John Gray - Gated Community
And before I start, I ask you one question. And I want you to contemplate. I want you to ponder. I want you to hypothesize. I want you to use your empirical data and your brilliant analytical mind. And I want you to chew on this thing. And I want you to think about it for the duration of the message. And I don't want you to answer it until the end of the message. Are you ready for the question? Can a sound change your destiny? Didn't I say wait till the end? She was like, yes! Yes, it can! Wait a minute. Want to ask again. Can a sound change your destiny? I said don't answer. Disobedient!
Let me let you know that the doctors said that with what was going on with my daughter, she might be able to leave on this Saturday. But I said last night, "She'll be leaving today". Now I understand that my words have creative power. And the doctor, though he is educated, well trained and I honor physicians, but they don't have the final say over my baby. Thank you for all the work you did! Now it's the Holy Ghost's turn. Since I have authority in my mouth, I said she's leaving. I'm not visiting my daughter in the hospital on thanksgiving! I'm gon' eat that turkey dressing, peach cobbler with ice cream. Holla at your boy! I feel the Holy Ghost! Collard greens with a little vinegar, ease rose, hot water cornbread! You don't hear me! I'm not bringing dinner to a hospital! My baby is gon' be in the house with us when I lift my hands to God, and thank God for all he's done this year.
So the doctors were still running around trying to figure out how to get my little insurance money while I was getting on the plane and I told my wife, "By the time I get off this first plane, they will have discharged my daughter". When I picked up that phone, I said, "Tell me what I want to hear". She said, "The discharge papers are in my hand". Hey! Hey! Don't mind me! If you've never been through anything, then you don't understand my praise. Until your baby is sick, and you need a miracle, then you don't understand my praise! I got your Saturday, devil! We are the family of God. We are children of the Most High God, and we don't have to take what the enemy gives us. Could you let me go, devil? I've been feeling sick. I cry, uncle. You bow down. The blood of Jesus is against you.
Tonight, I'm preaching. And I want to give honor to my wife who is still in Alabama. Both of our children. Honey, I love you. I will be home tomorrow 'cause home is not a city, is where my wife and my kids are. Theory, if you're watching, daddy loves you. You're healed. You gon' live a long time and prosper well. Same thing for you, John. I bind that sickness. And for every other person in this room that's been battling sickness and you think, well, if I just keep taking medicine, well let it run its course. It ran its course on the cross 2000 years ago! I don't have to take this!
Can I get anybody in here who believes that Jesus finished it on the cross? John chapter 19. "It is finished"! I'm healed by his stripes. 39 lashes! He paid for my sickness, and I don't have to take this off of a devil. We are a supernatural body of believers. We are a community of faith. Tonight, I'm gon' act right for about seven minutes. This is only for those who are nervous 'cause they didn't know that Lakewood would act like this the day before thanksgiving. But I want you to know we got a lot to be thankful for this year. You may not have everything you want. But if you're in here, you got everything you need. You got life. You got breath. You got health, some measure of it. You've got your mind and you've got your worship. You've got everything you need to start over.
Somebody just needs to preemptively give God thanks. Don't wait till tomorrow. Give it to him now! Give him a thank you. If he did anything for you this year, give him a thank you. I don't care how hard it is. The enemy tried his best. He did the very best and you're still here. So what? He didn't get the chop. You're still here. I know what the doctor said but you're still here. Somebody left you, oh well, their loss. You're still here. Can I get a good amen in here? You can't lose nothing. Not when you belong to God. You don't lose anything, he just removes what you don't need. Your destiny is too important to be tied up by people who don't know who you are. I feel the Holy Ghost.
Psalm 100. "Make a joyful shout out to the Lord all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness. Come before his presence with singing. Know that the Lord, he is God. It is he who has made us and not we ourselves. We are his people and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise. Be thankful to him and bless his name. For the Lord is good. His mercy is everlasting. And his truth endures to all generations". Focusing in on the fourth verse, "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise. Be thankful to him and bless his name".
We are right now family. I'm at your thanksgiving table right now. My plate is full of all that God has done this year. I invite you to get your spiritual plate up right now. Get a mental plate of all that God has done. Separate the macaroni and cheese of his provision, and then add that dressing on top of the turkey of his mercy, and then get the cranberry sauce of his grace and then get that cornbread of his provision and then go ahead and drink from the fountain that never runs dry. I want you to get a mental picture of what God has done for you this year. We gon' have thanksgiving dinner right here, right now. I think I got the right church tonight.
