16 April 2022 Being the Best Pastor Andy May (WTB)
Scripture reference: John 14:12, Psalm 23, Exodus 33:14, Exodus 33, Matthew 6:33, Proverbs 3:5-6, Hebrews 11:6, Phillippians 3:13-14, Psalm 139, Romans 12, Psalm 103; Mark 10:45
Big hello everyone. Welcome back after lunch. Great to see you. Pastor John and Sharon will be here shortly but we’re going to start. Pastor Andy, we’re ready to hear from you and we are looking forward to it. It’s wonderful to have you here with us. Please, it’s wonderful.
It’s such a pleasure to be here. I said to Pastor John and the family, I feel like I’m sitting on a cloud and you’re a bunch of angels and saints. There are so many pretty girls in this church and I met at least five. And I said to them, “You look so pretty when you smile.” So, if you’re happy, tell your face. Okay.
I want to share something with you today. Let me just say I think you’ve got a fantastic church. You know, my wife and I have served in about six churches – total ones, big ones, small ones, medium-sized – the whole lot. You’ve got a fantastic vibe here. You’re so generous. You allow the Holy Spirit to move you. To me, I’ll tell you something. I heard a message the other day. I think it was Robert Morris. The title of his message was ‘The God you never knew.’ The Holy Spirit. He’s here now and if I get emotional, just give me time to come right. Really.
What I wanted to share with you, I’m quite serious now. It’s taken me like 25 years to research all this stuff. And I want to call it Being the Best. Being the Best. I want you to think of yourself just for a minute or two. That whatever you’re doing in life – are you the best at it? I’m not just preaching it. You know, I’m talking to myself. Because I’m applying this to myself. Am I the best me that I can be? That’s non-grammatical English. You don’t talk like that. But am I the best me that I can be? That whatever you do, are you the best at it? You know, when you listen to Pastor John preach about prosperity, and teach about Jesus’ blessing on you and Jesus died on a cross to bless you. And God spoke to Abraham and said, “I will bless you and you will be a blessing.”
To identify with that, can you look in the mirror and say, “I’m blessed?” And not just say it. You look there and on the notes here, being the best. The next line is, we are the image of God. You know, who are you? Seriously, who are you? I’m the image of God. And what a statement!
You know, when I look at Pastor John, I can see his father. When I look at his father, I know he sees his father. And you know what? And I look at Brynn. And I look at Garth and I see their father. Hey, they are the image of the daddy. And one of the verses which is stuck in my mind is John 14:12. I’ll be honest with you. I’m not sure if I know anybody like that. Jesus said – it’s in red ink in the Bible. “If you believe in Me, you’ll do what I do and greater works.” John 14:12 I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know anybody like that? What does it mean to believe in Jesus? You become like Him. You talk like Him. You raise the dead like Him. You preach like Him. You love like Him. You give like Him. What else does this mean?
You know, I’ve researched so many definitions of faith. I mean, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Smith Wigglesworth said that faith is God in a human body. Now think about that. You know, in my study time, I think I told you, I went to the PNA and I bought a little piece of wood and I stick letters on it. And I stuck it on the wall in my study with prestic. “I believe, only believe.” And John 14:12 says, “I am like Jesus.” Ephesians 5:1 says, “Imitate God as well-beloved children imitate their Father.” I wish we had time to really explore that. What about God do you want to imitate? I would love to imitate His power. You know, really. Then you can speak to … You know, we live in Cape Town. I Iove looking at Table Mountain. I go, ”Wow, I’m in Cape Town.” I’m not kidding. I really do love it there. And that verse that says, “If you’ve got faith you can say to that mountain, be removed and cast into the sea and if you don’t doubt, it’s gone.” So, I’m very careful what I say to Table Mountain. They’ll never forgive me if I cast Table Mountain into the sea. I mean it. It’s true.
So, who are you? We are the body of Christ. What is the church? We are the body of Christ. You know, I’ve got lots of friends in the church. One of our friends here we’re meeting. We are more than friends. We are part of a body. And I remember I had a motorbike and I was cleaning it one day and I got blood poisoning in this thumb and it was so sore, I couldn’t sleep. This I said, “Lord, can’t I please take my thumb off and just put it next to the bed and I go to sleep and in the morning, I put it on again.” That’s what a body is. That when one part of me is sore, my whole body sympathizes. That’s what we do here. When one of us is injured or in pain or needy. We can feel the pain with them and fix it. Amen.
And then I think of another Scripture that Pastor John has been emphasizing when he talked about the Ukraine and Joe Biden and all these wonderful people. Is that we wrestle not with flesh and blood. So, it’s not your neighbor’s dog that’s barking all night. I believe that, well we know that demons get into animals – like 2000 pigs. I mean, “Jesus don’t torment us before the time. Can we go into pigs?” “Yes”, and all the pigs drowned. So, we wrestle not with flesh and blood. We’ve had a financial problem, and I’ve prayed for years for a solution and the Lord said to me, “You wrestle not with flesh and blood.” And I told the devil, “Hey, leave my finances alone.” Anyway, that’s another subject.
I want to use the word ‘wholeness’, let’s look at wholeness. Are you a whole person? And I don’t mean that you got two legs and two arms and two ears. Are you whole? Jesus wants us to be whole – spirit, soul, and body. That means I must develop my mind, I must take care of my body, and obviously allow my spirit to grow. I just want to give you a seven point outline. And Pastor John asked me to, you know, I’ve related most of this to personality, but it applies to the church, because you and I are bodies, aren’t we? And every part of me has got to work properly. You notice that I’ve got both my legs, both my arms, and the rest of me is up here. I’m not sitting down there anymore. The church is like that, that’s why we function with the same mind. You know, it’s so important that you all follow Pastor John’s teaching and Pastor Sharon’s teaching, we’re all on the same page. Otherwise, I say you shouldn’t be here. That’s true. Hey, we share this vision, it’s us.
I’m going to do a very brief outline of what I found to be a whole person. Now, let me relate this to a whole church and to a whole me. Same principle, because the church is a body and this is a body here. It’s getting a bit old but I’ve got to look after it, you know what I mean? Let’s just run through those seven points on the screen. And, you know, I didn’t make this up. I told you, I’ve worked on this for 25 years. I believe the Holy Spirit gave it to me by revelation. And every one of these words starts with a C, which stands for Christ. And I didn’t make this up. I really didn’t. I think – as we say in Afrikaans – “Dit is bo my vuurmaakplek.” (It is above my reach.)
So, character is your heart and I’ll tell you, I’ll explain to you how every part of you works. Your calling is in your head. This is where you think. You communicate with one arm and I care with the other arm, also this is a description of the church. Criticism is what I put in my stomach and I didn’t make this up but I thought that was very good because everything that goes into your stomach, either turns into energy or waste. Then I stand on two legs. I’m committed here. If I’m part of Heritage Church, I’m committed here. And then the crown is, “Hey, I’m not a Christian for nothing. I’ve got a fantastic future ahead of me and something awesome to look forward to.”
I love the word ‘winning’ and I just want to quote what an American, one of the famous – I think he’s a football coach or not sure. A guy called Vince Lombardi. I want to read this. Sorry, have I missed the page. Yeah. Hupernikao is the, Romans 8:37 says that you and I are more than conquerors. I mean, we discussed it earlier on today. But I love this quotation because we were made to win. There are no losers in this church. Amen. There’s nobody who says, “I can’t.” We’re winners. And I believe that Jesus planned when He died on the cross, to take away all the negative part of me and make me like Himself. You never find Jesus saying, “I don’t know what to do.” I mean, you know – what a thought! Think about Him.
I was just saying to Pastor John earlier today, that prosperity means there is nothing you can’t do or fix. Prosperity doesn’t mean that I’m a multi-millionaire, billionaire. Prosperity to Jesus means there is no situation that I’ve faced that I can’t handle. If I see a widow-woman, with a son in a coffin, I can stop the funeral procession and say, “Hey, come back to your mother.” If I’ve got, I think about 30,000 people Jesus fed. That 5000 was 5000 families. They reckon every family in those days had about six people. Most of them had four kids. Do your arithmetic and I really believe that’s a word for your church, Pastor John. The word is multiply. God’s going to do stuff here that you guys are going to go, “Wow!” So expect to multiply. And that little guy, when he handed his five loaves and his two fish, I mean, a little boy’s lunch can’t be very big. But Jesus said, “This is all I need. Just give Me something to work with.”
