I want to start off with a Psalm, pray over us and then we’ll get into it. Psalm 125:1-2 says, “Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people, from this time forth and forevermore.” Let us pray. “Lord, I thank You for that promise that those who trust in You, who confess the Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior have a promise that we cannot be upended, we cannot be separated from the love of Jesus Christ, that we will endure forever. Though there may be trials and tribulations on this side, nothing can separate us. So Lord, You know that I am insufficient, but You have given me this treasure in this jar of clay to proclaim Your glory, Your power. And Lord, may You speak mightily and boldly. It’s in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”
So when I was in Dallas Theological Seminary, they told me that good preachers start off with illustrations. So in my attempt to be a good preacher, let me open with an illustration. I have a two-year-old daughter. I marvel at how children can do things that grown-ups can never get away with. Let me put this in perspective. Some people may call me
crazy, but I’m a little bit of a Nazi when it comes to potty training because I started at seven months with my daughter. Hopefully she’s now in Recovery over that. So she’s two and we turned it up a little bit more. We have a seat that we put on top of the toilet seat. She has this thing where she come out and sometimes she’ll say, “Daddy, I pee peed.” I’m like, “Oh, that’s good.” She goes up to her mom and says, “Mommy, I pee peed.” And we live with Chris Chavez and his family, so she’ll go up to the Chavez’s and say, “Uncle Chris and Auntie Heather, I pee peed.” Now let me put this in perspective. If I go to the bathroom and I come out to anybody and say, “Geoff Ashley, I pee peed,” they would have the security subdue me and there might be questions asked.
It’s a light-hearted illustration, but the point there is to show that my daughter’s awareness there is cute, it’s cuddly
and it doesn’t lead to any wounds, at least hopefully not. It’s fun. The question I ask you is this. What happens when awareness leads to slavery in one’s lifetime, leads to oppression, down-trodden, a spirit that’s poor? We were watching this show two days ago on homeless teens in America. There are over two million homeless teens across America.
And there was one story that struck me to the core about David, who was a middle schooler and he wanted to portray himself as a girl called June. It wasn’t even that, but the thing that struck me was that David was unaware of who he was in the Lord. Because David said, “By middle school, I have slept with so many men that I’ve lost track.” Some would say, “Well, maybe David’s fine with that lifestyle.” Really? If he was fine with that lifestyle, he wouldn’t be trying to overdose and kill himself countless times. And I think of verses like Genesis 1:28-28 that say that we were made in the image of God. That alone is a verse that could change the historic way that people walk in this lifetime. The fact that you could walk up to someone who says, “I need to find existence in other men or other women,” and say, “You were created in the image of God. He has something better for you.” You see, that awareness leads to one trying to kill themselves, it leads to a slavery, it leads to wounds. It is my belief that we walk with this unawareness of who we are when it comes to being disciples of Christ and that it may lead to wounds in others, wounds to ourselves, and all the while Satan is saying, “Yeah, that’s cute, but my plan is to kill you.” As one pastor would say of the enemy, he presents things and they look to be friendly, but he is not your friend. So my hope at the end of this time is to show you who we are in Christ. I want to make you aware of that, and then I want to ask you the question in light of your awareness: What is on your radar?” I’m going to ask this question over and over again. In light of the awareness of who we are in Christ, what is on your radar?