Somebody online right now go ahead and give God a praise in that house. Give God a praise in that apartment that will soon be a house. I'm believing God with you. This will be the last thanksgiving anybody else believe God for miracles? I prophetically declare supernatural breakthrough over people's lives with the faith to believe God for that thing tonight. I bind the spirit of just enough in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything that's been held up, be loosed on your behalf. And right now by the power of the living Christ, begin to move rapidly in the direction of your house, of your family, of your marriage, of your bank account in the name of Jesus. I need somebody to worship. Don't let that one go.
The land of just enough was nice, but the shift is on. God still has five weeks to do what he promised. I need him to show up this year. Some of you all saying but you don't know what I've been through this year. I don't have a whole lot to thank God for. I lost my job. My wife left me. My dog died. Now I got a stray cat and he won't even stick around and you don't even know how hard it is. I got arthritis and then I got a runny eye. And then I got pain in my back. But guess what, after all that you said you still talking, which means you're still alive, which means God is still been better to you than you've been to yourself and somebody needs to thank God because there are people who would love to trade places with your pain.
When my son even though, he's 19 months old, when he snatches from me, I tell him, "You better watch that. There's a little attitude in that. I know you only 19 months old and you can't really communicate yet, but when I offer you something, you don't just snatch and walk away. Even in your little baby talk, I need to yank you. Show me something. Show me what you're working with". And when he seems grateful, I have a heart to give him more. I wonder how much has been held up because our attitude has gotten in the way. What parent wants to keep blessing you when you think you've earned what you couldn't earn? Thank you. Thank you for life. Thank you for health, strength, whatever, thank you. Thank you for this little apartment, thank you.
And he's like, with that attitude you'll stay here. But a heart of thanksgiving touches God in a way that a spirit of entitlement never will. And may everybody in here and everybody listening walk with a spirit of gratitude and humility, not a spirit of entitlement, as if God owes us what we've gotten. None of us deserve the goodness of God. None of us are so good that we are worthy. You haven't lived a good enough life to have what you have. You have it because God blessed you with it. There was nothing you did to earn it. And the moment you have a heart of humility enough to receive this word, God's going to unlock a whole other level of blessing on your life.
You didn't tithe enough. You didn't pray enough. You didn't live holy enough. None of that is what caused God's favor to be on your life. He favored you because he chose you. And he chose you because he favored you. And that alone is why you need to give God praise. Nothing you did earned, not one thing you have, he just chose you and he loves you. And that needs to bless you. Because no matter what people think you deserve, God says I'm giving it to him. And I'm not taking it back. Real quiet in this middle section. We are a community of believers, Fiona and we all come from different places, but this year, we all have something to thank God for. The Bible says, "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise".
Tonight what I want to talk about from the subject heading gated community. Gated community.
Father speak through me tonight and let me declare this word like I want to. Let me preach like I've lost my mind. Let me preach 'cause you saved my daughter. Let me preach 'cause you kept that plane in the air. Let me preach 'cause I didn't die in a car accident like I saw somebody last night. God thank you because you've been better to us than we've given you credit for. Thank you for the things you kept us from that we'll never know about. Thank you! And may we never be afraid to give you praise in your church. May we never try to save face and act like we have it together. May we never be worried about what people think because they didn't save us and they didn't heal us and they didn't deliver us. And I'm not here to praise them. I'm here to praise you!
Somebody say, gated community. You know, my wife and I are new to the Houston area and there a lot of beautiful communities here. And some places that have homes you can't just go up. You got to call for an appointment to look at some of these houses. You can't just walk in and boy that sure is nice. Look at that granite on that kitchen counter. You can't just walk in. You've got to make an appointment. And you got to have an authorized representative walk with you because some houses are so valuable, that you just can't walk in. Sometimes you got to be pre-qualified just to get in. David outlines for us how we can access the very resources and wealth of heaven. You want to get past the gate, you got to start with thanksgiving. Anybody ever been to somebody's house with a gate? Some of them got a code.