You preached about the little bottle of oil. The Prophet said to her, “What have you got in your house?” And you know what she said? “Nothing. But I’ve got a little bit of oil.” “All right. Give me what you got.” And there’s not a person in this room that doesn’t have something you can give your time, your talent or whatever. And He takes that little bit and multiplies that. I want to read Vince Lombardi’s definition of winning.
Let’s just see “Winning is not something, winning is not a sometime thing, it’s an all time thing. You don’t win once in a while. You don’t do things right once in a while. You do them right all the time. Winning is a habit, unfortunately, so is losing. If it doesn’t matter who wins and loses. Why did they keep score?” Hey, whatever you are doing I mean, if you watch rugby, if you watch cricket, if you watch a good boxing match, somebody’s going to win. I mean, can you look in a mirror and say, “I’m a winner; I’m not an undergoer, I’m an overcomer.”
So, the introduction, some questions, what kind of a man, I’ll tell you what inspired me to do all this was the personality of Jesus. So, what kind of a man could say to you, “Follow Me unconditionally.” “Where are we going?” “Follow Me.” “Is there a medical aid and a pension fund.” “Just Follow Me.” “When will we get there.” “Follow Me.” Do you know that we talked a lot about leadership? Leadership in Jesus is summed up in two words, “Follow Me.” I’m not going to teach you all the biblical, all the principles that people, the psychologists will teach you about leadership and influence and all that wonderful stuff. He says, “Just follow Me.”
I did some research, did you know that Napoleon I’ve got a quote, I won’t read to you I haven’t got time. Napoleon called him God. Napoleon said something like this “Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan and myself, we tried to conquer the world through force, but He conquered the world through love”. Jesus Christ is God. I’d like to meet Napoleon in heaven, hey. He was a five foot three, dynamic little guy, the guy that died for him. But I thought, what a quote, John Paul, second, the Roman Catholic Bishop called Jesus Christ “Unique.”, I think that’s a statement. But he set an example for us to follow because if you say, “Follow me,” you’ve got to do it like I do.
You know, I’m a parent, I’m now a grandparent. Do your children and grandchildren do what you do? Or do you got to tell them what to do? A little bit of both, I think. But you know what? The most powerful form of example and… The most powerful form of leadership is example. Watch me do it and do it like I do it and they’ll follow you. So, who could teach you how to win better than the One who created you? I’ll never forget years ago we used to go when we lived in Joburg. We used to go down to Amanzimtoti for holidays and they had just started the casino in Margate. And they used to fly the people from Durban down to Margate in all DC three Dakota and on the way back one day, it crashed in the sea. And I went down there with my family and we sat on the beach and here was this Dakota. Do you know what a Dakota is? Those of you who have been there. They used Dakota’s on D day to tie the gliders. Here was this beautiful old plane floating in the water. It was like the Lord said to me, “That’s like you.” You are not made to float in the water and they pulled it over a rock and it ripped its belly out and it sank, I mean it was a disaster. You are not made to sink here, you were made to fly. So, when I say, “Are you the best me that you can be, you were made to fly.” We were never meant to grovel in the dirt of this earth in the killing of people in the Ukraine and shooting one another and all the horrible things that human nature can do. You are made to fly so don’t ever forget the whole Dakota.
So, I’ve linked being the best with winning in life, you know, I’m as I told you, I’m 78 and I’ll be honest with you I’m saying, “Lord, how much time I’ve got left?” And I say about myself and I’ll say it over you, “May the rest of your life be the best of your life.” You believe that? That I am not coming into land I’m flying higher and that’s just for some of you that are maybe over 45. Young people don’t even think like this. But I think hey, which lap are you running now? Are you running the last lap? Or have you got a whole lot more laps to run? Amen.
When I heard Pastor John talking about living to 120. I believe that for myself. God said to Moses at 120, “Climb the mountain and die”. It says his eyes had not dimmed and he was as strong as ever. You know I look at Table Mountain and it’s making this up there. If the Lord said to me, “You know what I want you to die. Climb Table Mountain. Not on a stretcher, or the helicopter you climb Table Mountain and check out on top.” What a way to go, hey. Alright, so I’m going to briefly go through those seven points. Sorry, I’m being a bit untidy her too much paper.
Quality one: is your character and I think that is who you really are. I often think to myself, what is the character of the church to make us Christ like? That’s it in a nutshell. The father, you know, I don’t know about you, but I read the Bible, by the way don’t read the Bible, meditate in the Bible. Let the Bible read you. Psalm 1 says, “When you meditate in the Word, day and night, whatever you touch, will prosper.” So, I’m not joking now but if I come and touch you, I want you to prosper. That means you should be blessed, it means you fall short of having nothing. That means you are more than a conqueror. It means you are the top and not the bottom, the head and not the tail and wherever you touch; prospers. That’s in the Bible and that’s what Jesus wants for us. Amen.
So, I did 20 questions, and I’m going to do this very briefly and then you’ve got a piece of paper, I thought, it’s good for us to write things down. You know, one of the scriptures in my life that’s relevant is write the vision down. So, that he who reads it can run with it. In other words, it’s not a complicated vision. I mean, I was in business and you read some of these vision statements and when you are halfway through I think what are you talking about? You know, do this and do that? No, no, Write the vision down so whoever reads it, can run with it. ‘Met ander woorde dit is moontlik om dit te verstaan.’ (In other words it is possible to understand it.) Amen.
So the first question is, what is your attitude towards yourself? That’s a very critical question. Do you like yourself? This is not aah, I’m not preaching at you I’m talking to myself. There are times when I don’t like myself. I was talking to Pastor John when he told me any one time in his life that he didn’t like himself. What do you, who do you perceive yourself to be? Do you see yourself as more than a conqueror as a winner? I used to run a men’s group in our church, and I’ll tell you something. If you’ve been married, we’ve been married 47 years. Do you know the Queen of England was married? 70 years for that family? That’s a world record. Yeah. But you know, I’ll tell you something. There are no perfect marriages here because none of you are perfect. Amen.
It’s getting very quiet here Pastor John. I said to the men in my men’s group, “The reason why you don’t love your wife is because you don’t love yourself.” Jesus said it this way; “Love your neighbor like you love yourself”. Now the English language, too complicated. Afrikaans word is “Jou naaste.” Penny is my ‘naaste’ but I’ll tell you something, that I can’t love her the way she needs to be loved. Let me say that to you men don’t love her the way you want to love her, love her the way she needs to be loved. I’m telling you something profound. I mean, I’ve got different love language to what Penny’s got. I need to know what makes her happy. She needs to know what makes me happy, and we accommodate each other. Amen. “Love your neighbor, like love yourself.
Then the second question is, is your private life disciplined? Try describing it. If I said to you right now, “Give me one word that describes you.” Just think about it, I’m not going to ask you to tell me. One word that describes you. How many of you thought of the word holy? The Bible says, first Peter 1:16. I must be holy like God is holy. Now I must admit the word holy in the English language is a stuffy word to a lot of people, holy. You don’t know what to wear a little cross on my neck and dress myself in a long robe and you know, don’t cut my hair and walk in sandals or maybe no shoes at all. That’s not holy at all, holy means you are perfect. It means you’re a fantastic person, but your standards conform to God. Do you remember the Father’s will, I have often thought what on earth is all this fantastic plan of salvation and Jesus died on the cross and then Paul wrote all those letters to me and then his revelation. Lord, Father, what was, what is it? What’s this all about? One word ‘family,’ is I don’t know whether the Father…
I must say this carefully, is a bit lonely in heaven. And He said to Jesus, You know what, we need some more brothers. You can correct me, He wants us to be a family. He wants us to love each other. And I’ll tell you, when I look at this beautiful church, you’re not just friends, you’re part of a body. You’re part of a body, I’m going a bit dry up here, going to need some water. So, your private life, let me say this to you. That to God, (thank you) to God it’s more important that you have a holy private life than what you do in public. Pastor John was talking about it last night. Private life is what you allow yourself to do in the dark when it’s just you there, the stuff that goes in your mind, the stuff you look at on your phone. God says, “I’m watching you.”
