Separation – A Foundation of Integration – Pastor John Bendixen (WTB)

Scripture Reference:  Matthew 1:18-21 (AMPC); John 8:12 (AMPC) John 8:28-32 (AMPC)

Happy, and Merry Christmas to you all. Look at you all, coming out on a Christmas morning, to enjoy church on a Christmas morning. And why not? There is every reason to be at church on a Christmas morning. Praise the Lord. We were going to play a song, but we’re having some technical difficulties, so I’m just going to preach. What do you think about that? You know, because of the Christmas spirit, I expect a lot of generosity from you, and that would come in the form of giving me as much time as I need. Whatever you have got cooking, you better send a message home. I’m sure you got one of those fancy Bluetooth ovens, that you just send a message, Bluetooth or whatever, and it Wi-Fi and it turns down the heat; slow roast, not quick roast. You don’t have that?

In about 10 years’ time, every household will have it, I bet you. Yes, it’s like those inevitable progressive things that you will have these things. Although Jesse Duplantis, you know, he says, he doesn’t know why he bought or built Kathy a kitchen. He says, the kitchen is like the most unused room in the house, because she doesn’t cook. So, probably they’re coming to the kitchen with all their takeout food, put it on the table. Put in in plates and then, you know I guess someone washes it for them or they put it in the dishwasher. He says, he doesn’t know why he built her a kitchen, because they don’t use it. I guess, yes for resale value, hey? Some other American wife will use the kitchen; unlikely, unlikely with all the takeout stuff they’ve got there.

Well let’s just pray before we get into the Word this morning. Thank You Lord for this opportunity to be in the Word. Thank You for this opportunity we have on a Christmas morning, in the middle of the week, that we can come and enjoy each other’s fellowship and enjoy Your company. Thank You that You impart to us wonders, and we will be changed even this morning, and we will go from glory to glory in Jesus name. Everybody said, amen.

I keep on wanting to remind you, and it’s something that I have said a few times, is becoming more real to me, I’m going to be speaking and saying it more and more. Even though this is a unique service as a Christmas morning service, and for those people that watch on livestream, they might be sitting somewhere at home, or they might be doing something else. It’s still a unique moment, where only this group of people, and the people that are listening to the service will never ever have the same composition ever again. It’s a marvel to me that God uses every time you connect, every time you get together, every time you are with each other, to release and produce something marvellous and different. Amen.

I mean, its beautiful weather outside, so you might wonder why I’m dressed up like this. Well, it’s Christmas morning, and it’s quite possible that some people who are from a more traditional background, might be watching me and watching the service on livestream with their family. If they saw this pastor in jeans and a t-shirt they might not identify with him so well. So, I decided I’d rather have their attention in my suit, than lose their attention, because of a t-shirt. Pretty good, hey? For me to dress up like that for it, for all those people that are out there somewhere. Praise the Lord.

So, Christmas service. Obviously, Christmas is a time when everybody celebrates. I got to tell you, I’m in celebration mode, really, really no, for real, for real. Remember couple of Sunday’s I was up here, and I said, I got happy feet? Well, it’s getting worse. Somebody sent me a YouTube video link or a YouTube grab, I don’t know what you call it. So, I didn’t have to connect anywhere, I just watched it on my phone you know. It was about a penguin that does happy feet dance. It’s like, he starts off very slowly, he’s like he’s got the foot going and then you see all the other penguins get their feet going, but it’s just 1 foot. Then it gets into 2 feet, and then before you know it they got the tails wagging, and they got the whole thing going and it’s like all these penguins are going crazy. Then you got all these old austere men that’s like, who’s this young upstart coming to tell us how to do happiness? Then he goes and he finds his dad, he’s all depressed and sad and he gets his dad dancing, and then before long all the senior statesmen penguins are like also dancing and going. It’s a contagious thing. Joy, celebration, happy feet, it’s contagious.

Something has happened in my spirit over the last month, I suppose. Something has happened in my spirit and I can’t stop myself, not that I want to. On the contrary, I’m letting it have further expression, but it’s a great celebration that is being birthed in my heart, because of things God has done, but more importantly that God is going to do. Wow!  It’s like, it’s so amazing, that’s really the essence of faith, is when you understand the heart of God and you know what God’s wanting for you in your life. You can see that He’s busy making it come to pass, and so you’re already giving thanks and praise, and there’s a great joy in your heart, because you can see it coming to pass. The fullness of it is not there yet, but you can see it. So it’s like, yeah!  Hallelujah.

