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Watch 2022 online sermons » Joseph Prince » Joseph Prince - When The Odds Are Against You

Joseph Prince - When The Odds Are Against You

Joseph Prince - When The Odds Are Against You
Joseph Prince - When The Odds Are Against You

Greetings church. I trust that this broadcast finds you and your family prospering in your souls, growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. I want to start off by sharing a testimony that just came in and this is a sister in Singapore. And she shares:

Late last year I was admitted into the hospital emergency unit due to chest pains, breathlessness and numbness in my left arm. The doctors suspected that a main artery has burst and sent me to an immediate ultrasound and computerised tomography scan (CT scan). Both test results showed no bleeding in my artery and no sign of a heart attack but I was advised to go for a treadmill test and that was when I discovered I had blockages in my arteries. During this time, I chose to spend time with the Lord and feel the shalom peace within me. On Vision Sunday, 2nd January 2022 Pastor prayed for the congregation this year that healing will spring forth in an accelerated way and that the harvest shall be plentiful. I claimed the blessings for myself. The following Sunday, Pastor Prince also prayed for my condition. During my next visit to the doctor, I decided to ask him for another blood test. One morning while taking a walk, I took a deep breath and was presently surprised that there was no pain in my chest. When I next visited the doctor, he revealed that my blood test result came back normal, and my organs are functioning well. There were also no more blockages in my arteries. Praise the Lord! He is the one that healed me!

Praise the name of Jesus and what God did for her, God wants to do for you as well. As the Word goes forth, receive it. Receive that Word in your heart. Just say amen. Amen means so be it. Be it unto me according to Your word that’s what Mary did when the angel gave her the Word that she will bare forth God’s Son and she said, "Be it unto me according to Your Word". That’s all what God wants. An Amen. An agreement because God doesn’t force the blessing on us, God wants us to agree with Him and in agreement we are establishing it in our lives. Praise the Lord.

I want to share with you something that God has put in my heart a number of weeks and I’ve shared some of this with my leaders. It’s a rhema word, a word in season for our church and I believe that it is a specific word to the Benjamin generation. It’s about the tribe of Benjamin at the time when they were surrounded by enemies. I’m gonna read to you the account right now. In 1Samuel 13, the Bible says, "Then the Philistines gathered together to fight with Israel, 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen and people as the sand which is on the seashore in multitude. And they came up and encamped in Michmash, to east of Beth Even. When the men of Israel saw that they were in danger for the people were distressed, then the people (these are the people of Israel), they hid in caves, in thickets, in rocks, in holes and in pits and some of the Hebrews crossed over the Jordan, to the land of Gad and Gilead as for Saul he was still in Gilgal".

Now Saul is the first king of Israel, and he is from the tribe of Benjamin. So, he was still in Gilgal and all the people followed him trembling. And we learn later on there were 600 men who were with Saul, and they all followed him trembling. The rest of the tribe of Benjamin the children of Israel, they all went into hiding, they all went into caves in rocks and in pits and some of them defected to the enemies, to the Philistines’ side. And this is a terrible time for Israel and don’t forget at this time the first king of Israel is King Saul, okay. David is not on the scene yet. So, King Saul at this point in time, because he saw that the people were scattered from him, and he only has 600 men following him and they were following him trembling. He did something that the prophet told him not to but to wait for him to come. He took the part of the prophet, he took the part of the man to offer the burnt offering when Samuel says he will come at the end of seven days and he will offer it but because Saul saw the people, later on he says, "I saw the people that they left me".

So, Saul is a man who is a fleshly man, he goes by sight. Amen the Bible says, "We walk by faith and not by sight". Church we are sharing this because I believe that in your life right now, where we are at spiritually speaking this is what the Lord showed me, we are exactly in this story in 1Samuel 13 and 14. This is what’s happening to us, the Benjamin generation and this is where we are at, at this present time. We are being assaulted by the world, being surrounded by the world and the world is putting the church to shame, the church people are running into hiding and this is not God’s will, not God’s best. King Saul here, he has fallen, and he offered the burnt offering he is not supposed to and just on the seventh day just as he was offering the burnt offering, Samuel the prophet came and Samuel says, "You’ve not waited on the Lord, you’ve not obeyed the Lord, the kingdom is taken away from you and will be given to another". And we know that is David.

So, because he disobeyed the Lord. It’s something about the flesh. The flesh does not want to wait upon the Lord. The flesh wants to do something and do it fast. The flesh always wants to do something to help itself, something to help God even but wait, never. This is what the flesh detest. Waiting upon the Lord. Being patient and telling yourself stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. That’s something very difficult for the flesh to do. And this is what happened to Saul. Saul is the leader of the flesh and as a result the people that followed him, followed him trembling. And we know there were 600 of them at this time. Very interestingly, later on in David’s life when people were fleeing from King Saul, when King Saul was hunting him down, the Bible says ‘like partridge, like a bird’ and David will flee from King Saul.

David could easily killed King Saul and he had a number of opportunities to do so but instead he honoured the Lord’s anointed and he chose to flee from Saul and David went with 600 men, the same number of men but these men became mighty men. The leader that you follow will determine the kind of person that you become before the Lord. Because if the leader who worships the Lord, who fears the Lord, you will become a leader that will also do the same that will worship the Lord, be Christ centred amen, and you will be a mighty man. Amen. Praise the Lord.

It’s very interesting, there’s a lot of lessons on leadership here. A leader must never operate by the flesh, by looking at the people, by looking for people’s approval, horizontal relationship and his view is all based on what impact does this have on the people as opposed to the Lord. Amen. The final church in the Book of Revelation which I believe that we are in now either you are the part of the church of Philadelphia or the church of Laodicea. Laodicea means ‘people rule’ and it seems like the voices today are saying let the people have the rule. Let the people have the say. No, the church is not operated by democracy. The nations of the world are but not the church. The church is theocracy, where the Lord leads and the Lord speaks and the Lord speaks through leadership and the Lord will guide the church and the Lord will grant signs and wonders and miracles, demonstrations of the Spirit and power if the people are in line with him.

