Transformation happens in proximity of Jesus Christ. There are things in us where God is calling us to pray, “God come and help yourself to our lives.” God knows our hearts and intends to speak to his men individually and collectively to will and to do of his good pleasure. He calls us to listen with the Pentecostal gift of hearing… to listen to his still small voice. He says come to me all ye that are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Jesus said, “my sheep hear my voice and they know me… and I Give unto them eternal life.” God said, “be still and know that I am God.”
Frank’s Message: Behind enemy lines
If Christ is not the Lord of your life, how will you know who the enemy is? If you don’t know your commander in chief, how can you know who stands against him. You’ve got to share the values, virtues, and righteousness of our Lord and Savior in order to know who stands against truth, for Jesus said, I am the way the truth and the life.
Ecc 5: guard yourself when you go into the house of God. Fools are ignorant and do wrong. God is in heaven and you upon earth, so let your words be few. Be careful how you surrender your life to him…
1 Sam 16 is about the anointing of David as the next king of Israel. God commanded Samuel to go to Jesse’s house and to bring an animal to sacrifice to the Lord. His purpose was to anoint the next king of Israel to replace Saul. Jesse didn’t even call his youngest son David to be considered for the anointing. Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart. David, though Jesse’s most insignificant son, was a man after God’s own heart. In chapter 18:5 David was successful in everything God commanded him to do. Saul became jealous of David’s victories. From that point on, David was pursued by Saul and lived behind enemy lines.
To live behind enemy lines, seek out God’s four provisions. God is provident: He will provide.
The first provision is that God is your map to guide you to safe ground. Only those who are his understand what it means to live behind enemy lines. Before David did anything, he went to the Lord. God was David’s map. When God is your map, he will be your protection.
The second of God’s provisions is that you must put on the armor of God. Ephesians 6:10ff… Finally be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Put ye on therefore the full armor of God so that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against powers and dominions and against spiritual wickedness from on high.
The third provision is shelter. We need a place of shelter when fighting the enemy. Psalm 143:9 David said, “Deliver me from mine enemies, in you I take shelter.” Psalm 46:1 The Lord is my refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.
The fourth provision is that God has provided you with a weapon. 2 Tim 3:15 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof and for correction which is instruction in righteousness. You need to exercise your weapon to be able to hit the target every time.
The devil dresses like a sheep and he looks like you. You must have the power of God and the weapon of his word to discern truth from error.
To transform men’s lives, God afflicts the comfortable and comforts the afflicted.
October 17, 2015
Through it all, it is well with my soul.
Frank worked as an undercover police officer and also as a private security guard. He always wore his bullet proof vest. We have to be prepared by putting on the full armor of God that we may be able to stand in the evil day and having done all, to stand. In Revelation 3:15, there is a warning about being lukewarm. If lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, God will vomit you out of his mouth. Our challenge is to keep from being lukewarm. See 2 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant for your adversary prowls about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Sober: don’t be influenced by external influences or let your senses be dulled by sleep. Vigilant: deliberately shake myself out of the stupor, be alert and on guard.
1 John 2:1 Our advocate is Jesus Christ who pleads our case before the father. Our brothers in Christ also advocate for us. God has set us in the body of Christ so that we can edify and build each other up.
Not only must you know your advocate and commander in chief, you also must know your enemy. We’re here to help each others’ unbelief. He didn’t call us to stand alone against the evil one. When two or more are gathered together in his name, he said, “there am I in the midst of you.”
Hate is from the devil: he hates God’s people. The enemy is satan himself, his hosts and the powers of darkness and principalities from on high.
Frank’s testimony: Which hat is God calling you to wear in this season of your life? The helmet of salvation takes on many forms: God will save us through the storms of life… Our prayer is not that God will deliver us from the storm but rather, through the storm. The helmet of salvation protects our mind, for the battlefield is in the mind. I beseech ye therefore brethren by the mercies of God that ye present yourselves a living sacrifice holy and wholly acceptable unto God which is your reasonable, logical, and purposeful service. And be not conformed to this world’s mold, but be ye transformed by the “upward newing” (Greek anakainosis) of your mind that ye may know what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God…
What hat are you wearing? Brazil, Detroit, Tulsa? Our challenge is to go where God has called us and to bloom where he has planted us.
Lord, give me one moment in time, when I’m racing with destiny… and in that one moment of time, I will see eternity. Cataclysmic moments in this life are God’s wake up calls… When life hits us upside the head with a 2 x 4, our response should be, “Thank you, Lord, I needed that.” These are life’s “come to Jesus” moments… come to Jesus and live…
Influencers and the Journey Groups are means to connect men’s hearts to God’s heart… to create an environment where God can help himself to our hearts. Our prayer is “O that I were the man I knew to be. Lord, please make me that man!” This is a prayer that God yearns to answer. God says come and die; lay your life on the line. For I was crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me and the life that I now live, I live by the faith of him who loved me and gave himself for me.
God give us men! Men who have a heart totally devoted to you.
You will be filled with power after that the holy spirit has come upon you. And you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and Judea, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. God has not called us to serve… he has called us to know him and the power of the resurrection. Jesus did not say “join my church.” He said, “come and follow me.”
