Scripture Reference: Luke 10:40-42 (NKJV); Luke 10: 41-42 (NLT); luke 10:40-42 (TPT)
Glory to God. Raise your hands and just say; praise You, Jesus. Just give Him thanks for about 10 or 15 seconds. Just thank Him for Who He is. Thank You, Lord. Thank You for blessing us. Thank You for giving us an alternative life and future in You. Thank You, Jesus. We praise You, Lord. We praise You, Lord. We praise You, Jesus. Thank You, Lord. Hallelujah. Glory. You may be seated, thank you.
How many of you would like to do a self-evaluation exercise? Question for self-evaluation; question – how do you know how much you are institutionalised? How much do you know or how do you know how much you are institutionalised into a way of thinking that is designed to make you think the way everybody else thinks? How much do you think you have been institutionalised? Question, write that question down for yourself, write it down for yourself, or type it into your phone, or whatever. Question, how much have I been institutionalised? I mean, not in a mental institution, although that was very appropriate about what Pastor Sharon said, last night, you are in a mental institution because everything is a mental game. It’s a mind game. It’s a mind thing. It’s not a spirit thing. It’s a mind thing. But the mind thing can become a spirit thing, if you let it into your mind, and it controls your mind. So, next question. Number two, you can do a self-evaluation, and you can ask yourself, I don’t want to be too specific here because I did think about this, but you could ask yourself, if I am completely institutionalised in my thinking, what part of me must I change first? So, in other words, what’s the most important area of my life that I’m institutionalised, that I must change first? So obviously, the most simple example must be, I’ve got to change my walk with God. So, I mean, that’s a given. Right? In other words, if you are institutionalised in any way of your thinking, you’ve got to change your walk with God before you can change something else. You’ve got to see God differently. After that, what’s next? Is it my finances, the way I see money? Is it the way I see my career? Is that the way I see relationships? Is it the way I see myself? Perhaps it’s more about me, and my insecurities and my failures, and perhaps shame or some kind of other decisions that I’ve made. Perhaps that’s something that’s impacting me in my institutionalised perspective than anything else. And so, then the last one is, how will I know that I’m changing? How will I know that I’m changing?
Part of what I would say to you is, it shouldn’t just be what you think it should be what others think because they can see, they can hear that you are changing. I mean, if there’s something that I want to change in my life, the person who will know it first, and the person who will know it best will be Pastor Sharon. Right? Because she’s closest to me. She will see it first and then others around me will begin to see that I’ve changed in my thinking or in the way that I approach life. This is more about how you are making choices to live your life as opposed to where you think your life should be before you make a change. Oftentimes, there is this perspective that I’ll make the changes and I’ll do what I must do to get myself to a point where I’m ready for the change. Well, that’s not going to do you much good but it is part of your institutionalised thinking, because you think you can bring about the change that you need to bring about in order to get yourself to the point where you can become useful to God or you’re ready to be used by God or be ready to put yourself into a place where God can use you.
Well, where do I get all of this from? Well, I got it from Martha – if you want to know. Not just Martha, but I’m going to use Martha because I’m going to go back to Martha. So, 38 … Martha welcomed Him into … this is Luke 10 verse 38. So, Martha welcome Jesus into her house. And Mary, she was there, sat at Jesus’ feet, heard His Word, 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving (Luke 10:38, NKJV).
You just help me with this word for a minute. Let’s look at this word for a minute; distracted. Distracted. How do you know if you’re institutionalised? When what you’re doing is distracting you from where God wants you to be. Distractions. “Well, Pastor John, you know, I don’t consider working a good day’s hard work as a distraction.” It could be, it could be the only thing that distracts you in life is work. I mean, you know, some people say, well, work can’t be wrong. Yes, it can. If work is what you rely on for your self-esteem, and for things that matter to you, then your institutionalised thinking is connected to that. There’s a great deal of value to you in what I’m saying spiritually, if you start to have an examination of yourself, and you start to say, well, how much am I distracted from where God might want me to be? Distractions. You know, a bigger thing would be what’s causing the distraction?
So, she was distracted with much serving because again as I said, the cultural pressure that she was under – generations, 1000s of years of patriarchal familial life
as a woman in a home that welcomes high ranking guests into their house demanded that the woman take up a position of number one welcoming, preparing, serving, making everything. Hey, come on, this is still in the modern day world. It might not be a patriarchal system anymore, but it’s certainly a performance system. “Don’t come to my house until I’ve cleaned everything and made it look pretty and beautiful and everything, and you will get the best of my house.” Right? “Because I want to present my best side to you.” You look like none of you think or do that when every woman puts pressure on her man if she can, you know, certainly in the subtlest of ways at least, you know, and vice versa – “Maak die huis skoon. (Clean the house) Maak die kombuis skoon. (Clean the kitchen) Keep it clean. Let’s organise, fluff up the pillows. Make sure all the ornaments are straight, come on. Ya, it’s a performance thing, right? Those are the cultural issues that were facing Martha. It’s her home. She also wanted to present to everybody that she had the financial means with which to actually meet the needs of all of the people that were coming to her home. So, she was distracted by all of these things.
So, how do you know if performance is dominating you? How do you know if performance is dominating? When you press for a result that you predetermine is the result that you want, instead of inquiring of the Lord what He wants. If you spend more time pressing for a result that you want, rather than even spending an equivalent amount of time asking God what He wants, then you are performance influenced.
