Allen Jackson - God's Authority In The World - Part 2
Hey, I'm honored to be with you today. We're going to continue our discussion on God's authority in this world. God is omniscient. He knows everything. He's omnipotent. He's all-powerful. You know, we tend to think of God in terms of religious or professional Christians or pastors or priests. God's not like us, folks. He's completely different. We serve at his pleasure. He created us and he will do whatever is needed to be done that the name of his Son is exalted in the earth and his kingdom is demonstrated here.
That's how Jesus taught us to pray. It's an exciting season we're living through. We're seeing the purposes of God break forth into the public square in a whole new way. Grab your Bible, get a notepad, but most importantly, open your heart to the Lord. So we're gonna take the minutes we have left and do a little practicum. I wanna talk to you about two or three scenarios that are opportunities to let the authority of God be made evident in your life and through your life. And we're gonna practice a little bit, okay? You'll be saved by the clock, it'll be okay.
But I think the beginning point for any invitation to the Lord is to understand our place in his Kingdom. What gives us access to the Kingdom of God is not joining the right church or the right denomination or reading the right translation of the Bible or even keeping a set of rules. We don't earn our way in by any of those choices. Status in the Kingdom of God is connected to a relationship with a person and his name is Jesus of Nazareth. And if you choose him as Lord of your life... now that has some implications to it. To be Lord of your life means he sets the authority.
You forfeit the autonomy. You still have a free will, but you choose to yield your will to the authority of Jesus. You bring yourself under his authority. Most of us, if we're employed, we take some portion of our lives and yield to the authority of our employer. They very likely have an employee handbook, they have the rules and regulations of behavior in that place, or, if you purchase a ticket to ride on some sort of public transportation, for the duration of that trip you yield to the authority that governs that place. Well, to be a Christ follower means you yield to the authority, the lordship, of Jesus.
If you haven't done that, you're not a Christ follower. You can sit in church, you can sing the songs, you can read your Bible, you can be generous and kind, you can be many, many things, but it's the submission to the lordship of Jesus that gives us access to the Kingdom of God. Because when you do that, something supernatural happens. Something that only the Creator of all things could orchestrate. The Bible describes it as a miracle. It says you become a new creature, a new creation in him. Wow. I gave you a couple of verses in your notes. It's Romans 10. It said, "if you confess with your mouth that 'Jesus is Lord', and you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you'll be saved. For it's with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it's with your mouth that you confess and are saved".
So if I'm gonna talk to somebody about my faith, or if I'm gonna pray with somebody that has a need, and it's a significant, if it's more than just a let's pray moment where they're just gonna get one sentence and I'm gonna move. If it's somebody that I have a relationship with or I'm building a relationship with or I'm gonna interact with more frequently, I would begin by saying, listen, but before we get into the specifics of whatever it is we're gonna pray about, I wanna be certain that we both have status with the Lord. And I wonder if you'd be willing to acknowledge Jesus as Lord of your life. Sometimes, I think we imagine they have to understand fully the implications of that before there's a benefit. And I'm an advocate for study and learning, and I think we should be grounded in the Word of God, but I think it's nonsense to imagine that you don't take steps forward in your life until you fully understand the implications of that.
There's a God, it's not us, but we are learning about his character and his nature. And there's nothing you can do more profound than have somebody choose to yield themselves to the Lordship of Jesus, and they change the authority over their lives. They change Kingdoms. Don't confuse it with joining a church. It's a change of authority. And you need to have this prayer tucked in your heart. You have it in your phone, written in your... I don't... put it in your contacts, whatever, but it needs to become a part of you. And it's really simple. It's an acknowledgement that you need God. And in order to receive the benefits, you have to acknowledge Jesus is the Son of God. We just read it. You have to choose him as Lord.
Father, forgive me. Then I forgive those who sinned against me. Please, be Lord of my life. Help me.