God says, "I know you want more of me. I know you want to see me in a different way. Here's the code to the door". Thank you. I love you. I appreciate you. It's me, John. I know you know who I am. But I just want to tell you I'm even grateful to even be here. The fact that you're even listening to me right now, is nothing but grace. Thank you for what you did in sending your Son Jesus to die for me. Thank you. I'm married. I got kids. Thank you for protecting them and healing them. Thank you. The fact that I'm in a car talking to you, thank you. Thank you for what you did. Thank you. I got heat in the winter, air in the summer. Thank you, I've had food on my table. Thank you. I just want to start with thank you. And all of a sudden, and the gates begin to open.
I want you to know, God says, "If you want to come in, you better start with thanksgiving". So I'ma give you about 10 seconds to put your coat down and pick up some thanksgiving. Find something to thank God for. You don't have to stand up. You can sit in your chair. Maybe you can applaud or say it with your mouth, God, thank you. But if you love him, he's worth the stretch. Thank you. Thank you for my kids. Thank you for my family. Thank you for my husband. Thank you for my wife. Thank you. Some communities are master planned communities. They've been laid out. And I want you to know that if you want to access the resources of heaven, your thanksgiving gets you in the gate. But that doesn't mean you get to go to the intimate places. It says, "Enter his gates with thanksgiving". But the next thing is, if you really want to get into his courts, you got to praise.
Now, a lot of people say, well, what about worship? You want to be real deep and spiritual? Well, I don't praise, I worship. Pride. Number one. I worship. As if God, "Oh I'm surely glad you all worshiping instead of praising". If you study the Hebrew, the word gates actually means Market place, or public meeting place. And so God says right now, this is the place of thanksgiving. We're all here. This is a corporate setting. We're in a community. We are right here in a gated community. We're thanking God. It's a public meeting place. He says, "Well, if you want to go into the enclosure". The word courts in Hebrew means enclosure. If you want to go into the intimate place, you got to praise me. Study it and see if I'm being biblically accurate. The word courts in Hebrew means enclosure.
Now a lot of people say, well, if you worship soft and tender, that's when you can, that's when you can really, really have a one on one time. That's one of the ways. Here is a biblical model of another way. God says, I don't want you to think that the whisper and the softness of your song brings me closer. I'm not into style, I'm into substance. So people who look at people who are a little more boisterous and a little more demonstrative, "That's just emotion".
How could I not be emotional? He saved me. He healed me. He delivered me. He protected me. Some of you all, he saved your life. Some of you, he blessed you with a job you couldn't earn. Some of you, he healed your body. Some of you, he's done other miracles. What do you mean I can't be emotional? Because you're not emotional, you want me to not be emotional. I'm sorry, I'm not you. I'm not forcing you to be like me, but don't force me to be like you. I love him and I want to let the world know about it. And if there's any safe place for me to worship, it should be within the gated community of the fellowship of the believers.
The question that I asked was: can a sound change your destiny? What does praise do? Well, here's a scripture, very interesting. The Bible says in Psalm 22, verse three, "But you are holy. Enthroned in the praises of Israel". You've heard people say God inhabits the praises of his people. That's the scripture that, that comes from. He's enthroned or he lives in the praises of Israel. Worship will cause you to encounter God, but praise is something he can live in. See, because praise has an emotional component that rids you of pride. 'Cause there are times when you worship you can be expressive in your worship and people like, wow, look at the way they worship. With their hands out, apparently you got to worship with your hands out this way, let me see, what's the best way to worship?
Okay, because they're doing that, okay, "I worship you, Almighty God, there is none like you". Guess what. The moment you're worried about anybody else, you're not focused on the one that deserves it. I'm talking about to people in the gated community. See, 'cause when you're in a gated community, you can look at the people on the outside and they can wave, but they can't get in without access. I want you to know that in here you've been granted access to the resources of heaven, the favor of heaven. You've been granted access to the miracles of the Holy Spirit, in here, you don't have to worry, 'cause I understand why you cry. I may not know why you cry, but I understand God's been that good. Or maybe you're crying tears of sadness and release, but God is going to turn that thing around in your favor, if you stay inside the gated community, there's enough encouragement inside the community to get you through your tough times. Can I get a good amen in here?
