There is a song that my spiritual mother loves to sing, if ya'll don't mind I want to sing a little of it for you. "Learning to lean, learning to lean, learning to lean on Jesu-s-s-s. I need more power then I ever dreamed, I'm leaning to lean on Jesus-s-s-s." Every since I accepted a job offer in Mississippi that song has been my anthem. First I had the emotionally, challenging, tear jerking task of resigned from the church I was pastoring. Then came resigning from my job where the people I worked with were like my brothers and sisters. I must say I cried all the way to the director's office to turn in my resignation.
During both of these trying times I am praying every step of the way. Then came the really hard part, packing up things and leaving my wife back in South Bend (she will be joining me next month though). I left about 4:30 in the morning in a snow storm. I could not see the road not because of the snow but because of the tears that were flowing down my face. Praying, singing that little song is the only thing that kept me from turning my car around.
Once I crossed in Missouri I the flood gates really opened and I cried all the way from Missouri to Tennessee. After pulling over several times along the road to catch my breath and wipe my eyes, I commenced to kicking myself for leaving a perfectly good job and for leaving behind all the people I know in the world that loved me. I'm still singing by the way.
Finally arrived in Mississippi, red eyed, tired, home sick and tired. Each day I get up I want to go home. Every time I get in my car I see 55 N. I dream of 55 N. I have been here two weeks now and I must admit I am not in Kansas anymore. The culture suggest I have stepped back in time. The people I have encountered reminds me of mind control (Lord, I need more power than I ever dreamed).
I was driving and Abraham spoke to me the other day. He told me 'now you know how I felt when God told me to leave my friends and family and go to a land He would show me.' I slammed on breaks. I had to catch my breath. I had read that story in Genesis 12 a lot of times before but never did I see the emotions that was attached to Abraham obeying God. I can see it now. I understand why God had to call Abraham twice. I understand why Abraham had to stop often and build an altar. I understand, I get it. Every time Abraham stopped, if he had known this little song I believe he would have sang it.
Well like Abraham I am headed for the promise land. I don't know why God sent me here. I don't know what my assignment is here. But there is one thing I know, I am learning to lean on Jesus.
There is an old Gospel song that goes, "I'm so glad I found the Lord, Jesus in time)
I found Him in time.I'm so glad I found Him in time. Picked me up and turned me around,
placed my feet on solid ground,He took away all of my doubts. Then He moved all of my fears.He gave me joy unspeakable joy. Wiped away everyone of my tears, I'm so glad I found the Lord Jesus in time!!
I have heard that some so many times in the past, but I never really understood the power in it until about a month a go.
There is a precious saint at our church who truly loves the Lord. She ushers at the church, she attends Sunday school faithfully. I have watched God move her from the back row of the church to the taking the lead in Sunday school, Easter programs, etc.. God was not finished with her. She joined the choir and on the first time out the gate with the choir she is leading a song called "I'm so glad I found the Lord Jesus in time." she sang it with so much joy and authority I was moved by the power of God in her voice.
Satan said I'm not having it. tragedy stuck this sister, she had a brain aneurysm as she was going to the back of the church still singing. After being rushed to the hospital and flown to a specialized hospital in Chicago, and several surgery and rehabs events, she is getting better.
I went to visit her in the hospital today and I was met with the light of God in her eyes.
When I see her now I hear this song again in my heart and this is what it says, I'm so glad I found the Lord Jesus in time, before my body broke down, before I got in the midst of this storm, before my bills out number my money, before Adrienne Vittadini Holt Boot (Google Affiliate Ad)my health started to fail me, before I got in this bad relationship, before I lost my way. I am so glad I found the Lord Jesus in time.
If you don't know the Lord Jesus, you can find Him right now, right where you are. He wants to give you a second chance. Thank you sister for blessing my soul in song!!! You are my hero.
I read an article the other day that got my mind to wondering, who is the most dangerous person in the church. As I thought about this article, God gave me a Rhema word for the church on this subject. The text was 3rd John 9-11. Can you recognize the most dangerous person in the church? By dangerous, I don't mean the physical person. I don't mean the biggest, meanest or the scarest. I mean the one with the most dangerous spirit, the one with the spirit of Diotrephes.
Diotrephes would not submit to leadership, that made him dangerous. Diotrephes was a self serving, glory seeking, person who wanted preeminence. He fail to realize the Only Christ should have preeminence (Col. 3:18). Diotrephes was a slanderous, gossiper. He went around spreading mess about the man of God.