And then God starts something in you that will continue for all eternity. It's the most amazing adventure any human being will ever enter into. Don't be apologetic, don't be hesitant, don't be reluctant. I don't like the model of the only time you imagine people would do that is at the end of a service when we ask you to walk the aisle. I much prefer to send thousands of people into the community equipped to do this. And try to imagine the only point of entrance into the Kingdom is at the end of one of my sermons. Because you really have to love the Lord to hang on for one of those.
Let's just say that prayer together. I gave you a version of it there, but you don't have to use those words exactly. Let's just close our eyes for a minute. I wanna invite you to say a prayer with me. Maybe you've never prayed it and meant it. You may have prayed it dozens of times, but you never really meant it. This would be a great time. We're not done, don't start sneaking to the exits. I still got a few minutes. Just pray this with me:
Almighty God, I'm a sinner and I need a Savior. I believe Jesus is your Son, that he died on a cross for my sin, and that you raised him to life again, that I might be justified. Forgive me of my sins, and I forgive those who sinned against me. Jesus, be Lord of my life. All that I am, all that I have, all that I'll ever be, I yield to you now. In Jesus's name, amen.
Hallelujah. And if you pray that with somebody and you know them a little bit, shake their hand and say, I'm so proud of you, thank you for praying with me. I'm expecting God to do something in your life. He's bigger than we are. And we know what we want him to do, but God does things beyond what we even know we need him to do. See, we've apologized too long, we've been timid, or what if I do it wrong? Wrong? You mean if you get the words reversed and you say, I forgive them before you say, please forgive me? When you've said that prayer, encourage them just a bit or affirm them just a bit. Don't wait for them to say something for you. We get this so backwards, we want them to tell us we've made such a difference in them, right? Because we come with our own... we're anxious and we want them to say, oh, I felt something. It was so remarkable. I've waited all my life for somebody to pray that prayer with me, or whatever. Encourage them, okay?
Now, I wanna give you a couple more opportunities. How many people in the room tonight either have a place where you need healing or there's somebody you know or care about that needs healing? Wow. So, I can ask an easier question. Looks like the answer is everybody. So, I wanna take a minute and talk to you about praying for somebody that's sick. Why would you do that? Because our God heals. He does. People ask me, well, do you believe in doctors or do you believe in God? Yes. Who said that there's a dichotomy? Who said you have to choose? I am very happy to live someplace where there are men and women who have spent years of their life training to help me understand how to be healthier. And that we have available, at their disposal, a whole host of tools and equipment and imaging devices that help them understand my physical health so they can give me better advice.
I think that's wonderful. I'm not offended by that. And I don't think it's an either/or proposition. But, if I go to the doctor, I pray before I go and I pray after I leave. People say, well, I'm not going to the doctor unless he's a Christian. Really? I mean, I'd be happier, probably, with a doctor that would pray with me, but if he doesn't pray with me, I'm gonna pray for him. Look, Doc, you should know before you do whatever you're about to do, I'm trusting God to make you the most effective doctor you've ever been. Then, we don't have to pray together. I prayed before I got in here. I don't know why we get so stressed about some of this stuff, but beyond that, pray for one another. Don't send somebody that you love to a doctor without a prayer. That makes no sense to me.
So, I brought you a couple of verses of Scripture. 1 Peter 2 in verse 24. This is the fisherman that spent the years with Jesus. And he said, "He himself," speaking of Jesus, "bore our sins in his body on the tree," how many of you believe that? That Jesus paid the punishment for your sins in his body on the cross? Good, about half of us, that's a start. "So that we might die to sins and live for righteousness: by his wounds you have been healed". Now, Peter seems to be suggesting to us that there's a physical benefit to the redemptive work of Jesus, not just a spiritual one. That our sins were forgiven, but there was also provision made that we might be well. Doesn't mean God's kids don't get sick. Doesn't mean we don't have physical challenges. It simply means that God has said he will help us, that he's made provision for us.
