Scripture Reference: Genesis 15:1-2, 8, 12-14, 16 (NKJV); Galatians 4:4 (NKJV); John 7:8 (NKJV); Luke 1:57 (NKJV); Proverbs 3:5 (NKJV); Ruth 1:1-6, 8, 14 (NKJV); Mark 3:32 (AMPC); Hebrews 11:8 (NKJV); Isaiah 30:1-3, 5 (NLT); Ruth 2:2 (NKJV); Ruth 2:8-9 (AMPC); Ruth 3:1-5 (NKJV); Ruth 4:13-14 (NKJV)
Well, just where you are sitting there, let’s pray and let’s release our faith today for the Word of God that’s going to change our lives, I know it, it’s still changing my life, so let’s pray. Father, in the name of Jesus, thank You for Your anointing here this morning in us and upon every single one of us. It is, Lord, Your burden moving, yoke destroying power to set each and every one of us free. Father, we ask You that the anointing that was on Elijah that it will come upon us, Lord, softening the hearts of adults here today, becoming like little children. We ask You this Lord. Father, we receive all Your messages that You are bringing to us right now. We receive Your plans, Your purposes for our lives and Your direction for us and our children. Jesus, we will always declare this; You are the Head of the church. Thank You that You always speak to us very straight and in because of Your love. We praise You, Lord, that all these messages have to do with the supernatural increase that is now coming to everyone. Lord, we are in agreement here this morning, You are pulling every single one of us through, every single one. It doesn’t matter the messiness, You are pulling every single one through, in the name of Jesus. Lord, we say these messages are defining moment messages, bringing great light and direction to our hearts. Father, touch our hearts today. We ask You, Lord, because Your words in song and sound, Your words in the messages are bringing great light and understanding to our lives. Father, I ask You that I will speak today with great clarity, great purpose and with Your anointing on me, Lord. Inspired, Holy Spirit, You have put things in my heart and You/ve showed me the seriousness of these words that must come today. May Your anointing rest on us as a people today and we all say; Amen. Hallelujah.
Well, as I said, Pastor John and Sharon, they are sending all their love and that is always such a wonderful thing. God is taking the children, Part 15, in Johannesburg. Witbank is getting there in God’s timing. I’m going to share with you today, Choices in moments. The title is God is taking the children, Part 15 but we are going to take a closer look today at choices, our choices in moments. Well, we all know this is a big rock moment. October, this month, this year, 20 years for Pastor John and Sharon in ministry and 20 years for us with them – a perfect period of waiting completed. The completion of a very important cycle.
Now, Pastor Sharon shared with us it is a perfect period. Why? Because God did many things. Number one; Pastor John gave his obedience to many things that God required. God imparted many things to you and me, we know it. He weaved very important and glorious things into our hearts.
So, I am going to jump into this message straight away today. Will you please open your Bibles at Genesis 15 verse 1. Why is it so important to understand that these 20 years are significant and important? Why? Because God has times of periods for us and we are going to see it in the Bible that must be completed and God knows all about that part but it is very significant for us today. Genesis 15 verse 1. You will remember Pastor John shared powerfully about Genesis 15. I am not going to go there but just highlight one or two things. 15After these things, God is talking to Abram. So what does it mean – after these things? When Abram had victory over the kings – 15After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” Verse 2, 2But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless (Genesis 15:1-2 NKJV). I am going to jump to verse 8 here, so you can go in your Bible. Now God answered Abram and said to him, “I am going to give you a son. It will be your son that comes from you and Sarah.” So God answered him, but still, there was a matter on Abram’s heart, verse 8, 8And he said, “Lord God, how shall I know that I will inherit it?” (Genesis 15:8 NKJV). And then Pastor John took us to verse 12, from 12 to 16. Now I want to say to you today, Pastor John only touched on this that through covenant God showed Abram the future.
Pastor John must still come and share, but look what God did here in verse 12. 12Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him (Genesis 15:12 NKJV). Why? Because of what God showed him, what was coming in the future. Verse 13, 13Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years (Genesis 15:13 NKJV). We are talking about 20 years here, but God has many periods of times that He is talking about. Look at verse 14, 14And also the nation whom they serve I will judge, says the Lord; afterward, after a specific period of time, they shall come out with great possessions (Genesis 15:14 NKJV). Verse 16,16But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” (Genesis 15:16 NKJV).
So, Pastor John, and I am not going to go there but Pastor John talks about the iniquity of the Amorites that must, God says it is not yet complete. So God says, “For Me, it is important. It must be completed, it must be fulfilled.” So God is showing Abram that a specific time period must be fulfilled before his descendants will come back. It’s very important for my and your spiritual ear to hear in our walk with God that we will encounter different time periods. Before that period is not fulfilled, completed – listen to this – the next thing will not and cannot happen. It cannot. Can you see the significance of why this period of time 20 years is completed? Look what Brother Jerry shared with us. Twenty years means; a cycle, a period of waiting successfully completed. Yo, this whole year this thing was so big on my heart. It’s a perfect period of waiting – that is the meaning of a 20 year period. Very important.
