I Will Take The Children Part 7 – Session 1 – Pastor John Bendixen (WTB)
Scripture reference: Genesis 14:10-14, 18-24, MSG; Genesis 15:1-4, 13-18 AMPC; Genesis 17:1-10, 17-19 MSG; Matthew 10:34-39 NKJV
Praise You, praise You, praise You. Thank You, Lord. Thank You, Father, that we yield our vessels to You today, we submit our minds, our emotions, our ears, the things that we hear, we give them over to be inspired and touched by the Holy Spirit. Thank You, that You have given us opportunities like this morning, to come together, to be together, to share the bread of life. We, thank You, Father, that these moments are eternal, they are not just a morning church service, they are eternal moments, watched by the witnesses of heaven, as we go about Your business, thank You, Lord, in Jesus Name. Amen. Hallelujah, hallelujah.
Can you just keep playing like that, just the way you were, just for a little bit, just like that? Hallelujah. (music playing) Praise Jesus.
There is something that is happening in the Spirit, there is something that is happening. You know, in the beginning of time, as we would measure it as humans, and God recreated the heavens and the earth. The Bible says that the Spirit of God was hovering over the earth, and even though there was a deep void and there was darkness, there wasn’t anything that filled the earth. The Spirit of God was hovering over the earth. When God spoke something and proclaimed light to be, then it was the hovering Spirit of God that made things happen. It was the Word that was spoken and the Spirit made it happen.
Just like the sound is coming from these instruments now, it is a lot softer, a lot gentle than we were actually singing the song and so, if they were playing loudly, it would drown out my words. I believe and I am trusting the Holy Spirit to release from my spirit some things that God has been speaking to me about for us as a ministry.
This morning I know that the message that I am going to bring is a very powerful message and if you will listen closely, it will change you. I want to say this, that the Holy Spirit is hovering over us, as an assembly, He is hovering over us as a people, and it is like the music playing in the background right now, it is just there, just you can hear it. It is not intrusive, not making an outrageous noise or sound. The Holy Spirit is just there.
But He is ready and waiting to bring about a great crescendo of His Spirit and move with power. When God made the heavens and the earth, the Holy Spirit was hovering until He spoke, and then when He spoke the Holy Spirit created it by the words of God. On the day of Pentecost they were all sitting and praying in one accord, nothing much happening from day to day, moment to moment, there wasn’t much happening, until one morning they woke up and suddenly the Holy Spirit came that day, like a great and mighty wind, He just blew into that place. They got so filled with the Holy Spirit that they couldn’t contain themselves and they rushed into the streets speaking in tongues and having a mighty move of the Spirit of God.
I want to say to you, church, there is a move of the Holy Spirit that is happening in our church, Heritage of Faith, it is happening, He is moving right now. One of the things that has been in my Spirit, He said, “You know, when people do sleepwalking, they don’t actually even know that they are walking, but they are walking, sometimes they are even talking. They get out of their bed, they move around, they do things but they are sleepwalking, they are not in their full senses.
This word came in my Spirit, this weekend. “The church is sleepwalking compared to what is going to happen when the Holy Spirit begins to flow, with power, in our church, in our assembly, and we may think we are alive – and we are, we may think that we are doing things – and we are, but what God is about to do, is going to be the difference between someone that is sleepwalking and someone that is alert and awake and full out running, sprinting for Jesus.” Hallelujah, praise the Lord.
[Pastor John speaking to music group] Just for a few seconds, just increase the noise level, just go, just for a few seconds.
Did you feel the difference? I mean, on the one hand, you’re kind of mellow, but when they raised the sound, it suddenly… energy came into the room, right? It was an energy that almost, from the sound of the music, wanted to grab you, and maybe you even wanted to stand, but certainly, some of you raised your hands, but it got your attention because it was the same music, but just louder.
I want to say to you, “The Holy Spirit is blowing with a breeze, and He is going to come with a mighty wind, and we are not going to be sleepwalking in our Christian faith any more. We are going to be doing great and mighty exploits,” in the name of Jesus. Hallelujah, praise Jesus, praise the Lord. Thank you, thank you. (Pastor John thanks the music group)
Glory to God.
While they are going off the stage, I am just going to say, one of the awesome things God has done in Lockdown for us, is four or five years ago, we started Slipstream Athletic Club, and it was just sort of trundling along, not much happening with it, until Lockdown happened, and we decided to do virtual challenges. Look and behold, the club just exploded and we have people that are now on the Slipstream Club, virtually from other countries in the world. They do our challenges that we put on.
We are rebranding Slipstream as your “Virtual Fitness Friend”. Next Saturday morning, we are having a morning, where we are celebrating what happened in Lockdown. People did amazing things, people that haven’t run before, just started walking, then they started running. Some people started walking one kilometre a day and before long they were walking four or five kilometres a day. Sometimes first – just in their garden and then when it opened up around the streets, and an amazing thing happened, people began to exercise and things began to get good.
