Search and Switch – Ps John Bendixen (WTB)
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); Luke 15:8-10 (NKJV)
Are you blessed? I’m so glad to hear it. Thank you for asking. I’m also blessed. Thank you, Conrad. Hallelujah. Well, it’s a good day, it’s a glorious day, it’s a wonderful day. Amen.
I heard somebody say recently, “It’s a blessing to actually just wake up in the morning.” I thought about that, why would he consider it to be a blessing when you wake up, that you just wake up in the morning? I got to think about it and you know, there are many things physiologically that can happen in sleep. You take it for granted that when you go to bed you are going to wake up, because you just do go to bed and then you wake up, but it doesn’t mean that because you have woken up every day for the last 30 or 40 or 50 years that you will wake up tomorrow morning. Because of the physiological something that might happen in your sleep at night and so it’s a good thing to wake up in the morning and say, “Good morning, Lord. Um it’s a good day, I’m glad to be awake and I’m glad to be alive.” Amen. Praise the Lord.
So, lots of good things happening in and around the ministry. Lots of things happening to us and with us and there are things that God is doing behind the scenes that I can’t even begin to share with you just, yet how impactful and pertinent and powerful it is. I am going to share with you this morning a message that the Lord has laid on my heart, because during the week, actually this word begin to, began to bubble up in my spirit and it was the word; search, search.
Before I, I mean, I already started preaching. Any time you communicate from the pulpit I guess you are preaching you know, but Brother Jerry recently in the month of the end of September, he was travelling and the Lord began to speak to him about the word for 2020. So he was kind of almost upset at the Lord, because normally the Lord, he sets aside time and then God speaks to him in October, and so he’s like, “You gave me this word four weeks early, what’s up with You?” I guess when the Lord wants to communicate with you, He can communicate with you anytime He wants.
Anyway, Brother Jerry has a word from the Lord and it is 2020 will be; A Year of a New Open Door. There is going to be a new open door in 2020 for you. He began to share some things about direction, purpose and plans when he was sharing this message. He did not, when I heard it, and he has not yet been back into the local church that he could teach more on it. When I heard it, that’s all that I want to share with you this morning, is that there is a word for 2020 and it is a year of an open door. I think that’s important, because as you are kind of meditating on, while we are away in America. Although we are still going to be here next Sunday and while things are going on, you can begin to receive that word in your heart – that there is an open door, that’s going to happen for me in 2020. That’s a wonderful expectation to have. It’s a wonderful word to begin to receive into your heart and it’s partly because of my meditation already, on that word that I got to this word, search. This is what I’m going to basically minister to you today.
I’m going to give you the dictionary meaning of the word search. So the verb of the word search is; to find something by looking or otherwise seeking carefully and thoroughly. It also means to examine thoroughly in order to find something or someone. So, if you are in the process of searching, it means you are trying to find something. It’s not just a casual, just looking around. If you go into your house and you are heading for the kitchen and you go through the rest of your house into the kitchen, if you come through the front door. You are not looking for anything, you would be kind of just looking around the house until you go to the kitchen and then you may be looking for something in the kitchen, which might be in a cupboard somewhere. You might open a cupboard and you say, “Oh no, I didn’t put it in there.” You might go to the pantry or some other place, “Oh yes, I found what I’m looking for.” That is kind of, you are searching but not really searching, you know. You are kind of just looking around, until you find something. This is worse word, to search, is an examination, is to try and find something or someone by seeking carefully and thoroughly, an act of searching for someone or something.
If you look in the thesaurus of the word, searching or search you will find the noun in the thesaurus is to, hunt, look, probe, dig, rummage, route around and about as in looking for something, a quest, purpose, a pursuit of or seeking after. If you read, searching for something it means, it means you are really looking for it, you are going to dig around, you are going to rummage, you are going to hunt, you are going to probe, you are going to look seriously. In all of these dictionary meanings that I looked up in the Word, there is this word that keeps coming out and it’s the word seek. If you are seeking something it means; to attempt to find something, an attempt or desire to obtain or achieve something or to seek someone or something, seek them out.
Of course, to search is something different to research and I’m going to do this on purpose, because I’m going to show you from the scripture, the difference in the Word of God. If you are doing research, then you are doing the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and new conclusions. So, if you are doing research, it’s a systematic investigation into and the study of materials and resources, in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions. Research is about, I am going to investigate, I’m going to study, I’m going to go and look for different sources of materials, to come to a different conclusion that was reached before. So research and search is something very different.
Psalm 77 verse 6 says, 6I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart, And my spirit makes diligent search. (Psalm 77:6 NKJV) I meditate within my heart and my spirit makes diligent search. Psalm 139 verse 23 says, 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 of everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24 NKJV) There is something that God has placed in every one of us, that I have observed. As I was meditating on ministering to you this morning, I have observed this, that it seems to be something of an instinct that is inside you and me that we are looking, searching for something from the day that we are born.
