John Gray - Star Wars
Let me tell you what's been going on. And I just want to give you some scripture to back it up. Finally Ephesians 6:10-12 says, "Finally my brethren and be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil". The enemy's been coming after you since January one of this year and has not let up like pulled out all the stops, mess with your family, messed with your marriage, messed with your children, with your finances, with your peace, with your mind, with your spirit. And here you are, and you still have the nerve to show up. Put on the whole armor. "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual host of wickedness in the heavenly places". It's above your head, but it's not above your pay grade.
I'll say it again what's going on is actually above your head. There's a war just look up and just imagine that these little flickering lights are stars because there is a cosmic battle going on for the souls of men and women. There is something unseen and so when you feel something in your spirit and it doesn't sit right, let me encourage you to keep praying in that moment because you're probably hitting up against some spiritual wickedness in high places and if you find yourself struggling to push into a particular area of destiny, keep praying, because you're probably pushing up against the devil that thought that area belong to him and you now are starting to occupy that place.
I'm talking to someone this evening. This is all about light. Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father who is in heaven". Jesus was speaking and he still speaks through his word that God wants glory out of us and he wants our light to shine. Can anybody tell me the best time for light to shine. In darkness. Has there have been a darker time in recent memory than what we've seen played out in our political system in our social justice arena, in our own lives in our own country, around the world, flooding, mass hysteria fear, all kinds of epidemics and in the middle of that, God says, now, turn the light on. Because the darker it gets, you don't even have to have a bright light. When it's real dark, you can have a little light and people will still come, people will still gravitate to the slightest light and everybody's got the light of the Holy Ghost on the inside. And then Matthew 2:1-2, "Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, a wise man from the east came to Jerusalem saying, where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east and have come to worship him".
I want you to know that when you've been anointed there is a star above your head. I want you to know that when you are anointed, there is literally a bull's eye from heaven saying all the resources of heaven need to back that woman and that man and that family. I want you to know that the reason why it's been such a battle is because the title of my message is going to reflect what's been going on in your life, and what you can expect going forward. The title of tonight's message, the last message of 2015, Star Wars.
A long time ago, in a galaxy, far, far away. God said, "Let us create man in our image, according to our likeness". And he created man from the dust of the ground, and he breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being and he gave him dominion over every living thing that creeps upon the face of the earth, but there was an enemy who snuck into the garden. And from this moment, to that moment, God has been fighting to give us our dominion back, that we walked in our original purpose, walk in our original authority, walk in our original power, and this is the war that's been waging in your life, because you are this close to walking into the preordained authority that God has put in you. There is a war in heavenly places. But I declare tonight, that you are getting ready to see what you've never seen and walk where you never walk.
Ladies and gentlemen, give God a praise because you're in the middle of Star Wars. And if you that the battle is been hard and the tears have been shed and you're close to victory then high five some of your fellow brothers and sisters and tell them we made it through the storm. And then for the last time in 2015 give God a 10 second praise. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. There's no way you should be here. The enemy is so confused that you're here, waving your hands, praising a God that you've never seen. And with all the warfare that he sent, and you still have the audacity to worship because I love him not because of what he gives me but because of who he is. The first war was for your worship. Clearly that failed because you showed up here. Okay, what, yeah. I told you to expect anything that was not my notes. Somebody say Star Wars. You probably haven't noticed, but you're kind of amazing. You better go hey. Girl, you look good, you better go hey girl you better walk around. Just walk in your heel, just walk, just for no reason. Just walk around your house. If you in an apartment, walk around your apartment and start telling your apartment, I'm not going to be here long because God has more for me. I feel the Holy Spirit.
Look at mighty man of God. Everything that's come against you and you still find the strength to press in, wake up every morning and go to work and bring that check home to take care of that wife and those kids, or maybe something happened and you're not with the mother of the children, but you still take care of your kids, and you walk in integrity, and I want to celebrate every man that's had to lay it on the line. And even though nobody's there to celebrate you, I want you to know that God has declared you're a star in his book and he celebrates how you have embraced manhood by doing the invisible thankless job. Look at you, grandma, you don't raise yours. One of them kids didn't listen to the Bible study lesson so now you're raising theirs too.
I know you Laura, Laura, I was just trying to rest I just want to watch my soap operas, Jesus, now I got to go pick up kids from school and such, I'm 73. But God has given you supernatural strength to do what you're doing so that your legacy is established, and God calls you a star in his book. The enemy can't stand you, which means you are doing something right. There is a war, an invisible war, and every single day that you and I wake up, there is a cosmic, seismic shift going on, right past our physical sight lines. In the days of Jesus when the wise men showed up thinking that Herod would be excited. The Bible says as soon as Herod heard the greeting from the wise man, he was troubled. As soon as you're announced trouble's going to come. If you're trying to figure out where all the trouble's coming from, you've been announced.