All right, you guys can still sit there and (Pastor John is mimicking someone  mumbling under his breath) or you can just say, Amen, Pastor John. You can sit here in the church service this morning and you can sit there and you can cross your legs and go… be careful, you could find yourself having a happy foot and before long your happy foot could get a bit out of control. So I’m celebrating Jesus. I’m not just celebrating Jesus and how He was born, because that’s really something that a lot of people in the Western world really put a lot of effort into is, creating Nativity-shows, and to me that’s like the most… rather uninspiring presentation of Who Jesus is. The fact that He was born in a manger. Rather uninspiring to me and I will tell you why in a minute.

I am going to read to you from Matthew 1:18 from the Amplified Bible. 18“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place under these circumstances: When His mother Mary had been promised in marriage to Joseph, before they came together, in other words before they did things that make children, she was found to be pregnant [through the power] of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 1:18 AMPC). In other words, she became pregnant by a spoken Word.

A spoken Word from God that was brought into being by the power of the Holy Spirit, who rested upon her. 19And her [promised] husband Joseph, being a just and upright man and not willing to expose her publicly and to shame and disgrace her, decided to repudiate and dismiss (divorce) her quietly and secretly. (Matthew 1:19 AMPC). It is important for us to recognise, that in Joseph’s mind, she is pregnant, I am not the father, but his value system, his honour and his integrity was, I am not going to make her ashamed publicly because I know, really she is actually an awesome woman. This is like, how did this happen? I am going to just do it quietly, so it doesn’t bring shame on the family. That is quite special, hey.

Anyway, moving right along. 20But as he was thinking this over, in other words, he is having some deep emotional things going on here. He is having some deep thoughts; he has got some deep meditations happening here. He is thinking about his future, her future, the child’s future, I mean, he is finding himself in a rather awkward predicament, Joseph. 20 … behold, in this moment of contemplation, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary [as] your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of (from, out of) the Holy Spirit. 21She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus [the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua, which means Saviour], for He will save His people from their sins, I like what the Amplified says here, [that is, prevent them from failing and missing the true end and scope of life, which is God].” (Matthew 1:20-21 AMPC).

So, He has come to save them, from missing the true end and the scope of life, which is God. The scope of life is actually for us to be found in God. When Jesus came, He came that He would be the Saviour of us all, so that we could live in this entire scope of God, the God kind of life, just not settle for the human kind of life.

This morning, I have a title of a message of a revelation the Lord has been birthing in me for some time now, and it is called Separation, a Foundation of Integration. I am going to be talking, God-willing into the New Year, a little bit about this, because I feel so strongly about this celebration. The celebration that is in my heart, that is just in my life and this joy of life that is upon me, that I want to really be sharing some of the stuff with you.

I am going to read, John 8 verse 12 in the Amplified Bible, 12 Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the Light which is Life. (John 8:12 AMPC) I want to just talk to you about “Separation, the Foundation of Integration.” It is clear and the reason I read to you and us, putting the beginning part of what we are going to speak on Christmas morning, over the while, is because actually if we are going to celebrate Christmas, we have got to celebrate separation.

You say, “Well, it doesn’t sound so lekka Pastor John, how do you celebrate separation at a time of, where everybody is kind of coming together.” Well, here is the thing, it would not have been possible for us to have a life in Christ, a life with God, the whole scope of the God kind of life, if Jesus was not separated from His Father. Now, you can go, aaaaaha, now I know where he is going.

From the beginning of time, Jesus, the Father, The Word, the Author of all life and the Power of life, the Holy Spirit. You have the Word on which everything happens, you have the Source of all life, where everything begins to happen, and you have the Maker of all life which is the Holy Spirit. The Power of life, where everything happens through. They are all together eternally. Right, so everything that happens, happens through the three of them together.

I will share this with you very quickly and then I will move along. You might find this interesting, I am not going to speak too much about it, this morning, but it is interesting that the way God works, is that when He delegates and gives His Life, the way He actually expects life to happen is the way that He lives life.

