Today's message is for anyone who may have walked through a time in your life, you may be their right now, or you may be at some point in the future, where you think, "Is there anything remotely redeemable about this season that I am in, or about what I am going through?" I am confident that at some point in your life you will need what this message is saying.
I am confident that "Through It All" as I look back on my life God has been more faithful than I have. There have been times I have not carried my end; there have been times you haven't; but there has never been a time that God has not been faithful!!!
(Pastor Scotty Singing)
All my life you have been faithful.
All my life you have been so, so, good.
With every breath that I am able.
I will sing of the goodness of God.
(He repeats singing the verse)
(He has the congregation stand and sing the verse with him)
Thank God!! He has been more faithful than we have!
And THROUGH IT ALL that is ahead He shall remain forever faithful!!!
There will never come a day that you would not be able to bank upon the faithfulness of your great and mighty God!!
I. When you are going THROUGH IT ALL don't give in to intimidation.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. [1Peter 5:8 NKJV]
Realize that the roar has a purpose, to intimidate.
When you are going through a rough time the spirit of intimidation can cause even small things to cast a huge shadow. I have been there where you feel like nothing is working out, this is happening, and you are in this delay. You feel like even the smallest things are against you. If you are not careful you begin to have a mindset that you say, "I wonder what is going to happen next. I don't know how I will ever get over this." You suddenly have to stop and get a reset as you realize this is just the roaring of the adversary trying to make a very small thing have a huge shadow over you.
Say with me today, "I will never give in to the spirit of intimidations!"
When you give in to the spirit of intimidation it causes you to do things and act in ways you would never do otherwise.
Because you are not thinking right.
You are not seeing things through God's eyes.
You are not seeing things they as who you really are and who He made you to be.
Never, ever give in to the spirit of intimidation because it causes you to lay down your sword.
Don't ever lay down your sword or use it to turn against each other!
The spirit of intimidation will have you focusing on other things and other people that are out there.
We will not lay down our sword!
It is easy to cower from things that require confrontation out there and inside of us.
But if we will learn to walk through trials with our identity in tack we will position ourselves for promotion.
I'm talking about TROUGH IT ALL!
I have discovered that your challenge can work for your good if we will not give in to the roar. . .the intimidation.
Sometimes the enemy begins to say, "Well, you are going to lose this and you are going to lose that, and this is going to be this and this is going to be that. . . ."
Every now and then it could be good for you to say back, "So What?"
Here is what I am talking about:
Money is temporary
Houses are temporary
Looks are temporary
If you don't believe it, look at a picture of yourself twenty-five years ago and see if looks are not temporary? There are some things not in the same places they were. You live long enough and you will see that that tattoo will not be in the same place it is right now.
Money is temporary
Houses are temporary
Careers are temporary
New cars are temporary
Emotions are temporary
But, God is eternal and He is faithful!!!
Your challenge can work for your good and sometimes you just have to say, "So What?"
I was talking with Bro. Mark this morning (who was sitting on the front row right in front of Pastor Scotty), who was a four year player at Mississippi State University, as a defensive end in college football. We were talking this morning and I asked him if he got a championship ring? He told me, "Yes, but I had to have some stuff done to it because hands that have championship rings are marked by battle scars, calluses, and bent knuckles". Champions sometimes cannot wear their championship rings because some of the battles that they have been through.
Our scars and bent challenges are testimonies of the faithfulness of God to turn us into champions.
Sometimes, just like Jacob, champions walk with a limp(Genesis 32:31-32).
The scars and bent challenges are testimonies that we came through and did not give in to the spirit of intimidation.
Declare this with me today: "I declare that I will never give in to the spirit of intimidation."
2. When you are going THROUGH IT ALL, Don't Curse Your Cure!
You will never possess for yourself what you curse in someone else.
In 1Samuel 19 David is playing music to bring peace to a troubled Saul. In verse 10 it says, "Then Saul sought to pin David to the wall with his spear. . ." A jealous heart will have Saul throwing spears at the only one who can soothe his tortured mind and bring peace to his life. Saul could have possessed for himself everything he resented in David. It could have belonged to him.
He could have had a joyful life.
A life of peace
A life marked by the blessings of God.
A life marked by a great family.
But Saul, because of the rage that was in him, took that spear and tried to kill the very one who could bring deliverance to his life.
