Search and Switch – Ps John Bendixen (JHB)

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Scripture Reference: Psalm 77:6 (NKJV); Psalm 139:23-24 (NKJV); Ecclesiastes 1:12-18 (NKJV); Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 (NKJV); Jeremiah 17:5-10 (NKJV)

 

Hallelujah. Praise You, Lord. Thank You, Father that Your Word is true. We can count on it always. Thank You, Father that You are true and we can trust You with everything concerning our lives and concerning our destiny. So today as a church, when we come together, we just praise You and thank You and give You glory and honour. I thank You Lord that in this service today You are glorified in everything; every word, every groan, every sigh, every sound; You are glorified. Every heart is ready to hear all, every ear is anointed to hear what You have to say today, through this vessel, in Jesus’ name. And everybody said, “Amen.” Amen. You may be seated.

 

Hello y’all. How y’all doing? You’re blessed this afternoon? Praise the Lord. So, this is for real now, next Sunday for real, this is not play-play anymore; this is for reals. Do you remember we used to play marbles? I don’t know, I’m dating myself, I think and you used to say, “This is not for real, this is just play-play.” And then if you put marbles on the line then it’s for reals. Yo, that goes back a long way now, hey. Shoo. I don’t even know if the younger generation knows what a marble is. (Laughter, Pastor John speaks to Pastor Garth) “But you’re not that young, I mean you’ve got a wife and three kids already.” Y’all in Jo’burg are bad for me, hey. And where’s Pastor Lynn today, he’s not here; probably I can get through my sermon then.

 

For real though, I did have a meeting with the MD of TBN during the week and when I told him that we are doing a video recording of our album, he had already listened to our album and he said, “Well, I’ve been wanting to have a video recording on the album,” because I said, “We are going to fill up some of our time.” I don’t want to go into all the details about the whole length of the conversation that we had but I said, “We are going to fill up some of that space with music.” And so he said, “But no, we want all of what you have got and anything that you do in the future because we don’t just want to play it in your slot; we want to play it as fillers in all of TBN.” That’s favour, hey? So our first video recording with, like I said last time, smoke machines makes it real. You know, if you’ve got a smoke machine then you’re okay, then it’s a ‘for real’ music session, you know. We are renting in a couple of extra cameras and some other equipment and some other more lights and so on to kind of make it more funky, more modern and to give it a more kind of theatrical feel to it. So next Sunday is a combined service. I would really like y’all to come. Will you come? It’s also our last Sunday before we go to America to go to the Prayer Conference and so you all need to be there to pray for us, to bless us on our way. Hey? Ja, ja. And then after that you will have to put up with Pastor Melusi and Pastor Garth and a whole bunch of others.

 

Praise the Lord. God is so good to me. I can’t but help always just praising His name and just having a wonderful time with the Lord, you know, because He is just so good, really He is so good. The more you praise Him and the more You thank Him, the more you give Him honour and glory in your life, and you give Him the praise for what’s happening in your life, the more you want to do that and the less you want to take credit for doing it yourself and that’s a very good place to be; it’s really a good place to be. Amen. Okay, alright then. Shush you. I’m preaching now, be quiet.  

 

I’m going to minister on a message the Lord has given me and I’m going to give you the dictionary definition of this message because I began to see something in the Spirit and I began to realise that actually, as I saw this in the Spirit, the Lord wanted me to minister it to you and there’s, when I started to get into it and I started to study it out, I realised how impactful and how widespread this is in everybody’s life. And so, the title of my message is; Search and Switch. Search and Switch – the word, search is to try and find something by looking or otherwise seeking carefully and thoroughly; examine thoroughly in order to find something or someone. So, if you search, it’s not just a casual glance. It’s not just something that is accidental that you find it. It is something that you are looking for, carefully and thoroughly. You examine thoroughly, if you want to find something or somebody. The noun of the word search is an act of searching for something or someone. If you look up in a thesaurus, words that go with search, you find words like hunt, look, probe, dig, rummage, rooting about and around, quest, pursuit of, and seeking after. So, the word search is not just about somebody that’s just casually looking for something. This is about you are thoroughly examining; you are looking carefully for something or someone. Very often, connected with the word search is the word seek. If you seek something, it means you attempt to find, probably and more often something. It means an attempt or desire to obtain or to achieve something. So seek and search are very closely related as what they mean as words.

 

So, I wanted to just make a point to you that to search something is different to research something because if you research something, then research is the systematic investigation into, and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions. So when you search for something; you’re looking for something; you want to dig around; you want to hunt; you want to rummage through stuff and you’re kind of looking for something – whereas if you’re researching something, then it is a systematic investigation into, and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions. So, when you’re searching for something, it is very different to when you research it. Okay?

 

I often feel that Christians think that they’re searching for God, and they’re searching for where God is, but actually they’re more like researching God. You know, they’re trying to establish something; looking at facts, they’re trying to look at sources of information, which normally comes from a multitude of books or a multitude of messages or different pastors, different things and so they examine and they’re almost going through a research to give themselves a perception of God, you know. So, if you’re looking at philosophers and you’re quoting, or you’re researching a lot of sayings, philosophies, different things, then it’s almost like you’re researching God. And God cannot be researched that way to come to a conclusion about God because God is a person that you have an experience with. Amen. 

 

So, Psalms 77:6 says, 6I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate with my heart, And my spirit makes diligent search (Psalm 77:6 NKJV).  So this is a very powerful Scripture to me, 6I meditate with my heart, within my heart, And my spirit makes diligent search. When we get to being born again, this adds a whole new dimension to what you can do in your spirit. So David, the psalmist who wrote the psalm, you know, he was not born again. So when he was talking about, I meditate and my spirit searches; he was talking really about his soul. He could have had an understanding of the fact that he was a three part being and had a spirit, but certainly spirit was not alive to God and searching God with his spirit, because it wasn’t alive to God. Amen.