I mean you made the point very clear last night. It’s not like God misses something. By the way, you never have to explain anything to God. Like, He doesn’t know. Have you ever done that? Lord, but you know, I feel like this and this like that and that’s why I did this and I shouldn’t have done this but I did it anyway. He says, “I know you, you don’t have to explain anything to Me. I know exactly who you are, where you are.” And I wrote in here TAWG, I think Pastor John and has emphasized this Time Alone With God. If I could sum up my life, the biggest need I’ve got, is Time Alone With God. Because we are forever saying, “God what do I do, what I do now.” When last in fact, it happened here last night. While we were worshiping, I just closed my eyes and said, “Lord is just You and me now, the whole church is worshiping but I just want to be with You.”
Let me say this to you married people. If you don’t make quality time with your partner, you’ve got a housekeeping arrangement. I know what I’m talking about. If I don’t give Penny quality time, I am not being a good husband to her. It works both ways. But we are also busy and I’ll tell you something else. I’ve been in the church a long time. You get so busy in the church that you don’t have quality time with God, I speak from experience and you can get so busy with whatever you’re doing that you don’t have quality time for your wife or your husband. Am I making sense? Time Alone With God we all know that.
So, now having said all that, building on this, my attitude to myself is positive, my private life is clean, now I step onto the stage. And I bring that with me so that the impression I make on you hopefully has got some holiness in it. Amen. So, is my public life effective?
Are you an attractive person? Are you nice to be with? If I can say myself not all the time. But I mean why does God die on a cross and do all this wonderful stuff for me, if I am not an attractive person? Am I easy to talk to? Do I smile when I shouldn’t smile or when I don’t feel like smiling? I said to somebody earlier on here, “If you’re happy, tell your face.” Amen?
There are words like ‘ambassador’ – you know when I think about what is going on in the world now, the Ukrainian ambassador in the UK, and the Russian ambassador in Cape Town – hey, who do you represent? When you see me, you see where I come from. I tell you something; we are South Africans. Ask Pastor John and Pastor Sharon, you are more South African when you leave here than when you live here. I have had guys come up to me in the South of North America and say, “Where do you come from?” And I talk to them and then I say, “Where do you think?” Because the Americans think America is the whole world. And he says, “You come from New York.” He actually told us that all the funny people come from New York. ‘Dis die waarheid.’ They have a funny accent there, and they speak Brooklynese, and they say, “You talk funny, you come from New York.” But you know what, I am a South African. God put me here and I am staying here. I am staying here to make a difference. Amen.
So, we are not running away, we are not bailing out, we are here to fulfill our destiny in this country. You know what I am praying for, for your church, is that God would multiply you, so you would outgrow your church, and you start a revival in Witbank – Witbank. Amen. Imagine, which church do you go to? We go to Heritage church, wow! We have a funny name for our church, it is called Urban Edge. Because one of the previous pastors – Urban Edge is a municipal term. Urban Edge is like the end of the road. So, when we built the church years ago, that was like the end. So, what church do you go to? Urban Edge. What’s that? And then I tell them, come, and see on Sunday.
One last point on public life – I think you were talking about Thomas – doubting Thomas – somebody was. Thomas came to Jesus and said, “Jesus You keep talking about Your Father. Who’s Your Father?” He looked at Thomas like, oh come on, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.” Isn’t that awesome? When people meet me, when people meet you, they see the Father. That’s awesome.
In fact, let me just stop there, on your top line, your self-image. Now let me just say this, I don’t want this paper back. This is something very personal for you. But I thought to myself, it is good to take something home that you can think about. Because quite often you know, I can’t even remember what I preached on last Sunday, to be honest with you. If you get a hundred percent, then you are just like Jesus. If you don’t, then there is some area of your life you need to work on.
So, your self-image is the image of God and I’d like to believe that everybody in this room is a believer. Give yourself a score between one and ten. Ten means you’re just like Jesus. Write it down, you don’t show it to me, you take it home with you, put your name on it, but please do this, because I am revving you up right now. I need to say, if I am the image of God, hey, do I remind you of God every time I get near you? So that is your first one.
Then your private life, number 2, that is your alone life. Rank yourself there if you have got that piece of paper and then your public life. That is with section one here. Be honest with yourself because this can actually steer you in what you need to change. You know, somebody said to me years ago, every time I go to church, I must go away with one thing to change. Otherwise, you just went to church again. Seriously, I mean you have heard this. Pastor John preach about… I tell you what I have learnt from Pastor Christi and those messages of yours, the great exchange. Hey, He doesn’t want me to be miserable and sick and depressed. Examine yourself. Check yourself out! Look in the mirror and let the Holy Spirit push the buttons. Pastor John read Psalm 139 last night. You know what it says? “Search me oh God.” Lord, I don’t even know what is wrong with me, but have a good look and teach me what to change. I am sounding almost as desperate as you. But we are desperate, aren’t we? We want change. I must change, you must change – we must become more Christ-like all the time.
Alright, so the next point is – have dealt with your heart, that is the real you. Now we deal with quality 2, is your calling. The calling is where you think. You know you are spirit, soul and body and God wants you to look after all three. Now your soul to me, I find very fascinating. They say it is your mind, your emotions, and your will. Now, we can talk about that all night. But Romans 12 says, be transformed by the renewal of your mind and if you are “deurmekaar” (Afrikaans word for mixed up) right now, then your mind needs to be renewed. The English word in Psalm 1 is meditate in the Word Day and night. You know, one decision I tried to make was in any situation that I faced, I will only say what God says about it. I look at it and I think, hey, this is really mixed up. But God says, “I am going to bring clarity in here. I am going to bring power where there is weakness. I am going to bring health where there is sickness, I am going to bring you a positive mind when you’re depressed.”
Alright, so question 4, do you know what you’re calling and passion in life is? These are all serious questions. They are probing questions. Do you really know what you’re good at? If I am going to be the best at something, I must know what I do best. I can do lots of things. I can play tennis, but not like Roger Federer. So, I am not called to play tennis. I can hit a golf ball, but not like Gary Player. Are you with me? I don’t care what you’re doing. God wants you to be the best at it. So, I need to say, what do you want me to do Lord, so I can concentrate on being so good at it, that people will see it in me and say, I want to be like you, what is it about you? What are you passionate about? It is a powerful Word hey! They described Jesus dying on the cross as His passion. That means, hey, I am going to do this so well, that nobody will ever criticize me on it. Excellence in our church. You park your cars properly; you greet the people properly – that’s hard work. There’s a team, in our church we call them the dream teams. You know, you were born to serve. You know, I love Empie. I don’t know all of you, but I am learning to love you all one by one – I wish I had time. He comes and he opens the door for me when I get out of the car. I can’t remember when last somebody opened the door for me to get out of the car. But you know what, he is serving.
Mark 10:45 – I quoted it this morning. The Lord is hammering it into me. It says Jesus came not to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. Hey, can I serve you any better than to give my life for you? Ooh!
Number 5 – If you know what your passion is, do you have a plan? Have you written down the steps to achieve your plan? And I have quoted this before, this morning, write the vision down. I don’t think I told you this, but they did a survey in Harvard Business school class, and they took that same class 10 years later, and surveyed them again. Three percent of them had written goals. Three percent outperformed the other 97% put together. Doesn’t that tell you something?
I have researched top business people. The ones with the written goals are focused. That’s why I say please write your vision down. I didn’t write the Bible. He said to have the vision written down so someone can read it and run with it. It’s not a complicated thing. Hey, I want to be like Jesus. That’s a vision. And what are the steps to get there? I think most of you that have planned any kind of leadership or management programme, you’ve got to take steps to get there. I mean, I have had four major surgeries. Hey, the steps that they, when I had my knees done, they wrapped my knees in a plastic bag, and they wrapped iodine all over me because you don’t want to get an infection in a bone. And you know, I can sort of relive all the stuff. But there is a process of healing. I had to walk on crutches four times for six weeks. And I watched some of my friends, they come with a boot on or a crutch and I said, “Let me give you some advice, don’t rush the healing process.” Otherwise you’ll go back to the hospital. I know what I am talking about, I have been there four times. I had to wear a boot on both legs and try to sleep with a boot on and turn over in bed and kick myself on the shin – not nice.
