Scripture Reference: John 15:1-8 (TPT)
Praise the Lord. I think that just shows that we have to be connected right, for the time being, any way to do it this way. Praise the Lord.
God would speak to us – we as a people are moving into a period of time; we have actually moved into that period of time where God is doing supernatural things. He is doing abundant things. He is doing His things. Amen, Hallelujah. It is always a wonderment to me that Jesus lived on the earth for thirty years. He lived on the earth as a human, as a man, as a person. He lived for thirty years and not for one moment of those thirty years did He reveal Who He was. Can you imagine the walk that He had with His Father, the patience that He had with His Father, you know because one could understand if He was just Spirit that came out of heaven – if it was just spirit to spirit, that in the spirit realm He would understand that He would have to wait for His time, but He was also human, completely, born of human flesh. He had to have had the same temptations. The Bible says He had the same temptations as we have in all things. So He would be tempted to be impatient. Can you imagine Jesus with all of His compassion that He had walking around the earth and He is 27, 28-years-old, and He is walking around the earth seeing people that have leprosy, seeing people that are sick, just got weaknesses? He is seeing all these things happening around Him all the time and He is 28-years-old and He knows His time is not far away when these sick people are all going to be healed and that He has the power of the Father in Him to make a big difference on the earth and He had to wait. He had to wait until the fulness of time came. Even then when He had connected with His disciples, and His mother said, “Fix my wine problem,” even then He said, “My time has not yet come,” even though it was that close. So the timing of the Father in the time of men really has a big part to play as to what happens, when it happens and how it happens. Praise the Lord. That means we have within ourselves the capacity to wait and then to run. Amen. Hallelujah.
I’m going to read – for the most part we are going to stay in John chapter 15, and I am reading from The Passion Translation this morning. John chapter 15, I am going to read from verse 1. This is Jesus speaking and He says, 1I am a true sprouting vine, and the farmer who tends the vine is my Father. 2He cares for the branches connected to me by lifting and propping up the fruitless branches and pruning every fruitful branch to yield a greater harvest. 3The words I have spoken over you have already cleansed you. 4So you must remain in life-union with me, for I remain in life-union with you. For as a branch severed from the vine will not bear fruit, so your life will be fruitless unless you live your life intimately joined to mine (John 15:1-4 TPT). This is a very direct statement and the direct statement is saying you’ve got to stay in life union with Me, For as a branch severed from the vine will not bear fruit, so your life will be fruitless unless you live your life intimately joined to mine (John 15:4 TPT).
That’s quite a statement because a lot of people could say, look at the achievements I have made in my life. There’s a lot of people that are big achievers; a lot of wealthy people, a lot of politicians, a lot of people who have made all kinds of arts, music. All kinds of things have made their careers and they could say from a visibility point of view, they could say, look at the fruit of my life. Look at how successful I am. But Jesus certainly doesn’t see success or fruitfulness like that. The way that He sees success and fruitfulness is; so your life will be fruitless unless you live your life intimately joined to Mine. This is a wonderful passage of Scripture because actually, Jesus is putting Himself right in the centre, right in the middle of everything that you can become. He is putting Himself right in the centre, right in the middle of it. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
I’ve got birds competing with me. The sounds of heaven, through the natural sounds of the earth, are competing with me. Praise the Lord. (Congregation member says, “Or agreeing with you”). They are certainly agreeing with me. Praise the Lord. They are praising the Lord. Verse five says, 5I am the sprouting vine and you’re my branches. As you live in union with me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from within you—but when you live separated from me you are powerless (John 15:5 TPT). You are powerless. Ok, so just imagine for a minute He is talking to His disciples. He is saying to His disciples, “If you live connected to Me, you are fruitful. If you live disconnected from Me, you are powerless.” Now we understand He is talking to His disciples. Right? So in His relationship with His disciples, there is a level of understanding at this point. These prayers Jesus is praying and these words that He is saying, are right before He is about to go into the garden of Gethsemane and He is about to go into the Cross experience. He is talking to His disciples. Now can you imagine if He was talking to other people that were not His disciples? Would He turn to those other people and say, “You are powerful all by yourself, you don’t have to be connected to Me.” I mean, He probably wouldn’t even talk about that because they wouldn’t understand Him. And so He was speaking this message to the disciples, the ones that had walked with Him. And He was talking to them and He made the statement here and He said, “You are cleansed because the words that I have spoken to you have cleansed you.”