I wasn’t present of course, I was present with the birth of my own son and certainly when he was born, Sharon was determined that she was going to breastfeed him. It was the most amazing thing that when he was born, his instinct was to search for mom’s boob. I mean, listen, this is natural stuff. Don’t get freaked out at me here because of what I’m saying. It’s an amazing thing if you watch a child that’s just been born and they’ve never latched on before. Their mouth starts going like this [gestures mouth movement] and they are looking for the breast nipple. Right? I mean, they don’t even know what it is. They don’t even know that this is meant to feed them. I mean, what do they know? They are minutes old, but yet there is an instinct inside of them that searches; where’s the source of my food? Where’s the source of my sustenance, that’s going to keep me alive?
It’s immediate. It’s immediate. I noticed that and sometimes, you know, we’ve had conversations, over the years how one of my sons were born and it was like, “Where’s is? Where’s it?” You know, [gestures baby searching], “Where’s it? Where’s it?” Then the other son, when he was born it was like, “Have a go, boy.” “I think I’ll doss first.” He was kind of like, really cool about it and he wanted to just rest and, “Maybe later, mom,” you know, kind of. Later he was sort of half of… “Ag, maybe later, you know.” It took awhile for him to kind of get to the point where he latched on and he was really now searching for food, I guess, maybe, when the hunger kicked in. Who knows?
In his instinct, the one child’s instinct was immediate; he was like, “Where is it?” The other child was like, “I’ll get to it when I’m comfortable,” kind of, “I’ll wait.” But what’s real is that within in minutes or within a half an hour of being born, there was already something in them to search for the source. There was a search for the source. So, as I go about my life, I have watched people and I have been privileged at my age, I’m still very young.
Don’t even, you know, don’t even take that like a negative thing, but I have been around a few years. [Laughs.] I’m at that very good age of high energy and high wisdom. I mean, that’s all I’m going to say about it; I’m at that really good age of high energy and high wisdom. Sometimes you have got lots of energy and no wisdom. Then when you get a bit older, you have lots of wisdom with less energy. I’m at the optimum age where I have got high energy and high wisdom. Praise the Lord.
I have observed different things about different people and certainly if I observe teenagers… Well, let’s even go to little children as they are growing up and they are playing around the house. It’s amazing how, they are instinctively begin to look for things. It would seem often to just irritate their parents. It’s not like they want to irritate their parents, they think, but actually they do want to irritate their parents. It’s hard to explain it. They just find things to do and they search for things to do and when they find that they do that stuff, mom and dad says, “No, no, no!” I mean, it happens quite regularly in any household that has kids, almost on a daily basis because they are looking for stuff and they do stuff and they do stuff, you know.
Especially if they’ve got a little bit of playtime. Inevitably playtime leads to something that somebody’s doing that… “Hey! Wat maak julle? What are you doing?” It seems to be instinctive. There is already something in that child that’s searching. Could I say; they are searching for boundaries or how to explore beyond boundaries. So, of course, if you search beyond boundaries that are set there by parents and each parent raises their children with different sets of boundaries, then when you step beyond the boundary there is action that must be taken. There seems to be this quest, this pursuit inside a child that wants to go and seek boundaries.
When they become teenagers, there is no question about it; their pursuit and their quest becomes about where they fit into the hierarchy of life. So, they are trying to find their identity. They are trying to find their limitations. They are trying to find how far they can push themselves and how far they can go with a particular thing. There is something that’s going on inside of them and they are searching for. They are on a quest for it. There is a pursuit of it. There is a digging around. there is a rummaging around in life, can I put it.
Have you ever watched somebody rummaging around? For example, unfortunately, some people do that; to find plastic bottles and they resell them and people rummage around in trash cans to find bits of food and different things. Someone’s junk is someone else’s treasure, in that sense, you know. In order to find it, they rummage around and so that’s taking things, throwing things away, digging deep in some instances and most often it is in dirty places.
You find that teenagers, they in particular, rummage around in many different things. they are searching for something. they are trying to find themselves. They are trying to find; what’s my identity, where are my limitations and where am I allowed to break a limitation, so that I can express what my identity is? All the while, there is something happening inside of them. There is a search for something and certainly, if you are a teenager, you are not yet, certainly not in your early teens, I’d say 13 to 16, you are not in a place where you are thinking about your life plan and your life purpose and your life everything. If you are at the age of 13, 14, 15, I’d say you are not yet, you haven’t been permitted to be a child because you shouldn’t be thinking about that as a child. You should be permitted to play. I’m talking about… This is different conversation than let’s say, “I want to be a fireman, daddy.” You know what I’m saying? “I want to be a this. I want to be a that.” I mean, have at it. I remember when I was that age I wanted to be a game ranger. Show me almost any young boy who’d never wanted, at some point, be a game ranger. Just because, if you are a game ranger you can get into the bush and live with the lions and leopards and the elephants and everything like that, you know. I only found out later, it’s not quite like that.