What’s important is what God is saying to each of us individually. Hearing from the holy spirit starts with brokenness and repentance. Pride is the nature of sin. Sin must be broken in order to repent and turn from our wicked ways. Quench not the holy spirit and grieve not the holy spirit. Grieving the holy spirit is rejecting the holy spirit and his offer of forgiveness. Forgiveness is the doctrine of salvation and once saved, the doctrine of fellowship, relationship, and communion with him.
Israel lost the battle against Ai because there was sin in Israel’s camp. To move from victory to victory, sin had to be excised from the camp. Sin must be dealt with aggressively and decisively. Search me O God and open my spiritual eyes and ears to show me where I need to turn from my wicked way… see if there be any hurtful way in me and lead me into thy everlasting way.
Review the four points of provision for fighting the enemy behind enemy lines.
Review always being prepared for the attacks: know who your advocate is and know who your enemy is.
John 15:5 I am the vine ye are the branches. He who abides in me and I in him produces much fruit. Without me you can do nothing.
If you are a child of God, never leave a brother behind. God himself said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. Are you ready for God to teach you total abandonment and absolute trust? James 1:2 says consider it great joy when your experience bears great trials. For trials produce endurance so that you may be complete lacking nothing.
Review Frank’s story about his 16 years on the Tulsa police force. God has to be the center of every man’s life, especially in law enforcement. In this line of work you are on the line every day to make two life changing decisions: to take someone’s life, or to set a captive free.
God’s command to his disciples was to go and make disciples of all nations. John 13:34 You didn’t choose me but I chose you so that your fruit will remain, that whatsoever you ask the father he will give you. A new commandment I give you, that ye love one another.
Review David Wilkerson’s last sermon: A Call to Anguish. The man who started Teen Challenge. holydesperation.com
Pete grew up in a Southern Baptist church. As a child, he thought that his denomination was the only one who had it together, though he had not been taught this by his church. By God’s mercy and grace, he came to know Jesus Christ. His church had a revival about twice a year. In the early 70’s a man of God took Pete under his wings. At one revival Pete heard Author Blessing speak at his church in Birmingham. Blessing was known for carrying a cross down Sunset Boulevard and witnessing to anyone who would listen to the gospel. Blessing preached to the hippies in Birmingham who came to the revival. There was a separation between the traditionalists in the sanctuary and the hippies who came to hear the Word preached. Revival broke out in the city with the youth who were far from traditionalists.
What is there to get excited about if not for the Gospel of Christ? Why is it OK to cheer for your favorite team but not get excited about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?
God’s strategies are always counter-intuitive to man’s strategies. Remember the story of Gideon’s army. Remember the story of Joshua taking the city of Jericho. The shout of the Lord is a sound that breaks the chains of the devil. The breaking is not by the trying but by the supernatural power of God in manifestation. The shout of the archangel will break the power of the evil one. The power of God through the shout of God will break down the strongholds of the adversary. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but spiritual to the pulling down of strongholds.
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. We are righteous not in our own flesh but in him and through him. Holy living breaks the chains of spiritual bondage. Pray the Word to God back to God and he will bring his word to pass as we confess it and believe it. Our prayer is to break our jars of clay so that the light of the treasure of his spirit within us can shine forth in a world of darkness. God only needs his remnant of believers to change the world. Jesus did not call the multitudes to change the world. He called twelve and from the twelve, he chose three.
God is in the business of changing men’s lives. Even you who were dead in trespasses and sins hath he quickened so that we may be dead to sin but alive to him. For he who knew no sin became the perfect sin sacrifice on our behalf that we may be made the righteousness of God in him. For I was crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me and the life that I now live, I live by faith in the one who loved me and gave himself for me.
We have a tradition at each Influencers Men’s Retreat: We gather around the fire pit early in the morning to acknowledge a brother in our lives who has influenced each of us in our Christian journey. We recognize this brother by throwing him an orange and expressing our gratitude for how he encouraged us along the way. Dennis threw me an orange and thanked me for publishing notes from our Influencers meetings on Friday mornings. He said that during the week he tries to remember what the message was about the previous Friday. When he reviews the notes, the message comes flooding back and he’s refreshed all over again.
When I was thinking about who to acknowledge by throwing him the orange, a thought came to my mind from Jerry Leachman’s message at last year’s Men’s Retreat. The message could be summarized as, “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!” Jerry said that we are God’s ammunition, his ordnance, his laser guided missiles. Sin is missing the mark. God has called us to press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. In order to hit the mark, we need God’s reconnaissance to locate and to mark the target with his “laser designator.” To hit the target, a smart bomb needs propulsion, control, and guidance. The propulsion is the power of the holy spirit. Control is discipline and “temperance” to deliberately adjust our heading according to his directions. Guidance is his directing our path according to his laser-designated target. I threw my orange to Hector. He has shown me what it means to be God’s ordnance actively seeking the mark of the high calling.
We spend time in God’s presence and in the presence of like minded men to refresh and comfort one another with the comfort of the holy spirit. He has placed each of us in the body of Christ as fittings within the body, fitly framed together, bound by the bond of love and allowing God to work in us and through us to will and to do of His good pleasure.
May God richly bless you.