Joseph Prince - The Key To A Truly Fulfilling Life
Today I want to share with you something that is practical, something that will help you. There'll be doctrine, of course, but today is more practical because I'm gonna show you some things that probably will uncover the secrets of many hearts, okay? If ever you are one of those that fantasize a lot or dream about your life and what you think it should be compared to what it is now, all right, you're one of those who fantasize about your life and what you would like it to be, well, this message is for you, all right? Imagine just for a while if you can have anything or anyone that you want.
Okay, let's forget about whether it is right or wrong, just forget about that, okay? I'm asking you, all right, have you ever sat down and imagined, okay, "If I can have anything that I want", ever? And if you feel like having that thing that you want fulfilled in your life will give you happiness, then this message is for you, okay? And I believe that everyone that is here today is here by divine purpose, that God wants you to hear what is shared, all right?
So, let's go right now to Colossians chapter 1. I'm gonna share something that I believe is vital for our understanding. It will give you the secrets of the universe in a nutshell, in a very quick way. It will give you the secrets of God's universe. Why was this universe created? Who created this universe, and how come did this universe has a special rhythm and how we can flow with that rhythm? Everything in life has a rhythm. Everything in life has a certain rhythm that brings a peace that brings harmony, that brings blessings. And the Bible calls it the rhythm of grace, all right? In a new translation, it gives a very beautiful picture of the rhythms of grace mentioned in the gospel of Matthew. Well, we want to get in sync with that rhythm of grace. Are you ready?
All right, Colossians chapter 1, Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. So, whenever you want to see what God is like, look at Jesus, amen. The Bible says he went about healing all, that means God's desire for you is that you should be well. He wants you healthy. He wants you strong. He wants you energetic, full of enthusiasm, amen? Praise the Lord. He wants your life to be lively, amen? So, Jesus is the image of the invisible God.
People ask the question, "How do you know that God wants all these things for me"? Very simple, when Jesus walked on the earth, he went about healing all. He went about prospering people. He went around lifting people up. He never discouraged people. He never took things away from people, amen? He never, never, in fact, there's a challenge only one time he told someone to sell everything and that was to set the person up to bless the person even more. So, he took the boy's loaves and fishes only to give back 12 basketful after the multitudes were fed.
So, Jesus is always in the business of blessing. And even today, right now, he wants to bless you, he wants to fill your life with health, wholeness, prosperity, peace of mind. So, the thing is this, when you want to find out what's God's will, look at Jesus. He's the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created. By Jesus, all things were created. Do you know that everything about you, your body, every cell of your body was created by Jesus?
You say, "Well, Pastor Prince, you know, the man and the woman come together in marriage, and the baby is formed". Yeah, but God forms the baby during that nine months in the womb. Your part is easy. Your part was just love, amen. God's part is to create, amen? So, who created the baby? All things were created by Christ. By him all things were created. Everything in this universe that are in heaven, that are on earth, visible, invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers, look at this, all things were created through him and for him.
So, the thing is this, it's not about you, it's not about me. Everything in this universe is not about us, it's about Jesus, amen? And once you realize that, it's a blessing, because you're able to bring your life in sync with God's purpose and plan for your life, amen. You know, it's like a let's say a competitive sailor, you know, the sailboat about all that and he's about to compete in a tournament, he will do this utmost best to find out during the day of tournament, all right, which way is the wind blowing, all right, what is the current like. Why? Because, you know, it's, I mean for sailing, there's no engine, right? They depend on the sail, so you want to make sure that you are sailing with the wind, you are sailing according to the direction of the wind.
What happens when you are flowing with the wind, well, it's effortless. You enjoy yourself, amen? Hallelujah, you know, you can take pictures, and it's effortless, it's sweatless. It is no real grunt and grinding your teeth and putting on so much effort, whereas the guy who is going against the wind, against the flow of the current, he's struggling all the time. There's a lot of sweat. There's a lot of effort and at the end, more often than not, he will lose because he's going against the flow. So, once you realize that, that Christ created everything and everything was created for him, you're able to flow with God's direction. Your career is for him. The money that comes your way is for him, amen?
And if you learn to flow with God's plan, God will cause more things to flow for you, because everything about you is for him. Your marriage is for him. And without him, all right, marriage disintegrate, amen. It becomes frustrating. It becomes focused on one another, whereas you need a third party in a marriage, his name is Jesus, and he's the super glue in every marriage, amen?
So, here we find this beautiful expression, everything is for him. I like the Weymouth translation of this last portion for him. Weymouth translation, "Through him the universe is a harmonious whole". Through Jesus the universe is a harmonious whole. In other words, if you learn to be in line, all right, cause your everything that you do to be in line for Jesus, for his glory, amen, not for self, not for self glory, then your universe becomes a harmonious whole. But the wonderful thing about Jesus is this, he's in love with you. So, every blessing he gets from the Father, he shares with you.
You're a joint heir with Jesus, that's where we come in, that's what sometimes we mistaken the whole idea, we get so blessed, we start thinking that, "Hey, you know, God created the whole universe for me. Everything that God made is for me, every benefit is for me". No, no, it's all for Jesus. God made it for his Son, amen? In fact, God created it through his Son, the logos word, amen? And for his Son. But we get to share it because his Son is in love with us. Hallelujah. We are the pride of Christ. Can I have a good amen? Amen.
