It’s going to take more than that
Synopsis of sermon 3/28/10
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
Text: 2 Corinthians 11:20-30 says 20For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face. 21I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also. 22Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. 23Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. 29Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? 30If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.
It is important to understand that in all of our lives, God has an amazing assignment on us. With that assignment also comes anointing. It is an anointing that sustains us during our assignment. When we look at the apostle Paul, we are mindful that this is the same Paul that persecuted Christians of the early church. After Paul was converted, he boldly proclaimed Jesus Christ. As a result began to be persecuted as he used to persecute Christians. The amazing thing about Paul’s life is that he was an encourager of the church. In our text, he speaks to the church of Corinth to give them a sense of what it takes to make it along this journey called Christendom. He really shares with them what looks on the surface as a series of lamentations about the variety of things that he has experienced. After deeper examination, you will find that they are not really lamentations about what he is going through. Instead they edification to let the believers know that in this life you will have some difficult experiences, but God’s hand will be on you. In this life, if you choose to follow God’s assignment and God’s call on your life, know that it won’t be easy. The reality is, there will come times in our lives, rather than whining about how bad things are, you have to develop the resolve to square your shoulders and look the devil square in the face while telling him, “It’s going to take more than that.”
In the scripture, Paul tells about all the things he went through. It is a litany of experiences from one extreme to the next. Out of the context of this crisis, he talks about how he went through it all to help them understand that their assignment in the earth realm has to be greater than their assault in the earth realm. All of us reading this must know that we have to fulfill our divine assignment. Life will not be easy. It is not going to be a bed of roses. Anything worth having is worth working for. You must understand that we are just walking into the 2nd quarter of 2010, yet for some people this last 3 months has been really rough. If you wrote down everything you went through, it would take a whole notebook. There is something within you called the precious Holy Ghost that is sustaining you and keeping you. You could have lost your mind by now, but you are still here. We know it ain’t easy what you are dealing with, but understand that God sent Bishop Walker as he did the Apostle Paul (who talked to the church of Corinth) to tell you that you are not the only one going through some stuff! All of us that are doing God’s will are going through some stuff. What makes us who we are is our resolve to tell devil that we are not rookies at this thing. It is going to take more to break us than this! It is going to take more to make us walk away than this. It is going to take more to uproot us than this. We have been at this thing too long and we have seen God turn situations around and we believe in our spirit that God is able to sustain us. We have chosen to look to the hills from which comes our help. We know that someone is right on the edge right now and about to lose their head. God sends his word to sustain us and pull us back off the ledge and back into our senses. What is wrong with us? What has gotten us about to walk away from what God has blessed us with? We have to recognize that there are perils in this pilgrimage!
I. The Perils of the Pilgrimage
- Trails in this life are in evitable. It is interesting to know that when you are out of the will of God, we should expect trials. When you are in the will of God, these are the trails that should be hard for us. They are hard, because you wonder why God takes you through this when you are in his will and you have neighbors who are not in his will that are doing fine. We think because we are doing God’s will, he would give us some kind of reprieve from trials. The reason God takes us through (those that are in his will) is because God knows we will keep showing up. God knows, despite what we are going through, we declare in the face of the enemy, “It’s going take more than that!”
- It is about your witness. It is about how you look in the earth realm. Paul says he was in perils often. He was beaten 39 times for both himself and us. He says he went through so we could see how to go through a trail. We go through so others can see us get through what we are going through. Warfare is involved in your witness. You have to recognize that warfare is real. Out all the devil throws at you, the only weapon that the devil really has is the weapon of discouragement. He can’t take away from you what God promised you and he can’t cause you to walk away. All he can do is discourage you so much, that he makes you through up your hands and surrender, but you have to see your problems as opportunities in disguise.
3. When we go through circumstances, we make 10 mistakes. (We will count them down.)
- We panic– We walk around trying to figure out what we are going to do next. The bible says be anxious for nothing.
- Fear grips our heart. Now you walk around scarred, but God has not given you the spirit of fear.
- We tell everybody what we are going through. Everybody ain’t qualified to handle what you are going through. We need to talk to people who know how to get a prayer through.
- We do not apply what we have been telling everybody else to do. We tell everyone else to trust God, yet when we go through, we don’t apply our own principles.
