Joseph Prince - Godly Discipline And Correction Brings Promotion
All right, greet at least three persons, and I mean you greet them, okay? Say something nice to them. Say something good to them. God is a good God, a wonderful God. And every time we come to God's presence, we never leave the same way, amen? We never leave the same way. Something is imparted, something has happened to us. In that moment, you know, in the presence of God, there is no time, amen? No time. God is the creator of time. God lives outside time. So, there's no time in the presence of God. In his kingdom, there is no time. So, you know what? God can accelerate your growth. God can accelerate the manifestation of your miracle, amen. And all sudden when you go back, you find that what was trouble before is now a testimony, amen? What was a problem is now, you can see the provision, Praise God.
I want to share with you a testimony, a powerful testimony, which I believe I'll be sharing in the, even in the days to come. In many other places or wherever I go, I'm gonna share this testimony. It's a great testimony, and it really shows how grace, the grace of God, can transform you in every area of your life, amen. Be it healing, be it addictions. This is a man from North Carolina, and it's a very recent testimony, 2018.
I was molested when I was eight and exposed to sexual perversions from then on. Although I was saved from young, I never knew how to break away from my strongholds. At 12, I turned to drugs and alcohol. I married after high school and later joined the Army. That turned into another run of sex, drinking, and drugs that carried on for nine years. My wife left me and took our kids along. One day, I killed a man who attacked me in my driveway. Though I was cleared of all charges because his sister told the jury about her brother's anger and history of physical abuse. But some people threatened to kill me and I had to move and start all over. All this sent me into a downward spiral. To avoid the thoughts in my mind, I continued with my bad habits while seeking help. I got remarried and tried to go to church, but a marriage lasted only three years. I moved back in with my parents and started my own construction business and I was still trying to go to church and Christian conferences looking for deliverance. During that time, I married again, but I was still having problems and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
So, I continued searching and seeking help. Then in 2005, I was exposed to black mold which got into my lungs. It caused emphysema and triggered allergies to everything that has fragrance and chemical odors. I had, so I had to pretty much avoid contact with the outside world. With the respiratory problems, I was limited to television ministries I could watch from home, and God caused me to stumble across Pastor Prince. I started confessing that I was the righteousness of God through Jesus, even when I was still doing drugs and selling them for a living.
So, I continued searching and seeking help. Then in 2005, I was exposed to black mold which got into my lungs. It caused emphysema and triggered allergies to everything that has fragrance and chemical odors. I had, so I had to pretty much avoid contact with the outside world. With the respiratory problems, I was limited to television ministries I could watch from home, and God caused me to stumble across Pastor Prince. I started confessing that I was the righteousness of God through Jesus, even when I was still doing drugs and selling them for a living.
So, we have seen amazing testimonies come from people while they're in their bondage, while their watching pornography, or while they're on drugs, they confess, "I am the righteousness of God in Christ". Now, this goes against the grain of everything that, you know, that is taught because people think that is like abusing. That is like, you know, people will still do it and not say anything. They will still do it and not take advantage of the power of God that's available. There is a way of God, learning about God's ways. The Bible says the children of Israel knew the acts of God, but Moses knew God's ways. Well, one of the ways of God is that you want to see some things happen, God who calls those things that are not, Romans 4, "God calls those things that are not as though they were". We call those things that are as though they are and they always are. You see your problem, you see your sickness, you call it as it is, and it is, it is what it is. But God calls those things that are not.
So, Abram wanted children. Abram wanted descendants. Abram didn't even have one son through Sarah, and God changed his name to Abraham, which means father of multitudes. So, every time he called himself Abraham, introduced themselves as Abraham he's saying, "I'm father of many. I'm father of multitudes". He learned to call those things that are not as though they are. So, when we learn that, the Bible says you are the righteousness of God in Christ. You look at yourself, it's got nothing to do with your behavior, your performance. It's gotta do with who you are, amen. God has made you, amen. It's imputed to you. So, he confessed, "I am the righteousness of God," while he was still doing drugs and selling them. "In early 2016, I started losing my voice. We made countless trips to the emergency room for five months, but they couldn't find a cause. I eventually went to an ENT specialists who did a throat biopsy and they found squamous cell cancer in my throat," he said.
"He did not want to send me straight for radiation treatments till it was bad enough because they thought the treatments would ruin my throat and eventually kill me. My wife and I continued listening to Pastor Prince, confessing righteousness in Jesus, and partaking of the Holy Communion for healing. Somewhere around that time, I suddenly realized that all desires to do drugs, drink, look at porn, or do anything bad I had been previously doing were gone. Instead, I had an unquenchable hunger to hear God's Word and praise him. I was thankful for his presence I experienced daily. On top of that, when another biopsy was done on my throat six months later, there was no sign of cancer. I am sharing all this to say how good God is".
Thank you, Jesus, hallelujah! To God be all the glory, amen? You know, it's testimonies like this that really impacts people's life. You know, whenever you are challenged with maybe the emphasis that we place on the gospel. You see, we cannot over emphasize the gospel. The gospel is the gospel of grace. But there are those will come against you for believing, all right, the gospel of grace. In other words, they're not against grace, but they try to steady grace, amen, with the arm of flesh. Just remember, just ask them, whatever revelations you have, how many lives are transformed when you share with them your revelations, amen. Jesus says, "By their fruits, you shall know them". Anymore ministry for that matter, if you are theologically sound, if you believe that you are doctrinally accurate, then right believing will always lead to right living, and there will be right results, amen. Because Jesus said, "By their fruits you shall know them".
So challenge them, where are your fruits? Amen. Whereas the ministry that we are serving people out of God's heavenly platter, amen, heavenly bread, is transforming lives and bringing Jesus all the praise and the glory, amen, amen? There are pastors with congregations that are struggling with porn, with addictions and that kind of thing, and they don't know what to say except to stop doing it, stop doing it. If we can stop doing, we don't need Jesus. We need supernatural health. And people who are smoking will always tell you, "I can stop anytime I want to". They can't. They don't want to face up to the facts, but they can't. They need power that is greater than them and that power, his name is Jesus, amen? It's not by might, not by power, but by the Holy Spirit, anything is accomplished that's of significant value, of permanent results, amen, and that will glorify God, hallelujah.
Now, I want to show with you something about what you can expect when you're going through a trial or troubles. Are you in the midst of some trouble? Are you in the midst of a trial? The Bible says there are things that a child of God can learn to expect at the end of this tunnel, right at the end of the valley. You know how you'll come out, amen? Only exclusively for the children of God. We learned a few days ago at the Encounter, how many were there at Encounter night? Amen, those of you who didn't encounter, all right, let me give you the post-encounter sharing. All right, we shared about how all things may not be good that's happening in our lives. All things may not be from God, amen?