Oh my gosh. This is one time I wish I was Bishop Jakes. 'Cause the Bishop Jakes had said that the whole church would have been crazy. See, some of you all need to understand. The reason why trouble comes is because you've been announced. Oh, glory. Jesus was sitting in his mother's lap and somewhere in a palace, kings were conspiring to take him out. Some of the warfare that's been going on in your life you were not even aware, it's like, where did all this come from? And why all these haters? I got all these haters and I burn my haters in the name of... No, it's not haters it's warfare. Because somebody caught a glimpse that whatever you're carrying is so magnificent that if we don't catch him now, we'll never be able to stop what's on the inside of him.
So he sent the wrong relationship, and the wrong people and the wrong opportunities and you took them and then he said, I got him. But he had not quantified the full picture, knowing that God has set up for you a way of escape. And so here you are, even after your bad decisions and my bad decisions, and the things we wish we could change. Here we are at the end of 2015, still running after the plan of God still running after the purpose of God. And so no matter what warfare he brought, God elevated us above it. Can somebody give God a praise for keeping you.
See, I grew up on Star Wars so I'm a big Star Wars fan. So Herod would be Darth Vader. And when he sent out the troops, the Bible says that he wanted to massacre every child male child, two years old and younger. He didn't know which child. He just knew he wanted to take out a generation. And isn't that interesting that the spirit of Herod still rests in the earth, trying to take out a generation that know which one it is so let me try to take them all out. Let me take them out with drugs and violence and bad decisions and let's try to take them out with depression and suicide. Whoa, but devil you have no authority over this generation. And we declare as parents and caregivers and keepers and watchers on the wall that not on our watch will our children fall, not on our watch will they fail, not on our watch will they wonder if God loves them, they will know that God loves them. They will know that God cares for them. They will know that God has a plan for their life. More important than their comfort and their video games, they need the word from the Lord.
I got a smattering of applause they're like, I just got them a PlayStation now. Let them play their games but make sure they are reading that word as well. Make sure we're praying over our children. Herod was Darth Vader, his henchmen were the storm troopers. But it didn't matter because God had already spoken to Joseph, Mary's husband, and Jesus stepfather, to take him out of Israel and take him to Egypt warned him in a dream and kept the child there until the enemy who was trying to take him out had passed away.
I want you to know that for a large portion of your life, the Lord has literally covered you from the intend of the enemy he literally hid you in plain sight, took you away from the trouble. And some of you all were trying to get to trouble and God and his love took you away from trouble. We are always grateful for the yes of God but we need to be equally as grateful for the no of God. Because sometimes it was the no of God that has kept you alive. Sometimes it was the no of God because he understood what the enemy was intending to do. The reason why Herod wanted to take out baby Jesus is because there was something on the inside that he carried. The force was with him. The force is the Holy Ghost. Tell somebody the forces with you. When you come into the knowledge of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit has given to you as a deposit until the day of redemption and so, every last one of us has been given unique gifts in order to function inside the body of Christ.
And so instead of looking at each other as competition, we need to look at each other as family, because that's what God intended. And what a beautiful and diverse family we have right here. Look at this, you didn't even know you had cousins from Colombia and that niece from Nigeria, and you have some folks from Mexico. We are family. So let me borrow for the dollars. No, I'm playing. Unless you going to do it. Each of us, the warfare on our lives has increased as we continue to develop in our spiritual relationship with our Heavenly Father. And you can literally put a correlation between the development and the discipling of God and the warfare on your life, God has allowed the storms to come. There are storms that happen in the life of the chosen, I need you to get this storms come to the chosen. It's just the way it is. None of us who are chosen can escape the process. There are storms that reveal character, and there are storms that develop character.
And I believe that 2015 was the year where God allowed storms to reveal character in order to develop character. Certain things that you thought you were free from, delivered from, he allowed the storm to come and show you you had a surface deliverance but not a deep down deliverance. Got too many surface Christians. Look good from the outside. Nice aluminum siding. All it takes is a strong wind and the siding comes off. The wrong thing happened. And you've been praising the Lord, hallelujah, thank you Jesus in here, but let the wrong thing out there, and your so insolent. And all other men are of unsavory dialogue. So God has allowed storms of 2015, to reveal character and to develop character.
In the movie, "Star Wars", the main character is Luke Skywalker who thinks that his parents are, one set of folk when in reality, he's actually royal by nature, but his father had made some bad decisions, Darth Vader, hope I'm not messing up your, "Star Wars". Because some of you all probably haven't seen it, but I'm not talking about the one that's in movies now, this is the one in 1974. I'm talking about back then. I went to the drive in, with my mom and my daddy. I watched that movie. That's the one memory I have of me my mom and dad together. We went to see "Star Wars", and my daddy did not give me none of his popcorn, I'm mad. But the thing is, Luke was invited to the dark side.