When He created Adam and Eve, He gave them a type of heaven on earth. The Garden of Eden. He said, now live in this garden as I would. Take note of what happened. Even though His glory rested upon them and His Holy Spirit was all around them, brooding all over them, He was also separated from them. How do I know that? Well, does the Bible not say; “He came to walk with them in the cool of the day, to have fellowship with them?” Why would He have to come to them if He wasn’t already with them? He had to come to them because He had to leave where He was seated, perhaps on the heavenly throne, to come and walk with them.

So, Separation is absolutely a Foundation of Integration, because if they were not separated they couldn’t make choices of their own. It’s only in the separation, where you get to choose the life of God, that is in you that guides you and leads you, but it’s your choice that it’s God’s life. But it is your choice, but it is God’s life. So, when you choose to make the choices that God wants you to make, then your separation causes your integration, which closes the gap of separation.

Jesus had to leave heaven, and He had to get born in a human body, and He had to be born from a human being, so He could be a human being. All the while He’s in this human body, He is both God completely, but He is also human completely. When we say He was God completely, it meant that the seed that, that created Him had no sin nature in it. In other words, He was built in exactly the same way Adam was. Because Adam when he was born, he was born from the Words and the Spirit of the life of God Himself. There was no other dysfunction. When Adam chose through his separation, to choose not integration, he caused further separation. This is an important and a powerful concept of what we’re talking about this morning, because it goes to just about everything in our lives. I just want to read that to you again.

12Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me will not walk in the dark, but will have the Light which is life.” (John 8:12) So, separation when Jesus came, caused integration. I’m going to go to verse 28 to 32 in the Amplified Bible. 28So Jesus added, when you have lifted up the Son of Man [on the cross], you will realize (know, understand) that I am He [for Whom you look] and that I do nothing of Myself (of My own accord or on My own authority), but I say [exactly] what My Father has taught Me.  He’s talking about when I’m lifted up on the cross, He’s talking about a knowledge that He’s going to be separated, but the rest of His conversation is about His integration. 

29And He who sent Me is ever with Me; (Ultimate integration, right?) My Father has not left Me alone, for I always do what pleases Him. So, understand that He is separated from the Father, that was in glory, so that being, that was the Word in heaven, is now the being that is in Body on the earth. This is the moment that if the devil was ever going to change things eternally, this was his opportunity, because he really was able to deceive the first Adam, who was born just like God. Now he’s got the very Son of God in human body with all the same desires of humanity and he’s going to try and either tempt him or destroy Him. Hello? This is a powerful concept there was complete eternal, living in unity now in order to restore humanity, He has got to separate. The separation created the foundation for Him to live in complete integration with the Father’s ways.

So, what does He say to me?My Father has not left me alone because I always do what pleases Him. Hello? You know, when we have Christmas time and we talk about Jesus in a manger, and we talk about the three wise men, and we kind of have a celebration about Christmas and give each other presents because the wise men brought presents to Jesus, and so if we’re going to celebrate His birth and we must give presents to everybody and all that kind of stuff. To me that is such a low-level celebration, because actually the power of the celebration of Christmas, is that Jesus and the Father and the Holy Spirit, permitted themselves to be separated. They agreed with themselves to be separated. They agreed with themselves that the ultimate risk, would be worth the ultimate prize.

The ultimate risk was that His spirit, Jesus, the Word, Spirit would be breathed into a natural human body and He would then walk on the earth, as a human man tempted with every human temptation there was to be tempted with.

To think that Jesus walked on the earth and say, “Well, Jesus didn’t have the temptations that normal men had.” The Bible says clearly that He was tempted in like manner as we are. There is no temptation that He didn’t have to face, but He said, “I choose integration with the Father.”

Now, I just wanted to just bring this point out and we’ll pick it up in future sessions in the new year, because the Lord is wanting me to use this as a foundation of celebrationfor other things that are coming our way in the new year.

Jesus has given us a gift and the gift is the gift of son-ship because He was the first One that died and He’s the first One that was raised from the dead. In His case separation was inevitable, to its most utmost conclusion, so that when He got reintegrated by the Father, He would have all the power over life and death. Read what happens next. 

