Joseph Prince - Answers For A Busy And Hurried Life
Welcome back, church. You know, the apostle Paul says, “I behold you in the spirit your steadfastness and your order.” And that’s what I, when I first read that some years ago, I couldn’t identify with what Paul was saying because he says, “I behold you”, and he was writing to people who were far off and he says, “I behold your steadfastness and your order in the Spirit.” So, but now I understand, and I see all of you gathered together as a church. Every time we are online, I see in the Spirit, amen, and I see your response so, even though right now. We don’t have to wait until we are gathered physically to really enjoy being a church. We can also see in the Spirit, remember this, child of God, you are not just a physical creature. Amen.
God has ordained you when you are born again that you live by your Spirit, that you walk in the Spirit. Therefore, as you behold things in the Spirit, you know you can see things that is not visible in the natural? In fact, the Bible says that things that are visible in the natural, they are temporal but the things which are not seen, they are eternal. So, I behold you. There are times I even see people responding in the Spirit, amen, to the word that I am sharing and I see breakthroughs, I see deliverances taking place. Sometimes it’s my time of prayer before the service I will see things happen in the Spirit. But, many a times, I am seeing it as I am preaching so I behold you and I praise God for your steadfastness. I thank God for your hunger for, to want to know more from the Lord. Amen? The Bible says as we increase in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, grace, unmerited favour, and peace, shalom in Hebrew, irene in Greek, will be multiplied to you.
And we’ve been saying that “shalom” in Hebrew is not just peace of mind, but it’s also wholeness, it’s well being in every part of your being including your body. Amen. And that’s what “shalom” mean. So, God promises that unmerited favour will be multiplied in your life and shalom peace and wellbeing will also be multiplied in your life through the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. And that “knowledge” there, the Greek word there, is an accurate and full knowledge. It’s not partial knowledge. It’s full knowledge. As we increase in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, as we know Him more and more, grace and peace is multiplied. Praise the Lord. Are you excited over God’s Word? I know you are, and you stand ready to receive more from the Lord. Just like Martha who was troubled and worried because she didn’t pay attention to the Word, and there are people today, they are not, you know, paying attention to God’s Word, they are not heeding God’s Word, they are not taking time to sit at Jesus’ feet to receive His Word. Mary on the other hand, let’s look at the story once again, because this is where I want to share from, “Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him, Jesus into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat…”
Now, say the word ‘sat’. It’s a posture of rest. “…who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His Word.” So, it’s not just hearing, it’s first of all sitting, resting, and then hearing His Word. “But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore, tell her to help me.’ And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.’” You know, I’m on an assignment. I believe that, even in the days to come, the Lord wants to unveil to you more and more the Land of Promise for you and for your family which is the place of rest. Amen. For the believer today, our Promised Land, the land that flows with milk and honey, is a place of rest. And God wants us to enter that rest. In fact, the Bible says, “Let us labor therefore to enter that rest, lest any man should fall after the same example of unbelief.” – like the Israelites in the wilderness.
The Bible says the gospel, the good news, that was preached to them did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. So, God says, “Don’t fall after that example of unbelief.” Let us labor to enter the rest, lest we fall after the same example of unbelief. In other words, the opposite of unbelief is not faith in this context. It is actually rest. Because rest is actually a posture of faith. Praise the Lord. When you are at rest, you are actually trusting God. Amen. The Lord said to me to tell you all that He wants to heal you of one sickness. In the days to come, He wants to cause this healing to manifest in your life. What healing is that? It is not a physical disease or physical sickness, it is actually “hurry”. The sickness of hurry, the disease of hurry. God wants to heal you of that. You know, we must not hurry because hurrying is not faith. Amen.
We are a society that has, you know, has accepted the norm of culture which is busyness and hurriedness. And we think that it’s a badge of honour and achievement to be known as someone who is busy. And it’s a culture whereby we think that being busy is to be successful. But, let me tell you this. If the Lord allows something, there is a reason for it. There are things He wants us to learn, and I think that one of the things He wants us to do is to slow down. Amen. Slow down and start to live. The life that you save may actually be yours. The type-A personality, you are an achiever, you gotta be the first one there, you gotta be, you know, successful and all that and God knows. God knows that we are not in the job, ok, for us to be lazy, He wants us to produce fruits. But remember what Jesus said? That when you abide in Him, you will produce fruit. Only when you abide in Him you will produce fruit. The order there is you will produce fruit, more fruit and much fruit.
