Search And Switch To Who We Are – Ps Garth Bendixen (JHB)

Scripture Reference: Genesis 1:21-31 (AMPC); Genesis 2:7 (AMPC); Genesis 3:16-19 (AMPC); Genesis 3:17-19 (TLB); Proverbs 15:10 (AMPC); Matthew 6:33 (AMPC)

Praise the Lord. Glory to Jesus. You know we were, we were praising and worshiping now and I was remembering something that happened with Brother Hagin. You know, Brother Hagin had this vision where he was talking to Jesus and there was this demon and there was this shroud, kind of this cloud between him and Jesus and he was getting more and more agitated until eventually he took authority over it. But the reason I’m telling you that is because, you know, people ask him, “Well, what did Jesus look like?” And he says, “Well, I couldn’t care less what He looked like, I am much more concerned about what is coming out of His mouth, what His words are.” You know, so the Lord was just reminding me that it’s time for us to take our eyes off natural things, you know, what things look like, what we look like and have our eyes on Jesus, have our eyes on the message, have our eyes on the Word. Glory to Jesus.

So I’m going to be reading a lot from Pastor John’s Search and Switch. So Pastor John has been ministering on Search and Switch. The definition to search is to find something or someone by looking or otherwise seeking carefully and thoroughly; to examine thoroughly. The Thesaurus says; a quest, purpose, a pursuit of or seeking after.

So Pastor John gave us the example of when a baby is born and immediately starts looking for its source. So I would like for you to turn with me to Genesis, please. Genesis one and we’re going to look at how Adam found his source from the moment he opened his eyes. Hallelujah, hallelujah.

So he says in his message; it seems to be something of an instinct that is inside you and me that we are looking, searching for something from the day we are born. Where is the source of my food? Where’s the source of my life, what is going to keep me going? Hallelujah. So Genesis, I think I’m going to just drop down a little bit lower so verse 21, 21God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, which the waters brought forth abundantly, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good (suitable, admirable) and He approved it. 22And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let the fowl multiply in the earth. 23And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. 24And God said, Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creeping things, and [wild] beasts of the earth according to their kinds. And it was so. 25And God made the [wild] beasts of the earth according to their kinds, and domestic animals according to their kinds, and everything that creeps upon the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good (fitting, pleasant) and He approved it. So I want you to see here that God saw good. 26God said, Let Us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness, and let them have complete authority, I want you to take note here of complete, over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the [tame] beasts, and over all of the earth, and over everything that creeps upon the earth. 27So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28And God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth (Genesis 1:21-28 AMPC). Sounds similar to what He said to the animals. Here’s the difference; be fruitful, multiply and subdue it [using all of its vast resources, or you could say wealth, using its wealth, in the service of God and man]; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves upon the earth. 29And God said, See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of the land and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30And to all the animals on the earth and to every bird of the air and to everything that creeps on the ground-to everything in which there is the breath of life, so God gave every creature the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food. And it was so. 31And God saw everything He had made, and behold, it was very good (suitable, pleasant) and He approved it completely. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day (Genesis 1:29-31 AMPC).

So God gave the breath of life to every animal and the ability to be fruitful. He then commanded them to multiply which is reflected in nature’s natural instinct to multiply. So he also gave them food and the environment in which to live. So note the differences, Genesis 2 verse 7; 7Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the earth and breathed the breath into his nostrils and the spirit of life (Genesis 2:7 AMPC). So there’s a difference; every animal has the breath of life and mankind has been given the spirit of life. So we have within us God’s Spirit and man became a living being. God gave form to Adam and then breathed His life into Adam. So he opened his eyes and what did he see? He saw his Father. He found his life source.

So Genesis 1 verse 28, I just want to go back on this; 28be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it (Genesis 1:28 AMPC). So Adam opens his eyes and this is the first thing that God says to him, “Be fruitful, multiply, replenish the earth and subdue it using the wealth you get from it in the service of God and man.” Hallelujah. So immediately Adam had purpose, desire, power and the means to get everything done. He said subdue, which means to overcome, to bring under control by the exertion of one’s will; to bring under cultivation using all its resources in the service of God and man. So search no more Adam, you’ve found your life source, you’ve found your purpose and you’ve found all the resources to fulfil your purpose.