Okay, there’s also another way that you can ask the question; how important is the reward of my performance to me? And what are the rewards that are so important to me that I keep pursuing a result because of the rewards of the performance? So, this can be in a relationship, this can be about work, this could be about learning, education, this could be about politics, that is power. This could be about sports, it could be about many things – predetermined results. How important is the reward? What does the reward look like? And why am I doing all of this stuff? So, I’m doing all of this stuff to get what back? How important is it that I get that back? And so, how much have I inquired from God about ‘what I get back factor.’ That ‘what do I get back factor,’ how important and how big a deal is that to me? So, praise the Lord. God is going to deliver you if you just begin to recognise that the way Martha was approaching everything, and I’m about to touch on the, unfortunately I’m about to touch or fortunately I’m about to touch on the biggest area that we as a Christian community, evaluate our lives. Because the next thing that Martha did was 40 she approached Him, being Jesus, and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? (Luke 10:40 NKJV). “Lord,” she addressed Jesus as Lord. In other words, she gave Him the title, she gave Him the authority, she gave Him the influence to tell not only her, Martha, but to tell Mary, she in fact, relied on His Lordship to tell Mary that the cultural things and the performance issues of the culture of the day were more important than what Mary was doing.
So, what’s happened as a church is that we approach God the same way and we say, “Lord, tell my boss who I am. Lord, help me achieve the results in my education so that I can have the best possible options when I finish high school, or when I finish university, or whatever it is that I do. Lord, help me. Lord, don’t You see how much effort I’m putting in? Lord, Lord, Lord.”
My son Garth gave me a book to read recently. It’s a heavyweight book. There are a couple of writers of theological exegesis that have been around in the world, really tremendous, amazing authors, people that are students of the Word of God and have produced amazing works that have influenced the body of Christ. One of them would be Watchman Nee for example. This author that Garth gave me to read, I already knew about the author. I have actually read some of his material many, many years ago, but he gave me a book entitled, The Sovereignty of God. I mean, it’s a yea, thick book like this. [Pastor John shows how thick the book is.] So, I say to Garth, I say, “Thanks, Garth. Just give me light reading. Anytime you like, you know.” So, the sovereignty of God. Well, anybody that’s been around church long enough will know the sovereignty of God is one of the biggest questions. One of the biggest theological issues that people want to solve is the sovereignty of God. In other words, how sovereign is God in my life versus my will? That’s one of the aspects of sovereignty. The other aspect of sovereignty is, if God is sovereign, then how sovereign is He and how sovereign is His will in the outcome of everything. Just light reading. The sovereignty of God is not a new issue. The sovereignty of God is the issue that the church has wrestled with, people that have been in the Word, people that have studied the Word, people that have gone to seminaries, otherwise known as cemeteries. But a lot of these people have wrestled with these questions because, you know, they want to try and answer how sovereign God is. They’re trying to answer it with their intellect, with their understanding of the Bible, and the way they interpret the Bible. And unless you get a revelation of that, you can never really answer that because the only way you can answer the sovereignty of God question is if God reveals Himself to you. So, when He shows up at noonday, brighter than the noonday sun, and you fall at your feet, because He shows up, you don’t have a question about sovereignty – you know He’s God. And you know that if He says, “You’ve persecuted Me,” then He’s not there to have a debate about what you think His power level is, or His influence level. He’s here to tell you, your life is about to be over if you keep doing what you’re doing, “Because you’re persecuting Me.” Right?
An encounter with God is the surest way to understand how sovereign He is. However, absent an encounter with God, you will try and answer the question with your intellect not because I’ve raised the issue about sovereignty, but you’re going to raise it, you’re trying to answer the question with your intellect because you’ll be confronted with a natural problem of how much do I give myself to God? How much do I give myself to God versus how much I’ve got to have responsibility for my life? How much do I give myself to God versus the responsibility of my life? This is the question that was facing Martha and Mary because Martha was saying, “I’m facing my responsibility. I know what is required of me culturally. I know what is required of me financially. I know what is required of me as a woman. I know what is required of me as a host in a house. I’m touching on the major issues of life. I’m also revealing that I’m educated enough in the system to understand what my responsibility is. And so therefore, I am doing all of the proper things to have the proper result.” Tell me what do you think the proper result for Martha is? Approval. Approval, reward by the society. You go to Martha’s house, she’s good. You go to Martha’s house, she knows how to host, she knows her place in culture. She’s wharra wharra, no problems with Martha. It was the reward she was looking for. It’s so big to Marta, this responsibility that she’s undertaking and the approval of society and the approval of men, and the approval of her guests that are coming to her house. And I’m touching this, when I say this, I’m talking about our lives and every part of our lives; responsibility. So big is it that she comes to God and says, “Lord, tell Mary she’s not responsible because she is coming to sit at Your feet, while I’m slaving in the kitchen. I’m cleaning the house, I’m preparing for the guests. Tell her, Lord, tell her how important responsibility is. Tell her, Lord, tell her she must be responsible.” Of course, Jesus says, “Martha, Martha.” In fact, you know, in the way the Bible puts it, it says, she actually tries to manipulate Jesus because she says, “Don’t You care? You Lord, don’t You care that she’s misbehaving and she’s not being responsible? Don’t You care?”
May you have an understanding and enlightenment, revelation of what I’ve just said, because my words are not adequate to describe to you what she was actually doing with Jesus. She was taking all of her life and wrapping it in one question, “Don’t You care? Won’t You tell her responsibility is much more important than what she’s doing.” So, Jesus doesn’t answer Martha about her place in her life. The way He answers Martha is rather what Mary has chosen. So, that’s what I love about Jesus. Jesus is not criticising Martha for what she’s doing but He rather reveals what Mary has chosen. Because in revealing what Mary has chosen, He now gives Martha a choice to choose the same. He says, 41 … you are worried and troubled about many things (Luke 10:41 NKJV). Even though she came to Jesus and says, “Don’t you care that she’s not helping me?” He actually answers her and says, “You’re worried and troubled about many things, it’s not just about this home issue. It’s about many things. It’s all of the issues.” 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her (Luke 10:42 NKJV).