There is something that is happening in a child and as they head into their later teens and their awareness of their social connectivity and their social order begins to increase. That awareness, and certainly society starts to put pressure on them, because at around 16, 17, 18 they are about to finish school and then this whole question comes about; what are you going to do next once you finish school? The searching gets elevated to a higher level and it becomes a serious internal quest, an internal looking and rummaging inside of your emotions. Perhaps rummaging in and around your gifts and your callings and your talents and I know that a lot of young people would go to some kind of specialist, person that does some kind of psychological evaluations to say, “Well, you are gifted in this area. You have these kind of basic, biases or talents or things that come easy to you to do.”
I certainly did that one year, before one of my management promotions that I got. My company wanted to affirm that I was indeed management material, I suppose. They sent me on one of these extensive tests and I remember sitting down with an educational industrial psychologist and he talked to me for three hours after I did this test, you know. They decided that… it turned out that I could do one of three things; I could either be in sales or I could be a lawyer or I could be a preacher. In my life I have been two of the three. Amen. Some might even say that the more you study the Word, you are studying the law of God, which would put me squarely into the third place, where I study the law of God.
Anyway, I did not need them to tell me that, my heart was already telling me that. However, you find yourself in a place where you start to rummage. Emotionally, you start to dig, and you sort of go into those places of your life, where roots have been established and you try and find out, “What did that root mean? And where did this root take me? It’s established me in, in my life and so what are the things that have caused me to be established with this in my life?”
So, certainly, if you are a teenager, that becomes a very heightened experience and, and there is this tug of war that happens, where people that are older, more educated and your parents or, and parents in a child’s life, want to have quite a lot to say about what the child does. They understand that this teenager, 16, 17, 18, isn’t really equipped to make a lifelong decision about what they are going to be doing. At the same time, there is this conversation that’s happening, that says; Well, you don’t want to lose too much time deciding in other words; you don’t have the time to get older and more mature because when you get to that point, you have already lost a couple of years and you don’t want to lose years, so that you do what you want to do. So there is this searching that’s going on, right?
I have also discovered that when you become an adult and let’s say for example; your circumstances prevented you from being able to go and study, and your circumstances prevented you from being able to pursue something that you really want to pursue. All that you had to do, and all you could do was go and work and try and find a job, and earn a living maybe to help yourself and help your family. Let’s just say that, for a moment.
That doesn’t change, so even if those are your circumstances that doesn’t change the fact that there is still searching going on inside of you. I would go so far as to say that internally your searching is actually heightened, because now you realise your circumstances haven’t been able to provide choices for you. So, you are always wondering, what could have happened if I had more choices? If you are wondering about what could have happened, if I had more choices, then sometimes that need to fill that quest or that internal pursuit that is happening inside of you, gets heightened.
I have found this about adults, sometimes it starts when your teenagers, but definitely I have discovered this in young adults in particular. When they are in their early twenties, they begin to pursue things in life that they think are in their control. They can exercise options to search, so what they try and do, they try and extend their option to; well, I will drink alcohol for example, because now it’s in my control and I will search what options alcohol can give me in terms of the enjoyment and just doing things in life that I want to do. Sometimes it will include drugs. Sometimes it will include sexual behaviour patterns. Sometimes it might include anger and violence.
There are different things young adults will do to express themselves. There is a new modern-day trend that is, I’d say it’s better than most let’s put it that way, but it certainly doesn’t make it good. One of those trends is, there is a younger generation that’s growing up that is very sporty orientated and very fitness orientated and they want to really look after their bodies. Well, that doesn’t make it, doesn’t make it any different to experimenting with alcohol and drugs. It’s just a healthier form of experimentation, of; what do I want to become, what am I looking for? I’m searching for something that can be meaningful in my life that I can pursue.
Then you find that people sometimes find a place that they have a job and maybe they find some joy and satisfaction in their job. They begin to give themselves more and more time to their job, so that they can build a career, and they start to find that in the search for, looking for something in their life, they find that; if I can pursue my career and I can make money, then I can control more of my future. They give themselves completely to pursuing a career or pursuing making money, so that they can find a place where this thing that’s inside of them that’s making them search.
I guess this is the quest that happens in every person. When we are living on earth as a human being, we tend to find that our lifestyle and the encounters that we have in life, tend to be very average, most of the time. Please bear with me. Inside of ourselves, we are designed to press for the extraordinary. We are all designed and created as human beings, not to settle for the ordinary, but to press for the extraordinary. I want to say that internally we are also designed, because the Bible says so, that God has put eternity in our hearts. That’s not just Christians, that’s everybody that is ever born. He’s put eternity in your heart and the reason He has put eternity in your heart is, so that this quest that you have, this desire, the searching will lead you to Jesus. It will lead you to God.
When you come to God, when you come to find Him, then in your finding Him, you find all of your answers. All of your answers are found in there, whether you are a little child, whether you are a teenager, whether you are a young adult or whether you are an older person. All of your searching is found in Him.
Which is why I can comfortably say, money cannot fill that hole, status and power in a community cannot fill that hole, there is no relationship on earth that can fill that hole. I don’t care how good your marriage is. I don’t care how good your friendship is with your best friend, who may not be your married best friend. That friendship cannot fulfil that hole, that is always searching for something, because God has put that hole in every one of us to search for Him, because He is the only one that can fill it. Amen.