So they only ever had this want. Adam and Eve only ever wanted to please the Father. They only ever wanted to fulfil this purpose. This was the only want they ever had and they had no want naturally. So what they wanted was their worship, so they only ever wanted to fulfil this purpose. So their want was their worship. So what you want is what you worship. They wanted only to obey the instructions of their Father. Their worship was to subdue the earth in using their wealth in the service of God and man.

So I want you to fast forward now to where Adam and Eve were disobedient. They partook of the knowledge of good and evil. Now their natural eyes were opened, and for the first time they were aware of self. They looked at themselves without the spirit of life. So now they were just filled with the breath of life except with the blessing that they could still choose. So they looked at themselves and saw themselves, they saw self. They were ashamed of self, how they saw themselves and saw each other changed forever. So the search was on again. What was the search? To rid themselves of self-consciousness. Self was filled with fear and insecurity. Self was afraid of God. So they began to search for a way to cloth themselves, to provide for self.

So they had partaken of the knowledge of good and evil, their souls had been corrupted by evil. Their emotions, their language had been corrupted. So here’s what I want you to get, church. It was no longer good only that they saw. So if you remember, God looked at everything and He said, “It is good.” They only saw good. They saw themselves and saw that it was good. They saw each other; they saw that it was good. They saw the environment that God had placed them in and saw that it was good. Now they partook of the knowledge of good and evil, now they are not seeing everything as good, they see themselves with corruption. Is everyone staying with me? So now it was no longer just good in them, they were now corrupted by evil. They had a war going on inside of them. Two wills competing against each other. A part of me wants to serve God using the vast resources, and the wealth for God and for man, another part of me wants to use the vast resources of the earth in service of self because now I need to provide for myself. This was the war that entered into mankind.

So war in its very nature is an absence of peace. So that day Adam and Eve brought war to mankind. Where there is no peace fear and anxiety reign. Where there is no peace there is blame because ultimately the argument is who’s right and who’s wrong. This is ultimately the conflict of war. Who is right and who is wrong? Whose territory is this? Whose body does this belong to? Whose property is this? Does this belong to me or does this belong to God? Where is my place? Where is your place? This is not your place. This is my place. I should be better than this. I should be first. You are not better than me. This was the war that entered into mankind.

So competition and comparison had not existed in mankind before this point. It had existed in Lucifer where he compared himself to the glory of God and he said, “Well, I can do better than You, God.” And that cost him dearly.

So life in God had never been about who was better than who. It was all about working together towards a common purpose and helping each other to be fruitful. Competition does not exist in God or in the live that we now have in Christ. We are all magnificent and wonderfully made. Hallelujah. Their words were affected by evil and remember what Pastor John has been teaching us that everything in our lives is a war of words. And the enemy is after our words, because words are our worship. So what we say is what we worship. So they began asking questions they were never meant to ask. They were always driven by one purpose and that was to be obedient to God. So they began asking questions like this, and we can all identify ourselves in this. “What do I do now? What do I do with my time? What do I do with my life? What do I want?” They had never asked these questions before. They had been filled with the Spirit of life, the Spirit of glory and they only ever wanted to worship God with their life. Now they were filled with the breath of life, driven like an animal to multiply, reproduce, be fruitful, but with the ability to choose good and evil.

So God steps in and recalibrates man’s purpose. The consequences were severe. You don’t get a second chance. You are removed from your place of honour and your place of blessing. So let’s go there, but He had a plan. Genesis 3 verse 16 to 19, 16 To the woman He said, I will greatly multiply your grief and your suffering in pregnancy and the pangs of childbearing; with spasms of distress you will bring forth children. Yet your desire and craving will be for your husband, and he will rule over you. 17And to Adam He said, Because you have listened and given heed to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat, the ground is under a curse because of you; in sorrow and toil shall you eat [of the fruits] of it all the days of your life. 18Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth for you, and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you shall return (Genesis 3:16-19 AMPC).

