As presented at Life Church of Mobile, Alabama, USA.
Sunday Morning, July 3, 2016
Genesis 21:1-3; Luke 1:57-58, 68
If God is in the neighborhood, he will visit you.
I do not know what neighborhood you may find yourself in?
It may be the neighborhood of believing God for a miracle.
It may be the neighborhood of believing God for a breakthrough.
It may be the neighborhood of believing God for an increase or promotion in a job, or for a mortgage.
It does not matter what neighborhood you may find yourself in, I have good news for you: If God is in the neighborhood, he will visit you!
What that means is wherever you find yourself, someone once was there.
Wherever you are this morning, someone was there and that someone had a visitation of God, and that person's life was transformed. That person's situation was changed because God is in the neighborhood and if God is in the neighborhood, God will visit you!
The Bible says that God is no respecter of a persons (Acts 10:34), and it does not matter how long you have been in a neighborhood.
Some neighborhoods are very huge so it takes time to move from one house to another house.
Some neighborhoods the roads are not good, full of potholes that slow down the process of your moment.
Some neighborhoods are formed on the mountain top and it takes time to climb to the mountain top;
But it does not matter how long it takes;
It does not matter the days and the hours;
It does not matter the seasons and the times;
It does not matter who has received before you;
Because if God is in the neighborhood, then God will visit You!!
He is in the neighborhood and he has never left the neighborhood.
He has never left the miracle business.
He has never left the healing business.
He has never left the breakthrough business.
So God is in the neighborhood, he will visit you!
Brother He will visit you; Sister God will visit you!
He knows your number;
He knows your street address;
He knows where you are;
He will visit You!
In Luke Chapter 1, there is a woman called Elizabeth who was said to be righteous and her husband was also righteous. The Bible says Elizabeth was a descendant of Aaron the High Priest and that she was barren.
You may be barren today, but it is only for today.
When Elizabeth received God's visitation, her neighbors and her relatives heard.
Your neighbors and relatives will hear what God will do in your life.
God has not brought you this far to let you down.
God has not saved you to disappoint you.
Jesus did not die on the cross for you to be put to shame.
Somebody may have given up on you;
Others may have given up on you;
But God has not given up on you!
They will hear of the good reports;
They will hear of the testimonies;
They will hear of the faithfulness of God!
In all the years that Elizabeth did not have a child
She may have become a laughing stalk.
She may have been insulted by some;
She may have been provoked by some;
She may have been written off by some because she had passed the age of child bearing.
Some may have thrown her off;
BUT GOD, who controls the skies, the heavens and the seas;
He did not throw Elizabeth off!! He visited her!
And her neighbors heard!
Her relatives heard!
Her friends heard!
And those who despised her heard!
And her enemies also heard!
And the devil also heard!
And they had nothing to do but REJOICE!
Whether they liked it or not they had to REJOICE!
She did not adopt a child, she bore a child!
She carried him for nine months.
When Elizabeth was walking and going into the market and all those who once rejected her, who wanted to put her down; they saw Elizabeth and could not face her; they hide from her and said, "Look there is Elizabeth."
When God visits his people situations change.
When God visits his people he brings increase.
When God visits his people he lifts them from the miry clay and establishes their feet upon the rock.
When God visits his people enemies are put to shame;
The sceptics are put to shame;
The liars are put to shame;
The problem makers are put to shame;
The hecklers are put to shame:
Why. . . God has visited his people!
If God is in the neighborhood, God will visit you!
When God visits you, people will be put to shame.
It does not matter what the devil says;
It does not matter what people say;
Our destiny is not in the hands of the devil;
Our destiny is not in the hands of men;
Our destiny is in the hands of the Lord!
It is the Lord who controls the seasons and the times;
And it was the Lord who did promise the seasons and the times.
And the Bible says of Sarah, at the appointed time the Lord returned to Sarah (Genesis 18:9; 21:1).
Your appointed time will Come!
Your appointed time may be tonight;
Your appointed time may be tomorrow;
Your appointed time may be next year;
Your appointed time may be in the next two years;
But that appointed time will come!
Whatever You are Believing for, God has Done it Before! And He will do it Again!
God is in the neighborhood and God will visit You!
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
No trials, No tests that you are going through is not common to man.
That means someone has gone through it already.
There is nothing new under the heavens (the sun) (Ecclesiastes 1:9).
Everything you are going through, someone has already gone through it.
Everything you are faced with, someone else has been faced with it.
If God brought them out, and he is no respecter of persons, then God will visit you!
He will visit you, hold on to God! Don't be carried away by what people say.
Just keep holding on to God!
The Bible gives us confidence that there is no temptation, no trial, that you find yourself in; no illness; no situation that is not common unto man.
BUT God is Faithful!
He will not leave you in that temptation;
He will not leave you in your trying times;
He will not leave you in your situation;
He WILL STICK with You!
Even if the righteous fall seven times, God will raise him up!
Because God is Faithful!
If it weren't for the faithfulness of God no of us would be where we are!
This is why no temptation will be able to overtake you.
That trial will not put you down; it's not your end.
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
After you have suffered a whiiiiiiiiiiile. That is the period of temptation.
Then God will perfect you. He will strengthen you. And God will establish you.
So when you are going through your little suffering period;
Don't throw in the towel!
Don't call it Quits!
Abuse and Misuse
In the word abuse and misuse there is a little word use.
So when the devil is abusing you, it is a setup for God to use you.
Whoever is abusing you and misusing you, it is a setup for God to use you.
When you are being abused, don't get discouraged.
When you are being misused, don't get discouraged.
REJOICE because God has is giving you a setup for him to use you!
Whenever you are being abused by the devil, or by man, don't cry, run off,
Rejoice in the Lord, for surely very soon, those who have abused you, will be rejoicing with you. They will have no choice but to rejoice with you because of the what Lord is doing in you.