Now He is speaking to them as people that have an enlightened understanding because of what the Word has already brought to them. Right? And so He’s already saying to them, “You have connected to Me, you are fruitful and you can have an abundant life. If you are disconnected from Me and you are not having this intimate union with Me, you are powerless.” Somehow, we think as Christians that when you become a Christian your ability to, or your knowledge that you live in eternity, and your eternal future is safe, somehow we came to think that that is a good thing, and we think we are okay because we are going to go to heaven. But actually, God does not want us to be living with the thought process that we are okay because we are going to heaven. He is wanting us to live life with a thought process that is let us be connected to Jesus day in and day out, then we will be fruitful, we will have abundance and we will have all the good things. The minute we are disconnected and no longer living in union with Him, we become powerless. That is a very traumatic place to be; to be powerless. A very uncomfortable place to be, to be powerless.
I know certainly in the early years of my life when I was working in a commission job only and I was not making a sale, I did not have any money coming in and I had no money; I was powerless. I was powerless to feed my kids, I was powerless to feed my family, I was powerless to pay the rent. I had nothing. That feeling of powerlessness is a really horrible, terrible feeling. But God is saying, “If you live in life union with Me, you will live fruitfully and you will live abundantly.”
We are living in a time right now that the rest of the world has almost experienced that level of powerlessness. This silent assassin, this silent enemy that the world has been fighting – the Corona Virus – has actually, in many instances, levelled the playing field, in terms of how people consider power. Because, there have been very high profile politicians that have got Covid, almost died being in hospital. I mean the Prime Minister of Britain, the UK, I mean he was close to death. It did not matter that he had a lot of natural human power, in that moment he was powerless. His body was powerless. It required the strength and the ability and the power of others to come and help him. Right? He was powerless. And so when a kind of disease and this kind of virus comes into the world it begins to reveal that actually there are things that are going on that can make you powerless, (clicks fingers) just like this. But if you are united and deeply, intimately connected to Jesus, you remain in the power zone. You remain in the power zone. You remain in that zone where you are completely able to be fruitful and abundant if you are united and connected to Him.
What were you experiencing in the worship and the praise this morning, in the sound and song? Did you not experience the connectedness? Did you not experience being intimately connected in union with Him? Hey? I guess because of what God has done in our ministry with sound and song because we have been, we are so focused on the sound that God is bringing out of our ministry, I do not want to exaggerate to you now if I tell you, I worship the Lord with our sound and song, personally. I am not talking about driving in the car and I am talking to someone else and the music is playing in the background. I am talking about me personally being engaged with the music, with the sound, with the song they are singing. I do not want to exaggerate to you but I do that probably, going to keep it at the low end of the scale and say at least one hour a day. It is more likely most of the time, it is more likely an hour and a half. I am worshipping God with our sound and songs. How do you manage to get so much time to do that, Pastor John? Well, I am awake early in the morning. When I’m awake early in the morning the first thing I do is I begin to worship. I begin to praise Him, I thank Him. The first thing I do when I open my eyes is, I thank Him that I am alive. I thank Him for the new day. I thank Him for this day that is full of mercy, full of blessing, full of glory, full of possibilities, full of all of the good things that God has got for me. Begin to speak into my day, right from the first time I open my eyes, I begin to speak into my day. And then five or ten minutes I will put on music and I will begin to worship the Lord and I will begin to praise Him. It just begins to fill your spirit man with all of the energy that you need, all of the fruitfulness that you need, all of the good things that you need to have to begin to experience that in the morning. Hallelujah.