- We stop coming to church. It is the trick of the enemy to keep you in isolation.
- f. We do not listen to the word of God. Without the word in our life, we don’t’ have anything reinforcing God’s promise.
- We do not pray. We stop talking to God. You here, but you not here.
- We don’t cast down negative thoughts.
- We do not confess the word. We stop speaking God’s word over our situation.
- We do not praise God. Don’t magnify your problem over his power. Recognize that you will be hated for men for his sake. Think it not strange concerning fiery trials. You got to recognize that perils will come and you have to know how to respond to them. The question is, how will you respond in the meantime? We must be productive while we are in pain?
II. Be productive when you are in pain
We recognize that our productivity is under attack, but Satan wants us to lose focus on our assignment and focus on the assault. Paul recognizes that all of us can grow weary. We can grow weary for giving to folk that don’t give back and loving folk who don’t love us. The devil loves nothing more than to have you whining in a pity party and not doing what God wants us to do. Make a shift and stop talking about what you are going through and do what God told you to do. You have to smile in the face of adversity.
– What he was saying is, we know you tired, but you have to still work. Dust yourself off and go to that job saying, “This is the day the Lord has made, Let us rejoice and be glad in it” Walk over to your hater and say you love them anyhow! We are not responsible for what happens in the day, we are just reasonable for giving God the glory for the day. We are a royal priesthood. Nothing shall separate us from the love of God! Keep on working it! Everybody is going through something! The same thing that brought us out can bring you out.
III. Praise God thru the problem
- Don’t praise him when you come out of it. Praise him while you are going through the problem. Whatever we encounter is part of a larger plan of God. What we experience is a small part of a larger plan. There comes a time you have to understand God’s will for your life. 2 Corinthians 11:29-30 says 29Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? 30If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. – If anybody is going to give God the glory, we will. We will give him glory concerning the things he allowed us to go through.
- God says he has to impose his will on our life. We pray for God to take us through another level. Paul is amazing; he wrote a 3rd of the New Testament, but remember that God gave him a thorn in his flesh and he asked for it to be removed? We want God to give us great stuff, but we don’t want him to impose his will on us. His will might not feel good. This will requires us to go through circumstances. Before you get to the next level, God will impose his will (the process) on you. God sees you are easily broken right now and because of this, there is no need for him to project you. God says let him prepare you to, strengthen you, and give you wisdom and discernment so you can handle the level you are going through. This is why you got to be careful what you pray for.
- When you ask for great things, you are asking him to take you through what is necessary. It doesn’t feel good going through it, but in hindsight, you thank him for those experiences. We will praise God, because we realize the process is necessary. How can we run with the horses, if we can’t walk on foot? How can we run the company if we can’t handle the 3 people that we supervise right now?
- It seems funny to ask people to praise God while it still hurts. Ex– It’s like when a child is about to get a shot and we as parents tell the child to praise God for the shot they are about to receive. All the child sees at this time is the pain. He or she doesn’t have the ability to praise God for the pain, because they are a baby. As an adult, you know the shot is to protect us up the road. This is why Bishop didn’t come to talk to babies or children today, because he knows baby’s will never get this word. He came to talk to some Christian Veterans. For folk that have been in the word, God said to tell you to stop quit crying. Instead God’s says give him glory for what he allowed to hurt you. What he allowed to hurt you was designed to bless you. When you come out, you will be better than you were before you went in it. Praise God for the process! Every mountain, every valley, and every storm we give God praise for.
- Why give him praise over what God allowed to hurt us?
- Because this praise is Faith Expecting – We are praising God, because we are believing that everything in is God’s word is coming to pass.
- . Because it is frustrating the enemy– We got the devil scratching his head saying I don’t know what else to throw at him, because everything I throw at them, they keep giving God the glory.
- Because this praise is Fight Enduring– There is fight in my praise. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God. We understand the pulling down of strongholds. There is fight in our praise. After all we been through we will give God glory while we are still in it! Devil it is going to take more than the drama, the last fight, more than what you saying about me, because we are rooted and grounded in God’s word. This praise is protest praise! It is picket line praise. We are on the line protesting everything the devil is trying to us. We protest poverty, low self esteem, unemployment, and all that the devil throws at us.