Born For More
Born For More
Sermon Notes – Ps. Jim White
Sunday, 8th September 2019
How many of you were blessed by the messages that Dean, Warren and Trevor brought last week? I knew they would be good, but I didn’t realise they would be that good! If you want to listen to them again, you can hear them on our website.
It was pretty obvious that I was a bit emotional last week at the end of those mini sermons… which isn’t like me at all…
But it wasn’t emotion because of the moving and heartfelt testimonies and the level of sharing… I was emotional because I could see a far bigger picture.
These men were representing all of us men here last Sunday. And I know that each one of them was stepping up, and stepping out of their comfort zone to actually come up here and speak.
But it gave me a glimpse into the depth of inner resources and inner strength, ability and giftedness – Anointing – that not only do those three men have… but that we all have – men and women – and it’s not even so much about the abilities of Dean, Warren, Trevor and the rest of us… it’s about the unlimited potential that God has placed in each one of us…
And I’m talking about much more than just preaching. I’m talking about our untapped potential to simply live a bigger life for God!
We had a prophetic word last week also – a call for the men in particular to rise to their God commissioned destiny…
So this message this morning is about positioning ourselves… men and women… in a place where God Himself has free access to all that we are … and all the potential that He has put in us.
I want this message this morning to burn in your heart and spirit. We need to set some fires going… There are a few destructive fires burning in the natural… but we just need to see a few Holy Ghost fuelled fires start in our own lives!
Because we carry a truth that is life changing! It’s world changing! But you will never change another person’s life, let alone the world, if the truth that you know and carry on the inside hasn’t actually changed you!
I’m just grateful that I’m sharing this today because of how much I was encouraged last week – not discouraged!
And it’s not just about last week. I am encouraged all the time by the depth of faith and the depth of character that I see in each of you every day.
So it’s exciting to know that there are treasures that God has placed inside us that are yet to be opened and discovered. And that we are truly Born For More!
I would go as far as to say that there are things that God has placed in your life that you have never seen or didn’t even know existed.
My 20 and 30 year old self would have been in total shock at what my 40, 50 and now 60 year old self has experienced. I had no idea what was ahead of me. I would have freaked out big time. In fact, I still do freak. But God knew all along. And he revealed things in His timing.
Many of you could say that same thing.
And God still has opportunities for you to step into that He may not have even created for you yet or revealed to you.
And if that all sounds a bit overwhelming, take a moment to consider a few of those people in the bible who had struggles and doubts and anxieties just like we do.
The first person I thought of was Gideon.
So the story of Gideon starts with Him threshing wheat in a wine press. Why a wine press? Because he’s hiding… he’s afraid that the Midianites might find him. And he just wants to fly under the radar and mind his own business.
Judges 6:12-13, “And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!”
“Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”
Quite a response to an angel of the Lord… but Gideon’s response is perfect! It’s perfect, because it’s a perfect example of how many Christians are responding to God even now.
God, you’re telling me all these amazing things about who I am and what I’m supposed to be doing… and yet I look around me and see this wrong, and that wrong, and this person is suffering, and that person is off the rails, and you didn’t do this for me, and I’m feeling all alone and like you don’t even hear my prayers…
And just like Gideon, we throw back at Him all these reasons why we’re just hiding away in our own little world… as if we have every right to close ourselves off from the God of the Universe.
But God has none of it.
Judges 6:14, “Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?”
I love that about God. He doesn’t have to justify Himself. He doesn’t have to lower himself to our level of ignorance. His ways are far greater than ours, and He wants to show Himself mighty – even through broken rebellious vessels like you and I.
I won’t go through all of Gideon’s negotiating with God. It’s too close to home for all of us.
But after telling God why God Himself has fallen short, Gideon then goes on to tell Him why he isn’t good enough for the job.
Judges 6:15, “So he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”
In the Message bible, It quotes Gideon saying, “I’m the runt of the litter.”
Then he wants a sign from God; not just one sign, but two signs… God actually gives him three…
As we are going to see, the point of this whole story is that this is the man God had chosen to deliver Israel from it’s enemies. This fearful, unworthy, insignificant, unbelieving man, with a chip on his shoulder… a man who had thrown his hands in the air and told God to His face that as the Creator of the Universe, He wasn’t doing a good enough job!