Just like the bride, all right, the bride gets married into a new relationship, she's no longer living out of her own resources, amen? She signs checks in the husband's name, amen, and nothing stops her in Jesus's name, amen. Praise the Lord. It all depends on how wealthy the husband is. If she's poor, she marries a prince, amen, her status change completely. And my friend, we are married to the King of the universe who created all things and for him all things were created.
So, the Bible tells, back to Colossians 1, it tells us everything was created by him and for him. And when it comes to his kindness, all right, it is incomparable. There's no heart that is as kind as him. When it comes to his beauty, it is peerless. When it comes to his mercy everlasting, when it comes to his love, never dying though he died in love for us and lived again to love us eternally. When it comes to his peace, it's beyond human comprehension and understanding. Jesus is altogether lovely. He's cool. Everything in the universe revolves around him. He's the spoke that causes the wheel to turn to the direction that God wants it to go, but then he's also the goal that the direction is bringing us to. He is the source, he is the climax. He is the first, he's the last. He's the means, and he's the end, and if we get in sync with God's plan, we are blessed.
But many of us, we don't see it so that the throne of our life is not filled with Jesus, therefore we sit on the throne. Life becomes I centered, I occupied, all right? And we think that we'll find happiness by fulfilling our desires, but let's see what the Bible says, okay? By the way, let's go on. It says, "And Jesus is before all things, and in Christ all things consist", all things are held together. All right, the word consist means all things are held together. Put Jesus in the center of your marriage, all things are held together. Put Jesus in your life, he holds your emotions together. He holds your minds together.
Turn to your neighbor and say, "There's hope for you". He holds your brain, your mind together. He holds your emotion. You become integrated. You become complete. You become whole. When Christ is in you, all things about you are held together, spirit, soul, and body, amen? In him all things consist.
Recently, I took an interest in quantum physics, not because I'm interested in science but because of its relevance to the Bible, all right? And I found out that about quantum physics, and you can read this up or view this on YouTube. They have a number of quantum physics, even animation to help you understand. Scientists are discovering this phenomena called quantum physics where they say that the atom, it seems like the atom has a life of its own. When you look at the atom, the atom changes, but when you're not looking, it doesn't change. But when you're looking it's as if it knows you're looking.
Now, from what we know and what we have learned for many, many years in our past science class is that everything about atoms and all that, although they are moving around but they are in a sense lifeless. There is no intelligence behind them. But the quantum physics, all right, kills all that theory, removes all that theory because it's like, you know, they say that there's something about the atom, when you look at it, it changes. It knows that you're looking, and there's something about the atoms and the neutrons and all the nuclei and all that that baffles science, because science can tell you the existence of atoms, but we know that science knows enough to know that negative and positive attract but negative and negative repel. And yet the atoms are not repelled.
There is a force that is holding the atoms together. There is a force that is consisting, holding. In this force, all things are, all things consist, all things are held together, amen. And we know the answer, because this chapter is not just spiritual, it is scientific. Jesus holds all things together, and in him all things are held together. So, when you have him in your life, you are held together, amen. Your mind is held together. People sometimes feel like they're falling apart, they're coming apart because Christ is not in the center of their lives, amen? The next verse, verse 18 tells us he's the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead that in all things he may have the preeminence in all things.
Now, today we don't use the word preeminent in our daily conversation, so let me give you the Living Bible Translation, so that he's first in everything. So that he's first in everything. In your courtship, he should be first. In all your relationship, he should be first. When you wake up in the morning, your first thought is should be him and how much he loves you, amen. And your life is not an accident, all right? Your future is not bleak. Your future is not an accident waiting to happen. Your future is destined. Your future is in Christ, and when you put your hands in the hands of the one who knows everything and who loves you perfectly, you are blessed. Can I have a good amen?
All right, so I want to start off by talking about Colossians 1, and then I'm gonna show you a man that fulfills all your fantasies, all right? I'm talking to people here that are real people, right? Now, listen, have you ever at one time or another fantasized about living in the house of your dreams in the location you want in Singapore or somewhere in the world, drive the car you want, marry the person that you choose of anyone in the street or in a magazine if it's possible? Have you ever fantasized about having anything you desire?
All right, okay, a lot of the guys are looking straight because their wives are beside them so I understand. You don't have to say out loud but I'm just saying, have you ever fantasized, ever? For a moment forget about right or wrong, just they to yourself, "Have I ever fantasized"? Why are you fantasizing that, why? Because you believe, all right, your life is unhappy now or to the extent you're frustrated, it's because I've not married the person of my dreams. I don't have the house that I've been wanting to live in. I am not driving the car of my ambition. You know, whatever it is, "I'm not gonna get the promotion I want".
Whatever it is, you think that if you have the fulfillment of your desires, you'll be a happy person. God, who loves us so much, God doesn't want us to go through the whole process and grow old in the process only to find the real life at the end a bit late, but better late than never. But God wants you to enjoy life more abundant now.
