenly father, the church becomes and sanctuary.
Jesus hungered for the presence of his father. This should be our inspiration and motivation. Have a hunger for the presence of God.
I don’t care if you’re ADD. I’m ADD, the first to say, “Look, there’s a squirrel.” When I’m in the presence of God, God created that squirrel.

2. Preach the gospel - Luke 4:18, Mt 9:35 - Jesus called on them to confess their sins and experience a transformed life. No matter what anyone else says, there’s power in the Word of God. It’s not an archaic book we’re supposed to dissect. It’s the living Word of God, our authority.
The Word of God brought this world to existence. It brings us to spiritual health and meaningful change. We’re not called to theorize over his word. We’re called to obey. I know this is something we’ve heard over and over and over and over and over again. Jesus is a good teacher, and he repeats it until you get it.
The Lord says, “Listen, the purpose of my word isn’t for you to theorize about, but for you to obey.”
a. Word of God gives life - Php 2.16
b. Makes us righteous - 1Co 15:1-2
c. Produces growth - 1P 2.2
d. Sanctifies us - John 17:17
e. Gives us wisdom - Ps 119:98. “Your commandments make we wiser than my enemies.”

It’s not theoretical but designed for spiritual regeneration. Every time we open Word of God, spiritual regeneration should take place. As relationships and lives are decaying, as we open up Word of God, there should be regeneration. As we’re oppressed, weak, weary, worn, there should be spiritual regeneration.
It’s time to stop rehearsing what we believe and start looking at the different in makes in our lives. Study not for curiosity but for a new heart.

3. Meet the needs of people. Jesus had compassion on the crowds. Mt 9:36. He knew people mattered to the Father, so they mattered to Him.
You matter to God. Your issues, struggles, hardships, relationships.
I pray for you or a regular basis that God would break through in your life and you’d see God at work in your life.
Don’t expect healing, transformation, deliverance w/o valuing, revering, trusting, and obeying God’s Word.
Thus saith the Lord:
Pr 14:12 -  12 ¶ There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
Husbands and wives, when you get into those “discussions”, and you KNOW you’re right and feel justified, I pray this scrip comes to mind. When we try to take human understanding and elevate it.
i started to understand, “This person’s reasoning isn’t from Word of God.” Can you show me where it says that? Because if we’re led by our thoughts and ideas that’ll lead to destruction.
Gal 6:7-10 -  7* Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Pastor Michael addendum: “and to your own physical family”. Because if they belong to the household of faith, it applies to them too.
Husbands, wives, you have to love me b/c the Bible says so. Stop facing each other w/ your weapons and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with His weapons. The Word of Truth, not lies and accusations against each other. Lay down religious facades. Stop believing the lie that you can stand alone—just you and God—b/c God says that’s not possible.
Man needs others like him to stand with him. Else he’ll be perverted, deceived. He’ll start trading God’s voice for the voice of the deceiver. We need others to stand with us and to call us out in love.
James 5:13-16  13* Are any among you suffering? They should keep on praying about it. And those who have reason to be thankful should continually sing praises to the Lord.
14* Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord.
15 And their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make them well. And anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.
16* Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.

Doug, my faith is waning. I want to quit. Can you pray with me and stand with me?
John, my marriage is waning. We can’t make headway. We’re getting too stubborn. Can you pray for me?
That’s what Word of God says!

Eph 5:22* You wives will submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord.
23* For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his body, the church; he gave his life to be her Savior.
24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives must submit to your husbands in everything.
25* And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave up his life for her
(going through all the Greek words for love:
agape
phileo
eros
sorge
)
26* to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and God’s word.
27* He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.
28* In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man is actually loving himself when he loves his wife.

Husbands, love your wives as your own bodies. That’s the truth. You’re one.

29* No one hates his own body but lovingly cares for it, just as Christ cares for his body, which is the church.
30* And we are his body.
31 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”

cleave = “hold fast”. Like you’ve found the greatest treasure ever. You’ve gone through hell and high water to find this treasure. And you’ve found this woman worth far more than gold. You hold fast and treasure her. Treat her as the jewel she is. “And the two shall become one.”

Wives and husbands, as you walk in this, the two shall become one. Those hearts and minds will be melded together and the two shall become one.

James 5:19-20  19 My dear brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back again,
20 you can be sure that the one who brings that person back will save that sinner from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.

You can fire me for going long. I know I’m doing what God’s calling me to do. James is speaking to believers here. IF you see someone who’s lost their way. Their focus has drifted. Your responsibility is to bring them back.
If they’re walking in rebellion, in sin, bring them back. You’ll save his soul from death. There’s death in relationships, families, hope, vision, ministry. When we walk and become vessels of death.
If we restore someone, we save them from death.
You have a responsibility to your bro and sis.
The power of confession exposes the enemy. Brings light. brings others to your aid. Protects you from the “I can do it alone” mindset.
I confess my shortcomings in order to cause me to point myself to God. Keep me humble, pliable before God so He can mold me as he sees fit.
Also, I need you. I need my wife. I need Rebecca Kimble to wash words of encouragement over me. I need my church family to cover me in prayer. I get tired of standing on the wall. Of fighting for you. I don’t resent it or hate it. I just get weary. My arms grow weak from holding them up to the heavens for you.
Men, it’s a big job to cover your family. Men, we need others to hold our arms up as we cover our families.
Wives, it becomes exhausting covering for your husband, covering your children, managing your household.
We need the truth to wash over us. The spirit of God to flood us and fill us to overflowing. We need to be in an environment that’s conducive to this happening. We need to be in the house of prayer.
And when we do this, we’ll be in a sanctuary of transformed lives.

11:33 In closing, 2Co 3:15-18 15 Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand.
16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, then the veil is taken away.
17 Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, he gives freedom.
18 And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more.

Where the spirit of the Lord is, there’s liberty.

As we close the service today, I’m not going to beg and plead. I believe firmly that God is at work. That he sees every one of your struggles. That inkling of pride that’s trying to keep you from being broken and pliable before God. He’s saying “Right now I want to be at work in that situation. I want my power, glory, miraculous work to bring a miraculous work to you.”
If God is telling you to come forward, here’s why: to break that spirit of pride we have. We will have prayer partners to stand and pray with you as the Word of God says.

11:37 As we sing this last song, church let’s respond and be obedient.