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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Allen Jackson » Allen Jackson - God's Provision For Your Life - Part 2

Allen Jackson - God's Provision For Your Life - Part 2

Allen Jackson - God's Provision For Your Life - Part 2
TOPICS: Provision, Security

So I wanna start with the promise, John chapter 14. Jesus is speaking to his closest friends. And remember the story of the New Testament, he's about to be tortured to death. Have you got that, folks? He's gonna be betrayed by a close friend, he's gonna be sold out for money. The rest of his close friends are gonna act like they can't remember his name. So he's gonna be abandoned into the hands of the Pagan Roman authorities, who happen to know he's innocent, but lack the courage to stand up on his behalf. Pilate knows he's innocent. His wife came and said, "I had a dream about him. Don't touch this man". And Pilate has a little basin of water brought out and he washes his hands and he said, "I'm innocent of this man's blood".

How do you think that played in Heaven? You think Gabriel walked over to Michael and went, "Oh, we don't have to deal with him now, he's innocent"? No, I don't think so. In the face of all of that, and Jesus knows it's coming, listen to the promise. "Peace. I leave with you. My peace I give you. I don't give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid". There's the promise. We do not have to have troubled hearts. We don't have to be afraid. We can have peace. I'm gonna get in that line. How about you?

Now, there's some things we need to acknowledge. Jesus is not describing an absence of conflict cause his life is filled with it. When he's born in Bethlehem they killed all the babies that were in the birth range that they could target for him. His life's been tracked by violence and rejection and hatred and abuse. So, he's not talking about an absence of conflict. What he is describing is this remarkable sense of contentment, a lack of perceived threat. The best picture I know of that in all of the Scriptures, when he's on the Lake of Galilee, in a little fishing boat with the disciples, it's not more than 20 feet long, it's open.

And there's a storm that has come quickly up on the lake and the fishermen that are with the Carpenter in the boat, the fishermen think they're going to drown. And what's Jesus doing? He's bailing like a wild man. "God help us, I said I'd never get in a boat again". No, he's asleep. How do you sleep through a storm that causes the fishermen to think their boat's going to be capsized? It says that they thought he was asleep, I think he stood there doing this. Teachable moment coming. They awaken him and he speaks to the wind and the waves and then he chastises them because their faith is so small. And they're terrified, never met anybody like this, we don't know what to do. There's a promise here that's inviting us towards an existence that people who aren't children of God cannot understand cause it's not just logical.

Now I'm for logical. I like the equations to balance, I like to have a plan, I like to be intentional. If you know me, you know that's all true. But at the end of the day, I understand fully that my future is dependent upon something beyond my rational capabilities. And I'm not only am becoming comfortable with that, I'm excited about that. I wanna lead a life beyond what I'm capable of doing on my own. In fact, I would submit we're going to need that in order to flourish. So that's the promise and yet the reality is we have these mental, spiritual and emotional pressures. In thinking about 'em, I put 'em into a couple of buckets.

There are some that to me feel pretty traditional, they've been a part of ministry as long as I've been in ministry, things like peer pressure. We talk to our kids and teens about that, pressure to conform, to be like the larger group. We know those things are real, they're real in every generation. I don't believe they're more unique. What those temptations are change from generation to generation, but peer pressure remains a constant. And it doesn't go away when you advance past your teenage years. We have peer pressure as adults. Just think COVID when you try to understand that. Then there's the pressure to keep up with the Joneses and my apologies to the real Joneses in the house.

It's really that pressure to keep up with whoever it is whose approval you want or whose respect you would like to garner. And you know, they get a lawn mower with a bigger deck than yours and you feel inadequate, so you need a bigger one and their TV's bigger than yours, and you're embarrassed that your kids have to watch one that's only 160 inches. The pressure to keep up with the Joneses causes us to leverage our freedom and the mortgage our futures. There's economic pressure. Can we earn enough to pursue our goals and dreams and secure the futures of our children? We've all wrestled with this stuff. There's the pressure to survive. This gets a little more personal. Life brings with it some very real threats. Sometimes they're physical or medical, sickness and disease.