Just like electricity. It cannot flow unless the conduit is right, it cannot flow through rubber, but it can flow through copper. So, we need to become copper. We need to become an element by which we are submissive, we are obedient, we are in line with the Holy Spirit, walking in the Spirit and then the power of God can flow through us. Praise the Lord and God is looking for leaders. God is looking for men and women in His church that will do exploits for Him. And here we got to learn how to do exploits because we will find later on there’s one of them who actually accomplish exploits, just him and his armourbearer. Praise the Lord. But meanwhile let’s look at King Saul. King Saul was afraid and the people that followed him were afraid, and they were surrounded on all sides by the enemy.

Okay, let’s keep on reading. Then Samuel arose and went out from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin and Saul numbered the people present with him about 600 men. Saul, Jonathan his son and the people present with them remain in Gibeah of Benjamin. Now Gibeah of Benjamin is the capital of the tribe of Benjamin and the tribal allotment as we see on this map here of Israel, you see the 12 tribes this is their territories allotted to the 12 tribes. If you notice the green one, that’s where the tribe of Benjamin is, it’s a small area but this is allotted to the tribe of Benjamin. So small as they are they actually have the city of Jerusalem in it. Of course, at this time, Jerusalem was not under the Israelites they were actually under Jebusites. Later on, David would conquer Jerusalem and make it his capital later on.

Now King Saul, the first king is located in Benjamin and his capital is in Gibeah and the Bible says the Philistines encamped in Michmash. And if you look at the map you will find Michmash there just north of Gibeah, that’s how close the Philistines had come to so close to the capital of the tribe of Benjamin. Now south of Benjamin is Judah, north of Benjamin is Ephraim but don’t forget everything revolves around the tribe of Benjamin because the king of Israel is ruling from there from Gibeah in Benjamin. Now the enemies came so close not only that the Bible says the enemies surrounded them on all sides. If you look at the Scriptures it tells us, then raiders came out of the camp of Philistines in three companies, one company turn onto the road to Ophrah remember that, to the land of Shual. Another company turned into the road of Bethoron, another company turned to the road borders that overlooks the valley of Zeboim towards the wilderness.

So, we have Ophrah, we have Bethoron, and we have Zeboim. Look at the map again, these are the areas where the enemies came in to attack them, to surround them. Okay and the Bible says, raiders will come in here and there from the Philistines and will take away their food and rob them and raid their inheritance and the Bible says, these are the three areas Bethoron, Ophrah and Zeboim, notice that they are surrounded on all sides, on all three sides and in the south, Jerusalem is not under their hands, it’s under Jebusites. So literally they are surrounded by enemies and the enemies is coming from the west, from the north and from the east and they are surrounded.

So, the Bible says the people were trembling, they were afraid, some went into hiding, some went into caves and some even defected to the Philistines. And this is like the church today as the Lord gave me this passage, the Lord is telling me that the church has this kind of victim mentality and the church is expecting to suffer, expecting to be persecuted, they are not looking for God’s kind of victory. Amen now I say God’s kind of victory because there is a victory that the flesh tries to achieve with the arm of flesh. You cannot overcome the flesh with the arm of flesh. You cannot use fleshly methods to overcome the flesh. You cannot use worldly methods to overcome the world. You cannot use the devil’s instruments to defeat the devil. It must be God’s ways, amen. The Bible says, "Not by might, not by power but by My Spirit". Amen.

So, perhaps in your life right now, you find that you have all sorts of troubles coming from every angle, every way you turn it’s like new troubles are coming up, new Philistines are surrounding you and once awhile they make inroads and they rob you of something. They rob you of your health, they rob you of your relationship with your children. They rob you of your relationship with your hubby or your wife or with your friends. They rob you of the peace and friend, remember this, the Philistines are in the land of Israel. They actually don’t belong there, they come from an island, back then it’s called Capthor, today it’s the island of Crete that’s where they came from. Actually, essentially, they are Grecian, they are Greeks, but they came from the island via Egypt and instead of crossing the river Jordan which is a picture of being born again, amen death to self at the cross and resurrected in Christ on the other side, so that’s what the river Jordan means.

Instead of crossing the river of Jordan like the people of Israel amen, when God brought them out of Egypt and through the wilderness and all that, God never meant for them 40 years in the wilderness, wandering, wandering around. Amen. God wanted them to go into the promised land early. Not 40 years. But it took them 40 years, why? Because they rebelled against God, they did not trust God. They were all in unbelief until that generation died in the 40 years and then they came through the, into the promised land how? Not by this way but by the coastal way, the way of the Philistines, near the Mediterranean Sea. They went by this way, right by present day Jordan and Joshua led them into the promised land across the river Jordan. That’s a picture of death to self and resurrected in Christ represented by the 12 stones that were removed from the centre of the River Jordan to the other side and 12 stones from the other side put into the river Jordan.

The 12 stones represent the people of God, 12 tribes of Israel then but today it speaks of us. In the death of Christ because the river Jordan speaks of death. The death at the cross amen. We are all crucified with Christ, our old self passed away. Crucified amen. Our old man is done away at the cross. That part of you that likes to sin, that part of you that is always frustrated, temperamental, that part of you that doesn’t believe in God, in fact hates God and hates the things of God, that part of you has been crucified at the cross and the new you have been resurrected in Christ. Amen. You cross the other side represented by the 12 stones on the other side. Amen. This is resurrection ground. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah.

So remember that, even when all this attacks come, remember that you are not an ordinary person of the world. You are not a Philistine. You didn't come by, by the coastal way. Amen. The shortcut way without the death and resurrection, Amen. You have gone through death and resurrection in Christ. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah. If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things are passed away, all things are become new. Okay, let's follow on the story. And the Bible says that they came from all this three areas to lay a siege on the tribe of Benjamin. Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel for the Philistine said lest the Hebrews made swords or spears.