Jesus died on the cross for your sins. It doesn't mean you're not tempted. We're not delivered from this current world, from this present world order yet. We're still in the midst of it, but God has made provision. Now, some would suggest that just means spiritual healing. So, I would give you Matthew 8, "When evening came, many who were demon possessed were brought to him," Jesus, "and he drove out the spirits with the word and he healed all the sick". Now, if Matthew stopped there, but he didn't. "This was to fulfill all that was spoken through the prophet Isaiah. He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases". Peter's referencing Isaiah 53 and now Matthew says that when Jesus healed the sick, he did it to fulfill what Isaiah had said hundreds of years before Jesus was here. That he took our sin, but he took our sicknesses and diseases as well.
So, when we pray for someone who's sick, we're not asking God to do something that's beyond his character, that's beyond his expressed will. We're not imposing upon him. We're not being presumptive. We're simply saying, Father, we need your help. And we come in the authority of Jesus's name, please help us. Now, God may do that through a doctor that he gives the wisdom to know how to help. Most of us would prefer not to have that. We would prefer to have an unbillable healing event. Okay, but we don't always get what we want. Jesus said, "I would rather not do all of this stuff after Gethsemane. I've gotten to Gethsemane intact, and if there's any other way, I don't like your next chapter for this. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours".
So, how God brings the healing is not our business. And what I want to give you permission is to be an agent of invitation for the work of God in the lives of others. Pray for yourself, practice that way. Oh, Lord, I don't feel well, help me, in Jesus's name. Now, the Bible talks about laying hands on the sick. May I give you a couple of practical suggestions? Most of the time, the safest way to lay hands on the sick is to join hands. Stay beyond reproach. You with me? Sometimes I meet people that are a little more spiritual than... they have more spiritual language and more spiritual words and they just live in, you know, and, you know, tell me where you're sick and I want to lay hands on where you're sick. Don't build that habit, all right? I can join hands and pray for you, and we're good. And I can join hands and pray for you, and we're good. Stay above reproach, stop the foolishness.
I wanna give you another prayer that you need in your portfolio. It'll be a help to you. Fear is stalking the earth in an unprecedented way. It was introduced to us, it was ramped up in 2020. We heard messages of fear, they cascaded over us, day after day. And without walking back through all of that, it's unleashed something that is still prevalent amongst us. We're afraid of the future. We're afraid elections won't be fair. We're afraid the economy is gonna collapse. Folks, if the election's not fair and the economy collapses, Jesus is still on the throne. The Kingdom of God is still there. Now, I pray those things don't happen because they will bring difficulty and hardship and challenges, I'm not denying that, but don't allow your life to be ruled by fear.
And I brought you a couple of Scriptures. In John 14, Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I don't give to you as the world gives. Don't let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid". Now, I don't know, there's much I don't know, but if Jesus said do not be afraid, I know that we don't have to be afraid. Now, we may get frightened and we may see fearful things, but we don't have to lead lives dominated by fear. Jesus said, "my peace I give to you". I would point out, briefly, that Jesus did not lead a life free of conflict or challenge. He was challenged and faced conflict in almost every chapter of his life we're given a window into.
So, when he said, "my peace I give to you," he's not suggesting to us there's an absence of conflict. He's in boats, and there's storms. He goes to his hometown, and they try to kill him. He healed somebody, and they said, you did it on the wrong day. I mean, he faced all sorts of challenges until they finally nailed him to a cross. But he said, "my peace I give to you," what we see Jesus is he's never panicked. If he has to feed a multitude with a happy meal, he's completely confident there's enough for everybody. If he faces a demonized person, he's completely confident that he has the authority to address that unclean spirit. Please listen to him, meditate on it, memorize it, say it to yourself, my peace I give to you, you don't have to be afraid.
2 Timothy 1, "God didn't give you a spirit of timidity". That word is translated a variety of ways. Some of the older translations say he didn't give us a spirit of fear. Some say he didn't give us a spirit of cowardice. But the notion is, we don't have to lead our lives cowering in retreat. Amen. Well, the world's not just, but God is. Life's not fair, but God is faithful. Evil exists, but good triumphs over evil. And finally, in Romans 8, "you didn't receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship". But I think this is really the root of this discussion about fear. He said, "you didn't receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear".