So, God put in his Bible in his holy Scriptures, a story of a man who had anything or anyone he wanted, and that man was Solomon. Solomon, as a young man of 20 years old, the son of David, he had a dream one night. He was 20 years old at that time, and God appeared to him in a dream, and God said, "Ask what I shall give you". He asked God for wisdom, and God was so pleased he asked for wisdom. He says, "I do not know how to come in, how to go out. I don't know how to govern your great nation of Israel. I'm like a child", although he was 20 years old. He was humble. He asked God for wisdom and God says, "Wisdom is granted you, as well as riches and honor like no other king before you".
Wow, he became so rich through God's wisdom, and God blessed him. It wasn't the devil. It's very clear the Bible says God blessed him, amen? He had so much wisdom and so much riches and honor that in the early 1900s, a group of architects came together, the Illinois Society of Architects, to study the wealth of Solomon, all right, based on modern times, and it was 1900s at that time when they studied it. And they found out back in 1900s that his wealth was worth about 87 billion U.S. dollars. Now, in today's money, the exchange and all that based on today's inflation, everything and all that, is it worth more than 200 billion U.S. dollars, which means what? To date, Solomon is still the richest man of all time. Am I right to say that?
All right, Solomon wrote the Book of Proverbs full of the wisdom of God. It contains 31 chapters, which means you're supposed to read one chapter a day and there will be a wisdom there to help you for that day. And he wrote a book called Song of Songs. He was so full of love, the love of the beloved, all right, that he wrote a song about Jesus and his love called Song of Songs. In fact, Solomon wrote more than 1,000 songs, and he wrote the Song of Songs which God talked so much about that God called it the Song of Songs and put it in the Holy Scriptures, all right? He wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes, which is a book after his wisdom became corrupted, all right? He worshiped idols because of his wives, and when his wisdom became corrupted, he wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes that has the wisdom of God but portraying the wisdom of man in a way that all of us can understand and learn from. He had everything he wanted.
Solomon had 700 wives and 300 porcupines, I mean concubines. And he wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes when his wives turned his heart away from God, and he worshiped idols. And all of a sudden, you know, he came to a place where he began to see things clearly. He had everything the heart can desire, and he wrote a book that began with Vanity of Vanities just like he wrote a book called Song of Songs at the height of his relationship with God, he wrote a book, Vanity of Vanities, emptiness of emptiness, the Book of Ecclesiastes.
The Book of Ecclesiastes is a very interesting book, though many people don't read it. They feel depressed, but actually it's filled with the wisdom of God showing the wisdom of man and the futility of it, all right? When you study the Bible, every book of the Bible, the secret, the key to the book is found in the first few verses of the book. For example, the first book of the Bible is Genesis chapter 1, verse 1, "In the beginning".
In other words, God put the key to the house of the book of the Bible at the door. You can find it at the door. It's either under the mattress or under the flower pot. It's near the door. In other words, the beginning of the book. Read out the first few verses, you'll find the key to the book. Like Genesis, what's the whole book about? It's about beginnings. In the beginning, beginning of man's sin, beginning of man's downfall, man's disease, man's aging, man's death, man's answer, man's promised seed, the Messiah and the beginning of the nation of Israel, the beginning of all the nations of the world.
In the gospel of Luke, for example, we have in the first few verses, there was a certain priest named Zacharias, why? Because the whole book of Luke is about priestly grace, the man Jesus ministering in priestly grace. What's the Book of Revelation about? It's about the Antichrist. No, chapter 1 says, verse 1, "The revelation of Jesus Christ". It's a revelation of Jesus Christ, not about the beast, not about dragons, it's about Jesus. So, God puts the key to the door of the house on the somewhere near the door. So, the first few verses of Ecclesiastes says, "Vanity of vanities, emptiness of emptiness".
Do you know that the name of God is G-O-D, god, throughout the entire Book of Ecclesiastes? Which is Elohim, creator in Hebrew. Do you know the name the Lord Jehovah never appears? The Lord, you can search it out. The Book of Ecclesiastes you never find L-O-R-D, you always find G-O-D. In Hebrew, L-O-R-D is the God of relationship, the God of grace, the covenant-keeping God. But Elohim is the Creator God.
So, in Ecclesiastes, Solomon began to think of God the way many people think of God today. They will say, "Wah, hey now, lucky I wasn't there. You know, someone up there is watching over me or else the thing would collapse on me, or else I'll have an accident. Someone up there is watching over me". They know it's someone up there, that's Elohim, Creator. Someone call him the highest source, higher intelligence. They do not know him. We know him as the Lord, yud hei vav hei, Jesus. You will find the phrases vanity of vanities appearing a number of times in the Book of Ecclesiastes.
All right, for example, vanity of vanities appears 37 times, this phrase, Then the phrase under the sun appears 28 times. Church, the problem with the Book of Ecclesiastes is that they never think about the son, about the son, S-O-N. They are thinking things under the sun. You know why people are depressed, people are frustrated? Because all their thoughts are under the sun.