 

Psalm 139:23, 23Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; 24And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24 NKJV). In this case this psalmist is reversing and he is saying; search me. Either way, my point I’m trying to give you, is that there is something that we are born with. From when you are a little baby, you are born with this instinct to search. So, I use this example of my own sons. Can I speak for any other children? I can speak for my sons. So my sons were both, now don’t look at me ‘skeef’ now; I’m talking just about normal life now, see? I mean, both my sons were breastfed, for a long time, okay? And so, one of my sons, when he was born, he came out with his mouth going like this (rooting), and he’s going like this, I mean he is hardly born a few minutes and he’s looking for the nipple on the boob. It’s like, “Where’s my food source? Where’s my food source?” He was searching. How did he know what his food source was? I mean, he knows nothing. I mean, he’s just been born. But he was looking for food source. The other son that was born, he was like a lot more chilled out when he was born. You know, he was born and like, Sharon brought him up here and he was like, and she was like, you know, “Have a go, you know. Latch on. Have some food.” “Nah, I think I’ll dos a bit, you know.” I’ll let you decide which of these sons did what. Anyway, and the one that said, “Nah, I think that I’ll dos a bit”, then we had to motivate him a bit, you know, here’s the boob, and still he wasn’t really interested, you know. Maybe half an hour later he kind of woke up to this thing; I don’t know what this uncomfortable feeling is but I think it means I need food. And so then he found the boob and he started to feed.

 

From that age they already had search inside them. They were already searching for the source of life. Right? It’s quite amazing how God placed that instinct in us. And so, when you begin to think about it, as little kids; I mean I see it now in Garth’s two little girls that are up and about and running around and they got more energy than I. If I had that much energy, I could conquer the world with all my wisdom that I have at this age of my life. Throw all that energy in, wow. It would be quite something, you know. But anyway, even at that age; five years old, three years old, you know, they’re wanting to explore. They’re wanting to discover things. They’re wanting to find out. And then, when mom and dad put boundaries in place, it’s almost like those boundaries are especially there for them to actually find out what happens when you break those boundaries, you know. So, you know, part of it is that they have to learn obedience but another part of that is that they’re searching to discover the scope of what they can do in life, even at that age. And they’re asking uncomfortable questions and they want to know so many different things all the time. There’s an instinct to want to know things and to search for things.

 

And then you have the teenagers. And especially, you know, young teenagers they’re kind of growing into this understanding that they’re not quite adults yet, but they’re not kids either. And so, they’re learning to acclimatise to what this new world means to them and so they begin to try and discover what their identity is; where they fit in; what their likes are; what they don’t like. And they begin to search and explore in this vast world that we live in, they begin to search and they’re trying to find out, you know, where they fit in and how they want to be seen and how they want to establish themselves. And so, now their search goes to a different level but still there is a quest inside of them.

 

One of the meanings that I read in the word search is; in pursuit of. There’s a quest, there’s a pursuit that happens inside of them. I happen to think that from the age of about 12, 13 years old; those are the most vulnerable years, till I want to say until about 19 years old, they are probably the most vulnerable years in your whole lifetime. Because actually, your ‘search o’meter’, if I can call it that, your ‘search o’meter’ is so high that you’re almost willing to explore anything in life; and your ‘consequence o’meter’ is so low, you know, it’s at the opposite scale of your ‘search o’meter’. And so your ‘consequence o’meter’ is so low and your ‘search o’meter’ is so high that, and they’re so far apart that you’re almost willing to do anything anywhere, anytime, unless you have a Godly restraint on you. If you have no Godly restraint on you, you might have values that have been placed on you by your parents, and you might have come up in an environment where they have put that restraint on you and then your ‘search o’meter’ will have its limitations, but still you are going to want to explore things. You want to find out stuff about life.

 

And then what happens is you get into adulthood and as an adult you begin to realise I’ve gone past that thing where I need to create an identity, and I’ve got to a place now where I’ve got to accept responsibility if I want to be anything. But your ‘search o’meter’ is still high because you want to understand how much capacity you can take, and you want to understand where the consequences lie. Sometimes, for some of us it takes us longer to understand how serious consequences are because, you know, managing consequences becomes a part of your life.

 

One of the most damaging statements I’ve ever heard was, I’m just going to go ahead and I’m not going to ask for permission, I’ll ask for forgiveness later, you know, because if you ask for permission then someone might say; no, you shouldn’t do that, you can’t do that. So if you say; I don’t want to ask for permission, then it means your idea is; I’m going to search this out and do what I want to do regardless of the consequences. And I’ll ask for forgiveness and then see what those consequences turn out to be. And in our modern day society with the legal system the way that it is, people, especially when you have corruption in government, you know, people think the consequences are very little because if presidents can get away with corruption, then so can we. And so the more people get away with things, the more people think it’s alright to get away with things. Then everything starts to fall in like a pack of cards because God will hold everybody to account to His Word. I don’t care whether it’s kings, I don’t care whether its little children, God will hold everybody accountable to His Word, that’s it. Amen.

 

Do you identify with what I am saying today? Do you find that ‘search o’meter’ inside of you? Sometimes it’s just an urge to follow an instinct to discover some new information. Maybe it’s an urge, an instinct to follow a course of action or direction, you know, but we all have that desire to search for something in our hearts. Are you all with me? And it doesn’t matter how old you get, you still have it.

 

So Ecclesiastes 1:12, 12I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13And I set my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven; this burdensome task God has given to the sons of man, by which they may be exercised. This is quite some heavy stuff. I set my heart to seek and search out by wisdom (Ecclesiastes 1:12-13 NKJV). So bear in mind this is a king that when God said; you can have what you ask for, and Solomon asked for wisdom, God said because you asked for wisdom, I’ll give you wealth. So in this case this man has an impartation from God that is a subset of his eternal brain, wisdom and knowledge, which he has somehow through the anointing of the Holy Spirit, imparted into Solomon.