Now there was no blacksmith. You know why? Because the technology for iron, forging iron, making iron, actually came from the Philistines at that time. The Philistines had that knowledge but not the people of Israel. The people of Israel. They still use bronze. Now that, this is where you know, even today the people of the world, it seems more advanced. They seem that they have more breakthroughs and all that. Actually a lot of the inventions and creations and innovative ideas that have come forth down through the years. Amen. Down through the centuries, has actually come from God's people like Orville and Wilbur Wright, who created the airplane. They invented the airplane. They are sons of gospel preacher. Amen. They are believers. Praise the Lord.

Gutenberg is a believer. Amen. Who create, invented the Gutenberg Printing Press. Amen. A lot of the creations that have, inventions that have blessed mankind down through history, even music, beautiful music has all been from believers. Amen. And then even schools were started by believers. Hallelujah. Amen. And then they became, actually they were centres for, first of all learning about God and His ways. Hallelujah. And then education in a natural affairs of life. Praise the Lord. So here we find that either it comes from the church down through the years or it came from the people of Israel. Jewish people. Amen. Of course there are inventions and other places. I’m not saying there's none, but a lot of it has blessed mankind, has come from these two groups. Amen.

So at this time, in Israel, around the area of the tribe of Benjamin and all the, all Israel in fact, throughout all Israel at that time, no one had a spear or a sword. They had no weapons made of iron. They only had weapons like, Ehud one time, he actually created for himself a bronze dagger by which he killed the enemy. Okay, Israel had no iron sword and iron spear. You know, if you fight someone with an iron sword and you have a bronze sword, guess who will win? Of course, the one with the iron sword. Okay, so Israel does not have the technology. It seems like they are not advanced. It seems like they are, they are inferior in terms of their accomplishments compared to the people of the world, the Philistines. The Philistines had the technology to create iron. The Bible says there was no blacksmith throughout all the land of Israel. For the Philistine said lest the Hebrews makes swords or spears.

So the the Philistines refused to share this technology. Amen. This knowledge of making iron with the Jewish people because they do want to Jewish people to learn how to make a weapon. But all the Israelites will go down to the Philistines to sharpen each man's ploughshare, his mattock, his axe, and his sickle. Now to add shame to an already humiliating circumstance, Israel had to go to the Philistines to have all their farming implements sharpened. For example, the only iron that they had were probably from the Philistines, they purchase it from them and then no swords, no spears, they are only used for farming or to to cost a, an animal to move on like an ox goad. That's all the the Philistines were allow them to have. But then they have to go back to the Philistines to sharpen their ploughshares, their axe, their mattock, their, their fork and then their ox goads, the one they use to goad the ox on.

Okay, so all this implements they will have to go ever so often to the Philistines to have them sharpened because the Philistines have iron and iron sharpens iron, Amen. But they refuse to share the technology with them, okay. And look at this, and the charge for a sharpening was a pim for the ploughshare, the mattocks, the forks, the axes and to set the points of the goads. Look at this, the charge, the ESV, puts it like this. The amount is like this and the charge was two-thirds of a shekel, that's expensive for the ploughshares and for the mattocks, and a third of a shekel for sharpening the axes and for setting the goads.

Now church, whenever you follow the ways of the the world, right? And you you use anything from the world, you are dependent on the world. Remember that. Amen. God wants us to depend on Him. Hallelujah. But because the people of Israel, they have come into a place where they are depending on on the Philistines, their enemies, to sharpen their implements and they have to pay and adding a further shame to an already humiliating episode where they are depending on the Philistines. Now they have to pay the Philistines for sharpening their implements and it's no, no small fee. They charge them exorbitantly and they still have to pay.

Notice that there's this word here for sharpening the axes and for setting the goads. Remember I said just now, the goads is used to, to prop the, the ox on, you know, it’s something not super sharp, but is something sharp enough for the ox to get the point. Alright, if you want the ox to move or to pull the cart, you just use that that goad and the ox will move on. Okay. Now, the interesting thing is this, the people of God are depending on the world when all the time God will give them victory with whatever they have. God doesn't need us to go to the world to learn the things of the world to bring victory in our lives. Amen.

Do you remember before Saul was even king. That's already an incident a many years before this in the book of Judges, where a man named Shamgar, he used an ox goad. Let's read the story. After him was Shamgar, the son of Anath, who killed 600 men of the Philistines with an ox goad and he also delivered Israel. This man Shamgar, he killed 600 Philistines. I believe not all at once. At different time. But all the weapon he had was an ox goad. An ox goad. That's all he had. He didn't have any sword or, of made of iron or a spear made of iron. All he had was the ox goad. But he had the Lord, Hallelujah, and the Lord time and time again, the Bible tells us there was no sword in in David's hand, all he had was the stone and the sling, right? And the Philistine giant, the champion of the Philistines, came tumbling down. Hallelujah. And David used the Goliath's own sword to decapitate his head.

Okay, we see also in the life of Samson, in the book of Judges, he was overwhelmed by the enemies that came at one time, about a thousand of them came against him and all he saw was a jawbone of a donkey lying around. And the Bible says, he took the jawbone of a donkey and he slew 1,000 Philistines with it. See friend, we don't need the implements and the weapons of the world. We don't need to go to them to use what they have to accomplish victory in our lives. The Bible says to the people of God, do not love the world nor the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. The church, the word church, the name church is from the Greek, Ecclesia. Ecclesia means called out. Called out of what? Called out of the world. We are in the world but we are not of the world.

And I’ve observed this about the church. Down through church history to our present day, every time the church of Jesus Christ tries to be like the world, tries to imitate the world, tries to adopt the systems of the world, into their affairs, into their lives, into their church. They always fall beneath the world. They end up, instead of a place where God says the Lord will make you the head and not the tail. They end up being the tail and the world becomes their head. They end up in shame. They end up in situations whereby I see the Lord's hand of chastisement many a times on this area when the church try to become like the world, God's hand comes in, especially in this area in church life.