People say, "Well, Pastor Prince, you know, I think that people should not be so heavenly minded they are no earthly good". The problem today is that there's no one heavenly minded so there's no earthly good. You need to be heavenly minded to be earthly good. You need to be sane, peaceful, imperturbable, tranquil, to help people who are frustrated, depressed, short tempered. How can someone who is not at peace help those who are not at peace? You need to be heavenly minded. You need to think above the sun because there's great life above the sun. Can I have a good amen?
So, under the sun appears, no wonder he's so depressed. He thinks under the sun. Upon the earth appears seven times, then under the heaven appears three times, then the earth and the things of the earth appears 40 times. That's the Book of Ecclesiastes. Okay, let's look at the book itself. What did Solomon say? Have you ever dreamed or fantasized about having your dreams fulfilled, having anything you want? Well, look at this man, Solomon. "I said in my heart, 'come now, I'll test with you mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure,' but surely this also was vanity. I said of laughter, madness, and of mirth, what does it accomplish"?
Now, you're about to read everything that Solomon pursued, that is your fantasy, actually, all right? And but the thing is this, these things, by the way, they are God's blessings. Laughter is God's blessing. All the things of life that you're about to read afterwards are all blessings. You'll hear about music, for example, it's all God's blessings. God's blessings on this earth for us to enjoy. But these things without Christ, even laughter without Christ is empty, is emptiness of emptiness. If you live life, and you have a lot of money with nothing to do with it, no purpose in life, no destiny, it's empty. It's very empty.
So, you're about to read something here, very interesting. Please remember what I said, these things are not wrong in and of itself, except, of course, today 700 wives, all right? But you can put that as your marriage. Okay, God can enhance it more than 700-fold, okay? God is a God who wants to hold everything together, enhance everything, give you life more abundantly. So, look at this guy, next verse, "I search in my heart". I'm gonna underline every time you see the word I. That's the biggest problem in our life today, I. I, me, myself, I searched, I acquired, I, I, I, I. It's like the one under law. The good I want to do I do it not, and the evil I don't want to do, I do.
When you're under law, it makes you I conscious, amen? So, he was full of I. "I searched in my heart how to gratify my flesh with wine, while guiding my heart with wisdom". So, there are those of us who think that, "Well, I just want the finer things of life. Wine here represents luxury, you know, like I have to have the finer things, the Prada and the roti prata and the Louis Vuitton and all the wonderful random stuff, you know? And I can still handle my wisdom, guide in my heart. I can drink wind and still handle my heart with wisdom. Yeah, I think I'll pursue it".
There are people who can always believe they can control their wine drinking. It's others who cannot, but they always think they can, you know? "I can handle my indulgences and all that". So, he tried that. He tried that. Verse 4, "I made my works great". He tried engineering. "I built myself houses". He tried architecture. Guys, sometimes we dream, right, of building the house of our dreams. If money is not a concern, would you build your own house, your own study, your own gym? Come on, guys. So, he tried building, didn't satisfy. Tried architecture, build houses. "Planted myself vineyards, I made myself gardens and orchards". He tried horticulture. "And I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them".
So, there are those who believe, you know, to de-stress yourself, you must get back to mother earth. You must touch the soil. You must plant something, you must hug the tree. But I submit to you, the Creator, the created can never satisfy as the Creator. Your heart was never created for lesser things. You are the highest of all created things. God made you the highest, according to the Book of Genesis, the book of beginnings. How can you satisfy for something lower? Next version, "I made myself water pools", now he tries hydraulics, "from which to water the growing trees of the grove. I acquired male and female servants". All-day massage. No complaints, no one can say tired, amen? "Yes, I had greater possessions of herds and flocks". He had a zoo.
The Bible says in the story of Chronicles, it says that he got apes, peacocks from other countries. He imported them. In fact, Solomon had many horses, the Arabian stallion, all right, he import them from Egypt. He import them from Saudi Arabia, and these are beautiful Arabian stallions. This is the counterpart of today's Lamborghini, Porsche, amen, he had them. He had so many of these horses, amen? And this is real horsepower. He had them. Guys, every imagine going through a moto magazine or whatever, you see a Car.
Man, you say, "If money wasn't a concern". Have you ever fantasized seeing yourself drive it? So, these things are not wrong in and of themselves. Do you understand? God doesn't mind you having these things, but something is wrong when it is not for Christ. "But pastor, how can you have these things a Lamborghini for Christ"? Well, let me just tell you this, God can bless you with something that you don't even need, actually. And all of a sudden, you say, "Lord, why you bless me"? He say, "Because I love you". And then you want to drive that kind of blessing at night, no one can see you, just you and Jesus.
You drive to a park somewhere and just worship Jesus, have a good time with him. But some people when they buy a car like that, all right, they need to impress. They are empty if they don't impress, so they must go somewhere with a lot of people by the road or, you know, near Zouk somewhere or whatever, wind down the window, go boom-boom-boom-boom... They need that. They need that. So, that's what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the real emptiness on the inside. I'm not talking about these things. These things God has no problem with four rubber tires and a piece of tin. Man go gaga, God has chariots of fire that defies gravity that you will be on whether you like it or not, amen? To traverse the whole universe, amen?