So turn with me to Luke 4:18-19. As you turn there, I want to give you some insight into these verses. The verses that we’re going to read are quoted out of Isaiah 61:1-2b. Now this is very pivotal, because in Isaiah 6, he says, “I saw this vision of the Lord seated high upon the throne and His train filled the temple and His glory was seen. I saw the angels cover up themselves while singing, ‘Holy, holy, holy.’ And then I saw that I was a man of unclean lips, and then I realized
I was among people who were of the same standard. And then an angel flew to me and said, ‘Who shall go?’ And I said, ‘Send me. I’ll go.’” But the powerful thing about that is he sees this magnificent Lord. And the question is, “Who does
he see?” He sees Christ Jesus, the triune God. Why? Because in Philippians 2, it says Christ became obedient to death, even death on a cross and He gave Him the name among all names. Why does that matter? Isaiah sees this powerful vision of the Lord Christ. Coming into Luke, the angel appears to the shepherds and he says, “The Lord has been born. You need to go see Him.” Then the shepherds go, “We must go see this thing that the Lord has revealed to us.” So the Lord, though still a baby, reveals to the shepherds that He is being born. That’s the miracle. So we move from that and the Lord gets baptized by John the Baptist. The Spirit of the Lord descends upon Him and says He is well pleased with Him. And they move forward and it says that, filled with the Holy Spirit, He gets tempted by Satan. Then after that it says, “In the power of the Holy Spirit, He starts His ministry.” And that brings us to these verses in Luke. Why does that matter? Because the powerful Lord who Isaiah saw in the Old Testament has been born in a manger and now is about to read these verses in front of His disciples whom He will call, and then He would give us that same mission to go in that same power. And the question is: Are you aware of that and what is even on your radar? Because that is very powerful, that the God who has the utmost name of holiness gave us a ministry to model and to walk out in that same power.
Let’s look. Luke 4:18-19, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Notice in verse 18 that it says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me.” I love that because He’s saying, “Disciples, understand that it’s not a spirit, it’s the Spirit, sent from the Lord in submission, but still the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” So he’s saying, “The Spirit of the Lord, which is the Lord, is upon me.” That word for “upon” takes on many facets like a diamond has many angles. Not only is it “upon,” but it goes before, it stands by and it’s at everything that one does when it believes in the power of the Lord. He’s saying, “This is what I’m about to model for you, disciples.” If we want to see change, we must believe that the Lord goes before us, we must believe that He is upon us and we must believe that He is at our action. In order for that to happen, we cannot be in this ethereal world thinking that it is a reality. We must be fleshing this thing out.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.” Why is it upon him? It’s not just upon him to be a closet Christian. He said, “It is
upon me because He has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor.” Let me give you some verses that will bring clarity in why I say this is for us. Luke 6:40 says, “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.” He’s saying, “Hey, you’re not above Christ, but once you’re fully trained, you’ll be like Him. You won’t be Him, but you will be like Him.” The call and the goal was to model everything that He wanted them
to walk out in. When Christ said, “Go and make disciples,” He says, “Not it’s your turn.” 2 Corinthians 5:20 says, “We are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.” So what does that mean? When people see us, they should see the power of Jesus Christ fleshed out. Is it on your radar? 2 Corinthians 3:7-13 talks about Moses and his glory. Moses, even in his sin, did miracles. Now I want you to think about that. There have been times where my wife and I are in heated fellowship, and in my sin, I can’t make water come from a rock. I don’t have that type of juice as we would say in the urban areas. Juice = anointing. I don’t have that type of anointing. We see Moses, even in his sin, making water come from a rock. He hit it twice, and the Lord said, “Moses, you used My glory to display your frustration and your glory,” but it still showed the power Moses walked in. In 2 Corinthians 3:7-13, it says that because of the glory Moses had, he had to veil his face so the Israelites would not look upon him. Now what does that mean? It means he had a pretty good swag going on, a nice little shine. Then it goes on to say that we have a glory, not like that of Moses that was glorious but fading away, but we have a glory that supersedes that of Moses. We have a greater glory than Moses, one that doesn’t fade away. And the Bible says that because of that great glory, we use great boldness in our speech. Notice it doesn’t say we have to have resources, we have to have the house and all these tangible things. It says if you can cognitively understand the gospel and if you have a voice to speak, if you can put together nouns, pronouns, subjects, predicates, adjectives and verbs, you have a greater glory than Moses. Now I want that to be a selah. I don’t want us to miss that. Because Moses was a glorious and powerful guy, and He’s saying, “I’m calling you to walk in a power that supersedes that, and I’m going to model that for you, but I’m going to leave it with you. And when people see you, they should see Me and see the same power.” Are you aware of that? Is that even on your radar?