So friend, I just want to remind you that as we look at our lives, remember this, Praise the Lord. We are called to be a called out one. We have to stand in this world. We are not to be separated like the hermits, you know. And friend, it’s vital for us to remember that God's victory comes by God's methods by God's ways. Hallelujah. And God's way is not to go to the world and adopt the system of the world. For all that is in the world will perish, the Bible says. This world is passing away, the Bible says. The apostle Paul says God forbid that I should glory that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, whereby, the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world. Praise the Lord.

So even at the cross, God has provided for us to pass out from this world, so that we are in this world but not of the world. Now when I say the world, I'm not referring to, you know, enjoying nature and God's creation, and the beautiful creations and inventions that has brought us a lot of joy and delight, you know, improve our time with our families, Amen, with our loved ones. All this is all right. Praise the Lord. But things that are from the world that cause us to be involved in lust of the flesh, the pride of life, the lust of the eyes and usually involves either sexual sins or even trying to make money, lots of money instead of God being your, your pursuit, the Lord Jesus being the, your occupation, Praise the Lord, to get to know Him more. You are pursuing this other things that the world has nothing but this to offer.

And friend, it’s dangerous because in the wilderness, these are the three areas the devil tried to tempt Jesus to fall in. Right, the area of the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. And the world glorifies pride but God, God glorifies humility. God says humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and He will exalt you in due time. We've got to learn God's ways church, Amen. We cannot be a worldly church. Now, being worldly, it's not a matter of like, what you put on, the clothes that you wear, or how you look and friend, that’s nothing to do with the world. Amen. The world has got to do with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, Amen. Getting lots of money and that's your pursuit in life and getting it quick. Being proud, the pride of life. All this, is of the world and anything, any invention or creation that comes from the world that gives you these things, you know it is the world.

This is the Philistine that is trying to make inroads in your life to rob you of your inheritance because you see God has placed you higher than the world, Amen. The Lord God has set you high above all the nations of the earth and all this blessings will come on you and overtake you. The very first thing He does before all the blessings come on you and overtake you, He sets you on high. Amen. And that's what's happened to us. The promise to the children of Israel in Deuteronomy 28 is our reality. Praise the Lord. We are seated with Christ in heavenly places and we are blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ. Praise the Lord.

And this spiritual blessings mind you, this wisdom that translates into something material as well. I mean, it's not spiritual blessings means it's only heavenly, it's nothing to do with earth. No, these are spiritual blessing because everything that you see that the children of Israel have even, even in the natural, you know, whatever happens to them that cause them to walk in favour and prosperity is because of the spiritual blessing of, of wisdom, for example, or the spiritual blessing of favour, or the spiritual power of, to get wealth. Amen. That is promised in Deuteronomy 8:18. All that is from the Bible. But the power, God doesn't say, I give you wealth. God says I give you the power. Amen. And that power comes from God. I give you the power to get wealth. Amen. Praise the Lord. So we gotta discern what is of the world and what is not of the world.

Recently someone was discussing with me about the Gutenberg Printing Press, asking me what if this is a new idea from the world is actually the present day Gutenberg Printing Press, and the church is not taking advantage of it. I say it's very simple. Amen. If something is a creation that is from God. God gave that idea. Amen. It will have the fingerprints of God. We have to be careful. Is it the Gutenberg Printing Press or is it the new oxcart of the Philistines. Remember that the Philistines put the Ark of the Covenant on the oxcart to send it back to Israel after they were afflicted with plagues. For seven months, the Ark of the Covenant was in the the territory of Philistines and one after another, their cities were smitten with plague and plague with the Bible says haemorrhoids.

One translation say with tumours and then there was a influx of mice in their harvest that destroyed all their harvest and finally they came to realise that it's got to do with the Ark of Covenant that they have in their possession, and then they put it on an oxcart to send it back to Israel. Now, God allowed them to do that, but when David tried to do that, just think of what was David's reasoning? I’m sure David is familiar with the teaching in the Torah. Amen. Because the Torah was given before David even existed. David knew that only the priests, the Levites, can carry the Ark of the Covenant on their shoulders. But David probably thought, "Well, nothing happened to the Philistines when they adopted the ox cart to bring God’s presence".

You see, something spiritual, God’s presence. But the ox cart is of the world. And the ox cart is something that will accelerate and facilitate things. You can actually cut down time by using the ox cart as opposed to the Levites carrying the ark. How long will it take for them to reach all the way to Zion from Kiriath-Jearim. So David thought, "Hey, the Year of Rest and Acceleration. The Levites can rest and the ox cart with the wheels can accelerate. What a way to bring God’s presence, isn’t it"? But no, death was the result. When the Philistines did it, there was no death. Because they didn’t know any better. When God’s people did it, there was death. And the death came on someone called Uzzah.

I remember this, the Bible says, all these things that we are sharing in the Old Testament are tupos. There’s a verse in 1 Corinthians 10, verse 11 that says, "Now all these things happened to them as examples," Tupos, types, "they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come". So this word ‘examples’ are tupos, types. When you look at the Philistines, they are a type. Today, we don’t battle with people. It is the Philistines in the Scriptures for us today. It’s a system of thought, the system of worldliness that is from the world that we are trying to adopt. These are the Philistines. And they are trying to make in-roads into the Church. They are trying to dominate the Church. They are trying to inculcate their value system into our children, into our affairs of life, even into the Church. They are telling us how to run the Church.

And the Church becomes a Laodicean Church when the people say, "I want to do what’s right, what I feel it’s right. I want to know, you know, I want to, I want to make sure that I am the one who decides and not God. Not God". That’s Laodicean Church. But we want to be like Philadelphia church. Amen. The church that has a little strength but holds fast to the name of Jesus. Amen. And friend, if you want to see victory, like Isaac. Isaac is a good example of being Abraham’s son, he represents all of us. We are Abraham’s seed, the Bible says because if you are of Christ, you are Abraham’s seed. Notice how did Isaac prosper in the year of famine? Well, the first thing God said to him, "Do not go down into Egypt". Right? "Do not go down into Egypt". That’s so important. And God said, "Sow in this land. The land flowing with milk and honey". Okay? "And you will prosper".