Verse 8, "I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the special treasures of kings and of the provinces". Wow, ever thought of having all the gold and silver? And watch this, "I acquired male and female singers, the delights of the sons of man, and musical instruments of all kinds". He tried music! A lot of people nowadays, really our young people, they will try music. They think that music can satisfy.
Now, is music a blessing? Yes. It's a blessing from God. But don't forget, even music was created by Jesus and for his glory, amen? So, he tried music. So he says, "I became great and excelled more than all who were before me". But look at verse 10, "Whatever my eyes desired, I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure". So, this guy is living your fantasy, right, right? No one would dare to talk about fantasy, you know? Fantasy, fantasy, fantasy, fantasy. It's not a dirty word, okay?
All right, you can fantasize about good things, amen? But I'm talking also about things that you fantasize you don't want anyone else to know about, and that's what I'm arresting, because you that in fulfilling those desires, you'll be happy and to the extent you're not happy today is because you don't see the fulfillment of those desires. You're not driving the car you want. You're not married to the man that you want or the girl that you want. All right, you think that these things are robbing you of happiness. So, God put a story here to show you this man has anything or anyone he wanted, and its conclusion.
Next verse, "Then I look on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I had toiled. And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun". All his emptiness, all his grasping for the wind, he end up grasping for the wind. So, he tried everything and when someone asked him, "Hey, how's life"? We can say we have life, life man, life, is more abundant because life is not an abject expression or subject.
Life is the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth and the life". At Lazarus's tomb, Jesus says, "I am the resurrection and the life. Do you believe that, Martha"? He's the life. And we have it. People say, "How's life"? More abundant. But when you ask Solomon how's life, verse 17, "Therefore, I hated life"! Someone ask you, "How's life"? "Hate it"! And behind him one of wives sashaying, and the guy's thinking, "How in the world this guy has everything he wants"? Then can hear his horses outside the palace neighing, you know? He has a Lamborghini, all that. He has 50 Porsche, Ferraris, Lamborghinis. And when I ask him how's life, he says, "I hate it". What happened, Solomon? Poor Solomon.
It's obvious at the end these things don't satisfy, why? Because the answer is what I underlined just now. I acquired. I made, made myself. I made myself, I made myself, I, I, I. Your problem and my problem to the extent that we are I occupied, to the extent we are frustrated, to the extent that we are short-tempered, to the extent we are suffering pain. Whenever you are "I-centered", you know, it's painful to be I-centered.
All of us are I-centered, right, to a certain extent. You know when you just develop a group photo, for example, in which you are inside, right? Who's face you look out for first? Your best friend, right? No, of course, not, you look for yourself. Then everyone say, "Well, this picture's not very nice". You say, "It's nice, wah". It all depends on you appear. Everyone is talking about the way they appear. Sometimes you quarrel with your wife because your wife want to reproduce some old photos, all right, but you don't like that photo. You want this photo. She say, "This photo no, no", because she didn't look good, but you look good. That can be a conflict, folks, right?
So, we are all I centered, now there's nothing wrong when it comes to photos, all right, nothing wrong. But just to illustrate that we are all I centered and to the extent that we are I centered, we are frustrated. We are in pain. One of the reasons why Jesus heals people is to take your mind off yourself, because when we are having a toothache, who are we thinking of? The missionaries in Ethiopia? No, you're thinking about yourself, isn't it?
So, you know people will say, "Well, God gives sickness to people so that to teach them longsuffering, patience". They do not know what they're talking about. People who become sick, become selfish. I'm not blaming them. I'm just stating a fact. When you are sick, you tend to be more demanding. You become a burden to be around you. You are short-tempered fast. When you have a headache, are you sweet tempered or short-tempered? So, it's not true. God wants you well so that you're not self-occupied. Are you listening?
And the only way that you are gonna be delivered from self is by occupation with Christ, being occupied with Christ, being focused on Christ, on his beauty, which is peerless, incomparable, his wisdom inexhaustible. His kindness like he touched the leper, "Be thou clean". That kindness warms my heart, to meditate on him, to be focused on him, to wake up in the morning and say, "This day has a purpose. I belong to Jesus", amen. Can I have a good amen?
You see, if you don't watch it what's gonna happen is that I, being occupied with I, me, myself, I, me, myself. It's a very painful life, because you were created for greater things. You were created to be occupied with the greater one. You are created by him and for him, and through him you can live a harmonious life. Can I have a good amen? So, how do I come to that place, Pastor Prince? If you don't come to that place, what's gonna happen is that you'll be either, listen carefully, those who are occupied with self, either swing towards a superiority complex, or we become inferior. "Oh, I don't have good education. My England is not good. I'm ugly. I'm not cute. I'm not articulate, not smart. My nose is too flat. My nose is too long. My hair is too short".
And do you know that we are able to handle people like this, but the problem is still the same. It's I occupation, and it's painful. Both is painful. But we're able to handle this, I guess because when they put themselves down, we are up so it's easier for us to handle. Down here we cannot handle because they put us down. But both are occupied with self and both are just as deadly. It's the same coin, it's both sides. Same tree, but knowledge of good and evil's the same tree, same problem. So, what's the answer? The answer is being Christ occupied. Can I have a good amen?
