John Hagee - Steps In Solving The Problem
Promise, problem, provision. Consider Moses and the children of Israel fleeing from Pharaoh and brutal slavery. They had been delivered from 400 years of slavery by ten plagues that crushed Egypt, the most powerful nation on the face of the earth at that time. They were led by the cloud by day and the fire by night. I emphasis that for people who say, "God would never lead you into a problem". The children of Israel had to follow the cloud by day and the fire by night because that was God's heating and air conditioning system. They were taken by the hand of God to a position where the Red Sea was before them and nothing but the desert was behind them. This was God's faith seminar. Tactically, it was a trap. The Red Sea was in front of them. Pharaoh and his army was behind them. They were in an impossible situation. Have you ever been there?
God gave Israel and you three options: surrender to the crisis, fight the undefeatable foe, or trust in God to deliver you from the enemies that present themselves, and to wipe them out. Those are the three options. Moses gave Israel and the believers in the 21st century that formula for victory. You will see your enemies no more. When God takes care of your enemies, they are gone forever. There are people in this auditorium, and those watching by television in America and around the world, who, like the children of Israel, find themselves in an impossible situation. You have a vicious problem for which you have no answer.
God's formula is this: do not be afraid. Stand still. Do your duty. Trust God for a miracle answer. Our God is a Waymaker. Our God is a chain breaker. Our God is the sea walker. Our God is the blind-man healer. He is Almighty. He is all powerful. He is all knowing. He is the king of all kings, and he is the Lord of all Lords. He extends, today, the royal invitation to you: "Call upon me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things that you know not". He's higher than the highest. He's greater than the greatest. He's stronger than the strongest. Our God is an awesome God! Give him praise in the house of God! The fact: how we conduct our self in the problem will determine how long we stay in the problem. Is it permanent or short lived?
We have a problem, America. We have a problem. The provision is get off the couch and go vote for candidates who are for America and against socialism. Vote the Bible. Vote the Bible. Vote the Bible. Send career politicians home forever. They caused this problem: they are not part of the solution. Now let's talk about solving the problem. How many of you here and those watching by television across the nation have ever had a problem? Let me see your hand. Some of you don't. God love you. Some of you have a problem right now. But I assure you, you're headed for one. I repeat, "How you react in the problem determines how long you're going to stay in the problem". Your life will be measured by the problems you solve or the problems you create.
Continue the concept: how you see the problem is the problem. A son came home from college wearing the latest clothes. The father met him on the front porch, and said, "Son, you look like a fool in those clothes". At that exact moment, miss Jones, the neighbor, was walking by, and she said, "Hi, Joe. It's good to see you. You're looking more like your father every day". Joe said, "Yes, my dad was just telling me that". Point: the father thought he looked like a fool: the son looked like he was in style.
There are two points of view. Listen. You might want to write this down in your Bible. People can be different from you without being wrong. Whoa! Isn't that a radical statement? How many of you know people that they just have to be right about everything all the time? Hmm. Don't be afraid to raise your hand. I'll repeat, "How you see the problem is the problem". A newspaper carried the story of two young men who were engaged. Both of them got jilted. One of the young men faced the problem this way: he went out and jumped off a bridge and drowned himself. The other one wrote one of those Willie Nelson "Someone did someone wrong" kind of songs. He received $500.000 in royalty. And, friends, with $500.000, you can forget anybody.
Now let's talk about "How to conduct yourself in the problem determines how long you stay in the problem". Here's proof. The children of Israel had the problem of the wilderness. They were there for 40 years. Why? Because they were full of rebellion. Every time Moses gave them a law, they murmured, they complained. And God himself called them "A stiff-necked people". That means stubborn. God didn't sit in heaven wringing his hands and drinking Maalox, and drinking Maalox, saying, "Oh, they're not obeying me". His response was, "Take another lap around mount Sinai". They got back and they went to Moses, "We hate this manna". You see, their mind is still not with the program. "We hate this manna. I know your wife has put out a cookbook manual, 101 ways to fix manna. We don't like manna". "Around the mountain you go one more time, one more time".
Finally, after 40 years, they came to the provision. It was the Promised Land. It was right across the Jordan river. They sent a committee over there and they found giants, and they came back full of fear. And it made God angry because he had given then ten miracles to get them out of Egypt. They had had a miracle walk for the last 40 years. And here they were a few feet from the provision. And God said, "You're not going in! Everyone 20 years of age and down is going to go over there with Joshua: the rest of you are going to wander out here in this wilderness until you die here". But the point is, if you refuse to accept God's provision, he will let you wander in a problem for the rest of your life just like Israel.
