No luggage, No limits!
Synopsis of New Years Eve Sermon 2008
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Heb 12:1-2 (KJV)
This is the time of the year and rightfully so, we all begin to access and look at all the points of our life. We reflect and look at our decisions and how those decisions impacted our lives. We are products of our own decisions, the good, the bad, the pretty, and the ugly. The truth is, there are many areas in our lives, where we look and realize that we should be further along than we are. This sparks a great deal of determination in some people, because you have made up in your mind that you are ready to do whatever is necessary to achieve the will of God for your life. It is God’s will that we live our lives in pursuit of his best. We should never be hindered by limitations. Limitations do come. This is what the enemy brings in our life, because the enemy is clearly aware of what God desires to do in your life. All the promises of God that has been spoken over your life, like “I know the thoughts I think toward you, thoughts of peace, not of evil, thoughts to give you and expected end… Because of all the promises over your life, the enemy attempts to hinder you by placing in your life limitations. They are seemingly in surmountable obstacles. Somebody reading this knows that are sometimes the enemy can place limitations in our lives, but there are other times where we hinder ourselves. There are times that we come to the altar and we say Lord I need you to help me because the devil is hindering me and limiting me and causing problems in my life! The devil in hell is saying wait a minute, I didn’t do that! You did that yourself!
There are some things that you and I have to take responsibility for, because some things we brought on ourselves. This is a word of encouragement because the writer of Hebrews here is giving a call to personal accountability and commitment for us to deal with the lingering luggage that is in our life. Let us lay aside ever weight that so easily besets us. Many of us go around carrying baggage of our old selves and we wonder why and we wonder why we are limiting what God does in our lives. It is largely because we are taking unneeded luggage, into a new season. God gave Bishop Walker this word for New Years Eve, because it is our belief that this year many people have made up in their mind that they are not going to tolerate this year what they did last year. The truth is these people have made up in their mind not to connect with liabilities this year. I know you find it difficult to say it, so we will say it for you, “We can do bad by ourselves!” We are not going to continue to connect with people who are draining us and pulling us down! We believe this year God is going to give us strategic relationships with people who are going where you are trying to go. We need people in our lives that will not just follow us, but celebrate us. These will be people who are thanking God for what he has done in our lives as well as their own lives. These are people that can encourage and motivate us for the things that God has ordained for our lives. No luggage, no limits!
Even if we have to remove people who are cool with us, even we they are extremely close to us, and even if people start to trip, we have to say sorry no luggage in this season! You have to get to a point where you say, if you knew what I was after, you would understand why I have a very low tolerance for the things that I used to tolerate in the last year!
Some people will get the memo that play time is over. Some people will get memo that old stuff has passed away and old things have become new. There are people that will not be hindered in this season. God is about to raise up a generation of people who are after what he is after. No luggage, no limits!
Being this type of Christian, we must look at reality a little different.
The scripture starts by saying “Wherefore seeing…” This means we have seen the vision. Vision has to do with hindsight, foresight, and insight. When I see with hindsight, this means I look back at the lessons I have learned. When I look with hindsight, it is 20/20 (if I knew then what I know now). Insight is when I look at where I am and where I have come from. It is about maturity. Foresight is looking where God is taking me. Foresight is seeing my reality differently. This means I have shifted my focus from humanity to divinity. This is shifting our focus from carnality to spiritually.
We also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses… In other words these are people who have gone on before me who have given me a great witness. In other words it is their faith that gives me strength.
I. Power of faith
1. This not only about faith, it is also about but faithfulness. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and evidence of things not seen. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing comes by the word of God. Some people are so faithful. They have endured what they have endured, yet they keep showing up based on what they know. They say the reason they hang in there is because of what they know. If you knew what they knew, you would hang in there too. Most of them have a file full of times God delivered them. This helped to build their faith.