28I do nothing of Myself but I say exactly what My father has taught Me. 29And He Who sent Me is ever with Me; My Father has not left Me alone, for I always do what pleases Him. 30As He said these things, many believed in Him [trusted, relied on, and adhered to Him]. 31So Jesus said to those Jews who had believed in Him, if you abide in My word and you [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you’re truly my disciples. Watch what He says next, 32And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free. (John 8:28-32 AMPC)

What’s He talking about? He’s saying, “If you want ultimate truth, you’ve got to experience the separation, so that you can have the integration. Only then, will you know real truth. Yes? So, if I came in and I said to all of you here today, I want to, let’s have a relationship or many of you, I have a relationship with most of you, but what if our relationship was based on a lie? How would you feel about it?

Well, you would say ahh, I how can I continue? Right? Because the foundation of relationships cannot be lies. Why? Because if the foundation of a relationship is lies, then there is nothing that can ever be consistent. There is nothing that you can rely on, there is nothing you can trust in, because if it’s a lie, then it’s something that’s not sustainable, come on. I’m preaching good.

Our relationship has to be based on truth. Many people say, I can put up with just about anything in life, just don’t lie to me, just don’t lie to me. Because I want the truth, I want to be able to depend on the truth. Well, to be honest that’s fake living. Don’t shout me down, because I’m preaching really good today, now. Its fake living, because unless you’ve chosen to live in Jesus, you yourself are living a lie.

Well, how can you be so, that’s a bit arrogant don’t you think Pastor John, No it’s not arrogant it’s the truth. Because the only truth that exists in the universe is in Jesus, and following Him, then He says you become My disciples, then you will know the truth and that truth sets you free. It’s not the truth that you choose to live by that sets you free. The truth that you choose to live by, may well be, I’m in touch with myself and I’m a real person, and what you get is the real me. Is that so?

Well, I’m happy for you, that you want to live by the real you, the real you has what value? It only has value to somebody else, as long as the real you remains the same level of the real you, for as long as you are the real you, but if something changes the real you, your mind, it changes your emotion, because you experience something new in life, then the real you, become something different real you. When you become a different real you, then they don’t know what to do with the new different real you, so then the whole ball game changes, because I don’t know I don’t know how to deal with this, the new different real you, because you always said, but you got me the real me, but now you’re a different real me.

Come on, and so actually, if you if you want to know, this is not a marriage or a relationship, message but it helps a lot in marriage, what happens is, if people get married and they live without the truth of God’s Word, what happens is, that the real them changes and let me show you. When you go from romancing, to responsibility, then you begin to change the real you that you connected with initially. The person that’s living in responsibility, is looking for the romance that that got them together, and now they spend the rest of their lives trying to connect the real romance you, to the real responsible you.

Watch what happens, then when you get together now you have well, married couples got to have a house, so responsibility, you got to buy a house, and we got to fit in with society because now, we take the responsibility of what marriage brings in a society. Right?

The responsibility begins to get bigger, and then babies come and now you got to take more responsibility. Someone says, “Eish, vrou… nappies not my deal. Vrou looks at husband… says, nappies not my deal either”. Who’s going to change it? No, you’re the woman. So what? You mean that gives me inevitable future right to change nappies without you? Guess what’s happening? The responsibility has brought about a change and suddenly responsibilities bring about separation, not integration. Hey, jay, jay-jay-jay-jay.

Many people who do not make a choice to serve Jesus, the whole reason they chose to not serve Jesus, is because I have got to be true and honest to myself and whenever I go to church, I feel under conviction that the stuff that I’m busy with is not the stuff that God wants me to do.

I’m just going to use an example, can I? I mean I’m not blaming anybody or criticizing anybody, but just let’s assume, I’m going to choose a radical example, so it’s not you. Let’s choose a radical example like, I want to drink 12 beers every day when I get home from work. Okay?

When I go to church on Sunday, Friday and Saturday are worse, I drink 24 beers. When I come to church on a Sunday morning, it’s like I got this massive headache and “babbelas”, and actually Sunday’s are my days, where I recover from my 24 beers on the weekend, so that I can go back to 12 on the Monday night. You get me? I’m choosing a real radical example here. I’m like, when I go to church, because when I go to church, I’m sitting with a headache and I feel all like, you know, I got to be holy, and I got to get into the spirit of like church life. You know, like how do I do that, how do I drink my 12 beers every day and still be a Christian?