We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the words. You can't give nobody your testimony without having some joy. Man, let me tell you how God paid my bills right in the nick of time, I'm so grateful, I have no way to pay for it, I'm just saying he been good, hallelujah. Man, I was sick and he healed me, and boy, I'm tellin' you, what? Man, that was great. No, no, no, people overcome by the word of their testimony, there's a passion to it. You can't help but be demonstrative, you've got to wave the hand, you got to stomp a foot, you don't know what he did for me, you don't know how he set, you don't know, let me tell you what he did. And before you know it, the person that was depressed is now encouraged, because if God could do it for you, he could do it for them. Can I get a good amen on the internet and in the church house?
I want you to know that a sound can change everything. Not your effort, not your skill set, not your credit report, not who you know, your sound. You don't believe that a sound can get heaven's attention? Talk to me, Joshua. Join me in Joshua, chapter six. Verse 16, "And the seventh time it happened, when the priests blew the trumpets that Joshua said to the people", let's talk for a second. No, I love that, so he said, the seventh time he said, whisper as hard as you can. Is that what he said? What did he say, I'm sorry, ma'am, what he say?
Somebody say shout. No. I'm sorry, what he say? He said, on that seventh time around, when you hear the trumpet, I want you to think about how big the wall is before you, no. I don't care what's in front of me. It doesn't matter, because it's all coming down. Because there's a sound in me that unlocks the resources of heaven. There's a sound that I can release that gets heaven's attention. There is a sound, but you only get that sound if you've been given access to the gated community.
When you get into a gated community, they have rules of their own, they give you a manual. Reference the manual. We're in the gated community of believers. And here in the manual in Joshua, subsection six, article 16, it says, "Shout, for the Lord has give you the city"! All right, wait. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. I want to help you. 'Cause that was okay. But we're going to need you to do just a little bit better. So, let me give you some background on why the shout caused the wall to fall. You got to go to Joshua, chapter five. This is going to bless you, pastor Johnny, watch this. Joshua, chapter five. This is some more study type level, pastor Lisa Osteen comes type digging the Bible gig. I'm tryin' to do it like that. Get you an outline full of premium treats like pastor Lisa does or Dr. Paul.
But right here in Joshua chapter five, verse 13, it says, "And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a man stood opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, 'ey, are you for us or for our adversaries'"? And watch this. "So he said, 'no'". Now first of all, that's a funny answer. Because he never answered the question. Are you for us or them? No. No to me or to him? No. Watch what he said. "No, but as the commander of the army of the Lord I have now come. Joshua fell on his face to the earth and he worshiped and he said to him, 'what does my Lord say to his servant? And the commander of the Lord's army said to Joshua, take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground".
I want you to know that this thanksgiving is holy ground. I want you to know that this year God's about to meet you like you've never seen before. I'm prophetically declaring that this thanksgiving is an unlocking of an awareness and a revelation of the power of God moving on your behalf, moving in your favor, moving in the direction of your family that you've never seen. I'm talking supernatural breakthrough in areas of relationship that you thought were dead, I'm talking about opportunities you thought were over. I want you to know that the commander of the armies of the living God has shown up. And if you believe it you'd make a sound.
Let me tell you, man of God, what just happened. Joshua saw the commander of God's army and he said are you for us or for the bad guys? And he said, neither one of you all are good or bad. I'm not here for either one of you, I'm here for God. Here's what he said, he was saying. Depending on who says the right thing, depending on who makes the right sound, I'll either get behind you or I'ma stand in front of you and oppose you. The sound from the children of Israel caused the army of God to get behind them. But had they not obeyed to make the right sound, then that army would've stayed right there, because God was determined to take the city out one way or the other. You can participate or you can celebrate and participate. I'ma celebrate and participate, so I'ma make a sound, watch God do the work and I'll get the spoils.
Anybody want to celebrate and participate? Then act like it, high five me, baby. I just need maybe six more people to understand that the sound of your mouth is getting heaven's attention. As you shout, the army of the living God is getting behind you and the thing that's in front of you doesn't have a chance. That's the power of a sound. It wasn't the sound that broke the wall, it was the principle in the word that God is enthroned in the praises of his people which means the angels had legal right to ride on the sound as they directed it towards the wall. So, I don't know who I'm talking to, but what's in your way that you need God to break? I dare you, instead of kicking it, fighting it, pushing it, I tell you to stand back and say...