It is true that what we do is foolishness to those that do not understand. It is true to those that do not have the insight that we have, it is true they will question how we live and what we do. But actually, it does not bother me what people have to say about it or not It only matters to me what happens between me and Jesus. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
I did a wedding yesterday afternoon, and this young couple from the Witbank church that was getting married, I had some personal pre-marriage counselling sessions with them. They are young. There is a lot that they are about to experience. Beautiful young people. And I was telling them that yesterday morning my wife and I were busy in the kitchen. She was making tea and I was just walking around the kitchen, I think I was filling up a water bottle or something like that. I just got into her space and I put my arms around her and I just held her and hugged her. I just put my cheek close to her cheek. She was like, “Aah, I am making tea. I am busy now. I am busy now.” You know like, “You have come to hug me now and I am busy now.” So I said, “Listen, babe, I want to love you, I want to hug you, I want to just show you my affection.” So she said, “Okay,” you know like, “I had my mind focused on making tea now you want to hug me?” You know, “Okay.” So it took a moment for her to just say forget the tea, the kettle has boiled, I will get to it. Come on, this is a practical thing. Forget the tea, I am going to enjoy the moments. So then we just stood there in the kitchen hugging each other. Neck to neck. Face to face. Just hugging each other. Telling each other how much we are grateful that we did the Word of God in our life. We are grateful that we love each other so dearly. We have such unity in our lives. We are so close. We share everything. There’s no strife, there’s no anything. We just share moments. Then I let her go and I said, “Okay, so now you can make your tea.” So, then she got halfway through making her tea and I grabbed her again. Come on, what would a moment be like that without a bit of mischief. You know, and so, I grabbed her again and she said, “No, no, no, now you must leave me, I’m making tea now.” And so, then I started tickling her and so then we had a bit of fun because, you know, I was touching on her focus now, you know.
But that is exactly how it is with us and God, you know. God is there with us all the time and it’s like He’s constantly around you and He’s wanting to show affection to you. He’s wanting to show His goodness to you. He’s wanting to show His abundance to you. He’s wanting to show Himself. And it’s like, “Not now God, I’m busy.” You know, “Not now God, I’m busy making tea.” What? And you know, He’s less gentleman than I was to my wife. You know, He’ll just, the Holy Spirit will just wait until you say, “Well, I’m ready now.” And then He’ll be ready any time to actually engage with you – whenever you want. But He never stops being that Person that is right there with you all the time, just calling you into that place of that moment of affection, that moment of intimacy. And you know, for you and I, all it does is it takes words. It just takes words. I love You. Like we did this morning. I love You, Jesus. I love You, Jesus. I thank You, Lord. I praise You. I give You glory. You are my God. I will worship You. I will give You all my strength. I will give You all of my days. I will give You all of my praise. You are amazing to me, Lord. Thank You. And in that moment He’s right there, the angels are right there, you are immediately united in the Spirit with God just like that. When you’re in those moments, God begins to speak words to you. He begins to speak words to you. When He speaks those words to you, those are words of first – they are words of His love. And sometimes, sometimes when you have those moments with Him, you will actually feel the presence of God like He’s embracing you. Right? Come on, you know what I’m talking about. You’ll feel His closeness, so close, you’ll feel like He’s got His arms around you.
I mean that’s what makes our walk with God, as God, very different to what anybody else does. Now I ask you; when you have that kind of intimacy with God is there anything, is there anything impossible? No, when you live with that kind of choice of intimacy with God and connectedness to God. I’ll show you what He says about it. I’m going to read from verse 5 again and just read so, 5I am the sprouting Vine and you’re My branches. As you live in union with Me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from within you – but when you live separated from Me you are powerless (John 15:5 TPT). So, fruitfulness will stream from within you when you are intimately connected with Him. Fruitfulness will stream from within you. Come on, this is good news. Fruitfulness just begins to stream from within you.
6If a person is separated from Me, he is discarded; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire to be burned (John 15:6 TPT). I want to make a point about this today because I want you to observe; I want you to see this scripture in a slightly different light. Because most people look at that scripture and say, if you’re not intimately and you’re not fruitful with God, you are cut off and you are thrown into the fire. So, most people tend to think that is a death experience in eternity. They use that scripture – a lot of churches and religions use that scripture to actually indicate that you’re not always saved, you’re not saved forever. As you move out of fellowship with God, you can be unsaved. And so then you can be cut off and thrown into the fire and then when you get back with God, you get saved again and now you are fruitful again. So, trust me if I tell you, I know this. There’s a lot of religions; churches, big, big denominations where there are lots of born-again people there, that they have this view about life – that you can become unsaved just by sinning.
So just imagine this, just imagine that I am a Christian and I’m living and I come to church, but I don’t want God to be part of anything I do in business. So, I come to church and I say, “Whatever I do in church, okay God, I will stand here and I will praise You, and I will come to church, and I will enjoy the people. But when I go to business, that’s my business.” So, what decision are you making about your business life? Is it connected to Him? And so you can also not have too much intimacy and union with God in your business because you’re not including Him in it. Right? So, then that part becomes a fruitless part of your life which will be severed, cut off, and thrown in the fire to be burned. Why? Because that part of you will have to become redeemed. Because it will dominate your walk with Him. It doesn’t mean to say that you’re forever going to burn in hell. Hey? And so whatever part you are not yielding to God will become a fruitless part, it will become dead because there’s no life flowing there, and so it will be separated from God.