So, we must note today God decides when certain periods of time are full and completed so that the next thing can kick in. Pastor John said, now the next phase in the grand plan. God is going to show. He is going to show Pastor John, He is going to show us, we’re not going to be presumptuous to say going through the new door what we think it will be.
Please, go to Galatians 4 verse 4 this morning. I just want to show you that your own eye, and as you study the Word of God because this is for me and this is for you. Let’s see in the New Testament how important it is to God to bring certain periods of time to its fullness – to the fullness thereof. Galatians 4:4 in the New King James, 4But when the fullness of the time had come (Galatians 4:4 NKJV). Not a day sooner. There is a fullness that must come for things that you and I believe, for things that we are in with God on our journey. 4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, (Galatians 4:4 NKJV).
John 7 verse 8, just look at Jesus’ walk on the earth here. This was not only when He was born, it is not only the day that He had to die on the cross. It’s for the moments, choices for moments in our lives and just remember we have got this Word – not one of us is five minutes late. So, people, we live by faith and not by feelings. It doesn’t matter what you and I feel today, feel like, because we had a year with lockdown in between. We’re not five minutes late. We’ve got the Word of God, so let’s look at John 7 verse 8, even in detail about the life of Jesus going and walking on the earth. He said, 8You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast. Why Jesus? For My time has not yet fully come (John 7:8 NKJV). You mean even when you go to that feast? Even when you do things back and forth from a Monday to the next Sunday? Yes, Lord. Look at Luke 1:57. This is the birth of John, the Baptist. John, the Baptist. 57Now Elizabeth’s full time came, not a day sooner, not a day sooner. Elizabeth’s full time came for her to be delivered, and she brought forth a son (Luke 1:57 NKJV)
We’re going to speak quite a bit today on choices that we have in moments. What it is when we lean on our own understanding or we lean on God what we bring forth. It’s very important in our purpose and our alignment for assignment with Jesus and Pastor John what God has called us to bring forth.
So, Pastor Sharon shared with us; the Israelites wandered 40 (20/20) years in the wilderness and then there is a transition, the pause to circumcise your heart. We are all in that pause today. We are all in that pause today because of God’s great grace. Prov 3:5, just open your Bibles so long at Proverbs 3:5. Why? Now after this period of waiting and before we look at Proverbs – the Israelites were in this pause moment like us to circumcise their hearts because Pastor Sharon shared powerfully on these things on the back of Pastor John. When Joshua and the people after that period of time came to this place, something was not a hundred percent right. Why? Some of the people in that 40 years while God was leading them, they made their own plans and they were hard of heart and they messed things up in their lives and now God wants them to circumcise their hearts. So after 20 years, and this is what the Lord showed me, here in Heritage of Faith, it’s the same here with us. Not all people here today with us, in Witbank, all of Heritage of Faith, are following God with all of their hearts. Just like the Israelites many of us during God’s leading here, deliberately chose hardness of heart. And that is why we have a spirit of repentance here.
The Lord said to me, and if you think, some of you that have been here for quite a while that hardness of heart, many times, was on display. How? They murmured, they did not submit. They did not like what the leaders were preaching. Many people – I see it in Witbank too – are still coming to church and they are not submitting to anyone else but themselves. This is directly against God’s will and His Word. This is not what God wants for us. Those things and here is the thing – even if it is not in and on display in your life, God sees my and your heart and those things are causing things to be out of order. We are grateful for this pause that we can circumcise, look at our own hearts. We can only do it for ourselves. You can’t do it for me, I can’t do it for you. But we are on this pause. But God’s great mercy and grace are here for us today. Why? That we can recognise it, admit it and repent. Still, in this moment it is a big rock moment. It’s a big rock moment to circumcise your heart. It is very, very, very important. Why? I want to tell you there is still a lot of messy here – all of our lives, all of our lives. But God says, “Let Me in, let Me in into your heart; this messiness is going to go to marvellous.” That’s why we’ve got faith, hope – we know God’s Word says come on, I’ve got you on this pause, work with Me here. I’m going to show it to you.
Please, look at Proverbs 3:5. Do you remember what Pastor John and that was very insightful, very important to hear what Lot’s daughters decided to do? Now we’re going to read Proverbs 3:5 and I know you love it. I know that this Word is also very important to you, like me, but Lot’s daughters did not choose this. They leaned on their own understanding. “Well, there’s no one, we can’t marry guys here.” You remember Pastor John shared that. “So we’re going to make our father drunk and let him make us pregnant.” And that’s exactly what happened. So let’s look at Proverbs 3:5 today. God says, 5Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5 NKJV). I’ve marked it here in my Bible and since Pastor John brought it, but I mean just like you, we love the Word of God. Our Bibles are almost falling apart in that place because we can’t choose for ourselves. Like Pastor John said; oh you are so wise. You people are so wise that you can choose for yourself.
