John Gray - Living Above Average
When you struggle in your walk, because we all have issues, we call them flesh issues. We were created from the dust of the earth, but we're not just dust, because you can't make anything from dust, you ever tried to make something from dust? It's just a dust ball. You have to add what? Water. Water and dust make clay. "I am the potter, you are the clay". So God actually allowed water to come up from under the ground in order to form this clay. Then he formed it with his hands, and breathed into it.
Now here's something that's gonna blow your mind. This is for anybody who's struggling with finance, struggling with a business idea, struggling with anything that looks like increase, or looks like, you know, financial struggle, or you believe in God for a house. You're like, "We're in the middle of a recession, and high unemployment", I get all of that. But we're not connected to the world's economy, exclusively. In fact, we're connected to this economy only because we live in this earth, but we are connected to God's economy. And even though the Bible says there was no rain, there was still water. Where there is water, there is life. What I want you to know is there was water up under the ground. I need you to know that even though it looks dry on the surface, you've got reserves.
I'm trying to help somebody. I got some points, I gotta get through them, 'cause my clock is ticking down fast. You need to know that everything connected to your life is not where people can see it. And God did that on purpose, because some of us are not strong enough to tell the right people no. 'cause some people just know how to push your emotional buttons. "I just can't, I just need some help, I'm struggling right now". You've been struggling for 32 years. And there's nothing wrong with struggle, if it's a real struggle, but enablement is different from struggle. Or maybe there are people in your life that you just haven't been able to get victory over emotionally, and whenever you're around them, you get weak.
Same reason that a lot of females end up getting back with the person that they broke up with. And then you get back with them, and you break up again, and you need to remember why you broke up with them in the first place. But God is saying, in this season, what looks dry on the surface, you've got reserves up under your feet. God is getting ready to give you substance that the world doesn't know about. It's about to rain, but it's about to rain from up under you. Literally, everything around you is gonna begin to grow, watch the supernatural growth of God begin to overtake key areas of your life. It's a while, it's drought everywhere else, it's going to be feast for your family, feast for your host, and feast for your dreams, and abundance for your heart, and abundance of peace and joy. Does anybody believe that this is how God wants to work when you apply the principle of dominion? God has given us dominion, and I want to give you some places that we need to grab dominion.
Last week we talked about the general principle, but now I want to talk about some key areas. Are you ready to write? The first one is dominion of identity. When you get dominion, the Bible, the word dominion means to tread upon, to overtake, to be in charge of, to literally, to just bulldoze, "Aaaggh, it's all mine". Dominion. You need to have dominion over your identity. Then you have to have dominion over your image. There's dominion of identity, there's dominion of image, watch this, and then there's dominion of imagination. Those are different things. Dominion of image, dominion of imagination, dominion of relationships. Dominion of appetite. Dominion of the mind.
And then my pastor got my last one, if I can get to it, it's the dominion of sound. See, you gotta stay with me, 'cause you already know where that one was gonna go, but you ain't ready, you ain't even ready. You are not just a human being. You are a word that God spoke. You are not an accident, you are not the function of a Romantic encounter between mom and dad. You are the expressed will of God for this moment in the earth. If you are alive right now, there is something only you can do that no one else can do, but until you take dominion over the thing you were created to do, the earth is suffering. Romans 8:18 and 19 says, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present age are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly awaits the revealing of the sons of God".
For the earth has been groaning with pains until now, the earth is a living thing waiting for somebody to take dominion. And it's waiting for the sons of God to take dominion. It's waiting for people to take dominion. Have you ever seen somebody functioning in greatness? I have. That's what I talked about last week, when I saw pastor Joel and Victoria in miami, and I watched him on stage at potential church, and how that really impacted me, and it informed this thing that the Lord was saying. "He's walking in dominion," that's what God said to my spirit. "He's walking in dominion".
And dominion doesn't mean that you gotta, you know, be abrasive with people, or loud, or yelling, "I'm in charge, I got dominion". That... Because real power doesn't yell, it whispers. You don't believe me? When God wanted to show who was in charge, when Elijah ran to the mountain, after he killed the prophets of Jezebel, is like, "I'm gonna get you," and he ran, and there was an earthquake, there was a big old firestorm, there was all this loud noise and thunder, and then all of a sudden, it was what? The still... Well why was the voice small? Because he was close. Real power doesn't have to yell, it whispers. When you really have dominion, you don't have to shout it. You'll walk in it. People know dominion when they see it.