I have become, in my observation, I have observed that many people, even Christians, many Christians, and for a moment I am just going to talk about Christians. I want to say I have observed Christians searching for things. Inside the church, they seek for some kind of status in the church; they seek for some kind of visibility in the church. Certainly I grew up in a church where, to stand in the pulpit and to preach from the pulpit was considered to be a very hallowed thing and a very high status. Something to really try and obtain for yourself. Well, you know, I have observed this, not just because the previous church that I attended had so many tens of thousands of people in the church and because the organisation structure was very hierarchical and was very dominated from the top.
I have been in church my whole life and even with denominational churches, where councils run the church. Still, the pulpit is something that people want to obtain for themselves; they want to have a profile. If they can not be in the pulpit, they want to control what comes from the pulpit. Those people that have been in the dominations, tell me I’m wrong? I’m telling you, there are elders, ouderlinge, the church board, kerkraad, and they will call the Dominee or the Pastor in and say, “Listen, for the next six months or three weeks or whatever, we think you should be talking about this subject”. “Why?” “Well we think people need you to talk on this subject and because we represent the people we will come and tell you what you should be preaching.” Am I right?
The whole thing about it is, if you can’t find yourself in the pulpit then you want to control what comes from the pulpit. There is something about the pulpit, that in church, people sort of want to be in the pulpit. I have seen many people leave churches, because the Pastor didn’t recognize their gifting, the Pastor didn’t recognize their efforts, and the Pastor didn’t recognize the amount of time they did certain things and so because the Pastor didn’t recognize them, they leave. They go to another church where they think they can be, that they will go and be able to use their gifts there. It’s a bit like this.
I have been married to this girl for 38 years, nearly 39 years in a few months. There is a few things we know about each other. There are a few things that we know about each other that nobody else knows about each other. If I ever got dissatisfied with what was happening between us, and that’ll never happen, but I’m just using this as an example. If I have got dissatisfied, I might want to take myself off to another relationship and go and present myself to someone else. Because I’m tired of not getting what I want here, so I must go and look for something else, something somewhere else.
Well, part of the reason that happens is because of the long time we have spent with each other, we know stuff about each other. When you start a new relationship, you don’t know that about each other. So everything feels so fresh, it feels so new, it feels so vibrant, it feels so, heightened sense of energies. Meantime, that’s not the reason, that’s not the way that you can live relationships. When you really begin to live in a relationship, it’s not that you have lost your vibrancy or you have lost your energies or you have lost your things here. It’s about how you work keep working with things inside of your relationship that can keep renewing it, keep it vibrant and keep it strong.
Now, that’s easy to say, it’s not so easy to do. I will go so far as to say, there are many people that try to do that, but without God in their relationship they can’t, they don’t know how to do that. They will try and use drugs and they will try and use alcohol, they will try and use the money. They will try and use all kinds of things of adventures to go places in the world to keep it fresh and vibrant, but even that doesn’t satisfy it.
The point I’m really trying to make is that I have even found that people inside a church organization begin to say, “Well, you know, I’m a little bit tired of what’s going on in this church and I’m not recognized enough in this church. I don’t feel this way and so there is got to be something better for me somewhere else.” Right?
There is something going inside of you that is searching for something. It’s there from the day you are born and as you sit in this church service today, it’s in you. It’s searching for, it’s looking for, its there is some inside of you that wants to dig around. There is something that wants to rummage through opportunities, rummage through new experiences and rummage and keep, because there is something inside of you that wants to keep looking. At the same time, please hear me out, at the same time you want to do that, but you are not sure how much of your comfort zone you want to rock. So, it’s like I want to stay comfortable, but I want to rummage a bit. I want to stay comfortable, what I want to dig around a bit. I want to stay comfortable, but I want to find different ways of expressing myself. Am I talking to the right people this morning?
Ecclesiastes Chapter 1 verse 12, this is King Solomon speaking 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, or of man, by which they may be exercised. 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. 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 1:12-18 NKJV)
It’s quite an interesting passage of Scripture this and certainly we know that Solomon was the wisest man that certainly was around in his day. God asked him the question, “You can choose wealth or wisdom, which one do you want, when you become King of Israel?” As he was becoming King of Israel and Solomon said, “Well I’ll choose wisdom.” God made him wealthy, with the wisdom. Well, actually the Lord asked him, “What do you want?” and he chose wisdom.
I am going to move on to chapter two, 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)
So, here’s a man who is the King, and yet there is a searching going on in his heart to find out what is the meaning of everything and anything and everything. He has such an insight into life and all of the doings of men, and all of the workings of men, and all of the business of men, he has such an insight into it, that he even wanted to understand stupidity and folly. So that, in his understanding of stupidity and folly, he might understand what it was that made men choose stupidity and folly, so that he could counsel them not to choose stupidity and folly. How does the wise men actually choose, I mean how does he get to understand folly? He couldn’t, but he even wanted to try to understand it.