And not only he prospered, the Bible says, he prospered, he continued prospering, and he was very prosperous. So much so that the Philistines envied him. Amen. So I see there thirty-fold, sixty-fold, hundred-fold. Praise the Lord. And the Philistines envied him. Be one that the Philistines will envy. Don’t be the one envious of the Philistines. Praise the Lord. So I said this, with any new innovation, is it a Gutenberg Printing Press that we need to take advantage of? And we know that Gutenberg Printing Press was created. Amen, for one purpose, to print the Bible. There you have God’s fingerprint. The very first book, the very conception, the idea conceived a printing press in Gutenberg’s heart was to print Bibles. And later on, it was used by Martin Luther to print all the reformation truths, the gospel of grace. And that’s how the reformation spread, through the Gutenberg Printing Press. Amen.

So there you have it. The fingerprints of God are there. But look at the ox cart of the Philistines. Where are the fingerprints of God? There’s no fingerprint of God. Here David, the people of God are trying to adopt something of the world, it resulted in death. Here the people of God started this, and it results in life. Praise God. Amen. God’s fingerprints are there. Amen. You know, we can reason our way by saying that ox cart is fast. You know, I mean with all due respect to the Levites, if they carry, they can carry but it takes a longer time to reach Zion. Alright? It will take a longer time. But if the ox carries it, the ox is strong to labour, the Bible says. And the wheels will accelerate things. Amen. Light work. And fast. Rest, acceleration.

See the world can take something of God and twist it around. Amen. I mean, the whole reason David adopting this worldly method for a spiritual reason, to carry the presence of Jesus. Amen. The Ark of the Covenant into Zion. But you cannot glorify Jesus, you cannot bring the presence of Jesus into the church using worldly methods. Amen. The result is death. Amen. Praise the Lord. Thank You Jesus. Friend, God wants you to prosper like he wants Isaac to prosper. But the very first thing He tells you, "Do not go down into Egypt". Why? Because He wants you to prosper. He wants you to prosper. Amen.

So God says, God says, "Sow in the land. Do it My way". God’s way is tithing and offering, sowing. Amen. And He prospered in the year of famine. Amen. That’s still God’s way. Hallelujah. That is still God’s way. Praise God. And why do we work? Why do we get an employment? Amen. We work as unto the Lord. We don’t work, listen carefully, labour not to be rich. We don’t work to be rich. Because that is a never-ending cycle of frustration and emptiness. Amen. We labour as unto the Lord. Amen. We do our best. No matter what little work we do. Amen. Even it was laborious work, you are laying the asphalt on the road. You do it for the glory of God. You do it with dignity and a sense of joy. Amen. Whatever you do, Amen, with the grace of God on you, you will prosper. Praise the Lord. That’s God’s way. Amen.

Notice the ways of God are very simple. God says that. For example, when they came to the Philistines to sharpen their implements. The very implements that they have are the ones was used earlier by the Judges. Amen. Shamgar used the ox goad. We don’t need the sword of iron from the Philistines. Ox goad. "What’s an ox goad today, Pastor Prince? What’s a picture of"? It’s a picture of words. The world says, "You know, words are not, words don’t matter. Words are, you know, sticks and stones may break my bones, but words cannot hurt me". No, friend. Words can hurt. Amen. And ox goads are like the words of the wise. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes, "The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd". And we know that’s our Lord Jesus, Amen. This is such a beautiful verse. The words of the wise are like goads. The words of the wise are like goads.

So friend, don’t despise that one word of exaltation that you give to your child. Or that one word of admonition. Amen. A little warning. Because the Bible says, "Adonijah exalted himself". You know, Adonijah is the brother, younger brother of Absalom. And Absalom rebelled against his father, David, and died. We all know the story. But later on, Adonijah also rebelled against his father in his old age. And the Bible says this, very telling, that the father, David never said to him, never rebuked him one time by saying, "Why have you done this"? Imagine never saying to your child one word of admonition. But that word, that simple word, it’s a wise word. Amen. It’s a word of admonition. It’s an ox goad to make sure. In fact, the word ox goad come from the word ‘lamed’. From the word ‘lamed’. Literally, lamed, lamed means to teach.

The talmidim, the disciples, in Hebrew, talmidim are disciples, come from the word ‘lamed’. Lamed means to teach. Amen. Your words will teach your children. But you say, "These are simple words. How can? You know, I can correct him but he will still keep doing it". Don’t underestimate the power of your words. God has ordained it’s the simple things that will defeat the mighty. Amen. It’s the simple things. The sling and the stone that will bring the giant down. It’s the loaf of barley rolling into the Midianite camp that destroyed all the tents. It is simply a breaking of the pitcher with the flame inside that cause defeat on the entire Midianite camp. Amen. It’s a simple jawbone of a donkey that destroys all the Philistines. Amen. God says, "It might look simple to you. But with My blessing, you don’t need something great from the world. With My blessing, you will prosper. Do it My way". Amen.

Don’t despise, my friend, the words that you speak. The time you sit down together with your family at dinner, Amen, little words here and there. Amen. Pray, ask God to give you the words that will go right into the heart of your children. Turn them around if they are on a course that will cause them to be frustrated and become worldly. You know, just put a word. Or even a word of correction. Or a word of exaltation. Or a word of encouragement. When you are led by the Lord, these are like ox goads. Amen. To defeat all the Philistines that’s trying to make in-roads into the lives of your children. Praise God. Sometimes a simple word can revive an entire, you know, marriage relationship. Just a simple word from God. Amen. But speak those words.

Don’t say in your mind. "Ah... these are just simple words and immaterial. She’s heard it before". No, friend, say it. If the Lord is leading you to say, say it. These are little ox goads. And ox goads look so simple to the children of Israel. They even have the Philistines sharpen it for them. They don’t realise in the hands of God. If they use it in the hands of God, it becomes so powerful, it will defeat the Philistines. And that’s exactly what happened. With Shamgar. Amen. With Deborah in that story of Barak and all that. There was a lady called Jael. She only used a hammer and a nail and killed the general of the army that was trying to destroy Israel. Just a hammer and a nail. Amen.