Lebron James doesn't have to tell anybody he's the best basketball player in the world. Everybody knows it, even the people that play. They wanna be where he is. You don't have to ask certain entertainers if they're the best at what they do, or certain artists if they're the best at what they do. They know it. When you start walking in dominion, you become legendary. You look at guys like Ali, he was the greatest of all time. He kept declaring it. People now will say, "Well there were other guys that punched harder, and did this and that", but people will always say he was the greatest heavyweight. He walked in dominion.
You look at people who are well known. They took dominion over an area, dominion over entertainment, dominion over politics. You look at families that have been influential in politics over generations, and I could name names, but I want to keep things separate, but you can do this on your own, look at where they took dominion, and how that thing was established. When one person took dominion, it had ramifications for generations. You need to start getting serious about the thing you were created to do, because it's not just about you. It's about everyone who is connected to your life, and everyone who will come after you. My son is John W. Gray IV, and he will not have to hit on doors as hard as I did, because if I live my life right, then my name will go before him, because I took dominion over the things that my father did not.
Something's about to break in this room. Somebody say, "Dominion". Dominion of identity, who am I? What's my purpose? And what's my position? That's the foundational, fundamental question that we all have, and if we don't have it we need to have it. And I don't care if you're 8 or 80, you are still alive, you need to ask God what's your purpose. You can retire from a job but you cannot retire from purpose. You've got something that only you can do. You have a role to play that is critical to the kingdom, you have the breath of God on the inside of you to get it done, which means all you really gotta do to start moving in dominion is start speaking.
You need to just start talking. People already think you crazy, so just put in some earphones and just start walking around, talking. Just walk around the building, "Lord this building belongs to me, I thank you, this is mine, we gonna serve the Lord, I'm gonna have my offices right there, then I'm gonna have a kitchen put in right there". You got $3 in your savings account currently, that you transfer between checking and savings, see, "'cause my savings, see, and see my checking, see, is interest only," but what that does, it gets God excited that they are not looking at their current circumstance, "They're looking at the declaration that I gave them," which is, "You have dominion". Can someone give praise other than the nine people that...
Your life is a garden. You've been given dominion over your garden. There's only certain things that will grow in your garden, nobody else will be able to maximize the production of your garden like you. You can invite whoever you want in, you can give them all kinds of tools, but it won't be the same as when you put your hands in the ground and do what you were created to do, because no matter how much you try to lend people space, it's still your garden. No matter how many times you try to get somebody else involved in your dream, it's still your dream. God says, you can bring everybody you want in, I'm only talking to you on this. Because you bring other people in, because you were afraid.
Let me tell you how we lose dominion. Look at Genesis 3, quickly. We know what the serpent did. We know how he spoke to Eve, and he lied in the 4th verse. Because he said, "Did God say not to eat from that tree"? She said, "Yeah, if we eat from there, we'll die". He said, "No you won't". He lied. He's a liar. Jesus said, "He's been a liar from the beginning". He's the father of it. He's the progenitor, he's the originator of a lie. You don't reason with devils, you have to cast them out. Stop texting devils back. You know he ain't no good, you know she's not no good, you know they're gonna suck you back into a thing God's been delivering you from for a little while. Stop replying. You've got to "Do not answer, it's the enemy".
At some point, stop falling over the same sin, get a new one maybe, but stop doing mess with the same sin. Get delivered from at least one. Dominion of identity is close to dominion of proximity. Because here Eve ate the fruit, and the Bible says that she gave it to her husband who was standing there. And that's the problem right now. So many men have relinquished dominion, have allowed foreign voices to speak into their family, to speak into their children, to speak to their wives, and now your whole family structure is messed up. Notice that after they ate the fruit, it says, in the 7th verse, "Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings".
How many of us get outside of God's will, and then try to do a patchwork job? "We try to fix it ourselves, pastor". It's interesting that it was fig leaves, because if you look in Matthew, you gotta write this one down, it'll bless you. Matthew 21:19. Just keep it there, Matthew 21:19. Jesus saw a fig tree from a distance, got up on it, and all it had was leaves. And he cursed the tree. Well, why would you curse the tree? It was just growing. He said, no, because if it's got leaves, it needs to have fruit, don't play with me. There was a principle in the garden to sew fig leaves together to cover our nakedness.
