Getting into the Peace of God – the Authority of the Believer by Pastor Don
To get into the peace of God we need to get our Spirit man to dominate the situation. The flesh tries to rise up over our spirit man and dominate. We need to have the spirit man dominate the flesh so that the spirit man is in charge.
When we receive our resurrected bodies, our spirit will dominate. Jesus is a perfect example.
Luke 22:39-42 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
When we are in stress there are steps we should take.
1. Go to a place of peace, find in our lives our own Mount of Olives. Notice that Jesus was accustomed to going to that place that gave Him peace. We need to find our place.
2. Identify the fact that we are creating a safe haven. Be honest about the times we are in stress, acknowledge it.
3. Pray that you don’t enter into temptation. Say something to the people in our lives, those around us. Speak up, let people know that we are on edge.
4. Jesus withdrew from them. We need to withdraw when we are in a position where we can’t act right. God tells us to be angry and do not sin. Ephesians 4:26-27 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Sometimes when we are hurting we may let someone “have it” when they do not deserve it. Get enough away so that you can hear from God. If you can’t go there physically, do it in your mind. For example, see a beach in your mind if you find yourself relaxing on the beach.
5. Knelt down and prayed. Jesus humbled Himself. He puts Himself in position to hear the will of God. Pastor Don told us that he does this with big and small things, bending His knees to the Lord, who is the King of Kings, Lord of Lords. Position matters.
When you catch yourself worrying, know that you are not in the will of God. Worry doesn’t make you bad, worry is ok if it is under control, but worry can easily be followed by a spirit of uncontrollable worry. If you are stuck in the same place and getting nowhere, formulate a direction and plan of attack.
Do not worry is not a suggestion. Worry can bring us out of faith, and worry implies that we are trying to do God’s job.
When we are worried it means that we haven’t identified God’s will for our lives. Despondency and sadness is in the world. So often when we are worried, despondent, or sad it is because our expectations of what we wanted to happen did not happen. Sometimes what happens to us is part of the process to get us to where God wants us to be. Who said it should happen the way we think it ought to happen? Pride causes us to worry and pride crushes you.
God has the perfect timing. Sometimes we think life is passing us by, but don’t forget that Moses’ ministry began at 80, and God extended Moses’ years to 120, so don’t worry if you are not getting to the position you think you should be at in the time frame you feel you ought to receive it. David was anointed King and spent 17 years running for his life before he took the throne.
We can get worried because our expectations are not being met. We can only be allowed to worry when we don’t know the will of God. But then we have to seek the will of God.
Matthew 12:50 (Jesus speaking) For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.
Knowing the will of God is of utmost importance. Jesus will not expect us to do the will of the Father if He does not give us the means to know the will of the Father. God will tell us His will. God will not tell us to do something that He won’t equip us to do.
We then looked at the parable of the sower.
Matthew 13:19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.
He heard it, did not understand it, or receive it. The evil one takes what is sown in the person’s heart. The spiritual journey is about the heart of man, not the head of man. Not the intellect, but a heart situation. Nicodemus got the message of Jesus in his heart, but trouble was in his head. Those with the purest of hearts have instant obedience to God. A child quickens to obey, but the older he gets the more you end up debating with the child.
HEART – doubt is in the head, not the heart. We want to be strong in heart. Not religion, but relationship. True spirituality – approach in the spirit. Being in the Spirit, meeting the Spirit. Heartfelt ones will be in Heaven. Jesus told the people that if they knew Him, they knew the Father and we will also be His children. John 8:19 Then they said to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.”
It isn’t about dogma, religion, or building an organization. We need to get in the presence of the Lord so that we understand the Heart of God. When God calls you, you answer. The Word of God goes out to a group of people. Some hear it, some get it in their heart. God goes after the heart of the issue. Those people have a heart judgment. If there is a head judgment, these people will follow it with something else, like a “yes, but…” In verse 19, the Word was sown in the heart, but the person did not keep it.
Matthew 13:20-21 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles
This person receives the Word with joy, but there is no root in himself, in his heart. Deep down in Him it endures only a short time, some for even a year, but usually not that long. Tribulation or persecution because of the Word occurs, and the person stumbles. This is determined by what you are, who you are and what you stand for. For example, the wife comes to church, and the husband beats her when she comes home. Our friends mock us, people question our beliefs. Do we stay in faith? We can cause pressure in our lives out of stupidity, we do stupid. Do we revert to our state of unbelief, do we stumble, not stand?
Matthew 13:22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
The thorns are the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches. They are unfruitful, when we should lead people to the Lord and be a blessing. At first they come to church and receive the blessing, but after that, there should be fruit, they should help out. The World says you will not prosper with church, and many people say the church is only after your money. Pastor Don assured us, our tithe will not support the ministry by itself. He has had husbands come in complaining about the money sowed at church by their wives and Pastor Don pulls out the records and shows them an accounting of where the money goes, they are often amazed at all Living Word Chapel does and supports.
Matthew 13:23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
The seed that falls on good ground hear the word, understand, and bears fruit, producing 100, 60 and 30 fold.