Question number 6 is are you living and experiencing your calling? You know, Jesus’ life, His ministry life was three to three and a half years. You talk about focus. He never wasted a split second. I must do what My Father tells me to do. If He spent the whole night in prayer – it says, My Father tells me what to do, He tells me how to do it. He tells me what to say, and how to say it. Penny and I, Brynn, Miranda and I were talking about communicating with your spouse. You know the communication – I am jumping the gun a bit. Communication is seven percent words, 93 percent body language and tone of voice.
You know, one word that only South Africans understand is Voetsek. I remember we had some American missionaries. When a dog wants to bite you, you mustn’t say, get, get, get. It’s not a get dog, it is a voetsek dog. But it is true, isn’t it? I have got a little dog that we have had for 10 years, and I can say her name is Lady. She is a little Maltese poodle, she is this big (Ps Andy indicates size with his hands) but she is an amazing watchdog. And I can say, “Voetsek lady” (gentle and softly) and she will lick my hand. And I can say: I love you (in a harsh voice) and she will run. So how do you speak to your spouse? Seven percent words. It is getting quiet in here. You know, I am talking to myself. I am not preaching at you; I am trying to live like this.
You know, I talk to myself with the Word of God. Psalm 103 – I quote it to myself nearly every day. If I wake up at 03:00 in the morning, it’s Psalm 103. King David writes – the man obviously had prophetic insights into what Jesus was going to do. It goes something like this. It says: Bless the Lord oh my soul, and all that is within me, praise His holy name. Bless the Lord oh my soul and forget not one of His benefits. Who has forgiven all my sins? Past tense. I’ll tell you why I’m telling you this because I’ve been praying for lots of things that are not happening. And the Lord says, “Stop asking Me for things I’ve given you.” I’m telling you something profound.
He’s forgiven all my sins. He’s healed all my diseases. Hey, you get a big mouthful of that. He’s redeemed my life from destruction, that is from the devil in hell. Pastor John was talking about. He’s redeemed me and bought me back. I don’t belong to this world system anymore. He redeemed me. He crowned me with loving kindness and tender mercies. Hey, what is the crown? Means you rule in life. Then he says He satisfied my desires with good things. The Amplified Bible says He satisfied my desires with good things at my particular age, isn’t that beautiful. Because I don’t have the same visions and dreams that my son has.
So, that’s for you, all you over 45. He satisfies your desires with good things. And the last part is for those of you that are over 45 so that my youth is renewed. I put that over myself. You know, I really believe I’m going to live to 120, it’s in the Bible man. But I just want my wife to live till she’s 110, because she’s 10 years younger than I am. So let’s go to quality. Okay, so that was your calling and dreams in life. I’ve called that purpose, rank yourself there. Do you know what your calling is? Do you know what your dreams are?
You know, I’ve still got lots of dreams that I haven’t fulfilled. I love the story of Joseph when he’s sitting on the throne. He walks his, how many brothers were there? Because one was, 10 Brothers, 10. Of course Benjamin was at home. In walks his 10 brothers, he’s sitting on the throne. It says, “And Joseph remembered his dream.” He couldn’t fulfill them. Let me just say this to dreamers, I’m one of you. I can’t fulfill it but He can. So don’t give up, I’m talking to somebody here. You’ve given up, “Hey, I wanted to do this, and I’ll never get there.” You know what, I don’t care how old you are, young you are, poor you are, rich you are, He can fulfill your dream. What a story; Joseph remembered his dream. God did it. Alright.
Quality three is communication. Communication comes from the Latin word communicaré, which means to share. Communication is not just me talking to you. Communication is me sharing myself with you, there is a big difference. So, when I get near you to share myself with you, what comes out? When you get near me and you talk to me, what comes out? So, there’s some questions there; Do you know why you are communicating? I would say nine times out of ten I try to communicate, apart from encouraging people, is to change them. Oh why do you preach Pastor John? To change us all into the image of Christ. Why am I communicating? Because communication can be destructive but I’m here for life change. Do you know what you are communicating? I thought of the 12 spies that came out of the promised land? They all saw the same thing. But two of them saw it in a different way to the other 10. What do you see, you know, listening to you last night, and I’m thinking, this world is in a mess, Lord help us. I said no, but He’s still on the throne and He’s still ruling and reigning and nothing’s out of control with Him. So, you got to stop and say, “What does the Bible say?” Can I say that may you forget everything else I’ve said. Anything you face in this life from now on, only say what God says. Not what you think, or what somebody else tried to counsel you to do. I’m not saying that’s wrong, say what God says. And God says I’m slowly controlling this whole planet. I’m still sitting on My throne, and nothing is going to move Me and My will will be done for this planet. Amen.
What am I communicating? And then I’ve mentioned this already, how are you communicating? 7% Words, 38% verbal and 55% nonverbal? That’s a revelation isn’t it. So. if your wife is not doing what you’re telling her, or your husband is not listening to you just check the way you said it. We were talking to, to Brynn and Miranda about even when I’m right, and I tell her the wrong way, she doesn’t want to change even if I’m right.
So, being right is not the answer, it’s how you said it. Okay, was it was number so you’re calling, we’ve done, your communication skills. Give yourself a, in other words, how do you share yourself? What impression do I leave with you when I walk away from you? Gee, I want to see that guy again or thank goodness he’s gone. They always say, when you leave a company or even organization or a church, that they wish you hadn’t gone, they mustn’t say ‘thank goodness, he’s gone.’ Anyway I shouldn’t have said that maybe.
Caring is when I put out an arm and touch people. Now, Jesus touched people that He was not even allowed to touch them under the law. You’re not allowed to touch lepers. But everybody that He touched was healed. You know You said you’re going to pray for sick people. Hey, I’ve prayed for so many sick people recently. We need to understand that whatever we say, Smith Wigglesworth said, “Whenever I pray, I expect something to happen.” We’re not just saying prayers. I mean, people come to me and say, “Will you say a prayer for me?” No, I don’t say prayers for you. I can pray for something to happen to you. Because otherwise, I’m just, it’s just hot air, isn’t it? So. caring for others and touching others. Question 10 was, Are you truly shepherding? That’s a big word.
Psalm 23. You know what I’m learning about David’s Psalms? He is making declarations. I think some of us need to change the way we pray. Lord, help me Oh, Lord, please heal me. I read David’s Psalm 103 to you just now he said, “He’s healed all my diseases.” Psalm 23 is a declaration. He says, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I want for nothing.” It’s not like Lord, please be my Shepherd and help me. He is my Shepherd and I want for nothing. You can read it any translation you like. I lack nothing. I’m blessed. The Lord is my Shepherd. He makes me lie down, He leads me beside the still water. Even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me. That’s one for the Ukrainian and Joe Biden. If I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil. For You are with me. Your rod and Your staff comfort me. It’s a declaration.
That’s another thing I’m learning to declare things. Rather than keep whining to God about something. ‘Oh, Lord, please, why don’t why’ no no, declare what you want, and what God has promised you, and you just sit back and let Him do it for you.
Question 11 is how do you support the people you’re influencing? That’s a very caring statement. I’m caring for you, I’m shepherding you, and you know, shepherding can be tough. They used to find that sheep that wandered away. The shepherd would pick him up and break his leg and carry him so that she bonded with a shepherd because he’s sitting right here. So, when his leg gets right, he never runs away again. So. you know, maybe God has broken both my legs. So, that I don’t run away again, I stay with a shepherd because the Lord is my shepherd. And then from Exodus 33:14. All my life, every time I faced a problem or a challenge, I read that Exodus 33. It’s God and Moses having a chat and God says to Moses, “Listen, I want you to take these people into the promised land and what about an angel coming with you? No, thanks. Except You come with me, I’m not moving.”
So, it’s not about angels and demons. It’s about and you know, tell you that some Exodus 33:14. The Lord says, “I will.” The Old English Bible says, “My presence will go with you and I will give you peace.” There’s more language there. The today’s living version says, “I will personally go with you and I will give you peace and everything will be fine for you.” That scripture has pulled me out of a lot of holes. When you are facing something that you don’t know which way is north, which happens to all of us, it says, “My presence,” now I tell you something in the Hebrew language there is no Hebrew word for presence. The Hebrew word there is face. It says, “My face will go with you.” It means I’m right here looking at you and I will get you there and everything will be fine.