You know, when God called Moses at the burning bush, and God says, "I’m going to send you". And he says, "God, will the people listen to me"? This is what he said. "Then Moses answered and said, ‘But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’ So the Lord said to him, ‘What is that in your hand?’ He said, ‘A rod.’" And you know what? You can read the entire story of the Book of Exodus, how that rod in the hand of Moses. What is a rod? A rod is not a living thing, my friend? It used to be a branch. It used to be.

In fact, the word ‘maqqēl’ is also used for a branch or a vine. Amen. But once it’s cut off and becomes a rod, it’s dead! But in the hands of God, praise the Lord. Amen. When you use a simple thing with trust in God, it is not the thing, my friend. It is the blessing of the Lord. "It’s not by might, not by power but by My Spirit," says the Lord. Amen. It’s by the grace of God. It’s not all these things. Amen. And God says, "What is that in your hand"? And notice, God never asks for the simple things outside your domain of possession. Outside the realm of your gifts. Amen. He only asks you, "What do you have? What is that in your hand, Moses"? Moses said, "A rod".

You see, Moses acted, "It’s only a rod". And it’s that rod that God used to turn the water into blood, to bring the swarm of locusts, to bring darkness upon Egypt. Amen. To open the Red Sea. Hallelujah. Praise the name of Jesus. What is that in your hand? Friend, God will never ask you to do something that you don’t have. What do you have? You don’t have to look at the world. And the world is like, after you get these things. You know, you ask for this thing, after that thing, you want to get this thing. You know, it’s like people saying, "You know, Pastor Prince, I don’t have time to exercise and all that". But they have time to scroll for one hour during that day on social media. No, simple things like the Lord telling you, "Stop spending so much time on social media". Amen. All of a sudden, God will lead you, "You know, go for a walk". That time that can be well spent, if it’s obeyed, praised the Lord.

If you are following the Spirit, the blessing of God is on it. But God never use the complicated things, the latest breakthroughs, my friend. It is His blessing He wants to focus on. If it’s just the breakthroughs and all that, the glory will go to the breakthrough. But it’s the blessing of the Lord on you, all the glory will go to Him. Amen. Praise the Lord. Another instance, we have a lady, the creditors are coming to get her because her husband died and she’s in debt. A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the Prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, "Your servant my husband is dead and you know that your servant feared the Lord". And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves. So Elisha said to her, "What shall I do for you? Tell me what do you have in the house".

What do you have in the house? God asked Moses, "What is that in your hand"? Here, the Prophet of God said, "What do you have in the house"? Notice what she said: And she said, "Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil". I’ve nothing in the house but a jar of oil. Amen? "Oh you know Pastor Prince, I have no gift, you know, except that I like to teach children and..." My friend, that is a gift. "It’s only a small gift". No. It’s not. "But I teach in Sunday School, just a small class". No, my friend, that is a gift that God can multiply. Amen. God will use to defeat the Philistines and bring glory to His name. Amen. And bless multitudes. Hallelujah. And prosper you. Hallelujah. What is that in your hand? What do you have in your house? My friend, it is not what’s in your hand, it is not what you have in your house, but the blessing of God on it. Nonetheless God uses the things that is within your possession, things that are within your reach. Amen.

Notice her attitude towards that little jar of oil. And by the way that word "jar" can be misleading. The word there in Hebrew is "asuk". Asuk is actually a small flask of oil. She’s saying, "All I have in my house is this small flask of oil". And you know how, later on, she poured that oil into other vessels, empty vessels that the Prophet told her to go and borrow from her neighbours. And she kept on pouring. As long she was pouring it kept on flowing. Amen. And she asked for another vessel, finally all of them were full and the son says, "There’s no more vessel". That’s when the oil stopped. The oil exceeded... The supply always exceeds the demand, amen, until the last vessel. There was no more vessel then the oil stopped, or else it will keep on flowing. We limit the Holy One of Israel, my friend. He cannot be limited. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. But it starts with small things. It starts with small things.

Remember Elijah, he went to the widow of Zarephath and the Bible says this is what she said. It was a time of famine and He says, "What do you have in your house"? Same thing. This is Elijah now. And she says, "As the Lord your God lives, I do not have bread. Only a handful of flour". Only a handful of flour. Notice the way she says it? "Only a handful of flour". It’s like, what is that? And a little oil in a jar. A little oil in a jar. "And see I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son that we may eat it and die". Wow. What an attitude. And Elijah said to her, "Do not fear. Go and do as you have said". Notice what she said? "Only a handful". "A little oil". Elijah says, "Make me a small cake from it first and bring it to me. And afterwards make some for yourself and your son".

So only a handful of flour can give you what? A small cake? But then he says, after you give me the cake, amen, there’s something about the power of giving. God use simple things, praise God, simple things to confound the mighty. Amen. The Bible says the world by wisdom has not found God. The Jews seek for a sign, the Greek seek after wisdom but we preach Christ crucified. Amen. The wisdom of God and the power of God. It has pleased God, I love this, it has pleased God that by the foolishness of the message preached, to save. And the word "save" there is also to heal, to deliver, to protect, to prosper. Amen. By the foolishness of the message preached. Looking at someone who died on the cross and you say, "That can save me"? That’s how God ordained it to be. Praise the Lord. Amen.

A simple piece of bread and a little juice can destroy that large tumour in your body. If you’re taking it in reverence towards the Lord, discerning His body, the reason why He died on that cross. You purpose in your heart to believe, Amen. You purpose in your heart to revere what He has done. Praise the Lord. You will receive that healing. And that tumour is nothing before that piece of bread that represents the broken body of Jesus Christ. Amen. You know it was a little crumb that the Syrophoenician woman asked, "even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the master’s table". Jesus says, "Oh woman, great is your faith". She asked for a little crumb and that little crumb was enough to drive the demon out of her daughter and the daughter was completely healed.

