Breath of God
Breath of God.
Sermon Notes – Ps. Jim White
Sunday, 15th September, 2019
This morning I’d like to continue on from last week… where we acknowledged again just how important and how vital it is that we see ourselves from God’s perspective! To see ourselves as His sons and daughters, with these incredible treasures on the inside that just need to be released and brought to the light.
You and I have so much more potential within us that is untapped, unseen, and unreleased!
Check out my sermon from last week on our website if you weren’t here, because it contains amazing scriptures about treasures…
Why is it important that we understand who we are? Because we will never experience true fulfilment and be satisfied with life, until we do.
I also said last week that there are most likely aspects of our lives – areas of potential – that we still have no idea about. That applies to the church too of course! Seacoast Church has the potential to become a much greater influence in our community. And a minor issue like this morning’s lack of electricity won’t even be a blimp on the radar. That’s not our ultimate power source!
There are opportunities ahead that God may not have even created yet – or that we haven’t yet had the eyes to see…. Perhaps it’s all about the timing!
But that’s what these messages are all about. Positioning ourselves to be able to truly hear what God is saying… to see life and the world through His eyes… to be ready to seize the moment when it comes.
We need to be embracing the prophetic words of the prophet Joel, that Peter repeated at Pentecost:
Acts 2:17, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh…”
Church I believe it is coming to pass…
And he goes on to speak about prophecies and visions – signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth – but the most exciting thing is that it says in Verse 21: “And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved.”
This scripture is an upward call for us to live a supernatural life – and to have expectations and faith in not only our own God commissioned and God given potential – but that we would begin to see others with the same eyes – and to bring more of an expectation that people will begin to call on the name of the Lord, and that it is now coming to pass that they will be saved!
We can’t do it! But God has promised that He will!
This is Kingdom stuff. This is far bigger than just us. Imagine a supernatural move of God that captures the hearts of nations – of people groups from around the world… when these things come to pass – it will be world wide!
I can’t get poor old Gideon off my mind! I spoke about him last week too! But he is the classic example of the limited approach to life that I’m challenging. How he saw himself, as a weak and ineffective nobody – and carrying all kinds of judgements on God as well… and fear and intimidation regarding his enemies…. It’s the same pattern we can get caught up in today…
We judge ourselves as inadequate – and in and of ourselves, we are! We can fall into the trap of judging God – what He should have done and shouldn’t have done. And we can cower in fear and intimidation to those who oppose us.
But God calls Gideon a mighty man of valour! And He sees Gideon filled with courage and boldness, crushing enemy armies!
And He’s saying the same thing about us even now! We are mighty in His sight. We are righteous in His sight. And it’s all because of who we are in Christ.
It’s a personal revelation to know that God looks upon you and sees Christ! If in fact you have handed your life over to Him.
I can tell you – there have been many times when I could have said to God – are you sure you’ve got the right person?
And if I’m really honest, I have in the past cast judgement on the odd ministry leader, and asked the same question. Not only ministry leader – but secular leaders as well. Are you sure that person is the one you meant to raise up?
But I have had to come to a place of accepting the fact that God certainly does use the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. Because when that happens, He is rightly the One who receives all the praise and all the glory!
It’s never about the natural… It’s all about the supernatural – which is God Himself!
He chose me – He chose you – we are awesome, because He is awesome!
I read this statement as I was preparing for this morning: Christian living is supernatural or it is nothing!
Right at the end of John 15:5, Jesus says: “…without Me you can do nothing.”
It’s true! Without Jesus and the Holy Spirit actively working in our lives – we have nothing.
The full context of that scripture is this:
John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
Other versions say that without Jesus, we are powerless.
I want to be part of a generation that experiences the power of God – To bear fruit that cannot be contained!
We see it in measure even now. We’ve seen God intervene supernaturally in people’s lives just lately. Prayers have been answered.
I can see the power of God being released in pockets. Some of you know that you have been empowered like never before. It’s incredibly encouraging.
But I know a lot of that is because you are entwining yourself with the vine. With Jesus. With the Word.
The second half of Daniel 11:32, says: “…the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.”