You see, because you haven’t made a choice to live in the life of Christ, you will always ask that question because actually the enemy of God wants to continue to help you think that way, because it continues to separate you. The more he can separate you, the less he can get you free, because your freedom gives you power and everybody else is living a life says, “Freedom actually constrains me, because once you become a Christian, you have got to stop doing that, stop doing that, stop doing that, and I want to do all those things.

I got news for you. When I met this beautiful woman sitting on the front row, that I’ve been married to now almost 38 years, and she’s still the greatest love of my life. She’s my everything. I didn’t go like, have a relationship with her, and say I’m really worried about how we going to become. Until I know what we going to become, I’m not going to actually romance you, because I have to know what we going to become. Because if I don’t know what we going to become, then you know what’s the point of the romance? That’s like weird. Isn’t it weird? And yet we do that to God. But I did not romance her because I wanted to find out what I was going to become with her. When I connected with her it’s like, wow, this babe is the babe of babes, you know. To me she was just like God made her in heaven, and just made her parade in front of me, and said, you like? Then I said, “Don’t mind if I do.” And here we are these years later.

What happened was that, the romance is what started an integration process, but I am, I didn’t bring all my mistakes and all of my problems, and all of my stuff into the romance period. I mean, all of them. You can’t hope to bring all of them, because you don’t even know how many of them there are until you start with the responsibility part, then you find out, all of them come and emerge. Right?

So, you got to go on and say, okay we romancing, and now we going to start integrating ways, and we are going to start making this thing become substance, and then all these problems occur. Then you’ve got to really work at keeping the romance, while you integrate the responsibility, because that is where marriages come to a grinding halt is when they start losing the romance for the responsibility.

When you have your life with Jesus, what people what to want to do is, my whole Christianity is about don’t do this, don’t do that, don’t do that, and that is like saying, I don’t want the romance of Jesus, because He is expecting me to give up everything that I am. He does not!

Trust Him, He wants to romance you. He loves you more than you can ever imagine that anybody could love you. He loves you so much that all of your mistakes, all of your sins, He decided that he would have a relationship with you, not on the basis of how bad you were, but on the basis of, that when you get to Him it is because of Jesus blood that covers you. Now you are covered with the garment of the marriage garment of righteousness where He no longer sees the old self you, ever. O, but you don’t know when I’m drinking my 12 beers. Yes that is your conscience speaking, but God says He is greater than your conscience.

I have scripture for that, I’m not going into that this morning. When your conscience lies to you, that actually my relationship with God is based on a performance, it creates separation. God says, “Your performance is not what matters to Me, it is your decision to want to integrate with Me.”

So, come with your drinking, your 12 beers. Well, what is eventually going to happen? The more you get to enjoy this amazing relationship, it’s like you find out this relationship is so good, I don’t need to drink 12 beers anymore. What happens? Well, you get to 6 and you think you know what hey, at this level of… and I know I am talking radical stuff now see, because it is not you. It is like after you’ve drank 6 beers, it’s like egh, you know, why must I drink another 6? Actually, I’ve got to a point that I’m not in my own mind anymore, and this beautiful relationship, I’m not enjoying so much anymore, and it is so beautiful to me, that I …okay I’m going to cut it back to 3 beers.

Now, a performance based Christianity, a performance based relationship says, 3 beers is 3 beers too much. Thank God, God is not a performance based God. He is a desire based God that’s trying to continuously stoke your desire, because the more desire you have for Him, the greater your want is to say, “This stuff does mean that much to me.” Why must I keep doing it?

That’s no longer someone at church that’s trying tell you, it’s the God in you trying to guide you. He is not trying to bring us about your separation, He is desperate to bring about your integration. Everything is about His integrating.

Where does that put me as a Christian, spiritual leader in your life? My job is not to try and point out all your bad behaviour, you know it better than me. Don’t you? I mean, if you come and talk to me about, help me with this Pastor John. Even when you come and say help me something, you present me the very best case of that bad thing, because you don’t want to look as  bad as it really is bad. In front of me, like you know, let me give you the best case of my bad, me. Right?