The first thing we would see in Jesus’ four-fold ministry is He says, “He has anointed me to preach the gospel, to proclaim, to herald, to use words to share the gospel with the poor.” Many of have asked me the question, “How have the suburbs been treating you?” So I’m going to answer you. Well, I’ll be honest with you. At first, I wouldn’t say they weren’t treating me well, but it was tough. I’ll tell you why. In the inner-city or urban areas, to me it’s an easy reminder of the spiritual state of people’s souls. When you walk into the inner-city, you see the ghettos, you see homeless men, you see the prostitutes. I went to school where we would talk to the homeless men all the time, we would talk to the drunk, we would talk to the prostitute. That was just normal. We would ride public transportation. That was normal. But it was a normal reflection of people’s soul. So when you walked out the door, you’d hear gunshots, you see the rundown homes and you’d say, “Yeah, that’s the state of people’s souls.” You see a bad house, that’s a reflection that people need shelter in the Lord. You see someone seeking pleasure in drugs, you say that’s really a reflection that they need pleasure in the Lord. On and on I could go. But when you get to the suburbs, it’s a lull. Everything is in slow motion. It’s like Pleasantville. Nothing goes wrong here. You go to a barbecue and they flip the burgers in slow motion. People’s teeth are so white. You go to a soccer game and everybody wins. I’m like, “Lord, what is going on here?” So at first I
was like, “Man, these people don’t seem like they need the Lord. They don’t need the gospel. Everything is fine.” And the Lord was just hounding me. He was saying, “Adam, when is the last time you read your Bible and understood what poor means from a biblical perspective?” Because when the Bible talks about “poor,” it’s not talking about the physical poor, even though that’s in there. You see the Gerasene demoniac. He lived in a cave, so he was poor physically, but he was also poor spiritually. When the Bible uses the word “poor,” it’s talking about the spiritual state of one’s soul. So He calls us to minister to both. He says, “I’m going to model before you that there are those are poor physically and poor spiritually. There are those who are poor spiritually, yet they are rich physically.” So then the Lord began to press on my heart, “You’re around poor people. They just can mask it better than in the inner-city.” So when He convicted me of that, when He showed me the revelation, then I began to get excited. I was like, “Oh, this is a buffet. It’s on!”
So we see that fleshed out in the Scriptures. As I said, you see that in the Gerasene demoniac in Luke 8:26-39. We see this in Luke 12:13-21 with the rich young fool. This guy wants to build bigger barns. He says, “What shall I do? I should say to myself, ‘Eat, drink and be merry.’” And the Lord said, “Your soul is required of you this very time.” And then He says, “So will be likewise of who are not rich towards the Lord.” This guy was rich in this world, but he was poor towards the Lord. And He says, “This will be required of every person who is not rich towards the Lord.” I would say from the spiritual state of America, we live in a prosperous nation. Statistics will say if you make more than $35,000, you are in the top 15- 20% of the world. If you make over $44,000, you are in the top 7-12% of the world. So being born in America alone gives us a ten talent existence. So now the Lord is saying, “What are you doing with those talents? Are you burying them in the sand? Are you using them for yourself? Or are you using them as tools to go preach the good news to the poor?” Here
in Flower Mound it will be those who have a lot, but they are masking the fact that their lives are just as run down as that ghetto and that shack in the inner-city. And the Lord is saying, “I haven’t given you these things, whether it’s the boats, the houses and being able to ski here, vacation there, eat there and for it to terminate on yourself. What are you doing with the reality that most don’t get to go there or have that? And now you have an opportunity to share with that person who is poor. He says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.” So what I’m saying is, if you are in Christ, the Spirit of the Lord is upon you. Are you aware of that? Is that even on your radar? Or do you feel like you have to get to South Dallas to get to poor people? Because you live next door to many poor people. Is it on your radar?
