How many saw God’s promises come into existence last week? Maybe by means of a healing, the baptism in the Holy Spirit, being saved, being called by God, encouraged and built up, etc?
How many felt that begin to fade throughout even this past week?
This morning, we’re going to learn why this often occurs and how to prevent it from happening. God’s desire is not that His word would fade and be stolen from us, but that it would take deep root, grow, and multiply! What happened last week is not just a one time event. What happened last week is what our lives are supposed to look like all of the time. In fact, when the church started after the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost, that was exactly what the church looked like wherever the people would go. In fact, Jesus said:
12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me (who here believes in Jesus?) will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. 15 “If you love me, keep my commands.
So how do we keep the fires of revival blazing in our church? By keeping the fires of revival blazing in each one of our lives! We start this by not allowing what we’ve been given to be stolen from us! To understand how God’s word and its promises can be stolen from us, however, we first need to understand how we receive them in the first place.
A beginning foundation is to realize that God’s word holds the power and authority to bring things into existence that do not otherwise exist. We see this occur right at the beginning of God’s word in Genesis as God simply spoke and created all that we see. We see that what God’s word creates has the ability to grow and multiply itself and it also as the ability to die and pass away now that sin has corrupted it.
God’s word and His promises come into existence in our lives by faith.
16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.
18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
God’s word and promises come into existence in our lives by faith, by being fully persuaded that God who made the promises will do what He promised. Even though things may look hopeless, even though it may be impossible otherwise, God is able!
Now there is an enemy who doesn’t want us to receive God’s promises nor give any glory to Him. Since we receive God’s promises by faith, one of the ways in which the enemy steals away God’s promises is by planting seeds of doubt.
Sometimes we have more faith in the ability and work of Satan than we do in the ability and work of Jesus! Why do I say this?
The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.
For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
Listen to what we say. Listen to people around you while you’re out and about in our community. With our words, we reveal what is in our hearts. With our words, we agree with and encourage Satan to steal, kill, and destroy us. How do we do this? We moan and complain and share with everyone the things that are going wrong in our lives. We glorify the work of Satan, it is the frequent topic of conversation in our lives.
What would happen if we would start speaking life instead of death into our lives, our circumstances, and into those of others God’s truth?
What would happen if whenever my pain starts to come back, I praise God and declare Isaiah 53:5 that “by His stripes, I am healed!” instead of complaining about it?
What would happen if whenever ends aren’t meeting, I praise God because Matthew 6 says that I don’t need to worry about anything. If God provides food for the birds of the air and clothes the ground with grass and flowers, won’t He provide for my needs as well?
What would happen if whenever we begin to fear, I praise God because 2 Timothy 1:7 says that I have not been given a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and self-discipline?
I’ll tell you what would happen, God’s word would take deep root in our lives, grow, and multiply. The kingdom of Heaven would invade earth once again!
Let’s just be real with each other this morning, though. After last week’s service, questions probably popped into your thoughts this week such as, “Is your pain really gone?” You may have been reminded about the sins of your past or your temptations in the present as the enemy tried to shame and guilt you into believing the lie that God has not forgiven you or shouldn’t bless you. You may have been asked, “Do you really believe that God did that?”, “Did you really speak in tongues?”
Perhaps as you shared with others the exciting things that the Lord did last week, they explained it away some other way or just rolled their eyes about it.
Perhaps you, yourself were confused by some things that occurred and didn’t really understand what was happening.
Perhaps you left last week’s service filled with zeal and passion for God, but as your week went on, the routine worries and stresses of life lulled that passion back to apathy. The craziness of everyday life overwhelmed you like a wet blanket thrown over a fire.
Perhaps you left filled with the Holy Spirit ready to follow the Lord and do whatever He asked and throughout the week, gave into the same temptations and found yourself bound by sin and shame. Perhaps the Spirit was leading you to forgive someone or to go and pray for someone or to give sacrificially and you just couldn’t follow His lead. You allowed selfishness to block you from doing what you know the Lord wanted you to do.