So I just want to read verse 17 to 19 in The Living Bible, 17And to Adam, God said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate the fruit when I told you not to, I have placed a curse upon the soil. All your life you will struggle to extract a living from it. 18It will grow thorns and thistles for you, and you shall eat its grasses. 19All your life you will sweat to master it, until your dying day. Then you will return to the ground from which you came. For you were made from the ground, and to the ground you will return.” (Genesis 3:17-19 TLB). So just a side-note; I asked the Lord why He made the consequences for Adam and Eve so severe, and actually it’s been a journey for me to even understand for myself why I asked the Lord why the consequences were so severe, which I’m not going to get into. But He said this to me about their consequences, “I did the best for My children. I limited their power to produce on the Earth. If My children continued to choose evil and allowed evil to dominate them, evil would have multiplied quickly and the Earth would have been subdued by evil by a rapid pace,”  which subsequently happened quite quickly anyway. He ended up destroying everybody and starting again with Noah. “I limited the production of evil and in doing that I gave My children and the Earth time so I could send My beloved Son to die for them, bring them back to Myself and turn everything around.” And then I heard Him laughing in my spirit.

So Proverbs 15 verse 10 says this, for those of you who are questioning whether severe discipline is in the heart of God. 10There is severe discipline for him who forsakes God’s way; and he who hates reproof will die [physically, morally, and spiritually] (Proverbs 15:10 AMPC).

So here’s what I want to focus on; our lives from that time have become about the struggle to extract a living from the earth; to master something until we can extract a living. Our lives have become about sweating to master something in order to provide.

So, the Lord said this to me and this is where I would really like you to pay attention. “People have become worshippers of provision and not the Provider. The systems of the world are built upon the worship of provision. But I have always blessed those who worship Me first. I have always provided exceeding wealth to those who worship and fear Me first. I Am and will always be in this likeness. Separate yourself to Me, My people. Fear and worship Me and I will cause you to be fruitful and produce far beyond what your worship of provision could ever produce. As you worship and fear Me I will cause the fear of God to come upon man, and they will run to bring you their wealth and their business.” Praise the Lord.

So, I’m going to go back to the Search and Switch message. So then Pastor John talks to young people, to teenagers, and he says this; you find that teenagers, they in particular rummage around in many different things. They are searching for something; they are trying to find their identity. “Where are my limitations? And where am I allowed to break limitations? That is where I can express my identity.” All the while there is something happening inside of them; there is a search for something and for someone.

So, I want to say this to you, church; teenagers know that their identity is not in education or in provision. I was actually having this conversation with somebody the other day and I only remembered after I had ministered this in Witbank but my brother when he was in Standard 3; he came to my mom and dad and was in tears, saying to them, “I want to leave school, Mom and Dad. I want to worship God. I want to serve God all my life. I don’t want to be where I am. I want to worship God. I want to serve God.” So teenagers know their identity is not in education or provision. We all know it.

So, I’m not saying that education is evil; I’m saying that if the purpose of education is for the pursuit of provision, then it is. We must worship and fear God in our homes first. If we do this, they will worship God within the systems of this world, and they will use their education and their skills to create wealth in the service of God and man. If they watch us going about worshipping provision, they will do what we do. We will not have peace until we do. The war will continue to rage inside our young people, our young adults, and ultimately into the rest of our lives. Our lives are not our own. Hallelujah. Glory to Jesus.

So I’m going back to Pastor John’s message; their awareness of their social connectivity, and their social order, begins to increase. So, let me just give context. There is something that is happening in a child as they head into their later teen years. Their awareness of their social connectivity and their social order begins to increase, that awareness and certainly society starts to put pressure on them. “What are you going to do?”

So, I just want to relate this story to you. When Marcelle and I were still selling vegetable juice in Witbank, this one lady came to pick up her juice and when she came to pick up her juice, my two girls came out with me and she asked me, “So your girls are they in school yet?” And I think at that time they were four and two and so I said, “No.” And the absolute look of horror on her face that our children were not in school yet, and this is what she said, “But why? Your children need to socialise.” And she said it with such force that I went inside and looked up what the word social means, or socialise and this is what it means; to make someone behave in a way that is acceptable to society. That is what it means to socialize; to make someone behave in a way that is acceptable and let’s put it this way, to the standard of society.

So again I am not saying that education is evil. I am saying that education for the purpose of worshipping provision is evil. So, “What are you going to do, you don’t want to lose time?” Whose language is this? And you know, there are some things that have been so entrenched in our culture and entrenched into society that we don’t even question it anymore. You know, you hear somebody say that, you don’t want to waste time. You’re like, “Ja, absolutely, you shouldn’t waste time.” Whose language is that? That’s not God’s language. So this is the language that stems from an internal war of who and whose we are. If you don’t want to waste too much time finding out who you are and what you are meant to do, our worship should direct us.