We are handing out badges and we are doing a celebration and we have a South African Champion in many disciplines – water, running and cycling. He is one of the very few UCI, rated cycling coaches in South Africa, if not the only one, who is going to be with us on Saturday morning. He is going to do a talk with us and he will be available throughout the morning and afternoon and to help the people with anything they need. Giving advice on walking, running and swimming, whatever, he will be available on Saturday.
Please come join, in the celebration with us, early Saturday morning – 8 o’clock Saturday morning just down the road here, you can get more from the Slipstream website. Amen. Praise the Lord.
How did you get here this morning? Did you leave your body at home? Huh? You got here because your body brought you here? Right? So, did you leave your soul at home? Not quite possible, right? You had to bring your thinking with you? Did you leave your spirit at home? You had to bring it with you? Have you ever seen anybody?
If you haven’t, well, I’m sure at some time in your life, you will see somebody that has been alive, and their body remains on the earth, but they’re not there. They’re not there because when you have no more breath in your body, who you really are leaves. Who you really are goes either to heaven or hell. Who you really are.
So, if you make your decisions in your life based on what your body wants, then that’s very, very short-sighted, because whatever you do for your body that your body wants, has a very short lifespan. If you give your whole life to satisfying what your body wants, then it’s not going to last very long. How about then if you do your whole life with what your soul wants? You might say to me, “Well, what is the difference between your soul and your body?”
Well, that’s a good question. Because your body has certain intrinsic requirements to stay alive, needs to drink, needs to eat, needs to sleep, it needs to have a certain amount of protection. Right? You need to have these things in order to stay alive.
On the other hand, your spirit man, if you have made Jesus the Lord and Savior of your life, your spirit man is alive. It’s awakened to the things of God, but if your spirit man has not received Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Savior, then your spirit man has no real value to your world. Everything happens because your soul wants it.
Your soul will work in agreement with your body because your spirit cannot connect with life. Your Spirit only connects with eternity when it dies, or it can connect with darkness, but your Spirit wants to be alive to God. So, when your body has no more function left, your soul and your spirit depart into the eternities, into the spirit realm.
When Abram lived in a city, that worshipped many gods, and it is written that Abraham probably worshipped the sun god or and or the moon god because those were the prominent gods, that the city that he lived in, that they worshipped. So, because everything inside of you calls to worship, to God. Abraham was living in the city. One day, he has an encounter with God. God, the Living God, speaks to him, and says to him, “Abram, leave your city and go to a place that I will show you and let Me be your God, and you can be My people.”
Abram says, “Ali right, I’ll do that.” Now, if he just said, “All right, I’ll do that” and did nothing else, then he would never have had more encounters with God. Right? Because if God spoke to him, and he did nothing about it, it’s going nowhere. It is a real thing when you encounter God, like he did, it’s compelling, it’s supernatural, it’s life-altering, to the point when Abraham said, “Yes.”
His father and mother and his nephew and a whole lot of his family said, “We’ll come with you.” God didn’t call them to go with him, but they said, “We’ll come with you.” So, he ends up getting all the stuff that he can carry and he puts the stuff on the camels, and they just start walking. He just starts going in a direction, God didn’t give him a Garmin, you know, with a GPS coordinate that he had to go and follow. You know, when he started walking, he started walking and he just went in a direction and maybe one day he woke up and he would say, “Maybe I’ll head in this direction, maybe I’ll just keep going until I hit that mountain doer gone down there in the background, I’ll go there.”
What was it that led him? Probably the prompting of the Holy Spirit, even though he wasn’t filled with the Holy Spirit, but he’s obedience to God, would have allowed the Holy Spirit to guide him. Because the Holy Spirit was hovering on the earth, from the beginning. Yes?
He gets to this place and as he gets there, the Lord speaks to him, God speaks to him, and he says “This is the place,” but as he gets there, there’s a drought, famine, drought. It’s like, “Hey, God, I came from a good city. I was a prosperous businessman in that city. You know, I was a trader, everybody knew me, I had a good thing going there. You brought me from that place to this place, and there’s a drought here. What’s, what’s the story?”
Well, he immediately has to go and look for a place that he can survive. So, he heads over to Egypt, where the Nile River keeps working, and he goes there and he hangs out there for a while, and then the Lord guides him back to this place. He has a lot of experiences, that if we were Christians today, and God told us to do something, and we ended up in a place where things didn’t look like this was God because there’s a drought here. I wonder if we’d continue to say, we still serve that God? Because maybe we only serve Him because it goes good for us. No?