Whatever may have been the case for you, it is not uncommon for what God does in our lives to be hindered or stopped. However, God has greater things planned for us! God doesn’t give just so that the enemy can steal away! This morning, we’re going to learn some practical tips that will help us to grab hold of God’s word and its promises and watch them grow and multiply in our lives! God’s desire is to fill our lives with His all consuming fire – that it spreads to others and lasts for generations to come!
We’ll start with a simple parable of Jesus that described exactly these things occurring.
3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
So what can we practically do to be that good soil so that God’s word grows in our lives and begins to multiply into other people’s lives?
1. Believe (DO NOT DOUBT!)
22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
Believing like God does, speaking to things that do not exist as if they do, is not easy. In fact, you may very well get laughed at; Jesus did. However, those laughing at your full confidence and belief in God’s word may not be laughing for long.
18 While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.
23 When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, 24 he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. 25 After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. 26 News of this spread through all that region.
Abraham and Sarah also laughed at God when He reminded them of His promise that they would be a great nation. However, even in their old age and extremely long wait for God’s word to come to pass, God’s word was proven true and their laughter irrelevant!
We must stand in belief and not doubt. We must speak life and not death! Even if we do not immediately see the results, we must stand in faith if we are ever to receive the promises of God!
What we’ve received from God is only the beginning of a Spirit-filled life. God’s kingdom is a kingdom of abundance that never runs out. We need to be known as a people who seek God’s kingdom first and who hunger and thirst for righteousness! When we seek after God with our whole heart, we will find Him.
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
We need to constantly be seeking after the Lord in all that we do. Even if we do not receive from the Lord what His word says is ours immediately, we should not give up on Him! We need to continue to seek after Him and not let our thoughts nor our hearts become divided. We need to trust in Him and not lean into our own understanding. All who came to Jesus seeking His healing were healed. Some instantly, some as they went along such as the ten lepers, but all were healed.
Our steps need to be directed by the Holy Spirit. When we do this, we’re ensured success in all that we do and not only our lives, but also the lives of those around us, will be transformed forever! We need to be a people obedient to His word and expectant of His promises to come to pass exactly when they are supposed to. Whether that be the instant we pray or whether that be after all hope is gone such as with Abraham and Sarah, His promises will come to pass. No matter when that happens, we need to be faithful, trusting, and seeking after the Lord.
Even as Jesus sent out the twelve disciples, He has given each of us the great commission to go out and make disciples saying:
7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.
What we have been freely given, we are to freely give to others. We cannot be selfish with what the Lord gives us! In fact, scripture teaches that selfish motives is one of the reasons that we don’t receive what we ask for!
1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill.
Now, we aren’t going around slaughtering each other, however, Jesus said that if you are angry with others or call them fools or idiots, you are guilty of murder!
You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
Now here comes the truth slap-in-the-face. God doesn’t save us, fill us with His Spirit, heal us, deliver us, provide for us, etc. so that we can live our lives more comfortably. God does these things so that we might serve Him! God does these things so that we are enabled to be His witnesses wherever we go and bring His kingdom here on the earth. God does these things so that we can do all of the things that Jesus did and even greater things!
We will give an account to God for how we stewarded all that we’ve been given. Did we use God’s resources to further God’s kingdom? How many people did we give Christ’s salvation to? How many people did we give the baptism of the Holy Spirit to? How many people did we set free? How many people did we heal? How many people did we disciple?
Did God not give us all that we need in order to do what He asked us to do?
Do we love Jesus? Jesus said that if we love Him, we’ll do what He commands us to do!
Let’s be a generation who loves Jesus. Not a sissy, emotional love, but with true, Godly love. Let’s lay down our lives and do what Jesus did. Let’s love the unlovable, befriend the unfriendly, heal the sick, free the captives, demolish the strongholds of the enemy, and bring God’s kingdom here on the earth!
Let’s be a people who believes without doubting, seeks after God in all things, and freely gives what we’ve been freely given! Let’s be that good soil that God’s word takes deep root into and grows and multiplies! Let’s be a people who bring God’s kingdom to earth once again!