What happened? They had two children that were born. The first one for the one daughter, Moab, and we’re going to talk about them today – the Moabites. And the other daughter, Ammon and that’s where we see the Amorites from. I want to remind you, the Lord said to Abram, “Abram, your descendants, the things for the future can happen, but the sin of the Amorites must be completed, must be full.” But one thing that I want to show you here today, Pastor John used a very significant word, very significant in that message here in Joburg. He said, these Amorites and Moabites are, we see it in history, absolutely the enemy coming against Israel again and again. And we’re going to look at a specific family today, but these Amorites and Moabites will rise up and become a generation of anti-God people. Can you see when you lean on your own understanding what you produce? A generation of anti-God people. So Lot’s daughters and all examples are written for us in the Bible. Moments where you can make choices. Choices in moments. What did they choose to do? They chose in those moments to lean on their own understanding and what did they bring forth? Anti-God people.
We’re going to talk about Ruth today. Ruth followed the plan of God. She brought forth Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of King David. Not leaning on your own understanding and doing great exploits with God, is a big matter to God and to our lives. Praise the Lord. If you have not yet underlined Proverbs 3, you will after this. Praise the Lord.
I want to take you to Ruth, chapter one today, verse one. I want to paint a picture here today and, you know what, when I was preparing again, I said to the Holy Spirit, “Really, Lord?” He said to me, “Christi, you’re going to look the young people again in their eyes. You’re going to speak to them.” Now of course the adults as well, but we’ve heard this in different messages. But the young people are now in moments of choosing and God says, “You look them right in the eyes again. This is very serious to hear for the choices they are making.”
I’m going to paint you a picture here today that will show you how a family and then individuals, how their lives went from messy to marvellous; of what plantedness means. It’s a picture of choices in moments where you have to decide for yourself, and then young people, you have to look at the significant role players in your life – very important. And I will talk about that. Ruth, chapter one, we’re going to read from verse one to verse six and I am in the New King James. This is the story that God used very powerfully in my own life 20 years ago when God started to reveal. He said to me, “Christi, I’m going to teach you about the Church,” and of course one of those huge revelations, right at the beginning was plantedness. So God spoke very powerfully in my life to me what I’m going to show you here today in moments, choices in moments.
Ruth chapter 1, 1Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab. You see, the nation that came through one of the daughters of Lot, they went to go and dwell in Moab. He and his wife and his two sons. He took his family with. 2The name of the man was Elimelech. (I just had a moment this morning. I said, “Lord, is this the right pronunciation?” So I called in help. I was like, “Lord, is it Ele-melech?” But apparently, it’s E-limelech.) So the man’s name was Elimelech, and the name of his wife like we know, Naomi, and the names of his two sons, very important, Mahlon and Chilion. Chilion. Now you’re going to see a word there that we’re going to talk about, they were Ephrathites, not coming from the tribe Ephraim, oh no, no, no, I’m going to show you here today – it’s a title. It’s a very fancy title. They came from Bethlehem, actually the tribe of Judah. Can you see there? And they went to the country of Moab and remained there. 3Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, she and her two sons. Verse four, very important, 4Now, after he died, they took wives of the women of Moab: and the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years. 5Then, verse five, both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived and this is Naomi, her two sons and her husband (Ruth 1:1-5 NKJV).
Verse one and I am just going to read it to you again, 1And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons (Ruth 1:1 NKJV). Elimelech. Now I need to share this with you, you are going to find this very insightful today. When you read the different Bible commentaries, and then also especially the Jewish commentaries, listen to what they say. He was a very wealthy man in his time. The commentaries show that he was selfish and he was afraid, fear came in, that is because of the famine. He was afraid that all the poor people would come and knock at his door. Because of the famine in the land, Elimelech arose and fled. Elimelech used many excuses claiming why he could not stay and witness the corruption of the judges’ on-going in that time. Now it was true, but not to use as an excuse. I want you to listen very carefully because I am going to go very deep on this. Elimelech was one of the prominent people in his time displaying a Jewish fate when he refuses to accept authority in leadership that God has placed over him. That is a big statement. What I am going to share with you in this story, will be very insightful, even to the grownups here today. I don’t think people know a lot really what happened there with Ruth and Orpah. The Jewish commentaries write, Jews always settled according to their tribal divisions, their families and their father’s house – plantedness. So according to their tribe, their own company, like the New Testament says, they talk about Elimelech’s misdeeds. They are very, very clear on what he chose to do when he took his family. All the inhabitants of Bethlehem were related to one another in some manner, and now, Elimelech and his family decided to leave and to desert their family, to desert their family. You know how powerful Pastor John and Sharon have ministered on this when you leave your spiritual family, you take your supply of the spirit, you take your supply of gifts, anointings and callings with you. But now for us on a new level, young people, older people, all the little children, who are our family? You know Pastor John is busy talking to us about this.