Another translation in the Living Translation says, 40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? 41 The Lord said to her, “Dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10: 41-42 NLT)
It’s only one thing that is necessary and Mary has discovered it. He’s elevating Mary’s revelation, “Martha, you can be there too.” Wow. Another translation in the Passion Translation is, 40 But Martha became exasperated with finishing the numerous household chores in preparation for her guests, so she interrupted Jesus and said, “Lord, don’t you think it’s unfair that my sister left me to do all the work by myself? You should tell her to get up and help me.” 41 … “Martha, my beloved Martha. Why are you upset and troubled, pulled away by all these many distractions? Are they really that important? 42 Mary has discovered the one thing most important by choosing to sit at my feet. She is undistracted, and I won’t take this privilege from her.” (Luke 10:40-42 TPT).
Okay, so now I want to tell you and I want to just reveal to you what’s happened with the MiXchanges is that God began to do a work in our ministry where He said, I will take the children. In order for God to take the children He had to start to do a work in the parents’ hearts because without the parents granting their children and I mean that, granting, because when you’ve been raising your kids and taking care of them and preparing them for a certain direction in life, you got to let them go into the hands of God. I’m grateful and I’m thankful that God worked on the hearts of parents. And as they let their children go, God began to take the children. As God began to take the children, they were undistracted by what the system said their next step should be. So, because they were not, I mean, I’m not saying they didn’t have questions and they didn’t have issues to deal with. But because they came to give their hearts to the Lord, the Lord said, “I’ll take it because what you are discovering is that sitting at My feet and hearing what My will is for your life, is the most important thing.” Because then you give God confidence for your future because it’s not about what your choices are that you make. It’s about what choices He makes with you, for you. And it has to be with you, for you, it can’t be for you. Because it’s your choice.
The world system is broken. The world system is broken. Well, how do I know that the world system is broken? Well, you should just answer that for yourself because I don’t really have to tell you that the financial system of the world is crumbling everywhere. I heard this week that with the new spending of America through the COVID period and all that – America is now $20 trillion in debt. $20 trillion in debt. America, the great capitalist system of the world that is the world’s icon free society, is $20 trillion in debt. There are other people in this room smarter than I about finances that will tell you, it’s virtually impossible for America to pay it back. And if they are going to pay it back, it’s going to have to take huge amounts of restraint in government spending. I can tell you for sure, it’s not this generation of people that are living now that will pay it back. It’s the kids that are not even born yet, when they get to 20, 30, 40 years old, they will be paying it back to taxes. Or they’re going to be paying it back in lifestyle changes because whoever they owe the debt to will influence the way that they live. It’s already happening.
Can I tell you about one of the big issues that will tell you that the financial system is broken? This has come to the senate of the USA. They are, I mean, the Republican Party’s guys are all talking about that if they win the House back and the senate back now in November, that they are going to bring these institutions up for evaluation. And there needs to come an investigation and answer some questions because one of the biggest financial institutions in the globe is an organisation called BlackRock, BlackRock Investments. BlackRock Investments are using their political and their financial clout with large organisations to say you must have policies in your company that are green, new deal-oriented, or you cannot have too much of your financial investment into petroleum companies, etc etc. And they are manipulating the change of companies who are making board-level decisions that you think you are working for a company that’s making a board decision. But actually, it’s the investment company, BlackRock, that has so many seats on your board that it’s telling you, if you don’t make this decision, we are going to take our capital elsewhere.
So, what the politicians are wanting to have happen is actually already happening in the financial system where the people are not making financial investment issues or decisions. They are making political decisions and using their financial clout to make it happen. Whether you like it or not, these decisions that they are making now are going to affect your children’s lifestyle and your children’s children’s lifestyle. Guaranteed. Okay, bring it home to me, Pastor John. Okay, let me bring it home to you.
The California governor last week made an appeal to the Californians. Why do I use California? Because California as a state, there are people here that can correct me but if I’m not mistaken, this is true. Just as a state, California, I believe is the ninth largest economy in the world, as a state. The governor of California in terms of GDP, all that kind of stuff. The governor of California made a public address to the Californians. This last week he made a public address and he asked them to please not set the air conditioners – this is amidst a heatwave that is currently happening throughout the southern part of America. I was talking to Joe McCroskey on Friday. And this is a real thing. I mean, the temperatures are 115°F. So that’s like 45°C. I mean, they are having a heatwave in America. On the west coast and the southern part of America, they’re having a heatwave, major, major heatwave. If you’ve got those kinds of temperatures, they’ve asked the California citizens to not put their air conditioning lower than, in Fahrenheit, 78°F. I believe that’s about 24°C inside the house.
So now, that might not sound like well, 24°C degrees might not sound like a bad temperature to live with. Well, if your temperature outside is 45°C degrees, and you set your air conditioner at 24°C degrees, your actual temperature is going to end up being probably 26, 27°C. This is not what Americans are used to. Why is he doing that? Because California’s power grid is about to collapse. They are having in certain areas already rolling blackouts. They should be welcomed to the real world. They have strained the grid in America. In California, they have strained the grid to the point where he’s had to ask them to not do and if they want to cool their house down he’s saying, “Please cool your house down between two and four in the morning, when there’s not all the requirements for energy so that we can…” You mean this is happening in the United States? Yes. Ninth largest economy in the world is having power problems. Why? Because there’s been this move to have this green climate change thing happen. So, they shut down the nuclear plants, some many years ago already. Then they started shutting down coal plants because now they want to go on to wind and solar energy which they call the new energy sector. Right? Doesn’t work. It might work somewhere in the future when there’s technologies that have to still be invented and used properly. But there is not enough power without using already existing means to power the economies. But a week before this happened he got up and he made a policy announcement that by the year 2035, I think it is, he wants 50% or they’re going to sell no more petrol cars in California. Or there was some huge percentage. I mean, he made a big statement. And it was applauded by everybody – California made this big statement. But he’s asking them to switch down their air conditioners because they’re about to fall over off the grid. So please work with me now. He’s asking them to buy battery-powered cars. They get powered with what? Electricity. Which comes from where? This is the governor of one of the largest GDP economies in the world. And he thinks the answer is to dictate what must happen financially in the economy. I don’t care how many degrees you get, that decision, these decisions that these people are making, are going to impact you.