Many a times, it could be from our own making. Some of it from other people's making. Some of it is the devil, amen? But all things for a child of God is working together for good. You gotta believe that if you're in a hurry and there's a red light that seems to stay there or linger longer than it should, it's perhaps God is protecting you from an accident that he sees ahead of you. You gotta believe that God is always out for your good and all things are working together for good, amen. And the next verse right after that verse, "All things work together for good," it tells us that all these things, the good that we are looking at is that you will end up conformed to the image of Jesus, amen. And not only in terms of your character, in terms of the way you, you see life. Your mental viewpoint is like Jesus. Everything is like Jesus. But also, have you noticed that physically, Jesus was never sick? Amen. Don't just limit.
I know that religious Christianity like to limit things to spiritual to character. Yeah, all that is priority, amen. paramount importance, but the Bible says, "Conform to the image of Jesus," it means conform to the image of Jesus, amen. Just like he is, amen? And he was never, never lacking, amen. If there was a need to pay a tax, he could even from the mouth of the fish, as y'all know the story, produce the money for the tax. And when there's a multitude that needed food, he could from five loaves and two small fish, produce more than enough with twelve basket full left over. So, that's true prosperity, amen? The Bible says, "You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that though he was rich for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might become rich".
Now, you cannot say that verse is for spiritual riches because the context from where that verse comes from, the context talks about giving material things, finances, amen. Paul was writing to the Corinthians, and he told them to be a cheerful giver. He told them to help the poor saints in Corinthian, all right, the churches or Macedonia were generous, he was telling the Corinthian church and the poor saints in Jerusalem. He was telling them how, how these people gave out of the largeness of their heart, they gave. So, the context there that Jesus became poor, when did Jesus become poor? At the cross, amen? He was destitute of every material good. I don't believe they even gave him the courtesy of a loincloth. He who flung the stars into space, amen, he was rich, yet he became poor that you, through his poverty, might become rich, amen? Again, the context there is truly rich in the sense of material, amen? The context, always interpret in context. Not only that, Jesus did other things for us as well as on the cross.
We all know that he bore our sins, amen? He bore our sins, he took our judgment and that's why today before God, there is no sin on us. Even though there's sin in us, amen, still there is no sin on us in God's sight because as far as God is concerned, Christ removed all our sins. Where there's remission of this, there's no longer an offering for sin. Now Isaiah 53 tells us he was wounded for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities. Now, the word "bruised" here. You know, when you get bruised, you knock your elbow whatever, later on you have a blue black, today we use the word "bruise," right? But in Hebrew, this word bruised is the word "crushed". He was crushed for our iniquities. The chastisement, "muwcar" in Hebrew, the word "chastisement". It's not just the word "chastisement" as in terms of discipline. It is also the word "punishment". The punishment for our peace, for our shalom, for our soundness, for our wholeness fell upon Jesus and with his stripes, we are healed, amen.
So, the punishment with a view to our well-being, to our wholeness, to our peace, fell upon Jesus and with his stripes, we are healed. You see, the Bible tells us that he was wounded for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities, but do you know that an earlier verse tells us surely he bore our diseases and carried our pains. Surely he bore our markob, our choliy and carried our markob. In Hebrew, choliy, disease. Markob, pain. Surely Jesus bore our diseases. And the word surely prefaced the entire statement because the word "surely," akan in Hebrew means, surely he bore our diseases. When it comes to this verse that he bore our sins, he was wounded for our transgressions, we don't find the word "surely," right? Because why? Everyone accepts the fact that Jesus bore our sins. He was wounded for our transgressions. Every denominational, every denomination of Christianity believes that, but there are many who don't believe he carried out diseases, amen. So, God saw that and got put in that statement, "Surely he bought our diseases and bore our sicknesses". Surely, amen.
So, whatever Jesus bore at the cross, you and I don't have to bear. He bore our poverty, you and I don't have to bear poverty today, amen. He bought our diseases, we don't have to bear our diseases. So, I need to establish that because when you go through trouble, whatever troubles you're going through, it might be physical condition, or financial lack, or some trouble in your relationships, your family life, or you having some addiction in your life, or going through depression or suicidal thoughts, and all that. Let me just tell you this, okay, you need to know one thing, God is not punishing you. God is not punishing you for something you did in the past, or for something that, you know, you feel like you are doing now, or whatever. God is not punishing, if you're a child of God, your punishment is behind you. I said, your punishment is behind you.
John 5:24 once again, "Most assuredly I say to you," he, Jesus is talking here. "He who hears my word and believes in Him who sent me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life". So, the one who has everlasting life, the one who believes on Jesus, he has everlasting life. And Jesus says he will not come into judgment. There is no judgment in your future, child of God. There is no judgment in your future and also you have passed from death into life. That means what? Judgment and death are behind you. You died when Christ died, amen. When he was raised, you were raised in him. When he was seated, you are seated with him in heavenly places. As far as God is concerned, it's all true in Christ and you are in him. Death and judgment is behind you. You're looking forward to glory, hallelujah, amen.
So, this is very clear Scripture. John 10 says, Jesus says of his sheep, all of us, "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish". Clear statements, amen. "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish". The word "never" in the Greek is a double negative, ou me never ever perish. So, if you read something, all right, someone wrote, or you hear a preacher share something contrary, or somehow, you know, someone talks to you and gives you the impression that you can perish, you can lose your salvation, that person is not scriptural. That person is not speaking in line with what Jesus said. Jesus says you will not come into judgment. You have passed from death into life. Judgment and death is behind you, not in front of you. You will never perish. Whenever you read any part of the Bible, any part of the Bible that seems to indicate you can lose your salvation, most likely you are misinterpreting that passage.
Listen to this, never allow obscure passages in the Bible rob you of the joy of certain Scriptures like, "I give them eternal life, they shall never perish". The Scriptures don't contradict. What seems to be a contradiction has an interpretation, amen. So, if you find obscure passages that you don't understand that seems to say you can lose your salvation and all that, always fall back on John 5:24, "You will not come toto judgment". There's no judgment in your future, amen. Jesus says in John 10, "They will never perish," amen.
So, what is it about never we don't understand? Never allow obscure passages to rob you of the certainty of clear Scriptures, amen? Are y'all with me so far? Once we have established that, we talk about the troubles that we are going through, it's important we have a right posture because right after it says, "All these things are working together for good," it says, "If God be for us, who can be against us? Or we found out at Encounter night, what can be against us? What can be against us? If God is for us, what can be successfully against us? Doesn't mean things won't be against you, but they cannot be successfully against you. No weapon formed against you shall prosper, doesn't mean the devil won't form new weapons against you but whatever weapon he forms will not prosper against you. Doesn't stop him from forming it. God says he can form it all he wants. He can fashion new weapons against you, but against you, my child, it will not prosper, amen?