I mean it does happen sometimes, that people’s lives get so bad and desperate that they need help so bad, that you can’t help, but see the very bad them. Otherwise we like, all kind of, I can’t give him the really bad stuff all at once. Meantime Jesus is sitting in the heaven and saying, “You and your bad self, I paid for your separation so long ago, that all I’m interested in is your integration.” So, when we celebrate Christmas, I don’t want to celebrate Jesus in a manger. I want to celebrate integration. That is what I want to do, I want to celebrate integration.

Look at you looking at me like, you know, where does this Pastor come from on a Christmas morning? Meanwhile this is like “Power Preaching 101”. Listen, I prepared a good message because I knew you were going to show up for church today. I didn’t want you to show up for church today and get a warm and fuzzy Christmas message from me like; Silent Night, Holy Night, humming. You know it is like okay, okay I can hear we are at Christmas time. Meantime I got happy feet. I got happy feet, I’m in a happy time, and I’m got to do Silent Night… It puts me to sleep.

Can I read this to you out of the Passion Translation and then I am done. John 8 verse 29, 29“I am His messenger and He is always with me. Hullo, are you a messenger? You are if you are a re-born Christian, you are a messenger, He is always with you too. 29“For I only do that which delights His heart, these words cause many respected Jews to believe in Him. Jesus said to those Jews who believed in Him when you continue to embrace all that I teach everytime you proof you are my true followers. For if you embrace truth it will release more freedom into your life’s.”  What can I argue to you on the converse of the equation? Those people that say not going to church, and not embracing Jesus, is actually liberating because I don’t have to sit, under what I can or can’t do. The do’s and don’ts of life.

Then I say to you, you’ve been introduced to the wrong church. Not as in church, but in a greater church life. You’ve been introduced to the wrong group of people, you’ve been introduced to the wrong doctrine. Because there is nowhere in the Bible that Jesus says you can make it on your own with you own choice. 

Real freedom, the more freedom you want is the more you live in His Word. You see, my happy feet are not dependant on how much money I have in the bank. Because, if I know the truth, and the truth makes me free, then I know the truth is, that because I’m a son who delights in Him, He’s always going to take care of my bank account. The more I believe that, the more I get happy feet. Now I’m walking in real freedom. Hallelujah.

One of the greatest lies that the enemy wants you to believe, is that you are not good enough, and you somehow have to fix yourself, before you can actually make the commitment to walk in truth. Here is the truth, the real truth; if you could fix yourself, Jesus would have never had to die. So then anybody who says, “I got to fix myself before I can come and meet Jesus.” What you’re actually saying is that the very same reason that Jesus separated from the Father and died on the cross, so that He could be reintegrated with the Father, so that He could really give us the ability to reintegrate into the glorious life of God, with Him. That He did it for nothing, because we could do it ourselves.

I mean it’s a real subtle lie, but it’s a powerful lie, isn’t it? I got to work on myself to get myself ready, so that I can actually present myself in a proper way to God. Before i can have God can accept me. So I got to keep working on myself to get myself better, so that God can accept me. He says, “Say what? You mean, My death was for nothing?” Because that’s the language of someone who did not pay the price, “I paid the price, so you don’t have to think like that”. That means you can come to church, you can come to God, you can come into God’s presence, anytime of your sin timeline. While you’re drinking beer number 4 you can say, “Hey Lord, I really, this thing is really bugging me that I still like this stuff and I really, I know this stuff is really not good for me, and I’m drinking it, but I want to be free from it. So, the truth of it is that I’m going to trust Your truth that I will be delivered from all of this”. While you’re downing that beer you speak that word, and you watch what God will do in your heart.

One day you’re like, “Hey, 7 days and I haven’t had a beer, amazing, and I’m feeling so good”. And then, just about then, don’t underestimate the devils’ ability to time it just perfectly. You’re feeling so good about yourself and your mates call, and it’s like a boys’ huddle. That’s like one of the things you’ve enjoyed most in your life, is the boys huddle; the boys get together on a Saturday RV to watch the Bulls play the Lions, or whatever, you know, or the Free State. “Hey, bring your 12 beers and I’ll bring my 12 beers, and we’ll huddle together”. It’s like, “Oh my Lord, this is just, this is my stuff”. Come on, you got the picture. Whatever your story is.