But it’s not what Gideon saw or didn’t see in himself that was the issue. It’s what God saw!
And it’s what God did with him that counted for everything. God spoke over Gideon his true identity and destiny. He said: you are a mighty man of valour, and you will deliver Israel from the hands of its enemy.
He was basically saying, get your eyes off yourself, off your past, off your weakness and failings… off your small minded opinions of how you see the world… Get your eyes off the enemy… And focus on Me!
It’s a message for us – right now!
He’s looking for trust.. He’s looking for men and women of Faith… He’s looking for dependency on Him alone…
Especially as sons and daughters under the New Covenant that we are in now, God doesn’t look upon our inadequacies. He see us in Christ! He sees who we are in Christ! He sees His own Spirit in us! Amazingly, He sees us covered in a robe of righteousness because of the Blood of Jesus Christ.
Of course Gideon isn’t our only example of men wanting to shrink back from God’s calling on their life because of their own perceived weakness and failings.
Moses tried to argue with God…
God told him to go to the people of Israel and lead them out of Egypt, and take them into the promised land.
And straight away Moses says, But what if they don’t believe me? So God gave him a few signs as well that He was with him in supernatural power…
Exodus 4:10, “Then Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”
And I love God’s response:
Exodus 4:11-12, “So the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.”
Moses didn’t get it. He was focused only on himself. God was trying to tell Him – your mouth is My mouth. Your mind is My mind. I’ll teach you and show everything you need… if I want to make the mute speak, I will. If I want to make the blind see, I will…
And God ended up doing incredible, miraculous signs and wonders through Moses; delivering God’s people from Pharoah, parting the Red Sea, receiving the Ten Commandments on stone tablets straight from the finger of God… putting up with all the negativity and criticism from the people in the desert… remaining strong in his leadership…
He waivered when he struck the rock in anger and frustration to get water to flow… which cost him dearly…
But God’s supernatural strength and ability was with Him always.
I believe God is saying to us today:
2 Corinthians 12:9, “… “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
This was God’s response to Paul as he asked God to take away the thorn in his flesh…
Do you know why we don’t know exactly what Paul’s thorn in the flesh is? Because we all have them… and it’s not about Paul… it’s about us and how we deal with our own thorns…
Paul’s response?: “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Many of the great stories in the bible – the supernatural breakthroughs, the parting of seas, the conquering of nations… these things were achieved by men who felt weak, inadequate, failures – who didn’t measure up…
And we can feel like that… But God isn’t looking for men and women who have their own strength and ability… He’s looking for men and women who are surrendered to Him and totally reliant on Him.
1 Corinthians 1:27, “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;”
I understand that everyone has busy lives. You work. You have families. You have a life that is full and demanding. You are committed to your faith in God and so you rightly see the church community as a vital part of your life…
Many of you have opportunities to express your faith through your everyday life… some of you even work in your God ordained calling and ministry out there in the world.
And so I see this message speaking into all of that. Who you are on Monday through to Saturday is just as important as who you are on a Sunday. This is about life! It’s about allowing God to draw upon and release everything He has placed inside you – and letting it overflow into your whole life.
Too many of us are living far below our potential. And it’s in releasing that God factor that is going to reveal to people that you truly are a child of God.
It’s about our part (whether small or large) in enlarging and extending the kingdom of God on earth.
Author, Myles Munro, says: “The wealthiest spot on planet earth is not the oil fields of Saudi Arabia, or the goldmines of South Africa. The richest deposits on our planet lie not many blocks from your house, in your local cemetery.”
‘Buried beneath the soil of those sacred grounds are songs that never were sung, books that never were written, paintings that never filled a canvas, ideas that never became a reality. Tragically, our graveyards are filled with potential that was never fulfilled.”
And so you can see what I meant earlier, that as I listened to the men speaking last week, it’s not just about bringing a good message on a Sunday morning… it’s about what we’ve have been born for… it’s about who we are…
I know I keep repeating myself, but we have to make sure we are grasping God’s perception of who we are.