Apart from your entrance into the Kingdom of God, you were under the authority of the kingdom of darkness. And it helps me a great deal to think of fear as a person without a body. It's a spirit. And the Scripture very clearly tells us that we didn't receive a spirit that makes us a slave to fear. I don't have to be enslaved to fear. Now, the enemy is a world-class accuser and he will convince you of what you have to be afraid of, of being old or young or whatever. Having too much or too little, being too humble or too proud, too religious, not religious enough. He will make you afraid. He'll make you afraid of going to the doctor. He'll make you afraid of not going to the doctor. He'll make you afraid of church, whatever. If you'll begin to think of fear as a person without a body and treat it that way, you have authority over that spirit.
So, when you recognize fear is stalking you to render you inactive, to render you silent, to paralyze you, to keep you from whatever it may be, you say, in Jesus's name, you have to go. It's not a power struggle. You don't have to wrestle with fear. You have authority in Jesus's name. Being loud doesn't necessarily make you more authoritative. Now, there are times when I get a little bit more emotional, I get a little louder. So, I've been known to get a little emotional sometimes when I pray, usually on a tractor. It doesn't frighten people as much. But you can say to that fear, you go in Jesus's name.
I have helped many people find a place of peace and freedom when they learned they could pray and be set free from fear. There was a woman in the church not too long ago. She said, I have a surgical procedure scheduled and I wish you would pray for me, I'm terrified. And I paused a moment. I said, well, tell me a little bit. She said, I've canceled it three times. I'm terrified. And then she looked at me rather sheepishly and she said, the part that's really embarrassing is I'm a nurse. She was smart. She understood the process. She wasn't... but there was something irrational in her response. And so, we had this little conversation and I prayed and I said, when you have that sense of being paralyzed by fear, you say in Jesus's name. She came and found me, it was a couple of weeks later, and I said, "how are you"? She said, "Oh, I had the procedure, everything was fine". She said, "After we talked," she said, "I wasn't... you showed me how to... I wasn't afraid anymore".
Folks, this is real. Now, I meet God's people all the time, paralyzed by fear. Fear of what's coming on the earth. Fear of this and fear of... Jesus said: My peace I give to you, you don't have to be afraid. You with me? Now, if you meet somebody and you don't know them and they don't know you, busting out, there's a person without a body harassing you, probably would not be my suggestion for, "Hi, my name's Allen. But, if I had an opportunity for a let's pray moment, I might very well say, in Jesus's name, fear you can't stay here, amen".
Now, if it's somebody I know and I'm doing life with, that I'm a brother and sister in Christ with, I'll talk to them for a moment. And so, you have your eyes in the wrong place. You're being harassed by something that you don't have to give place to. Now, fear is like any other emotional response. If you have welcomed it and given it a place in your life, it often takes a little bit of determination to unseat it. If you've been angry for a long period of time or filled with resentment or bitterness or hatred or lust or whatever it is, if you've given place to that, it may take a bit of focus to unseat it in your pattern of thinking and responding. But you do not have to be dominated by fear. And you need to be prepared to help other people.
Again, if I'm someplace that I don't have the relationships to establish that on a one-on-one place way, I'll simply begin to say, in Jesus's name, may the spirit of fear be broken in this place. I'll just keep it to myself. Don't draw attention to yourself, folks. We're not the deliverer. On your best day or mine, I can't heal a gnat's wing and neither can you. So, don't promote yourself. It isn't about us, it's Jesus. Have you met Jesus? Do you know him? Have you ever given him the Lordship of your life? If you haven't, I have a prayer I'd like to pray with you. And if you have, you don't have to be dominated by fear. Now, fear is stalking the earth. And we have a response, we have the authority to be light in the darkness.
Hey, Jesus gave us a gift. He said, "my peace I leave with you," and the outcome of that is we don't have to be afraid. Now, that's Good News. I want to pray for you before we go that fear will loosen its hold in your life.
Father, I thank you that in Jesus's name we've been delivered from fear, that that spirit has no authority over us, no power over us. In Jesus's name, amen.