All right. We’ve done the two arms we communicated, we care, okay. Now your stomach. Let me tell you now, that as a Christian, you will face trouble. Jesus said so. He said, “In the world you will have trouble.” ‘Moelikheid.’ But be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. That’s why I love that word ‘overcome.’ He overcame the world and how do we overcome the world? Through our faith. We overcome, Pastor John was talking about the shield of faith last night. Hey, all the fiery darts of the enemy, nothing is going to hit me if I hold up the shield of faith. And remember, faith is me acting like Jesus. Don’t ever forget that. Faith is not just oh now I am believing. You know, now I’m going to really try harder. No, no, it’s Jesus in me. Otherwise you don’t make it.
Alright so let’s talk about criticism. I know for the trouble. What’s the primary source of your criticism? Criticism comes from other people, other churches. It comes from the municipality, it comes from you name it, wherever. But the worst kind of criticism is when you criticize yourself. I don’t know about you, but there are. I can tell you stories about myself, where I wished I’d turned left instead of right. I don’t know if there’s anybody in this whole community here that identifies with me. If I could put your life back and reverse the process. I think some of us would have turned left instead of right. But you know what? I can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. But you can keep brushing your teeth. If that makes sense.
So, question 13. Do you react or do you respond to criticism? You know, the Bible uses the word ‘meekness’? Well, I think one of the most awesome, poignant, powerful examples of meekness is the Son of God in Gethsemane when they came to arrest Him, and Judas walks up to Him and kisses Him. One of the elders in His church and Jesus looks at them and says, “Hey, why do you come here in the dark? I was preaching in public, and you left me alone. I could call 12 legions of angels.” I think there were 6000 men in a legion. That’s like 72,000 angels. One Old Testament story one angel killed 185,000 men in an enemy army in one night. One angel. You know what meekness is? Strength over control. “I’m going to submit to you guys, I could blot you out of existence, I could turn you into atomic ash. But I’ve come here for a purpose. I’ve come here to redeem you and to change you.” That’s meekness.
The Bible says that Moses was the meekest man who ever lived. You know I’m not being critical now but I’ve got a lot of Jewish friends. They’re tough people, man. Don’t mess with an Israeli. Imagine leading 3 million of them. I’m just making this up now; Moses was the meekest man who ever lived because God chose him to put up with all those whining, whinging, murmuring people. And meekness says, “Hey, I want to wipe you out. But I won’t. I’ll submit to the process.”
Let me just say this, in question 14, Have you forgiven any unjust criticism? I’ll be honest with you, there are some issues in my life that I’ve battled with to forgive people that have hurt me. But you know what? Vengeance belongs to God. I believe there’s somebody here tonight that needs to go and forgive somebody that’s very difficult to forgive, by God’s grace. If He could hang on a cross, in agony and I don’t think will ever understand the pain. Penny and I were listening to a song the other day that the only scars in Heaven. [Ps Andy becomes emotional] You won’t have any scars in Heaven, because His are the only ones. Yeah.
Quality six is commitment. I’m standing on two legs and they’ve all had special operations, but you know what, I’m going to still stand on them. I told you this morning, I’m going to run up and down stairs. That was a prophecy over me. But it’s commitment. Commitment means “I’m going to see this through no matter what.” I don’t know, you know, all of us church members, some of us say, “Well, we go while the church is doing well.” I mean, I’ve been in churches that weren’t doing so well. But you know what we stayed there until they did well. That’s called commitment. Let me just give you an example from nature. I love big trees. Where we live, we’ve lived there about four years and the trees are now growing up. When we were born in that house in Krugersdorp, there were enormous pine trees; I mean about 15 meters high. We lived in that area of Krugersdorp, there were violent lightning and thunderstorms. I’ve seen a lightning bolt hit that tree and split it right down the middle like [Ps Andy makes an explosive noise], like that. Big trees. I’ve seen pictures of the Redwoods in America where you can drive a car through it. They’ve been there for a long time. Believe what I’m telling you is true.
But you know, Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane and they’ve told me those olive trees are still there. They’ve been there 2000 years. I think it was Oral Roberts, went there and prayed. He had a vision or some anointing came on him. Because those trees were there, where Jesus prayed and sweat blood. I mean, so all I’m saying is this. If you want to grow strong spiritually, you’ve got to commit yourself to your church, no matter what. If things don’t go the way you want them to, you can pray. But I’ll tell you something, you’ll grow big. I’ve been in church a long time. I know a lot of people who have been in church, but the ones that flip from church to church, never grow into big Christians. You know why? Because if you want to grow big, you’ve gotten to stay in the same place and the roots will go deeper, and the wind will blow you this way and the wind will blow you that way, and the wind will nearly blow you over. But you know what, if you keep standing there, let the wind blow; “I’m staying here.” That’s called commitment.
You know, I love war stories. One of my favourite stories is the Band of Brothers. They made a movie out of it. It’s not a Christian book, because it was war. But I’ll tell you the motivational principles in there. I’ve read that book six times. There was a bunch of guys that went to war. They were there on D Day, and they lived together and they died together and when one of them got injured, he would discharge himself from hospital to go back to that unit. He says, “If I’ve got to go back to war. I want to be with those guys.” Now our church must be a Band of Brothers. Amen. There, they have pictures of them like. Most of them… In fact, Major Winters was the captain of that company at that stage. They interviewed these guys. I don’t know, 50, 60 years later, and there they stand with all their medals, one guy’s got one leg. “Remember when I pulled you out of that hole. And I remember this…” In fact, the one guy said, “I just want to thank Adolf Hitler for giving me the opportunity to serve with that bunch of guys.” Wow, I mean Pastor John knows what it’s like to be a Parbat. That’s a tough unit, he was in, the elite of the army. But I thought to myself, “Hey, we’re a band of brothers.” So, what do I stand for?
Nearly finished, Question 16: Are your priorities right and what are they? Matthew 6:33 is a very poignant verse. In fact, we’ve given stickers to everybody in our church to stick on the fridge. Matthew 6:33, Jesus says, 33 Seek first the kingdom of God. I’m talking about priorities. First, the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things will be given you. (Matthew 6:33 NIV). So stop fussing about the things. Seek first the Kingdom and you won’t even have to ask for it. Does it make sense? So, what we’ve done, we’ve changed the English a bit and said, “You get your spiritual life, right. God will take care of the rest of your life.” That’s powerful, but what a statement. You seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things, He’ll give them to you. You know, you were talking about economy and how we fuss about things. Hey? And the Lord says, “Stop fussing about things. I’ll take care of your things. Come and fuss about Me, if you want to fuss about something.” That’s what it’s all about.
Question 17: Are you unselfish in regard to your calling and those you’re influencing? Deny yourself. That’s a tough word hey? “Deny yourself,” means that you are back in the Garden of Eden, and you eat from the Tree of Life, and not from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The Knowledge of Good and Evil means, “I’m going to do it my way. I am so intelligent, and I’m so educated, and I’ve read so many books. You know what, I’m sure I could do it my way.” As I said early on, that way is death. I mean, that’s a tough call, hey? Such nice people doing it their way. And the penalty, God said to Adam, “In the day that you eat, you’re dead.” And of course, he didn’t drop dead, he lived till he was over 900, but he was severed from his relationship with God. That’s what this is all about, being the best. And what Pastor John was preaching about last night, is becoming what He designed me to be.
So, my priorities: Am I unselfish? Am I part of a team? The team is the body of Christ. You know, I love watching rugby, but to me, rugby is all about supporting, that, “I know that when he’s running like that, I will run here, and I’m here to catch that ball.” We’re a rugby nation, aren’t we? What’s it all about, running-rugby? I don’t like kicking-rugby, then you might as well play football, you know, is running with the ball. But the essence of that game, is it, “I’m so understanding about where you are, that when you’re running like that, I’ll be here. And you know, you can pass the ball to me, I’m right here.” And of course, there’s nothing like watching one of those tries, and they go zigzag, zigzag, peg. Exciting.