 

So this is not, you know, if you have a, if you get a medical opinion about something in your life and you say; well, I’m not sure if I’ll accept this medical opinion. I’ll go to a specialist and ask the specialist what they say, and if I’m not satisfied with that, I’ll go to another specialist and I’ll get a second opinion, you know. Or if it’s concerning finances you may go to someone who’s got financial acumen and can help you with a certain financial structure, or investment, or organisation, and if you don’t like that you can go to another one and get a different view on financial matters.

 

Understand that at the time that Solomon was king there was no specialist that he could go to. Because he was the specialist at everything, because God supernaturally gave him understanding of stuff that nobody else had understanding of.

 

You know, I was always aware of this when I was in the corporate world, I had a guy that worked with us and he was a dinkhum genius. They never ever; they never told me what his IQ was but there was talk amongst the management team that his IQ was above 150. Now that’s a serious smart guy. And you could see his brain just operated at a different level. He had almost, very little emotional intelligence, you know, and that’s kind of par for the course for those kinds of brains because they kind of live in a realm up here of thinking that anything that’s ordinary in life just becomes irrelevant. Do you know what I’m talking about?

 

So I had a guy that worked with us on the team that was like that; I mean he was just really smart. And you’d listen to things that he would say sometimes and you’d wonder; I wonder what pattern of thinking was in his brain for him to get there? And you can’t even imagine what that pattern of thinking was because you can’t think what that pattern of thinking was. And he wouldn’t be bothered to explain it to you because your brain is not at the same level as his brain so you not worthy of actually having it explained to you, because you wouldn’t get it anyway. If you can’t think it for yourself then you wouldn’t get it, so shut up and let me carry on with my own life. And, he actually treated people like that; hence the zero emotional intelligence, you know.

 

And I imagine King Solomon was like; well, I’ve got to deal with people because I’m the king but I have this wisdom and understanding about everything in life that nobody really can actually debate anything with me because I have the understanding of it before there’s even a debate about it. It’s quite a, I mean that’s a side of Solomon I hadn’t thought of before I started studying this. You know, how many people do you think you can have conversations with when you’re like him? You know? The only conversations that you actually end up having are those where you solve the problem. You can never really have a conversation where someone solves your problem because when they try and solve your problem, you already know the answer that they’ve got it wrong, or that you’ve seen that part of it and there’s more. I mean this is quite significant for us as spirit beings because we can have all of this in the Holy Spirit.

 

But if you just understand this for a moment, 13I set my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven; this burdensome task God has given to the sons of man, by which they may be exercised (Ecclesiastes 1:13 NKJV). In other words he’s saying; the reason man is on the earth is to solve problems of all things, matters that are under the heaven and God has given man these things to solve so that they can be exercised in problem solving. So what we want to do is run away from problems, whereas God is saying; you’re actually designed to solve problems. Come on, that’s pretty cool. And actually if you think about it that’s actually the whole reason we came to the earth, was God wanted a family and so we solved the problem by living on earth in God. Then when we turned our back on God through Adam and Eve, He sent His Son, Jesus, to solve a problem so that we can become problem solvers again. Proper problem solvers on the earth, not ones that are just solving problems here and there problems; like how much money do I need to pay for rent. That’s not a problem, it’s a faith thing.

 

So he goes on, 14I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind. 15What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be numbered. 16I communed with my heart, saying, “Look, I have attained greatness, and have gained more wisdom than all who were before me in Jerusalem. So you know, I can understand why he’s communing with his heart about this because there’s no one else that he can commune with about this. My heart has understood great wisdom and knowledge.” 17And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is grasping for the wind. 18For in much wisdom is much grief, And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow (Ecclesiastes 1:14-18 NKJV).

 

Well, you know, Solomon has got a particular perspective here, and his perspective is; with all of my wisdom and all of my searching I meditate it in my heart. I searched, in all of my searching I searched all of how far this wisdom that God placed on me, how far my searching would take me, to what conclusions I could come to in the whole scope of everything that man is. I’m trying to get you to understand that this man was, by God, was so smart and he was so understanding of everything that in the end he said; if you’ve got this much knowledge and wisdom, it’s a burden for you and you are full of sorrow because actually to have this much understanding of life there’s nothing else for you to really live for. It’s a little dark, don’t you think. But how would you know if you don’t have his wisdom? I will say this, that in our modern day world with Google, and all of this search engines that we have, the only search engine that you can rely on is the one that the Holy Spirit places inside of you because if you live your life with a Google search engine then you can only do research, but if you want to search for God then you’ve got to search Him with your heart, not with your phone or your computer. You can find out about Him but you cannot actually have an experience with Him.

 

Chapter 2:1, 1I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure”; but surely, this also was vanity. 2I said of laughter – “Madness!”; and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” 3I searched in my heart how to gratify my flesh with wine, while guiding my heart with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the sons of men to do under heaven all the days of their lives (Ecclesiastes 2:1-3 NKJV). I wonder if you can see what’s happening with Solomon here. He’s trying to be stupid so that he can understand how stupid people think, in the hope that as he could gain understanding of folly that that would open an avenue of searching for him that he could understand why people are stupid. Do you see that? He’s actually trying to figure out what folly is and why people do foolish, stupid things because if I think I understand what foolishness is, maybe that will give me a better understanding of what my knowledge and wisdom is doing. He hadn’t written it, I don’t think he would have been able to think about it like this. You know, that this man actually wanted to figure out what foolishness was. He didn’t want to behave like a fool; he just wanted to understand what foolishness is.