Maybe your story is, chicken and pap, watching Kaiser Chiefs playing Orlando Pirates. With your 12 beers. Come on now. I mean whatever your thing is that gets you going. Don’t underestimate the devil to really stir the pot of your desires of your natural man, because now you’re into the integration of true life. Yes? You are like, it’s like this cloud comes over you, like this haze of stupidity. You go and you clink your beers, and you shout for your team, and you’re wow. Three o’clock the next morning, somebody’s driven you home because you don’t drink and drive, or you sleep at your mates’ house. All the boys, laying all over the floor, waking up in the morning, “Who won?” You know what I mean?

You know what, it’s Sunday morning, how do I go to church now? See, the devil wants you to make that decision right there, “I let myself down, I let everybody else down, I let myself down, I let God down. I can’t deal with this; I can’t deal with this in my heart, that I let myself down. And so I’d rather not deal at all, and I’d rather not even face God ever, because I can’t deal with this”. That’s the whole reason Jesus died, so you don’t have to deal, you just have to trust, and so you pick up your dirty self, and you come off your floor of your mates with your stinky beer breath. Just at least maybe you know, brush your teeth perhaps, maybe. If it’s been really bad, shower, maybe.

If you don’t get a chance, get yourself to church anyway and walk in here and come and sit here and you’ll find a pastor that says, “Let’s raise your hands and praise Jesus”, and you thought, “Jis I did that all day yesterday, my arms are sore shouting for my team and it was like this, you know, the whole time, how can I even raise my arms now because it’s so bad?”. Well, I’ve got news for you, the more you choose those kinds of moments that God wants you to do, you’re going to start having power over that life that controls you. Hallelujah.

Then suddenly, your separation and your integration become a powerful force in your life. No longer do you have to walk into church with a sad face, because eventually you’ll just get to a place with the life of God, the truth that sets you free, sets you free from all the things you don’t even think you want to be free from. Because right now where you’re sitting, you’re saying, “I don’t want to be free from that life, I like it. I like that life; don’t tell me I don’t like it”. Of course you like it. I mean, who’s actually going to keep on doing something they don’t like?

Because if you didn’t like it, you would have found something else to do that you do like. So, you’re still going to say, “Well I like this life”. Well, maybe so, but you’re choosing like, you know, I’m looking for food in the garbage can, when you can walk around the corner and there’s a whole house cooked meal, proper on the table for me. Just keep eating out of the garbage can. All you got to do is walk around the corner and here’s a proper meal for you. “Yah, but you know, I got to clean myself up”. There is a shower there. “No, no, no, but, but you know, I got to brush my teeth”. They got a toothbrush, and a new one, to nogal with toothpaste, unused, toothpaste and toothbrush. “Yah, but what about a towel?”  There’s one there too. “But who’s going to serve me? I’m going to feel guilty”. No one, it’s just there for you. “You mean I just have to turn the corner and it’s all waiting?”

Exactly, exactly. That’s why we celebrate Jesus, because He did it all for us. Just so that we didn’t misunderstand Him, He tells a story of two brothers and one of them said, “Give me all the money that’s rightfully mine”, and he goes and he spends it and he has a life, and he’s having all the beers with the mates and everybody likes him because he’s paying for everything. Then his money runs out and nobody likes him anymore.

Let me tell you, all those things that you like so much; that’s how they’ll treat you when you’re not what they want you to be, because their reality of what they want changes just like that. They’re not loyal to you. They have the Pseudo loyalty, and I mustn’t begin to talk about that. Because the Pseudo loyalty is a lie from the devil, trying to persuade you that the world is more loyal to you than God is, because they don’t judge you for what you do wrong, they’ll just help you get out of what you do wrong. So, that you can go do wrong again the next day, but it’s all self-serving because if they find themselves in that place they want you to come and bail them out. Pseudo loyalty. Anyway, I’m not here to preach about that but one day you want me to preach about Pseudo loyalty, don’t you? It’s clear my son does, but I don’t know about the rest of you.