Now, that applies for your Christian life as well as for your job, your assignment that you have in life or whatever you are doing. Amen. If you want fruit in your life, you want fruit in your married life, you want good kind of fruit in your parenting, in your children, whatever area of harvest that you want to see a good fruit in, God says, first of all, Jesus said, “Abide in Me”. Now, notice, abide is the opposite of running around, hurried, and trying to achieve this and achieve that and almost like you are in a rat race. And, if you win a rat race you are the number one rat. Ok? So, listen, friend, we need to slow down and start to live. Slow down and live for the glory of God. Amen. So, what happened to Martha here was that Martha was, you know, she had a guest-of-honour, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. God incarnate. Amen? The Creator of the heavens and the earth and she was busy preparing food for Him and then she got angry, right, she got mad at her sister and also at the same time, instead of talking to the sister directly, she blamed the Lord.
“Do You not, do You not care that my sister has left me alone”, and that happens to us when we are stressed, when we are hurried, when we feel like, you know, no one is helping us and I’m doing this all by myself. Maybe, you are doing something that God is not calling you to do. Maybe He’s telling you, “You know what? Leave all that. After all, I fed more than 5,000 with only five loaves and two fish. I know. I know the formula of feeding so you don’t have to worry about feeding Me and then, sit down at My feet and let Me feed you. Let Me minister to you. Let Me bless you. Receive from Me.” Maybe that’s what the Lord wants you to do so that you can be free from that stress. Whenever we are stressed, it’s an indicator that we are not on the paths of peace. Remember that when the Lord leads you, He always leads you with peace. Amen. The Bible says, “You shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace.”
Notice, be led. You are led by peace. So, whenever you feel unrest, when you feel an anxiety, when you feel like, you are stressed, you know for sure you are not being led by the Spirit. Amen. You are not walking down the paths of peace. The paths that He has for you. So, God always leads us with peace. And that peace is something that Jesus bequeathed to us on the last night before He was crucified, the Lord Jesus in the upper room said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you. Not as the world gives.” God is saying that that is the peace that the world gives. Jesus’ peace is a peace you can enjoy while you are going through the trial, you can enjoy peace, and remember, peace is not just peace of mind, but also wholeness, wellness, amen, and the word “shalom” in Hebrew is also prosperity, completeness, amen, and it’s a mouthful. It’s a all-inclusive word, shalom. And when we look at Jesus in the upper room, when He said to them “Peace I leave with you”, He would have spoken Aramaic or Hebrew and He will say this, “Shalom. My peace, My wholeness, My wellbeing.”
You know, the disciples never saw Jesus sick. They never saw Him hurried. They never saw Him rushing. In fact, the Hebrew word for “rush” is actually the word “chuwsh”. It sounds like someone rushing. Chuwsh. Chuwsh. That is the Hebrew word for “hurry”, haste. Haste. And the Bible says, “He that believeth shall not make haste.” So, Jesus said, “My peace.” And they never saw Him hurried, they never saw Him, you know, anxious. He always has time for everyone, you know, He moves in the rhythm of grace. And He has time, and you notice that Jesus, you know, many of His answers or even His sermons came out of what we call “things that He’s not prepared for” in the natural. Of course, we know that the Lord is flowing with the Spirit but, if you look at it, you’ll find that somebody will say something and then He will respond to that person saying something and from there came a teaching. Or He will find someone, Zacchaeus, for example, up on a tree. Amen.
That wasn’t planned for, ok? But, of course, we can talk about “planned for”, you know, by God directing Zacchaeus, but I’m talking about simple things in life. Likewise, for all of us, we know we meet different circumstances that we are not ready or not prepared for. And yet, God wants us to stop and not be hurried and relate to the person that’s in front of us. Amen. Enjoy the now-moment. The Bible says, “Now is the accepted time. Today is the day of salvation.” Now, that’s a quotation from the Old Testament where the Hebrew word there is literally “Now is the ratson time.” Remember the ratson time? In the Greek it is “Now is the dektos time”, which is a time when God’s favours profusely abound. When is that time? It’s no more just a year, it’s no more just a season, it is now. So, if we live in the future, when I say “live in the future”, many a times we are hurried to fulfill something in the future, to meet an expectation of goals that we have set or we are trying to wait for an event, Christmas, you know, Chinese New Year, something like that, then I’ll be happy, then I’ll, you know, we’ll celebrate. No, friend, you celebrate while you are going towards that event or whatever the goals that you have set.