4I made my works great; I built myself houses, and planted myself vineyards. 5I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6I made myself water pools from which to water the growing trees of the grove. 7I acquired male and female servants, and had servants born in my house. Yes, I had greater possessions of herds and flocks than 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)
He didn’t lose his head to all of these things that he acquired, he understood in the overall scheme of things that these things are all vanity and have no real meaning, and there is no real value to them, even though you own them. 10Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, For my heart rejoiced in all my labour;…. didn’t sound that he was labouring much. What was his labouring about? What is this labour that he is talking about, it was the exercising of his wisdom that was managing his wealth, but he was managing his delight in his wealth, he was managing his happiness, his laughter, he was managing his, everything that was about him, he was labouring to understand and to keep all of this knowledge to help him more with understanding. …And this was my reward from all my labour. 11Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labour in which I had toiled; And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 2:9-11 NKJV)
At the end of this book, Solomon concludes one thing, at the end of all of his deliberating and debating and searching, and using this extreme amount of wisdom that God had given him, he says, “There is only one thing that is important, that is to fear God and live. Fear God and live.” How did, why did all of this belaboured debating and thought process and understanding, how did he get to this conclusion and why did he feel he had a necessity to go through all of this stuff?
Well, here’s the way I see it. God put in his heart, as he put in all our hearts to search, to look for something to fill you and so when He, when God said I’m going to give wisdom, how did someone who had a normal average human education, let’s call it the very best human education. How did someone who had the very best human education, get to receive the wisdom of God? Well, surely the Holy Spirit come upon him and imparted a super capability, that would allow him to see things beyond anything in the natural. You can imagine, I mean, the famous thing that Solomon did, is that one of the famous councils that he ever did as a king, is the famous story of two women, who had a dispute of one child.
This was in the courts of the king’s purview, you know to judge on whose child it is. This one woman said, “It is my child” and the other woman said, “No but it is my child.” They were standing in front of the king and he says, “I’ll tell you what I’ll do,” he says “I’m going to cut this kid in half and I will give you each half of one.” The one woman said, “That is okay.” The other one said, “No, no, she can have it. She can have the kid.” He said, “I will give you the child, because a real mother would never want harm to come to her child”.
In our modern day world, they would say, “Duh, anybody could think that out.” No, not really. He was famous for some decisions that he made in life that were just smart. Just the way he interrogated people and things in the way that he could. I am just wanting you to understand that Solomon, wasn’t just intelligent, he wasn’t just well-educated, he wasn’t just smart, he was God Smart. He was God intelligent, he was God understanding things, and when he received this ability to perceive things and to observe things, and understand things and accumulate information and process information and then come to the right conclusion. You know nowadays, we might have information and we are not sure whether we have come to the right conclusion or not. So, we phone a lawyer, we phone an accountant, we phone a doctor. We might go phone someone who’s specialist and say, “Listen, this is what I think, what do you say?” He didn’t have those guys to turn to. He was the smartest guy in the land.
How did he know where he was coming to the right conclusion about anything? Well, it was the wisdom of God on him, that was leading him in his searching to come to the conclusions. There is a confidence about that, that is beyond anything that we have in our modern day, today. His confidence was that God had imparted it to him, a part of God’s ability, that he could exercise on the earth, called wisdom. So, now I encourage you to go and read the book of Proverbs and see what the book, what it says about wisdom. That wisdom is, its beauty is beyond anything that you can see, the pearls, silver and gold. Wisdom, is the greatest thing that you could obtain. Why, because wisdom is the understanding of God and it is the understanding of things on the earth, that God wants you to understand and see things in a certain way, Amen.
Praise the Lord. I have much more to say about this subject, because when you leave here today, you are going to become aware, that just because you get older, doesn’t mean that you can switch the searching button off in your heart. You can be 70, 80 years old and there is still something inside of you, that is reaching out your searching for something. The good news, that I have for you today, is that God placed that search engine in you, and it is not called Google. God has placed that search engine in you, because He is wanting you to search for Him. He’s wanting you to search for Him.
Jeremiah 17 verse 5, 5Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man”. Hey, I’m a man, 5Cursed is the man who trusts in man (Jeremiah 17:5 NKJV), if I trust in myself then I can’t be blessed. Cursed is the man who trusts in himself, but also cursed is a man who trusts in another man, because if your trust is in another man, he will let you down.
As much as I live my life in the Word of God and I live my life with the Word of God, the chances are, if you start to trust in me, somewhere along the line that expectation, I am going to fail you. When I do not meet your expectation for whatever reason then, one of us is going to probably decide that this relationship is not working.
Unfortunately, and that is why I always say’s from this pulpit, you should not even take the words that I say from the Bible as the gospel. You should go to the Bible and study the Bible and find those Words as the gospel. I study the Word and I endeavour to do the very best that I can to represent God correctly, and to give you messages that are well researched and well-studied and give a whole perspective. A whole perspective of the whole of the way God would think about a subject. Ultimately Jesus is the only one that actually will never fail you. The Father and the Holy Spirit.