So, the follow on to this is, “Why? Because you need to make a living. So don’t waste too much time because you need to make a living, you need to provide for yourself.” So, you need an education because you must provide for yourself. And we were having this conversation in the car and you know, for woman it’s become; “You need an education to provide yourself because you can’t rely on a man.” Whose language is that? So I’m am telling you, church, if we will worship God as a family, as families in our home, God will multiply our provision and He will help us with our children. Hallelujah. If we will worship God as a family, He will multiply our business and multiply our productivity.

So, I am going to go back to Pastor John’s message. I will search. So this is again talking about young people; I will search what options alcohol, or let’s put any substance in there, I will search what options substances can give me for enjoyment and just doing in life the things I want to do. Sometimes it will include drugs, sometimes it will include sexual behavioral patterns, sometimes it might include anger or violence. All the while asking themselves this question, “What do I want to become? What am I looking for?”

So why do young people do this? And for those of you who know a little bit of my story, in 2010 I think it is, I ended up in a drug rehabilitation in Durban. So why do young people do this? Because they know their identity is not in education and seeing how I can compete in school. How good are my grades? How well do I compete in sports? Do I even do well? And even if I do, am I good enough? And the system of this world will never make us feel good enough.

So teenagers and this was a revelation to me, teenagers are not fighting God, they are fighting the system because they know their identity is not in the system. They do not identify with the system. We all know that young people in particular want to push boundaries. And they know that their identity is not in education, or competing, seeing how I compete or compare against others. So we were not designed to compete or to compare. So teenagers escape from the system, not from God, to find joy. So they drink; do drugs; have sexual relationships and guess what happens? Nothing good. I can tell you first-hand.  The more I did drugs, the worse I felt about myself. The worse I felt about myself, the more I wanted to know how far I could push the boundary. Where can I express myself in pushing? I wanted to know. I wanted to partake. I wanted to partake. I wanted to know. I was partaking of the knowledge of good and evil, seeing how far I could push it until it actually hurt me. The more drugs I used, the more self-conscious I became. And God is still restoring my soul from the effects of that time. God does not want us knowing evil. He wants us knowing only good. Hallelujah. Hallelujah.

So I’m going back to Pastor John’s message. Sorry, I’ve lost my place. We tend to find that our lifestyle and the encounters, and we can all relate here, we tend to find that our lifestyle and the encounters that we have in life tend to be very average most of the time. Please bear with me. Inside ourselves we were designed to press; to push the boundaries; to be extraordinary. We are all designed and created as human beings not to settle for ordinary but to press for the extraordinary. And isn’t that what the system of the world does; the socialising system of the world? It makes us behave in a way that’s ordinary. Not to settle for the ordinary, but to press for the extraordinary. God designed us to be extraordinary in our purpose; to be fruitful, to multiply, to replenish the earth, subdue it, and use the wealth in the service of God and man. This plan was meant to be extraordinary. We have simply lost sight of how amazing and how wonderful it can be because the enemy has been able to keep us looking and partaking of the knowledge of good and evil. But God, God is taking over. He is taking us over. We are partaking of the tree of life. And He is showing us His glory. He is filling us with His glory.

I don’t know how many of you have watched the Prayer Conference of Pastor John and Sharon in the States; I was very aware of, while they were ministering, Brother Jerry watching Pastor John, Pastor Sharon, and all the people that went with them very closely because he’s watching us as a people very closely because what’s happening here is truly extraordinary; with the little bit that we’re giving God; He’s doing a lot. Hallelujah.

So I’m going to keep reading. When you come to God, when you come to find Him, then in your finding Him, you find all your answers. All of your answers are found there; whether you are a child, whether you are a teenager, whether you are an adult, a young adult or whether you are an older person; all of your searching is found in Him. Hallelujah. Hallelujah.

Matthew 6 verse 33 and this is a scripture that all of us know well. 33But seek, or you could say search, first of all His kingdom and His righteousness. First of all His kingdom and His righteousness, (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things, the provision, taken together will be given you besides (Matthew 6:33 AMPC). Hallelujah.