Anyway, he’s nephew that was with him, decides to go and live in the rich valleys in the rich plains. Eventually, they move out of that place, and they go and stay in Sodom and Gomorrah, and God shows up one day at… I’m getting ahead of myself.
There are four kings that make war against four other kings, Sodom and Gomorrah. In fact, I think it was five kings against four kings. Four against five. There is a war that happens in Sodom and Gomorrah, the Kings fled and, 10 They fell into the tar pits, but the rest escaped into the mountains. 11 The four kings captured all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, all their food and equipment, and went on their way. 12 They captured Lot, Abram’s nephew, who was living in Sodom at the time, taking everything he owned with them. 13 A fugitive came and reported to Abram the Hebrew. Abram was living at the Oaks of Mamre the Amorite. They were allies of Abram. 14 When Abram heard that his nephew had been taken prisoner, he lined up the servants, all of them born in his household, there were 318 of them and chased after the captors all the way to Dan. (Genesis 14:10-14 MSG)
Let me tell you if you’ve got 318 soldiers, that are men that are good soldiers, and these are all your servants that were born in your household, you were already pretty strong and wealthy and rich. Right? Anyway, long story, he whips their butt, he just beats them, rescues everybody. As he is rescuing him and making away from them, he comes and he meets 18Melchizedek, the king of Salem, brought out bread and wine, he was the priest of the High God, 19 and blessed him: Blessed be Abram by The High God, Creator of Heaven and Earth. 20 And blessed be The High God, who handed your enemies over to you. Abram gave him a tenth of all the recovered plunder (Genesis 14:18-20 MSG). Just for anybody to understand, there was no law, there was no rule, there was no anything. Whatever happened here, Abram gave a tenth to God.
Whenever you have victories in your life, and you’re tempted, in your victories, to hold on to your stuff, and not give God what He needs to have, you’re short-sighted in your thinking, because you’re making it about your energy and yourself and what you’ve created.
I’m going to read this part to you, verse 21, 21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me back the people, but keep all the plunder for yourself.” 22 But Abram told the king of Sodom, “I swear to GOD, the High God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, the solemn oath, 23 that I’ll take nothing from you, not so much as a thread or a shoestring. I’m not going to have you going around and saying, ‘I made Abram rich.’ Nothing for me, other than what the young men ate and the share of the men who went with me, they’re to get their share of the plunder.” (Genesis 14:21-24 MSG)
Abram is making a fairly important statement in his life here. The one thing is the first thing he does, he gives a tithe. The second thing is he won’t allow anybody to give him stuff that his faith couldn’t, didn’t get. It was about who God was to him. Hallelujah.
So, I’m just sharing all of this stuff to you because I want you to understand that Abram was a serious man. He was a seriously wealthy man. He was a seriously courageous man. He was a man who was not afraid to go and war with kings, to save his family and to correct an injustice that had been done on people.
This was a man that had encounters with Almighty God, and he was already in a place that there was something that was happening in his life that was different to anybody else because he was obeying a few words that God had spoken to him.
So Genesis 15, 1 After these things, the word of the Lord came to Abram, in a vision saying, Fear not Abram, I am your shield, your abundant compensation, and your award shall be exceedingly great (Genesis 15:1 AMPC). Now, you know, that’s like someone showing up to Bill Gates and saying; “fear not, I’m your God, I’m your great reward, I’m your compensation.”
It’s like, you know, what are You gonna compensate me with? I mean, Abram was a type of billionaire in our modern days. I mean, he was a rich man. He was a man who kings feared him. Testament; He just whipped up back to Five Kings. Right? You understand what I’m saying? He was like a monarch in his day. Although he never called himself a king. He was on an equal footing to the kings of the region. He had an army that was strong enough that no one messed with him. He also had enough wealth. Just bear with me, he had enough wealth that on a day to day basis, he fed at least 318 men and their wives and their children. So, he had enough wealth that on a day to day, from his natural produce of what he did in his land, he fed 1000 people, more or less day to day, with his wealth.
You understand what I’m saying? In those days? He was a billionaire. When God says to him; “Fear not, I am your shield, your abundant compensation, your award shall be exceedingly great.” Abraham’s answer to Him wasn’t about money. His answer to Him was and 2 And Abram said, Lord God, what can You give me, since I am going on [from this world] childless… (Genesis 15:2 AMPC). It’s like, I’ve got all the stuff I need, what more can you give me, that’s worth anything to me? Because I’m going from this world… And already, listen to what he says, already, all the stuff that I’ve got …since I am going [from this world] childless and he who shall be the owner, and heir of my house is this [steward] of my house, Eliezer of Damascus. (Genesis 15:2 AMPC).