 

Till I might see what was good for the sons of men to do under heaven all the days of their lives. 4I made my works great, I built myself houses, and planted myself vineyards. 5I made myself gardens and orchards, and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6I made myself water pools from which to water the growing trees of the grove. 7I have acquired male and female servants, and had servants born in my house. Yes, I had greater possessions of herds and flocks that all who were in Jerusalem before me. 8I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the special treasures of kings and of the provinces. I acquired male and female singers, the delights of the sons of men, and musical instruments of all kinds. 9So I became great and excelled more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me (Ecclesiastes 2:4-9 NKJV). In other words, he was doing all these things in the natural and he was accumulating all of these things and he was actually, you know, drinking wine and he was accumulating wealth and he was doing many things and he said, “All of these things I did, it didn’t diminish my wisdom.” Well, how could it, it was the wisdom that God gave him. So in other words, none of those things impacted him to the point where he gave it up.

 

I was having this conversation with someone in the course of this week, and even during services today I had a conversation. And Sharon and I were reminiscing about some things in our lives gone by, and many, many years ago we had talked about this because there were a lot of things going around in the church about how prosperity is not natural as it is written in the Bible. Prosperity is spiritual; that was the argument churches had against prosperity, you know. And so their whole argument was that money will ruin you. If you have lots of money it will ruin you because you’ll focus on what your money can do for you and not what God can do for you.

 

So some of you may not know this but this was a real, real big issue in the church. It still is in America. Anyway, Sharon and I had this whole long debate about it, we said, “How would you know whether prosperity has ruined you or not.” How would you know? So if you’re poor, let’s say you’re a middle class person, middle income group person, so you don’t have a great deal of wealth and you talk about prosperity of people that are really prosperous, how would you be able to assess whether prosperity has ruined someone, until you achieve prosperity yourself? Then you could say, “Well, prosperity has ruined me.” Well, how would you know if prosperity has ruined you? Well, if your prosperity has brought about a lifestyle that is about your choices and so you no longer do what God wants you to do, but you do what your choices give you options to do, then your prosperity has ruined you. And the moments will come where God will call you on it because He’s not going to play second fiddle to money that you achieved through gifts and callings and talents that He gave you anyway. Right? And so we talked about it then and we said, “Well, we are not going to stop pursuing prosperity and when we get to the time where we feel like we are prosperous enough, then we’ll make a better assessment as to whether prosperity can ruin you spiritually.” Well, you know, Sharon and I went on and earned enough money to consider ourselves reasonably comfortable and reasonably prosperous. And we can say honestly it never ruined us. We followed God and continue to follow God with all our hearts still today. Part of the way we kept our hearts straight was to keep giving money away and let our, let our increase be our seed. Then you will find that you live in a, in a more properly orchestrated environment.

 

So it’s important to understand that all these things were happening to Solomon, King Solomon, and yet he kept his wisdom. 10Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them (Ecclesiastes 2:10 NKJV). In other words if he saw something, he just took it. Do you get that? By the way that included women. It did. I mean it was one of the things that God had against Solomon, was that he had such a big harem of concubines. 10I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, For my heart rejoiced in all my labor; And this was my reward from all my labor (Ecclesiastes 2:10 NKJV). What labour did this king do? Well, maybe it’s all the women he had around him; it’s hard work. No, that’s not it. 11Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I had toiled; And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun (Ecclesiastes 2:11 NKJV). What’s Solomon searching for here? Solomon is searching for something. Basically he’s got all of this wisdom and in all this wisdom he can have anything and everything in life that he wants. And so he does. He takes everything and anything in life that he wants. There is nothing that he doesn’t want that he can’t get. You know, it’s, it’s just one of those amazing things that King David was such a man who, who so was passionate about the tabernacle and worship and praise, and his son, King Solomon, became someone that was so wealthy and full of wisdom. And the lineage of David to Solomon was, was completed if you like, from worship to prosperity; from the desire of God’s house to the wealth of the temple, to the wealth of his own house to the wealth of the temple. I mean if you, if you look at what King David and Solomon both stood for as two kings in the lineage to Jesus, I mean what they stood for is everything that Jesus came to give us back.

 

But Solomon is searching for something. With all of these things that he could get, all of the stuff that he could have, all of the stuff that was ever before him, there was nothing that he couldn’t get that he just didn’t take. He was such a prosperous king, he had no wars that he had to fight, God protected him from kings, kings wanted to have alliances and treaties with him, kings brought gifts to him from afar because just as sheer wisdom that he lived by, people wanted to come and give him wealth so that his wisdom could be imparted into their lives. Hence the Queen of Sheba, she heard by reputation all this wisdom that he had and she brought this great wealth with her so that she could get to touch this man’s wisdom and knowledge and understanding. And when she came in with all of her wealth, she fainted at his wealth. It is true. Read it in the Bible, she fainted because his wealth was beyond what she could imagine and his wisdom and understanding was beyond anything she had ever touched. This man is still searching for something. He’s still searching for something. And you read the whole of Ecclesiastes and at the end of Ecclesiastes he comes to this conclusion, he says, “There’s only one thing I can say for sure; is to fear God and live. Nothing else really matters; fear God and live.” Fear God and live. In the end he comes up with only one meaning that really means anything; to fear God and live. Hallelujah.

 

So God has given you and me an internal search engine and our search engine is designed from when you’re little to start causing you to search for and to hunger for the things of God. It’s not to, it’s not to search for and hunger after a solution that will keep poverty away from you, or to keep you on the right achievement path, or to keep your status or cause you to have a status in society that is say; tick the mark, I’ve done that. God didn’t design us to live such mediocre lives. Those are things that the society around us thinks are important. Those things are not important. What’s important is to fear God and live. Hallelujah.

 

And this man, this King Solomon, that had all of this wisdom, he understood, he understood that it doesn’t matter how much you can figure things out, it doesn’t matter how many problems you can solve, it doesn’t matter what you think about anything and everything, at the end of it there is only one thing that matters; to fear God and live. Because every other purpose under the sun is actually going to become nothing in the end if it’s not because you fear God and live.

