God Is Able
Posted on 12/04/2005 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.
Good morning! It's good to see you, and it is always good to meet together in the name of the Lord, for we know that when we gather together in his name, he is here with us, amen?
How many know this morning that where Jesus is, things don't stay the same. Sure, we can come here, sit for twenty minutes, and go our way, without anything changing in our lives; but mark my words, Jesus is here as he promised he would be, and where Jesus is and where he is sought after, things just don't stay the same.
We read in Numbers 29:13, "God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?"
How many of us know that where Jesus is, the sick are healed. Where Jesus is, the broken hearts are mended. Where Jesus is, those who are bound by sin and addiction are set free.
Second Corinthians 3:17 tells us "...where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."
Do you know that sickness can have us bound? "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."
Do you know that addiction can have us bound? "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."
Do you know that a spirit of poverty can have us bound? "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."
Do you know that depression and opression can have us bound? "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."
Do you realize that worry can have us bound? "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."
Do you understand that religion can have you bound? "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."
And do you know that sin in our lives will take us captive? But "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."
Let's go to the Lord in prayer.
Lord Jesus, thank you for being here with us this morning. Thank you that where your Spirit is, there is freedom! We know that the enemy came for nothing but to steal, kill, and destroy; but we know that you came so we might have life, and so that we might have it in great abundance.
Help us put our focus and attention on you, Jesus. May your Holy Spirit rest upon us this morning, and stir within us, as our hearts and minds are fully upon you; and as you touch us, we will be forever changed.
Click-touch the pulpit for a notecard, and let's enter into the presence of the Lord.
*** To hear the worship, download today's service, Dec. 04 2005, in audio format from livingsounds.org ***
"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?" (Jeremiah 32:27)
Our God spoke a word, and the heavens and the earth were created. Our God breathed, and the human race was given life. With a single touch, blind eyes were opened, deaf ears could hear, and the dead came to life, bringing glory to the name of Jesus.
Indeed, in there any thing too hard for our God?
Even today, people who have been tormented for years have a real, personal encounter with Jesus, and they are set free and given a brand new start. People who have suffered under the weight of sickness are being healed. People who are bound in addiction to drugs, immorality, and opression are being set completely free, as they find the one and only thing that can fill our God-shaped empty space inside.
In Malachi 3:6 God tells us, "I the Lord do not change..."
God has not decided to stop healing, some of us have simply decided to stop being healed.
God has not stopped bringing deliverance, some of us have simply decided to stop being delivered.
God has not stopped raising the dead, some of us have simply decided to stop believing the reports of those who have been raised.
In Acts chapter two, verses 17 through 21 we read, "In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
The working of the Holy Spirit did not end with the apostles. Rather, as the end draws near the Holy Spirit will move in a way as never before.
As the world around us is eclipsed by the darkness of the times into which we are entering, those who seek the Lord will seek him like never before. They will humble themselves, and turn from their sin, and seek the face of God. And the Spirit of the Lord will be poured out in a measure we have never seen before.
Perhaps one thing that hits home to where we are like nothing else is healing. When you have sickness, it can be difficult to see anything else. When you are in physical or emotional pain, it can be difficult to feel as though you are loved.
And yet, Scripture tells us in Isaiah 53:5, "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."
The same blood that paid for our sins was the price for our peace; and that same blood that purchased our salvation and that purchased our peace also purchased our healing, and purchased our deliverance from bondage and addiction.
Sometimes we are not set free or healed because there is something we have been told to do that we are not doing.
We read in Exodus 15:26, "...If you will diligently listen to the voice of the LORD your God, and will do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon you which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD who heals you."
So if there's something God has told you to do that you haven't been doing, or if he's told you to stop doing something that you're still doing, perhaps that seemingly little step of obedience could be what's holding you back from a breakthrough in your life.
We know that it is God who works in us to desire to do his will, and he also works in us to have the power to do his will. So if you're struggling with obedience this morning, turn that struggle over to Jesus, and ask him to work in you both to will and to do that which pleases him, and then trust him to do it. We can't please God in our own strength, but we can do ALL things through Christ who gives us the strength.