Anybody tell me what happened to the R/$, £/R exchange rate this week? As far as I can tell, it hit an all-time bad point. I believe it’s now 19. Somebody knows what happened, what it was on Friday? 19/40 or 19 something rand? R19.00, I think, to the dollar, R20.00 something to the pound. What? You think the financial system of the world has got answers? I’ll tell you, here’s what is possible. It is possible that you can be in the presence of God and God may say to you, “I want you to go and buy some shares in this company.” And you might say, “Lord, are you asking me to go and get involved in the world system?” “Go and buy shares in the company?” “Okay, how much do I need to buy?” He’ll lead you there too. You mean you can have that close relationship with God? For sure. He will also tell you when to sell it. You mean to say you’re going to be involved in the world system? Well, the wealth belongs to Him anyway. And He’s going to find ways to get that wealth out of the system to you because you know how to use it. If you don’t know how to use it, He’s not going to make that transition because it’s not about whether there’s money. It’s about the relationship you have with God that will tell you. Why? Because you do what Mary did. You go and sit at the feet of Jesus because that can’t be taken away with you. Because anything Jesus tells you to do with your lif, you won’t only obtain riches and have full vats and full barns and storehouses on earth, but now you also have them in heaven. Because you have chosen the part that is not how Martha sees life, but how Mary sees life. Mary’s first decision was, “Let me go and spend time, let me hear what Jesus has got to say because life words come from Him. Serving can be done any time all the time, but life words are coming from Him. He is not always in my house.” Hello.
The education system in the world is broken. It is broken. Our level of education in South Africa, the standard of our general education in South Africa has dropped and dropped and dropped and dropped. By the way, so has America. And by the way, since COVID started, so it is in large portions of Europe because kids have lost out on a lot of time that they haven’t been able to study. This is not a problem for just South Africa or America, this is a big problem. I can tell you for example in the United Kingdom this is a big problem. The standard that children are aged to learning, the gap has widened.
The health system in the world is broken. Why? Because they focus on symptoms, they don’t focus on causes, and they don’t have the answer that Jesus has. I mean, they can cut cancer out, they can use technology to do the best they can do to reverse the effects of cancer and certainly medical science has improved in the way that they help people. But the majority of people don’t have the affordability to get the help that they need. It’s not that the technology is not there, or the medical science is not there, it’s that it’s there only for a few people. Don’t shout me down because I am preaching good.
So if I’m looking across the world, I am telling you the system is broken. And so now, we are living in this bubble that we think we have a right to enter into the system because of a privilege, because of a financial capability, because it’s always been done like that – my father did it and my great grandfather did it and we all did it and so we must keep doing it. If we thought about everything like that, we’d still be horse riding. Some of you think that’s a good idea. Give me my rifle and my pistol and a hat and let’s go horse riding. Let’s show a few people a few things.
How do we solve this problem for our lives? Well, we can’t solve a problem for the world unless we can solve a problem for ourselves. So, if you are coming at me with an argument to say, “We are here to solve the problem for the world,” I’m not even going to dispute that with you. We are the salt of the earth, we are the light of the world, that’s who we are. But if we can’t become Mary’s and sit at the feet of Jesus, then we’re always going to have a Martha attitude to solving a problem. And that is just doing what everybody else said we must do and taking the rewards that everybody else does. Mary showed how to break the mould. She said, “I am going to hear what Jesus has to say.” So, you know, when we talked about Faith, Finance and Fasting and we talked about these things for this weekend, I bet you, many people thought we were going to talk about sowing and reaping. I don’t have to talk about sowing and reaping, not in this church. You all know about sowing and reaping. You know about tithing. You know about being generous in your heart and being generous. If you don’t, then let us know and ask any one of the regular people that are here and they’ll tell you. If they can’t tell you, then I’ll take the whip to them first before I invite you to talk to you. Because we know that actually, to be generous with your substance is a way that God can bless you because it’s you that connect to Him in a covenant. So, we know that, right? And we know that when we give beyond, beyond even our capabilities that’s an honour thing that God sees and He provides.
What we’re talking about actually is the root cause of why in a difficult moment you have a choice to make, how much of your money that God thinks God wants you to part with and you won’t. What’s your choke point? What’s your choke point? That’s what I learnt from Brother Copeland. What’s your choke point? Where your choke point is, is where your heart is. Lord, I’ll give you from my increase – but like Pastor Sharon said this morning – but of the stuff that I put aside for my future, don’t touch that. Is that your choke point? If that’s your choke point, that’s your institutional level, that is your level of institutional behaviour pattern. It’s one of the reasons why the Lord actually says, “I will use the poor to confound the rich. I will use the weak to confound the strong. I will use those that are considered to be foolish to outsmart the wise.” The Lord uses that because it is about a relationship, it’s not about how many distinctions you get or you don’t get. It’s about a relationship. It’s about a relationship.