 

So, if I ask you the question; who do you trust the most? You might come up with a person’s name. You say, “I trust that person the most.” I don’t know who that person is in your life but you might turn around and say, “I trust that person the most.” If you are a little child, you probably, and it’s a healthy environment, you will probably say, “I trust my parents the most.” You know, then when you become a young adult or an adult and your relationships change, you might have someone else where you say, “I trust that person the most.” I’ve got news for you, you put your trust in a person, they’re going to let you down. Even if it’s a kid with a parent, they’re going to let you down. They are going to let you down because in humans there is weakness. But here’s the good news; you can put your trust in God and He will never let you down. I’ll tell you this much that when you start to put your trust in men it’s because you’ve already deviated from where your trust should be, which is in God. Because when you put your trust in God, you realise that God becomes the sole source of everything that you need in your life and whatever relationships you have besides God can flourish and grow through God. It’s not a question of; I will live with God and I will live with men, I will trust God and I will trust men. I trust God and then my ‘search o’meter’ will always guide me to the right place where I can see what men are all about and then God will help me with those relationships.

 

Listen, I’ve been married to my gorgeous, beautiful, stunning, amazing woman. How many of you think Pastor Sharon is a really spiritual person? Nobody doubts that right? Do you think I’m spiritual? You’d better say yes. I mean the way you were all keen to say she’s spiritual like, you know, I’m trying to make a point. She’s a really spiritual person. She’s also the woman I’ve spent thirty nine years with, October month is when I met her thirty nine years ago and I’ve had thirty nine glorious, fabulous, amazing years with her and we’re just getting started. Really, I mean we are enjoying each other more. However, in the last couple of weeks she did something and she put me in a very awkward position, unsuspecting, in a people dynamic situation, unsuspectingly she puts me in an awkward position. So in the appropriate moment I said to her, “My darling, I want to explain to you what happened to me, what happened inside of me and what the outcome of this situation could be if I had not already acted on it.” I explained it to her. She said, “You know John, I wasn’t thinking like that, I was actually thinking like this and so I just did that because this is what I was thinking.” I said, “I understand from your point of view but do you now see it from my point of view?” She said, “I do.” I said, “Well, do you think I did the right thing behaving the way I did?” She said, “You did, based on what I now see was your position.” I’m trying to tell you, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been married to someone for thirty nine years, they can do something that can let you down. It might not be on purpose, it might not be intentional but they can put you in an awkward position.

 

So my trust is in God that in the strength of God everything can be resolved because I trust Him. Hello. I don’t know how people in the world live without God and solve problems. They don’t actually, I mean, they don’t, they just live from instinct to instinct. They do really, they live from instinct to instinct and that’s how they get through life because their ‘search o’meter’ is already telling them, this thing is not satisfying and it doesn’t matter how much drugs they take, it doesn’t matter how much alcohol they drink, it doesn’t matter how much money they make, it doesn’t matter how much power they get, there is always something that is not satisfying to them and it’s driving them in their search engine to look for God. If you make a decision; I am not going to let God fulfill this, I’m going to do everything I can to satisfy myself, I just, and this is the way they will think, I just haven’t found the right thing yet that’s going to fill this. But I’m going to keep searching for it until I find the right thing that will fill this hole in me. But it’s not going to be God because I don’t believe in God or I don’t believe in the God that people say He is, or churches say that He is. So they honestly, truly believe that they just haven’t found the thing that is going to satisfy them. So they keep looking and doing things and experimenting with things and doing things to try and find it. And now people like Branson, I mean and others, Elon Musk and all these guys, now they’re going to commercialise space travel. Why? Why? Well, because that might be the search engine thing that might be the thing to get that kind of perspective of life that might fill the hole in me. And maybe it’s not even about when you get there, it’s just about the journey to get there that fills you temporarily. I’m preaching real good, hey, on this Sunday afternoon in the heat here? Hallelujah.

 

Jeremiah 17 verse 5 says, 5Thus says the Lord, this is a prophecy now. Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man. Fancy that. I must have been knowing where I’m going in the scriptures. And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the Lord (Jeremiah 17:5 NKJV). If you make yourself your own strength and your heart departs from God, that scripture says you’re cursed. You’re not blessed, you’re cursed.

 

Well, you know, I wouldn’t want to have anybody come and talk to me and stand in front of me and say, “So, is that scripture referring to me? Like do you think that I depend on myself as I a man or do you think I depend on other men to actually, I trust in other men, so therefore I’m cursed?” Well, you know, I wouldn’t like anybody to ask me that question. It’s like, you know, when there was this boss that employed me and he wanted me to do stupid things and I said, “I can’t do them.” And he said, “Well, why not?” I said, “Because the Lord, my God doesn’t want me to do those things.” And he asked me the question, “So how does God speak to you?” So I said, “Well, through the Bible.” So he said, “What does He tell you in the Bible?” So I said, “Do you really want to know?” So he said, “Yes.” I said, “Ok, well the Bible says in Psalm one, to not sit in the council of the ungodly nor walk in the way of the wicked.” He said, “Are you calling me ungodly and wicked?” I said, “No, but the Bible is.” And so he fired me. He did but fortunately I had a praying wife who was at home and she had already got a word for the Lord that I was going to get fired and the Lord told her, “Don’t worry, John is going to be okay, he’s going to get fired but I’ve got you covered with the next job. Don’t worry.” When I get home, I said to her, “Babes, you won’t believe what happened to me today.” She said, “I do.” She said, “You got fired.” I said, “How did you know?” She said, “The Lord spoke to me and told me you’re going to get fired.” Because I just spoke the truth. How about that? In those days there wasn’t a labour law, there was no CCMA. Bosses could just fire you because you called them ungodly and wicked and scornful. I read him the scripture and he was like, “Are you saying that’s me?” “No, that is God telling you that.” And he was a Jew and I was reading from Psalms. Obviously he was of the very liberal Jewish persuasion, you know, he didn’t know what the Psalms said. Anyway, praise the Lord.