2. It is one thing to have faith, but it is another thing to see examples manifested in faith. When faith examples are manifested in faith, you begin to see the power of the word of God. If faith comes by the word of God, then I need to understand where God is taking me then, has a lot to do with the word of God preparing me for where he is taking me. Somebody can testify there is one thing that has kept you when everything has gone to pot in your life. It is the word. Ex-God told Bishop in his private time that “Their ready! He says the message he has sent has been somewhat relevant, but redundant. They have been at a certain level. They have been simple so everyone can get it, but they are ready now for deeper. Bishop asks what do you mean? God says Based on what some people have gone through, we have a generation of folk coming up, who are saying, bring it on! They need a deeper word in this season. They need to know what God’s word says completely.
3. The great cloud of witnesses referred to in the scripture is the faithful. They have faith based off of what they have gone through. Manifested faith shown as pattern, can be found when we look at Heb 11:6. It is the hall of faith. When you look @ Heb 11:6-9 and so on, a lot of the verses start with “By faith this person did this and by faith this person did that….” Ex- 7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. 8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: Heb 11:7-9 (KJV). In other words when we find ourselves getting discouraged or becoming faithless because of fickle folk in our lives, we can peruse through the word of God and find some faithful folk that can encourage us, because the same God that brought them out is able to bring us out. If he can do it for them, he can do it for us. This is the power of the word of God and also demonstrates why faith is so important. Why do you think the devil always tries to attack us at our faith? When you go through, the enemy wants you to sever your relationship with your faith station.
4. We must remember that faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the word of God. If you will notice, you don’t say you ain’t going to work because you been through so much lately. You will go to work no matter what. You don’t say you ain’t going to boo’s house either. You go to work and to your boo’s house no matter how bad you feel. On the other hand, when you go though times, the first thing you do is say you are not going to church. The devil knows if you come to church, God has a tailor made word for you to bring you out of that place of despair. Church is the last place we should be trying to avoid. Somebody sitting next to you can testify how God brought them out. There is power in the word. When a child of God gets a word, the word of God becomes a pattern. Look at these clouds of witnesses in the scripture. They developed a fight song made of faith. They repeat to us over and over, you can do it!”
II. Don’t know why God allowed you to go through what you did in 2008
1. Some people don’t know why God allowed them to go through what they did in 2008. They get to a point where they say, “Come on God!” In fact, they have gotten bitter and angry, because of what they went through. Ex- Bishop explains of his personal experience with this. He explains talking to himself and said he has been running around this country preaching about 8 sermons a week. He explains expressing to the Lord that he does that for God. Jokingly he says, “Lord, You didn’t have to put my house on fire for me to trust you, I love ya (referring to his house catching on fire due to lightning)! Bishop still joking says he knew some folk who really needed to be motivated to come to church and trust him more than he did. He asks God, why don’t you send the motivation (the lightening) their way? Some of you are in the same boat. Sometimes you say Lord why me? God says to tell you it is not about you. It is about using your life as a point of reference. Your test was necessary to produce a testimony. Your test was to encourage someone else. Because of the test you endure, you will become part of the great cloud of witnesses.
2. Cloud of witnesses will have a specific purpose. If someone around you is going through, because of what you went though, you can make them understand why they are going through so that they may be encouraged to make it through also. We are encouraged by the testimony of the saints.
3. Somebody reading this right now wants to know if God is able? They really want to know if the mortgage is two months behind, can God help them pay it. They want to know if the doctor gives you a bad report; can God heal your body? They want to know if you don’t have the money to put the gas in the car, can God provide for you? Well there is somebody standing around that can shout God is able! Just to assure you, how would you know God was a healer unless you have been sick? How would you know God can deliver, unless your back was up against the wall? This is why we thank God for our faith. Faith is what kept us while we were going through. The word of God kept us from losing our mind. When you’ve been through stuff like this you have no tolerance for luggage, because you have been through too much
III. Believe God for stuff folk think you ought not have the audacity to ask God for
1. This next statement might be theologically risky. Theologically, this next statement may be on a slippery slope. Based on what we have gone through, we feel we ought to get some credit from God. When we are in trouble, we start calling stuff back to God. Ex-“Lord you remember when I did this and when I did that? You said if I would be faithful over a few things, you would make me ruler over many”. Be encouraged. God is about to do something out of the box for you. He is going to blow your mind in 2009. You can make it! God will give you the strength to make!