7But if you live in life-union with Me and if My words, just listen to this, if My words live powerfully within you – then you can ask whatever you desire and it will be done (John 15:7 TPT). You can ask whatever you desire and it will be done. Why can this be the way that the scripture operates? How can you operate like that? Well, because, you know, if you’re living in that kind of intimate union with God, then you’re touching His heart continuously and His heart is touching yours continuously. So, then, you know, I’m not going to ask anything that is like weirdly just for me and nothing for God. What I’m going to do is, I’m going to want to give God my best. I’m wanting to give God my first. I want to give God my all. Right? Because there’s this flow of fellowship between Him and me. His heartbeat beats in mine and I want His heartbeat more than anything. And so, because of this flow of fellowship that is happening between us, my stuff and my life actually mean nothing separated from Him. It’s worth being burned up. But when I’m that connected to Him, I can ask Him whatever I desire and He will do it for me.
So, I mean I’m going to use a stupid example but it’s worth just making a point. If you see a, so I’m a man, I’m going to talk about a woman. So, if I happen to see a beautiful woman and she’s married to another man and I say, “God, ghee, that woman is beautiful. I like her a lot and I want her to be my wife.” I mean, you’re not walking in the desire of God. Right? So, you’re just not going to ask God that question because you just know in God that that’s not the answer. That’s not the question. So, I’m taking quite a radical example for us just to see that actually, you know, in your walking with God you’re not going to ask Him for things that He’s not desiring. You’re going to ask Him for things that He has desire for you.
So, He desires that you prosper financially. He desires that you prosper in relationships. He desires that you prosper in health. He desires that you prosper in your gifting and your calling, that it has its proper place and outlet so you can thrive. Any of these things you can ask God and He will give you whatever you desire because now you’re connected in union with Him; vitally connected in union with Him. And that union is driving your relationship. And it begins to bring much fruit, it becomes very fruitful.
8When your lives bear abundant fruit, you demonstrate that you are my mature disciples who glorify my Father! Can I just repeat that? 8When your lives bear abundant fruit… So He said, “You can ask whatever you want and I’ll give it to you. You’re connected in union with Me.” 8When your lives bear abundant fruit (John 15:8 TPT). So here the question is not whether you should be bearing abundant fruit or not. Come-on now. You understand it’s already assumed when you are connected to Him you will bear abundant fruit. That’s why people who want to talk to me about a spirit of poverty in any area of your life – I want to talk about, for a moment I just want to say – if you have poverty in relationships that means that a poverty-minded relationship doesn’t have abundance in it. Doesn’t have strength in it; it doesn’t have joy in it; it doesn’t have things that are continuously growing and expressing the growth of God and expressing maturity, you understand? So, when we talk about, when the Bible is talking about abundance – you will have abundance in your life – He’s not just talking about money, He’s talking about every area of your life. When you have abundant peace, then it doesn’t matter what’s happening in the world’s circumstances, peace becomes your guide. Right? Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
I mean, there are people in this world that pay thousands, tens of thousands, and depending on how much money you make – hundreds of thousands of dollars to go and visit psychologists every week, sometimes every day, so that they can try and find peace because they strive for peace. They want peace so badly but they can’t find it because you can only find peace in God who is the Author of peace. And when you’re in that place with God it doesn’t matter what’s happening, peace becomes yours. And that peace passes understanding, passes natural thinking, natural order, and it becomes the fullness of how you can live in peace. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. Praise Jesus. Glory to God. Glory to God.
I had a situation just recently where there was an interaction between Brother Joe, Brother Jerry Savelle and myself. It related to another ministry. Brother Jerry made a decision and he was the one who made the decision. He’s the leader, he’s the senior apostolic minister in our lives, he made the decision. I would have made a different decision. But his decision impacted on me that I had to take action in a certain direction. Now, remember, I would have made a different decision if it was up to me. So, his decision, I’m talking in the last three weeks, there’s another ministry involved and he made a decision and I was the executor of his decision if you like. I was the activator. I had to make it happen.