Exploits are bold and daring feats. They require courageous and heroic acts. But they are always meant to be grounded in knowing God!
We have no strength in ourselves. But there is a supernatural strength that comes from God alone.
Some of you might simply need supernatural strength to get out of bed in the morning. I know it sounds funny, but seriously – that can be a courageous act for some people. For those who battle depressive thoughts and negativity… strength might mean simply taking your place in the world each day and making it from one moment to the next. For you, to walk through the day in a meaningful way – that’s a great exploit.
Without God’s strength, you wouldn’t make it. And there are plenty who don’t.
So good on you if that’s the level of your overcoming right now.
For others, strength will mean pushing through fear and insecurity, and reaching high achievements in work – in raising a family – in business – in academic study… and for you, these are great exploits.
For others, great exploits come through faith – in believing… it’s being courageous in overcoming unbelief and doubt. This is sometimes the place of miracles. Trusting God – being strengthened by Him – when natural circumstances are screaming something totally different.
You know – we have no right to judge one another. But we have a responsibility to encourage one another. To lift one another up.
And perhaps that in itself is our supernatural expression of faith, strength and courage:
Hebrews 10:24-25, “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.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, “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 help him up.”
The greatest of exploits could very well be taking hold of that opportunity to lift another up – ministering life to the one before you who needs it. We need to be praying for the eyes to see those standing before us that God has placed there for a reason.
Last week I shared quite a number of ways that we can embrace the truth of who we are and embrace the treasures we carry on the inside… through the Word of God, by renouncing the lies we have believed about ourselves, but humbly confessing God’s view of us… by drawing close to God through worship and prayer – seeking those intimate moments with Him where we hear His heart for us and for others.
But this morning, I also want add to all of that, with maybe the most important thing of all.
The Holy Spirit… and especially as He is described as a wind…
John 3:8, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
I believe God is releasing within us – all who are born of the Spirit of God – a fresh sensitivity to His Spirit.
The word for wind is pneuma. It means Spirit of God, but it also means the breath of God.
And we need sensitivity or spiritual discernment because we can’t see with our natural eyes where He comes from – or where He is going… but we can hear Him… and we can see Him at work.
Most of us have fresh images in our minds of what has been happening with the fires which have been burning not too far away from us.
I saw a particularly brutal video of a really powerful wind blowing through the fire, carrying bright orange embers, burning branches and leaves… and they were overtaking the fire fighters and the fire trucks in their path. It was literally a horizontal fire storm.
You can’t see the wind – but you can definitely see the effects – you can hear the sound of it roaring… you can’t see where it’s come from or where it’s going, but there’s no doubt that it’s having a mighty effect.
As it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual.
God says that it will come to pass that He will pour out His Spirit upon all flesh!
Well we need to have our ears open for the sound and our eyes open to see what He’s doing right before us, in people’s lives.
We need to be sensitive to where people are at. Not just looking at what’s on the surface, but what is just below the surface.
We can’t control the Spirit of God just like we can’t control the wind… but that doesn’t mean we aren’t able to respond in a powerful way when it’s obvious that He’s blowing across people’s lives.
He is breathing on people… breathing life into them…
It’s just like it was when Jesus walked amongst the disciples following His resurrection:
John 20:21-22, “So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
Most of us, if not all of us, have been filled with the Holy Spirit, just as the disciples were at Pentecost.
Even then, as they were gathered together and praying in the Upper Room, the Holy Spirit came like a roaring wind. And again, interestingly enough, there appeared like tongues of fire on their heads.
But there was this mighty rushing wind!
When we have the Holy Spirit, He abides in us… But He’s also a wind that keeps blowing – and He’s the breath of God that keeps breathing.
I believe He wants to breathe fresh revelations, fresh treasures, fresh gifts and abilities upon the Church even now! He wants to fan into flame the gifts and treasures that He has placed within us – bringing to life those things that we may not even know are there.
We had a wonderful conversation on Friday with some Aussie people who run a House of Prayer in Israel. As we were talking, it’s just like I could sense something fresh that God was breathing upon us. It was just a fresh glimpse of the richness and depth of God’s heart for Israel.