Do not go through life cursing your cure!
This shows us God may bless and use somebody you do not like.
This can become so easy when it comes to material things causing people to think, "I don't understand why they have this and they have that?"
Do not judge their harvest, you do not know their seed.
You do not know what they have sown to get where they are and what they have.
Don't curse your cure!
Sometimes in our hearts and our attitude, we can say, "I know I am more spiritual than they are. I am standing here with my Pharisaical robe wrapped around me and I am looking at them thinking, 'How come?' I heard this preacher teach this and I saw this person doing that. . ."
Saul lived in torment and died a terrible death because he lived a life of cursing the very thing that could bring him peace and blessings. Don't curse your cure!
God does not have to cheat you to bless me!
So I can rejoice in your blessing.
I can rejoice in your prosperity.
I can rejoice in your inheritance.
I can rejoice in your increase.
The Bible says in Romans 12:15, "Rejoice with those who rejoice. . ."
I can rejoice when God blesses you and when you are getting to live the dream, even if I am not right now. If you will do this, as you are rejoicing with them you realize that God is no respecter of persons and what he will do for one person He can do for you also. So rejoice in their good blessings and their good fortune.
When money comes to your house;
When business opportunities come to your house;
When blessing comes to your house and you are remodeling your home; I am going to look at the pictures and I am going to say, "Glory be to God, look what the Lord has done!"
He has blessed,
He has prospered,
He has brought an increase,
He has brought inheritance on your life,
He has brought healing.
When your dreams come true we are going to lock arms together and we are going to dance across the front of the church.
When I see our God blessing you and fulfilling you we are going to worship God together.
3. THROUGH IT ALL even when God is not seemingly speaking He is working.
There are times when it seems that if God does not say something to me soon, everything is all going to go bad!
During these times, even though it seems like God is not speaking, HE IS STILL WORKING.
Joseph in Genesis 37 was pushed into a dark place by the people He loved the most.
This is for someone who has times in their life who has been pushed into a dark place by the people you have loved the most. You discover that sometimes those who love deeply hurt deeply. If you have experienced this you understand the pain that this man went through.
Sometimes the heaviest sorrows we carry are placed on us by the people we love the most.
When Joseph's brothers threw him in the pit, God seemed silent.
There was no thunderous voice from heaven.
There was no angelic visitation.
There seems to be no divine intervention.
Seemingly no divine intervention in the way that we would think it would happen.
During one of the darkest seasons of this life, the only people who showed up were slave traders.
I do not believe in chance encounters. I believe in divine appointments.
They thought they were only purchasing a slave but they were positioning a prince of Egypt.
Years later when Joseph was falsely imprisoned there was no big booming voice from heaven or any of the things we associate with those times. There were no angelic visitations, seemingly divine intervention, no inspiring words for Joseph at that time.
When you are in a hard place like this. . .the silence can scream!
We have to realize the prophetic is not always on paper or spoken.
In Joseph's case, the prophetic was manifested in favor.
When you look back at Joseph's life there is not one place that he did not walk in the supernatural favor of Almighty God!
Favor was prophesying his future.
Know that every love language does not comes wrapped in a perfect package.
There was an abiding presence Joseph had to draw on. It was the never-ending, never leaving, never forsaking, faithful presence of Almighty God. Jesus promised I will never leave you, I will never forsake you. Joseph drew on the continual abiding presence of God THROUGH IT ALL!!
Genesis 39:2 says The Lord was with Joseph. . . .
As the Lord was with Joseph, He is also with you, even though you do not hear thunderous roars from heaven.
You must realize the Almighty presence of the Lord is with you!
Genesis 39:2 . . . .So he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master. [NLT]
Genesis 39:21. . .But the LORD was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the LORD made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden. [NLT]
Joseph was one of God's favorites and God made Joseph one of the warden's favorites also, because of the favor of God.
You can say with me, "I am one of God's favorites". If you are not seeing yourself this way, God wants to bring a revelation to you today that you do see yourself as one of His favorites.
Divine favor defended Joseph in a way that did not require God to say a word.
Favor is not always God speaking to you but it can be God speaking to someone else about you.
This is where God goes in front of you and moves on somebody you are getting ready to meet with, and for reasons that they do not even know why, they take a likening to you. For some reason, they want what you have and they may not be a born-again believer. There is something happening at that moment that is drawing them, calling them, and speaking to them, as they become unexplainably connected to you. It is because of the favor of God went ahead of you and was working on them before you ever got there.