So when the Lord was hounding me about that, conviction set in and I was like, “You know what, Lord? You put me in a place of ministry.” The Lord doesn’t call us in an umbrella sense to places; He calls us to people. I know some of you theologians will go, “Well Paul had the Macedonian vision.” That’s true, but on his way to Macedonia, he still fleshed out the gospel. It’s comical when I hear people say, “Well, I just feel called to those people.” The logic of that is like saying, “Well I feel called to Sudan. So does that mean I’m not going to share with the people in the restaurant or at the gas station? I going to let somebody who feels called to the waiter to share with the waiter. I’m going to let somebody who is called to the car wash people to share with the car wash people. But me, I’m called to Sudan. I’m sorry.” That’s how many of us think. We go, “Well, my calling is for the inner-city, so I’m just not going to talk to anybody in the suburbs.” And the Lord said, “You have missed what I modeled in the Scriptures. This whole world without Christ is poor.” I don’t care what it looks like, the whole world without Christ is poor. What are you going to do about it? He has called us to preach the good news to the poor. He modeled that before us. He said, “This is why the Spirit is upon Me, this is why the Spirit is upon Adam and this is why the Spirit is upon anyone who claims Jesus Christ is to preach the good news,
to herald the name of Christ to the poor. It’s to share about he death, burial and resurrection. It’s to talk about the unconditional love of God and the fact that if you die without Christ, you will have an eternal separation from Jesus in hell.” He says we are called to the poor. Is it on your radar?
Are you aware? Are you aware of the power that the Lord gives you? Are you aware of the power He calls us to walk
in? It is so phenomenal in Luke 4:1 when it says Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit when he went into the wilderness to
be tempted. In verse 14 it says Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Holy Spirit. Those are two different things there. Those who come to know the Lord are filled with the Spirit. Those who name Jesus Christ are filled. But that’s
not the question. The question is are you walking in the power of that with what you are filled? The Lord said to Timothy, “It’s great that you’re filled, but we need to stir that gift that’s within you. You need to fan into flame the things that were prophesied and spoken over you by your mom and grandmother. You need to practice these things.” I’ll give you an illustration I would share that I think is quite extreme but hits home. I haven’t played basketball a lot, but I feel like I have some insight into the game of basketball. If there was a guy who said, “Hey Adam, I want to be a great basketball player,” I would ask him some questions. I would say, “Hey, are you on a basketball team?” If he said, “No, but I’ve memorized
all the basketball plays known to man.” I would say, “Okay. Do you play recreational ball?” “No, but I have seen all the plays and all the film on John Wooden, and I have all the libraries. We can sit down and watch them.” “Okay, level with me then. Do you play one-on-one with some guys?” “No, but I’ve seen all the greatest one-on-one plays that Michael Jordan ever did in the NBA.” “Okay, well do you even own a basketball?” “No, but I can draw you a mean one.” I would respond to that guy and say, “You really don’t want to become a basketball player. You want to talk about it, you want to dream about it but you really don’t want to become a basketball player.” And what the Lord was saying to me is, “The problem, Adam, is not that you don’t know enough verses. You can quote them with the best. The problem is that you’re not fleshing out that which you know.” Now I believe that’s the spiritual state not of myself only, but of most of us. The problem is not access to more information and Bible study. The problem is not knowing the Greek, the Latin and the Hebrew enough. That’s not the problem. The problem is we’re not playing.