Please, go to Mark the third chapter. Young people, who are your family? Now, this is very big. I remember, I remember twenty years ago when God showed me this revelation, it changed my life, it impacted everything. It does change everything. Why is this so significant? Because just like Pastor John and Sharon both show that Jesus is making this distinction, not you and me. This is not something that we can put on the table, Jesus did. So Amplified, verse thirty-two, 32And a crowd was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, Your mother and Your brothers and Your sisters are outside asking for You. 33And He replied, Who are My mother and My brothers? 34And looking around on those who sat in a circle about Him, He said – I want to say to the young people, and again to the grownups here today, look what the Word says. See, see. I am going to show you what Ruth means. Ruth means saw – I see what is going on. People, I pray that the points will drop for us of the powerful word that we are hearing for twenty years in this house – to go from glory to glory like never, never before. So Jesus said, See! Here are My mother and My brothers; 35For whoever does the things God wills is My brother and sister and mother! (Mark 3:32-35 AMPC). This is huge for our lives. Blood-born, no. Blood-bought. But it is a wonderful thing. We’ve got beautiful families sitting in the church here today who are blood-born and blood-bought. But, I want to say this, normally, a natural family, they live for themselves and they do what Pastor John said, they do what the soul wants to do. So we understand that. Also having no problem going where Babylon wants you to go but – and this was a big thing – the Lord said to me, He said, “Christi, you focus on this thing that Pastor John said.” But something very important we must see here today, and it is a sneaky thing, it is a sneaky thing from the enemy. What is that? It is all of us, all the time. It’s not just one time in your life and then you are done with it. When you see families are starting to obey the Word of God, they make a decision to go from natural thinking to spiritual thinking and walking with God. The Lord said to me, be aware of this very sneaky thing.
Pastor John shared with you, you must discern who are the truth-speaking person in the family. It is not to say the whole family sits in the church and listen to the messages – who are the truth-telling, the truth-speaking person that comes to church, put their foot in the message and hear what God is saying? Not just mere men speaking. So Pastor John shared, he always listens when God speaks to him through to Pastor Sharon. Massive statement. Now, we know, we see Pastor Sharon as a living example, living twenty years with us, we know how she submitted to her pastor before they came into full-time ministry, and we see it every single time, how Pastor Sharon is submitting to Pastor John, even her husband but as her pastor. So this is not what Pastor John is talking about here. Pastor Sharon is a beautiful example to us in this. But what Pastor John talked about was that in a family and I have got to say it again, young people, I am looking quickly with my eyes here to all the young people this morning, and the older people, but, especially the young people, you have to discern. What must you discern? Who are those in your family who have ears to hear what God is saying? Because sometimes the mom or dad or daughter or son in the house is busy following their own plans. It is just how it goes in families. God is very clear about that. You must discern who is the truth-teller, the truth-speaker in your home. Hopefully everyone but that’s not always the case. Not all fathers and mothers in Heritage of Faith is following and obeying God. Many love God but they are doing their own thing. Many love God, so that’s why God really wants me to look and speak to the young people here today, to say to them, Jesus is bringing this distinction and understanding to the adults and to the young children growing up. There comes a time where you have to discern this and walk in this all by yourself where it’s you and Jesus, Jesus and you.
Back to the book of Ruth. Please, go to Ruth chapter 1, verse 1 to 2 again. And I just want to go there in my Bible. I know we read it, but faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God. Verse 1, 1Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. Please, take a closer look now at verse 2. Two words there, the first one that I want you to see is the word Ephrathites like I said, it’s not, they’re not coming from the tribe of Ephraim, they say, the Bible say they were from Bethlehem, Judah. That was a very grand title. But then I also want you to see when I’m going to read it to you. They decided to stay for a little bit, but then the Bible says they remained there. So 2The name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife was Naomi, and the names of his two sons and there’s a very important reason why I’m reading it again, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion – Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to the country of Moab and remained there (Ruth 1:1-2 NKJV).
You will find the next commentaries very insightful. I know most people do not know this. Elimelech and his family are called here, as you can see, Ephrathites of Bethlehem. This is the description of the importance of a family in those days, not the city. Throughout the Bible, every great man who arose in Israel had that title, Ephrathites. That’s very interesting. I mean, I did not know that. And it was attached to their name, meaning they were very distinguished. But the Jews talk here about how great the sin of Elimelech was to leave the place – the place where God planted him, where God planted him and his family. When you read you find out that they say, although Elimelech and Naomi decided to go away for just a little while, they changed their minds and stayed in Moab. Can you see? The first wrong choice in a moment, to go. You were never supposed to go. The second wrong choice in a moment, we’re going to stay. Why? How being in the wrong place can impact, influence, and pull you to stay. Very, very important. Young people, you know how clear the message is in this church about being planted. Here is a story in the Bible of a man who took his wife and his two children to a place of their own reasoning but God was not leading them. This is a big deal.