Enjoy the journey. And Jesus enjoyed His journey. Jesus would spend time with Zacchaeus. He would say, for example, it’s all not prepared, right? In the natural it’s not prepared. He saw Zacchaeus because Zacchaeus chose to climb a tree to see Him. But He stopped and He said, “Zacchaeus, come down. I must abide at your house.” In fact, the only time that Jesus would advise someone to make haste. He always tells you to be at peace. Amen. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you. Not as the world gives give I unto you, let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” The only time He says, “Make haste”, amen, “Hurry up”, is for someone to get saved. And that’s what He said to Zacchaeus when he was on the tree, Jesus said to Zacchaeus, “Come down. Make haste. Make haste. I must abide at your house.” Why? Make haste to be saved. Amen? “Zacchaeus, make haste to receive My salvation.” And Zacchaeus received just that. Praise the Lord.
You know, friend, when Jesus says, “My peace I give unto you.” He’s bequeathing to them. The word “leave” there is not the same as “My peace”, the next line “I give”. That word “give” is the simple Greek word for, “give” – didomi, but here, “My peace I, actually “leave” is like someone who’s passing on, he left a will, he bequeaths to you. In other words, Jesus said, “My shalom, My peace of mind, My health, My wellbeing.” And they never saw Him sick. Amen? “I leave with you. I bequeath to you.” And the only thing He tells us to do is this – Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. And that’s your responsibility. That’s your part. You know, we guard so many things in our lives, we guard our health, right? And that’s why we exercise, we watch what we eat and all that and we guard our family, we guard our children, we guard a lot of things. But the thing is this, friend, the Lord is telling us, “You guard this, this very thing I tell you and then you’ll guard everything else.”
And what is that? Your heart. For out of it are the issues of life, not death. Guard your heart. And He’s saying, “Let not your heart be troubled.” Every day, there are things that will trouble our heart. There are things that will tell us things, you know, “What if? What if? What if?” Those who live in the past, it is these two words, “If only”. If only this had happened. If only I had that opportunity. If only I was born in this family. If only this, if only that. It’s all in the past. You cannot change the past or you are worried about the future. So, in the past it’s more of regret ok? But the future is more of worry and anxiety and the two words is, “What if?” What if? What if? What if this pain in my body is more serious than I thought? What if? What if? And you are living today worried about the future. And the Lord promised us that “give us this day our daily bread”. He never says, “Give us this day our monthly bread.”
There’s only grace, there’s only provision, there’s only favour, there’s only supply that He will give you one day at a time. And He wants us to live in the “now”. Now is the favourable time. When you live in the now, instead of living in the future where there’s no favour, there’s no dektos, there’s no favour there, because now is the acceptable time. Now is the what? Dektos time, which means the favourable time. If you live in the future by worrying, there is no favour there for you. But whatever areas of worry or concern you may have, the Lord today wants you to live “now”, amen, with Him. Amen. Today is the acceptable time. Amen. The dektos time. The favourable time. Amen. Not in the future, not worry in the future or living in regret in the past, amen, you are wasting your now-moments with the past.
You know, I remember that, I thought that when I first had Jessica and she was, you know, she was born and all that, my first child, I never, you know, knew what I was in for, crying every night and, you know, I, that’s where I got the habit of staying up late. I would study late into the night because I knew she was going to cry and I’m gonna relieve Wendy, amen, and carry her and feed her or whatever, so, it became a habit. Until now I would study late into the wee hours of the morning, it become a habit. And I used to wonder like how long will this last, you know, and I didn’t really enjoy it. I love her but I didn’t enjoy the night, you know, wakes and all that and I was thinking, and all too soon, I look at her and she’s an adult. Hallelujah. You know, she’s a beautiful girl now. A young woman. And I think to myself, where did all those years go? If only I can turn back the clock, and I know many of you feel the same way about your children, amen, and enjoy every moment because that moment will all too soon fade away. Amen. It is, even the waking up at nights is actually a privilege.