5”Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, … (Jeremiah 17:5 NKJV) In other words, anything you produced by yourself, if you make that your strength, that’s not where your blessing lies. ….Whose heart departs from the Lord. You see because, if you are in a search pattern, that is searching for something in this natural world to fill your heart, then your ways depart from God. God designed the search engine inside of you, to seek for Him.
The more you try and buy things, accumulate more wealth, accumulate achievements, accumulate passions, where you actually fill your life with many things that make you happy. If it’s not God that’s pleasing you, first and foremost, then you never are going to find a real peace and a real joy.
6 For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, ….. because this person depends on himself, and depends on men, he’s not even going to see when good comes to him when God is bringing good to him. Because he depends on himself so he says, “Well, I’m I can’t depend on God I’m depending on myself.” So when God brings good to him he won’t even recognize it. This is what this scripture says. 6…But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited. 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 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? (Jeremiah 17:5-9 NKJV)
I have heard someone say this, that the mind justifies what the heart is already chosen. So, if you find that your heart doesn’t want to do something that God told you to do, you are going to find a mental reason to justify what your heart’s chosen. When you give yourself over to God, and your heart chooses God you will find amazingly, how your mind begins to change in what you justify.
You will find, that what you do in life, is always going to be something where your heart is exposed. What people try and do, is they are try and do a lot of what they do, behind closed doors. So that they can’t give, that other people see what their heart is exposed. I’m preaching really good today.
Verse 10, 10I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings. (Jeremiah 17:10 NKJV) Praise the Lord.
I’m going to read one more Scripture and then I’m done for today. The title of my message is Search and Switch. Sounds a bit like a cellphone advert. Search and Switch, you know, actually, ja, anyway. Luke chapter 15 verse 8 8Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? 9And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ 10Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. (Luke 15:8-10 NKJV) That will tell you right there, that God has connected the search engine that’s inside of you to search for Him. When you get to the point where you say, “Hey, I have had enough of searching for mine, for the things in life. I have searched for it here, I have searched for it there. I have tried this and I have tried that, and I have tried to excel and I have searched everywhere.” When the time comes to switch, then you switch to God and you say, “Alright God, I’m going to search for You now and I’m going to find You.”
I have got many more Scriptures and I have a sense that the Lord wants me to keep ministering on this for some weeks to come. Even when I come back from America. Even the open door, you are going to need to have searched for God in the year ahead, to find out where’s the open door, that’s opening for you.
Brother Jerry was, when he preached this message on the Open Door, is going to open for you in 2020. He said also, but don’t forget that we are still living in the year of Marvels and Wonders and Manifestations of the Greatness of our God. I will tell you, one of the things that he declared when he was here with us, was that God is going to speed things up and He is going to do in one year, what He what should have would have taken 10 years to do.
Then Sharon and I have been, Pastor Sharon and I have been having this conversation, because suddenly we find ourselves in a completely different frame of mind. Suddenly there are so many things that we have accomplished in the ministry, in the space of a year. Haven’t we? You know, in the space of this, in the space of this year, going from here 12 months back. In the space of this year, we’ve launched the music album which I have been trying to do for 20 years. We had our first music album.
We had been preparing ourselves because there was something inside of me that we got to have more of a digital presence, and now we are on TBN three days a week. Watch this space it’s going to become a lot more. I had a conversation, I had a conversation this week, it’s going to become more. There are many things that are beginning to happen. Many things that are there are just exploding and happening all over the place. Just things that are opening to us. Opportunities, things that are happening.
Can I share with you, some revelation the Lord gave me? Remember, I planted seed, into Brother Jerry’s life? To strike the ground seven times? Yes? You remember that? So, one of that was for Aviation/Transportation.
I’m going through the Scriptures to make confessions and as I’m going through my declarations of the Word of God, that is about transportation, because the Word of God is going to be my guide. I said, “Ok Lord, show me how Jesus went about acquiring transportation needs.” Transportation. The Lord said to me, He said, “Jesus always knew what transport to use, to get Him to the right place at the right time.” So I said, “Well, I would have kind of assumed that.” He said, “Don’t, think about this carefully.” I’m having this conversation with the Lord. He said, “Whenever Jesus needed a mode of transport, He always had it and it was always the perfect mode of transport for what He needed to do and what His disciples needed to do with Him.”
So He said, “A lot of times when He needed a boat, there was a boat.” The disciples and He would get in a boat and there would go across the water, because that was the most convenient, best time for Him to get where He needed to be and exactly the right time where God wanted Him to be at that time. So, actually taking transportation just by itself, is not a matter of well I think I believe God for a new car. It’s not a, well it’s not, it’s become more for me now, as I have meditated on this. I need the right transport, to get me to the right place, at the right time.
One day Jesus sends the disciples across the water, to get to the other side, and He finds Himself in a place, because of His time with God, the Father, that there is not a boat. Or certainly nobody would give Him a boat to sail Him across the water. So, He just walked. Please hear me; one of His modes of transport was walking. Why was walking important? Well, it’s what most people did at the time, but walking also gave Him time to walk amongst the crowd, to heal the sick, to bring deliverance to those that are captive. It also gave Him chance to teach His disciples, because walking was an important mode of transport because there were things He needed to do, while He was walking.