Being Christ occupied, and the Bible says that all of us are important, all right, we all don't have equal function, but we all have equal importance. We are all equally loved, although we should experience that love as if it's all for us, amen? But always remembering that God loves all of us, but we must experience that personal love of God, but that doesn't mean God loves others more than you or you more than others, amen? And there are times that we need to remember that we are the body of Christ and our life is not about I, me, myself. You are the body of Christ and as the body is made of different organs and different functions.
So, likewise in 1 Corinthians 12, folks. "If the foot should say, 'Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,' is it therefore not of the body? If the ear should say, 'Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,' is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling"? Right, next. "But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased". If you are a children's church teacher, be happy. If you arrange... oh, you don't arrange the chairs here, you wash the toilets or whatever and you're doing it for Jesus, be happy, amen. That's fulfillment, hallelujah.
Just because your function is the eye. People see the eye most of the time, they don't look at your neck. They don't look at your forehead. Why, you got very high forehead. They don't look at your nose, you know? People look at your eyes most of the time, right? The eye get the attention, but the body's not about the eye, it's also the hearing. So, the eye cannot say to the ears, "I have no need of you". Where would the eye be without the seeing? A guy woos a girl, he goes out with her, and he looks at her. Usually, he looks at the eyes. He'll say things like, "My goodness, you got such beautiful eyes".
What's happening to me? I'm looking at Pastor Mark, you know? You got such beautiful eyes, all right, he wants to woo her, right? Now he doesn't go to her and say, "Has anyone ever told you you got sexy, waxy ears? I can see it flowing out. Man, your ears are really out of this world, man. In fact, just before we met when you came around the corner, I saw your ears first. You got very beautiful ears. I'm telling you". You don't say that, isn't it? Usually it's the eyes, you know?
When I dated my wife, I sent her flowers with the words "Those eyes made me do it". It worked, lah? She couldn't resist it, man. I never said those ears really got me, right? But let me tell you this, without her ears, all right, you'll be in trouble. You'll never be happy because you look at her, oh, you got very beautiful eyes. Huh? I said your eyes very beautiful. It's not gonna work. It's not gonna work. The hearing is just as important. Can I have a good amen?
See, all of us, we have different functions, but we are equally important. All right, drop down, verse 21, "And the eye cannot say to the hand, 'I have no need of you'; nor again the head to the feet". The head telling the feet, "I have no need of you". The feet say, "Okay, you're going nowhere". Yeah, people usually look at your head, not your feet, but without your feet, you're going nowhere. Ever see a head floating along? At Choa Chu Kang or whatever? At night? Run. So, the head cannot tell the feet, "I have no need of you".
So, some of us are feet, we travel, we move a lot, amen? Some of us are head, we think a lot. Intelligent people like Pastor Mark, he's always thinking, analyzing, deducing. Some of us are the eye. Some of us are the ears. You see, when the head tells the feet, "I have no need of you", that is superiority complex. All right, then there is the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you". All of this is superiority complex. Just now you read, all right, if the hearing, look at the eye, I'm not the eye. Does that mean that he's not part of the body? That's inferiority complex, someone who is a hearing ministry but he say, "Well, you know, I'm not the eye ministry". So, is he not part of the body, amen?
Now, the Bible says, "No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. Those bodies seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty". Next verse. "God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it". The last line says that the member should have the same care for one another. So, God gives greater honor to that part that's not revealed.
Let me explain. Again, you go on a date, you look at the girl's eyes. You don't tell her, "Wah, look in your eyes, ah? Wah, you got very nice liver, you know? You know, you got very nice liver". You don't say you got very nice liver, right? You say you got beautiful eyes. But do you know that if you pull down the eyes, you say my goodness! Your eyes are jaundiced. Your liver something wrong, ah? And that's true, isn't it? Is that true? The girl will not have beautiful sparkling eyes if the liver is bad. But no one says, "Wah, you got good liver. You know, one thing I love about you is your liver". You don't say that. "When we get married one day, we'll call our first son Oliver".
You come home from your date, your mom says, "So, how's the girl"? "Mom, I tell you something, her liver, wah, tops! Her liver is number one". You don't say that. Say "Mom, I love her eyes", amen? You don't show your mom a photo of... mom say, "What's this"? "It's her feet. Mom, I love the feet". No, you show the head, isn't it? So, no doubt, no doubt sometimes things that are prominent draw the attention, right? But without the liver, I'm telling you something, okay? Without your eyes, you still can live. Without your liver, you cannot. So God puts greater honor on those parts that seems to be unrecognized, unseen.
No way Pastor Prince can stand down here without a great help that is going on behind the scenes, amen. So, all of us, we have a great place in Christ. Let me close by saying this, all right, God wants Jesus in the center. When Jesus is in the center, all right, you don't have to push yourself up at the expense of other people. You see, one thing about jealousy is this, let me just say this, jealousy is based on the premise that there's not enough in the universe. All right, that when someone gets blessed, oh, he got a nicer house, whatever, or you know, we think that God blessed them at my expense. You see how small our thinking is of God?