So, I said this to the Lord. And the Lord waited until a number of years before Justin came along and this time round, I was ready. I was ready to enjoy every moment. Every time he’s awake, right, I would just, even I, even found joy in his crying, you know, and I found, it’s such a music to my ears, you know, to hear him cry. And I would walk the floor with him and consider it a privilege because I remember when I was asking God for another baby, I would carry a pillow and walk in the room and sing a hymn. I still remember the hymn. “Guide me O Thou great Jehovah. Pilgrim through this barren land.” And since he was a child, Justin knows that song. He knows what, I’ll say, “Guide me through this barren,” he’ll say, “land”. Hehe and, you know, that’s my act of faith, believing God for a child because I knew that I want to cherish every moment now of their childhood and again, Justin is now 9-years-old and I tried to carry him the other day but I can’t carry him for too long because he’s grown tall and strong.
And, you know, I had to put him down. But, friends, maybe you are at that level, your child, you have small children, amen, cherish every moment that you have, alright, be present in the now and love them in the now. Don’t worry about the future, the future will take care of itself. So I enjoy right now, God has blessed me and I can minister to people who have grown children because I have Jessica, whom I love dearly and then I have a young one, alright, Justin. So I’m able to relate. I think one of the reason God blessed me with an older child now and with a younger child so that I can still remember and I still can relate to the people in my congregation. Praise the Lord.
Now, the thing is that even in married life, we enjoy the moments now. We don’t say, “Oh we’re getting old, you know, we’re coming to this age and that kind of thing…” We just savour the moment we have. We are not that age yet. So don’t start thinking of that age. You know some people they like to talk about, how old are you, they talk about the coming year. That’s my age. No, friend, why are you talking about the age? Enjoy the year that you have now. You’re not there yet. Amen. Enjoy the year now. Enjoy the moments now. Praise the Lord. You know, it seems everything is moving fast in this last days. And we need to catch the moment, amen and rest in that moment. Don’t hurry, amen. See what the Lord has to say in that moment. Praise the Lord.
But you say, “Well, if I don’t hurry then I’ll miss the bus, you know I’ll miss the success that’s waiting for me, I’ll miss that kind of thing….” No, friend, do you know that many a times your hurriedness is the very thing that’s causing the failure in your future. Many a times you’ll find that God’s people when they abide, all of a sudden they find that, even their business churn out more profits when they rest. In the ministry when I rest, I come back, Praise the Lord, full of the Word of God. And I want to spend time sharing the word. I want to spend time ministering to the people in the church. But if I’m depleted and I have nothing to supply. Friend, woah, you don’t want to hear me when I’m depleted. You know, friend, we cannot keep on hurrying, hurrying like Martha did alright and she was exasperated. She said to the Lord, “Don’t You care?” Why? Because Martha was distracted.
Notice distracted with much serving? And if you look at verse 41, Jesus said, “Martha, Martha you are worried and troubled…” About what? “…many things.” Now look at the word “worried” and “troubled”. Worried is the Greek word “merimnao”, merimnao and the word “merimnao” come from “merizo” which is a part. Later on, He would tell her, “Mary has chosen the good part, (merizo, a part).” But merimnao means to be divided into many parts. It’s literally to be drawn apart in many, many areas, distracted, ok. In other words, worry, is predicated on the fact that you have been distracted, you have been pulled in different directions. Literally the word there, merimnao the word merizo is apart but merimnao means so, divided into many parts. That means you are pulled in many different directions, you are now distracted. Therefore you are impatient. I find that you know, it’s hard for me to be kind, it’s hard for me to be patient when I'm in a hurry. Or I think I’ve got to you know, fulfill this assignment then when Justin comes to me I can be a bit impatient or if my wife says something sometimes a little curt word might just escape but you know, and then I’ll tell her, “I’m sorry, my mind is on this thing and all that…”
Haven’t we all done that? You know, if we can just live in the moment and not hurry. In fact the word, “hurry” there, haste there, like I said just now “chuwsh”. I want to show you this verse in the Bible, in 1 Peter chapter two, it says therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone – elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.” Notice that, that phrase? “By no means”. Those who believe on Jesus will by no means be put to shame. Now look at this passage, it’s a quotation from the Old Testament Scripture and this is what it says in the Old Testament, Isaiah 28, “Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not be in haste.’”