He is used to walking, so He says, well there is no boats, I’ll just walk. Say, just like I walk on land, I’m just going to walk as though there was no water. As He just walked off the land, He walked into the water, because I need to get to where My disciples are, they happen to be on the water.
That’s a level of supernatural transportation, that we haven’t tapped into yet. Then when the day was coming when the Passover was coming and they were going to crucify Jesus He needed a donkey. He needed to come into town on a donkey, because there was something that was going to happen, which was a prophetic declaration. It was part of prophecy being fulfilled, where He would come in on a donkey and they were going to praise Him, and throw things on Him, before His feet.
He says to His disciples, “Go to a house, there you will find a colt and untie him and bring him to Me.” They ask Him a question and they say, “Well, what if the owner asks who’s, about the donkey?” He says, “Just tell him, the Master has need of it.” Well how does he know who the Master is? Supernatural understanding, where God would reveal it to that man; or at the very least, where God would put a constraint on his heart and say, “These guys are not stealing, they just need the donkey.” Because Jesus needed the transport. Hallo?
You understand, that as things are happening. As I was going about my business, I was offered a S500 Mercedes-Benz, that’s ten years old at a price of a Toyota Corolla. Someone will say, but John that‘s not a brand new car. No, it is not, but it is the right car, at this time to do the right kind of comfortable, classy, safe ride. A ten year old car that’s got 60 000km on the clock, driven by an old lady, just looking for it, just looking out for it so that I didn’t have to pay R1 200 000 for the car that I could pay for it for less than the price of a Toyota Corolla. Come on now.
That is why, my declarations of what I’m believing God for in my life, I’m searching always for the right answer, for the right thing for God to do what He needs to do. Here is the thing, when Jesus is in the boat with His disciples and there is a storm raging and the water’s coming in there and they are going to drown. Haven’t they learned anything yet? They could have taken authority over it, because they had Jesus in the boat, but at the very least Jesus was going to be protected.
In His transportation modes, He says, “You guys you got no faith. You think the storm can ever overwhelm Me?” He just said, “Be still.” The next minute they found themselves on the other side of the shore. Go read it for yourself. What the enemy did with the storm to slow them down, God used the supernatural, to speed them up to get to the other side of the shore, in the time that Jesus needed to be there, in the transport that was chosen for Him, in the most convenient, safe way.
Come on, new doors are going to open for us. We are still going to live in Marvels and Wonders and the Greatness of the Manifestation of our God, forever. As we are looking for the new door, I want to tell you church, that there is a searching we have got to do by the Spirit. When you find the search, then you have got to switch, you have got to switch. You can’t search for something and say, “I think I found it.” You know this is God, and you don’t switch.You have got to switch your mind, you have got to switch your head, you have got to switch your value system, you have got to switch things up; I will never do that, I’ll never do that, I won’t do that.
Sharon and I, we’ve been travelling to America for more than 20 years and just two years ago or so, we have decided we are going to use our faith that we are not going to fly economy class anymore. We are going to fly business class. We chose that at this season in our lives, no more economy class flying. I’m happy to tell you that day to now, every one of our trips has been a business class flight. Our faith has pulled it in, because people just phone the office and say, “We want to pay for the pastor’s tickets. We want to pay for the tickets.” Sometimes, we pay for the tickets, the upgrade tickets, because the ministry will pay for the economy class and we pay the difference. Then it is not long when someone else comes and says, “We want to pay the difference, please.” It’s been like that for the last couple of years.
Somebody might get on the plane and say, “Oh, the pastor’s flying business class, hey. He is a bit, (gestures to his nose – being snooty, stuck-up or a snob), one of those you know, he’s not normal. No, this is in this season of ours, one of the things that God has done to bless us. I can say like Solomon, I have searched in the vanity of men and business class is better. It’s much better.
Yes, the Lord is interested in every choice that you make, every search that you do, everything that you explore, everything that is a part of your life. This desire inside of you to reach out to search for something, it’s God and if you use it for natural things and you explore this and you go, okay, but let it actually motivate you and let it inspire you to reach for God. Reach out for God, search for Him. The Bible says, if you search for Him, He will be found. He is not going to hide Himself from you. Hallelujah.
On the contrary, there is another component of this that I would like to, I want to show you next, maybe next week, but it’s that God is actually searching for you. So the search that you have in your heart, is Himself that He placed in you to search for Him. He’s got the same search looking for you. He is looking for you. He wants you in fellowship with Him, He wants you in His world. He wants to have a love relationship, He wants to have a connection, He wants to have a conversation, He wants to have everything with you.
Did you notice anything different about me today? What? What? What? You “Okes” are too smart. You are right, I’m not wearing glasses. You see what happened to me was, I went on a missions trip in Ethiopia and one of the ministers that was there; we had a real anointed moment, where we were sharing the things of God with each other. He got tears in his eyes and so he rubbed his eyes. We were just getting in a lift and he says, “I have lost a contact lens.” I said, “I must go and find my glasses so I can come and help you look for your contact lenses.” Anyway, we’ve found his contact lenses, he put them in the solution.