How many of us have been invited to the dark side? The enemy always makes the dark side look better than the light, huh? Six amens and a come on now, you know it's the truth. Because if the light look better than the dark then this place will be packed every time the doors open. But because the enemy is like, "Hey turn up, come out, it's new year's eve tomorrow, you know what to do". You put on your best outfit. And you be, "Girl, you better put on that body magic, put on that girdle, stuff it in there". You can't even breathe just walking. Can't even dance, can't use the restroom, nothing, just. Did all that, to dance with people you don't know, to drink and have a headache the next morning, great way to start off your year. So now the enemy can whisper, "Gil, nothing's changed your the same".
The devil is a liar. I was in church on Wednesday night and whom the Son sets free is free indeed. The dark side always gives you an invitation, but never gives you the revelation. See it looks good from a distance, but it never shows you what happens after. The light, they always make it boring. "It's just the light, it's just peace, who wants peace? Who wants joy? Joy, who wants to be happy? That's so vanilla". Let me tell you something. I wouldn't trade the peace of God, for anything that the world has to offer. Can I talk to anybody that's tried it all. You've tried it all, but there's nothing that beats the peace of God. Can somebody thank God for his peace that comes through the person of Jesus Christ. Luke was a Christ type figure he was the chosen one, but he had to grow into this understanding. Kind of like Jesus. In Luke 2:52, he grew in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and men.
And so this idea that there is a war going on around you might seem crazy, until you really study scripture, that once you come to the knowledge of Jesus, you are reborn. See, this idea of a rebirth is so critical. That's why people get excited about new year's. Because we get what, like faster credit, resolutions. I'm excited about it. But let me tell you something, I don't have the strength to keep a resolution, so I need a revelation. And so we have been called out of darkness into his marvelous light. And that calling includes an invitation to leadership and discipleship. And what I want to encourage all of us to consider, going into 2016. Let 2016 be the year of true intimacy between you and the God. True intimacy between you and Jesus.
How does that happen? You got to spend time. You can't be intimate and spend time. Can't be intimate and not spend time. You've got to spend time, you got to sit down, you've got to rescue yourself, spend time with Jesus, spend time in his word. Am I telling you to, go into a four hour Bible study every day? No, that's not necessarily what people can do, but give God something that belongs to him. The same way we schedule time to watch our favorite TV show, or to go and have a good time. We need to discipline ourselves and say, "The presence of God is too important, for me to pass up a moment to spend with him". There is an invitation to the darkness, and an invitation to the light. And what stands between you and the dark side or the side or the side of light? Because the truth is, we were all born with the sin nature.
Think about it. How many of us can remember lyrics to songs that we know don't honor God? But struggle trying to remember some scripture. Song from 20 years ago. And you'll remember the words like that. But if I asked you to recite one of these Psalms, hold on, hold on. Because our sin nature has been cultivated so long. I don't want you to get discouraged in that. The truth is, we have a sin nature that's just what it is. That's why Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, and he said, "Listen, if you want to really get this thing right, you're going to have to be born again". Nicodemus' like, "What am I going to go into my momma's womb"? Jesus' like, "No that's yucky I'm not saying that. That's crazy. What are you talking about"? He said, "No, unless you are born of the Spirit, unless you're born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God".
We have to have a rebirth in our first birth, the sin nature was absolutely natural. It's why you don't have to teach kids how to be bad. Think about it. None of us have any kids that have had a toy that they love, and we're little and looked at another kid and was like, "Yours". They're like, "Mine and yours is mine. They're all mine". My wife and I were at the airport. With our kids, the day after Christmas, and one of them had a little, what do you call a little roller bag, from the movie "Cars", little Lightning McQueen. And my son was like, "Thank you". I was like, "Boy that's not yours". But the Bible does say whatever he touches it, he possesses it. Are you all not believers? Okay. "Give it back they don't want to serve Jesus, they don't want to. They don't love God. They won't give the baby love a bag, he just love baby".
And in our sin nature, we feel like we have the right to be selfish. The right to entitlement, the right to be first, and the right to be right. But the Holy Spirit, the force that's within us, gives us a new vision for our lives. And he gives us the right to be selfless and the right to nothing but be grateful God. Because we know without him, we don't deserve anything. We have the right to be last. Because Jesus said, "The last shall be first, and the first shall be last". And if you really want to be great in the Kingdom of God, then you might want to learn how to serve. Stop worrying about the velvet robe and trying to get into the in crowd. If you really want to grow in my kingdom, if you really want to elevate the way up, is down. Jesus was always counter culture. And he says that if you really want the Holy Spirit to be on the inside, then you give the Holy Spirit, the right to correct you.