So, when we got done Joe phoned me back and he said, “So, John, are you okay with this?” I said, “Hundred percent.” He said, “What?” I said, “Hundred percent. Brother Jerry doesn’t have to explain to me why he made the decision like that. I had nothing more to say. It’s his decision. He’s got something going with God, I must just do what he said. I have nothing more to say, Joe. I’ll do it.” “Are you going to do it?” I explained to him how I’m going to. He said, “It’s a good way to do it”. He said, “Go for it.”
When I had it done I reported back to them. I was at peace the whole time. Why was I at peace the whole time? Because even though I would have made a different decision because I’m in spiritual order, I didn’t have to begin to contend with the quality of the decision. It became irrelevant. The only thing that became relevant was; he spoke. I execute. Peace.
In fact, it had such a big impact on Joe, how easily I accepted what Brother Jerry said and how easily I then executed what he had asked me to do. It became, he was so amazed because he’s always living in the realm that people are always questioning the decision. Can it be done better? Can it be done a different way? You shouldn’t do it this way, because everybody’s got an opinion, you know. And I also had an opinion, you know. They wanted my opinion. So, there were two parts, there were two phases to the way I needed to go about it. The first phase was done. So, then they had conversations between them which I was not aware of – between Brother Jerry and Brother Joe about a second phase and how to execute the second phase. And so, then they came back to me and they told me that Brother Jerry wants to do it this way, which is again not the way I would have done it. And the reason they had a conversation between them was because of what I said in the first phase, you see. So they had the conversation and Brother Jerry said, “No, I want to do it this way, I want to keep doing it this way.” Alright? So, Joe phones me, he said, “Brother Jerry wants you to do phase two this way.” I said, “Yes, sir.”
So, what happened to me was I just had absolute peace all the time. I have peace because my intimacy with God causes me to recognise who Brother Jerry is to me. You know, when we finished the first phone call, conference call, the first phone call that we had, you know, Sharon was aware of it and she was like, “So what are you going to do, John, what are you going to do?” I said, “Babe, I am going to do nothing. I’m going to do what they told me to do.” Because she could see where I’m coming from, it was related to something in Africa. She could see where I was coming from. I’m living in Africa, I know what’s going on in Africa, I know what’s happening with the people in Africa. Brother Jerry wanted to take a different action to the way I would have done it. So, I only have this to say; Brother Jerry is a man who hears from God. If he is saying this is the way that he needs to execute it, then I need to obey what he says. That’s it, end of story. My view on it becomes irrelevant. Now I say to you; what do you think that does to me in my walk with the Father, and how do you think my walk with my heavenly Father is? Come on now. If my heavenly Father talks to me and He says, “John, I want you to execute a business deal this way,” and I’m saying, “No, no, no, God. You are not on the ground here. You don’t know what so and so are saying and You don’t know the dynamics politically and You don’t know who’s doing what here. So You don’t fully understand what’s going on here,” and God’s saying, “Really?” “So, you want to do it that way?” “Ja, I want to do it that way cause that’s the way that I think it’s best to do.” “I’m telling you, do it this way.” Now you have got a choice. Your choice is ultimately going to be led by your intimacy with Him, whether you believe Him or not because if you have been having that time of fellowship and He says, “Do this,” rather than the thing you were going to do, “Do this,” well then you know the stuff you are going to do with Him is going to be fruitful. The stuff that you are going to do is ultimately going to leave you powerless. It’s almost a no-brainer and yet, how many times do we just not struggle with this thing? “So, God, you want me to do that?” “Yes.” “No, but I want to do that this way because I think this is best.” Ja, eina, because we can only say that actually, we are not making ourselves vulnerable to God in our intimacy, enough, that we don’t trust Him enough – that when He speaks, we must obey Him.