Ok, so let’s get practical here, Pastor John, come on, let’s get practical here. We’ve got to get real. You’ve got to have money at the end of the month. Everybody has got to have money at the end of the month. You’ve got to have money at the end of the month, someone’s got to pay the bills. Right? Someone has got to pay the bills. Yes, someone does have to pay the bills. I wonder what it would look like if we had the kind of faith that we, collectively, we have the kind of faith that when you’re in a storm in a boat, in a storm with Jesus – a more unsure, insecure place you could not be in. Honestly, in a small fishing boat in a big storm and Jesus is sleeping and you are doing the Martha-thing. Worry, worry, worry. Bail, bail, bail. I wonder what would have happened to the disciples if they just went and sat down, and just waited, and just waited and let the boat fill with water. I wonder what would have happened? I suppose they would have all drowned. Jesus would have drowned. Come on, someone has to pay the bills. Jesus would have drowned. Someone has got to pay the bills, but Jesus would have drowned in that boat if it wasn’t for the hard work of the disciples. All of their worrying, all of their trouble, all of their stuff, Jesus would have drowned. No, of course not. Why was Jesus sleeping? You think He knew the disciples had the answer? Why was Jesus sleeping in a boat in a storm? Because responsible people would not sleep in a storm. Responsible people would be bailing water. Why was Jesus sleeping while the responsible people were doing the right thing? Who was doing the right thing? Because Jesus has a relationship with His Father. How much trust does He have in His Father? Complete. Why was Jesus sleeping? “Because it doesn’t matter what storm the devil brings to me, My Father has already taken care of Me, I’ll sleep, thank you.” But His disciples woke Him up, not His Father in heaven. You must go and read the story with these worldview eyes, seated with Christ in heavenly places. His Father woke Him up. No, His Father didn’t wake Him up. His Father was letting Him sleep. His disciples, the responsible ones woke Him up. “Don’t you care that we are perishing?” We, “Don’t you care, we are perishing.” Jesus looks at them and says, “You guys, you got no faith at all. You should’ve just let Me sleep, but since you’ve now woken Me up, and because now you’ve interfered with My timetable that I’ve got with the heavenly Father… Shhh.” Some people say the real interpretation of that scripture is,”Shhh,” to His disciples and “Be still.” Either which way, “Shhh,” and the wind stopped and the waves went away. The Bible says they found themselves at the other side. See, God had a timetable with Jesus and not the devil or storm or disciples was going to interfere with the timetable.
So what provision did Jesus need in that moment? What was the provision that Jesus needed? What was Jesus doing that God was providing Him with? Tell me what was Jesus needing in that moment? What was God providing Him with? First thing God was providing Him with; rest. His body needed sleep. If He’s a human being, even though He was God also, if He’s a human being, He needs sleep. He’s using the journey to provide His body with sleep. The devil comes along to interrupt God’s provision for His sleep. So then God has a second provision for Him, which is protection. But His disciples say it’s not enough. “We’re bothered that the protection level of God the Father is not enough here. So Jesus, do something about it.” And so Jesus says, “Father, these guys you’ve given Me… But anyway, just to show them how We operate. Shhh.” Come on.
What is it that you get when you’re sitting at the feet of Jesus that when somebody addresses Jesus as, “Lord, don’t you care that I must do all this work and she is not doing any of it, she’s just slacking?” Let me tell you, this is the biggest threat that these young people face, is other people saying, “How long are you going to be here? How long is it going to take? How are you going to get provided for? What’s going to be your next move?” Because what everybody wants is for you to stop being Mary and you must become Marthas because you can’t be Marys all of your life. You’ve got to become Martha because you’ve got to do the responsible thing.” Whose responsibility have you got to take care of? Who do they have to be responsible to? Who do they have to be responsible to?
Their biggest threat, I mean they have their own confrontations because the confrontation is the questions that are silent questions that the system is asking them right now. “How long is this going to be for? How long is it going to last for? What are you going to do? And who’s going to provide? And what if? What if Pastor John dies? What if the Church fails? What if? What if?” You think their walk with God, if they are in the right place, hearing from God that God’s not putting stuff into them that will last them forever?
I ask you, who do you think when Jesus got up and walked out of that house, who do you think was more sure about her future then Mary? Who do you think was most uncertain about their future more than Martha? Because not only did she confront the Lord about what she’s doing, but He actually clearly put her in her place. Well, not quite. He was asking her to choose another place. So she turns around, and she says, “That’s not the answer, I thought He was going to send Mary packing, as the head man, you know, we are family. And He’s going to tell her because He knows the societal pressure, and the responsible thing would be to send her to come and help me in the kitchen.” Jesus responds and says, “She has chosen something that can not be taken from her.”
I’ve got news for everybody that’s asking questions about all of these young people. I’ve got news for you; you can say whatever you want, but what they get from God cannot be taken from them, it will never be taken from them. Never. Your job can be taken from you, your profession can be taken from you, your money can be taken from you, all of you sitting here I’m telling you, any of those things can be gone in a flash. But when you are secure in God, it cannot be taken from you because you know that your life is taken care of by God. It’s the same Jesus, the same Jesus that when His mom says, “We’ve run out of wine,” He says, “It’s not My time, but okay, I’ll honour you. Bring Me water.” And He can turn water into wine. You want to know how God can provide for them? He can turn the proverbial water, where they have no money, into an overabundance of money in a flash?
Well, how’s He going to do that? I don’t know. Neither did His mom. Who has ever turned water into wine that they could go back on up to that point anyway and say, “Well, you know, I remember that prophet. You know, you know, maybe?” There was no one that turned water into wine. But she brought the problem to Jesus. Oh, what about, “I’ll just feed 5000 people with one lunch that was brought by a small boy.” What happened to that story? “I know, but that’s an Old Testament story. We have got a different level here because we have got to save so much. We’ve got to have a pension fund, you’ve got to have retirement annuities. You got to have this, you got to have that, because because…” Either you’re not politically connected enough, or you’re too white, or you’re not… Whatever. Whatever.