What do you have in your hand? What do you have in your house? Stop looking at other people and envying them and being jealous of them. Amen. Or condemning yourself, comparing, in comparison with them, looking at their social media all the time. They always put up their best persona, best front, best look. They don’t put, you know when they are down, they don’t put those things when they are going through life and they don’t look so good, right? And yet we look at this social media, we look at the dramas that the people have undergone makeup and gone through all that, and we compare ourselves to.

You know friend, stop all that. Amen. The things of God, there’ll be real prosperity. There’ll be real blessing. There’ll be real enduement of power. There’ll be real wisdom from God. And true favour, amen, being bestowed upon you. But the way God does things is using the simple things, the weak things that confound the mighty. The simple things to confound the difficult, even the impossible. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah.

Let’s go back to the story of the Israelites: So it came about, on the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan. But they were found with Saul and Jonathan his son. And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the pass of Michmash. Now I’ve been there, Michmash. And that’s where the next chapter brings us the story of Jonathan. You know... Don’t forget they were surrounded by, on all three fronts, amen, and the back of them was the Jebusites. So literally they are under siege. And yet all God was waiting for is just one man to step forward, just one man to confront the enemy. Amen. And that’s all it takes. Just for one man. And we know that one man is Jonathan. And this is what Jonathan said: Now it happened one day that Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man who bore his armour, You know I believe that this is prophetic of our times. Like I said God is looking for young men, young women, praise the Lord, and those who are young at heart. Praise the Lord.

God is looking for young men. I believe it’s a generation when God is emphasising the youths of today to become His champions. Amen. I was going to say champions of tomorrow but actually tomorrow is no more in the picture. Jesus Christ is coming back and coming back soon, so the champions of today. Amen. He’s gonna do a quick work. He’s gonna raise them to be mighty Davids. And the ones that God use are all... Many of them in the Bible, they start off in their teenage years. Even many of the disciples, if you study the story of the disciples, many of them were in their late teens, and only Peter was most likely the oldest. And even then he was probably in his late twenties when Jesus picked them as His disciples. And friend, God uses all these young people.

And here is an example of Jonathan’s armour bearer being a young man. He says: "Come, let us go over to the Philistines’ garrison that is on the other side". But he did not tell his father. Between the passes, by which Jonathan sought to go over to the Philistines’ garrison, there was a sharp rock on one side and a sharp rock on the other side. And the name of one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. The front of one faced northward opposite Michmash, and the other southward opposite Gibeah. Here is a picture of me many years ago when I was there in Israel. I was preaching from the two mountains of the pass of Michmash and this is the area of Seneh. I’m pointing towards Bozez. Amen.

Let’s look at another picture where you see Bozez. That’s Bozez on the other side. Bozez means "shining". You can see it’s the part that receives the noon day sun. Amen. Whereas this part here, Seneh. Seneh is from the same etymology as the word "Sinai" which is thorns, thorns. Okay so this is the part where the children of Israel were on this side, the thorns, and the Philistines were on the other side, the opposite side. And the Philistines were on top there. So imagine, later on, Jonathan and his armour bearer will climb up on their hands and on their feet all the way up to the top where they fought with the Philistines.

Let’s read the story, the account: Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armour, "Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few". Nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few. It is not a question of many or few. Nothing restrains the Lord from saving. The Lord is a Saviour. He wants to save you even in your situation. Praise the Lord. Not just save you from eternal destruction, save you from condemnation, but save you even in your situation right now. Every day He wants to be a Saviour to you. But He is not restrained by the means. Amen. In fact He uses more simple means, like your words. Amen. Simple gesture, simple word, a simple touch. Praise the Lord. The armourbearer said to him, "Do all that is in your heart. Go then; here I am with you, according to your heart".

Here is a lesson in leadership. There’s something about good leadership that makes people say, "Do all that is in your heart. I am with you according to your heart". When you see a leader who loves God, a leader who is flowing with God, amen, you want to follow him. Amen. You want to say, "Do all that is in your heart. I am here for you. And I am with you according to your heart". Amen. That’s what the young man said to Jonathan. In the same chapter later on, when the tide of battle went against the Philistines and it was Joanthan and the armourbearer that started the victory and the enemies were fleeing... And the father king Saul being the man of flesh that he is, wants to take some glory and he says to the men, "Come let’s pursue them".

Let’s see what he says. He says, Saul says: "Let us go down after the Philistines by night, and plunder them until the morning light; and let us not leave a man of them". And the people said: "Do whatever seems good to you". Notice the way they said, "Do whatever seems good to you". Nothing about the heart. It’s like do whatever seems good to you. It’s as if the people don’t have full confidence in their leader. Whereas the young man, the armourbearer had full confidence in his leader. So friend, are you a leader that inspires people to want to be with you, to support you because they know your heart?

Notice Jonathan is a leader that walks according to the heart, that heart after the Lord. Amen. When you talk to your children, it is heart work. Not h-a-r-d, but heart, heart work. Amen. It gotta come from your heart. If you speak from your heart, and you speak to their heart, they will listen. Amen. When you correct them, let them see your heart, why you are correcting them. Let them see your love. Amen. When you speak to your spouse, let them see your heart. It’s a heart to heart relationship, my friend. Whereas Saul is not a person who goes by the heart. Amen. His heart condemns him. He’s now in rebellion. And Prophet Samuel has pronounced his judgement on king Saul. And you notice the people’s response? "Do what seems good to you".

So let’s see what happened when Jonathan went up there: So both of them showed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines. And the Philistines said, "Look, the Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have hidden". Then the men of the garrison called to Jonathan and his armorbearer, and said, "Come up to us, and we will show you something". Jonathan said to his armorbearer, "Come up after me, for the Lord has delivered them into the hand of Israel". Now there is something the worldly wisdom would say. In the art of war they tell you that the one who commands the higher terrain will always win. That’s the wisdom of the world. The one who is on the higher elevation, amen, will win, will win the battle, will win the war. But here is the opposite.