So, it's important for us to establish this first. Now, when we are doing things that we are not supposed to do, all right, we know that we're not walking in God's ways and all that, and we are truly his child, does that mean we lose our salvation? No, we don't. But there is a discipline. There is a discipline from the Father. You know, if you love your child, you will discipline your child. It's because your discipline is an evidence of your love. Not too long ago, I remember, not too long ago it was, just last month. I was on vacation and, you know, on vacation you don't want to discipline your boy, right? It's not a nice time, I mean it's not a good time to discipline. And when your child is young just remember this, if there's a call for discipline he's asking for it, deliver, if you are being challenged.
Now, never discipline a child when the child is tired. Never discipline a child when the child is just, you know, not feeling good, or haven't eaten, or his blood sugar is down, you know? Those are not the moments to discipline. He didn't have enough sleep, all right, he needs to sleep and he's cranky because he's not slept or whatever having his nap. You know, those are not times of discipline. But let me tell you this, they are never too young for you to discipline. They learn fast. You don't break their spirit, but you have to break the will, the strong will, or else one day they'll discipline against authority and you are at fault. The Bible says if you don't discipline your son, you are actually hating your son, all right? Proverbs 13, verse 24, "He who spares his rod hates his son". No, no, pastor, I don't use the rod because I love my son". God says you hate your son.
Why are you hating your son? You cannot say you love your son and don't use the rod of correction, amen? Now, these are for little children. As they are older teenagers, there's still discipline. You can discipline because they're under your roof. You discipline with words, amen, and you discipline with withdraw of privileges, amen. Don't say things like, "Well, if they don't want to go to church, what can you do," you know? No, you are the Father, you are the mother, you can put your foot down. "We're all going," amen, full stop, amen. Don't have to, "Why, why," you know, you don't have to. They need your money, "You go," you tell them, amen? Now, some of the kids are hating me right now, but praise God. Anyway, but when they're small, you gotta use the rod of correction.
And I know here is where all the people who are PC people are gonna say, "Well, you know, he believes in disciplining. He believes in child abuse". I didn't say abuse. In fact, you're abusing your child worse if you allow him to get away with murder, amen? You are actually abusing your child, amen. And your children needs discipline. In fact, when you are disciplined, they feel loved. And a lot of children are crying out for discipline. They're crying out that, "show me that you love me by disciplining me. Show me that you care". Amen, are you listening? And where the Bible, the Book of wisdom, the Book of Proverbs even tells you where to apply discipline, amen? You never slap them in the face, never rob the child of his dignity in doing things like that. You don't do things like that, that's abuse. There's a place to apply this special rod, and it's the place where God gives them extra installation. The Bible even tells you a rod is for the back, all right? A rod is for the back, amen? But it's gotta be a correction. The child must know it's a correction, amen.
You cannot just say, "My child will learn if I tell the child". No, the child needs discipline. The child needs to know. You can't always reason with young child. If you love the child, correct the child. And how often must you do it? Well, the moment he does it, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly. And the word "promptly" in the Hebrew is early in the morning, which doesn't mean you only do it in the morning. It means do it fast. Do it fast, don't like, okay, one more time, one more time, one more time. You can give a warning, second warning, third warning. The child must know your word is gold, amen. Your word, you mean what you say, and you say what you mean and next time the child... in fact, there's another verse in Proverbs that says, "Correct your son and he will give you rest for the rest of your days," amen. So, you only have to do that a few times.
With Justin, you know, honestly, you know, I only did that a few times. I can count with one hand, and he learns, he learns fast, amen? So, the same thing, if you love your child, you will discipline your child, amen. Even as a teenager, as long they are still under your care and your love and depend on you for finances, you gotta say. It's not too late. They're crying out for discipline, amen. Don't just let them go away with murder. I'll lose my relationship when I do. They'll hate me and all that. They'll appear on Oprah Winfrey and talk about me and all that". You know, don't worry, amen. Do it God's way. Praise the Lord, hallelujah. I see parents, you know, and they're crying out their eyeballs, but they're crying because they're seeing, they wish they had gotten it right in the first place. It's not too late. God can turn the whole thing around, amen.
Well, so far okay, anyway. "Amen, Pastor Prince". God bless you, my son, may your tribe increase, amen. So, God encourages us to discipline. Whenever there's rebellion, clear cut rebellion, constant rebellion, after repeated warnings it still goes on, okay, not just every time, "My sword is coming out," you know? You cannot discipline your kids with that kind of threatening all the time. I know some parents say, "Well, I do it all the time, Pastor Prince". Something is wrong. You only have to do it a few times, they learn the lesson that you mean what you say, and you say what you mean. Praise the Lord.
Now, there are others, I find that they're not open to instruction. God uses people sometimes, you know, God corrects us by using people many times. And people might not be, you know, perfect. All of us are not perfect, but the thing is this, God can use and God can use people and speak through them. And I've seen down through the years as a pastor, I've corrected many people. I've corrected leaders. And I've seen people accept and reject also. And I've seen like levels of promotion for them, whether it's in the spirit or in their life, I've seen them receive correction and they go to a higher place. They receive correction, they go to a higher place. Some of them, when they're in a higher place, all right, you correct them or you tell them something, it's almost like, "Who are you to tell me that? I'm now so and so". And they never go to a next level where God has for them. God has greater things in store for them, but they have limited themself because that's the only correction they'll take.
You meet people sometimes and you wonder sometimes what's going on, why is God not blessing them? You interview them, you talk to them, and I'm telling you, this is down through years of experience. I've seen people, you know, or they jump from job to job to job to job, and you talk to them and it's always this boss fault. It's always this colleague's fault. It's always their fault. It's always this person's fault. It's the employer's fault. It's the the government's fault. It's never their fault and yet, the constant person in all these things, the jobs change, the employers change, it's the person, but they're not open to correction, why? "I know better. I know what is the problem. I know what this company needs," and all that. That's why you're the manager. That's why you are the CEO. No friend, you gotta be open to correction, amen.
I gotta loot at all these things that's happening and stop and say, "Joseph Prince, what's wrong with you"? Where are you missing it? Ask God, what do you need to learn. But instead of that, it's not me, it's always others. So, we gotta learn, if not what's gonna happen is this. In Proverbs 13 same chapter, "Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, but he who regards a rebuke, will be honored," amen? See, this one sermon I expect no amen, but I amen myself. "Amen, Pastor Prince, and you look good from behind. Yeah, and you look good in front". Praise God. So, God has great things in store for you and the way he disciplines us, remember, God does not discipline you with diseases, he doesn't. We learn, what? That Jesus bore our diseases, right? And whatever he bears, we don't have to bear, amen? Jesus also bore our poverty and because of that, we, through his poverty, can become rich by his supply, by his favor, by his grace, amen?