Because He is saying things like – you are a mighty man of valour! You are called to bring down enemy armies. You are called to go in My power and might. Your weakness is actually to your advantage because I can make my power and strength perfect in your weakness.
I don’t think we will ever truly be satisfied until we take that step of faith and trust God to fill our mouths, strengthen our hearts, renew our minds, lead us to places that we would never have dreamed of going.
God sees you as so much more valuable and precious than you ever could see yourself. Because He knows you better than you know yourself. He created you – He knows what He has placed within you!
Listen to the words of this song:
It’s called The Touch of the Master’s Hand’, and if you’ve been around here for a long time, you’ll remember it’s been sung right here on this platform…
“‘Twas battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
Hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
But he held it up with a smile.
‘What am I bid, good people’, he cried,
‘Who starts the bidding for me?’
‘One dollar, one dollar, do I hear two?’
‘Two dollars, who makes it three?’
‘Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three’.
From the room far back a grey-bearded man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet
As sweet as the angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said ‘What now am I bid for this old violin?’
As he held it aloft with its’ bow.
‘One thousand, one thousand, do I hear two?’
‘Two thousand, who makes it three?’
‘Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone’, said he.
The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
‘We just don’t understand’.
‘What changed its’ worth?’
Swift came the reply:
‘The Touch of the Master’s Hand’.
And many a man with life out of tune
All battered and bruised with hardship
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin.
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Master’s Hand”.
The Father changes everything. He is the One who uncovers the treasure within.
I did a search for scriptures about treasure. You can check the references later in my notes on the website… but just let these words wash over you:
All from the Passion Translation:
2 Corinthians 4:7, “We are like common clay jars that carry this glorious treasure within, so that the extraordinary overflow of power will be seen as God’s, not ours.”
Colossians 1:5, “Your faith and love rise within you as you access all the treasures of your inheritance stored up in the heavenly realm…”
Colossians 1:27, “Living within you is the Christ who floods you with the expectation of glory! This mystery of Christ, embedded within us, becomes a heavenly treasure chest of hope filled with the riches of glory for his people, and God wants everyone to know it!”
2 Timothy 1:14, “Guard well this incomparable treasure by the Spirit of Holiness living within you.”
Peter 2:9, “But you are God’s chosen treasure —priests who are kings, a spiritual “nation” set apart as God’s devoted ones…”
Matthew 13:52, “Every scholar of the Scriptures, who is instructed in the ways of heaven’s kingdom realm, is like a wealthy home owner with his house filled with treasures both new and old. And he knows how and when to bring them out to show others.”
There are so many more… but you get the picture. There are treasures within you that are yet to be released.
How do we position ourselves for that to happen?
Let those words infiltrate into your spirit. Let the Word of God change you! The Word is what builds your faith – it gives faith it’s substance.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to what you carry. Pray for spiritual discernment.
Worship – especially in your own private space… because you will be transformed and changed by what and Who you worship.
Renounce the lies of the enemy that this is as good as it gets. Renounce your believing that you are unworthy of God doing anything with…
Start to believe the truth that there are treasures within you – just as the Word says – that are yet to be discovered. That there are opportunities coming that you can’t even imagine.
Let the coals in your belly be fanned into flame.
Put your trust in God. Trust Him that what He created is good!
Stop telling God about all the things you see that He’s not doing right. Make a choice to submit all your opinions and attitudes to the truth of His Word.
Stop making excuses, that you can’t speak, you won’t be believed, that the thorn in your flesh is too much of a barrier to God. Because His strength is made perfect in your weakness.
Don’t look at what is – look at what could be! Start thinking with expectation, faith and hope.
Make it a priority to know God more.
For some of you, it’s about leaving even the good things of that past where they belong. Because while you’re reminiscing about the good old days, you’re not looking to what new treasures the future might hold.
Life is too short to be continually dwelling on the past… we’re called to be dreaming about the possibilities of the future!
Be brave and courageous and dare to step out of your comfort zone.
Truly believe that you are Born For More!