So, you know, Pastor John and Pastor Sharon’s mandate is to prepare for God a people perfectly prepared in spirit, in heart. That is what all of the messages; you know, all of the light that I see is because of the light that is in these messages. And really as a church it is so easy for us. You know, all I did was print this, go through it, highlight the things that the Holy Spirit quickens to me. You know, you could go through this message and for every single one of you something else will stand out to you but these were the things that God highlighted to me. And it’s so easy for us, church. Print, go through, highlight, go through it as a family.

So, obviously you know, just depending on the ages of your children, would depend on how much you talk about it to what level you talk about it. But even a child, and you know, we’re noticing even with Keira-Leigh how much she understands, how much she gets and she’s 5. And you know when we spend time together as a family praising; if we miss it, you better believe Keira-Leigh is the first one to say, “Mom and Dad, we didn’t go over message highlights this week.” It’s amazing. And we hear her singing things, you know kids, they love to sing; they sing whatever. We hear them singing things that we go over in the message highlights. I mean what better way for seed to go into a little person’s heart.

So really, what I; and I’m done. The Lord is after our heart and these messages that Pastor John and Sharon are bringing us, they’re simple, they’re powerful, but they’re extraordinary and they’re designed to change our hearts. And the Lord will have His way with us. And you know I’ve said this before, we are a house of prayer, we are a house of faith, we are a house of praise. That is who we are. So it would behove us to – it’s a good English word – to give Him everything, to give Him everything, to worship the Provider, not the provision, to worship the Provider not the provision.

And you know the system of the world is designed 24 hours a day to keep our eyes on provision. Provision, provision, provision; and he makes it look good because you need provision. You need provision. But God wants us to worship Him first, not the provision. Worship the Provider. Worship and seek Him first and all these things, taken together will be given to us. Hallelujah. Everything we could ever need, everything we could ever need. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. Well, I’m done. Glory to Jesus. Praise the Lord.

And something that is very strong on my heart, the easiest and quickest way, you talk about convenience and finding the quickest way to changing your heart condition is praising and worshipping Him. Praising and worshipping Him. You know, we can speak the Word until we are blue in the face and we can pray in tongues until we are blue in the face. I’m telling you God is after our praise, our worship, and our thanksgiving. Hallelujah.

You know, the Lord showed Brother Hagin or somebody connected to Brother Hagin that scale of prayer and praise and the prayer scale was totally lob-sided which means it had been packed on the one side with prayer and the praise was almost weightless. And the Lord said to Brother Hagin when the prayer matches the praise, or the praise matches the prayer, we will see divine manifestations, and the manifestations of everything that we are praying for.

So there has been lots of prayer, lots of Word in our heart, lots of prayer in this church and it is time for our praise and our thanksgiving and our worship to match the prayer. Hallelujah.

So let’s stand please. Let’s stand. Glory to Jesus. Praise You, Father. Praise You, Father. Father we thank You for what You are doing in our hearts, we thank You for what You are doing in this church. We are not moved by what we see. Father we know that You are doing great things in our hearts, You’re doing great things in our family, You’re doing great things to restore the way that we speak, to restore the way that we think, and to restore our communication with each other, in our family life, in our business life. We determine today that we will put our foot in the message. We will live among the seed. We will bury ourselves within the message, Father God. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. And we give You praise Heavenly Father, we give You praise Lord Jesus. We give You praise Holy Spirit for You are truly good. You are good. You are great. Your greatness is unsearchable. Hallelujah. Blessed be Your Holy Name forever. Blessed be Your Holy Name forever. Glory to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, glory to the Name of Jesus. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Praise Your Holy Name. Praise Your Holy Name.

And I want to encourage you as Mom’s and Dad’s that if you are guilty of worshipping provision and not the Provider, take it before your family and say, “I’m sorry. We have been doing this and from this day we turn around and we worship God. We worship the Provider and not the provision.” Hallelujah. And that’s something we will have to counter every single day of our lives because that is the system of the world that we are in. You need provision. You need provision. You need provision. You need provision. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. We know the Source. We know the God of abundance; the God of more than enough. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Glory to Jesus.

So let’s all pray this, please; Jesus, we invite You today to live in our hearts, to be our Lord, to be our Saviour, to be our Master. We believe You died so we can have fullness of life. And we can have intimate communication and fellowship with the precious Father. We determine today to turn from all our wicked ways and love You with all our heart and worship You only, and speak only Your Word, and we give You all the praise, all the glory, and all the honour. In Jesus Name.

Thank you for coming to church. Thank you for coming and thank you for going.