New Wine for New Wineskins July 2009

By , July 1, 2009 5:39 am

Let the Weak Speak

Part 11 – Abraham – The Whole Truth (2)

 

It is time to release the potential that is within us to build successful ministries, kingdom businesses, and to be world changers who will really make a difference in this world.  To allow this to happen we must simply come to the place of exchange – the cross of Jesus Christ which is the gateway to the very Throne Room of God – and trade our weakness for his strength!

We are no longer chasing signs and wonders – we are to be signs and wonders and to be the most exciting thing that is going on wherever we are!

Isaiah 8: 18


18 Here am I and the children whom the LORD has given me!
We are for signs and wonders in Israel
From the LORD of hosts,
Who dwells in Mount Zion.


Joel 3: 9 – 10

9 Proclaim this among the nations:
“Prepare for war!
Wake up the mighty men,
Let all the men of war draw near,
Let them come up.
10 Beat your plowshares into swords
And your pruning hooks into spears;
Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’”

We have been looking at Abraham – the superman of faith – and seeing that although he had tremendous faith in God he also had to overcome the weakness of his flesh that caused him to fear man and be susceptible to compromising the truth by substituting it with a half-truth!

1 Corinthians 1: 22 – 31

22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For all of you see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, has God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are all of you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glories, let him glory in the Lord.   

For years I wrestled with the age-old dilemma of the clear statement of the New Covenant – that Jesus accomplished everything necessary at the Cross and released the power of God’s blessing into our lives. 

If what Jesus did has made me righteous and yet I am still trying to get righteous I am falling short of his glory!
 
If what Jesus did sanctified me and I am still trying to get sanctified then I am falling short of his glory! 

If what Jesus did redeemed me and I am still trying to repay my debt then I am falling short of his glory!
 
If what Jesus did at the cross purchased my healing, deliverance and prosperity and yet I am still trying to get healed, delivered or prospered then I am falling short of his glory!  I am not going to glory in the Lord and be a sign and a wonder and the most exciting thing that is going on!

It is time to settle it once and for all!  The power of God’s blessing and Abraham’s willingness to believe in its power was sufficient to deal with the effects of his weakness and keep him blessed!  It is the same for us if we are willing to pull down all the religious strongholds in our minds and simply believe that the power of God’s blessing is more than sufficient.  We must take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

2 Corinthians 10: 3 – 5

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ

A stronghold has been defined as “a mindset impregnated with hopelessness that causes the believer to accept as unchangeable something that he/she knows is contrary to the will of God as clearly declared in his word”.

The strongholds – the snares – are the imaginations and the thoughts of condemnation and unworthiness and weakness that limit our potential to walk in the blessing and to be a blessing – to be a sign and a wonder and the most exciting thing that is going on!  Those who dare to believe that they are blessed are the ones who walk in the fullness of that blessing and very often attract the flak from those who are still trying to perform religiously and earn favour from God!

Sometimes – through the fear of man – we are tempted to hold back on declaring the fullness of the gospel message and so we compromise or dilute it and bring a half-truth in place of the whole truth!  We are afraid to proclaim that where sin abounds grace abounds much more incase someone uses that as a license to sin.  Fear is still fear no matter how we dress it up in its Sunday best!

2 Timothy 1: 7

7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Just like Abraham leaving Ur and reaching Haran with his father Terah some of us came out of the world with a half-gospel.  We thank God for it but now it is time to leave our father’s house and press on! 

Are we going to preach the whole truth or a half-truth?  Are we going to preach the full gospel or a half gospel?

John 8: 31 – 47

31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If all of you continue in my word, then are all of you my disciples indeed; 32 And all of you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 33 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how says you, All of you shall be made free? 34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abides not in the house for ever: but the Son abides ever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, all of you shall be free indeed. 37 I know that all of you are Abraham's seed; but all of you seek to kill me, because my word has no place in you. 38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and all of you do that which all of you have seen with your father. 39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus says unto them, If all of you were Abraham's children, all of you would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now all of you seek to kill me, a man that has told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. 41 All of you do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. 42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, all of you would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 43 Why do all of you not understand my speech? even because all of you cannot hear my word. 44 All of you are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father all of you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 45 And because I tell you the truth, all of you believe me not. 46 Which of you convinces me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do all of you not believe me? 47 He that is of God hears God's words: all of you therefore hear them not, because all of you are not of God.

Remember – these words were spoken right after Jesus had told a woman that had been caught in the very act of adultery that he didn’t condemn her and to go and sin no more!  He couldn’t condemn her because he had come to save her!  When he healed the paralytic and told him that his sins were forgiven it caused an uproar among the religious crew!  But Jesus explained that sins forgiven and body healed were one and the same and part of the one package!  To say that your sins can be forgiven but that your body can’t be healed is a half-truth – a half-gospel!

Numbers 23: 19 – 20

19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: has he said, and shall he not do it? or has he spoken, and shall he not make it good? 20 Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he has blessed; and I cannot reverse it.