Where’s your choke point? What’s your choke point? “Well, that’s all good and well for you to speak, Pastor John, you’re all well taken care of and comfortable.” Let me tell you, Pastor Sharon and I have a contract with God. There is nothing in our lives that is ours,, that if God didn’t tell us to give it away, we wouldn’t give it away in a second. Just like that God told us to move from Johannesburg to Witbank and move here. We lived in a 635 square metre house that could have all of the guests that we wanted all at the same time, it was a beautiful home, beautiful house, large, big. It was beautiful. And we had changed it, paid cash for all the changes over all of the years. We had a suite on that side and a suite on that side, with upstairs downstairs suites. We had everything we needed. Beautiful garden, a beautiful place. The Lord said, “Change your address, sell your house, change your address.” We moved into Witbank into 120 or 130 square metre flat. Which we stayed in for two years.
People think they know us because we’re well taken care of and “You haven’t paid the price.” You don’t know how much price we’ve paid. Where we’ve had to trust God because He has given us an instruction. “Yes, Sir, we’ll obey.” The first one was, “It’s time for you to go into the ministry, John.” “Yes, but I’m earning millions.” “So what John?” I never even had a conversation with Brother Jerry about money. You know, my story. By the time he came to talk to me about money, he said, “I want to pay you more than you earned.” I said, “You couldn’t afford that Brother Jerry.” My conversation with God was never whether I was going to the ministry because I had enough money. My conversation with God was; He is calling me now. I’ve got to go now. Sharon’s next question to me was, “Well, how are we going to provide for our future?” “I don’t know Sharon, but I’ve got to obey now. God is calling me right now. And Jerry Savelle is the man that God is calling me to right now.”
So Brother Jerry, thank God for it, but Brother Jerry called all of the men of God that were at that conference to witness a covenant alliance between him and me. He called them to witness this, that God had put us together. They all had a witness in the spirit and then my pastor had a witness in the spirit – that was 27 years ago and I’m still in covenant relationship with Brother Jerry. And just so that you know that Jerry Savelle Ministries hasn’t given us any money at all, for at least 15 years now. We continue to be the directors, trustees and run Jerry Savelle Ministries in South Africa; we earn nothing from them. Just so that you know this too, even though I’m actually earning a salary at this point, at this point I’m giving my whole salary away every single month. My whole salary every single month, I’m not holding on to one cent. “Well, where do you get that kind of faith?” I’m sitting at the feet of Jesus. I’m not worried about serving, that serving is going to bring it. “So where do you get your money from?” God provides it. “How much do you have to worry about it?” Not one second. The minute worry tries to come on me, I shove it off, all back on Jesus. Stefnie will tell you, she helps me run the ministry finances. I keep on telling her, every single time we talk, every time we get to have an opportunity to talk. I just get to say, “Stefnie, our expenses keep on increasing.” Well, of course, if you’ve got more people coming in and you’ve got things happening all the time, expenses are increasing in the ministry. And so we don’t even have a budget for the expenses that start increasing all the time. Sometimes God says, “Bring someone in,” and I say “Yes, Sir.” So where are you going to… it’s not in the budget. I can’t afford to run my ministry based on just what the budget says. I’ve got to run the ministry based on what God says. Let me tell you, if you think Pastor Sharon and I just, you know, we don’t have to walk by faith, then you don’t have a clue. We live so completely in God, so completely we have to trust God. If we for one minute stop trusting God and become Marthas, we are done because the stuff that can’t be taken away from us is being a Mary. It’s being a disciple, it’s being sitting at the feet of Jesus. The stuff that can be taken away from us, is the Martha stuff. If I have to start worrying about what people think, and about what we’re going to do next in the ministry, and how much we can afford to let people do or not do; we’re going to shut the doors because just like that, the devil will take us out.
I mean, sometimes I have to make decisions and, you know, sometimes the prudence and the wisdom of it is that we do things, little by little, it increases and, so, every day is a new day. We just walk with God that way. Hallelujah. What must I do if I see a need and God says,”It’s time for you to meet this need, John.” Sometimes He says to do it personally. Sometimes He asks us to do it as a ministry. What must I do about that? I’ve got to obey God. So come on now, let’s talk, let’s talk. Someone’s got to pay the bills. Someone’s got to pay the bills. What product do I sell? Do I sell a product? I don’t sell a product. What’s my responsibility to you? My responsibility to you is to make sure that I’m Mary. The minute you ask me to be Martha, I’m done for. That’s what the people of Israel said to Joshua, ”We will follow you. But only make sure that you hear from God. Whatever you hear from God, we will do that.” The next thing they did was get circumcised. Painful, necessary, covenant making. “That’s not what we meant. We didn’t mean that, Joshua.” “No, but that’s what God said. Do that first. Let’s make a covenant. Let’s reestablish the covenant and then we will go to war. Then we’ll go and take the territory that needs to be taken. Then Jericho will come down, then all of these cities will be taken. And then all the stuff that I promised you and your father’s and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, it will become yours. Let’s make sure the covenant’s in the right order.” You can read this throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament.
When we go to Matthew chapter six, and we say, Seek you first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you, this is not just a statement. This is a lifestyle. It’s a lifestyle. Okay, got to pay the bills. Got to pay the bills. So, “Pastor John, surely, surely, you place a big emphasis on teaching about money in the church because if you don’t sell a product, then you’ve got to at least sell tithing.” Okay, ek kyk jou mooi in die oë, nê. (I’m looking straight into your eyes) Do you hear me begging you to tithe ever? Have I ever, ever, ever, ever did that in my entire ministry life? Do I ever tell you that we’re not going to make it as a ministry if you don’t give your seed? Have you ever, ever, ever heard me say that? Have you ever, ever heard me ask you to give to the ministry so we can meet our needs? The only thing I’ve ever asked you to do is I presented you with an opportunity for an honour seed. That’s the only thing I’ve ever done. And then I told you clearly, I said, “Don’t even give an honour seed with the basis that, this is I’m sowing a harvest to get a return.” I said, “This is an honour seed, that means the way you can have a relationship with God is based on your honour seed, it is based on the honour of the seed.” Hallelujah.