God was working on Joseph and had things aligned before he ever got there so he could look back on his life and say, "You meant it for my evil, but God turned it for my good (Romans 8:28) so that many people could be saved alive." [Genesis 50:20].
This is why I can speak over you today and say,
The favor of God is on that business deal. . .
The favor of God is on your business. . .
The favor of God is on that place you are stepping out to. . .
We are living in the day when God is going to bring multiple streams of income to His people and into His Body.
He is going to bring an increase. . .
He is going to bring an inheritance. . .
He is going to bring the blessing of Abraham. . .
On your life. . .
On your seed. . .It is all over them. . .
I boldly declare the Body of Christ that hears His voice is coming into a new place, into a new time, into a new season!
God is orchestrating divine connections in places you have only dreamed about, and in some places, you have not ever dreamed about. This is the kind of God He is!
God is going to use us to change cultures, dynamics, and mindsets, as He puts us in places of influence and authority, with people that you never felt you would ever rub elbows with, because God's call is on your life.
You will not give in to the spirit of intimidation. . .
You will not curse your cure. . .
And you will realize that even when there is not a thunderous voice out of heaven God is doing powerful things!!!
That thing that you are looking at in your spirit and in your heart, get it deep and know that this is no hill for God to climb. He can make a way where there is no way. Do not ever discount the authority, the anointing, the power that is released when you speak the blessing of favor and the goodness of God over yourself, your business, your children and your grandchildren, and over those who are your spiritual sons and daughters and grandchildren.
There is power in the blessing. . .
There is anointing in the blessing. . .
You are coming into a time now when people are going to say, "How did you do that?" "How come that happened for you?" Then you will be able to testify of the greatness and goodness of God.
Every breakthrough in Joseph's life came through the hands of his enemies.
Because God is the Lord of the turnaround He can cause even your enemies to bless you.
Compare this to Psalm 23
1. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
3. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.
4. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
6. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.
[Psalm 23:1-6 NKJV]
God used Joseph's enemies to bring breakthrough and promotion in his life.
Joseph was called to be the prince of Egypt and every time his enemies tried to harm him, it positioned Joseph to get closer to the palace.
It matters if you will accept this and believe it in your heart.
Every time they tried to hinder Joseph they succeeded in getting him closer to his purpose.
His brothers threw him in a pit, it took him closer to Egypt.
Midianites slave traders bought Joseph as a slave and carried him to Egypt.
Potiphar's wife falsely accused him and he was placed in a prison that was next to the palace.
The king's cupbearer remembered that he could interpret dreams and brought him before the king.
Today you may not think God is making a sound but He is working on your promotion.
Even when it seems God is silent, He is working on your behalf.
Your challenges can be your transportation into your best years.
If you do not like what God is doing for me do not curse your cure because I am believing for God to bless you superabundantly over the top, and for your to be anointed and full of all the goodness of the Almighty God.
"My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways my ways," says the Lord.
Thoughts can be so intimidating from the enemy.
They can feel so real and so overpowering and overwhelming.
I know because I have been in the darkness in my life.
I have been in times where it seems so dark and so lonely, completely isolated.
I know what it feels like when the thoughts try to bombard your heart, your vision, and what you believe about God and about yourself.
But the devil is a liar and God's ways and thoughts are true.
"So as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts higher than your thoughts."
It is like God is saying, "You have to adjust your thinking down there."
You cannot always respond as you would like too.
You cannot always do what the natural man wants to do.
You cannot always think like the natural man wants to think.
Promotion can come from God in different ways that we do not see or understand.
"For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud. . ."
God is saying that you do not understand my ways are not always like you think they are going to be.
If you will understand the obstacles and things in your path are being used by God just like the rain that comes down, to cause you to blossom and bloom and flourish.
". . .That it may give see to the sower and bread to the eater. . ."
"So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth. . ." [Isaiah 55:11].
"It shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it."
"For you shall go out with joy. . ." [Isaiah 55:12].
I do not know how you came in, but you are going out with joy.
You may have come in weeping for a night, but you are going out with joy.
"And be led out with peace. . ." [Isaiah 55:12]
"The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you. . ."
"And the trees of the field are going to clap their hands."