Then I had a conversation, I said, “You mean this whole trip we’ve been on you have been wearing contact lenses all the time?” He says, “All the time.” I said, “How long have you been doing this?” He says, “Since I was in high school.” He said, “I used to play.” They won a national level MBA basketball title, he was on the team that won the title in their conference. He said, “Yeah, it was part of my life and the only way I could actually play the sport at that level, was to wear contact lenses.” He said, “Since high school I have been, or collage I have been wearing contact lenses.” He says, “And so does my wife.” So I said, “Teach me.” He went through all the stuff that they do. I have tried contact lenses some time before and I found it couldn’t work for me, because I couldn’t, my eye would go like this (rapid blinking), I couldn’t get it in my eye. Eventually it was like, this doesn’t work for me.
I had a military accident with my, when I was in the military in it, it lacerated my cornea on my right eye and so I just put it down to that my eyes are over sensitive, because of the laceration. What your heart chooses, your mind justifies. After that I said, “Well, you have inspired me, that because of television and my public profile, I’m going to try for something different. So, I’m going to try contact lenses one more time.”
Here is what I did. When I got back, I started to speak the Word over myself and I said, “Lord I’m searching for whether this is a solution that can work for me.” To sit in front of the television and be in front of, in this scenario, to keep fiddling with you glasses is a bit irritating for everybody. I have had this bad experience before. I said; “Lord won’t You help me, please?” I waited a couple of weeks, I was also busy, we had visitors here you know, Justin and Annette were here. I waited a couple of weeks. All the while I’m just talking to the Lord and I’m searching, the God answer. Then, I felt a peace, go do it.
I made an appointment here, with the optometrist I normally use, and I said, “I would like to try this out.” She said, “I’ll order a trial pair for you and I’ll show you how to do it, because it will work well for you.” I went there three days ago. Thursday, Friday, Friday morning. I went there and so she showed me how to put the contact lenses in, and how to take them out. It was like (snapping fingers) before I prayed, I remember sitting on the edge of my bed. I said, “Holy Spirit, I’m asking You to help me today, to just get this, to understand this and not to let my discomfort come between me and a viable option for being on television. Help me Holy Spirit.”
I went in there, she said, “I want to teach you a few things about the eyeball”, and so she began to explain to me how the eyeball works, and how things will happen with you with the contact lenses. She said, “So, now let’s start.” First time in, first time my left eye in. So she says, “Let’s do a reading test” because these are multifocal contacts, “let’s do a reading test.” So I said, “No the reading doesn’t work.” She says, “I thought that might happen I ordered you another trial one, that’s got a stronger reading lens component.” Tsk out, tsk out. Next one Tsk in, tsk in. This looks better.
Hey, this is the way God works with us. If we search for Him, then He is there for us in all the small details of our lives. He is with us in our details, and He is with us in our pursuit for eternity. He is a great and wonderful God. Isn’t it wonderful, that we can have this personal relationship with the Lord? Hallelujah.
Don’t you all want to stand with me please? Hallelujah. I would like us to all pray this prayer together this morning, because I don’t want to assume that everybody’s walk with God is in the right place. We are all going to pray, I’m not going to call anybody to the front, we are all going to pray. If you are one of the people that wants to pray this prayer from your heart, and you haven’t ever prayed this prayer, if you have never made Jesus Lord of your life, or you want to recommit your life to God, then pray this prayer from your heart. Search your heart, and pray this prayer from your heart. Let’s pray together.
So let’s all pray, Jesus, I recognize that I need a Saviour, and I ask You to help me in my life going forward. Save me from myself, save me from bad habits and patterns, that I have developed in my life. I now put my trust in You, and I’m asking You, that this desire to search for You, that is inside of me, it will ignite me and it will cause me to find You, in a different way, a more personal way, a more powerful way, and a way that I have never expected to find You. So, now I ask You Father, to fill me with the Holy Spirit with the speaking in other tongues, and I thank You Lord, that from this day onwards, I’m going to be a new person. I thank You Lord, that the Holy Spirit inside of me, helps me to make better decisions, in Jesus name. Amen. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
I really felt in my heart, you know, today, that there is a component of this message about search and switch, and next week, God willing, I will bring out the other part of it. There is a component of this, that I really feel, that if you will open your heart and let this message penetrate your heart, it will help you with your searching.That as you find yourself in a day where you searching for something, turn to God. Just turn to God and just become aware of the God inside of you, that’s actually part of that searching, that’s wanting you to reach Him, and Him to reach you.
I pray that you are blessed this week. No weapon formed against you will prosper, you will not have your foot caught in a hidden snare. We thank You, Father, that Your Word and the blood of Jesus surrounds us and protects us, that everything we put our hands to is blessed, wherever our feet take us is blessed, and I thank You Lord, that You give Your angels charge over us. Bless Your people this week, Father, in the name of Jesus. And everybody said, amen. Thank you for coming, God bless you.