Isn’t that interesting? In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit translate it as, “Those who believe in him…” Same passage; it’s a quotation from Isaiah 28. Same passage but here it says, “He who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.” But in Isaiah, it says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be in haste.” Why is that so? Why is it different? And by the way, the word “haste” here is the word “chuwsh”. Alright it is an onomatopoeia. Chuwsh is like rushing. Chuwsh like a strong sudden wind. A gust. Chuwsh. And we are living life like that. So the Bible says that if you believe on the Lord Jesus, amen, you will not be in a hurry. You will not be in haste. Because, in the New Testament, it’s telling us – you put two and two together, the Holy Spirit is telling us something here, amen. There are secrets He wants to share with us about those who are believing on Jesus, they will not be put to shame. Why? Because they will not be in haste. They are not people who are hurried. They are not people who are overworked, busy.
And one of the things that really make us busy, you know, is our phones. And, we got this modern gadget here that we are somehow connected to. I think surgically. We cannot remove it from our hands. And we need to look at it all the time. We need to look at it all the time. So people are no longer meditating. Isn’t it interesting that the word “meditate” in the English is also the word “muse”? To muse on something. David says, “While I was musing, the fire burned.” Amen so as you meditate on God’s Word, amen, God’s fire burns. And that’s what I love. I love to preach with a burning heart. Something that God has revealed to me Amen. Many a times, for your sake, the Lord will reveal things to me and burn my heart over it and then I will just burn on you. Praise the Lord! And burn off the dross and all the anxieties and panic attacks off your life by the living Word of God, Hallelujah.
So, whoever believes in Him will not be in haste. To be in haste is to be put to shame. Somehow shame is waiting for you. You will be embarrassed. There’ll be something that won’t work out. Amen. Failure is in front of you. And it’s literally that. It’s telling us – if you’re in haste, you’ll be put to shame. If you’re not in haste, you’re someone who believes in the Lord. If you’re not in haste, amen, you will not be put to shame. In other words, there is something waiting for you that will cause you to smile and rejoice and be glad, amen. Victory, success is ahead of you because you will not be put to shame. Amen. When we say we believe God, what does it mean? It means we are people who are at rest. And the only thing that the Lord tells us to do in the upper room besides He tell us, you know, “Let not your heart be troubled because I have bequeath upon you my rest. I have imparted to you My shalom.”
So right now, your part – let not your heart be troubled. Neither let it be afraid. Guard that. Guard that and you’re guarding your health. Guard that and you’re guarding your family. Guard that and you’re guarding your work or occupation. Guard that and you’re guarding your future. Guard that and you’re guarding yourself. Hallelujah. Guard that above everything else. Don’t try to guard these things on the outside, that thing on the outside and you’re being pulled in different directions. Just guard one thing – your heart. For out of it cometh, out of it are the issues of life, not death. Amen. And I remember reading about this man who always you know, when he fetches his son from school he will always be trying to find the shortest way because it’ll be like rush hour, and there’ll be many other cars. And he will always be, you know, to try to and you know, even in small opening he will try to squeeze in and he will always try his best.
And even when he’s not in a hurry, there’s nothing for him to do, like times like this, you know, when you are, many of people working from home, they still have the habit of driving fast, right. Or you know, or at the end, like traffic, at the junction, right they will try to find the lane that is not occupied. As if that makes a difference. You only save a few moments of the time. And you know what? It’s a mentality thing. I remember the father of stress, the guy who discovered stress, the doctor. Doctor Selye, when he discovered this. He was actually a heart specialist and, he noticed that the people that came to his office, many a times, their, his seat. He have to send his seat, the nurse will tell him, alright, it’s time to send the seat for upholstery again. Because on the edges of the seat, you know, right on the edges of the seat, that is the seat in front of him where the patient will sit down.
Alright at the edge of it, it’s all worn out. And it keeps on getting worn out very fast. And every few months, he’s got to send it for upholstery. And Dr. Selye start asking himself, “Hans Selye…” he start saying, “you know, there’s something here. These people are stressed, these people have heart trouble but then they are also seating on the edge of their seats. Every time they come, they sit on the edge of their seats.” And then he noticed, he looked out of his window and he looked at all his patients’ cars and he found that they were all positioned, like they were all turning back in so that front out. Front is out that the front of the car is out so to make a fast getaway. Very few he found would turn in nose in. And he noticed that they are all like get up and go, get up and go, get up and go. He noticed, and he calls this the Type A temperament. People with Type A, you know, those who are movers and shakers and people who are in a hurry, right.