And if you're walking through one of those seasons, you're trusting God. God's our Healer. I'm grateful for doctors and medicines and science, but God's the one who heals. And you're trusting God while you're walking through those pathways and it's often confusing and difficult. But if you're fighting a disease, you're facing a death sentence, or a real limit to your physical expression, it's new to you. It's a mental, spiritual and emotional pressure and to say it's something else is to deny the reality. And yet Jesus's promise isn't diminished by the magnitude of the adversarial relationship that we're battling in our minds.

Now I'd add to that kind of traditional list some things to me that are emerging pressures. I'm not sure they're new, but I think they've certainly stepped in to the forefront in recent years. The deterioration of truth is a pressure. The truth's just not celebrated in the public square any longer, it's certainly not celebrated in the government, it's not celebrated in the church far too frequently. Apostasy is more frequent than I've ever known it to be. In the scientific community, you can't believe them when they tell you to follow the science anymore.

Another pressure is the collapse of the family structure, the roles within the home. We won't accept any biblical roles any longer, we reject them out of hand, oftentimes within the church for men and women, husbands and wives, male, female, children. The most common scenario we see these days are the children are the center, at the most activity and thought in the family system. It's not a Biblical plan. It's not the primary relationship in the home. There's greater pressure from the spirit of Antichrist. It's more pronounced in our world these days.

The persecution of Christians is increasing globally, anti-Semitism is skyrocketing again. We thought we were done with that at the end of World War 2. It's not a political agenda, it's spiritual. Witchcraft in our world is growing. If you're not familiar with the Biblical term, it's manipulation, domination and control. We've never seen greater expressions or public desires for authoritarian control than what they are boldly pronouncing over our lives and our world these days. The spirit behind it is witchcraft. They want to dictate what kind of car you drive. Are you kidding me?

They'll dictate that you should only use a paper straw. I mean, it's comical if it weren't so real. Somewhere we were traveling lately and the only straws we could get were paper, but the meal they delivered me had at least six or seven plastic containers. I tried to roll one of 'em up into a straw so I could drink the soft drink... Those are all pressures in your life, whether you're conscious of them or you're dealing with them in a less than conscious way, they're real. And you can identify them by a voice within. Associated with these kind of pressures, there is often a voice, an internal voice. I'm not talking about you're hearing something externally, but within you.

And when there's a voice, you and I both should understand from a Biblical perspective that there's a person behind the voice. In fact, in the plainest of terms, the presence of the voice indicates the presence of a person. Many times those voices in us, and you can expand those menus to your own lives and experiences, I'm quite certain, but many times the voice accuses us or torments us. You know the voice has that pattern of being tormenting. If it robs you of your peace, if it steals your joy, if it accuses you, "You're not enough, you're inadequate, you're insufficient, you didn't do as much as you could," then we know the person behind the voice is Satan. Because he's revealed to us in Scripture as the accuser and the tormenter.

You don't need any further evidence than that voice within you to understand that the devil is at work in your life. And yet we've got all these kind of fashionable statements that we toss about in our polite religious circles. "You know, I just don't know how much I believe in the Devil. I understand that the 1st century was far more spiritually alive in their vocabulary, but we've matured beyond that. Now we have higher education and we have psychology". Or whatever other nonsense you use to dismiss the invitations of Scripture. You don't need any further evidence for the existence of the Devil than those voices in your life that attack you, that diminish you and invite you away from God.

Now the accusations, you'll understand, you can expand my list, but I brought you a little sample set. They've been present for decades. "God doesn't love me. With my past and my story and my... he couldn't love me and allow me to have endured whatever I've endured". Or maybe it's you're always a failure. "You're just never gonna succeed, you always mess up. You've always messed up, you're gonna mess this up". In fact when things are going good, you get nervous cause the voices inside you tell you, you know you can't sustain it. Sometimes persons deliver those messages to us. Some of you hear a voice that says, "You don't have any choice, you're gonna fail. It's your destiny. You shouldn't even fight it".