Jesus walked up on another fig tree, and all those leaves represented is, "Just in case somebody wants to get out of the will, I'm here to give you a false cover". Jesus cursed the tree. "Nobody's going to believe this lie anymore, you can't cover your sin yourself. You can't hide from God, trying to do it your own way". Jesus cursed the fig tree. Something about them fig leaves. Identify the fig leaves in your life. Identify the things that you try to sew together, to try to cover up your nakedness. Because before the fall, the Bible says they were naked and unashamed. And I'm not talking, they weren't talking physical, what they were saying is they were uncovered before each other, and they weren't afraid to show their vulnerabilities.
How many husbands and wives sew fig leaves together at the damage of your own intimacy? How many single people struggle to get to a place of wholeness because you've sewn fig leaves over the emotional trauma of a bad breakup or a bad relationship decision, or something that you did in your past, so now it's difficult for you to trust, and to love, and to open up, because you've got fig leaves everywhere, and Jesus says, "I'm cursing fig leaves, and the tree, that means not only am I taking the leaves, I'm cursing it at its root, so you won't even have the ability to get the leaves again. I want you whole," and the only way you can get whole is through the blood of Jesus, the righteousness of Jesus, through his sacrificial blood is the only thing that makes us right with the father. You can't make yourself right, I can't make myself right. The law does not save us. Only the blood does that. Somebody give God a praise right there?
The Bible says that Eve gave the fruit to her husband who was standing there. Dang gone, that clock moved fast, I think they be playing, don't play with me, play with my emotions. The Bible says that in Genesis 3, read, after they sewed the fig leaves together in the 7th verse. The 8th verse. "And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, 'where are you?' so he said, 'I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, and I hid myself'. And he said, 'who told you you were naked?'"
What he's saying is: who stole your dominion? Who stole the dominion of your identity? Who gave you a false reality and made you believe it was true? Who told you that your past dictated your future? Who told you that that failure was as good as it's ever gonna be? Who told you you were naked? Who told you you weren't loved? Who told you it would never, ever work out in your favor? Who told you that? Notice that it didn't say that he heard the Lord walking in the garden. It says, "He heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden". God wasn't walking, just his sound. Let me tell you why. And for those who don't believe, like, "What are you talking about"? They had fellowship, they were face-to-face, well then you need to kinda read John 1:18, that says, "No man has seen God at any time". Or, maybe you need to go to 1 John 4:12, "No one has seen God at any time, if we love one another, God abides in us, and his love has been perfected in us".
So, if no one has seen God at any time, then clearly, Adam wasn't afraid of the face of God, just the sound of God. Why was the sound walking through the garden? Because when you walk in ultimate dominion, you don't even have to be there, you can just speak, and your words... Thank you sir, I think it's time for me to go, but... The dominion of sound, God is so great, he spoke, created the earth, put his hands in the dirt, formed it, breathed into it, and then stepped back, and his sound was walking in the garden, looking for fellowship. Sound was looking for sound, and instead, sound got silence in return. The silence of Adam was the loss of dominion. When Adam got quiet in that garden and let the serpent talk to his wife, man of God, you cover that woman. You cover her emotions, you be everything she needs.
You don't allow the guy at work to keep telling her how pretty she is, and how cute she is, and, "You sure do smell nice", that is the serpent. Get up to that job, "Yeah, I heard you was complementing my wife, I just want you to know, I'm crazy, amen. Try me if you want to". Take dominion over your pride, and don't allow the enemy to whisper in her ear, because if you stand by while it happens, God's not talking to her. He's gonna ask you, "Where were you"? When the fall went down, God didn't ask Eve nothing, because God created Eve for Adam, but God gave Adam dominion. He expected him to tell her what the mission was.
Man of God, stop blaming your wife, stop telling her what she's not doing. She is a garden, she will grow what you seed. If you seed it, she will be it. If you want more love, sow more love. If you want more patience, sow patience. She can't help but produce what you sow. If you sow words of life, she'll produce words of life. If you sow, she will grow. God wants dominion back in the family.
I'm speaking to men, because God wants your voice back in the garden. Your voice needs to be real loud over them kids. I know you're tired, you're working two jobs, your kids are teenagers, they think they're grown. Walk in that house, take that xbox, break it in half, and say, "Until we get God as the first thing in this family, not another game will be played". Turn off real housewives of Atlanta, love & hip hop, bye-bye, hardcore pawn, you're out of here. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. The dominion of sound is a dominion of declaration. When you declare it, heaven has to back it. Somebody give God a praise break right now.