People who are, many a times, successful in their career but what, at what cost? You know, and he calls them the Type A people are more susceptible to heart troubles. And that father that I told you about that was always rushing here and there, finally he was diagnosed with, as having some heart conditions and in a few short years, he died. He passed on. Friend, slow down. Slow down and live. Because the life that you are saving may be very well be your life. Amen. Slow down. Slow down and live. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah. So back to Martha and Mary again, Jesus said, “Martha, Martha you are worried and troubled about many things.” So merimnao means to be pulled in different directions.
Now troubled about many things. “Troubled” is the word “thorybazo”. Thorybazo is a very interesting word. This is the word thorybazo – troubled, as a verb. But actually it comes from the word thorybos. And thorybos actually means, thorybos from where this word “troubled” comes from, is actually a word that talks about a riot. A tumult, a crowd. That is a, you know, a nuisance kind of thing, against the public order. A tumult, a riot, a crowd or a riot, and a lot of noise. That’s the picture of that word thorybos from where the word “troubled” is taken from. So you put them together, that means in the mind of Martha, who is troubled, there is a lot of noise. A lot of noise in the head telling her, “Oh you know, you need to do this, you haven’t done this yet, you haven’t done that yet, you need to do this, you need to do this, quick, quick, quick, quick, quick, do it, do it, do it.” And it’s a lot of noise, a lot of noise in the head. So many directions and she’s been pulled in different directions. Worried. That’s what the definition of worried is.
And then, thorybos is a noise, like a crowd, a lot of thoughts, a crowd of thoughts making all kinds of noise in your head and that’s the reason why Jesus said – one thing. Just focus on one thing. And if you find yourself getting busy on the inside. I'm not talking about busy outside. The Lord wasn’t rebuking Martha for being busy outside but she was troubled on the inside. Merimnao, worried, being pulled in different directions inwardly. You know, you look at her – she might look at ok she’s just a busy person, she’s a very successful person, amen, a lady who is responsible. Amen, based on society, she’s in good standing, right? But the thing is that, as far as the Lord is concern, He cares about your inside. Because friend, out of the good treasures of your heart, inside, you bring forth, that means outside, good things. An evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart, brings forth evil things. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things. Amen.
So you find that, for Martha, she’s been pulled in many different directions, alright there’s worry and then troubled in her mind – a lot of noise going on. And that same word “troubled”, ok, in so many directions is the same word used by Jesus when He described the signs of the times. Now we are right now seeing those signs coming to pass. Alright. Never before in modern times, the time of this day that we live in where we have the advent of computers and all that. Jesus mentioned about pestilence coming before He comes again.
Now, some people they quote if that’s happening that means the Lord is sending all these things to usher in the coming of Jesus. No, no, no, no. He’s telling us that these are the signs, He didn’t say that He sent them. These are the signs when all these things happen, it’s only the beginning. Amen. Which means the devil knows his time is short and there’s mention in the Book of Revelation. The devil knows his time is short and he’s angry. He knows Jesus is coming back. And he’s causing all these wars and rumours of wars and pestilences and plagues and earthquakes and diverse earthquakes. These are not the work of God, it’s the work of the devil. But notice what Jesus said – even with all these signs and we are right now in the midst of one of them, the pestilence that Jesus talked about.
And Jesus used the plural, pestilences, not just one pestilence. Pestilences and look at what Jesus said in Matthew 24, “And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled…” Now this word “troubled”, throeo, is the root word of the word “troubled” that He spoke to Martha about. Thorybazo. Amen. Same word, troubled. From thorybos. Like a riot, a tumult, a crowd yelling in your head. It’s the same word. It’s from the root word. And He’s telling us – see that you don’t be troubled with this news and that news and this news and that news. You know today, we have a oversupply, you know, a glut of all kinds of news, media blasting in. And we’ve all the devices to receive them and we’re listening and we’ve been torn in different directions and we’re troubled about many things. And Jesus says, “One thing that you need to see to is this – see that you are not troubled even with the signs of the times.”
And you know, one thing that I believe that we need to preach on the end times and I do okay but we must not preach doom and gloom. Like fearful. The Lord himself said, “When these things happen, lift up your heads, your redemption draws near.” You know what’s that? Redemption? He’s talking to believers who are already redeemed. Their bodily redemption. You’re going to receive a body forever strong, forever healthy, forever good-looking, praise God, forever young. Amen. And you will never die. For how long? Forever. Forever is a pretty long time, friend. He’s saying lift up your head. Amen. Look ahead with hope. Your redemption draws near with every passing sign of the time Amen, that you see happen right in front of you and globally, you know you’re one step nearer to your bodily redemption. Hallelujah. You will see Jesus come for you and your body will be transformed like unto His glorious body. You’re gonna look good.