So, we don't have to bear poverty, why? Because he bore it. But if God disciplines us and God doesn't use disease, and God doesn't use poverty, amen, God doesn't use accidents, you know, car wrecks and all that to teach us, doesn't do that. The devil does that, God doesn't do that. "Well, Pastor Prince, I know people and they are believers, and they are well-known people and all that. I cannot judge". You don't ask me to judge and you should not be judging as well. But one thing is for sure, God is not behind it. All right, why? There's an answer, one day we go to heaven we'll say, "Ah, I know". All right, we understand then when we are in heaven, but now we are not in a position. We don't so let's not judge. But one thing is for sure we know from Scriptures, that's why I established in the beginning Isaiah 53, because Jesus bore our diseases, we don't have to bear what he bore. So, if there's a sickness in your body or whatever, come against it in Jesus's name. Learn how to receive healing, amen, through the communion like our brother just now who received healing from cancer. Praise the Lord. And not only that, deliverance from addictions, amen, from porn addiction, from drug addiction.
You know, it's an amazing testament, don't you think so, amen? But again, we gotta learn the ways of God, hallelujah. But God does not discipline with car wrecks, accidents, diseases. So, how, how does God discipline? God disciplines with, many a times, with people that are not pleasant around us. Like, for example, you're driving down the road and you start getting angry with somebody on the road, and you're pointing your finger at the person and these three fingers pointing back at you. "You know, I don't understand how can people can be so inconsiderate". And your wife is looking at you smiling and saying, "Uh-huh". You don't like that, right? Yeah, you don't like it when people point out your fault or even, "uh-huh," you know? It's like many a times when we see other people doing it and we don't like it, but actually it could be God allowing the person because God loves you.
You ought to feel love when you are being disciplined, that God didn't let you just go like other, other people's children. You let them go. I discipline my children. I don't discipline other people's children, why? Because I love my children. I always tell Justin, "You know, I discipline you because I love you. See, I don't discipline other kids. I don't know if the parents love them or not because the parents leave them alone as if they don't care". I say, "But for you, I care". I can almost see his reasoning. It's almost like, "Can you don't care so much or not? Amen?
So, we see discipline from God as something that happens in a way that is only within a certain scope. God uses people, God uses circumstances, but God does not use accidents, diseases, car wrecks, tragedies. No, he doesn't, but he will deal with you. "Pastor Prince, don't you know that God's primary way of disciplining us is through the Word"? Yes, my friend, I do know that. Okay, number-one way that God disciplines us is through the Word of God. I agree with you, it's through the Word of God, amen. That's a best way, the primary way. When I correct my son, I use my word and I hope he listens, right? Many a times he does, thank God for Justin. But if he doesn't and continuously doesn't, what do I do? I have to take other measures, why? Because I love him, and I want him to have a good future, amen?
Now, would you agree with me that although disciplined through God's Word, listening to God's Word, we learn. You see, God put all the stories of David and their mistakes, Elijah and his trials, and the things they do wrong, and the things they did right and all that so that we can learn and draw wisdom so that we don't have to go to the school of hard knocks. It's better to go to the school of the Holy Spirit, amen? Go learn from the Word. Learn from the Word. Learn from their mistakes, amen? Like man will dream like, "Oh, if I can have all the women I want, enjoy all the gold and silver in the world". There was such a man, his name was Solomon and in the Book of Ecclesiastes he said, "Done that, done that, tried that, been there, got the T-shirt. At the end conclusion, vanity of vanities. It's all empty," amen.
Your relationship with God is truly what satisfies, amen? And out of that, out of that, after that, your relationship with your family, amen, your friends. No one in their dying bed, knowing they're about to die in an hour's time or so says that, "I wish, I wish I did not turn down that deal. I would have made $1 million more". Nobody does that. They'll wish, "I had more time with my children. I wish I had more time," amen? So, God loves you enough that if you don't love yourself, you know, don't care about yourself enough, God does and God will make sure that your priorities all fall into place. Can I have a good amen?
There are those who say, "Well, Pastor Prince", Back to this again before I go on. Now, although chastening through his Word, discipline through his Word, and the word "discipline" is the word child trained, "paideuo" in the Greek. Paideuo is child train, where you get the word pediatrician. A child, train a child, paideuo. God, although God trains us, child trains us through his Word, the primary way, don't you agree with me that many, many of his children are not in a place where they are receiving the Word, those who need discipline, amen? They are living in sin. They are truly born again, and they will never perish. They will never perish. When Jesus comes again, they are going with him. They are losing the rewards, but they are going with him.
Now, would you agree with me that although they need discipline, they are not in a place to receive discipline, why? They're not receiving the Word, am I right? Do you think they're reading their Bibles? No, call them backslidden Christians if you want, all right? Are they reading their Bible? No. Are they listening to the Word of God being preached on their phone or whatever, on podcast and all that? No. Are they attending church? Usually, no. So, how will they get discipline? God who loves them will discipline them through people, all right, a hard boss, a demanding employer, colleagues or whatever it is, or circumstances that cost you frustration. Every time you do that, it's frustration because God is bringing you back to the right track.
Like the mother eagle, you know, when she lays her eggs, all right, she will pad her nest with things that are cushiony and soft. Other kill like birds feathers and all, they'll put bird feathers soft around the nest, anything that they find that's soft, all right, they'll put around the nest, dried up grass and all that. And sort of pad the entire nest for her young. Once she lays her young, her young comes out, all they have to do is just open the mouth, oh, then the mother will just put in the worms or whatever catch they find for the day. And the mother eagle soars. They start growing up and they have the feathers of their own. You'll see many of them refuse to leave the nest, but it's time for growth. There's a brand-new world out there, right? And they think that this is the world they want, just open their mouth, you know? But that's not growth.
So, what does the mother eagle do? The mother eagle starts plucking out all the cushiony feathers, all the nice, warm feathers. She removes it and now what's left are the twigs and the sharp, sharp prickly twigs and dried up branch that make up the nest, and now little eagle is feeling, you know, pain in the side and all the prickly. It's very uncomfortable, amen? "Mama has gone crazy. This is not love. I will blog about this. You know, I'll mention about this on social media. I wonder how many people are with me. How many good like my post, amen. I'm gonna talk about a mother has gone crazy," amen? And not only that, she brings the young to the tip of the nest and then she pushes them over. And they are flapping their wings. "We're about to die. Mama has gone insane, crazy. Somebody save me"!
And then before they hit the ground, mother eagle come and saves them, amen, and brings them back to the nest. "Oh, I'm so glad, mom, you came back. You came to your senses. I thought you lost your marbles for one moment," you know. And the mother says, "Tomorrow is another day". And then again, that's what they do, actually push them over and they start flapping, and all the while the mother eagle has in mind good, good for her young. Sometimes God does that. The Bible says God used analogy. "As I brought you on eagle's wings out of Egypt". God says as a mother eagle fluttereth over here young, so the Lord God. The illustration is always with an eagle, and that's how you renew your youth like the eagles as well. God's dealings, and perhaps what you're going through is God's dealings 'cause God loves you. You think that God, God is, "He has something against me. I know he has a grudge against me," all right?