Do you know what just happened with me and Brother Jerry when I did that? It did a whole lot of other things. Number one, this is what it did; it immediately re-established with him that our covenant is based on a very strong trust, that if he hears from God, I don’t question it. That means, in his mind, if there is anybody that he is going to turn to in the future, that he wants to get a job done that is significant, that might not make sense, he knows he can call on me because I am not questioning him. I’m just saying, “I know you are spiritual. I trust your own walk with God. I am in that place that God put me where you are my spiritual leader.” I am not even going to question it. Now listen, if Brother Jerry was immoral, lacking integrity and a whole lot of those things, the likelihood is that I probably wouldn’t be there with him. But he is not that kind of man, so I have no reason to believe that anything he does, is anything but spiritual, even though, in my mind, it may not be the wisest way to execute something. Here’s what I know about God. Even if he does something that is different to the way I would have done it, God is going to make an outcome favourable for him because he is hearing from God. So even if there would have been, and let’s say for argument sake, God is sitting in heaven and He is saying to Jerry, “Jerry, listen to John, he has got better counsel for you.” And Jerry doesn’t listen to me, Brother Jerry, you know, he doesn’t listen to me and he goes about it his way. You know, God is still going to make it turn out all good for Brother Jerry because he is a spiritual man and his purpose is to execute the will of God on the earth. How we go about it can be varied and we can differ on that but his thing is, “I am here to execute the will of God on the earth,” as is mine. So now I must just get into agreement with him.
And so, the first phase turned out so well, is why Brother Jerry said, “Let’s do it the same in the second phase because why change the thing that worked so well in the first phase.” And so, the second phase worked out just as well. But I say and I believe that part of it was that I got so completely into agreement with Brother Jerry that it didn’t matter what my thoughts were on the matter. We were in agreement so the power of God could work and execute and the anointing was there and anything that would have gotten in the way or could have gotten in the way, it didn’t matter cause we were in full agreement. So the favour and the anointing of God was there to make it come to pass. Trust was established and built, both ways. The second thing that happened was, huge productivity happened. Another thing that happened was that the peace that I had was never removed from me. For a brief moment, the devil wanted to get on my shoulder and this is what he said, “Ja, you see Brother Jerry doesn’t trust you, he is going with his own stuff.” Come on now. Don’t you think the devil will use any little moment he can, to try and bring separation and division? Right? I mean, for a brief moment the thought entered my head; doesn’t he trust my knowledge of Africa and people and the things that are happening here, you know. So, he doesn’t trust me, he has got to go with his own choices. Come on, that’s not a stretch what I’m telling you. Right? But it couldn’t be further from the truth because it was never about whether he trusted my competence or my judgement. it was all about he has got to obey God the way he feels he has got to obey God. And so the minute I got into agreement one hundred percent with him, everything became fruitful, it became abundant. The outcome was positive. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
And so, it is with us and God, if we don’t get into agreement with God and we just think that we have got to do our thing and, “Hold on God, I know best here.” Praise the Lord. I mean, the heavenly Father is so involved with us, so involved with us. God is doing so many miracles in people’s lives right now in our ministry, so many miracles, it’s hard to keep tabs on what God is doing.
I had a family make a decision three years ago about something and they never tested the decision spiritually. They just made the decision naturally. So they never tested the decision spiritually, they just went ahead and did what they were going to do naturally and it really meant that they were making plans for the next five years of how things were going to go in their lives. So one day we were just having a transition conversation when you’re like in a church foyer and you have a transitioning – when you’re transitioning from one space to another. So we were having a transitioning conversation and they said to me this is what we’re going to do and this is what we’re going to do and when they told me I just looked at them because in my heart I knew this was not what God’s will was. What happened was that in a second the gift and the mantle that was on me as a shepherd immediately could see – by gifts of the Holy Spirit – call it the gift of knowledge, call it the gift of wisdom, whatever it is, I immediately knew that the plans they were making were not led by God but I was not asked and neither was it my business to speak. It was purely something that God showed me. So, I don’t know why they told me at that time, I don’t know what they were looking for but they told me. So, I had nothing to say, I just looked at them and I said, “Okay. Really? Okay.” That’s all I said because what else can I say? I can’t get into agreement with them and I need to acknowledge what they’re saying. It’s like someone in a meeting says “Its’ noted.” It means nothing, it’s just noted. You know what I’m saying? Well, I think we’re about three years away from that decision and in this last week they had reason to come back to us and they sought my council urgently because all of their long term plans had unravelled and now they were in a place of, “What do we do now?” So this is what they said to me, “When we told you we saw a look on your face and the look on your face told us that you were not in agreement with us,” and they said, “We will never forget the look on your face that said you’re tolerating what we’re saying.” Well, I didn’t think I was that transparent that day but apparently, I was. But you know when people’s lives are at stake and you know something in the spirit but God will not permit you to speak because they’re not actually looking for the counsel of God. But people do think this; they think because I’ve told the pastor and he says nothing I take that as approval.