2. Seeing that I have this great cloud of witnesses the scripture says. By their faith and by their testimony, we can see we can make it too. Then there comes this luggage issue (next).
3. Lay aside every weight. We ought to go through everything we have and repeat over and over again,”every”. God wants us to lay aside every weight that hinders us.
4. The sin that so easily besets you. This is about making the right decisions and seeing what God has for your life. It is about sacrifice in the area of your greatest struggle, the flesh. We already know that the flesh is a mess. The only way it is possible to deal with the flesh is to be honest. We must be willing to let go of some luggage from our past. It is the weight. Not that you can’t run with the luggage, but you can run so much better without it. Ex-We are still waiting for you to catch up. You should have had your house by now. You should have been out of school by now, but you keeping dragging stuff along with you that God didn’t intend for you to drag.
5. Areas to focus in
6. Problems-We keep letting things stress us out. This are the inevitabilities of life. 1 Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. Job 14:1 (KJV). Just because you are saved, you are not exempt from trouble. Trouble is an equal opportunity employer. 2008 should have taught you we all have problems, but we must cast our cares on him and know that he cares for you. The only way you are going to get past your problems and let your luggage go is you got to release it. Tell someone let that luggage go. We allow stuff to keep us up all night long. Some people stay up at night long eating a big bowl of cream. What’s wrong with you? Luggage, problems!
7. Places-Some places contribute to the vices of your flesh. We must be willing to do light the Psalmist and say blessed is the man that walks not in the council of the ungodly nor stays in the ways of the sinful nor sits in the seat of the scornful… Sometime you have to be careful about the places that you go. The places that you go can be luggage. They can be part of the weight and sin that so easily besets us. Ex- Right now at this service, there are people that can’t wait until we get through, because they have some places they want to go. In their mind they felt they have fulfilled their religious requirements, and they figure the Lord knows their heart, so they are out. Not that you can’t celebrate or have a good time, but examine whether or not the place that you go is a contributor of the weights and sins that beset you.
8. People, Negative influences, dream stealers, and vision killers. These are people that just drain you.
9. Parasitic relationships. These are people that bring nothing to the table. They just come to drain you. Some people are too heavy to have to carry. Stop carrying grown folk. Make them get their own job and their own car.
10. If you at Gal 5.7 you will see that the question is asked, who hindered us? 7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? Gal 5:7 (KJV). Notice it does not say what, but who. Was your mate that good? Who is that manipulative, that they caused you to walk away from your anointing and compromise your integrity? Ex: Bishop explains that he shared with the earlier service that God has shared with him information about people he is going to raise up in this church. Bishop explains he is surprised at this and he has to ask God again what he is saying. God explains he is about to do something with this ministry (Mt Zion) in 2009. God is going to grow this church. Bishop replies that he knows what God’s growth is like, but God explains to him that he hasn’t seen nothing like he is about to do now. He is going about things a little different. *We need to mark this, prophecy down and pull it up when it happens. God says he is about to raise people up from the street. These people are so far from the street that they might make us uncomfortable when they come in. God said let them come in anyway. God says he is going to clean them up and use them, because when these folk get saved, they are not going to be pretentious (prĭ-těn’shəs). Claiming or demanding a position of distinction or merit, especially when unjustified.). God also says he is going to raise up some new people in the church. These are people with talents and gifts, but they haven’t been used. God told Bishop to pull them out, lay hands on them, and raise them up. These are people that have gifts and hadn’t used them. God is going to raise these people up and use them. There are some anointed people out there. God is going to make people that think they have tenure, worry. These people that God will raise up will come without any luggage. There are some anointed people out there right now. There are some intercessors out there right now. You can walk over to them and they are so quiet and so resourceful. They just look and wave their hands, but God is going to raise them up to be a blessing to this ministry, this community, this nation, and this world.