1. We need to make sure we have some seed – seed can be time, talent (something God equips you to do), finances.
2. Good Ground – examine where we put our seed into, making sure it is going into good soil. For example, if a pastor is preaching prosperity and he is not prospering, that may not be good ground for he is not doing what he is preaching.
3. Hears – you can get involved in the Gospel and not be listening. We need to understand, know, have wisdom and application. Take the knowledge and information and do what the Gospel tells us to do.
Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
We need to hear repetitively. Understanding filters it’s way through us, and then we can bear fruit.
Pastor Don spoke about a bumper sticker that he saw that said, “Practice random acts of kindness.” Random acts of kindness are good, but we want to know when it is God ordained or a random act of kindness. We do not want to cast pearls before swine, but to do what God wants us to do, when God wants us to do it.
When someone tells Pastor Don that they are an evangelist, Pastor Don asks who did you lead to the Lord and have they stayed? Test the fruit.
When we are in God’s perfect will, it will be visible in our life, and there will be fruit.
The question came up about why some received 100 fold, others 60 and some 30, why the difference in amounts. And Pastor Don told us that not all of us can bear the weight of the different levels of anointing. Jesus said, Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen. The first shall be last and the last first.
Pastor Don spoke about Edwin Lewis Cole in the 60’s and 70’s who was sending a message that everyone is a minister. Guys were quitting their jobs and going into ministry. But the ministry is not for everyone. Samuel anointed King David, but King David spent 17 years on the run before he stepped into being King.
The relationship between priest and king is important. One example was Elijah and Ahab. Ahab’s biggest problem was he obeyed his wife instead of the prophet of God. Adam got in trouble because he obeyed Eve instead of God. A wife is supposed to be a helpmeet.
With the fruit born 100, 60, 30 it is what you can bear and produce. What are you capable of. Don’t ask for more than you can bear, you may get it. The devil will gladly bring you more than you can bear. You need to have discernment. The devil wants you to produce more fruit than you can produce. At the same time, just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s not of God.
We need to discern if the hardness is from God or the devil. And then if it is of God, stick with it. Pastor Don shared about a missionary to China who spent 20 years and only had one convert, the missionary board wanted to take him off the field, but God wanted him to stay where he was. He obeyed God, and the one covert that this missionary had ended up leading 10’s of 1000’s to the Lord.
A Welsh Revivalist went on a boat to Australia, and preached the Gospel to everyone who came off the boat. One guy got off the boat, and asked him why he kept preaching the Gospel when no one listened to him. The guy told the man from the boat, I’ve been waiting for you. This man got converted and helped 100’s of people come to salvation.
Simeon did not die until he blessed the Messiah.
We don’t measure the circumstances, but if God has given us something in our hearts to do, and we are called to do it, we need to do what God calls us to do.
Ask ourselves am I called? I need to work to be chosen. The call of God is irrevocable, but being chosen is up to God and us. The first place God looks is in our heart, and if we have the right nature. Why do you want to serve the Lord? Are you seeking to build the Kingdom of God? Are you seeking self glory? Are you seeking to give glory to God?
Someone asked about vain repetitions and praying in tongues.
Matthew 6:7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
Tongues are a good way to edify our spirit. And we do pray, until we know that we know that we know in faith. We also meditate on the Word of God, but meditate is not what the new age tells us, meditate means to mutter the Word of God. When we are in a spiritual battle it is good to pray in tongues and meditate on the Word of God.
We need to bear our own crosses.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
Spiritual warfare is often a battle of the mind. We need to take our thoughts captive. Think about what you are thinking about. The number one way the devil gets us off trail is distraction. The devil gives us an attraction – he doesn’t distract us with something that we hate. He makes the distraction attractive to us. So we need to ask ourselves is what I am about to do a distraction, or is it important for our call and our purpose? We can do things for recreation, to free our mind and relax so that we can be clear headed. TV is the worst distraction, it is designed to captivate you and hold your attention. We need to cut down stimulations that distract us. Plan our diversions. Get hobbies that are good, knit, sew, golf, etc.
Movies are a barometer of what the devil is doing. Hollywood reflects what satan is doing.
We have authority and that authority enables us to step into the conversation in our minds and bring our spirit to bear on what our flesh is saying. Listen to the conversation in our heart. We are often like cattle, being driven by the stimulus in our minds. We have a right to walk in divine health.
2 Corinthians 3 & 4 – help us to determine if it is a God idea or a Good idea. We need to use our discernment to figure out if it is a God idea. God is looking for obedience, a person of God is whatever God needs us to be. Do not draw conclusions. God gives us authority and we choose to curse or be cursed. Forgive everyone who needs forgiving.
What do you do when you are stressed?
The crucial point is our perception. Perceive we are under attack and the battle is on. Most of the time by the time we perceive we are under attack we have already lost the battle. If we can develop the ability to perceive before we are under attack, we can avert the battle.
There is not a devil chasing us every day all the time. We can have quick perception and poor perception.
Pastor Don told us that most pastors have lousy perception, that does not mean that they are not holy. But often they can’t perceive danger before they are in the middle of it.