Some of you have a message that goes off that says you're going out of your mind. The voice doesn't play fair, it's why it's evil. It'll remind you of anybody you've ever known that struggled emotionally. And it'll point out to you the similarities in your experience, in your life and why you should live in constant torment and fear and dread of losing some of your own stability. Physical pain and disease. If you're walking through one of those medical struggles, you all know what it is. You get a slight twinge in a muscle and you're convinced it's life threatening. Because the enemy doesn't play fair, he's evil. And we've tried to act like we could out organize evil. We could just dictate that evil was banished, and therefore those voices were irrelevant, but it didn't diminish our anguish and our fear and our torment.

If it did, antidepressants wouldn't be the most prescribed category of drugs. Job chapter 3 and verse 25, Job said, "What I feared has come upon me and what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness, I have no rest, but only turmoil". Satan uses fear to open the door for spiritual torment and attack. In addition to those kind of traditional challenges that are real, I see a growing set of attacks that I believe are spiritually motivated. They're just as real, they're just as divisive, they're just as destructive. But I hear them with more frequency and the people that I listen to, the messages now are more like this, "You deserve more".

Oh, you deserve more? "No one can put limits on you. You can do whatever you want to. You're the measure of your future. Don't let anyone dictate to you. Don't let anyone tell you there's a limit". "Happiness is the ultimate goal. Do whatever is necessary to achieve it. Don't listen to anyone or anything that would say anything to you that would diminish your pursuit of happiness. That's your divine right". "You determine what is true. No one else can do that. No one else can tell you what's true. You're the arbiter of truth". You understand the source of those statements? Folks, there are limits on our lives, there are things we can't do.

Ephesians chapter 1, Paul's writing to a church, he's writing to them from a prison cell in Rome. He's writing to a church that emerged from riots in the city. He's writing to a church that, because of a demonic deliverance, the whole city was stirred and they brought millions of dollars of things they had used in pursuit of the occult and burned them in the street. So it's a church that's been birthed with an awareness of spiritual conflict and violence and challenges to the Jesus Story. And Paul writes to them, he says, "God placed all things under Jesus's feet. And he appointed him to be held over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and the ruler of the Kingdom of the air".

Remember I told you there's a conflict, a Kingdom conflict that's raging in the earth today? And it requires the people of God to understand the assignment to be more than conquerors, in the same way that the former slaves of Hebrew had to choose to occupy the promised land. And I hope you haven't forgotten that the initial generation said, "That's just too hard, we'd rather die in the wilderness". "When you followed the ways of this world and the ruler of the Kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work and those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature, objects of wrath".

Paul's writing is the assumption is, that his audience has heard this message previously. It's not new information. He's writing it to them because it has to be reintroduced, it's too easily set aside. The internal messaging will try to override it. We have to be aware of the conflict. Remember Jesus's promise, "Peace I give to you, my peace I leave with your"? Jesus is constantly threatened from the circumstances of his birth in Bethlehem until he is raised from the dead in that tomb outside of Jerusalem. Look in Colossians 3 and verse 5, "Put to death therefore whatever belongs to your earthly nature". And then he lists, it's not an exclusive, inclusive list. "Sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways in the life you once lived, but now you must rid yourselves of all such things".

Paul is reminding the believers in the churches because they're still engaged in the struggle. And so are we. We've still got he voices going off. We've still got the messages. It's why it's so important what you watch and what you listen to and who your friends are, and what you do with your discretionary time, because I don't need greater permission towards ungodliness, I can generate enough of that internally. Our carnal nature left unchecked, will grant permission for ungodliness.

The good news is there's a remedy. And I'm going to do this really quickly. You gotta recognize the access point for the attack. And I'm gonna tag two for you today, one is resentment and unforgiveness. You just can't afford the luxury of holding those things. You've been mistreated, evil has touched your life, it happens to everybody in varying degrees, but evil has touched everybody. If you're holding resentment and unforgiveness, you are captive and you have left an open door for evil. It will overwhelm you, it will diminish what God will do for you. The second point of attack is rebellion. It is so prominent amongst us. It's an attitude of rebellion towards God or authority in general. And its essence is a refusal to submit to the righteous government of God.

"Nobody can tell me what to do". It's reached such a point today, we are so rebellious, we will not even accept the physical circumstances of our birth. And the church seems addled by this, it's like we're shaking our heads in confusion. Folks, it isn't confusing, it's evil. So how do we deal with it? First, and the simplest answer is we have to close the door, if there's a door, well you have to close the door. Matthew 6, Jesus teaching us to pray, "Forgive us our debts as we forgiven our debtors. If you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will forgive you, but if you don't forgive men, he won't forgive you".