All right, God can bless you and a million others, and he have plenty more left over. This is our God. But jealousy's based on the premise when somebody gets blessed, there's lesser for me. It's unbelief, amen? So, the key to being delivered from self is not psychology. It is an unveiling of Christ, opening up the Bible and asking God to show you Jesus, show you the beauty of his person, 'cause once you get engrossed with him like the woman at the well. The Bible tells us about the woman at the well in John 4, the woman in Samaria. She has a very shady background. She was living with a man who is not her husband, so she went to the well at noontime in Shechem.
Today Shechem is still there, the well is still there in Israel. But as it is, Shechem is a very hot place. How much more midday? So, she would go there. Most women would go and draw water early in the morning when it's cool, but she went in the afternoon, why? She didn't want to be around the gossipers. But lo and behold today when she when there was a man, the man sitting on the well waiting for her. And the Bible tells us the reason she came in the afternoon is because she came at the sixth hour the Bible says, which is 12 noon, was because she was embarrassed. She was conscious of self. She was I occupied. Here she met a man, and he talked to her.
After for a while, she left her waterpot there, went to the village to the city where she came from where she was ashamed of her own life and said to the people in the city, "Come, see a man that told me everything that I did. Is this not the Savior of the world"? Wow, all of a sudden she got delivered from self. No shyness, no consciousness of her shortcomings. She's just absorbed in Christ.
That's the key to deliverance from self. She became an evangelist, man, talking about Jesus. "Come see a man who told me everything that I did", and what she did wasn't really, you know, things to talk about, but she wasn't conscious anymore, why? She saw the grace greater than her sin, a loveliness greater than her ugliness. Hallelujah. When Jesus died at the cross, this is how God put it that way. It's all for a purpose. "Where they crucified Jesus and two others with him, one on either side, and Jesus", say it. Jesus in, say it. Jesus in the center. You think it's by chance the Holy Spirit record it like that? No, God wants Jesus to be in the center, because the cross is the greatest act of God, of love for man.
The greatest proclamation of God's love is seen at the cross. But do you know that the greatest evil of man is also shown at the cross. They took some things altogether lovely and nailed him, and God used what they did, the greatest evil as the greatest love for all man to forgive their sins. And where and how did all this happen? By putting Jesus in the center. How about you? Are you worried about, are you fearful? Is there fear in your heart? You're fearing death, you're fearing old age, you're fearing not having enough money. You're fearing for your teenager. You're fearing exam. You're fearing not being able to pass it. You're fearing the future. You're fearing the past will catch up with you. You're fearing man. You're fearing.
What are you afraid of, afraid of disease? What are you afraid of? What can you do about the fears? When Jesus rose from the dead, the Bible tells us "Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut". Why were the doors shut? Where the Jews were assembled for fear. The disciples shut the door because they were afraid. They were afraid that they'll be captured. They were afraid. They're afraid, and what happened? Jesus came and stood in the midst of their fears and said to them, "Peace be with you".
You know what happened when Jesus is in the center of your life? It will be peace. You can stop trying to be somebody you are not and rest in Christ, who you are in Christ. Can stop singing, "Thinking of the things I've done, I was trying to be someone". You know, you just rest in him. Book of Revelation, please. "And I looked in heaven", John said, "and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, which I've touched before the four faces of Jesus, and in the midst of the elders. What does it mean? In the midst of the throne, the midst of the elders stood a Lamb", Jesus Christ. Midst of the throne means his deity, midst of the elders, his humanity. He's always in the midst.
Do you know Jesus is 100% God but also 100% man. Do you know at God's right hand right now in the midst of the throne, do you know there is a man with a heart like ours with affections and feelings and sentiments of a man? He's very much like you. He feels human feelings. He came as a man and forever remain, amen, so that you will know in heaven you have someone like yourself representing you, amen? Can I have a good amen?
I want to end with this portion here in a verse, when Jesus came to the woman at the well, he sat down, and this is what he said to her, all right, verse 6. Jesus says, "Give me a drink". And you know what she said when Jesus says give me a drink? She was sitting at the well, Jesus knew her background. He's 100% God, 100% man. He say, "Give me a drink". And she look at him and says, "How come you're a Jew" - Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.
All right, that's another history altogether. "And how come you're asking me for a drink"? Now, watch his answer, it's gonna bless you. "Jesus answered and said to her, 'If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, "Give me a drink", you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water'". You think for one moment when I tell you put Jesus in the center, it is for his benefit? Do you think for one moment when we say, tell you to raise your hands, all right, it is for his benefit? Do you think God is a megalomaniac in heaven saying, "I need praise. Come on, I need praise"?
Do you think God is suffering insecurities, he needs your praises? Hey, I've said before, he has myriads of angels worshiping him whose voices never wear out! Some of our voices wear out by the fourth service. And they never sing out of tune. Why do you think God' I want you to raise your hands. Worship him because he knows everything about you was created for him, and you are doing yourself a world of harmonious good when you worship, amen, amen? So, when Jesus says, "Give me drink", you think that he was thirsty? He who multiplied the loaves and fishes, who turned the water into wine, do you think that he was really thirsty for physical water? No, he says to her, "If you knew the gift of God and you knew who is the one asking you give me the drink, you would have asked him, and he will give you living water".