Jericho was the first victory in the Promised Land. And the enemy knew, if I can stop 'em before they get this first victory, they won't come back this way anymore. I need you to know the principle, the enemy will always fight you when you're moving towards your promise. And he will attack your voice, he will attack your testimony, he will attack your praise, he will attack your marriage, he will attack your children, he will attack your finances, he will attack your mind. I know I'm preaching in here. And some of you who are brilliant and educated, I honor those who have studied to achieve in whatever chosen field of endeavor, but this kind of word, you got to lay down your brilliance, because it makes no sense.
Why would you shout at a wall, Joshua? Why don't you all off-road towards the because God was telling you, it's not your army that's going to do the work, it's my army that's going to do the work. I don't need you to move, I need you to shout, because when you shout they'll move. When you move they'll move, just like that. When you move, they'll move, just like that. I feel the Holy Ghost and since I don't have the strength to beat that devil up on my own, since I don't have the strength to get out of debt, since I don't have the strength to fight cancer, since I don't have the strength to get free from that addiction, I might as well shout and wait for the army of God to do the work! Yes!
The enemy will always fight the fruit of promise. He'll always fight the first fruit of your promise. He'll build up the wall. And the name Jericho means its moon. It literally means its moon. A moon is a satellite of the earth. The moon does not have its own gravitational pull, the moon responds to the earth, based on the earth's gravitational force. Jericho is symbolic of the thing that's in your vision, but seems to far for you to grab. You can see it, but you can't touch it. You've watched other people touch theirs, but you can't touch yours. I want you to know that your Jericho is coming to you.
Do I have anybody willing to believe God right now that your Jericho, the thing that's within your gravitational field is moving in your direction, based on the sound of your worship? Your worship is a faith declaration. Your praise is a safe statement, saying, God I know this makes no sense, God, I look a little silly to some people, but God, I know that you're the one that's going to get the victory and God, I know that you're able to do exceeding, abundantly, above all that I could ask or think or imagine, so, since I can't do it on my own, I might as well. I might as well praise! The enemy will, yes, I feel it. 'Cause I can hear the enemy saying, I hope they shut up. I hope they stop all that. Because if they keep going, I got to let go of everything I've been held, I've been holding on to. Sir, please put your hand down or the enemy has to let go of everything with your name on it, because there are angels that are fighting on your behalf.
The commander of the army of the living God is moving. As you worship, as you praise, as you lift your hands, he's enthroned in the praises of his people. Your house can't stay the same, your children can't stay the same, the situation can't remain the same, your praise is powerful, your praise is your weapon. Hey! Hey! Hey! I got two points and I'ma let you go. Check on that turkey. Mama Dodi, you were praying right here during prayer time. And I heard you praying over someone, and I heard you say something like, get out, I command it to die in the name of Jesus.
Now, to you all, she could've said a very gracious, tender, diminutive voice, mean old cancer, come on out of there, skedaddle. You scram, you cancer cell. But there's something about authority. This is what causes the devil the most anguish. Not that you're speaking, but that when you speak, you have the authority to make him move. Somebody caught it. Luke, chapter 10, verse 17, Jesus said, "I saw satan fall like lightning. Behold, I give you the power, the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means hurt you".
Jesus said, I saw him fall like lightning, and he's mad because he knows if you realize who you are, all you got to do is speak and he's got to move. If you tell him to go, he's got to go, if you tell him, come here, he's got to show up. If you tell him to tap dance, he's got to dance, because he's under authority. Colossians, chapter three. And I'm finished with this. "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God".
If I died, then why is the enemy trying to kill me? 'Cause he's got a bad understanding. I died when Christ died. He took my death, so the life I live, you couldn't kill it if you tried. So, every attack of the enemy, is that the best you can do? I'm still here. Cancer, is that the best you can do? I'm still here. Sickness, is that the best you can do? I'm still here. Poverty, is that the best you can do? I'm still here. And the enemy is saying, somebody else throw something and everything hell throws at you, bam, bam, bam, I'm still here. And the enemy doesn't understand why you keep coming towards the wall. He doesn't understand why you don't have any weapons in your hands, but the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but they're mighty! Mighty! Mighty in power, to the pulling down of strongholds.