If you want forgiveness, if I want forgiveness, we have to forgive, period, you don't get a vote. "But it was so..." No, you have to forgive, it's not an emotion, it's a decision. Doesn't mean you get back in line for more abuse. It doesn't mean you validate what happened, you're not saying it was okay, you're saying, "I cancel the debt". You see, when you hold resentment and unforgiveness, you're holding a marker. There's an IOU, you're holding on to it, somebody's gonna make good on this. The leaders of our nation are dividing us with hatred and resentment, it is evil. We have to forgive. And rebellion, the way to close the door to rebellion is to submit to God.

Easier said than done, James 4 and verse 7, "Submit yourselves then to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you". You cannot resist the devil if you're resisting God, it's impossible. So you have to submit to God. And the way you do that, is you submit to the Lord on the points where his truth have been made real to you. The place you know godliness and ungodliness you have to choose godliness. You can acknowledge the struggle of it. You can acknowledge it isn't easy, but you have to yield to God. God is the only one who can give us the grace, the faith and the strength we need to resist the Devil. You can't do it on your own. You can't resist God and overcome the Devil. You can't live like the Devil and expect the blessings of God, it's deception.

Church, we've lived with enough deception. How do we find ourselves in a place where wickedness and evil and perversion are as transcendent as they are? It's because the light has been so dim, and we're the light bearers. We have to change, that's not a new statement for us. Will you stand with me for this prayer? It's an important prayer for some of us. Some of us today, like Nicodemus, need to take our place as children of God. Some of us need to lay down anger and resentment, hatred. It has defined us, it's dictated our actions and our choices, it's put us in a prison.

We felt so justified, we felt so self-righteous in it, we felt like that our case was unassailable. You understand you'll never have a case so convincing that God will agree with you in your rebellion and your sin? We have to take his invitation because we need forgiveness. And some of us have been living as rebels. Oh, we've been churched rebels and religious rebels and we've been rebels who do good things. And we've been rebels who have been careful but we've been rebels. And today we want to submit to the righteous authority of God. You willing? Let's pray:

Father, thank you, thank you for your great love for us. Thank you for the provision you have made through Jesus. Thank you for your promises you have extended to us in your Word, that we might live lives of overcomers, that we might triumph over every expression of evil and darkness and wickedness. I thank you that through the blood of Jesus, you have redeemed us from an empty way of life. And we come this morning to acknowledge our sin. Forgive us, Father, forgive us for declaring ourselves in charge. Forgive us for wanting to make our own way. Jesus, we choose you as Lord of our lives. We wanna honor you, in our dreams and our ambitions and our homes, in our relationships, we wanna give you first place.

And Lord, we come to forgive in all of those places where we have held anger or resentment, or unforgiveness or bitterness, or we've had demands that others would change to meet our expectations, Lord, we release them today, we set them free. We lay down those markers. We release them. And we ask you to forgive us. I thank you that through the blood of Jesus, we have been justified, that we've been sanctified, that we've been redeemed, that you have called us your own. And where we've been living in rebellion, Father, we come today to submit to you. We will stop justifying our ungodliness. We will stop justifying our refusal to yield. Lord, it has been sinned. We weren't confused or deceived or distracted, we have been selfish and stubborn and self willed and we come today to yield to you.

Now, I thank you Father that we will leave this place differently than we came. That through the blood of Jesus, we have been delivered out of the hand of the enemy. That all of his claims against us are canceled, that all of your promises to us are yes. And may we begin to walk in that freedom, that freedom of thought, and that joy and that hope and the liberty that could only come from the Creator of all things. And Lord, I thank you that we can take our place as a triumphant church, a triumphant church in the earth. May the name of Jesus be lifted up, may your Kingdom be extended, may the darkness be turned back. May the name of Jesus be honored once again in the streets of our communities, in our neighborhoods, in the places where we work, in our homes. We thank you for it. May you be pleased with us. We praise your name for the freedom that's come to us, in Jesus's name, Amen.

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