Question 19. I’m nearly finished. Have you, sorry, I should have given you, your communication skills, your caring skills, how you handle criticism, your commitment level. Forgive me for going so far. Yeah. I used the word abandoned. Abandoned in some instances is a dirty word. I’ll tell you where, why I’m saying that. Our daughter, our second daughter, went to work on a, in an organisation just outside of Blantyre, that looked after abandoned babies. I mean, they’d have children and just throw the baby on the rubbish tin. And they would go and pick the baby up and help, nurse it and put it in a school, and our daughter was helping to run the school at that stage. So that’s, abandon means, I don’t care about you. I’ll just drop you. But you know what? I am trying to abandon myself to God. In other words, I come to Him without an agenda. How many of you come to God with an agenda? “Lord, if You do this, I’ll do that.” Or, “Lord, if you bless me, I won’t do that.” Hey, that’s not abandoning. Abandoning means, “Lord, I’m going to jump; catch me.”
I’ll never forget my son, David, climbing a tree. We had a carob tree in our backyard. And he climbed up this tree. And I had this little voice say, “Daddy,” then I see he’s stuck in a tree. And then I stand and say, “Jump, I’ll catch you.” And I did, you know, the two of us nearly fell over, but anyway. That’s abandoning yourself. Hey, “Jump, I’ll catch you.” What’s that story about that guy that fell over the cliff? And he was hanging on a branch halfway down. And he shouted, he says, “Anybody up there?” And God said, “Let go, I’ll catch you.” He said, “Anybody else up there?”
So, abandoning myself, this is another word I’m ingesting. I don’t, I try not to have an agenda with God. “I submit to You because You don’t make mistakes.” There’s nobody in this church that doesn’t believe that God is good. But do you believe that He’s good to you? That’s my problem. “Lord, you bless so and so, and you heal so and so, and so and so got a cheque in the mail for R10,000. What about me?” Anybody like that? That’s me sometimes.
But you know what, abandoning myself means I’ve let go be still and know that God… Being still means let go. Okay, you told me to let go, you’re going to catch me when I’m dead. I’m going to let go, when he got me. Amen. Isn’t it wonderful? You know proverbs three, five and six. I don’t know about you. But there’s so many scriptures that Pastor John and I have cut our teeth on. They were teaching it to us before we could even speak properly. Proverbs three, five and six says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not to your own understanding.” Abandon yourself, and He will direct and make straight and plain your path. Whoa, you guys are fantastic. Have you got that in the Amplified Bible while I’m closing. The words in the Amplified Bible I used to preach. Yeah, “Lean on, trust in and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and your mind. And don’t rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize and acknowledge Him. And He will direct and make straight and plain your path.” Wow, isn’t that exciting? So, for those of us that are sort of saying, Lord, which way is north, hey, take those scriptures. And that’s what Pastor John and Pastor Sharon and Brother Jerry have been telling us all these years. Only say about your situation what God says, I tell you forget everything else I’ve told you today. Remember that. Because what God says has got to work, what I think might work. Not a good idea, a God idea. Right in the last one is my other leg. Now, I know we don’t want to get hung up on walk, working for rewards. It says in Hebrews, once you put Hebrews 11, six up there, please.
It says in Hebrews six, 6 Whoever comes to God must believe that there is a God. And that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV) He wants you if you come to Him to expect the reward. I didn’t write the book. We read it again. But without faith, it is impossible to please God. “Dis onmoontlik.” (It is impossible.) Hey, Is it quite clear to us.
I can’t please Him any other way than to believe in Him and trust Him and abandon myself too. Just put it back up there again please.6 For whoever would come near to God must necessarily believe that God exists. What does that mean? It means I’ve got to act like the day God’s right here. Do we act like this? Or do we call on God when we’re in trouble? Come on. I’ve got to believe He exists. He’s right here. He said, “I’ll never leave you and I’ll never forsake you.” But look at that. He’s the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV) Thank you.
Question. What crown are you working for? You know, we don’t just go to church. So it was some kind of a faith thing to hang on to. And when things get bitter and ugly in Russia invades Ukraine, and Joe Biden is making funny decisions. You know, thanks for, thanks for making that’s the world we live in. So, we don’t come here to find out what Pastor John is going to tell us now. How do we handle this problem? No. I believe God exists and He’s a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. So, I’ve got hope. I’m not lost. I’m trusting God to get me through that. What I’ve shared with you, it’s taken me a long time to do this. But I want you if you can just to make those notes and think about it, and say what area of the seven things. My head is my calling. My heart is my character. I communicate and I care. I digest criticism. I have a commitment and I have a crown. Somewhere in one of those you might find a little weak spot. So, I need to trust You more. Lord, I need to confess Your word over my problems.
Lord, I need to maybe take more action. Because another thing about faith is; Faith without work is dead. If you’re living by faith, you take action. Amen. You sow a seed, you give something away and I love your church. You guys are so generous and so caring, that I’m saying, Wow, don’t change, stay like that. You know, I said to Pastor John and Pastor Sharon, you guys have got something wonderful here. I love to do this because I find people. We must never get blase with our church. Oh well, there’s just going to church. No, there’s something awesome happening here. And I’m praying, and I spoke to him about it for multiplication, that you guys are going to outgrow this church and all Witbank’s going to come here. Why not? You got a recipe that tastes good. And the people are going to come say, “Give me a bite of that. Wow, let’s have another bite.” Amen. I’m just going to pray over you now. Is that okay? And I just, you know, I’ve said a lot of things. But let’s trust the Lord to take one thing and impregnate that into your heart. So, that there’s something you are going to change. Remember, I said earlier on, every time you go to a church service, you must go home with at least one thing to change. Now I’ve given you seven things, but there’s too many. Take one thing. Like for example, from now on, when I face a problem, I will only say what God says. I’ll tell you that’ll set you free. You won’t worry about the Ukraine and Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden and anybody else, or Julius Malema. Because God’s in control, no matter what. So, I wonder if you could all just stand? I want you to just take five seconds to think about what you’re going to change.
Otherwise, I failed you today. Is it clear in your mind what you’re going to change? The way you’re going to talk to your wife. The way you’re going to talk to your husband. The way you’re going to talk to your employees. Get focused. You know, that’s another thing that’s a biblical principle. Paul says this one thing I do, forgetting what it says. Philippians, 3:13 and 14. Forgetting what is behind. I press forward. I call it the three F’s of life. He was focused. He said, “If there’s one thing I do, forgetting what is behind. I press forward.” David, son of Jesse, Jesus, Big Daddy. One thing I do, I want to dwell in Your presence. I want to look at your perfection. And I want to talk to you. So, one thing. So, Lord, I just pray over this precious congregation. Lord, nobody is here by accident. Everyone in this building right now is here by divine appointment. Every person in this room has got the potential to be completely Christ-like.
Everyone in this room could get 100 out of 100 because we are the image of Jesus. And Lord, I thank You for the presence of Your Holy Spirit in this church. I pray that there would be much more and that every single person in this congregation would learn to live by the prompting, and the yielding, yielding to You Holy Spirit. That we will know what all the gifts of the Spirit are. Your Word says we must desire the best gifts. So Lord, I desire to prophesy. And we can desire for gifts of healings. We can desire for words of wisdom. We can desire for words of knowledge. We can desire to discern spirits. We can design miracles, we can desire wonderworking faith. Hallelujah, Lord. So, Lord, I just pray and May these be the hands of God of us. That You would meet every need here in a special way. I pray that You would do new things. That song that we were singing last night. You’ve opened the door. I say this to somebody here tonight. You are facing closed doors. God’s opening the door. And it says in Revelation that no one will close it.
So, Lord, we thank You for Your presence. You said My presence will go with You, and everything will be alright and everything will be fine for You. So Lord, we bless Your, Your people, Your body, Lord Jesus. And I pray for Pastor John and Pastor Sharon and all the associates and all these fantastic people that serve so beautifully here. May they go from strength to strength. And I bless this congregation with multiplication. Help us to think outside the box. Help us to think outside this building. Help us to see the whole of Witbank. Lord, I pray for revival to start here. I pray for a spirit of prayer and intercession to come on us like never before. I pray that we will be like Jesus, we’d go into solitary places, and close the door. And hear from Father, what are we supposed to say? And how to say it. And what to do and how to do it. So, Lord, we commit all these things into your hands. And all the people say, Amen. Bless you. Thanks so much. You may be seated. And thanks to the media division. Thanks for putting up with me. I’ve gotten a bit lost a couple of times, but forgive me.