In other words, in modern-day terms, if it was Bill Gates, who is the owner of Microsoft or shareholder of Microsoft, he would say; “Who’s going to get all this money, except the CEO of my company. Because I’m no longer working in my company, I just own it. So, the one who runs my whole company, he’s the one who’s going to get all my wealth, because I got no one to give it to.
You know, those days they didn’t have family trust agreements, and you know, charitable donation agreements and legal things that were like, what I earned when I die, the person who’s actually helped me make this wealth because I’ve got no children, they’re going to get it. 3And Abram continued, Look, You have given me no child; and [the servant] born in my house is my heir. 4And behold, the word of the Lord came to him saying, This man shall not be your heir, but he who shall come from your own body shall be your heir. (Genesis 15:3-4 AMPC).
I don’t want to get into this… into what happens next, but basically, God tells Abram to go and get some animals, cut them in pieces and he causes Abram to go into a deep sleep. God is on the scene and he gets to see the future and part of what he sees in the future is that… 13And [God] said to Abram, Know positively that your descendants will be strangers dwelling as temporary residents in a land that is not theirs, [which is Egypt], and they will be slaves there and they will be afflicted and oppressed for 400 years. 14 But I will bring judgment on that nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.15 And you shall go to your father’s in peace; you shall be buried in a good old (hoary) age. 16 And in the fourth generation… Again, they [your descendants] shall come back here [to Canaan] again, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full and complete. 18 On the same day the Lord made a covenant (promise and a pledge) with Abram, saying, To your descendants, I’ve given this land… (Genesis 15:13-18 AMPC).
Now he has an encounter with God. He’s got all his wealth, he says; “But what good is this wealth, I’ve got no kids to pass my wealth on to.” God causes him to go to sleep. In his sleep, He shows him into the future, 400 years, of how many children are going to be born to him, and what oppression they’re going to suffer, He shows him in this vision, the journey of them coming back to Canaan to serve God again.
So, you can understand that from Abraham’s point of view, this is pretty horrific. If you could see your whole life, in widescreen format TV, as though you were living in that time of your whole life and you saw the horrors that everything was happening in your family… I don’t know if you could take it unless God actually helped you see it? Right?
1When Abram was ninety-nine years old, God showed up and said to him, I am the strong God, live entirely before Me (Genesis 17:1 MSG). It’s interesting that He said; “I am the strong God” because Abraham was 99. I’m the strong God, live entirely before Me, live to the hilt! this is the Message Translation. Live to the hilt! 2I’ll make a covenant between us and I’ll give you a huge family.” 3Overwhelmed, Abram fell flat on his face. 4″This is my covenant with you: You’ll be the father of many nations. 5Your name will no longer be Abram, but Abraham, meaning that ‘I’m making you the father of many nations.’ 6I’ll make you a father of fathers – I’ll make nations from you, kings will issue from you. 7I’m establishing my covenant between me and you, a covenant that includes your descendants, a covenant that goes on and on and on, a covenant that commits me to be your God and the God of your descendants. 8And I’m giving you and your descendants this land where you’re now just camping, this whole country of Canaan, to own forever. And I’ll be their God.” Then that continued, 9 God continued to Abraham, “And you: You will honor my covenant, you and your descendants, generation after generation. 10 This is the covenant that you are to honor, the covenant that pulls in all your descendants. (Genesis 17:1-10 MSG)
What does God tell Abraham to do as a sign of his obedience to covenant? He says; “All these males that you have in your house, you must circumcise them.” You’ve heard me talk about things, get messy, before they get marvellous. Hallelujah.
I have many things that I want to share with you and I’m going through this as quickly as I can. Genesis 17:17, in the Message Translation; 17Abraham fell flat on his face. And then he laughed, thinking, he laughed. He laughed. Hello. God just spoke to him and he laughs, thinking, “Can a hundred-year-old man father a son? And can Sarah, at ninety years, have a baby?”18Recovering, Abraham said to God, “Oh, keep Ishmael alive and well before you!” 19But God said, “That’s not what I mean. Your wife, Sarah, will have a baby, a son. Name him Isaac (Laughter). (Genesis 17:17-19 MSG).
That’s pretty cool from God. He says, “Okay, you’re laughing at My strength. I’m your strong God. Now you’re going to name him laughter, because you laughed and you thought I, God couldn’t do this for you. 19 …I’ll establish my covenant with him and his descendants, a covenant that lasts forever. (Genesis 17:17-19 MSG).
Well, this is a very, very strong, very powerful statement. I, as a man, so I often need to clarify this when I say things like this. If you had to try and attempt to get into Donald Trump’s company because you play golf with him on a regular basis and so one day you decided, “I think I’ll go and visit my mate Donald Trump. Where’s he living now?” Well, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, which happens to be the White House. You walk up to the front gate to try and get in. What’s going to happen? Secret Serviceman is going to stop you there. If you say and you argue too much, they’re going to probably put you in cuffs and then make sure they find out who you are. Then maybe they might tell the president that you’re around. He may or may not be there, might be flying somewhere else in the world.