And what the Lord shows us that you cannot separate power and witnessing. And I don’t mean witnessing in the sense of evangelism. I mean witnessing in the sense that, when people look at you, they know, “That is one who believes in Jesus Christ, one who uses great boldness in his speech.” Acts 1:8 says, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And what we tend to do is fracture that verse and say, “Hey, power from on high, and then I may get to being a witness.” No. That verse literally is written to show you that if you are not being a witness, you will not walk in power. But we have separated Christianity and we want to be closet Christians who want the power, want to talk about the power and exude the power, but we don’t want to share with anybody. So the Lord has been on me about this, and by God’s grace, I pray that by the end of this you will have a hope to say, “He has required more of me.”
This has fleshed out in my life recently when the Lord has been pressing this down upon me. Some may say I that I eat at Empress of China a little too much. Last week, I ate there four times. So they’re probably right. And when the Lord was putting this fresh on my soul, He was saying, “Are people in this situation even in your radar? Do you believe that I have allowed you to eat at Empress of China all this time just for Chinese food?” So I was like, “Okay, we’re going to do this thing, Lord. So I’m going in this door, and whoever is my waiter is going to get it and they’re going to get it strong.” And boy did they. So we sat down. My waiter’s name ended up being Jimmy. I said, “Jimmy, I’m going to be honest with you. I eat her all the time. I’m hard to miss. I really want to tell you why all these pastors and I are here. We’re from The Village Church, and we’re not just good Christian guys who come in here and love Chinese food. We want to see you saved and reconciled to the Lord. Do you mind sharing with me your religious beliefs.” He said, “No. I’m a Buddhist, but I’m not practicing.” So I said, “Okay. Jimmy, what would you do if you were on the freeway and about to get hit by a Mack truck? Would you want somebody to save you?” He says, “Yes.” I asked, “Why?” He says, “Because it shows that they care for me.” I said, “I’m glad that you used that word. Because right now, with you being a Buddhist practicing or not, you are in the way daily of something called death and separation from the Lord. And at any time, it could hit you. And I want
to share with you the love of Jesus Christ, not because there is a judgment upon you right now, but because I care for you. And I believe in it. And that’s why we’re here.” But even after that, with the relationship I have with Jimmy and the conversations I get to get into with him after that has been phenomenal. And it started with the Lord going, “Adam, is it even on your radar?” So it doesn’t mean you have to share with everybody. I’m saying it should be on your radar.
Let me put it in an illustration like this. When I counsel people who come out of affairs, they say it always starts like this. It always starts from a longing and a dissatisfaction with where they are. And then it moves to a looking, a looking for candidates. So I’m dissatisfied, I’m longing to be somewhere else and now I’m looking. It’s at the gym, it’s at Starbucks. Is it this person? Is it that person? Then it goes to a learning through experience. So go from longing to looking and now I’m approaching and I’m learning through conversation. “Well that person is faithful. Well that person they’re disgruntled but they’re committed. Oh this person right here, I got me one.” So to redeem that I would ask this. Is there a holy lust for the things that the Lord has called us to? Do you long for what Jesus has modeled for us, for what His disciples have shown us in the book of Acts, for what Paul says is obtainable for us in the epistles? Do you long for that? Are you even looking for that? Notice that I haven’t said anything about what you need to do? I’m not saying, “Here’s what you need to do. You need to memorize this ten times, you need to do this three times and you need to do that four times.” I’m just saying let’s talk how Jesus talked. Is there a longing in your heart? Are you then looking for it? And then are you trying to learn?
One of the biggest things I don’t want you to hear is what one book would say is the sin of triumphalism when it comes to Christianity. What do I mean by that? We tend to paint people like Paul, Christ, the disciples as if everything they did, they triumphed in. We treat it like it was celebration, it was high fives, it was chest bumps. But it was tough. Think about Paul. We read stuff like Paul was shipwrecked, he got the thirty-nine lashes five times and then we move on to the next sentence. Let’s talk about being shipwrecked. Now just imagine you get shipwrecked and you are adrift at sea. There is no one around you. You’re thinking, “Okay, this is how I’m going leave the world, huh Lord? This is it.” We act like Paul is like, “Praise the Lord for this shipwreck.” When he talks about it, he’s like, “That was tough.” So I dare not communicate to you that these things are easy. Even with Jimmy, I was like, “Okay, how am I going to start this conversation, Lord?”