Sometimes we are living in obedience to God and doing everything we know to do, and yet our healing does not come. Our breakthrough seems many miles away. Sometimes there appears to be no explination for the pain and suffering we're going through.
But remember Job, who lost everything he owned and everyone he loved, and whose health deteriorated to the point that he was in constant agony. And all of this did not happen to him because he was living in disobedience to God. Rather, all this happened to him because he was living right and pleasing God.
If you think that you will somehow reach a spiritual level at which you escape the attacks of the enemy, think again. Satan could do nothing to Job without God's permission, and yet God does permit bad things to happen for three reasons:
1. Free Will
He has given each and every one of us a free will. We can use it to seek after him and do that which pleases him, which will be the same thing that helps others and makes society a better place to live, or we can live for ourselves and seek to please ourselves, and in the process damage ourselves and those around us. It is by choosing the latter that pain and suffering is brought into the world, and it is by seeking our own way that the innocent are destroyed. On the other hand, it is by seeking God's way that the innocent are healed and set free.
When a people or a nation step out from under the protective covering of God's hand by straying away from his ways, they open themselves up to evil. And as they embrace that evil, they call upon themselves the judgement that our Holy God visits upon wickedness. And I would like to note here that unrighteousness destroys us, the people God loves enough to suffer and die for regardless of the fact we've turned our backs on him, and this is why he cannot tolerate sin -- because it destroys the ones he loves, and because sin is the reason the innocent are destroyed.
3. Character, Strength, and Intimacy
When we go through tough times in our lives and, instead of giving up, we draw closer to him, we will find, at the end of the storm, we are stronger and have a depth of character we would otherwise have never known.
Would you like to see a weak person with shallow character? Look at someone who has never gone through any pain and suffering, who has never had any challenges, and who has always had everything handed to them on a silver platter.
Would you like to see a strong person with depth of character? Look at someone who has gone through pain and suffering, who has gone through incredible challenges, and who has had to pour every ounce of themselves into achieving a worthy goal.
Sometimes God allows us to get to the point that we are in a corner, backed up against a wall, between a rock and a hard place. Sometimes he will allow us to get to a place of desperation, because he knows that unless we are brought to that place where we seek him with abandon and find that place of intimacy with him, we would be destroyed and miss the incredible things he has waiting for those who love and seek him.
There could be any number of reasons we still have sickness in our bodies or hearts or minds. But regardless of the reasons, this one fact remains, what Jesus said in Mark chapter 16, verses 17 and 18:
"And these signs will follow those who believe: In my name: they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."
Do you believe the Word of the Lord this morning? He is not a man that he should lie. His Word created the heavens and the earth, and formed us out of the dust of the ground. If he says something is so, it will be so. If he says "those who believe in my name will cast out demons, and they will lay hands on the sick and they will be healed," then it is so.
All we have here this morning is digital hands. But it is the Spirit of God who does the healing and delivering, not us. We're only vessels through which God moves.
If you need healing in your body this morning, God has not changed. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The same Jesus who healed all who came to him is here with us this morning.
If you need healing in your heart and mind this morning, Jesus has given you his invitation when he said, "Come unto me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Come to the healer of body, mind, heart, and soul, and he will do something so wonderful in you, that you will never be the same, and everyone around you will know that God is good, and his mercies endure forever!
If you have not yet come to Jesus and given him your life, now is the time. Today is the day of your salvation. Today is the day for you to meet Jesus, the only one who can heal your life and bring you lasting peace and joy.
This altar is open for ministry. If you need a touch from God, he's waiting for you this morning. He brought you here today because he loves you and wants to bring you home.
If you need healing in your body, come up front now.
If you need healing in your mind or in your heart, come up front now.
If you need to be set free from an addiction or something in your life that has you bound, come up front now.
If you need to give your life to Jesus and become part of the family of God, come up front now.
The Spirit of God is here now. Don't let your moment pass you by. The Spirit of God has brought you here because he wants to touch you and do something wonderful in your life here this morning.
Everyone else please pray, and stay in an attitude of worship and expectancy, knowing that God is revealing himself now, as the Holy Spirit does his job to glorify Jesus in our lives.
And after this time of ministry, we will go next door to the fellowship room.
Come now and kneel, or raise your hands, or just stand in the presence of the Lord.