When you get to the place where God wants you to be, you will come to a point of decision, "Am I going to go into this next level or am I just going to put it on cruise control for the rest of my life"? The choice is yours. God says, "Will you obey? And if you don't, you just take another lap". You know, Christians confuse motion with progress, activity with progress. It goes like this: "Praise God, I'm going to three Bible studies. I've just been to four seminars. I'm going to two crusades this year. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah". You're walking in circles! You've got the same problem, you're just going over and over and over it. You're not getting the message!
Many of you are in the problem and you might die in the problem because you're going in circles. You think your hyperactivity is spirituality. You need to sit down until you hear a word from the Lord saying, "This is the way. Walk in it". You won't turn loose of the past. We remember the leeks and the garlics and how good all of that was. We remember the good-old days when Ronald Reagan was president, when America was the shining city on the hill, when gasoline was $0.50 a gallon, when criminals were sent to jail, and illegal aliens were deported back to the place where they came from. But we don't have that wonderful situation here, because the American people have gone to sleep at the switch. You need to know that career politicians make dictators. We need fresh blood in Washington to show us a new way.
Paul said, "Forgetting those things which are the past, I press to the Mark of the prize of the high calling". If God has forgotten your past, why don't you? Your past is history. Your future is a mystery. Today is a gift from God. That's why we call it "The present". Live every day with the glory of God, with love, joy, peace, and power, and purpose. To those who don't love America, there are planes leaving every hour. Get on one. We don't need you. How a promise, problem, provision works in your life. Practical applications. You get a promise God is going to bless you financially. And the next day, you lose your job. What is this? It's a problem. How are you going to react? The wrong way is, "Nothing good ever happens for me. Poor me. Pity me. I'm going to call pastor Hagee and tell him his sermon series on God's plan for my prosperity is a farce". The right way: "Glory to God. I've been fired. How can I get a better job unless I lose this one"?
Let me take a little sidebar here and tell you the three promotions of God. It's good, better, and best. God always gives you something that's good. And when he's trying to give you something better, you hold onto something good like this. And God wants to give you something better, and he has to rip it out of your hands because, "No, don't. Don't take it. Don't take it from me"! And he finally gets it away from you and you have this, "Oh, got something better, never dreamed it could be this good". And God wants to give you the absolute best: he has to drag it out of your hands. (squeezing "The better" out of his hands) and he gets you, and you say, "Oh, thank God"! If God takes something from you, it's because he has something to give you that'll make you forget everything he took from you.
You get a promise: you get a promise: the Lord will teach you patience. "Oh, dear God, I'm going to go by this in a hurry". What's coming? A problem. Bible proof, tribulation works patience. Say that with me. "Tribulation works patience". I saw a sign the other day that really agreed with my spirit. It said, "Antiques manufactured while you wait". You're in a service right now. You're being blessed. You feel good. You're saying, piously, "Lord, I thank you. I'm not impatient like my pastor".
After service, you go out to the car. You accidentally slam your thumb in the car door. What is this? It's a problem. It's a test. Watch what comes out of your mouth because if it's not good stuff, this is going to happen another three Sundays in a row. God gives you a promise: he's going to give you the love of your life in marriage. What's coming? Problem. Anybody can be great for three hours on a date on Saturday night, the real person is home, locked in a steel cage waiting to get out. Love at first sight is often cured by a second look. "Shall be one". They go on a honeymoon and find out which one. One husband said, "We live in a two-story house. She has her story, and I have my story".
Do you see salvation in a new light? What happens after you get saved? Problems. Problems. Go ahead: say it. God wants to show you what's in you. You pray piously like this, "Oh Lord, if there's anything in my life that may be displeasing to thee, I know you'll really have to search for it. But if there's anything there that might be displeasing to you, show it to me". And God shows you. And you say, "I rebuke you, devil. I rebuke you. The blood of Jesus Christ". I want to give you ten ways to shorten your stay in the problem in ten minutes:
First, take responsibility for your actions. Do not become a member of the "No fault" society sweeping America. Look at the word "Responsible," response-able. You are able to make an intelligent response to whatever happens to you. Winston Churchill said, "The price of greatness is responsibility". Say that with me. "The price of greatness is responsibility". Winston Churchill is the man who saved western civilization in the 20th century. You are like you are because of what you are. It's called "Character". You are responsible for what you do, for what you say, and for how you act. If you want to be treated like an adult, act like an adult. Can I get a witness?
Secondly, you shorten your stay in the problem by being willing to work for what you want. God gave Israel one supernatural victory: it was Jericho. And they had to fight for every inch from thereon to the Promised Land. Wealth without work will destroy you. Wealth without work will destroy you. America should know that by now. Father, if you want to destroy your child, give them everything they want without work. God provides worms for birds, but he doesn't throw them down their throats. They have to get up and go get it. God worked six days. Try it: you'll like it.