So the thing we have to understand is that there is real emotion, real people and what I would call failing for the kingdom in the eyes of man but succeeding for the Lord. It’s okay to fail in the eyes of man while succeeding in the eyes of the Lord. We have to be okay with that. Because we do not focus on the things that are present. We focus on the things unseen, and Peter says, “Though we do no see Christ, we love Him, and even though we cannot behold Him, we have Him. And there is a treasure stored up for, undefiled. It will not rust, it will not fade away and it is reserved for those who claim the name of Jesus Christ.” And we have bought into the lie that we need for that to be now. Preach the good news to the poor. Is it even on your radar?
I think it’s funny that we are the only ones I know that, when we eat food, we’re talking about the next meal. That is very Texan. When I go home to Detroit, we do not do that. You could be at a four star restaurant eating the greatest steak known to man and be like, “What’s going to be the next meal?” We’re eating food and talking about the next sauce that’s going to be on the smoked ribs. So let’s talk about that. Here in Flower Mound, we have our staple restaurants that you will see in every suburb, Chick-Fil-A, Pei Wei, McCalister’s and Chipotle. So I know some of us are going to frequent there. Are the people there on your radar? Do you see them just as waiters or as people who have souls? Are you longing to communicate the love of Jesus Christ? Are you looking for that to be fleshed out? Are we longing to see those people there? Because those are real people, real souls who are in danger of dying a death and being separated from the Lord.
So now that I’ve beat my first point dead, I’ll give you my next three points real quick. Back to Luke 4. “He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives.” When we go through this, what I’m trying to frame is a lens in which Jesus wanted His disciples to see life through, what I would call the four-fold ministry. The four folds are the poor, the captives, those who are blind (physically and spiritually) and those who are oppressed and down-trodden. So that’s the lens He wanted the disciples to see through and He is challenging us to see through. He says, “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” That is the umbrella of, “Now is the time. Do not harden your heart in the day of salvation.” So when we come to, “proclaim liberty to the captives,” both spiritually and physically, we see that all the time in the gospels. It’s not just physical; it’s spiritual. And even if He heals the physical, it’s to go back to the spiritual. So that’s why the social gospel is another gospel, because it says, “If I change the physical, whether I talk about the spiritual, this person is alright.” What Christ shows is that that’s not true. Let’s take Mary Magdalene as a person who was captive. It says that she had seven demons. Now that is a physical torment that’s going on there. But it says that after she was released, then she started to follow Jesus. The releasing of that was for the purpose of her spiritual soul to be renewed to follow the Lord and to proclaim His name. So whether it’s in the suburbs, the inner-city or overseas, if it’s us using physical means, it has to point towards the spiritual. Or else we are building on our foundation wood, hay and stubble and the Lord is going to say when we sin before Him, that you’re one who just escapes the flame, because everything will be burned up.
So we have the power, the anointing that Jesus modeled for us to preach the gospel to the poor, to proclaim the release of the captives, to recover sight to the blind. I like this one because you see two people who were blind. When the disciples started with Christ, they weren’t seeing spiritually, but He says in Luke 10, “You see what kings and prophets long to see.” And then He restores sight to the blind man Bartimaeus, and the after that it says Bartimaeus started to follow Him and those who saw that started praising God. So again, we see this two-fold spiritual and physical. He’s healing the physical for the purpose of the spiritual, but it always goes back to following the Lord.