11. This is why you got to get past the stuff that has hindered you in the past. You got to get past the stuff that easily besets you. How many times have you looked back over your life with regrets? How many times have you said I can’t believe I got myself in that mess? The devil likes to create in you a methodology that creates a mentality that limits your potential. Ex-Look at the elephant in the circus. They tie ropes around the elephant’s leg and tie it to a steak. They have done this since the elephant was a baby. Now he is an adult that weighs tons, but he feels he is limited. He feels he can’t go anywhere because there has been a methodology that has been in place all his life that has created a mentality that has caused him to believe that now the steak is greater than his power. He doesn’t realize how much power he has because the mentality created has him thinking he has no authority. We are doing the same thing. There have been limitations placed on your life as a child and we have forgotten about the authority we have. How can a virtuous woman end up making a living on her back? How can we have this wisdom and this great mind and get strung out on drugs? Something as simple as this, we have allowed to hold us captive. We are much greater than our luggage. This day, we come to take authority over our luggage and remind you of whom you are. You are God’s anointed. You are more than a conqueror. Greater is he in you than he that is in the world! Take authority over anything that tries to limit your potential.
IV. Focus on the Savior
One more thing I want to leave with you. Verse 2 says 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
1. We must keep all eyes on God. It is hard for some people to focus. Especially for folk like us that have ADHD. Some of you already are drifting as you read this. You got to keep your eyes on Jesus, because when you do, he will remove all your doubt. That’s what Peter would have learned if he would have kept his eyes on Jesus. He would not have sank if he had not taken his eyes off of Jesus and focused on his circumstances. God can not only release you from doubt, he can release your distractions from you.
2. Many of us have been focusing on the wrong things and kept our mind on negative things. This season you got to keep your mind and your eyes focused on Jesus. He is the best thing that ever happened to us. You can wake up in the morning and say this is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it. No matter what is in the day, you still give him glory for the day. It is hard to see your mess and see him at the same time.
V. God is about to release you to your destiny.
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Because of the joy that was set before him he endured the cross. Verse 2 says he endured the cross and despised the shame. We have to look to Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith. Faith comes by hearing from the word of God. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and evidence of things not seen. In other words Jesus is the author and finisher of things not seen. He went to the cross with joy, because he knew what they could not see. That’s why he prayed for them and said, “Father forgive them, because they know not what they do, because if they did, they wouldn’t do this to me”. In other words God is saying to someone right now the problem the Devil made with you is he thought when he messed with you, he was going to take you out. He didn’t realize that God had already finished some stuff on your behalf, before the enemy even showed up. God has already finished some stuff in you before the Devil even messed with you. This is why you have to give God glory for the promise, because of the joy set before me, I got my eye on where God is taking me to, not what I am going through.
God said tell some folk that went through some stuff in 2008, thank God you are a survivor! Tell somebody you are glad they didn’t give up and that you are glad they survived and kept showing up. Tell them that you are glad they kept praising God! When the economy was messed up, when gas prices went through the roof, you kept showing up. You kept giving God the praise! Somebody’s heart was broken! Some of you lost family members! Some of you lost friends in 2008, but God said tell you to get ready, because something is about to jump off in 2009! The bible said run the race that is set before you! Tell somebody that you have got to run your race! 1 Cor 9:24 says, there are many people running, but we are running for the prize. We are running so we can win the race. Why? Because the race is not given to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but to those who endure to the end. * God said he knows 2008 was a crazy year, but he said remind people of the word found in Levitcus 25:22(22 As you plant the seed in the eighth year, you will still be eating the produce of the previous year. In fact, you will eat from the old crop until the new harvest comes in the ninth year.’Lev 25:22 (NLT). Some of you were planting and sowing in the 8th yr (2008) and neglecting yourself for other people. You were giving your life to be a blessing to other people. The bible says you will eat, from the old crop (2008) and you will continue to eat from it until the new crop of the ninth year comes in. Repeat to yourself, “The old has passed away and the ninth year is here. It is harvest time”. God is about to give you the desires of your heart! Thank God we made it to this year. It is harvest time.