In about one day as the eagle falls, the eagle finds that she has power to fight against the currents, and all of sudden she realize she can now, not just flap, but soar and enjoy a whole new world. A world that is confined, people say that we are narrow minded as Christians. Actually, we are so broad, as broad as God himself, amen. To be thinking the way we are thinking without God is confined, is narrow minded, amen. 'Cause free thinkers are not free to think what they think. You think the concept of free thinkers, they are free thinking all the time? They're not free to think. They think of naked women. They think of their drugs. They are thinking of their drugs, "I must have that". They are thinking of all kind of addictions. Their mind is bound by a power beyond themself. They are thinking depressed thoughts all the time. They are thinking dark thoughts all the time, and you think they are free thinkers, but if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
We all want the train to go by itself. Wherever it wants to, "Let go, lah, let the train have freedom"! Freedom to kill itself. If an MRT train, can you imagine just going anywhere in the neighborhood, the teh tarik store is gone. Man, your favorite noodles, wonton noodles store is gone. That's not power. That's not freedom. But I tell you what, it must be on its tracks and then you see the power move. Now, it's truly free, free to fulfill its destiny without destruction to hisself or others. Sometimes cannot find love. But still, you know, the whole idea is the railway track. And we think, imagine playing football, okay, some people are, you know, some young kids want to learn how to play football, we teach them. "Any rules, anything you would like, ah"? Pick up the ball, throw the ball, kick the ball, whatever you want to do. "Oh, okay, I thought goalkeep only can hold the ball". "Nevermind, you want to hold, you feel like holding, you just hold, lah". Freedom!
Now, would you enjoy that game? No, the enjoyment of the game is when there are rules, right, amen? It's confined, that's the fun of it. Those who have sex promiscuously make you think they're enjoying themself, they're not. They become jaded. The secret is people who have sex within marriage, wow. And studies have shown Christians have the best sex. Wait for a while, lah, hang on. "Preach it, Pastor Prince, That's good preaching, man". All right, hallelujah. Thank you, bro. Okay, going back to this again. So, we learn Hebrews 12 tells us very clearly, "If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons". The word "chastening" paideuo, child trained. "If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons".
Now some people say, you know, their brother, God disciplined him and took away his life, you know? I mean he died young because he was under-disciplined. You ask him, how do you know that? "Well, you know, I heard another brother say that". Well, my friend, when God disciplines you, you don't die, you live. When someone dies, where's the lesson for him to learn? So, let's look at Scripture, okay, this is Bible. "Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live, and live"? Shout, live! See God's corrections produce life. You have a chance to live, it helps you to live, amen?
You know, when God corrects you maybe you are on a straight path and there's death in front of you, in terms of physical death, all right, and you don't even realize what you're doing, the danger of it. And then you're speeding on the road, or you love to speed, and you know that, "I can control myself. I'm not like the other speedsters. They don't have to control, I know how to control, okay? Got it? Yeah, moi, moi. I'm not like other speedsters, okay? I know how to speed. I know when to speed, when not to speed, okay"? But you speed most of the time, and God use your wife and talk to you, you don't, you know, then all of a sudden one day, you really, you know, you saw the TP or whatever, TP stop you, traffic police.
All right, and then you get summoned for that. And you're not happy. You go back say, "Where's the favor, God? I read Pastor Prince book on protection, where is it? Not only two times, Lord, three times, now I've lost my license or whatever". Or whatever it is you're not happy about it, but you don't even blame yourself. Actually it's God loving you because you can fast forward, you will see people attending your funeral. It just takes one moment of lapse. It's not worth the price, right? There could be many other areas in your life where God disciplines, god allows you. By the way, there's this new notion that police people, you know, policemen are just out there to kill your fun and all that. The Bible says in Romans that God ordained them. It was God who ordained policemen, and they are not a terror to good works. They're a terror to evil works. You got nothing to fear when you're doing right. And all the people said? Amen. Preach it, Pastor Prince, hallelujah.
Okay, moving right along. Are y'all learning? So, here makes it very clear that the discipline that God disciplines us with will cause us to live, not die. So, there's not these car wrecks and all that. Next verse, "For they, our parents, our fathers, indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit", God does it for our profit. Even though many times, you know, God does, everything's for God's glory, amen? But in this instance it says, "Even our discipline is not for his glory, is for our profit," although his glory is involved. Say, "Our profit". "That we may be partakers of His holiness". All right, partakers of his holiness is not saying, "So that you will learn to be holy". No, you will learn to partake of his holiness, which is different from you being holy yourself, but you learn to partake. "Jesus is my wisdom, Jesus is my righteousness, Jesus is also my holiness. I have this unclean habit, I have this addiction, but Jesus is my sanctification. Jesus is my holiness against them," amen.
So, "Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful". All right, painful means like the word is not physical pain, but it's heavy, you know? When God disciplines you, it's very heavy. You know, when I discipline my boy, the whole atmosphere is heavy, right? Even people walking around so we're clear. You know, I'm not saying we do it in public. We try our best not to do it in public, but sometimes you got no choice, must be early in the morning. Must do it promptly, amen, and that happened recently. So, now so the present it doesn't seem joyful, but nevertheless afterwards. Say, "afterwards". Say, "afterwards". There is an afterwards. The belief that when God disciplines you, you die, right, or you getting in a car wreck and you die, that's God's discipline doesn't give you an afterword. There's no afterward, but here there's an afterward and afterward is the wonderful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. It yields that fruit, amen?
Sometimes God uses your boss. Like Israel, for example, you know, Israel, many a times, God used the nations around Israel that towards the east of Israel is the nation of Moab, present-day Jordan. And Moab is where Ruth came from. And many a times, God used Moab to chastise Israel. Now, listen to this, Israel was also punished many times. David was punished also before. We will never be punished because Jesus took our punishment, but correction, yes, because God loves us. He will not leave us. He won't let us get by with murder. He will deal with us. He loves us. You ever like, you hold a grudge against someone and you enjoy it? You don't want to forgive? "I'm not gonna forgive".
A few days passed, you didn't want to forgive. Then something happened to you, not accident or whatever, something happened that frustrates you and all that, and the more you hold a grudge, the more frustrated you become until finally, you release that thing and you find that the whole thing cleared is because you were under circumstantial pressure, which is actually God's discipline. God can use people or circumstances to frustrate you. For example, I mentioned just now about Moab. You know, God call Moab in Psalm 60, "Moab is my washpot". You know, some of you have, maybe you have colleagues that really, really rub you the wrong way, say the wrong things, or say things that provoke you, or talk behind your back, or somehow you find out after you resigned from this job, got another job, still another colleague like that. You're trapped by all around, you don't know why. You know, you talk about them and all the while, they are God's laundry machine. God said, "This is my washpot".