“… to set at liberty those who are oppressed.” Turn with me to Luke 13. We have here the Pharisees have a problem with Jesus healing on the Sabbath. There is a woman who was bent over for eighteen years. So Jesus heals this woman and He says, “And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” So He’s asking a question, “Are you more concerned about the rituals than you are about the prince of the power of the air being shown that he’s not great, that Christ conquers him?” Again, this is what Christ
is modeling before us. If we realize our confidence, our position, our purpose and our power is in Christ, you are like Mount Zion and you cannot be upended. You will endure forever. The Lord surrounds you like the mountains surround Jerusalem. That means greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. The same Spirit in Luke 4:18 that was upon Christ is the same Spirit that raised Him from the dead and it’s the same Spirit that Paul says in Romans 8 is inside of your body. And he says, “If the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead is inside of you, will it not bring life to your mortal bodies?” He’s talking about freedom from this oppression, freedom from this captivity. And we are to display that freedom and that power. It’s the same Spirit. I don’t know about you, but that’s phenomenal to me.
So we look at what’s happening right now in Egypt. These protestors for the most part aren’t Christians. They’re tired of the government and are saying, “We’re going to overthrow the government.” Those 20,000 people organized something on Facebook and Twitter, who do not walk in the power of the Lord. Think about that. They just created at historic moment, and they do not have the Spirit that raised Christ from the dead. Now how much more could the royal priesthood of believers who have the Spirit who literally raised Christ from the dead do? The history books should be flooded with what Christians do in their neighborhoods and their societies for the Lord. There are certain pockets of movements that you will see out there. What I’m saying is that we have all the power that we need in the gospel. We have all the media. But are you aware? What’s on your radar? Because Luke 8:14 would say for most, the cares, the pleasures and the trials of this world are what’s on our radar and they choke out the fruit from becoming mature. We would rather settle for an immature fruit than for a mature fruit. Because at the end of the day we can say, “At least we have some fruit.” And that’s a cheap exchange. My hope, my prayer is that we would move forward in power.
Let me share another story before I close. I got to spend some time with the Chin refugee ministry. They were just telling me about the history of the Chin refugees. Long story short, they were Christians persecuted in Burma, they fled to Malaysia and then came to the States. They live in bad conditions according to American standards. Toxic mold that
can kill you, that’s what they’re living in as we speak. So the Chin would say, “We don’t want to hear poor refugee talk. What we need from you is to train us in English so we can understand the Scriptures. So then we can train our generation to send them back those who persecuted us, because they don’t have the gospel.” 2 Corinthians 6:10, “Though I am poor physically, I am rich. Though I possess nothing, I possess everything.” We have all that we need just in articulation of the gospel.
When Next was ending, Matt said, “I just want to believe the Lord for thousands to be saved, and the only way that’s going to happen is through you.” And when I looked at some faces, some people were like, “Yeah, that’s right it’s going to be through us.” And I looked at some faces that were like, “I don’t know about that.” I thought it was phenomenal because when you look at historic movements and even the movement of Christianity in the book of Acts, it was ignited by the apostles, but it was progressed by the royal priesthood. The royal priesthood is us. I don’t see myself differently because I’m a pastor. I see myself and you all together in this fight and at the least proclaim the Lord’s name, setting people free, pointing them to Jesus and walking in freedom. That’s just base level. But somehow the bar has been raised for the pastor and lowered for the royal priesthood. And now we think it’s just about going to restaurants and saying, “Thank You, Lord.” It’s so much more than that. The Lord has so much more for you, so much for us. He has
so much more power that we can be walking in. Are you aware of it? Do you want it? Is it even on your radar? My hope
is that it is.
Let me close in prayer. “Lord, I thank You for this time. I thank You that we are royals priests, that You have given us a power that supersedes that of Moses, a power that allows us to walk in a freedom of the accusations of the enemy. Lord, my prayer is, if there are those who are having a hard time believing it, that You would send them forward after we sing these songs unto You. I pray that people would be set free, that people would come to know You, Lord. From the mechanic to the CPA to the welder, Lord, we have been allowed a relationship to walk in power. Lord, I pray that we become aware of that for the sake of fleshing it out. May we have people on our radar. It’s in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”