Let me encourage you that 2015 was about revelation and correction. God was making sure this, and here's what's deep. You know God, what was 2015 all about? It was so much drama, so much pain, so many things happening at once, and all the things that I used to run from, they all came at me at once. And God says, "I needed to teach you, some things about real responsibility, you can't hide from what's coming. You need to face it". And so, this is what God did in my life, and I don't know if it applies to everyone. But I believe many of us will find this to be the truth.
I found myself having to deal with things that I had put off years ago, things that God had whispered to me and said, "Hey you need to deal with this. You need to deal with that, you need to deal with that". And I'm like, "Later God, later. I'm too busy serving you, I'm too busy preaching for you, I'm too busy, serving and praising God no, I don't want you to preach, I just want you to sit down, because I want to talk to you, about you". "No, God I don't need to see me. As long as I see you, because I love you. 'and I will always love you'". He's like, "No, don't sing no Whitney to me, I need you to talk to me". 2015 was God revealing you, to you. And for any of the married couples, I promise you, many of the issues that you and I have faced, were because God was too busy loving us enough, to make us face the things, that could take us out, if we didn't handle it right now.
This is for every married person. Help me Holy Ghost. I'd be like, "God you need to deal with Aventer, because see, you need to handle her, she's getting on my nerves. And just running around, just doing whatever, always asking me a bunch of questions I don't have the answers, and then she goes out, and then she sends an email that I didn't tell her to send to somebody, now I got to go back and backtrack". And God's like, "Did you give her a vision"? "No, but she should have known". "How can she know, unless you give her a vision"? "She needs to submit". "How can she serve if you don't give her a mission"? "Whose side are you on? I came in here to complain, and all you're doing is showing me, me. So this conversation is over". I take one step he right there. "Where are you going"? "Oh, you right there too"? "Yeah I'm everywhere". "Oh, that's right because you're God, I can't even get away".
Married folk God was showing you, you. And every time you went in to try to complain about the other one, God was down with a mirror, "Just take a look". Nobody can say amen. Because you don't want nobody to know you had drama in your marriage. That's great, that must be for a few other people, because we've just been walking the path of righteousness, for his name's sake. But let me tell you something. What God revealed to me is that, as I handle her. I am to handle her the way God handles the church. And I was like, "No, because you're perfect and you love perfectly, and I'm not". He said, "I'm inside of you, and you can do all things through me who strengthens you". And what God was showing me is that I was being offered an invitation to extend grace and to receive grace, because we need mutual grace, because we're still becoming.
And so for married folk, let me just speak this. 2015 if you can survive it, you can survive anything. Don't worry about who's here, if I'm talking to you, then this is for you. If you can survive 2015, you can survive anything. Because 2015 was the storm, but the blessing comes in 2016. Don't leave, before the blessing comes. "I'm leaving". "No you're not. If you leave I leave. I'm going with you. We going to stay together, because if we went through this much, hockey sticks and is what the enemy brought, then there must be a miracle on the other side". Not going to let the dark side win, the light is on the way. Let me keep on going. The purpose of 2015 was to reveal you, to you. And God wants to get glory, and he wants to shine a light. And he wants the light to emanate and he doesn't want it to turn on and off, based on circumstance. We've got too many iffy, wishy washy believers.
In this season, God's trying to mature you and grow you so that you can shine even in darkness, even with storm and wind and rain, and this is the power that you will find. God's glory is revealed at our highest point. But his grace is revealed at our lowest point. I'll say that again. We always want the high point, "I want to give you glory. Give me the position God, I'll give you glory". That's great. But I also need you to know that I love you as much at your lowest point. So when you sing "Amazing grace", you're not thinking of anybody else, you're thinking of yourself. Anybody grateful for the grace of God? That has kept you through the war, that was 2015. There's a lot of stuff going on in the news with people who are well known and well loved and you hear reporters say things like, "A spectacular fall from grace".
Let me tell you something you can't fall from grace. You can only fall into grace. So anybody who like me, made mistakes didn't do everything perfect. Maybe you failed, wish you could get it back. You didn't fall from grace you fell into grace. The Bible says, "A just man fall seven times but he stands up, he gets up". So just tell somebody you're standing in it. Tell somebody, you're standing in it. Give somebody some hope they're standing in grace. You're standing in a grace that you didn't earn and couldn't deserve, and this is the power of "Star Wars", that right above your head. The enemy has still, still fighting. And here you are still, still praising, still worshiping, still tithing, still giving offering. Even though that there's drama at the house, you still go home. You still fight for that thing. Do you understand that, that is where character is developed, that is where the glory of God is revealed? This is the light that Jesus says, "Don't hide it under a basket, set it up on a hill, a city that is set on a hill cannot be hid". God's about to elevate somebody to the hill. But until you've been in that field, you ain't ready for that hill.