 

So this man whose heart departs from the Lord, 6For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited (Jeremiah 17:6 NKJV). In other words, this man’s life, this man who trusts in men will not even be able to identify goodness that is in his life. And so if you interpret the scripture correctly, you will understand that if you can’t understand and identify goodness, then everything in your life is like a desert because you can’t see anything good around you because you trust in man. Then your whole life is living a life of caution, disappointment and carefulness because you trust in men. And you never know when men are going to hurt you. And so you’re living like in a desert, you can’t identify goodness when it even comes and looks at you.

 

7Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. 8For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and who will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit. 9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it? 10I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to keep every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings (Jeremiah 17:7-10 NKJV).

 

This basically is talking about; God is the standard of life and if you do anything and everything in life that is not about God in your life, then God’s life is going to test you. God’s life and the fruitfulness and all of the joy and the stuff that you can have in God is ultimately going to test you. Because in Him you have all fruitfulness, even when there is drought, even when there is difficulty, even when there is trouble everywhere because you are like a tree that’s planted by the rivers, even when it is in drought your roots go so deep into the water below the surface that you can access water that other trees can’t. And so even though there’s a great heat and a great drought, your deep roots of been planted by rivers, go so deep that you even bring fruit in drought, when there’s severe heat you are fruitful; that’s the ways that God wants you to live. Hallelujah.

 

 

So my message that I’m ministering to you today is; Search and switch. Search and switch. I say to you; search your heart, meditate in your heart about where your ways are with God and when you’ve discovered where your heart is, be like Solomon and go there, and remember what I’ve always said; you can’t live by faith until you’re first honest. Honesty is where you have to start. Search your heart and allow the Holy Spirit to help you, search your heart and say, “Lord, where is there a part of my life that I need to bring into God’s order, so that I can have fruitfulness there, so that my roots can grow deep down into the waters of living water that are maybe even below surface, that are not obvious where they are but my roots find them there.”  Search and switch. Don’t trust in men; don’t trust in intellects of everything that’s going on around you. I’ll tell you for sure, thought does not know how to solve its problems.

 

Okay, let me just back step five years ago. Can you remember five years ago where our country was? How much corruption there was? It’s almost hard to think about it but there was the Eskom scandal of the Guptas buying Glencore coal, selling substandard coal to Eskom. You remember the train debacle where every single train they bought, there was ten million put on top to give to the Guptas. Anybody want to help me with some facts from five years ago, more or less, give or take, seven years, tell me. Anybody want to say anything? Not a good place, not a good place for our country. Right? President Jacob Zuma was in power and the ANC was running rampant, he was firing cabinet as he chose and he wanted and it looked like everybody was just never, nobody was, I mean who was going to unseat Zuma? And who is ever going to get rid of the Guptas? Remember that? What? Fire what? He built a fire pool? He built a fire pool? I didn’t even know that, I didn’t even know about that. Oh, it’s a swimming pool that’s called a fire pool. Oh, I see, I get you, now I get you, of course. It’s going to put out fires that are going to come to his house; with all that water, now I remember; now I remember. Nkandla, never mind Nkandla. But you remember that time it was like; who is going to solve this problem? But we as a praying church kept praying and we kept praying by faith that our prayers were making a difference.

 

Now fast forward; this week I heard that through President Donald Trump they have placed a worldwide sanction on the Guptas money and all associated Guptas companies are now under the mandate of sanctions against their banks. You know what that means? Those boys are in for a hard time. If you put your trust in men, cursed are you. And people think like; I can get away with it, I’m getting away with it, I’m getting away with it, look, look, look, I know the president and I know presidents of presidents. And they probably bought the Sheik of Dubai, you know, ten Bentley’s because anything less would be less than he already had. So they probably bought him ten Bentley’s, I don’t know. You know what I’m saying? For them to stay in Dubai and not be politically connected, suddenly there’s a president somewhere that says; Dubai Emirates? You want to be part of this global thing there; you’ve got to sanction those boys. Now it doesn’t matter that they’re sitting in Dubai with all their money, they can’t go anywhere, they can’t travel anywhere, they can’t get any of their money. You want to tell me that God is not the One who can change a thing like this? He can change a thing this (snap fingers).

 

I mean it was quite an emotional moment for me when I got to see Pastor Ray celebrating, who was my pastor for nineteen years, celebrating his 70th birthday and celebrating 40 years in ministry. And so do you know who they invited to the celebration? You don’t know? They invited President Cyril Ramaphosa. And President Cyril Ramaphosa stood on the podium and he talked for a half an hour in the pulpit and for a half an hour he talked about the role that Pastor Ray played. And I’ve shared with you that Pastor Ray has always been called a man that God used to help us in our political transition in this nation. I’ve always said that about him. And so he stood for a half an hour and he named him, alongside people like Reverend Chikane and Bishop Tutu and Ray McCauley. He named them all in the same breath of men that helped us liberate from an apartheid era into a new era and had a significant role as peace makers and arbitrators in a transition between an old government and a new government. The President of the current governing ruling party stood in a preachers’ pulpit and honoured him on his 70th birthday. And so Pastor Ray is not in very good health and he’s really bent over and all that, you know. And he walks up like this on to the stage and he says to the President, he says, “Sir, I’d like to pray for you.” So he calls up all the pastors, unfortunately most of them were from America that were his friends there but it doesn’t matter, because you know, I said to Sharon afterwards, she didn’t, she saw some of it, I said to Sharon, “I wish he had just prayed by himself”, you know, because God placed the mantle on him, you know. But anyway, how many preachers do you know that can command the President to stay, stand Sir, till I can get to you and I can pray for you. Yes, Sir. And there he stood on that platform, Pastor Ray had his hand on him and he prayed a blessing over him and his government. Now listen, I don’t care about what’s happening in the rest of Pastor Ray’s life. That prayer stands as an authentic, authority prayer because of the mantle of authority God placed on him when he became a pastor. He never took that mantel away. He never took that authority away that remains upon him. Hallelujah. I said to Sharon, “I can agree with everything Pastor Ray prayed for him.” Because he prayed that God would bless him, God would give him wisdom, God would give him understanding, that God would just help him in the way that he governs this nation. Everything that Pastor Ray prayed, I can agree with those prayers. And let me tell you; God requires it of me to agree with those prayers because I carry my own spiritual authority in prayer that I carry for this nation. Hallelujah.