The same Donald Trump that played golf with that man, is the same Donald Trump that’s the president. When he became president, you could no longer separate the president from the man who played golf with you as a friend. He is always from the moment he became president, he is always the president. He never stops being the president, right?
When I talk about myself as a man. I talk about myself, often as a man who was walking with God, and walking in God, with a gifting and a calling, but not yet walking in my gifting and my calling. Until the time came when God called me and He put me into an office and from that moment onwards I became Pastor John, at the very least, which means before God, I am never ever going to only just be John. In the eyes of God, I am Pastor John.
When you get around Donald Trump and you are recognised as his friend and he decides to play golf with you. You may revert back to some of the very familiar things you used to do before he became president, but it will never change the fact that he is still president. It will never change the fact that from that moment onwards, when you play golf with him, there’s about six service agents, walking around the golf course, and probably another six you can’t see, sitting in trees that have got high scope rifles pointed all around, in case someone wants to pull a move. You understand what I am saying?
When God called Abraham and He called him as a Father of many nations and He called him as a man, but when He called him as the father of many nations, he would never ever become just Abram again. He was forever going to be Abraham, the father of many nations.
When I was a young man before I became Pastor John, I had a very very deep understanding of this, that as I raised my children, I had to live before them, and I had to behave towards them, as God wanted me to behave. My behaviour, that was my own behaviour, actually, whilst it is good, if you are a good father that has got good values, mother and father, got good values and you show your children good things. It is still very limited in the scope of unlocking what God has for them. Because you can not be God in their life. Only God has their assignment that He gives them, not you.
When I was raising my children, I became aware that actually, these children are only my guests. They’re mine to manage for a short time and to love and to have a relationship with, but actually, only God can give them their future. If I said to you, “My money can give them a future,” I would be wrong because money can be wasted. Money can be invested and lost.
I’m watching the whole world going about it’s business right now, and there is no question in my mind that Covid, has had a massive and huge impact on the globe. It is a fact that there are more suicides, there is much more drinking, smoking, oppression. There is much more abuse going on in the world right now because of what Covid has done. You think that’s just natural? This is a war in the spirit realm, this is a war where the enemy of God is using sickness and disease and fear to try and control your future.
If you go after your life in this moment as though, we are just going to get through this. I will tell you this is a moment when the rich are getting richer. Why do you think that the rich are getting richer? Well, because there’s a lot more opportunities for people to buy things at wholesale prices or a lot cheaper prices because people need money. Just because rich people get richer, doesn’t mean to say that they’re in the will of God, it just means the gift that they have of making money has given them the opportunity to do that. Just because you are in a situation where you don’t have enough money doesn’t make you less spiritual. Hello. Thank You, Lord.
Many years ago, I believe, I have taught this in Leadership Academy. Uh, many years ago, I might have even done this example, as a practical example in Leadership Academy. If I didn’t, I’ve at least talked about it.
I would like you to consider your life as this jar, and what I have done is, I have asked them to put some big rocks or big stones in this jar. You can see that when you put a few big stones in this jar, these big stones fill up this jar very quickly, right? Well, this is just a representation of, and I learned this from, this is not my own thinking, I must give credit to someone else, who actually first spoke about it. I don’t recall exactly who it was when I first learned this, but they were using this example to teach me time management. They said, your life is generally filled up and should be filled with big chunks of time that you spend doing things.
If this is your life or your day, (Pastor John pointing to the glass jar) then you are going to fill your life or your day with some big rocks. For example, if you’re going to go, you are certainly going to sleep six to eight hours, so that’s a big rock. Maybe, maybe that’s worth two or three big rocks because depending on how many hours you sleep (Pastor John putting big rocks into the glass jar). Then, you’re going to spend time eating and that is a big rock and then you are going to spend some time at work, so that might be two or three big rocks. If you start saying, “Well, I sleep for eight hours, I work for eight hours and I do my own stuff for eight hours.” Then those are fairly big chunks of time, right? (Pastor John filling the glass jar with big rocks).
If that’s what you do, there’s still a whole lot of space left here. The thing that you want to do is say, “Okay, I have got so many hours allocated to getting to work, so many hours this, so many hours that.” Time management. Then I’ve got so many other hours, that I can phone a few friends, I can do a little bit of exercise. I can maybe take time eating.” Let’s open up this a little bit (Pastor John moving big stones in the glass jar to make room for the smaller stones) As I have taken care of the big chunks of time. I can fill up these spaces here with smaller rocks (Pastor John filling the glass jar with small rocks). That’s typically what you do with your life, you allocate a chunk of time, which is your work, but in your work-time you say, “I might have a coffee break, I might have a lunch break, I might do a few other things,” and so you fill up your time, your day with other things, right? And so as you fill it up with not such big things in your life, but smaller things in your life, whatever they might be, so your jar begins to get a bit fuller, right?