Please, go to Hebrews 11 verse 9. And that’s the reason the Holy Spirit showed me to bring in this story because we know the story that we’re going to read of Abraham. Absolutely, this time, not leaning on his own understanding, but being called by God, went to a place. Elimelech, what did he do? Chose all by himself to go to a place that God never called him. Look at Hebrews 11:8, 8By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called (Hebrews 11:8 NKJV) by God, not decided. Can you see? Not leaning on my own understanding. Again Genesis 15, 1After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram (Genesis 15:1 NKJV). God talks. God talks, He calls. You heard the call in the last message. God will always call. He will always show you the place and this is exactly what’s happening here. Abram obeyed when he was called by God, not decided by himself to go to the place which he would receive as inheritance. And we’re going to see what Elimelech received – nothingness, nothingness. So we’re going there.
Now the big difference; Abram obeying God and Elimelech decided for himself. Listen to this – the writers write about Elimelech – he had no remorse that he departed from the place God had for him. Jo, people, we cannot have no remorse in this pause that God has for us. We messed up things too in our lives. It’s God’s great love and His mercy that’s giving us this moment to circumcise our hearts. I know the same is true for you; I’m very grateful about that. Pastor Sharon said, the Israelites started out marvellously. Elimelech too, he started out marvellously. I mean he has the name of the Ephrathites. It was like a prince of their tribe. He started out planted in the right place, with his tribe, in his father’s house. The Israelites went out, through the Red Sea, into what God wanted for them, but just like some of us in Heritage of Faith, they start off planted, in the place that God has for them, and they mess it up with choices in the moment. Choices in the moment. And that’s why we look at all these people – Abram, Elimelech, all of us. There are so many moments with choices and what we do in those moments.
So back to, oh, thank you Holy Spirit. The Lord just showed me this morning while I was praying. Again you heard Lot pitching his tent. So the Lord said to me, Elimelech and Naomi were only planning to go for a little while, but the impact and the influence of Babylon, Moab, can pull you in completely. People not inquiring from the Lord think they will just go and do a little business over there, or just go and study there and maybe come back. Many end up buying property there not noticing that they are being pulled away from the place that God’s got them because they have pitched their tents there. This is big, the influence of Babylon.
If you will please go to Ruth chapter one, the third verse. I know you’re right there in chapter one. So, listen to this, the Jewish commentaries, they continue, they write; Elimelech and Naomi stood so low that they now started to integrate themselves fully with the culture of the Moabites. Now, this is very interesting and I know most people don’t know this. Ruth and Orpah were the daughters of King Eglon. They were actually two princesses, they were the daughters of the king. And because Naomi and Elimelech – their family was very rich, the Ephrathites – they were very distinguished and very wealthy. Eglon, the King of Moab, marries his two daughters. Mahlon he gave to Ruth and Chilion to Orpah. This is very interesting. You see, as a wealthy family, Elimelech and Naomi mingled with the high society in Moab. Mingling with the wrong people in the wrong place, your children will end up marrying the wrong people. Come out of her my people, no more mingling. But they walked right into that thing. Now you don’t have to be the wealthy to mingle in the wrong places. If you pitch your tent in the wrong place, you are going to mingle. But it depends on where you pitch your tent or where you pitch your business tent because there you are going to connect with people and start to mingle with them and God says, “No more.” The story goes on. The Jewish writers say Elimelech dies a very untimely death. Elimelech never repented from not doing his part in his generation.
You see people, when you leave where God wanted you, you are taking your supply. Like I said of the Spirit, your gifts, your callings, your mantles and your anointings and that’s what they write. He did not do his part. Our part is vital. Elimelech was punished, not Naomi because she was subject to his authority and we understand this.
Let’s look at verse 3. It goes deeper and there is much more. Then at his death, Elimelech, verse three says, 3Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left, with her two sons (Ruth 1:3 NKJV). Listen to this; Elimelech is no more called in this verse, you see, even in a few short verses, his title was stripped from him because he did not do his part, Elimelech no longer was called an Ephradite. The name Elimelech means: To me shall kingship come. When he died, he is only called ‘Naomi’s husband.’ He died in nothingness, losing all the blessings he had in his tribe and where God was planting him. That’s why I am repeating those verses. You are going to see at the end of the message, why it is actually very prominent, how he was stripped from that title and actually blessing that God gave him when he left the place, he went to another place and he died in nothingness. He is only called ‘Naomi’s husband.’
So this is very, very important. Elimelech – choices of moments – in the natural he enjoyed his rich, his wealth, himself with the rich people in Moab, knowing it was not his place; but it was his choice. He started off good, being part of the spiritual family that God planted him into that tribe but he messed up. He followed his self-will, his desires and he ended up in nothingness.