I often have this happening to me where people come and tell me things and I say nothing, then they just take it, “Well, I told the Pastor and it’s all right for me to go ahead.” It’s no different than saying, “Well, God, I’m going to go do this and that and if I hear nothing from You I’m going ahead.” Why would His peace not be your guide? Why would you not wait for His peace to be your guide? Sometimes peace is mistaken or the lack of peace is mistaken for – you’re going after and this typically happens in a business deal – you’re going after a business deal. Often there’s a lot of excitement and a lot of hype and a lot of energy going into something new that’s about to happen. And so everybody feels happy and they feel good and joyful about it. Right? Come on when there are new things on the table nobody’s really feeling bad about it. It’s like, “There are new things, whah, whah, whah, new things here. “ They can even write a song; whah, whah, whah, new things, whah, whah, whah, you know. I mean that’s the way it feels whenever you’ve got a new idea, a new concept, there’s a whole bunch of people. They all want to be in on it and you start talking about it and there’s a lot of joy and happiness and expectation. And people say, “Well, that’s peace.” No, that’s not peace that’s just excitement for opportunity and excitement about productivity that’s coming. In the same way, people that are experiencing a change in their lives that brings about discomfort, they often perceive that as feeling no peace. But discomfort always brings about that sense of vulnerability. Always brings about that sense of; I’m not sure what’s going to happen next and am I in the right place? Am I in the right time, whatever? And that discomfort is often interpreted as no peace. But the peace the passes understanding bypasses comfort or discomfort. It bypasses potential and opportunity and it bypasses the negativity, perceived negativity of change. Peace is a centre point that comes from intimacy between you and God. It is part of the fruitfulness that you can have in abundance. Peace, peace of God. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
As we are going, moving into this season of God, the Lord has said that we must be big and bold and we must understand that this is a year of abundant overflow and all of this is going to happen in the local church. I tell you when I was going through a process of making a decision for our auditorium revamp and I looked at the number and I looked at Covid and I looked at people’s incomes potentially changing – I don’t know how many people’s income changed. I don’t look at who tithes and how much they tithe. I don’t look at that. I’m also not encouraging people to talk to me about all of the bad things that are happening in their lives. If they need to, I’m there to listen and I there to pray and I’m there to walk with them through those circumstances. But, I mean, people as a general rule are not telling me if their salary has been cut by twenty percent or there’s a chance of having a retrenchment or there’s a chance of whatever. Generally, I don’t hear about it. I just hear what’s happening in the market place. Last year we had one month in the Covid time, we had one month in the ministry that was the worst month we had ever had income-wise ever, ever ever, ever, ever in the ministry. You talk about from the very startup, the very first startup meeting that we had, month that we had. The very, very first startup month that we had, we had more income in that month than we had in a month last year. Huh? But now three months after that, the Lord says to me, “It’s time to go big and bold, John.”
So now I can be moved by that as a plumbline or I can be obedient to what God says. So then the Lord began to deal with me in my spirit and He says, “John, if you don’t move then I’m going to be limited in the movement I can do in your people – the people I’ve placed in your life – because I need you to move because I want to bless them. I need you to do this and act boldly and with abundance in mind because I need to bless them. Because they need to be able to sow seed into a vision, into a thing that I’m doing so that I can bring a harvest to them. You’ve got to go, John. You’ve got to move, now.” I looked at that whole number, I looked at this whole process and I know I’m committing to major, major work, breaking up concrete, pulling out carpets, just major. You’ve seen the vlogs. Major, major work. But we don’t have all the money. What happens if we run out of money? So, I just said to the Lord, “Okay, Lord, let’s go. If we run out of money, it’s Your fault. I’ll call it in but You, it’s up to You.” Every moment we made the decision to go, go, the money came, the money came, the money came, the money came.
If you live intimately with Him, connected to Him, the abundance comes, the fruitfulness is there, the peace of God is there, the order of God is there. And I speak to you and I wanted everybody to be there because of, and when we do our services in May, I understand the 22nd and 23rd of May, and we’re all going to be there and we do those services, you’ll see our new big digital board there on the stage and some other things that we will be doing. We make improvements. We are going to give glory to God that in the time of men where there is lack, in the time of God there is abundance. If we are obedient to Him, then we will experience what He has for us, not what man has for us. No virus, no government, no nothing can stand against what God’s got for us – nothing. This is the way it is.