Thirdly, don't waste time fighting what you cannot change. Do you know why Israel didn't go back to Egypt? Not because they loved Moses. Not because they even loved God. Because God closed the Red Sea behind them, they couldn't go back. It's not because they were committed. There are some things in life that are spilt-milk items. Nothing you can do can change it. All you need to do is move on. If you were abused as a child, it's tragic. It happened, but it's over. Move on. Have you gone through a bitter divorce? Move on. Have you been betrayed by a dear friend? Move on. Have you been in a business deal that went south? Move on. It cannot be changed. God has something better for you! Put your hand in his hand! Everything's going to be alright!
Fourthly, when you're wrong, admit it, and take the consequences. Stop playing the blame game. Stop being the eternal victim. When you stand before God, you are going to answer for yourself and no one else. Take charge of your life or someone else will.
The fifth will extend your time in the problem by nursing a grudge and refusing forgiveness. There is, in the Lord's prayer, this powerful phrase: "Forgive us as we forgive those". Forgiveness, in the Bible, is not optional. If you do not forgive others, God will not forgive you. Can you think of one person who has hurt you? The best way to get over it is to forgive them. Otherwise, you live in a penitentiary that they built for you. Forgiveness is the key that lets you out of the cage other people build for you. The way to have real peace is total forgiveness. Don't allow the opinions of other people to control you.
Six, shorten your time in the problem by being generous to those who need your help. If you see someone that has a need and you can meet it, don't pray about it, meet it! Meet it. "Give and it shall be given unto you". The Bible teaches givers gain. How you treat someone in their day of trouble will determine how God treats you in your day of trouble. That's in the Bible. Giving is the only proof you have that the cancer of greed does not control your soul. If something within you resents giving, it's not from God. You will die in the problem. Let's talk about tithing for 30 seconds. The churches in America, including this one, are full of debt Christians, D-E-B-T Christians. D-E-B-T is an acronym for doing everything but tithing. Malachi 3:8, God called you a thief. "Will a man rob God? Yes. You have robbed me in the tithes and the offering". God has your picture on his bulletin board in heaven, mugshots. The thief's in San Antonio. You're on that board. Whoa!
Seven, "Let your mouth be ruled by the law of kindness". Learn to say "Please," and "Thank you," and "Excuse me," even at home. Apologize if you must, even to your wife. Hmm. She's your partner: she's not your possession. Ladies?
Eight, you refuse to wallow in self-pity when life gives you a raw deal. Accept the fact that no one gets through life without some misfortune or sorrow. Self-pity is sin. It obliterates God and puts self on the throne. If you've been knocked flat on your back, get up! Dust yourself off. You're a child of God. The Bible says, "The righteous fall six times and gets up the seventh time". You're not defeated until you stay down. And sooner or later, you're going to have a problem that knocks you flat on your back. Get up, in Jesus' name! You're a child of God.
Nine, you shorten your time in the problem by listening. Jesus said, "My sheep know my voice". This means giving people individual attention and putting your feelings aside, trying to see their point of view. When you read the Bible, listen for the voice of God. I'm going to tell you something very personal. Everything I have ever done in my life came in what I call one of these listening sessions. You pray, you read your Bible, and just sit there and say, "Lord, what is it you want me to do"? Boom! An idea comes into your brain that you just cannot get away from. And it changes your life forever. That's how this church was built. That's how Christians united for Israel started. Every person I met for six months, said, "You're a lunatic. That will never work". Now it is the largest pro-Israel organization on the face of the earth.
Lastly, be a peacemaker. The Bible says, "Don't let the sun go down on your wrath". Are you angry with someone? Stop pouting and be reconciled. And I hear this, "Oh, but I'm right"! Do you want to be right or reconciled? Would you rather have peace than to run around with your trophy of "I'm right"? God sends the problem to produce brokenness in your spirit because only God can use broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop of wheat. It takes broken clouds to produce the rain. It takes broken bread to produce strength. An atom has to be broken to give an atomic bomb its power. If you are hardhearted and calloused, God cannot use you. If you've never made a mistake, God cannot use you. If you're so full of yourself people can't stand you, God can't use you. You have to be humble and broken before God, and then God can do the impossible through you. Quit worrying about who gets the credit for it and just do it because it's the good thing to do and the righteous thing to do.
Can we stand to our feet? How many of you can say, "Pastor, I'm in the middle of a problem, and I'm willing to do whatever God desires to come out of the problem"? If that describes you, let me see your hand. Now all, lift your hands and pray this prayer with me:
Heavenly Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I come before you today. I ask you to fill me with your peace, with your love, with your grace: that I might love other people, the body of Christ, as you loved us and gave yourself for us. Today, in the name of Jesus Christ, I'm walking straight through my problem, based on the righteousness of God. Amen.