In those days, they have a washpot to wash your, your utensils and cutlery and whatnot. But God is saying, "Moab is my washpot for Israel". Do you have a washpot? Is it your boss? Is someone that always, you know? Don't ask for deliverance. Thank God that, you know, when you see the colleague say, "Thank God, you're my laundry machine. You're my washpot," amen? Sometimes God makes us see the error of our ways, our ways are destructive, our ways are injurious. Our ways are hurtful by showing us other people like us. For example, Jacob, Jacob was deceitful, right? He deceived his father with a skin of goatskin, making the father think the father was by now not able to see. Make the father think that he is the older brother who was hairy. Press forward all the way to later on, he himself, Jacob, was deceived by his children, by his sons with the blood of goats, of a kid of a goat saying that, "Is this Joseph's coat of many colors? Look at the blood on it. I think some wild beast has devoured him"? And Jacob cried, "My son, Joseph, my son, Joseph".
He would deceive his father, and he was deceived. And by the way, this is not under law, this was under grace. Law has not yet given. There is a way, sometimes, that make you feel the error of your ways by showing other people, all right, doing it to you or you see in other people and see how ugly it is. An adulterer, for example, all right, may see the evil results of adultery in the lives of other people and all that, and it makes him realize how terrible it is, how evil it is. His name, Jacob means Yakov, conniver, deceitful, cheat, right? And God brought someone in his life who was a greater deceiver, his father-in-law Laban. Remember, he fell in love, Jacob fell in love with this Rachel. Rachel was beautiful but Rachel has an older sister and in the Hebrew, it's not very clear.
Theologians are not agreed on what was wrong with her. It only says in the King James she's weak eyed. So whether she's shortsighted, she look at Jacob like that... or something was wrong with our eyeballs, and he didn't love her, she loved the younger sister. She was beautiful. The younger sister was beautiful, so he want to marry her. So, the father said Laban said, "Okay Jacob, you want to marry my daughter, our custom is that, you know, you serve. You must serve, show, prove your love by serving seven years". So, the Bible says one of the most romantic verses in the Scripture, "Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they were like a few days to him because of the love he had for her". Very romantic, right? Aiyah, this one's gonna need my help. Okay, "Amen, Pastor Prince, very romantic". Okay, they were like a few days to him because of the love he had for her.
So finally, seven years came, he went to claim his bride, all right, and the custom of the day is that the bride is veiled all the way. You cannot see her face, all right, she's veiled, amen? And then I don't know what happened, okay, he didn't even check it out. The next morning, you can hear a yell, a male voice yelling in the tent, "Ah! Put back your veil, put back your veil"! He realized he married the wrong sister. And he came rushing out to his father-in-law and says, "What have you done to me? That is not Rachel". "I forgot to tell you our custom. We're supposed to let our younger sister marry first before the older one". "You could have told me"! Right? So sometimes, and by the way, Jacob changed, Laban changed his wages ten times throughout his entire turn over there. And sometimes we learn by seeing someone who is worse than us, but all this part of discipline. Are y'all learning? In Psalms 66 it says this, "Thou has caused man to ride over our heads".
So, there are times God allows people to ride over our heads, right? That's what the psalmist says. I mean we confess favor. God, we have favor with you, and with man. We thank you we have the favor of God, and then men ride over our heads. God, what's happening? So, God allows these things to happen. "We went through fire, trial, and through water, but thou brought us out into a wealthy place". Let me just tell you this, if you're going through fire, a fiery trial right now, whatever you're going through, amen, you are coming out. He never brings you there to sojourn. "Yea, though I walk through the valley". You never stay in the valley. He's gonna bring you out. When thou brought us out, you bring us out into a wealthy place.
Let me tell you this, whatever you're going through right now, you will never, leave your trial the same way you entered it. You are coming out to a wealthy place, to a place that you never had, you never were in before. And this word "wealthy place" is the Hebrew word that appears only twice in the Old Testament. It's the word "revayah". Revayah is the word "wealthy place," and you know it's used in one other time in the Old Testament? And y'all know this psalm, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want," Psalms 23. It is used here. "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil. My cup runs over". My cup what? Runs over. "My cup runs over". Runs over is the word "ravayah". You bring me to a place that is overflowing. You bring me to a place where there's more than enough. God will bring you out greater, stronger, healthier than you ever were when you went in, amen? Isn't God good? Get ready, look forward.
See Jesus because you're not coming out the same way you went in. It's like, you know, those who are into the black magic arts, witchcraft, you know, a lot of it is just fake out there. You know, there's a lot of fake out there and all that, but there are people who are dealing with evil spirits, there are. I had some dealings with them. One of my girls was kidnapped by some Adrian someone, you know? I was a relief teacher at that time in that class. She was kidnapped. She was the only girl that was released because when she was kidnapped, I didn't know she was kidnapped. I just felt during my prayer time to pray for her, to cover her with the blood of Jesus. And but there was some witchcraft things going on in that, in that flat that she was. And that guy was offering children sacrifices, and there was some kids who died already. Those of you who know about this incident, Adrian Lim, is it?
Yeah, I was the teacher of that girl that was released. She came back to class and said, "What happened to you"? She was absent for a few days. She look at me, "Give people catch". Then next day or whatever I saw the police came to the school, the parents came and all that. Then I read in the papers what happened, but she was saved because she told them that they did something, some ritual and then they said, "The gods don't want me". Yeah, cannot touch her, why? The blood of Jesus. So, evil spirits are real. And later on I asked the girl, "Why do you follow them"? She was in the playground when she followed the girl. "Oh, they spoke to me and I smelled something and I followed". This is witchcraft.
I encountered one time when our church was over in Mackenzie Rd. many years ago. I had a guy come up who was a wizard, you know, male witch, he's a wizard. Don't know if he say from Oz, or ooz, or from west but he left behind The Tin Man. So anyway, he came upstairs to where I was. I don't know him from Mars, not from our church. He came up and says, "Who is the pastor of our church"? And he said, "I want to see the pastor of the church". And I said, "I'm the pastor of the church". And he says, "I just want you to know that I'm sent by," you know, all kinds of funny names, all right? And he says that "I can send evil spirits to you and they will catch you". I don't what he's after money or whatever. But I looked at him, you know, and I said, "If you do that, in the name of Jesus I'll send them all back," all right. To me, it was like, and that's something they don't want you to know.