Diotrephes was a divisive person. His selfish desire caused division in the church. Anytime you have a member (s) in the church who displays these attributes, that person is dangerous to the body of christ.
How are we to respond to the spirit of Diotrephes? Verse 11 says we are not follow them because they have not seen God, in other words; they have not been saved. Paul said in Romans 16:17 that we are to mark them that cause divison AND avoid them.
In summary, Diotrephes can be anyone in the church from the pastor to the people. Diotrephes could even be you my reader. Ask God to examine your heart today and see if you are the most dangerous person in the church.
Thank God for my pastor, Rev. Keith D. Witherspoon. Man what a time we had in revival on last week. Pastor preached as though it was his last time preaching and our last time to make a decision. I am ever so grateful for this anointed man of God. Really I am speechless.
God has had me anchored in the Old Testament for the last few weeks and I must say it has been a joy to preach from such passages as Exodus 20 (Ten commandments) and the book of Numbers. Last week I preached from a passage in Numbers (23:8)entitled "any way you look at, I'm blessed." That chapter was so rich God had me drop anchor in it again, this time from Numbers 23:19. The message was entitled, "You can depend on God." Here is a brief outline and overview of the text:
"God is not a man, that He should lie, nor the son of man, that He should repent. Has He not said, Will He not do." Each phrase in this passage can stand by itself as an independant clause.
God is: That's Affrimation.
Not a man: That's Information.
That He should lie: That's Declaration.
Nor the son of man: That's Limitation.
That He should repent: That's Revelation.
Has He not said: That's Proclamation.
Shall He not do: That's Expecation.
God put this word in the mouth of the prophet Balaam in response to Balak's desire for him to curse the children of Israel. Balaam had tried to curse the nation twice before, but instead of cursing them, he blessed them. That right there says you if God has blessed you, you're blessed.
God is. It does not say God was or will be, but it says God is!!! That right there is enough to shout over. Just the fact that God is says you can depend on Him. God is what, whatever you need God is. Back in Exodus 3, Moses asked God when I go back to Egypt & the people ask me your name what shall I say, who shall I say sent me? God told Moses tell them, “I am, that I am.” God is whatever you need Him to be. If you need a doctor, God is. If you need a lawyer, God is. If you need a friend, God is a friend that will stick closer than a brother. Because God is that means you don’t have to worry about what man may try to do you. You don’t have to worry about what man may say about you. Is there anybody here today that is glad that God is?
GOD IS NOT A MAN: That’s Information. You see the king Balak had the wrong information about who God was. The ancient pagans saw offerings as bribes; attempts to manipulate their gods & goddesses into doing what they wanted them to do. That is why he was so persistent in building altars & making sacrifices. He was trying to win God’s favor. God told Balaam to tell the king you can’t manipulate or bribe me.
& you know there are a lot of people walking around today even in the church house with the wrong information about God. You information about God is so wrong until you think by showing up on Sunday you can get God to do what you want. You think that by giving your offering or tithes you can bribe God into being your genie. You think that you can pop in a prayer & out pop a blessing. Tell your neighbor God is not a vending machine.
Man has flaws, fears, failures, frustrations, & faults. Man is fickle, fragile, faithless, foolish. Man is conniving, crafty, cunning, covetous & conceited. Can I go a little further? Man is boastful, proud, blasphemers, lovers of self more than lovers of God. Man is unthankful, unholy, false accusers, despisers of those that are good. Man has a beginning & an ending. You can’t depend on man. Man will tell you one thing & do another. I would give a plug nickel for the word of some men as a matter of fact; I wish I had a nickel for every promise man has made to me. Man will let you down. I got bible on that, Ps. 118:8, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” God is not a man!
But God on the other hand, He always was, He always is & He always will be. He is unmoved, unchanged, undefeated & never undone. Schools can’t explain Him. Armies can’t defeat Him. He is light, love & Lord. Is there anybody here that knows the He is Holy, righteous, gentle & good? Everything God has every said He has done. Unlike man God does not change His mind once He has made a promise, neither does He fail to act on His word. Somebody missed they shout right there!! God has made a commitment to us in Jesus, & nothing—no one—can move Him to go back on His word. Thank you brother Paul, “I am persuaded……God is not a man!!!