Some folks say that God doesn’t promise you happiness but that is a lie!  He is so committed to our happiness that Jesus preached a whole sermon on it that is included in the word!  We call it the ‘Sermon on the Mount’. 

Matthew 5: 1 – 12 (God’s Word Translation)

1 When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up a mountain and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them:
3 "Blessed are those who recognize they are spiritually helpless. The kingdom of heaven belongs to them. 4 Blessed are those who mourn. They will be comforted. 5 Blessed are those who are gentle. They will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for God's approval. They will be satisfied. 7 Blessed are those who show mercy. They will be treated mercifully. 8 Blessed are those whose thoughts are pure. They will see God. 9 Blessed are those who make peace. They will be called God's children. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for doing what God approves of. The kingdom of heaven belongs to them. 11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, lie, and say all kinds of evil things about you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad because you have a great reward in heaven! The prophets who lived before you were persecuted in these ways.

Blessedsupremely blessed, well off, happy

Don’t ever get stuck in a half-truth with this message! 

We are not blessed in being spiritually helpless – the power of the blessing manifests in our spiritual helplessness and opens up the kingdom of heaven to us with all of its resources!

LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

We are not blessed because we mourn – the power of the blessing manifests in the comfort and strength we receive!

LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

We are not blessed because we are gentle – the power of the blessing manifests in our inheriting the earth!

LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

We are not blessed because we hunger and thirst after righteousness – the power of the blessing manifests in our being filled!

LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

We are not blessed because we show mercy – the power of the blessing manifests in our receiving mercy!

LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

We are not blessed because our thoughts are pure – the power of the blessing manifests in our seeing God!

LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

We are not blessed because we make peace – the power of the blessing manifests in our being called the children of God!

LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

We are not blessed because we are persecuted for doing what God approves of – the power of the blessing manifests in our share of the kingdom of heaven!

LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

We are not blessed because we are insulted, persecuted, lied about, and spoken against – the power of the blessing manifests in our rejoicing in the greatness of our reward!

LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

We don’t have to make do with half-truths or a half-gospel – we can walk in the fullness of the freedom that the truth brings us as we believe in the full gospel and believe and receive the fullness of the blessing that is ours by faith!

Abraham had weakness but his faith in the blessing overcame his weakness and cancelled out its effects in his life!

We continually say that sin has consequences but even sin’s consequences can be wiped out by the power of the blessing!  What Joseph’s brothers meant for evil was turned around for good by the power of the blessing!

Think about it!  You can live in condemnation and failure because of the weakness of your flesh or you can believe in the power of the blessing to bring you to the fullness of your potential!

LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

Romans 4: 16 – 25

16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, 17 (As it is written, I have made you a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who replenishes life to the dead, and calls those things which be not as though they were. 18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall your seed be. 19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. 

Even when Abraham was faced with the death of his son in whom all of God’s promises were invested he believed in the power of the blessing to raise him from the dead!

We need to believe in the power of the blessing – and that’s all we need to do!

Husbands and wives need to come into agreement regarding the power of the blessing!  When Sarah first heard what God had said concerning her conceiving a bringing forth a son she laughed! 

But she believed in the power of the blessing!  She had seen it operate in their lives for years and there was only one thing missing – a son!  But God is in the nothing missing, nothing broken business and so the power of the blessing provided what was lacking!

Hebrews 11: 11 – 12

11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. 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.  

IT IS TIME TO LET THE WEAK SPEAK! LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

James 2: 23

23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says,  “Abraham believed God, and it was  accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.

Abraham was called the FRIEND OF GOD!  That is something!  But it’s not just for Abraham!

John 15: 14 – 16

14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.

WOW!  We still serve God – but as friends and not just as servants!

It doesn’t matter how long you have to speak it out or how far from happening what God has promised appears to be it has to happen if we continue in faith.  The power of the blessing cannot fail!

If you don’t believe in tithing as being relevant in the New Covenant then just look at the example of Abraham.  Abraham tithed long before the law – in fact he possibly invented tithing!  And so what is promised in Malachi 3 became a reality in his life as God opened the windows of heaven and poured out more blessing on Abraham’s life than he could possibly contain!

Lastly, we must avoid the persuasive but deceptive arguments that come to us in order to try and manipulate us into trying to make things happen ahead of God’s timetable.  We mustn’t be like Abraham and be tempted to preempt God and try to make things happen by applying a half truth! 

There have been people who said, “God wants me to be happy” – TRUE –  “so I am going to divorce my husband / wife and marry someone else” – LIE

or those who say, “God wants me to prosper” – TRUE – and then go out and max out their credit cards to buy everything they want! – LIE

or “Jesus has set me free from the law” – TRUE – “so now I can live any way I want!” – LIE

If our heart does not condemn us then we have confidence with God!

1 John 3: 18 – 23

18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. 20 For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. 22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. 23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.

Ultimately, the key to everything is “staying in love” because our faith only works through love!  Love is never content with half-measures – love believes all things!  If we stay in love we will always preach the FULL GOSPEL and tell the WHOLE TRUTH!

IT IS TIME TO LET THE WEAK SPEAK!  LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

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