Instead of him taking from you, you will take from him. And I love that part it says, if you knew the gift of God. Do you know that in the Greek, it reads like this, in the Greek, if you knew the gift of God. "If you knew the free-giving God", dorea. And the clause there is if you knew the free-giving God, God who is always freely giving. "If you knew that God and Who" (capital W) "Who it is that's talking to you now, you would ask him". So, when he says, "Give me a drink", he was setting her up. If you knew who is asking you, if you knew the gift of God, the free-giving God, and who it is asking you for a drink, you would instead ask him, and he will give you leaving water. Amen, church?
So, we say put Jesus in the center. Can you lose out by having your wind, your sail blowing according to the flow of the wind, the type of the current? Can you think failure for one moment, defeat, because you are in harmony with the universe? No way. And yet it is amazing how he went all the way to find that lady. She didn't find him, he found her. He was waiting for her before she came. He came a long, long way to be with us. And you know what he says, the final verse. If two or three' "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them". In the Greek, "Where two or three are gathered together in the middle, in the midst, I am".
Remember the name of God? Moses asked God, "What is your name?" when he met God at the burning bush? God says, "I am that I am". It's a blank check. "What do you need? You need healing? I am your healer. What do you need, money? I'm your banker. What do you need, relationship? I'm your favor. What do you need? I am. I am in the midst of us". You know, being a church is not thousands and thousands of people. Being a church is the smallest plurality where two, that's the smallest plurality, where two, just two. Husband and wife every morning you wake up, Jesus is in the midst, amen. There is never a crisis that hits your home, Jesus is not there, and he's there in the midst.
All right, now he's with us individually as well, all right? If you don't have a husband or a wife, all right, you have a good friend, you know when you pray together, there's a greater anointing, all right, in that prayer because he's in the midst. But if you're alone, he will never leave you nor forsake you, but there's a greater flow when you are, the church is all about being together, being with one another, and he's in the midst.
Whenever you are experiencing fears, frustrations, stop for a while. You cannot handle it, but he can. Be still and know he is God. Relax. Live life relaxed, work relaxed, serve relaxed. You might just end up winning the US Open if your play is relaxed. You might just win the golf tournament if your strokes are relaxed. And we see a life of harmony, bringing success when Christ is in the center. And when he's in the midst, there is peace, amen?
Every head bowed, every eye closed all across this place and also in the overflow. Have you been blessed? Have you received? Now, I just want to take time here to address the believers first, the Christians, all right, the children of God. I want you right now just because you are in a Christian profession doesn't mean Jesus is in the midst. Just because you're in a Christian marriage doesn't mean he's in the center. Just because you have money doesn't mean the Lord is Lord of your finances where he can do miracles, but in everything he wants to have the preeminence that he might be first in everything for our benefit, although it's all for his glory. He wants to do it because he loves us. He wants to be first, not because he's an ego-megalomaniac, but because he loves you. He loves you. He's in love with you.
So, all across this place, doesn't mean a missionary means a missionary's out there for Jesus. There are those who are building their own names and reputation. Doesn't mean a pastor means he's doing the work of God. He might be building up his own ego, his own reputation. Doesn't mean someone is involved in Christian work, that means he's doing it for Jesus. So, my friend, it's time for us to stop for a while and just be real and ask ourselves is Jesus truly center place? Is Jesus first?
A businessman who is occupied with Christ, who does things for him, for his glory, can be more spiritual than some pastors. It's got nothing to do your job, your profession. It's gotta do with your motives. Is he first? Is he everything? Why do you want to be healed? Why do you want more money? Why do you want more influence? Is it for I, me, my, or is it for him? To influence more people for him. Have more money to be a blessing, and God will always get money to you if he knows money can flow through you. Is it for him?
And now if you are here today and you have never met Jesus Christ, who holds all things together, by him all things were created, you have never made him your Lord and Savior, the Bible tells us all things were created by him. For God to create, he only had to speak, but for God to save, he had to bleed, and Jesus came as a man so that he can bleed and shed his precious blood to wash away our sins.
Have you received his service? Have you received the cleansing of Jesus's blood? Are you saved? Do you know beyond the shadow of any doubt that you have life more abundantly? If not, you can pray this prayer that I'm about to pray right now. You can join me in this prayer from you heart, but do not pray this prayer if you're not ready for a life transformation, if you're not ready to flow with the wind with the Spirit of God. This prayer is for those who are serious, who want to put Jesus in the center, who want to know that their sins are forgiven. Amen, are you ready? Okay, say this after me:
Heavenly Father, I believe in your goodness, your great goodness that you have laid up for me. Thank you for sending your Son Jesus Christ to die for my sins at the cross. Thank you his blood was shed, cleansing me completely from every sin whiter than snow. Thank you Jesus conquered death and raised from the dead. You raised him to accomplish victory over death in my life. Thank you, Father, Jesus Christ is my Lord forevermore, amen.