Then, of course, there is still quite a lot of space in this jar. So, then you start to find out that there is time for other little things. “I think I will wash the car.” Yes? “I think I’ll mow the lawn. I think I’ll, you know, go and sit on the stoep and have a coffee,” right? “I think I’ll phone my friends and maybe we’ll watch a movie together,” right? (Pastor John filling the glass jar with sand granules). Smaller stones, now this thing is like this, so it doesn’t quite put everything… but actually, you can fill your day.
What you have to do is make sure… Remember I have talked about, time management for me is energy management. Because when you actually allocate an hour to doing something, you actually say, “This is the time I’m going to spend my energy.” Hopefully, by the end of the day, you have spent your energy on the things that are, what you want to spend your energy on. Or the energy, the things that God has told you to spend your energy on.
How does God say, He redeems your time? The way He redeems your time is He says, “If you give Me some big rocks and you give me some small stones and these little things, I will show you how twenty-four hours or the amount of energy that you have, can produce so much more than what you could produce, in the same time.” That is how God redeems the time because you are no longer limited to 24 hours or to your energy, you’ve got God’s supernatural energy.
Here’s a prime example, Abram says, “How can a man who is 100 years old have a child and my wife is 99.” Do you think all of their lives, living together, they didn’t try and have children? They never ever stopped trying to have children until they stopped doing what they could do because they were old, right? He laughs, “I couldn’t have kids, when I was able to have kids, and now I’ve got no energy.” Let’s just be frank about this. I’ve got no energy to actually have children. How’s this going to happen? Well, if you give God your time and commitment to follow Him, then He restores the time. He redeems the time which means, He redeems energy, so that you can do what you’re supposed to do, even though the time has passed. I don’t know if you’re hearing me?
You, in your own strength, live your life like Abraham, get very wealthy, have lots of strength, have lots of stuff. When you encounter God you say, “What’s this all about? I can’t pass this on to anybody. What has been the meaning of my life, even though You said I must follow You because You’ll be my God. So what’s the point of me and You having this God relationship and I’m happy for all the wealth, but what after that?” But because Abraham obeyed Him He says, “You will be the father of many nations.” That means the energy that you spend in your normal life that you couldn’t accomplish through yourself; when you obey Me I’m going to give you so much energy “I am you’re strong God”, I’m going to give you so much energy that the energy that you would have had 40 years ago, that you could have had children, 40 years ago you are going to feel like a 60-year-old man. I mean listen, he lived to a 140, 150 Abraham, so I’m just being, you know. Maybe he was still strong enough when he was 60, now that he’s a 100 God says, “I’ll put strength into you so that I’ll restore the time of your energy because the days that you number are irrelevant to Me it’s only important what you do with your energy and I need your energy to reproduce a son because I need your son.
Your energy needs to be refreshed into you, so that you can produce a son because I’m not done with you yet, Abraham. Even though you obey Me by circumcising all the male men in your large household, I still need your son, because I need something going on in the future. Hallelujah.
When I talk to you about, when I use this as an example of energy management or time management. I want to say this to you, that this to me also represents the big moments that you obeyed God. Because every time you obey God with a big rock, He will fill up your life with things that are seemingly detailed, irrelevant things, but God will give you and restore to you things that only God can restore.
I had a big rock moment in my life, a big rock moment in my life was, when God told me to love my wife as Christ loves the Church and to give myself for her. What that meant, and you know everybody must do this for themselves. What that meant was that I had to stop looking to my own self-interest in the relationship and absolutely adore her, absolutely give her everything, and totally show her how much I’m absolutely committed to her. She learned that I was obedient to God and she learned that she could trust me because I was obedient to God. Then she responded by her own obedience to God.
For people that don’t have good marriages or had struggled with marriage, they have drawn out of this well and this strength of our marriage for 40 years, because of our obedience. That was a big rock moment for me. Another big rock moment for me was when I was invited to become a shareholder and a branch manager of a small software company. I was living in Johannesburg and they invited me to go and live in Durban, at the time and I was to be the branch manager, and I was to be a shareholder in a software company. At that time, personal computers or desktop computers were only just beginning to take off. I saw the vision of it, I saw the future of it and I was selling mainframe computers at that stage and they offered me this business opportunity.