Really the really high level ones that really deal with evil spirits, they cannot put a jinx, a spell, or a curse on a believer. Many a times they don't let you know this, but this what they ask. When someone wants to put a spell on someone else, okay, especially in Africa in some of the dark, you know, places where witchcraft is still being practiced in the, you know, in those regions where the gospel has not taken root, all right, there are people who are able to send things and you will see things happen, you know, even levitation of tables and all that. So, these things are real 'cause evil spirits are real, but God's victory is even more real. So, the first thing they will ask their client, they want the money, of course. Okay, they will ask, "Is that person a Christian"? They will always ask that. "Is that person a Christian"? Why? Because they know they are taking a risk if the send evil spirits to a Christian. The risk is on them but some of them, of course, they are coveting the money and all that. They will still send the evil spirit there, but if the Christian knows his rights and privileges in Christ and he use the name of Jesus, the evil spirit will return to the one who sent them with a vengeance. It's almost like evil spirit is saying, "He's a Christian. Why you send me there"? It's better for the devil not to attack you.
Let me just tell you this, even when the devil attacks, it's not God's discipline. Now, you're troubled, let's say you're troubled. You say, "Pastor Prince, what if it's not God's discipline"? Let's say the evil one is attacking me, granted, not only we have a new Father, new Spirit, new life, we also have a new enemy. Actually, he was our enemy last time, but now, for the believer, he's an archenemy. He hates you, all right? So, let's say the devil attacks you, somehow there's this idea, this idea in Christians and that's what repentance is all about, metanoia, repent means change your mind. We don't have you use the word, "repent, repent, repent". But people are changing their minds, amen? That's repentance. I want to change your mind in this area. Some people think that, "if I'm blessed, I won't be attacked". No, many a time because you are blessed, you'll be attacked. "Well, show me in the Scriptures". Well, I'm glad you asked that. Look up here in Deuteronomy 28. It says here, "Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face".
Now notice, "Blessed are you coming in, blessed going out". Y'all know just now when you came in, you are blessed? After you go out, you'll still be blessed. Now actually, it refers to our daily life, blessed coming in, blessed going out. We are blessed people, blessed in the city, blessed in the country. It's not your location, it's wherever you are, God's blessing is there because the blessing is on you. So, this is written to people who are blessed, right? But yet, the attack comes. Notice the phrase, "The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you". Just because you are blessed, does not mean the enemies won't rise against you. Many a times you are blessed, the enemy is rising against you because you're blessed. But God promised because you're a blessed people, not this promise is not for people of the world. It's for God's people, God's children. Because you are blessed God says, "The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face".
Before your face means what? Face them, don't run away. Face them! Face your troubles and the Lord will cause them to be defeated before your face. You will see their defeat. Sometimes they'll be defeated only when they're in front of you, almost like the last minute. And how does God defeat them? I always tell you, right, when God brings you out of trouble, brings you out of trial, whether it is his discipline, whether it's a trouble of your own making, whether it's the devil attacking you, you will come out to a wealthy place. You'll come out to a place of running over. You'll be greater, stronger, healthier. And what is this if the devil attacks you? Look at the result, "They shall come out against you one way," they are united at first, "but they'll flee before you seven ways". They flee before you perfectly. Hallelujah, come on! It would have been better, it would have been better for them not to have attacked you in the first place.
Today we have a modern-day illustration in the nation of Israel. They had some modern-day battles, 1967, 1973. You know, the thing is this, they might be of this size, but when the enemies attack them, and they counterattack, they always end up with more territory, more land than before they were attacked. So, the enemy has to think twice before he attacks a child of God. Before he attacks you, he has to think twice, because if you respond correctly, he has to give up more. You possess more, you gain more, you get more territory, amen? In fact, there's an attack of the enemy in 1 Peter 5. This is not chastisement now. This is attack. Now, in 1 Peter 5, "Be sober, be vigilant because your adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom..".. I like the seeking whom, seeking whom. That tells me the devil can't just devour anybody. He can't just choose who he want to devour. No, he must be seeking whom, he must be seeking. Keep him seeking, as far as you are concerned, amen? "Seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith".
That's why you gotta know these things, because your faith is not like resist him, steadfast in your doubts. No, in the faith. "God is for me. I am blessed. God is not punishing me," all right? "I may be child trained, I'm learning, but God is not punishing me. My sins are forgiven," amen. God is on my side. Who can be against me? What can be against me? Not even the devil. Steadfast in the faith, that's how you resist him. Another thing, "Knowing that the same sufferings I experienced by your brotherhood in the world". Always remember, the devil cannot tempt to you beyond what God allows. Just because God allows does not mean he sanctions. Are you listening? But if the devil does attack, he's bound by God's restriction, which means God will not allow him to test you or to tempt you beyond what is experienced in all your brotherhood in the world. That's why it's good for us to get together sometimes.
I remember some time back, I was with another pastor in our church, we had a short retreat, and I just discussing that the past week I didn't sleep well, had nightmares and I, you know, I didn't sleep well. And it's good for me to share this thing, because the brothers start sharing, "I was going through the same thing, Pastor Prince. I was going through the same thing". And he started sharing his, and we start sharing. A few weeks after that, we will contact each other and say, "How is your sleep and all that"? And knowing the same afflictions are being accomplished helps you a lot, amen? We're finding comfort and then finally, we shared about our conclusion about anxiety and all that. And this brother shared that how he took care of sheep many years ago. I think y'all probably know who is it now, all right, Pastor Vega. He took care of sheep, amen? He himself look like very cute sheep, lamb. And he says that a lamb cannot rest, cannot sleep, cannot lie down until he knows everything is well, amen, the shepherd is near, amen?
So, I had to investigate. We both started investigating the areas of our life that we are still anxious. Amen, praise God. The other day my wife asked me, "You know, did you hear the loud, heavy rain yesterday"? I said, "No". "Wah, you slept so well," she said. Hallelujah, I receive that in Jesus's name, amen? Amen, as long as Pastor Lawrence or Pastor Gabriel don't appear in my sleep. In fact, Pastor Gabriel appeared, two nights ago he appeared in my sleep, and the funny thing it's not a nightmare, thank God. I was asking him where's the best toasted bread, kaya bread and Hainan coffee in town. And he told me a place, but I realized it was a school. I passed by there just now, it's a school. Then he told me it's a canteen. So, I might check it out. Pastors are fun people to be with, but you don't know what stories they tell their wives. For example, I have my handphone with me, right, and my hand phone on my wallpaper, right, my screenshot is my wife, just my wife, not my kids, my wife.
So, I've been having there for some time, and of course, I think I open up in front of Pastor Lawrence or whatever. Anyway, his wife, Pastor Lawrence's wife, Shomel, sent to my wife this thing, okay? She said, "You know, it's good for a man to have his wife's face, to improve your marriage, it's good for a man to have your wife's photo as your wallpaper". All right, it will be a great inspiration when you go through trials and the problems of life, because you can look at the photo and say, 'If I can handle this, I can handle anything, you know?'" So, I really had to go back to Pastor Lawrence and really put her photo there, not because of this, okay? All right.