Let them abuse you:
Let those managers abuse you;
Let your siblings abuse you;
Let your fathers abuse you;
Let your sisters abuse you;
There are testimonies of many who were once abused and today they are being USED!
They were once being abused, today they are stars of the family of God.
Your Visitation Will Come!
If God is in the neighborhood, He will visit You!
Your time of visitation will come.
When God visits His people, it brings transformation.
When God visits His people, those who are barren, become fruitful.
When God visits His people, those who were once rejected become comforted.
When God visits His people, the nobodies become somebodies.
When God visits His people, the impossible becomes possible.
Because He is the God of all Grace.
He is the El Shaddai. . .Almighty God. . .the All Sufficient One. . Gen 17:1.
If God would have to come through the roof, He will visit you (Mark 2:1-12).
If you are laying on a sick bed, He will visit you.
You may be locked up in prison, God will visit you.
For your sons and daughter, you may not know where they are, God will visit them.
There is no situation too hopeless to God; it may be hopeless for man, but not for God.
And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the LORD had closed her womb.
Her rival provoked her severely to make her miserable, to torment her, to harass her;
to take away her joy, her peace, her satisfaction;
to disgrace her;
This is what her rival did to her,
But this was in Chapter One. . .In Chapter two it was different.
The devil is always out of his mind and he is always a fool.
He took Jesus, crucified him by putting him on the cross, and he said, "this is the end".
He was lying to himself. It is pretty bad he even lies to himself.
Jesus was taken from the cross and put in a grave, so He had them go to the governor to get the tomb sealed. The thing the devil did not know was God did not need an entrance; He controls the universe, he did not need an entrance to that grave.
So when the door was sealed and guards were posted at the door, He showed up inside the grave!
The plans of God superimposes the plans of man.
So when your rival torments you and makes you miserable, just go into Chapter 2.
And Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the LORD; My horn is exalted in the LORD. I smile at my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation. No one is holy like the LORD, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.
Now it is Hannah's turn. Now she SMILES at her enemies.
When it was Hannah's turn and she smiled; those who once smiled against her, were put to shame.
And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile the child Samuel grew before the LORD.
God did not just give her one child he gave her five. Five is the number for Grace.
One of her sons was called Samuel. That one son was a judge, he was a priest, and he was a prophet. When you are being abused and misused, You will be Used.
When God visits His people, He takes away shame.
When God visits His people, He takes away embarrassment.
When God visits His people, He takes removes disgrace and gives grace (five children).
When God visits His people, He takes away whatever man has meant against them.
The Bible says He is still the same.
Hold onto God people of God!
Don't Quit! God is for You!
Your time of visitation will come!
Acts 12:5, 9-11.
5. Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.
9-11. So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him. And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.”
This is what God can do,
He will deliver you from the expectations of men.
He will deliver you from the impossible situations.
It was impossible for Peter to be set free.
God went to Peter in the prison; not the palace but the prison.
No matter where you are, God will visit you.
If God is in the neighborhood, he will visit you.
If God is in the neighborhood of healing and you are sick, you are in that neighborhood,
He will visit you.
If God is in the neighborhood of drug addiction;
God wants what is in that neighborhood, that is why he is there.
He brought them out, he will do the same for you.
Don't Become Weary
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
This is where we fall short sometimes as humans, in being weary.
You might say, "Now you do not know how long I have been in this situation. I have been there for so many years."
You might say, "I have been in the church for seventeen years and I haven't gotten my breakthrough. I have been in the Lord all these years and nothing has worked."
I say this to you. If nothing has worked for you than why haven't you died?
What kept you for these seventeen years is the grace of God!
God is perfecting something to show his glory in your life!
That is why he has kept you alive all these years.
So you do not have to quit!
Don't put God on your timing. Your timing is too little for God.
God created time for man, not for himself.
He works outside of time.
God cannot fit in your time.
You may have prayed for seventeen years;
How long did Sarah and Abraham pray?
How long did Hannah and Zachariah pray?
So do not quit.
While you are expecting God to visit you do not quit.
Don't let weariness cause you to leave your expected neighborhood.
In Luke Chapter 1 the Bible says Zachariah was burning incense and the angel came.
His time was while he was burning incense, the angel came and told him it was his time.
He said, "Who me, I'm too old, and my wife she is too old, she is past her time".
The angel said, "No, it's your time, it does not matter your ages, it's your time!"
What if Zachariah had not been burning incense, the place he was supposed to be?
He was a priest that was given the task of ministering to the Lord by burning incense.
What if he had become bitter over the years and gave up doing his duty before the Lord?
What if he had not been there where God expected him to be?
We may miss our miracles because we run too fast.
We jump ahead of God too fast.
We pray ourselves ahead of God too fast.
We make decisions too fast.
We quit too fast.
They that wait upon the Lord shall receive their strength (Isaiah 40:31)
So don't get weary because in due season.
Due season is not 2014, not 2015, not 2018;
Due season is in the hands of God.
Only God knows the due season.
Only God will determine what is your due season.
So in your due season you will reap if you do not faint,
If you do not quit.
I have known people who quit and they were shipwrecked.
I have known people who quit and they bound themselves up.
People who have quit have committed suicide.
People who have quit have ended up being drug addicts, alcoholics and turned back into the world.
Be one of those who refused to quit.
Be one of those who will stand, and stand, and stand.
The Apostle Paul said, "Having done all, stand". . .(Ephesians 6:13).
We have the assurance that if God is in the neighborhood, He will visit Me!
If he will visit Sarah, He will visit Me!
If he will visit Hannah, He will visit Me!
He has done it before and he will do it again.
If God has visited other neighborhoods, He will visit your neighborhood.