That’s why we celebrate Jesus, that’s why I want to say, we came to celebrate separation, so that we can have the Foundation of Integration because only with separation could we get integration. When you made Jesus Lord of your life, that separates you forever, as someone who can be integrated into the life of God and every time you turn around and you say, I don’t want it, you’re denying all of the power of God that is in you.

I’ve got news for you, He will never stop drawing you. He will never stop pulling you, He will never stop loving you and say, “Come, come, come, come to the truth I want to set you free. Come, come, come, come, come, come.” “Ja, but I smell like the pigs and I smell like…” That’s the whole point, come, I want you to put a new robe on you and I put a new ring on you. I want to put on new sandals. I want to put perfume on you, so that you have this great life. “But I don’t deserve it. I’m like a bad dude. I let myself down and in fact, I don’t even know that I can even make a promise that I’d even keep any promises.” “That’s the whole point I made you a promise. That’s the whole point I made you a promise. I made you a promise so you don’t… Because I know you can’t keep your promise. So if you just love me and let me love you then, good enough.”

This is the reason we celebrate Christmas. This is a reason to celebrate Christmas. This is the reason for us to have happy feet, because even if you are not living how you want to live, God’s always hovering around you.

You don’t even know it, sometimes you’ve had those beers and you decided to drive home and you shouldn’t have ever driven home, and then you went off the road and you hit the pavement and you went bollemakiesie in the car over and over, and you got out of that car and somehow you got home and you say, “How did I not kill myself?” Well, it was an angel that was… As the car was turning, “Watch his head there. Angel, you’ve got his body. Hey, that was a quick one, hey. We had to work quickly to save him because he’s one of those. He’s still got to choose the cleaning process, but while he’s in this place of separation we’ll help him.” You don’t even know how much He’s helping you and He’s helping you all the time. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah. Praise Jesus, praise Jesus, praise Jesus, praise Jesus, praise Jesus. Praise Jesus. Hallelujah.

I’ll tell you what, if this doesn’t fit with your doctrine okay, I’m not going to argue with you. It’s no point in arguing with you because you want to believe what you want to believe. That doesn’t change the truth of what God said, and the truth of what God said is what matters anyway. There’s a scripture in Corinthians that says, you can do nothing against the truth but everything you do will confirm the truth, and even when you say, “I don’t receive this because it’s not the doctrine that I was raised with. Even your own behaviour pattern is going to confirm the truth because the truth is that God loves you regardless of whether you’d reject Him because of doctrinal reasons.

Nothing, that’s why the Apostle Paul had to write there, “I’m convinced that there is nothing in this earth, there is nothing, no high, nor depth, nor width, no nothing. There is nothing, nobody, no person can separate you from the love of God, it’s not possible. So everything you do anyway confirms the love of God, because if you’re running away from Him, His love is going to chase you. Even your running is going to confirm the love of God. The truth is the truth, that’s it, end of story.

Goeiemôre mense, ek is bly julle het vanoggend kerk toe gekom, dankie, dankie dat julle kerk toe gekom het vanoggend. For those that are watching from Canada or America or somewhere else, I’ve been saying in Afrikaans language, I’m so glad you came to church this morning. Praise the Lord.

Will you all stand with me, please? Hallelujah. You know, we’ve been doing this for a while; I am a son of God. Let’s all say together again, “I’m a son of God and I thank You Jesus because I’m a son of God, I can live in freedom, and I thank You Lord, it’s not about how well I perform, it’s about You in my heart. Thank You for helping me, in this season of my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.” Hallelujah, hallelujah. Praise the Lord, praise the Lord. Praise Jesus.

So, I tell you what hey, this is a message to go home and rejoice about. When you are like cutting that chop or that leg or that hoender, or you’re doing a rooster brood or you’re making that pap, or whatever it is you’re going to do now for Christmas, nê. You can say, “I’m a son of God and I am integrating because of His separating.” Hallelujah, glory to God. Just when you got through saying that your foot might begin to twitch, involuntarily. Hey, hey. If you’re a bit conservative you might be saying, “Hey, sjoes jy.” But it is something about the life of God that makes that foot twitch and so now when you are walking around the home and you see each other today, just go like that you know. Just walk past each other every now and again, you go (shaking his foot).

Be blessed. Thank you for coming to church this morning. Have a wonderful day.