At the time I was going to Bible school and I was involved with my church, and so, I went home and I said to my wife, and I said, “Sharon, this company has offered me this deal.” We didn’t pray very much about it, it was a short meeting because we knew that that wasn’t God’s will for our life. God had called us to that church, to that pastor, to that world. Let me tell you what happened to that software company. That software company went bigger, bigger, bigger, very big, very wealthy, huge amounts of money and eventually the shareholders and the directors of that company eventually sold it and made hundreds of millions of rands. Theoretically, that could have been my future, but what good is it if I have all of that money but I’m out of the will of God. When I get to heaven God’s not going to ask me how much money I made, because how much money I made is irrelevant to God. Right?
When I get to heaven God’s not going to ask me, “Did you successfully climb the corporate ladder, John. Did you really successfully do as much with what your gift was, which was the way that you work with people? I would say, “Well, I think I did alright.” He would say, “No, you were off on your own assignment all this time where I had an assignment set out for you. Yes, you used your gifts that I gave you but you used them in the wrong space.
I had you working over here, in the Spirit with these people, doing these things,” and in my world that happens to be you all. God had me leave Johannesburg and leave our home in Johannesburg, and sell our house in Johannesburg, to come and be here. Most people would say that’s crazy things, but this is where God assigned me and God has got me here. Could it be, could it be that God had in mind, that we would have a House of Prayer, that even my spiritual leader would invite me into his house, his spiritual house and say; “Come and show us what you’re doing in the House of Prayer in South Africa because we need what you’ve got. What happened essentially is because I was obedient to God from moving from one geographical location to another, God used this geographical location, this little Witbank, to already impact the whole of the United States of America and the world because of what we did to take our house of prayer there. That would not have happened if we had disobeyed God. Right?
When you do things, you can’t see exactly what’s going to happen in the future. I knew that when I had my children I had to do the best to live my life, a Godly life before them. My son Brynn who’s with his mom this morning, in Johannesburg, when he was growing up and was being a bit rebellious and he was exploring his identity, eventually he would come back to me and he would say this to me every time. He would say “Dad, there’s one thing I cannot deny, whatever you preach – whatever I go through here in my head, whatever, all of this philosophy, all of this ideology, all of this worldly possession stuff that comes into my consciousness, there’s one thing I cannot deny, is that I can see the power of God working in your life. When you say you are believing God and you walk by faith and you call things into your life, I see them come into your life and I cannot deny the power of God in your life.
Let me tell you, that is much more important than saying; “I serve God,” but then you don’t really. My sons were part of our whole process, when we wrote out cheques that were 20 percent of our income. Not ten percent, 20 percent of our gross income because that’s what God put in our hearts for us to be debt-free and to have the will of God on our lives.
Pastor Sharon and I, we are in a blessed place, we willingly do not take a salary from this ministry and have not done so for nearly two years, or more and we’ve been in the process of giving more and more of our income to the ministry for the last five or six years. I had fights with Pastor Lynn because he wanted to keep paying me a salary when I said no, I want to live by faith. I want to believe God for everything that He brings into my life. It’s possible to live like that. Hallelujah.
Do you think that money controls me? Money doesn’t control me. My life is in God. I live completely in God. Just so that you know that I don’t stand here and teach you stuff that I don’t live.
You know what’s happened to me? God has been putting big rocks… Where I’ve been obedient to the big rocks that God has been doing, He’s been filling my life, full to overflowing with all of the assignments, all of the God things, all of the things that God has. He’s been filling my life up.
God is after our children. Let me tell you, if I go home to be with Jesus today, I am certain that my sons, their wives, my sons and my grandchildren, they will not depart from the ways of God, they will serve God all the days of their lives because they are as radical about serving Jesus Christ as I am. That’s not because I’m in the ministry, it’s because they’ve watched me and Sharon, live in Jesus Christ all of our years, all of these days. I have confidence that their future is secure, even when I’m gone because their security is not in money or in houses or in anything else that I may or may not leave for them or give them. Their security is in Jesus Christ. I have taught them how to live by faith and they are still learning how to live by faith and that’s their future.
If you want to give your children the biggest present of a lifetime, the biggest thing that you could give your children, is to show them and teach them and give them an opportunity to live in Jesus Christ. Because I’m telling you that you might have a business, that might be huge and successful now, but it can be like that [snaps fingers] – COVID19 is a direct indication of how many people can lose their business that they’ve been working on for decades and they’re shutting down.
Business in America, if you knew America at all, people like JCPenney and Roebuck Sears, that have been businesses that have been around for a hundred years in America, they’ve all shut their doors. A big chain that is an upmarket kind of chain called Neiman Marcus, anybody heard of Neiman Marcus? It is no more. I mean, huge businesses in America are just shutting their doors.