In many ways, He is breathing upon the Jewish people, and significant numbers are coming to know Jesus Christ as Messiah.
If we are open to where the wind is blowing, we will hear His voice and see the incredible effects of what He is doing – and will do mighty exploits. We will rise up as mighty men and women or valor.
Let the wind blow… Let Him breathe upon you this morning.
It’s also really interesting that as I have been preparing these messages just lately, Venese will share with me then what Smith Wigglesworth has been saying in his daily devotions.
Yesterday, he was talking about the baptism of the Holy Spirit – and links that baptism with the power of the resurrection… which of course makes sense because Romans 8:11 says, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
But then he talks about the overflow effect that occurs in other people’s lives when that happens.
Listen to this direct quote:
“Submit to the power of God. If you yield, other people are saved. You will die unless you have a power of resurrection, a touch for others. But if you live only for God, the other people will be raised out of death and all kinds of evil into a blessed life through the Spirit.”
“Resurrection is evidence that we have awakened with a new line of truth that cannot cease to be, but will always go on with a greater forever and increasing power with God.”
“If you can touch this ideal of God with its resurrection power, you will see that nothing earthly can remain; you will see that all disease will clear out. If you get filled with the Holy Spirit, all satanic forces that cause fits, all lame legs, all these foot afflictions, all these kidney troubles, and all these nervous, fearful things will will go. Resurrection is the word for it. Resurrection shakes away death and breathes life in you; it lets you know that you are quickened from the dead by the Spirit and that you are made like Jesus.”
There’s no holding back with Smith Wigglesworth. He was a man who allowed the treasures within him to bubble to the surface. If ever there was a man of boldness and courage and faith, it was this man.
And he is a great example of what it means to know total dependence on God – on the Holy Spirit and the power of the resurrection dwelling on the inside of him… knowing that he had nothing of himself to offer… and yet he knew that true humility wasn’t about putting himself down – it was about lifting Jesus and others up – recognising that he was a vessel chosen to exalt Christ.
It is definitely about others as much as ourselves…
It’s funny how things just tie together. We’ve got Smith Wigglesworth on one hand – from a generation past – and then I was watching a video yesterday of Todd White – the guy with the dreadlocks… he randomly started talking to this young satanist guy in the street – and you could see the Holy Spirit breathing upon this young man – covered in tattoos of skulls…, he was wearing horns and a black cape – the full getup. He even had red contact lenses that made his eyes frightening to look at.
You couldn’t see the wind blowing – but you could see the way He was touching this young man’s heart as Todd spoke prophetically about God’s calling on his life – about how his parents didn’t recognise how precious his life was – speaking straight into the rejection that was all around him. Todd shared his own story of being totally addicted to drugs at 11 years of age.
This guy was doing his best to keep his cool satanic facade in place, but the longer things went on the more he was crumbling on the inside, and you see the distress come over his face. And he ended up giving Todd a big hug and allowed him to place his head against his own head as Todd prayed for him. It was totally supernatural.
Todd had been a washed up drug addict and criminal in his teens, but God said – it is coming to pass, that I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh…
Church, our fullness of salvation will never come to pass whilst we keep our eyes on ourselves and all the natural things around us. Those things are so inferior to the fullness of potential – the amazing treasures that are hidden on the inside.
Just as a Todd White looked way beyond the outward appearance of this young, broken man – which must have been difficult with those red eyes peering back at him… But Todd reveals a huge key… look to what God is breathing upon… look to the effects of the wind of the Spirit.
We are meant to be calling each other upward – and not just in the church – all those people out there who are yet to discover who they really are.
It’s coming to pass! Mighty men and women seeing the fruit of great exploits…
I dare you to lift up your eyes… let’s stop scratching around in the dirt… in the natural… and get a vision for what can be…
I said earlier, either this life you are living now is going to be filled with supernatural power – or its going to be nothing!
I actually don’t believe any of us are choosing an ineffective Christian life. You wouldn’t be in this church if you were.
But our prayer needs to be – God, breathe upon my life. Breathe upon the treasures within. I choose to allow the supernatural power of God to flow through my life this day.