Keep Fighting, Keep Going

This Sunday, August 21, is a monumental day in the life of Fresh Life Church. We are opening the doors to three brand new campuses in Helena and Polson, Montana and Salt Lake City, Utah!

When there’s that mentality of forward moving we can enter into the Promised Land, but there has to be something in our souls that rises up. Something that keeps fighting, that keeps going and doesn’t give up or stop dreaming, that still says “My God is for me!”

If we fail to have an attitude that takes on the giants, we will never enjoy the full inheritance God has for us. Let us have the mentality that doesn’t leave anything undone, that enjoys the fullness of what God has for us – because He goes before us.

We’re going to keep fighting, keep taking new ground. We’re going to trust God for the impossible as we do the impractical.

 

 


Take Care of Your Miracles

When Jesus raised the little girl from the dead in Matthew 9 , the first thing He said was to give her something to eat. In the same way, we’ve got to take care of our miracles. Are you nourishing and hydrating your miracle? Is your miracle getting to school on time?

Some of us are just sitting back waiting for God to do miracles not knowing He wants us to step in and fight for them and care for them, making sure we’re doing everything we can do as we’re believing Him to do what only He can.

Hear more from this teaching, “Fish Out of Water” here.


It’s Giving, Not Keeping, that Leads to Receiving

Then with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord; and he made a trench around the altar large enough to hold two seahs of seed. And he put the wood in order, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood, and said, “Fill four waterpots with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood.” Then he said, “Do it a second time,” and they did it a second time; and he said, “Do it a third time,” and they did it a third time. So the water ran all around the altar; and he also filled the trench with water.

And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.”

Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. -1 Kings 18:32-38

What would have happened if the people hadn’t given their water to pour it on the burnt sacrifice? If they’d hung on to their water, it would have been all they had, but in giving it to God their hearts would go with it and the rain would return.

One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. – Proverbs 11:24

It’s giving, not keeping, that leads to receiving. This is counterintuitive but true. Generosity breaks the back of greed. This is true in giving time, affection, and resources – especially when you are in a place of need. When the Israelites gave the water they had, God brought the rain they longed for. During those times you are tempted to pull back, just when you think giving is the last thing you should do, often it is the very thing that will lead to breakthrough.

Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” 1 Kings 18:41


When Prayer Goes Up, Power Comes Down

“When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.” 2 Chronicles 7:13–15

It’s been said Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees. What happened on Mt. Carmel in 1 Kings 18:20–41 is a picture of every prayer. It’s a picture of every time someone spills their life out, chooses a team and decides to honor Jesus and prays a prayer.

In response fire falls from heaven, although it’s not going to come from what you see with your eyes like they did that day, but through your ears. In 1 Kings 18:41 Elijah said, “I can hear the sound of a heavy rain.”

We often say it “looks like rain” but Elijah said he could hear it. In God’s economy you always hear it before you see it because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. It’s the the promise of God ringing in our ears. He is whispering promises over us and only as we pour our lives out like Elijah will we be quickened to hear the rain coming. We’ll hear Him say it and then we will see it. We have to let heaven hear our prayer before we hear His promise.

Click here to hear more from this teaching, “The Water is the Problem.”


Progress Isn’t Always Visible

First used in 1914 the Panama Canal is one of the most strategic causeways in the world. The goal in building the Canal was to connect the Pacific to the Atlantic, bypassing Cape Horn and saving ships months of travel by going through the isthmus of Panama instead. This was a massive project that took years and 20,000 people died building it. Once completed, it shaved 5,000 miles off the journey.

A time lapse of a ship going through the canal makes it look like a fast process, but it takes a full day to cross through a series of locks. Each one fills up or empties gradually, acting as a watery elevator system moving the ship through the canal. It’s a slow, steady process, but it’s lifting massive, unliftable ships 85 feet over the continental divide.

In the same way that the canal took years to build and ships take a full day to pass through, our commitment must be for the long haul. Progress isn’t always visible. You’re in the process of growing, but you may not see it because it’s happening in real time. The work you’re doing is incremental and you must not lost heart.

We can’t be the church that expects instant Kool-Aid results when God’s working. We’re far more interested in the powerful work of lifting the unliftable – and that is something that can’t be rushed.  Jesus is building something deep down that is powerful, robust and world-changing.


Over/Under

“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.” Romans 13:1–2

The way you respond to human authority you can see reveals your attitude toward your Heavenly Father that you can’t see. How you respond to people in authority shows whether or not you honor God who set that authority over your life. We have to recognize that – God is the author of authority.