This is like God is saying, "I am going to be on display everywhere you look."
"Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree;
And it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off." [Isaiah 55:13]
4. THROUGH IT ALL Continue to Ask God for the Next Step.
1 There was a relative of Naomi's husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech. His name [was] Boaz. 2 So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, "Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after [him] in whose sight I may find favor." And she said to her, "Go, my daughter." 3 Then she left, and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers. . [NKJV]
There will be times in your life where you will have to glean in a field for a season.
You can find yourself in ministry, or in life where you feel like, "I am doing this right now but I don't feel like it is long term, I am just gleaning right now."
Gleaning means to gather, pick from, process, or exploring.
Do not beat yourself up for exploring possibilities on the way where God is taking you.
While you are gleaning you are exploring possibilities in the natural and in the spiritual.
Understand it takes humility to glean.
The person that I can help the least is the one who thinks they know it all and that they have it all together. This person thinks they do not need to read, or listen, or hear from anybody else. If this is you, I can't help you. I love you but I can't help you because you won't let me love on you or help you like I want to.
It takes humility to glean in the spiritual and the natural.
Know that our Godly walk is not a solo walk.
I glean off of a number of people who speak into my life. They share and fellowship with me on a regular basis. I get up every day and sow and then I glean with everyone I come in contact with because I want to keep this thing going. I glean off of others who make my life stronger. Be attentive of what God is saying through somebody else.
I glean off of the praise and worship we have here in this house.
I glean off of the testimonies that are shared in this house.
I glean off of the text messages I receive.
I glean off of my own words that I write.
I am living these things. Sometimes the best things I write about are from the darkest places in my life. Times when I think, Oh God where are You! Then suddenly on the inside something begins to rise up. It comes from me gleaning off of other people praying for me.
You have to glean in some aspect your entire life. You will never get so spiritual you do not have to glean.
I will spend my entire life being a continual learner. Always learning, listening and having an attentive ear to what God is saying.
Here is something we can glean from the life of Ruth:
Life does not just happen to you, it responds to you.
I am not just sitting around waiting for life to happen. I am putting myself out there even in places where I might get a little embarrassed because I am out gleaning in a dusty field. Life can then respond to what I will apply myself to as I hear what God is saying.
Your current job might not be your calling, but it is your income for now! Be humble enough to glean in that field until God promotes you to another field. Be grateful for what God has given you by serving with excellence where you are. Faithfulness where you are will set you up for a divine promotion.
I never want to get to the place that I think my status is who I am.
In the heart of God, Ruth already owned that field while she was crawling around picking up scraps.
I do not ever want my promotion to make me think I am something that I am not.
Not only do I want to respond with humility when I am out there gleaning, but I also want to respond with humility when I achieve.
Never accept where you are as the basis for who you are.
When you are gleaning, determine you are going to maximize your living.
Learn to celebrate the stages of life and celebrate where you are.
In Genesis 1 we see a pattern that God made.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. . .[Genesis 1:1-2 NKJV] Then God began to create and before He finished on that first day He said, "It was good!"
Right now you may not be where you are going to be, but if you are following God and you are in His plan, where you are today is good! This does not mean it cannot get better. It was good on day one, but after day six, God said, "It was very Good!"
This is why you must learn to celebrate the stages of life where you are.
God did not finish what He was doing before He celebrated the stages of it.
THROUGH IT ALL when you are asking God, "What is the next step?" Use what you have.
24 "Then he who had received the one talent came and said, 'Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 'And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.' 26 "But his lord answered and said to him, 'You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 'So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 'Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. 29 'For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. [NKJV]
The principle is this:
Use what you have and don't bury what the Lord has given you.
THROUGH IT ALL ask God, "What is the next step? What is it you want me to do? What is it you want to use me for Father?"
Do not be afraid of what God may say.
Fear causes us to focus on ourselves and picture the worse possible outcome.