If our security is in what we establish with our own hands… I’ll tell you what, if I’m serving Jesus Christ then money is not what controls me. What is important is that every big rock that I’ve got in my life is obedience to God, then the little things that I can fill up, He says, “Oh John, you want to go to the bush because you love it? I’ll bless you. You want a nice camera to take pictures? I’ll bless you. You want a world-class pair of binoculars?” One day somebody found out I love the bush and they said, “Pastor John, we want to bless you with something,” and they bought me a pair of Swarovski binoculars. I mean, anybody knows that, would know that a pair of Swarovski’s will now probably cost you about R40 000 to R45 000.
It was just a desire of my heart; one day I would like to have that. I didn’t even speak it to God and someone came and said, “We heard you’re interested in bird watching in the bush and we think you’d like this.” Give that to me! Because, here’s the thing, if God told me tomorrow to give it to one of you, I would, because that Swarovski, although I enjoy it very much, is less in my life. Hallelujah. Praise Jesus.
I’m standing before you today with so much that I want to share with you because God is building something in me about the Blood, about the Blood and whether you’re born… If you’re born into this world, as a natural blood person versus a Blood-bought person – what the difference is.
Can I read you a scripture? I know I’m running out of time and you actually have to work with me because I’ve got the pulpit anyway.
Matthew chapter 10 verse 34, 34“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ 37He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. (Matthew 10:34-39 NKJV)
Strong scripture, right? But Jesus is very clear; this message of the Gospel that I’m preaching to you today is a sword because God’s assignment in this earth for every one of us, is the reason you are born. You are not born to run your own life as you choose to run your life. Not one person on this planet is born so that they could choose for themselves, to do for themselves, what they want for themselves.
The fact that many people disregard God and give Him no place and give Him no space, is their problem and they will answer for it in eternity. We who are here, we are born into the Kingdom of God and I’ve got news for you; when you’re born into the Kingdom of God, you become a Light carrier. God is compelled to raise up messengers like me to come and speak words of Truth like this that would say; “if you think you have found your life and you’ve got your life, but it excludes God, you will lose it. But if you’re ready to lose your life for God’s sake, then you will find it.
“Wow. Pastor John, you are pretty strong in your message this morning.” When I came here this morning, I’ve been speaking to Pastor Sharon. I said, “I feel the wind of the Holy Spirit. I feel the breeze of the Holy Spirit.” For days I’ve been telling her there’s a prophetic word, a voice, that has been birthed in my spirit and it’s busy coming out. When we’re ready, it’s going to come out. I know that between me and the Holy Spirit, this word is going to come out and it’s going to speak to us. It’s going to speak to us, going forward, the things that we need to do in this time that is coming ahead. Because we are not going to let Covid or any economic or any anything bring fear into our lives. We are going to run for Jesus! We are not going to walk like sleepwalkers. We are going to be mighty warriors in the hands of Jesus! We are going to do exploits in His name. We are going to do glorious things for God. When the rest of the world is sleeping because of Covid, we are going to become Kingdom warriors for God and we are going to begin to change things. In Jesus’ name.
Part of it God has already started because there’s children that have been raised in our church and they have parents that have been with us for years and years and years – some of the kids that were born in our church. They are now leaving high school and they’re all coming here to Witbank next year because they’re coming to encounter God. They’re coming to do great things because God’s waiting for them. God’s waiting for a seed that He says, “These are the warriors that I can use.”
If you think that this is something that I concocted up to help our ministry get stronger, then you don’t know me. God has been calling me to this for 10 years. 10 years to the year, I called Mi-exchange into being and it’s taken 10 years for it to come to its fullness, never thinking it would work out this way. But here it is.
It’s not about me. It’s not about even the parents. It’s about these kids that have grown up in a faith church, a covenant church, a generational church, where they can say, “We can live for God and we can do things generationally and exploit and explore and just do great and mighty things.”
Stand up, please. Hallelujah. Phew! I had too much Word in me and too little time to speak it out today. Praise the Lord.
Just put your hand on your chest like this and say; I’m a son of God. I will hear from You and I will obey You, Lord. Hallelujah.
I ask You to bless Your children, Father. May peace come upon them, may strength come upon them, may Your anointing come upon them and may these words that I’ve spoken today, may it penetrate their hearts and their souls and may the distractions of life and all of the things the enemy uses to try and steal this word, I pray that this word is protected in their hearts, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
I want to just tell you this; this is not the end of the message. Please do not take this one message in isolation and even the messages that have been bringing us here. God’s got something going here. You need to be hearing what God’s doing. This is not about a single message, church. You’ve got to follow the theme and the stream and the flow of what God’s doing here. So, please don’t get offended or have something to say against this message because maybe something happens in a conversation you don’t understand what’s going on here, just hold your words and hold your heart until God’s done with saying what He needs to be saying. Amen. Thank you. Thanks for coming. God bless you.