Turn to your neighbor right now and say, “You’re gonna look good. Alright, endure for a while. You’re gonna look good. Praise God. I’m gonna look good, hallelujah, endure my face for a while. I’m gonna look good.” Praise God. Our bodily redemption draws near. Yes, my friend, Praise the Lord. So Jesus said, “Martha, you are worried (merimnao) and troubled about many things. But one thing…” Say, “one thing”; one thing is needful. Martha is troubled about many things, why? Because she didn’t do the one thing. What is the one thing that Mary did? Not just listen to His Word, she sat. Now I'm not referring to just physical rest, alright in this word that God has for us. Yes, many a times it may involve physical rest. We need to have times of rest. Even God Himself rested, not because He was tired but because of posture of rest, His work was finished. Hallelujah. And He rested. To not rest, to be in haste is actually not trusting God. But how can I be at rest when the work is not yet finished?
And that’s why you need to read Hebrews 4. The Bible says, “Let us labor to enter the rest.” And it says that, although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. So He told them to rest. In the economy of God, in the mind of God, in the reality of God which is the reality above every other reality, all the works needed for our provision, for our completeness, for our life has all been finished. As far as God is concerned. So, God finishes everything and then, God tells us to start where He finished. Amen. That’s why the Bible tells us that as you have received the Lord Jesus, so walk you in Him. You are complete in Him, now walk in Him. Amen. So you’re complete in Him, now walk. In other words, God put the finishing post, alright, if you’re an athlete, you understand what I’m trying to say. The finishing post.
And you know what God does? Alright, it’s out of this world, ok. He takes the finishing post and He puts it right at the starting lineup. And He tells you – you are there. It is finished. You didn’t have to finish it. My Son finished it for you. Now, you start where He finished. You start to walk out your completeness. And that’s why, many a times, we walk in the spirit. But we try to walk in the spirit and end up in the flesh. You know why? Because we’re not walking out of completeness. We are trying to become what God has declared that we already are. We are trying to complete what has been completed at the cross. We are trying to finish what Jesus did when He declared, “it is finished” at the cross. We are trying to defeat an enemy that has already been defeated. And the very act of trying to defeat him is unbelief. Are you listening, my friend?
Let me just tell you this, even trying to get close to God is not what God wants. You are there. You cannot be nearer to God than to be in Christ at the Father’s right hand, seated with Christ because whatever He did, He did as you. Not just for you, He did as you. You are now seated with Christ, so near to the Father’s heart. So when I pray, you know, there were times in the past when, before God revealed this to me, that I would pray like God is up there far away and I’m down here and I say, “Father,” and I felt, I still didn’t feel like He’s listening to my prayers. I say, “Father God, hear my prayer, God, Father God…” you know, and I’m in dire straits and I need God to answer my prayer. And when the more I pray like that, it seems like the more distant He is, until I realised, one day, the Lord showed me that, “You’re not trying to get close to Me, you are already there, at My right hand, seated with Christ in heavenly places.”
So now, I just turn to Him anytime and say, when I say, “Father,” I have a consciousness I’m already close to Him. Amen, amen? So God completes the work and then God says, “Start where I have completed.” Amen? “Start where I have finished.” So we don’t pray for victory, we pray from victory. Amen. Again, even in the area of healing, we just realised that we’re not trying to get the healing. I know the pain is screaming, the diagnosis in the natural, in the x-ray and all that may show something else, but God is saying, in spite of all that, this reality is not based on the reality that God sees, the finished work and God is bringing the finished work right in front here to you, right where you are and God is saying, “You are healed.” And God is saying, so in other words, you pray and thank God that you are healed.