Do you remember on the 25th October, Pastor Sharon shared this; narrow and absolutely constricted, there are no two ways about that. With pressure is the way that leads to real-life and few are there that find it – choices in moments. Wide and broad is the way that leads to nothingness. Wide is that road that leads to nothingness. If you are doing, if you are doing it and whatever you are doing, (sorry, just to put that sentence in order). Whatever you are doing and it’s not the will of God, you are not in His plan, and that is the big thing of ‘nothingness’ producing actually in your life.
Isaiah 30 verse 1 to 5, the New Living Translation. Pastor Sharon shared this with you. 30What sorrow awaits my rebellious children,” says the Lord. “You make plans that are contrary to mine. You make alliances not directed by my Spirit, thus piling up your sins. 2For without consulting me, you have gone down to Egypt, Elimelech, you went to Moab, for help. You have put your trust in Pharaoh’s protection. You have tried to hide in his shade. 3But by trusting Pharaoh, you will be humiliated, and by depending on him, you will be disgraced. Verse 5, 5all who trust in him will be ashamed. That means in Moab, in Pharoah, in Babylon. He will not help you. Instead, he will disgrace you (Isaiah 30:1-3, 5 NLT).
So, Ruth 1:5. This is what happened to Elimelech. He went to Moab for help; not God and then, and young people, here comes a very big ‘and then’. I have said to you, you have got to look at the role players. It is wonderful to have a mom and dad that is choosing with all of their hearts the will of God. Mahlon and Chilion did not have such a dad who chose the ways of God. So, and then his two sons married Moabite women. Verse 5, 5Then both Mahlon and Chilion… Before I go there, so here’s the question that I want the young people to hear. After their dad died, the Bible says, only then they married the Moabite women. Shouldn’t these two sons have learnt a lesson from their father’s death? Return to the place, return to the place that God’s got for you. Return to the place. If your dad is not doing it, you are doing it. God gave Mahlon and Chillion time to repent too. They did not, they too died. Let’s read verse 5, 5Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband (Ruth 1:5 NKJV). We see here that the two sons are no longer and you must see this; it’s even worse. Like their father, the two sons are no longer called Ephrathites. Even worse, they are not identified as the husbands of Ruth and Orpah. They are stripped of their prestige, they are simply called in verse 5, Mahlon and Chilion, even worse than their dad. Their dad’s name was still connected to Naomi. This is very significant when you read in the Hebrew Bible what this means. Can you see the choices in moments that God gives us? These were the choices of Elimelech, Mahlon and Chilion. But let’s see ongoing the choices of the ones who remained. And I am going to start to close with that.
Look at verse 6, still Ruth 1. 6Then she arose, Naomi, with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had visited His people by giving them bread (Ruth 1:6 NKJV) Then she arose. These Hebrew words tell us, Then she arose, you know what it means? She left the place. It was time to leave the wrong place. Now, people, this is like I said, we are planted here but you have to look at your business, you’ve got to look at all places but of course, first, the House of the Lord where God has planted you. She left the place, she left the wrong place she and her family should never have been in. Look at verse 8. 8And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each to your mother’s house. The Lord will deal kindly with you (Ruth 1:8 NKJV). You see, now we are in another moment. Another moment for choices that the two daughters are now facing.
Look at Ruth 1 verse 14. 14Then they lifted up their voices and wept, but this is very important, but Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her (Ruth 1:14 NKJV) So, we see here the choices of Naomi, Ruth and Orpah. You would think after what happened to the men the outcome for all three would be good. It wasn’t the case. Orpah, Orpah’s turning away to go back to the house of her natural father, you must actually understand what happened in that heart. She and Ruth lived with Mahlon and Chilion. They met and heard the words of Hashem. So, her turning back was absolutely turning back from God. Because they had to convert but that repentance, as Pastor John and Sharon said, was not real in Orpah’s heart. Not at all. Because you must understand, living with that family she heard Jehova, Hashem’s Word coming through that family. She did not choose God. Ruth, on the other hand, did.
But I first want to show you here. Orpah, she was named Orpah because she ultimately turned her back. People, that’s big. In this time of repentance, is your heart going to stay hard? Are you ultimately going to turn back? Or Ruth, she was named Ruth because she saw. Remember when Jesus was sitting with His brothers and His sisters and He says, “See, who are the real ones but those who choose to do the will of the Lord?” See, Ruth saw. She considered well the words of her mother-in-law. That’s what the name means. What does that name actually mean? She saw, she considered well the words, she put her foot in the message. Straight away, not even having all the understanding in the world. The difference between Orpah and Ruth. Verse 16. Look at the words of Ruth coming from a heart. Ruth said in verse 16. 16″Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God (Ruth 1:16 NKJV). I met Hashem, I heard the words. My heart… What did Pastor Sharon say in the last message? Hold onto Jesus.