Sadly, many people thrive under pressure and let the situation get to the point of pressure. Some people can’t stand peace and quiet, so they create tension and strife in their lives.
Pastor Don shared that his father was a quiet man and very peaceful but his mother was very busy and liked contention. She had three telephones and was always in the midst of everything. At a certain point though, his father would tell her, “Enough.” And his enough meant just that. She calmed down and backed out of situations before they became too intense.
We need to perceive what is going on around us. Paul did not always perceive what was going on around him.
Acts 14:1 Now it happened in Iconium that they went together to the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of the Jews and of the Greeks believed.
Paul was doing evangelism for some time. But when you are speaking to a great multitude, that does not mean that everyone in the multitude is agreeing with you. Some are hearing, some are asleep, some are hating what you are saying, others are saying amen and agreeing.
Acts 14:2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren.
Unbelieving Jews poisoned the minds of the multitude.
Acts 14:3 Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
He stayed there a long time, and did not perceive that something was going to go down. There were signs and wonders following the Word, but the minds of many of the multitude were being poisoned.
Acts 14:4-6 But the multitude of the city was divided: part sided with the Jews, and part with the apostles. And when a violent attempt was made by both the Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to abuse and stone them, they became aware of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding region.
He was preaching the Gospel and stirring up people, and stayed a long time. In the middle of doing what you are supposed to be doing, sometimes the Holy Spirit gives you a signal, an exit ticket and an escape plan. Sometimes pastors miss that direction from the Holy Spirit as they ride the waves of their popularity, and forget it is a wave. The higher the wave takes you, the further you fall. Then they finally, after abuse and stoning, split. Because the situation became difficult doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have stayed, we need to perceive the situation, and decide what is the God plan in it. Obey God.
Acts 14:8-9 And in Lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother’s womb, who had never walked. This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed,
Paul observed him intently and perceived that the man had the faith to be healed. Paul was looking to the person. Paul understood what God was doing and what the devil was doing, and Paul was not looking for wishing and hoping, but faith.
The church misses it and prays for everyone, not just those who are in faith. When Pastor Don prays for a person he ascertains what the person can believe for and comes alongside them in agreement. If they believe they will receive their healing, he will pray that, if they believe they will be healed by medicine, he will pray that.
Paul perceived the man’s faith.
Acts 14:10-11 said with a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet!” And he leaped and walked. Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!”
Paul told the man to act on his faith, put his faith to the test and stand up.
Acts 14:19-20 Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. However, when the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and went into the city. And the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
Pastor Don shared with us a mystery in the above passage. He said that it was here that Paul was supposed to be dead, but there is an authority of the believer to perceive. And in a parallel passage, if you follow the time line, we find this passage.
2 Corinthians 12:1-5 It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities.
When Paul was dead after the stoning, he went up to Heaven, and saw this vision. Notice also that after the people prayed, he rose up and went to another city – there was no talk of bandaging him or fixing him up. He was not dragged out of the city, he was healed. When he was laying on the ground, the disciples were praying, his work was not completed, so he rose up, but during the time on the ground he had this vision of the third heaven. He did not have to be cleansed of sin, he walked right into the glory.
Acts 16:16 Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling.
He did not have spiritual perception about this slave girl at first.
Acts 16:17-18 This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour.
She did this for MANY days before Paul caught on. This is discerning of spirits and spiritual perception, and it is not always instantaneous. Most of us don’t take the time to look around us and do this discerning.
If you are feeling uncomfortable, check out what is around you.
It says that Paul became greatly annoyed, and he said to the SPIRIT – not to the girl. He had faith and acted in the authority of the believer, over the alien spirit.
Acts 16:19 But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities.
He did not perceive that when he cast the demon out of the girl that everyone was not going to be happy about that. He interfered with her master’s profits.
Paul did not perceive the devil’s attack at first, for the devil came with flattery, kindness and partial truth.
Pastor Don continued and told us that just because people quote scripture does not mean that they are doing something without a motive, there may be something else they are trying to do. The motive may be to make money, it may not be to bless you. Pastor Don spoke about the infomercials who take Biblical principles but not give Jesus credit. They take the methods to make money, but leave Jesus out of the mix.
In the religious world it happens a lot that people do not listen or perceive the truth when they hear it. When Paul was to be delivered to Rome, it was decided to sail even though Paul spoke a prophesy against sailing.
Acts 27:7-9 When we had sailed slowly many days, and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus, the wind not permitting us to proceed, we sailed under the shelter of Crete off Salmone. Passing it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea. Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them..
The fast was over, this was in the fall when sailing was tough.
Acts 27:10 saying, “Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives.”
Paul, who was not a sailor, advises the professional sailors. He perceived prophetically but spoke this to unspiritual men.
If Paul was speaking to the Church today he could have said, “I believe the Lord is showing me.”
Paul had the authority of the believer to act on spiritual perception, but the sailors did not cooperate with what Paul perceived. They acted by what they knew in the physical. The perception that a believer has the authority to tap in and use the prophetic perceptions.
The beginning of spiritual perception is realizing that you aren’t smart and you don’t always know what to do. Then we are in a safe place and God can show us something.
We need to stay humble.
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