“We will never be over those things that God has set under us until we learn to be under those things that God has placed over us. There is strength through surrender.” -Adrian Rogers

The power of this text, Romans 13, is not just the content but the context. This was written in the days of the reign of the emperor Caesar Nero. He hated the followers of Jesus so much he would have them routinely arrested, dipped in wax and set on fire in his garden to give ambience for parties he would throw. He burned Rome and murdered members of his own family.

Paul is living under the reign of Nero as he’s talking about obeying the governing authorities. So far as you’re not specifically told to do something sinful or illegal, you honor and are subject to the authority God has placed over you. If you resist authority because you don’t agree, you are resisting the authority God has appointed.

“Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” – I Samuel 15:23

If we have authority issues, what we’re really saying is we have a problem with God.


A Damning Document

“And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”  Colossians 2:13–14

The Lord has kept in heaven a list of every sin you’ve ever committed. It’s a damning document if there ever were one. Talk about a smoking gun. Talk about irrefutable, undeniable evidence. Talk about every mouth will be stopped. You’re there on camera, committing the crime. There are witnesses to everything you’ve done. There’s no hope. There’s no help. There’s no saving yourself. But God took that list and nailed it to the cross of Jesus Christ at Skull Hill and His blood paid the price for every wrong thing.

His perfect life has been traded for your sinful life.

It’s called the Great Exchange. And that happened 2,000 years ago before you were even born. But having, in that moment, the ability to also see every moment, because God’s outside of time, He paid for all your sins. Even the ones you haven’t committed yet. When you receive salvation it’s a comprehensive salvation. You’re forgiven of what you haven’t even done yet.


Frenemies

Have you heard that phrase, frenemies? When I think of the word frenemy, I think of that old idea of the enemy of my enemy being my friend. If there’s someone you don’t like, but there’s someone you don’t like more, and that person that you don’t like also doesn’t like the person you don’t like more, than you can have a tactical alliance. You can come together and lay aside your differences. You can become friends with your enemy because of your real enemy.

I want to use that phrase in a different sense, and here’s what I want you to understand about your enemies here on this earth. The friend of your enemy is your God. Let that sink in. Think of an enemy in your life. Think of an enemy in any way. The enemy, that you have in your life, that person’s friend is God. Your God. The Bible says that Jesus is the friend of sinners. When our debts were being called for, the friend of sinners came instead. The friend of sinners is one of the most beautiful titles of Jesus.

Now we love that personally for us. Jesus is the friend of me, I’m a sinner. Yes, but the person who sinned against you, that you hate, He’s their friend, too. The friend of your enemy is your God. God wants to give forgiveness to you, and He wants forgiveness to flow through you, because He loves you and He wants your soul to be well.


God is Dependable

God is fatihful, consistent and dependable. No matter what is going on in your life today, you can depend on Him. He often seems to like to keep it where we depend on him one day at a time. That’s why the Lord’s Prayer says:

“Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11

It’s one step at a time. His provision is fresh. It’s daily. He’s got perfect timing. Quit worrying about next year. You’re supposed to plan for the future, but not worry about it. Trust him – trust that He’s going to give you enough today.

We worry so much about things we might not even be alive for. Do you realize that? You’re worried about next year. What if you’re dead? “Oh no, I have a new thing to worry about.” Stop it. You have today. Breathe in, breathe out. God has perfect timing, just when you need it. Never late, but also never early. That’s our God.

He also enjoys talking to you. If God just set you up with enough peace and enough strength to last you for the rest of your life, you’d probably never pray again. And neither would I.

He just gives us what we need for the next fight. We’ve got to go back outside of our tent each day to scoop up some more manna for the next day. That’s how he keeps us in that right relationship with Him.

Our greatest need is time with Him. The longer you’re in contact with Him, the more you can become like Him.


Not By Bread Alone

“…man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.” Deuteronomy 8:3

Scripture compares itself to bread – to good food and a well-rounded diet. Where you’re getting all that you need to get from the whole council of God’s truth.

There is a need you have for the word of God. When you’re getting that kind of diet, it’s going to release energy into your life. You’re going to have the power to do what you’ve been called to do. That’s why Job said:

“I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” Job 23:12

and David said:

“Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.” Jeremiah 15:16

When you’re getting the fuel you need from God’s word you’re going to have the power to do what you’ve been called to do.