Ruth, Ruth that came into the lineage of our Lord Jesus was at that time in her life holding onto Jesus, to God – the very little she knew about. Ruth came with real repentance out of a heathen nation. Ruth wanted God, she held onto Him. Remember what Pastor John said about a real repentance and see the life of Ruth here. A real repentance means a turnaround. Your lifestyle must follow the purpose that God wants for you. Repentance happens because you receive something. Orpah did not but she did. You receive it into your heart and it will change your future. It will bring you to your purposes but it will cost you your lifestyle. Even your current one, if you’ve got to make a drastic change, this is the time to make it.
How do we know Ruth made such a drastic change? Because Orpah went back to Moab as a king’s daughter. Wealth and comfort. She knew what she was turning back for. Ruth, the Bible says when Ruth came with Naomi back in the land, Naomi was a poor, poor woman. The Bible says she was barefoot. It cost Ruth everything in her life. She did not turn back to the wealth and comfort. Then Ruth kept on, that was one moment of a choice. One choice in a moment.
People, can you imagine Naomi saying; two daughters-in-law, go back. Ruth knew what was waiting back home. Comfort, king’s daughter. Great comfort. Oh, she chose Hashem. She chose God. But then Ruth kept on following God’s plan. She returned with Naomi knowing that after all that happened, Naomi was poor, messy. It’s messy. There’s nothing. There’s nothing in this transition. Chapter 2 verse 2, 2So Ruth said to Naomi, “Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favour (Ruth 2:2 NKJV). People, that is humbling yourself, actually being a princess, going to a field to glean after they cut the grain to get just a few things for you and your mother in law. Who are the little children? Those who humble themselves, lowly trusting and your heart is after God, very important. Ruth trusted God. Naomi is poor. What a moment, what a choice. Both of them are in a transition, in a messy, messy time. But messy moments for Ruth, like Pastor Sharon taught, she allowed God to come into the messy. Why? Your lifestyle choices will eventually tell a story.
Let’s look at the story. Now I have to really look at the wonderful young people and I know I’m looking at you every single time now that I speak. How do you allow God to come into your messy? Really, the grown-ups, they know a bit more about this but how do you allow God to come into your messy moments to bring it to marvellous? By putting your foot in the message. And I’m going to show you here in the book of Ruth what happened. There’s no other way. You bring God in through the messages that you come to hear. Let me show you. Look at Ruth the second chapter verse eight to nine, this time the Amplified. I’m going to show you, I remember almost the day when God opened this up to me about being planted. The law of place, the law of place. So, listen to what the Lord showed me. 8Then Boaz said to Ruth, Listen, my daughter. But can you see Ruth by herself does not know this? The Lord said to me, “Christi, you do not have the anointing to take yourself into the Promised Land. You come to church and you listen to every message that comes from Pastor John and Pastor Sharon. You put your foot in that message and you go to the Promised Land.” So here’s Ruth, she’s not instructing herself. Here comes Boaz and he’s giving her this message, 8Then Boaz said to Ruth, Listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one. Do not leave this field. The Lord said to me, “Christi,” and you’ll remember my story. I watched TBN, listened to everyone, bought all the books and the Lord said to me, “Glean in this field.” Do you know what glean means? Gather My word in this field. Don’t go to all the other fields and all the other words that you have received in those days. Glean in this field. Look what Boaz is saying, Do not leave this one but stay here close by my maidens. Verse 9, 9Watch which field they reap, listen to the message that’s coming and follow them. Have I not charged the young men not to molest you? People, in other fields going back to Babylon in places where they should not be, please know the world will molest them, they will impact and imprint your child or family members or loved ones. It’s very clear. Please, do not go there because if you go there they will molest you. And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink (Ruth 2:8-9 AMPC).
The word glean means to gather. Glean in this field, glean in this house, glean in these messages. Now you can understand it changed my life. Young people, God doesn’t have another field for you and if you are not in this field, come back, come back, come back. Come back to this one. It changed my life. I’m just going to read to you verse nine, no I’m not going to read it to you again. Look how God protected Ruth. Out there you will be molested like I said in Babylon. We see it clearly in the lives of people. But then I want to take you to Ruth three verse one to five, it’s a very short book. You can, please, just go and read it and enjoy it. Now first of all the instructions, the word of the Lord came to Ruth through Boaz but I want to show you here, God is using Naomi also in her life to speak to her and to direct her. I want to tell you, twenty years of my life in this house, I don’t know where my life would be if it wasn’t for Pastor John and Sharon through the messages instructing me. Yes and you, encouraging but there are the instructions to go for the purpose that God has for you.
Let’s see how Naomi instructed her and I end with this, 1Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you? Look at verse 2, 2Now Boaz, whose young women you were with, is he not our relative? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. Verse 3, 3Therefore wash yourself. Look at the instructions in the messages. Now you do this, now you pause. We know how the messages are coming. Verse three, wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking (Ruth 3:1-3 NKJV). People, the wisdom, the wisdom, the instruction, the encouragement, the love through the messages in twenty years is overwhelming from God. Look at the timing, the wisdom of someone who is instructing her to reach the goal for her future. You must wait till then, you must do it like this – all these messages in 20 years got us to this place. Praise the Lord.