THAT HE SHOULD LIE: That’s Declaration. I can’t think of anything that shows the true nature of man than a person’s propensity or tendency to lie. We witness it in little children almost from the moment they begin to talk. Nobody has to teach them to lie. It’s in their nature. Even when a child is grown the tendency to lie does not go away. It does not diminish with age. Man lie so much till in some cases he is asked to swear on a stack of bibles.
When God was making this declaration He was remembering His own promise to Abraham in Genesis. I will bless those who bless you & I will curse those who curse you. God keeps His word ya’ll!! But because we have such a dim view of whom God is we have concluded that since man lie, then God must lie as well. But the bible is clear that all lies come from Satan. I got bible on that, John 8:44, “the devil he was a murderer from the beginning, & abided not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, & the father of it. Balak though he could get God to alter His promise by his sacrifices.
The text says God is not a man that He should lie. But I have it on good authority that if God said it, you can count on it! Five people just got blessed. When God said you must be born again, He was not lying! When God said the wages of sin is death, He was not lying! When God said flesh & blood shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven He was not lying! When God said a liar, drunkard, whoremonger shall have their place in the lake of fire that burns with fire & brimstone He was not lying!!
Flip that record over & play the other side. When God said sinner man, sinner woman repent, He was not lying. When God said, “If my people, who are called by My name…. He was not lying. If you just confess your sins, God said He would forgive you & make you clean. If you come to Him weary, worried & worn He will give you rest. As a matter of fact what every God has promised you, it will come to pass. I don’t know how you feel about it but I’m glad that God is not shorter than His word!!
Adam thought God was lying. The children of Israel thought God was lying. Pharaoh thought God was lying. Peter thought God was lying. Sodom & Gomorrah thought God was lying. I wonder just how many of us sitting here today think God is lying when He says if you don’t change your ways. You will lift up your eyes in hell? Come here rich man & tell them your story!! God is not a man that He should lie! His nature won’t let Him lie. His holiness won’t let Him lie. His love for you & me won’t let Him lie. You can depend on God!
NOR THE SON OF MAN: That’s Limitation. The bible says man that is born of woman is of but a few days. The bible says it is appointed unto man but once to die & after that the resurrection. The bible says that God has a bound set that no man can cross. In other words man has limitations on what he can do & how far he can go... somebody say but God. There are no limitations God. You see God is older than age. He is the beginning & the end, the alpha & omega, the first & the last. God is the creator of all things. He is the keeper of the universe. You can’t wear God out. God will never give out. Tell somebody you can depend on God.
THAT HE SHOULD REPENT: That’s Revelation. The word “repent” actually means “to be sorry”. God never needs to repent because never acts in ignorance or impulse. Unless man God does not let His emotions cause Him to say or do something that He would have to be sorry about latter, therefore God never needs to repent. It would do some of you good to repent right now. But instead of repenting you would rather die & go to hell then to admit you were wrong. If you been mean & low down, repent! You been shacking with him or her, repent! You’ve been putting your mouth on one another, repent!!If you've been lying on one another, repent! It you been talking about him or her, repent! Repent! Repent! Repent! I guarantee you if you repent, you can depend on God to forgiven you.
HAS HE NOT SAID IT: That’s Proclamation. What that means is that God keeps His promises. Didn’t God promise that if you abide in Him & His word abides in you, you could ask what you will. Didn’t God promise that no good thing would He with hold from them that walk upright? Didn’t God promise that He would supply all your needs according to His riches in glory? All of God’s promises are ye & Amen. God promised Abraham that He would bless those that blessed him & curse those that cursed him. Now we see evidence of God’s proclamation coming to pass.
What has God promised you?
That brings me to my last clause in this 19th verse. SHALL HE NOT DO IT: That’s Expectation. God is, that’s affirmation. Not a man, that’s information. That He should lie, that’s declaration. Nor the son of man, that’s limitations. That He should repent, that’s revelation. Has he not said it, that’s proclamation. Shall He not it, that’s expectation. Because God is not man. Because God can not lie, because God is not the son of man nor does He need to repent. Because God keeps His word, I am living in expectation.
I am redeemed. Born in Mississippi. Grew up in Minnesota and Chicago. A graduate of Senn high school. A United States Marine. A college graduate twice. A pastor. Father of seven beautiful daughters. Oldest of sixteen children. I love the Lord.