In December I went to Latvia to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the church we support over there. While I was there everything was so intense I had no time to watch television or news and had no communication with the outside world. When I was traveling back and arrived in Amsterdam after I check into the hotel and got a shower, I thought I would see what is going on in the world and I turned on the BBC channel. This was at the time England was dealing with the possibility of withdrawing from Maastricht, the European Union. The way they conduct the political system in England is a real show. I was watching as this one gentleman walked up and sat in this chair that was in the middle of the chamber, and said, (Pastor Scotty speaking in the English accent) "The honorable lady is afrit." And he spelled it out, "F-R-I-T." In the chamber you hear, "Here, Here Oh boy!" "Well said Oh chap!" As I am sitting there and watching this the gentleman speaking said it again and rolled his R's. I got to thinking, "Man did that fella tell her!" But then I got to thinking, "What did he tell her?" I am thinking, "a frit?" What is a frit? Pray do tell of chap?" I wanted to know so I Googled what did "frit" mean? All it meant was the honorable lady was afraid.
So my word to all of us when we are going through it is: Don't give into the spirit of frit!
Come on, somebody has to say "Here, Here Oh boy!" "Well said Oh chap!"
We will not live under the spirit of "frit", (English accent) NEVER! Never surrender!
Wow! Now I am channeling Winston Churchill.
Ask God what the next step is and do not let "frit" hold you back.
God will not trust you with anything that you cannot let go of (Matthew 25:24-29).
The Kingdom of God operates by stewardship, not ownership.
This is where increase, inheritance, prosperity, and favor make a difference.
Hold lightly to the things that you love, hold tightly to the people that you love.
5. THROUGH IT ALL camp with the right crowd.
In Ruth 1:1, "Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land."
When there is a famine in the land you must very careful on the decisions you make, where they lead you, and where they take you.
"And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab."
There is not one indication where God told them to leave Bethlehem, Judah and go to Moab.
Because they were in a famine they decided they were going.
2 The name of the man [was] Elimelech, the name of his wife [was] Naomi, and the names of his two sons [were] Mahlon and Chilion--Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to the country of Moab and remained there. 3 Then Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. 4 Now they took wives of the women of Moab: the name of the one [was] Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years. 5 Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband. [NKJV]
When you are going THROUGH IT ALL don't camp with the wrong crowd.
Do not give up Judah for Moab.
Judah means PRAISE; Moab means OF HIS FATHER, who was Lot (Genesis 19:30-38).
Elimelech and Naomi's family got around people who worshiped false gods instead of staying in Judah where there was the praise of the true and living God.
Stay in Judah and camp with the right crowd!
Stay in the camp of people who can take you into the presence of God with praise and worship.
Do not go to some church so you can make this connection or that connection.
Do not leave the church you are in to go to a church that worships like Moab. This would be a church that worships traditions and man's opinion, not using praise and worship to connect with the true and living God.
I want to be with some people who will stand up and worship God with exciting praise that is Holy Spirit led.
This would be a place where both men and women know how to praise God and they are not ashamed to lift their voices and say, "I belong to Him!" I am going to stay in Judah! These are people that are capable of taking me into the camp of God through praise and worship.
Don't hang out with the Moabites during the time of famine. This is the time to enter into serious praise and worship.
Naomi got to a very dark place, so dark that when she returned home as the people called her name, she said, "Do not call me Naomi, call me Mara" (Ruth1:20). Naomi meant "my delight", but Mara meant "bitter". She had become so bitter that she felt God was being bitter with her when it was her own actions of being in the wrong camp that brought her bitterness.
When you are going THROUGH IT ALL if you camp with the wrong crowd you will go from being a delight and being blessed to being in a dark state of bitterness.
Stay in the crowd who can help you remain in the presence of God.
At that moment Ruth consoled Naomi by telling her, "I am not going to leave you" (Ruth 1:16-17).
She said to Naomi:
Where you go I will go.
Where you dwell I will dwell.
Your people will be my people.
Your God will be my God.
It was at this moment that Naomi gleaned from Ruth.
Then Naomi starts to console Ruth by saying go and glean from the land (Ruth 2:2).
Naomi was back in Judah and she was being restored to praise.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to lift/help him up.
We need people who are going to lift us up in the presence of God.
This is not people from Moab who worship things that are not of God, or other gods.
But people who are filled with the Holy Spirit and can hear what God is saying.
I am not going to go to the First Church of Moab.
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
Discover creative ways to encourage others that will motivate them towards acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of love.
These are the kind of people I am looking to connect with.
These are the kind of people I am looking to trade texts with.
These are the kind of people I am looking to lock arms with.
These are the kind of families I am looking to be bonded together with.
I want to camp with the crowd that is stirring up love and good works.
When it is all said and done, THROUGH IT ALL just keep loving Jesus!!!