Verse 4, 4Then it shall be. You see, there is a right moment. Then it shall be when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies; and you shall go in, uncover his feet, and lie down; and he will tell you what you should do.” Listen to the response of someone who is following the Lord with the leadership in her life, Boaz, Naomi, receiving the messages, the instructions. And Ruth said, verse 5, 5And she said to her (Naomi), “All that you say to me I will do.” (Ruth 3:4-5 NKJV). This is big, this is big. Ruth put her foot in every message that God wanted to give her, to direct her. It was not her own instructions but like us, we receive it coming from the pulpit. Moment after moment Ruth had choices to make. Well people, we talked about the men. They had moment after moment to make choices. Orpah had. We know the story of John the Baptist that Pastor Sharon shared. Abram absolutely the story here in front of us but Ruth had choices to make all these moments of choices not to walk away from God’s plan.
Moments? Why did Pastor Sharon explain so beautiful to us what does a moment mean? Moments will cause movement. A moment is for movement. What happened in Ruth’s life even from messy to marvellous, moments? Absolutely, a few moments but it brought her right into the movement. Big rock moment to marry Boaz, big rock moment to bring forth Obed. I want to close with Chapter 4 verse 13 to 14. 13So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. 14Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel! (Ruth 4:13-14 NKJV). What a purpose and a destiny for Ruth. She became the mother of Obed who was the father of Jesse, the father of King David in the lineage of our Lord Jesus, bringing forth and doing great exploits for our Lord. Abram, Isaac, Ruth, Elijah, John the Baptist, Heritage of Faith people, every son of God, you and I must ask God, “Where and what is my part?” So important. People, where must you partake? Come, come is a big word. Come. You must come yourself.
Now, I just want to say this because this is the way God gave it to me 20 years ago. I always prayed about this. Even 20 years ago when I did not know what I know today, so these are Christi’s words, “Lord, who and what is my Obed that I must bring forth and do great exploits with You?” That’s a question. Abram asked the Lord, “What will You give me?” In my moments, I am choosing You. So it’s just an example. I believe from my heart, God, all of us have got to bring forth an Obed, do exploits with the Lord. Even if your moments are still messy, God takes you to marvellous. Young people, you cannot bring forth what God has called you to be and to do without being connected to our Lord Jesus and then His sent one because that is how His plans work. His sent one, Pastor John, and in every message that God is bringing you, this is your part. It is a vital part. What is my part, Lord Jesus? But you see, that part will only start in your heart. If you are turning away from God, outwardly, it may not look like that but you will be an Orpah in your heart, ultimately turning back. So your part will start in your heart. Yes, Pastor Sharon shared with us, mantles, callings, anointings. Like Pastor John at the age of 32 and many other moments in his life. Pastor Sharon right now, this mantle falling on her. Really, God, is this all possible for us? Oh, yes. Peculiar, special, strategic mantles that God wants to give us, His people, right now. Moments that we will have with God and we will know, we will know for sure, like Pastor John and Sharon, how it happened for them, it is happening to every single one of us. But the choice starts in the heart. Praise the Lord. Let’s pray, Let’s pray.
Father, we want to say thank You to You today. How can we ever say thank You enough that You do not leave us the same? Thank You, Lord, for this pause, 20 years, very significant, a cycle, a period, successfully completed. You know everything about that, Lord. Us as the people with Pastor John and Sharon, it doesn’t matter if we’re here 20 years, we are with them. Now, Lord, thank You in this moment and in this pause, we ask You for Your exceedingly great grace. Thank You, Lord. Like we have prayed when we started with this message, this anointing that was on Elijah, Lord, that it will come upon every single one of us to soften our hearts. Not only that, Lord, but that we will abide in You, that we will keep on walking with You, keep on talking with You, abiding in You and with You every single day, talking to You, not being presumptuous but really finding out what it is that You have for us. Lord, we ask here today, in agreement, all of us, pull every single one of us through, Lord. We believe it. You are pulling us through one by one. Lord, there’s still a lot of messiness but our trust is in You and not on ourselves. We know You are guiding us, leading us from messiness to marvellous. Thank You, Lord. We are already blessed to be planted, the law of place, Father. Now in this taking, Your blessing is making. Your blessing is making the next step, the next opportunity, every single thing that You’ve got for us. Today, as a people, we say to You; we love You. We love Your people. We love Your Word, Lord. We love one another and that is why we pray for one another. You are pulling all of us right through. Lord, we say today, and we make that personal choice where we sit or stand here today, Father. We are sons of God being led and directed by the Holy Spirit and we all say; Amen.
It was wonderful to see you once again today, and this is really a taking of the Lord of His children. Big little children. I am so glad that the big little children are in there and the younger ones, the little children, in this taking, like the Lord showed me, the blessing is making.
Have a wonderful Sunday afternoon, all summer, we enjoy that as much as we enjoy the winter. Hope to see you soon. Bye-bye everyone