You know, again, I want to say, not all Christians are going to experience this but those that are vitally connected to Him, in union with Him; the right place, the right time, the right purpose, everything God intended to bless you. We are in that space. We are in that space. We have the Word of God; Go Big and Go Bold. We’ll experience the abundant overflow and God is doing it in the local church. Praise Jesus. Glory to God.
I want to finish off with a very small testimony. I’m not going to mention names. So a couple of weeks ago, I was just spending some with the Lord and I said to Pastor Sharon, “Pastor Sharon, in this new album that is coming, Song of Psalms, I have it in my heart that you have to be the lead vocalist in one or two of the songs”. She said, “No, no. No, John, I’m not a lead vocalist.” I said, “Babe, I’m telling you what I’m feeling, the Lord wants you to do”. She said, “Okay”. She went away, did her thing, a day or two later she came back to me, she said, “The Lord really told you that, John?” I said, “He really did. I really feel very strongly about that, even more now than two days ago”. So then she went off to Garth, “Garth, you think?” “Mom, it doesn’t matter what I think. I do think you can do the job but it doesn’t matter what I think. If God said, then He is going to anoint you and it’s going to be great.” So then she comes back, she said, “Garth said this.“ I said, “Good for Garth.” So then they go about picking songs which songs she is going to sing. They pick the songs and she tries them out and they settle on a slightly variant, but they settle on the song.
So now Denholm comes into the picture and now they’re all working things out how is this going to work, how they are going to compose the songs and how they are going to put all this together. So she is spending quite a bit of time in the studio. Next minute, a day later, Denholm comes back. So they did three days in a row with him, so Denholm comes back, I think the second day and he says, “I contacted one of the lead vocalists, female vocalists in the nation. She is a big name singer in this nation. I contacted her and asked her if she will make herself available to help you with your vocals.” So she said, “With pleasure.” She lives in another city, so she makes an appointment, she gets in the car, drives to Witbank to come and check on whether she can work with Pastor Sharon. Then she ended up saying, “Well, I can work with you too, Garth and I can work with Meredith.” Now she’s made herself available to our ministry to help all of us with our vocals and I’ve got my wife walking around the house going … (Pastor John imitates breathing exercises) “Babes, what are you doing? What’s going on?” She says, “I’m breathing to sing.” It’s been quite weird for me, you know. We’re driving in the car yesterday and the next minute she goes … (Pastor John im} I say, “Babes, what are you doing?” She says, “I’ve got to practice, I’ve got to practice, I’ve got to practice”.
I mean, that calibre of person would be beyond our scope if had called her even if we had her number – which we don’t. Even if we knew her – which we don’t. We’ll just never ever think of calling her to help us but because we decided to obey God, Denholm said, “You know, I’m going to make..” I mean he gets led by God himself, he’s got all the connections, he calls her, she says, “I’m in,” and now she’s just like, this is one of the most amazing projects that she is working on. She’s loving every second of it and watch this space. Watch this space. Hallelujah. God’s got a plan. God’s got a plan.
You understand what I mean? When you are intimately united, connected to the Vine, there are things you can become abundant in, fruitful in, and it takes one Word and you can’t see the end result of it. You’ve got to obey the Word here which takes you to the next part, which takes you to the next part and then the whole picture starts to become clear. But you can’t, I mean you need faith to get to the end picture. God can’t show you the whole picture, otherwise, you won’t need faith. You just need the next step of obedience. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
I know what Pastor Sharon is preaching this morning. It’s very different to my message, so you better watch what she says too. It is really great. Hallelujah. Did you enjoy the message today? Did you get something out of this today? Come, let’s stand. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
I want you to put your hand on your chest like this. You know this by now. I’m a son of God. Lord, today I say it is my choice to live my life intimately connected to you. Where I fault in my humanity, I ask for Your supernatural strength because I want to live my life intimately connected and in union with You in everything I do. In Jesus’ name. Amen. Hallelujah.
May the peace of God be your portion, peace that passes understanding. May you be blessed in everything that you do – whether it be out from your home or in your home. Wherever you go, whatever you do may His angels have charge over you and that the blood of Jesus will surround you and protect you and no harm will come near you or your dwelling place. Your streams of income, I declare, are protected by Jesus. I declare that no weapon formed against your well-being will succeed in Jesus’ name.
Are you in agreement with this prayer? Then you can say, “Amen”. Thank you for coming to church today. God bless y’All. Hey, are you enjoying the teachings on the…? Ja, hey. Praise the Lord.