So, notice what happens. Even the devil attacks you, right? This is an attack of the enemy. Am I right? Isn't it an attack of the enemy? Are you being attacked? Do you feel like you're under attack, nightmares at night or whatever, or you feel like you are just under attack? If that is you, get ready for the verse 10, the next verse, "But may the God of all grace," I love the title, the God of all grace, the God of all undeserved, unmerited favor in your life. "The God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you". Can you see that? After you have suffered, say after. After you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever". So, if the devil attacks you, there is an after, amen? After you have suffered, get ready for the settling, for the strengthening, for the greater, for the running over, hallelujah! I preached myself happy, hallelujah, amen. Thank you, Lord Jesus.
Let me bring this to a close. God told Abraham many years before Israel became slaves in the nation of Israel, and God said to him this: "Your descendants will go down into Egypt". Let's follow the story here. "Know certainly". Now, this happened in a dream, in a deep sleep. God says to Abram, "Know certainly your descendants will be strangers in a land that's not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve," God says, "I will judge". Afterwards, say afterwards. "Afterwards, they shall come out with great possessions". And we all know that in Psalms it says, "They came out with silver and gold," not only 3 million people came out, 3 million millionaires came out of Egypt. There's something you need to know, they spoiled the Egyptians. All these are the backpay of years and years of slavery, amen, plus bonuses, plus, amen, inflation set in. Put that factor in. And all this, they came out with silver and gold, "not one feeble person among their tribes," the Bible says. Not one sick, not one feeble.
There's an afterwards coming. Afterwards you will live. Afterwards it yields the peaceable fruit. Afterwards you'll come out to a great place. Afterwards you'll be running over. Afterwards God will settle you, strengthen you, amen. Afterwards they came out and you will come out with great possessions, amen? So, we do not know what is happening. We don't have to worry about, "Is this God's chastening? Is this the devil attacking? Is it my foolishness, my wrong decisions? Is this trouble of my own making"? God promises that all things work together for good for the child of God, amen? And he will conform you to the image of Jesus. So, lift up your head, what you're going through, there is an a while. "After you have suffered a while," it says in 1 Peter 5. "After you have suffered a while". "Go now for a season," it says in Hebrews 12. No chastening seems pleasant, but grievous. For a season, for a while.
There's an afterwards. We go through the valley and come out with a running over, amen? Goodness and mercy will hunt us down. Friend, he loves you. I said he loves you. Let's surround ourselves with people that will instruct us as well. You know, I want to say this in closing real quick. 1 Kings chapter 3, Solomon asked God for wisdom. In the very next chapter, chapter 4, you have a list of his administrative, administrative and government offices named there. I was thinking one time many years ago I was asking God, "Right after he asked you for wisdom, the next chapter is a list of names of people and what they are doing in the government of Solomon, in the kingdom of Solomon". And I'm thinking to myself, what's the deal here? The very first name mentioned was a priest.
Now, you might think that a banker or a CEO who is in front, you know, has a financial acumen and all that. But it's a priest, a priest is someone who has a relationship with God and actually talks to you about God, amen? So, he has a spiritual adviser, his pastor. The very first name mentioned was his pastor. So why would the wisest man that ever lived, amen, need a pastor? I'm not saying I'm the pastor. I'm not telling you that. I'm just telling you, be careful who you listen after, amen, because who you listen after can affect your believing, and your believing can affect your living, amen? And there are many good pastors in Singapore, and there are many great pastors in the world. Be careful who you listen. But just one sign you have received wisdom is your desire to listen to other people, not just any people, all right, but people who are in a multitude of counselors. They must be counselors with God's wisdom. Surround yourself. He that walks with wise men become wise. Learn to listen.
In fact, one of them, you'll find his name, his role is remembrancer. He surround himself with Scribes and a remembrancer. In the Young's translation they call it remembrancer. In the Hebrew zakar, which means remember. He has someone to remind him, remind him. Why were the wisest men whom God has enlarged his capacity... Science tells us that we only use 10% of our brains, amen. But God enlarged his brain, the Bible says, like the sand on the seashore. God enlarged, maximized 100% use of his brain. Why would the most brilliant mind, the wisest king that ever lived, need someone to remind him? But it's a sign that you have received wisdom when you don't take these things for granted. You put people around you to remind you, It's a sign of humility. It's a sign of teachability. It's a sign of learning.
If you find you're not getting any breakthroughs in the area of your marriage, you're not getting any breakthroughs in the area of your job or whatever, learn to seek for counselors, not just any Tom, Dick, and Harry, okay? "He that walks with wise men will be wise," and that's why we have care groups. That's why we have care groups, amen? That's why we come together as a church, and that's why you should have friends around you who are godly people, and learn to listen. You know, actually in chapter before this, 1 Kings 3 when Solomon was sleeping, he asked God. God says, "Ask what I shall give you". He asked God for tishma lev, in Hebrew a hearing heart, shema, a hearing heart. "Give me a hearing heart," and that is tantamount to a wise heart, wisdom. He asked God for a hearing heart.
The very first time, the same chapter he got up, you all know what happened, right? The first test was two women who were prostitutes that came to him. They were both prostitutes. Would the king of all Israel, this glorious king, this famous king, the son of David, would he listen to two prostitutes? And yet he listened to them share their story. The ability to listen is a lost art. You might look like you're listening to me right now, but you look like you're listening. Are you listening? Amen. The ability to listen is a sign you have received wisdom. In fact, when you receive wisdom, you don't take your memory for granted. You don't take counsel for granted. You seek out counsel. You don't have to, "I asked God for wisdom, man. I attend New Creation Church. I have a T-shirt that says hesed wisdom. I have a decal that says hesed wisdom". Don't speed, ah. You know, that's not the deal, friend.
The truth is that when you receive wisdom, it humbles you even more, and it causes you to listen, amen. I pray in Jesus's name that whatever you're going through right now, don't ask is this Father's discipline? Is this the devil attacking me? Is this trouble of my own making"? Just know one thing, keep your eyes unto Jesus, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of faith. And you know what? You will come out in a wealthy place, running over place, stronger, greater, great possessions, and healthier. Amen, praise the Lord. Give Jesus the praise, the glory and the honor, come on. Thank you, Father.
Every head bowed, every eye closed all across this place. "For God so loved", I love that little word, so. It speaks of intensity, passion. For God so loved you and me. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life". On that cross, Jesus died for all our sins, and we know that God accepted what Jesus has done by raising him from the dead. Having purged our sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. And friend, if that is you, you say, "I want this to be real in my life, pastor". Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, my friend, and you shall be saved and your house. Pray this prayer with me right now. Say this wholeheartedly, "Heavenly Father, I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that he died for my sins, was judged in my place, and I thank you that you raised him from the dead for my justification. Jesus Christ is my Lord. In Jesus's name," and all the people said amen.