Hallelujah. Take it with you. Yeah. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah. Praise Jesus. So, there you go. Legacy Bendixen and May relationship in the pulpit. Something that I certainly didn’t expect would happen. But thank you, thank you, Andy, and Penny for coming. And thank you for responding to the Lord and for calling me and sending me messages. Because, you know, we would connect and then there would be time that would go by, and then we would connect again. And then in the fullness of the time, the Lord has made this possible for us to reconnect in this way. And how amazing and wonderful it is, for me. It’s quite, quite special. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. It was when I were speaking to them in our office earlier on at lunchtime. And I was saying that Andy and Penny have remained with the Assemblies of God all of these years.
And I’ve told you how grateful I have been to have grown up in the Assemblies of God. Because the foundation doctrine of the Assemblies of God is a very, very solid and very good foundation. And it’s, it’s encouraging to me that they have grown and they have, and they speak so much of the same language that we speak here because they’ve grown in God together. They’ve grown in the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah. It’s a wonderful thing. It’s a wonderful thing. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Well, we have brother Joe and Brother Jerry coming on in a short while. Praise Jesus. Hallelujah. Glory to God.
Brother Joe is going to teach. He told me when we were in the USA last, well, actually, it feels like such a long time ago. But we were there on Monday on a Monday lunchtime, he was telling me what he’s going to come and tell us tonight. You know, and basically he’s going to speak about, and I’m not going to preach his message, because I don’t know all of it, I just know the headlines. But he’s going to speak about how to overcome by faith. How to overcome the effects of things that happen in your life. In particular, he’s going to speak about recovering from sickness and disease and what COVID did to him. And how it wasn’t was just a matter about getting through it and, and not and not dying, and, and being there with them. You know, when Brother Jerry, you know, a personal moment, explained to me how close brother Joe came to die.
You know, it certainly was never conveyed that to me, because I only heard words of faith. You know, which is a good thing. Because it’s, it’s what saved him, you know, but Brother Jerry explained to me that Joe was really, really sick and nearly died, you know. And he’s had to deal with some things that are after effects. And he’s going to minister to us on how to deal with moving forward and dealing with the after effects of, of a crisis that has happened in your life. You know, Brother Jerry’s going to minister to us on the open hand of God, I believe. It’s what he indicated to me but the Holy Spirit can tell him to preach on anything, it doesn’t matter what. And we will receive it. Amen.
I found myself if you don’t mind me sharing with you for 10 or 15 minutes and then we can take a break. I found myself having some very deep thoughts and having some big emotions because Pastor Sharon and I had an opportunity to sit out on a balcony one day, we had some time to ourselves, and it was a beautiful day. We were sitting outside and there was a gentle breeze blowing through the trees and we were sitting on the chairs on the balcony and I was just saying to her what an amazing blessing God has given us, how He has favoured us that we could be with someone like Brother Jerry. All that he is and all that he has and all that he’s connected to is part of the favour that comes with us being connected to him. I found myself reflecting on the fact that we’ve been together in relationship and in ministry for 25 years. So, at President’s Cabinet, well, just after the President’s Cabinet, we had an informal International board meeting – the Australian director wasn’t there because they’re still in lockdown kind of thing.
So, he couldn’t make it there. But we had an international board meeting and so Brother Jerry asked some very, very searching questions to us that were in the meeting. And that caused me, certainly, to reflect on many things, you know. The first office that he opened was an office in England and he then chose the moment to share some things himself that I didn’t know. He chose to open up an office because God had told him that he would open an office in England, or Great Britain. He opened it up with my previous pastor and they shared the expense of the office and the expense of employing someone in that office in the UK. Well, as it turns out, things didn’t go very well with that office. They ended up closing the office down and obviously, all that goes with it. Then sometime later, God gave him the opportunity to meet someone and they then began to understand that this is the couple that must run his office in the UK. And so, they have been with Brother Jerry – that was the first office he opened outside of the USA – and they have been with Brother Jerry for 26 years. We have been with Brother Jerry for 25 years.
As somebody that has been running his ministry for 25 years. That’s quite a long time. You know, some of you haven’t lived that long yet. That’s how long it is, you know. But it caused me to reflect on some of the things that happened in that period of time and decisions that he made. Conversations that him and I had to have – the strain of the decisions and the impact of those decisions for a short period of time that – we’d always been very close – but for a period of time, we weren’t as close as we used to be, just by the nature of the decisions that was made.
It required me, the Lord required me to go and see Brother Jerry in 2009 and meet him in California. I’ve shared this with a lot of you before, but it required me to go and meet him in California and speak to him. Basically what I said to his brother Jerry was, “Brother Jerry, I want my relationship back with you, the one that we had before. Even though we still have one, it’s not what it used to be.” And so of course, he asked me some questions, searching questions to me. He asked me about my opinion about some of the decisions that he had made. My answer to him was, “Brother Jerry, your decisions are not under inspection by me. That’s not an issue for me. Whatever happened, and whatever has happened, I am here because I want the relationship back. And so whatever the reasons why you made those decisions, that’s none of my business. It’s none of my business. But I want to have the relationship that we used to have.”
There were prophetic words, and this is the way that the Lord gave it to me to speak to him that he and another man had prophesied over me in his church – me and Pastor Sharon- in his church in Crowley, Texas. Then I went up to Mark Barkley’s church and Mark Barkley had prophesied over Pastor Sharon and I. And I played him those prophecies and I said, “Brother, Jerry, this is what the Lord has for us and I want this to be restored.” He immediately said, “Well, John, from this moment onwards, whatever differences we’ve had, we consider them to be over, never to be referred to again, never to be even considered again. From this moment onwards, we go forward in a new, better relationship than we’ve had before.” That’s since 2009 and now this is 13 years later and we have a much better relationship than we’ve ever had before. Amen. Praise the Lord.
If you think that you’re going to stay married to someone for a long time, and the enemy of God is not going to come and try and destroy your marriage, think again. There will be differences, and there will be things that will happen that will test your commitment to what Pastor Andy said, you know. There will be things that will happen. You have a relationship with someone for 25 years, you think it’s all going to be smooth sailing, and that everything is going to be without any complications, without any disagreements, without any differences, without any issues? Sure, there are. It’s how we deal with that. It’s how we deal with them that causes us to go forward. So why am I sharing this with you? Because you all know that 2014 was a big year for us because 2014, Brother Jerry had a word that was; manifestation, visitation, demonstration.
Thank you, Sharon. There were people there with me at that time when Brother, Jerry, there were a number of people that went with me on a trip to America. We sat in his boardroom and he spoke words to me and he said, “John,whatever you do, don’t ever stop preaching faith.” He took us into a part of his home that is normally private, and just shared things with us. Of course, that was when the Lord spoke to me and He said to me, “4x4x40.” He wanted me to do 4 times 40 days of focusing. You remember all of that? 4x4x40. So I did the first 40 days by myself because that’s what God required and then I presented it to you and asked you if you wanted to do one cycle of 40 days, but that we would end up doing three cycles of 40 days, because those three cycles is what God said – there will be a fullness of identity change. You all remember that? Some of you were with us then. So 2015 became a big year because I began to declare to you that if you don’t see the change in me, then I’m not changing. If I don’t have an identity change, and you can’t see it, then I’m fooling myself. Because if I’m changing, then you need to be able to see the change that’s happening in me. If you remember I said it’s not just about the fact that you can see I’ve lost weight but it’s about the spiritual life, and other things that must change in me.
From that time, I have been working with God and continuing to follow Him for my own personal identity change and to continue to walk with Him. That was a word that God gave Brother Jerry that we used in the way that God gave me to do it with the journals, the focus and everything that we had to do because there was a prophetic word that came. If you do nothing with the prophetic word, then you get nothing from a prophetic word. But if you do something with a prophetic word, you get the reward of what you apply to your life. If you don’t get that, then God has given you an opportunity to do something and grow in a way that if you choose not to do it, you can’t grow. If I’m growing, that means we’re growing apart. Amen.