I don’t have to pulpit bash you with about money. I either believe in the Bible or I don’t. The Bible says you should never ever give under compulsion. It’s what the Apostle Paul said, never give under compulsion but when you give, you must give willingly out of your heart. Be a cheerful giver, do it cheerfully. Otherwise don’t. For me, it’s a big cheerful thing to give. Whether I give to people or I give to God, or I give to other ministries, it’s a cheerful thing for me because I’m a cheerful giver. I know actually, that I am just the vessel and as much as comes in can go out. In fact, the more that goes out, the better. How big a pipe do you want to become? Want to be a hosepipe? Some people think a hosepipe is a great thing. I don’t want to be a hosepipe. I want to be one of those big things that comes out of a dam and the water… I learnt something the other day. LeRoux taught me something the other day. We were running and they had the sluice gates open in the summer and he was telling me about the engineering and the way the water comes in and why they have to put the concrete blocks in certain places because of the force of the water. It has to hit the concrete blocks and for all that stuff, you know. He told me all the engineering stuff. I mean, when that water comes it is like so many metric tons of liquid that’s coming out of that sluice gate, so that it can relieve the pressure on the dam. I want such a dam of money coming in so big, I want so much water flowing into my dam, that I’ve got to open all the sluice gates, so that it’s working hard. And the river is working hard to contain all of the sluice gates open at the same time, so that the money just flows. Praise Jesus.
How are you going to get there, Pastor John? I’m already halfway there. I’m not where I want to be but I’m getting there. I’m getting there. Who knows some of the stuff that’s happening to me in my world? This morning, I went to Pastor Sharon and I said, “Sharon, my babe, I got to share this with you because some of the phone calls I’ve had with the US have revealed the level of the love relationship and the honour relationship that exists between me and Brother Jerry, one more time”. “Now,” I said, “I have a decision to make.” Her immediate response,” Well, you don’t really have a decision to make, you know what the answer is.” I said, “Babe, it’s not in my plan.” I mean, it’s half my plan. This was just on the horizon for me, you know, but it’s like, I’m still praying about it. I didn’t phone them. They phoned me. Praise Jesus. It just doesn’t end. Just keep going. Mary, Mary. How many of you want to keep hearing more of this?
Hey, I want to tell you, this is probably one of the most significant moments in our lives that we are experiencing now. And God Himself brought us here. Because I’ll tell you, 2014 the Lord said you’ve got to go to America and you got to take a bunch of people with you. And when I was there, I made this declaration to Brother Jerry in the presence of those people that are with me. I made this declaration. I said, “Brother Jerry, my people are your people. My strength is your strength. Whatever resources are in my ministry are always available to you.” He said one thing to me in the presence of those ones, he said, “John, just promise me you’ll never stop preaching faith”. They’re sitting on the front row, Christi and Grobbies, they were there. Am I right? The only thing he said to me was, “Thank you, John, but you just don’t stop preaching faith.” So now my strength is becoming his strength in many different ways. Hallelujah.
From that moment, I came back and it was 4x4x40. Remember? Demonstration, manifestation, visitation of God. From that moment till now God began to orchestrate movement, change, growth. He began to orchestrate things in our ministry that He was going to pull Brother Jerry and I closer together. It meant sometimes that I had to go and spend five weeks there and seven weeks there. It meant different things at different times that we had to do. And then when he came and visited, then God said to him, “Now you must come back next year and take as long as it takes for you to do what you have to do and say what you have to say.” And so we have a bag of seeds and we have to go back to that bag of seeds, make sure that we are doing those bags of seeds before he comes back the next time. Because we want to unlock the next level of understanding that we’re going to get from him. Remember, I spoke to you about all of those things, and I said, you know, who goes at my age then and head of a ministry and goes and spends five weeks just hanging out with someone and you don’t know what one day is going to bring off to the other? And our answer was, “We do.” Then the next year, the Lord said, “Go back and do seven weeks.” Seven weeks? Even if you think about it now, I mean, now that I’ve broken the mould, it’s still a long time – seven weeks. And you don’t know what he’s going to ask you to do for the next day? Well, you know, John, you should at least be better at planning these things. You need a long term plan for these things. How? How could I make a plan? Even six months before God told me to do it? How could I make a plan when God says do this? Well, what about the money? What about the resources? What about, what about, what about? God said, “So what about it, John, just do what I tell you to do.” The second time I went there for seven weeks. Somebody said, “You don’t have to rent a car, you can drive our third car,” they have in the family. So, the Lord provided me with transport for seven weeks. On both occasions I stayed in a property that’s above the production centre. It is a flat that Brother Jerry has on his property. And so I didn’t have to pay hotel prices or anything like that – I stayed in the flat. I just bought my own food, made my own food when Brother Jerry wasn’t taking me out and feeding me Starbucks or something else in the mornings.
But here is the timing of it: God told me two years in a row to go and do that, which was year 2017, I think, and 2018. 2019,there’s a family member of Brother Jerry’s that is not well, and they end up occupying that top floor, and have occupied that top floor for the last three years – all through COVID – till now. What if I had said to God, “I have to plan this.” What if I said to God, “I must wait for the money to come.” The opportunity would be gone or it would have cost a lot more. Certainly 19 to one, versus then – maybe 11 to one; or 12 to one – whatever it was then. Come on. When God says you’ve got to do something, you must do it. Not to mention the fact that Brother Jerry phoned, “Okay, I’ve got to come – South Africa, South Africa, South Africa, South Africa.” Even now, I showed you, we are the church that he refers to globally, when he talks about a seed. You think that would have happened if we hadn’t been given him the first honour seed, and then the second honour seed? You are making God famous. What Brother Jerry is actually teaching, and what he was saying that whole message is, “I seek God and He just provides. He just gives me desires of my heart. By favour. I don’t even have to ask Him, I just show up and I like a thing and God pays for it.”