Remember this, before you pursue the wisdom of the world, amen, with God sometimes it’s the opposite. It is when they called Jonathan to come up, which is actually at a disadvantage in the natural to Jonathan and his armourbearer. Amen. But for them it’s a sign that the Lord is saying, "The harder it is, amen, the harder it is the Philistines try to make for you, I’ll make it simple. And you will win easily". And you know what happened right on top? And Jonathan climbed up on his hands and knees with his armourbearer after him; and they fell before Jonathan. And as he came after him, his armourbearer killed them. That first slaughter which Jonathan and his armourbearer made was about twenty Philistines, twenty men within about half an acre of land. Let’s keep on reading: And there was trembling in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. The garrison and the raiders also trembled; and the earth quaked, so that it was a very great trembling.

Now the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked, and there was the multitude, Remember Saul was in Gibeah, in his capital? From Gibeah you can actually look at Michmash. You can see the Philistines gathered down there and it’s like a large, huge shadow, like a cloud shadow far away, and if all the Philistines are running away from two of them, and Saul saw that happen. And the people were melting away, they went here and there. Then Saul said to the people who were with him, "Now call the roll and see who has gone from us". And when they had called the roll, surprisingly, Jonathan and his armourbearer were not there. And Saul said to Ahijah, This is the great grandson of Eli, the high priest of the story of Shilo "Bring the ark of God here" By the way, the word "ark" here is a translation that has caused some problems for people because at this time, the ark of the covenant was actually in Kiriath Jearim. Remember that? It was at Kiriath Jearim. Later on David would bring it from Kiriath Jearim.

So how come that, here, it says Saul says, "Bring the ark"? In the Septuagint, which is the Greek version of this verse, the Greek says, he tells the high priest, the grandson of the high priest Eli, he says, "Bring me the ephod". The ephod is the urim and the thummim, the stones, by which you can get guidance. Okay? In other translations like NET says, "Bring near the ephod". For Ahijah was wearing the ephod at that time. So let’s go back to the story: Now it happened, while Saul talked to the priest, that the noise which was in the camp of the Philistines continued to increase; so Saul said to the priest, "Withdraw your hand".

You see this Saul, one moment he want to seek God, another moment, "Aiya, let’s let’s just do something". It’s like he cannot wait on the Lord. Then Saul and all the people who were with him assembled, and they went to the battle; and indeed every man’s sword was against his neighbour, So the Philistines are confused. They are fighting among themselves. And there was very great confusion. Moreover the Hebrews who were with the Philistines before that time, Remember those who defected, those who defected to the other side, when they were surrounded, right? Those who joined the Philistines. Those who were with the Philistines before that time who went up with them into the camp from the surrounding country, they also joined the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan.

The moment the victory, the tide changed, and the Philistines are running, amen, they joined back to their brothers to fight against the Philistines. Likewise all the men of Israel who had hidden in the mountains Remember all the people who were hiding in the caves, in the holes, right. Those who had hidden in the mountains of Ephraim, when they heard that the Philistines fled, they also followed hard after them in the battle. So the Lord saved Israel that day, and the battle shifted to Beth Aven. Hallelujah. And all it takes is two. Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there I am in the midst of them. God was just waiting for someone to take a simple step forward. A simple step.

Now if you’re taking that simple step all by yourself, nothing avails, right you got nothing much to look forward to. But if you take that step because the Lord is telling you, "Step out in faith. Step out in faith. Trust Me. I’ll take care of you". In the natural it seems like all the odds are against you. You are below, they have the high ground, but, "I am with you". Just like the armourbearer said to Jonathan, "I am with you. Do all that is in your heart". Praise the Lord.

Thank You Lord Jesus. I pray that this has blessed you. That you know in our hearts, this is to be holy, my friend. To be holy is to be separated from the world. You know we don’t want to be like, like I’ve said, cut off all the relationship with the world, that’s not what I mean. Nor am I saying that we don’t take advantage of things that are out there in the world but to see the characteristics of God are there. Never use the things of the world to carry the presence of Jesus. Amen. That’s blasphemy. It results in death. And always, always trust the Lord. Amen. Even if the Lord tells you to do something simple, trust the Lord. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, come, there is benefits and blessings and your inheritance waiting for you. Come together, come in an environment where people are gathered together. When God says, "Not forsaking the assembling," He’s referring to the physical assembling. Amen. And we’re all coming back again together in person. Praise the Lord. Thank You Jesus.

If you’ve never made Jesus your personal Saviour and Lord, my friend, I want to give you this opportunity right now. Wherever you are watching this, friend, the Lord Jesus is right there in front of you. Just speak to Him in this way, in a simple way, in a simple way, simple prayer produce powerful results. Say:

Lord Jesus, I confess You as my Lord and my Saviour. I believe You died on the cross for all my sins and I believe God raised You from the dead when I was justified in You. Thank You Lord Jesus Your blood has washed away all my sins and from now on Lord, please reveal more and more, more and more of yourself to me. I want to know more and more of You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

If you prayed that simple prayer, you are now a child of God. You have gone through that baptism, Amen, and resurrection. Praise the Lord. Death and resurrection in Christ. You are a brand new person, old things are passed away. Praise the name of Jesus. Hallelujah! Stand to your feet, church, for the blessing. Praise the name of Jesus.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be multiplied upon you and your family. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, may the wisdom of God cause you to see where you are patterning after the world and where you are falling short in these areas, and that the Holy Spirit will lead you out of the world. Out of Egypt, the place of double stress, into a place of great expansion and abundance, the land flowing with milk and honey. The Lord give you the wisdom and the eyes to see what He wants you to see, your inheritance in Christ for everything is in Him. May God give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation from this day forth, the eyes of your inner man being enlightened, that you would know the glory of your inheritance, the riches of your inheritance in Christ and that you will possess it and not allow the Philistines to deprive you of it. In the name of the Lord Jesus, be totally blessed, you and your families, throughout this week. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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