Since that time, God has done wonderful things in our lives and in this ministry. He asked me to go and spend five weeks with Brother Jerry, which as you all know, there was a great contest in my soul to leave you all, to leave my wife, to leave this, my responsibilities here and go and spend five weeks with Brother Jerry. Not knowing and not having any idea of productivity for five weeks, only to engage in relationship however God would choose to have it. Then the next year He said, “Now, I want you to go for seven weeks.” You remember the contest that I had in myself that I would leave you and my wife and everybody else behind for seven weeks to go and be with Brother Jerry, and just go and do things that he would do. But here I’m standing in 2022. And because of what my obedience to God was to go and make sure that my relationship, the divine connection that God had given me with Brother Jerry, that the enemy had tried to bring us apart and not allow the fullness of what God had intended it to become that it was restored.
I don’t believe that there’s any one of us in this ministry that would be where we are now, if I had not obeyed God in 2009. It is quite possible that actually as a ministry, I don’t know where we would be. Because God had spoken and so, I have to stay with what God said. My own emotion about it, my own feelings about it is irrelevant. It was what God said.
And you remember that God… other people came into my life at that time, wonderful ministers that were from America that came and actually had a significant impact on our ministry by teaching us his version of and his revelation of ecclesia, and kingdom, and how much that Word has impacted our ministry? Come on. Right? And how he approached me and asked me to become part of his international apostolic team, and that I should become the apostle for Africa, under his banner of the International apostolic team. And when he asked me that question, and when he presented me with the opportunity, I had to say, “No, thank you.” Even though I fell in love with him and him with me, and we all fell in love with him. And what a wonderful man he continues to be. We occasionally still speak on the phone. COVID – he got… I have said this to you, he got cancer of the throat. So, he couldn’t speak for a number of years, for two years. And then, you know, COVID has happened and many things have transpired and he’s much older now. So, he doesn’t get around that much, but we still have a relationship. But when he asked me to join his team, I had to say, “No, thank you.” Because the last word that God gave me was to be joined to Brother Jerry. And God had not given me any other word that He had put me with anybody else. And that happened at the time when our relationship was at its most distant.
You know, it’s like when you’re married and you are not in agreement with each other and then you’re still walking around in the same home and you still make tea in the same kitchen, but you’re not really talking to each other. Come on, don’t look at me like I’m crawled out of cheese. And I can say Brother Jerry and I were in that relationship, I continued to go to his ministers conferences every year, I can continue to go to his revival fires conferences every year. And when I was in America, I made sure that I was always at his church and at his meeting, because he needed to know that I was still connected to him, even though we didn’t have the closeness of the relationship that we had had before.
I thank God. I thank God that the enemy was not able to come in and separate us. Aren’t you glad? And so here we stand in 2022. And one of the things God said to me was, “Well, John…” when I was traveling with them in America, He said, “Do you want all of the legacy that Jerry Savelle carries? The anointing that’s on his life?” And I said, “I want all of it, Lord.” He said, “Well, then why aren’t you doing Chariots of Light?” And so “Yes, Lord”. I went and I got a motorbike license, and I bought a motorbike. And now I’ve already done three tours with Brother Jerry in America. And some of you joined me before COVID came. And then he invited us to come and do the prayer conference in his church. And you were there, some of you. How amazing was that time? We would never have had that time if I’d allowed the enemy to come in and separate us and not just separate us, but make an active decision of my will that I’m going to go and restore. Come on.
Is this okay if I share this with you? Because sometimes people think that I don’t have emotions, or the way that I preach faith sometimes, or when you see the results of it sometimes, don’t you think that my humanity is not something that I have to deal with? But if you think my pride didn’t want me to go and speak to Brother Jerry and say, “Brother, Jerry, I want our relationship back and if there’s anything I’ve done, to separate us, I ask you to forgive me, there’s anything that is my mind doing to bring this distance, please forgive me.” You think my pride wanted me to do that? My pride said, “I didn’t do anything wrong. I don’t have to do anything about this.” So, I had to take the Word of God and say, “But the Word of God says that whatever I’ve got to do here, I’ve got to submit myself to the will of God and His will, is for me and Brother Jerry to be divinely connected until He says different.” Hey?
And so, now we have Chariots. I’ve done three tours with Brother Jerry in the US. Justin and Anette have come here and have come and visited us. Bill and Ginger Horn have come and visited us. God willing, they’ll come this year, if there is an opportunity. We spoke about it while we were there. And God willing, they will come back, and we’ll have a cycle tour with Bill and Ginger and Chariots later this year, depending on how things work with them. And that’s all I’m going to say for now. But that was in my heart. The Lord spoke to me before we went to America, and He said, “When you see Bill and Ginger, talk to them about the possibility of them coming here this year.” And when I spoke to him, he said, “John, I have it in my heart, and we want to come and here’s the challenges that we face. And if we can overcome these challenges, we’re going to come.” So, I’m believing God that those challenges will not stand in the way. Amen. Praise the Lord. We would have none of that if I’d allowed the devil to have his way. Hey? Praise the Lord.
You guys got to see the pictures of me and Sharon, flying in the Falcon with Brother Jerry, doing things with him for three weeks, he asked us to stay on for that extra time. And praise the Lord, we had a holy time, we had glory time, we had supernatural opportunities that I would never have, we would never have had this opportunity to be with Brother Jerry and spend time with him and Miss Carolyn, if I hadn’t obeyed God in 2009. Amen.
Any divine connection starting from Adam and Eve, any divine connection is always going to be tested by the enemy’s will. To separate, to divide, to isolate, and to bring you in a place where you are no longer acknowledging and have the covering of the glory of God upon you. Hallelujah. And so, part of the reason why I’m telling you all of this, is that Brother Jerry is making a strong pull on me to come back, go back to America, in May – to be back there on the 9th of May. He’s making a strong pull on me to be there. He asked me at least five times to come and do something with him. And I’ve never known Brother Jerry to make such a strong pull on me to do this. So, I’m just informing you and letting you know that I’ve wrestled with this, partly because it’s hard on my body to go back there again – it’s a lot of flying to do and God’s got things that we have to do here. But when your divine connection and your spiritual authority, and your spiritual leader says, “Will you come John, will you come and be with me? And will you come and do this with me?” It’s almost not a request. You know, it’s a command. Because his desire is strong for me to be with him, and I can’t understand it. To be honest with you, I can’t understand, I can’t understand it, but it’s not for me to understand, it’s for me to respond to. And so last night, yesterday, we made a decision, because I’ve been putting it to some of the people around me. I’ve asked them to pray since we got back on Wednesday. Because I have to make a decision because I’ve got to get air tickets to go again. But Pastor Sharon will be here. This time I will go alone. And I’ll go for 10 or 12 days to go and be with Brother Jerry. Praise the Lord.
Do you trust that God’s doing something here? Do you trust that if Brother Jerry’s pulling on me to come and be back there with him again… this is the second time in in a month, you know, that he’s made this pull for us to stay longer, longer? And he asked me to come back again and be there with him again. And I’m just saying, you know, it’s quite incredible. It’s quite supernatural for us to be with Brother Jerry and have all of Brother Keith Moore’s people take care of us. And for us to be in all of his spaces, Brother Copeland, all of his people to love on Pastor Sharon and I in the Branson victory campaign and renew friendships and renew acquaintances that have been 20 years or longer in the making. And none of that would have happened if God, if Brother Jerry hadn’t asked us to stay on longer this time.
And so what’s God doing? It’s yet to be revealed. But I know this about obedience and about what God does is that if you don’t do the next step, then you can’t get to the next one. You have to keep doing the next step, to get to the next step. And so, I don’t see the full picture of why this is happening, but it’s the next step. Amen. So, it was a long story for me to tell you. But I wanted you to understand how God has progressed our relationship, and how God has restored our relationship and how God has made it more significant. And it’s becoming more significant to him because he keeps calling and pulling on me. And that’s very special to me. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah.
So, I ask you, and I will do this in church on Sunday morning. But I’m asking you anyway. What’s today? It’s Saturday. So, tomorrow morning. I’m still catching up with the days. But we’ll talk about this, but I’m asking you to just carry it in your heart and pray with me that all will be smooth and all will go well the way God intended it to be for me to go back this soon back to America. Amen.
Bless you. We’ll see you back here at five o’clock.