Don’t you want some of that on your life? You’ve got to have some of that on your life. Come on, you have got to want some of that on your life. You have got to want it. What does that mean? Means you’ve got to go and sit at the feet of Jesus, and not be worried about Martha. But who’s going to be responsible? Responsible, you have to be responsible. Be responsible after you’ve sat at the feet of Jesus because then your level of responsibility will change, and everything you do will be different. Because, I’m going to minister tomorrow morning. I’m going to minister to you about someone else in the Bible. But I’m going to finish with this – I told you this last Sunday, Jesus had a different relationship from that time on with Martha, than He did with Mary. Because when Lazarus died, Martha’s whole focus was, “If You had been here earlier”. And Jesus asked her the question, “Do you believe in the resurrection of the dead?” And she said, “I do in the end times.” She missed it because she wasn’t listening to Jesus, she missed her opportunity to step into Mary’s role. So she goes back to Mary and asked Mary and says, “Mary, Jesus is looking for you.” Mary comes and says, “If You had been here earlier…” Jesus says, “Mary, shift the stone.” Because Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet, she knew what to do. Martha was still having a debate. Do you understand? Responsibility will always cause you to have a debate about your future. Sitting at the feet of Jesus will always give you the answer, because Jesus will tell you what to do next. And if He’s got to raise someone from the dead to give you money, He will do it. Please don’t do that, Lord. We don’t want dead people walking around here. They’re long gone, and then they come back and they say, “You’re carrying around my inheritance, hey, can I have it back please?” Ja. Praise the Lord.
Are you getting a bit of better insight into the fact that actually, when I say for a Christian, provision – and I meant to say this, actually, the Lord said to me, “It’s better for you to say it this way – money is not a problem, but all of your provision is not a problem as a Christian. It’s a relationship problem. It’s not a supply problem. It’s a relationship problem. Because if you know Jesus, then you don’t have a problem.” Amen. Hallelujah. Glory to God.
I can be confident about this message today. Because I can tell you this, that people, many, many people have come to me and spoken to me over the years, I don’t do it this much anymore. But many people have come to me and said, “Will you please help me, help us with our marriage?” And every time I say to people, “I can help you with your marriage only if you do what I tell you to do.” “Yes, sir.” “Well, okay, you’ve got to put Jesus first. You’ve got to put Jesus first.” “No, we’ll do that, but just tell us what to do to solve the problem.” “No, I’m telling you how to solve the problem – put Jesus first.” “Is there no ABCs here? A communication thing you want to tell us?” “No, the communication is with Jesus. Husband, go get in the Word. Wife, go get in the Word.” “Why?” And I would tell them this, I say, “I can give you counsel and wisdom and understanding, and I will give it to you, but if you don’t put Jesus first in your life, you will not solve this problem.” There are people, thankfully there are people that have had marriage issues, that have put God first place, and God has restored their relationships, and more, and given them so much more in their marriage. Because they have put Jesus first. They went from putting Him last, to putting Him first, and oftentimes that means you’ve got to change your focus and say, “It’s not the church that I’ve got to put first, the organisation church, it’s Jesus.” It’s a relationship. If it can work for marriage, I promise you it can work for money. But it just somehow doesn’t sound right. You know, marriage has got a longer-term issue. Money’s now you’ve got to pay the bills. You think it’s a different kind of faith, a different kind of relationship that pays the bills, than gets a marriage strong? Like I’ve said to you – how do you make a strong marriage? One day at a time. How do you lose a strong marriage, or have a weak marriage? One day at a time. You just stop loving God, one day at a time. You stop loving your wife the way God says one day at a time. That’s it. Praise the Lord. Praise Jesus. Praise Jesus. Praise Jesus.
If you have any questions for me that you want me to address, I’m happy to have you send them to xyz email at hofmi.net. I’m teasing. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll make sure that I get it if there’s a question that you want answered. But, because it’s all about this issue of responsibility. How much responsibility do we have and what does my future look like based on my responsibility? And so, it’s all about that. And my answer to you is, is that I can’t tell you what to do with your responsibility. Because this is a matter between you and God. But I will tell you this – that if you will spend time with God, it will become clearer, and clearer, and clearer to you how to handle your future. Praise the Lord. Won’t you stand with me please?
Praise the Lord. Hallelujah. So what do you guys think? You think we’re a bit straight-shooting on this or do you like this kind of straight shooting? This kind of straight talking, do you like it? I mean, rather hear the truth, you know, than not.
I thank God that I am free from the broken systems of the world. I am free to live in Him. I’m free to live for Him. I’m free to sit at His feet, and have Him speak to me, and counsel me, and direct me, and guide me, and to lead me in the ways of and the paths of righteousness. Do you agree with my prayer? Do you want to be part of that? Hallelujah.
Well, it’s my prayer that this Word that we have been preaching, Pastor Sharon and I, today, and that I will continue tomorrow morning, that you will begin to have that as a real truth in your heart. That revelation will guide you, inspiration of the Holy Spirit will affect you, and you will begin to see things that you haven’t seen before. And you will be free to live the way… Free, free, free to live the way that God wants you to live, not the way society needs you to live. Free, free to live the God-life. Free to live in God. There is no downside to this. The only downside to it is a couple of uncomfortable conversations where people want to know, “What you’re doing?” “I’m serving God.” And then you can hear them saying, “That’s irresponsible.” And then your answer is, “Hahaha, I know what you’re thinking, and I don’t even have to answer you.” Because I’m not talking about responsibility, I’m first talking about sitting at the feet of Jesus, and then my responsibilities all come in order. They’re in order, they’re in God’s order. They’re in order. Hallelujah. Praise Jesus. I pray that you will be restful tonight, and you’ll sleep well, and no weapon formed against you will prosper. And you will be blessed going out and blessed coming in. Amen. Goeienaand mense.