 

See, my trust is not in man, my trust is in God. And if I was putting my trust in men, you know there’s this new movement that’s started all over South Africa. What’s it called? I’m staying. I’m staying. Well, I’m glad it’s a movement. I didn’t need a movement to tell me I’m staying, you know. I’m staying here because my trust is not in men, my trust is in God. And it’s not like if I didn’t have an option to go overseas, I mean with all my connections and my relationships I have in America, I could go and stay there anytime I wanted to. I don’t need anybody to tell me that I need to stay, because my trust is in God. Huh, what do you say? And here where I am in fruitfulness, this is where God requires me to be fruitful. Because listen, if all of the fruitful people decide that they do not want to live here because they can’t deal with the circumstances, then God won’t have fruitful people that He can use to sort out the circumstances. He needs fruitful people that put their trust in Him and not in man. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.

 

10I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, this is the mind of your soul, even to, give every man according to his ways according to the fruit of his doings (Jeremiah 17:10 NKJV). Search. We need to search, keep searching, you know. And then you need to be in a place where you are prepared to switch. Search and switch. Search and switch.

 

So, I finish with this story, just a personal story to indicate what I’m talking about. So just have a good look at me. Do you see these things I’m wearing here around my face? Have a good look at me because today is the last day you’ll ever see me with these on because I’m using contact lenses, because I had a very simple thing happen to me. I went to Ethiopia and one of the ministers there I discovered he was using contact lenses. I said, “How long have you been using contact lenses?” And he said, “Well, since I was playing basketball in high school, college.” And he said, “And so I have been using contact lenses all of my life, and my wife uses contact lenses.” And so I tried contact lenses some years ago because I knew at some point more and more video based profile was going to happen for me. And I struggled to put contact lenses in my eyes and then take them out. And I struggled to put them in and take them out and so I said, “Ag, heck with it, I’ll just wear glasses.” Until I saw him and so I got, I said, “So is this a simple thing?” He said, “Once you get used to it,” he said, “It’s like you brush your teeth every day. I said, “Cool, I’m inspired.” So I had, you know, Justin and Annette and people around and I had things, I was very busy for a while. But I also wanted to spend some time with the Lord about this and build my faith about using contact lenses. So I phoned my optometrist that I use and I said, “I want to come and explore contact lenses.” Made an appointment and so I went in there on Friday. On Friday morning sitting on the edge of my bed, this is now my final prayer like before you go and see the headmaster, kind of thing you know, it’s like that kind of final feeling. It’s like you know, “Eish Lord, last time I just couldn’t do this, you know.” So I just sat there and I said, “Holy Spirit, I’m asking You to help me. I’m asking you to help me be relaxed. I’m asking You to let me have an understanding and just help my physiological reactions to make it easy for me to have contact lenses.” From my heart, I asked Him to help me.

 

I got there, optometrist pulls out a set of trial, 30-day trial, contact lenses. So she says to me, “I’ve got two pairs for you. Ones got a stronger reading element to it, multifocal, reading element to it. The other one, so we’ll, start with the lightest reading one first.” So opens it up. “This is how you do it. Put it in your face.” “Ok.” ‘Click’, in it goes. I go “Wow. That was like, wow.” She said, “Let’s do the next one.” Open it up, ‘click’, just like that. So then she does a test on me, on my eyes, I can hardly read this stuff that’s here. She says, “I didn’t think so, let’s get the other ones.” I said, “You’re testing me now.” You know, now I’ve got to take these out. She says, “This is how you do it.” ‘Click’, out it comes. “This is how you do it.” ‘Click’, out it comes. “Put the other ones in.” ‘Click’, in it goes; other ones in.  Have a test; these are the pair that works for me.

 

So this morning I preached without glasses in front of the cameras. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. But I have to wear glasses today because in the beginning I’m only allowed to wear contacts for so many hours a day, I’ve, my eyes have got to get used to it, I’ve got to increase the usability in my eyes, so today you see me for the last time with glasses on my face. So, do you want to take a picture to have a historic moment?

 

Search and switch. Search and switch. Hey? Just little things, search your heart; what has God got for you that can make television work for you, that can make public speaking work for you, that can make it so that you don’t have to keep putting stuff in front of your face the whole time, everywhere you go. And you’ve got this kind of glasses for that kind of activity and these glasses for that kind of activity, and it’s just a one, all the time, looking for glasses all the time. Come on, those of you wearing glasses, you know what I’m talking about. Hey? And those of you that are not wearing glasses; it’s coming. Hey, you guys it’s like saying, “I’m not getting old, I refuse, it’s not ever going to happen to me.” Ja, I said the same when I was like, 35, 40 years old, 45; I said, “These people wearing glasses,” I said, “Shame because it will never happen to me.” And then I started, (Ps John moving his hand away from his face gesturing he is struggling to read), it’s the first sign when you have to start doing that to read. And some of you are sitting here without glasses and you’ve already got glasses, you just not wearing them today in the church.

 

Anyway, search and switch. You know, to me it was a simple thing, I’m, I’m traveling with a guy in Ethiopia and it’s, it’s somebody that’s in Brother Jerry’s ministry and there’s no reason for us to have a conversation about contact lenses. And to be honest I wouldn’t have known that he was wearing contact lenses, but we had such a moment together, him and I, where the anointing of God came into the conversation that we were standing there and he was standing there and he was crying. And in his crying, he wiped his eyes with his finger, and the next minute he can’t see. I said, “What’s happening now?” “I’ve dropped my contact lens, because I rubbed my eyes with my tears.” So there we were, crawling on the ground looking for contact lenses, you know. So then it lead me to ask him how he’s been using the contact lenses, and it inspired me to say, “You know, this is really a viable solution if I can get over this barrier, that of, this fear kind of, this thing of not being able to put something in my eye and then get it out again.” So I just allowed my faith to work and I got before the Lord; and I was searched to switch. I made a search in my heart, I made a search with the Lord, I made a search in my soul, and I allowed my soul to meditate on the goodness of God that could allow me to have this kind of thing happen.

 

And now, you know what the good thing is? I can go into any sunglass shop and buy shades, man. Your pastor is about to go to the next level of coolness. Because now I don’t just have to have prescription shades, I can buy shades. Watch this space. I have always kind of admired Pastor Sharon, it’s like, she walks into a shop, “I like these pair of sunglasses, John”. I’d say, “Ah, what brand are they?” “Oh, they’re this brand.” I won’t even say, you know. “Babes, Babes, Babes.” “They look so good on me.” She’s got the kind of eye-brows and she’s got the kind of face shape that sunglasses just look beautiful on her. So it almost doesn’t matter what she puts on in a shop, it’s going to look beautiful. It just so happens that the expensive brand names come out with fancy frames, and they just look better on her. And you know, if she likes, it’s like, “Come on Babes, come on. I really like this pair of sunglasses. Come on, Babe.” “Okay Babes, well in that case, have it.” And now, if I go into her cupboard there, you know, she’s got these pairs of glasses; she’s got all the cases with all of her cool sunglasses. And I’ve got to wear these; I’ve got one pair of glasses that is a prescription pair of glasses. Then I’ve got an athletic pair that I can run with and cycle with; it’s like boring. So I said to her, I said, “No more boring for me.” Now, I’ve got some ace up my sleeve; every time she wants to go buy something, I’d say, “What about me? One for you, one for me. And since you’ve got about a 10 head-start on me; I think I’ve got five coming my way at least, before we start buying for you.”

 

Search and switch, search and switch. I’ve got a lot more to say on this subject. I’ve only just started talking about it, because there’s a lot that I want to talk to you about, about the search; the search engine of your heart; the search engine that God works with in you. And if you will let Him work with your search engine, there is dramatic change, dramatic things can happen in your life, in your search and switch. Search and switch. Come on everybody; search and switch, search and switch. Ja, you don’t have to stay with the trust in this or what; search and switch. Just make a decision, I’m going to switch. I’m going to switch to the ways of God; I’m going to switch to meditating in my heart with God. I’m going to switch to having conversations with God, rather than with men and having what men’s opinions are. I can search and switch.

 

Did you enjoy something? Did you get something out of this message today? You better say yes, otherwise you’re all fired. Hallelujah. She says, “Yes, Pastor John”. Hallelujah. Stand with me please. Thank you, for listening to me on this Sunday afternoon, in this heat. I appreciate your attentiveness. Hallelujah. And I appreciate you all showing up at next week’s Sunday morning service. Yes, Pastor. Yes, Pastor. Hallelujah, hallelujah.

 

I want us to all just pray together. We’re just going to pray a prayer that in agreement; there is someone here that needs to pray this prayer today, that you can pray it with us. So let’s just pray together, say; Lord Jesus, I am in need of You in my life. And where I have placed my trust in myself, and where I have placed my trust in man, I ask You to forgive me for that right now. And I also ask You Lord, to forgive me for any twisted way in my life. And I ask You Lord, to rule and reign in my heart, as my Lord and Saviour. And I thank You Lord that Your wisdom, Your understanding will become my portion. I ask You, Father, for the leading and the guiding and the real presence of the Holy Spirit in my life, and I receive it now by faith in Jesus’ name. Amen. Hallelujah.

 

I pray that your week will be filled with goodness. I pray that your week will be filled with joy and peace and full of fruitfulness and productivity and all good things as you give yourself to the Lord. No weapon formed against you will prosper. His Word and the Blood of Jesus surrounds and protects you. And you are blessed going in and blessed coming in, and in all that you do. Amen.

Can I give you a quick testimony? As I was praying that, I was reminded, because I prayed for Empie and San-Marie this morning after church. They’ve gone to America, they’re joining us on the trip, but they’ve already left to go there. And on Thursday, when I was coming through here to the prayer meeting, we received a call from San-Marie and she said that their truck that’s got all spares and technology things to help customers had been hi-jacked with their driver who had been with them from basically the start of their business. So this was somebody that was well-known to them in their business and so the truck had been hijacked and off-grid, didn’t know where he was.

 

Pray; so we’re driving in the car, coming through here, and we begin to pray, and we prayed this, we said, “Lord, we pray that You protect their employee, we pray that You protect their vehicle and that they will find it and that no harm will be done to the person who is driving the car.” And this is what I prayed, and I said, “And I pray Lord, I pray that this will not prevent Empie and San-Marie from going overseas and doing what’s in their heart to do, and what You’ve called them to do.” It wasn’t fifteen minutes later, we got a phone call, they’ve found the car. Today, when they came in for me to pray for them, San-Marie was exuberant, and I have never seen her like this actually, and she was just saying, “Pastor John, you won’t believe, they found him in the back of the bakkie, like van. They found him in the back of the van, they found the hijackers in the front of the van. The cops and the car-tracking guys converged on the car at the same time where they caught the guys in the car. Those guys are now sitting in prison awaiting sentence.” San-Marie and Empie said this, “Any other outcome would’ve stopped us from going overseas, but it’s been so easily, quickly resolved and so professionally done; there is no question about anything. We can keep going, no more problem.” You see, the Word of God says, a weapon may be formed against you, but it won’t prosper, it won’t prosper. It’s a good testimony don’t you think? Hallelujah.

 

Okay, now you can go, bye.

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