Those who try to be healed always find themselves struggling to be healed. And those who pray that they are healed already, by Jesus’ stripes, find the manifestation. It may happen, it may happen one hour later, it may happen the next day, it may happen the next week, it may happen the next month but it will surely happen. But your posture is that, before God, you have labored, your only labor right now is to enter that rest where all the works are finished. And you say, “Father, I’m not trying to defeat the enemy.” Alright, last night, you know, you may say, “Last night, Lord…” And I feel like the Lord is giving me this because there’s a number of you having these struggles. You know, you have bad dreams at night, you can’t sleep well and you may say, “Lord, I have these bad dreams and it seems like…”
You know, this spiritual warfare thing is real, my friend, and one of the ways the devil attacks you is actually through worry, troublesome thoughts, noise, you know and a spirit of hurriedness and he comes and attack you, especially when you are resting. You know, what a posture it is when you’re sleeping, isn’t it, it’s resting, isn’t it? And that’s the time the devil attacks. Let me show you this verse in the Bible, in Exodus 17. “Now, Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said to Joshua, ‘Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow, I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.’”
Now, I don’t know how many of you know the story but let me just share this story real quick. You know, Israel has come out of Egypt, the Exodus has happened, they have crossed the Red Sea and they are now on the other side. This is the first battle, that’s why it’s significant. It’s the first battle that Israel would face. So it tells us what is the first thing the devil is after and also the word “Amalek”, this is the first time you see Amalek attacking. You know, they have other battles down through the years after that, even in the Old Testament, in the story of Esther also, there is a descendant of Amalek. But let me tell you this, the first battle is significant. The first battle of Israel out of Egypt and then the first battle of Amalek was actually at a place called Rephidim. There is no insignificant details in the Bible. Even names have meanings and “Rephidim” means resting places.
So it is when you are resting, when you are resting, listen my friend, it is when you are at rest, the devil cannot allow you to rest one moment longer. He cannot, he cannot afford to have you in a place of rest because when you are at a place of rest, you will produce fruit, more fruit and much fruit. When you are at a place of rest, you are actually at a place of faith, amen, and you know that you will not be put to shame. The devil knows that, the devil knows that when you are at a place of rest, it’s like the Promised Land. Everything is flowing for you, flowing with milk and honey. You are in a place of favour because now, now, at a place of rest, not in the future, not regret about the past, but right now is the favourable moment. Okay, if we look at 2 Corinthians here, in chapter 6, “We then, as workers together with Christ, also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.”
Now, whatever he is about to tell you, is how people might not receive the grace of God. In other words, they receive the grace of God but in vain, it is not availing for them. You know why? Because they’re not living in the now. It goes on to say, “For He says, in an acceptable time, I have heard you.” Now, this is a quotation from the Old Testament. “And in the day of salvation, I have helped you. Behold, now is the acceptable time. Behold, now is the day of salvation. Now is the accepted time. Behold, now is the day of salvation.” And in the Hebrew where it is quoted from in the Old Testament, it is the name of Jesus there. Okay, so in an acceptable time, the word “acceptable” there is “dektos”, the word “time” is “kairos”.
You know, Jesus preached in His hometown, He was preaching from Isaiah where He says, “To preach the acceptable year of the Lord”, that is, “acceptable year of the Lord” is “dektos”, a year where the favours of God profusely abound. That’s how Thayer puts it, the Greek scholar, alright? When Jesus quoted it from the Old Testament, in the New Testament it’s in the Greek and it says “dektos”. Well, that year of dektos is now in a now-moment. So if you live in the now, you enjoy that and that’s how not to receive the grace of God in vain. Okay? So, the word “dektos” is there in the word “acceptable” and the word “time” is the word “kairos” and “kairos” used to be a season. You study the word “kairos”, it’s actually a season of favour, a season of good opportunities. There’s another word for “time” in the Greek. It is the word “chronos”, chronos, like chronological, chronology, chronos, and chronos is literally time.
Alright, it’s not referring to any significant things about the time but just naturally time, by itself. But the word “kairos” is not just time. It is a seasonable time and a time of good opportunities, a time of favour, just like dektos. Amen. It’s a time where good things happen. Well, used to be a season, kairos used to be a season filled with many days during that time of good opportunities and blessings. Well that season ended. The “dektos” year is now put in the now. Now is the acceptable time. Now is the day of salvation. Now is the time of salvation. What does that tell us? That tells us if we live outside now, there is no favour, there is no help, there is no blessing. If we live outside, whether in the past, okay, living in the past with regret, always looking back, you know, complaining about things that would have happened, that, you know, you wish it had happened, amen, regret because of somebody’s mistake, amen.
If you are living in the past, there’s no favour there. Or if you’re worried about the future, anxious about the future, troubled about the future, there is no favour there because you are, you are squandering your now moments. Enjoy the now. Be in the now because now is where the favour is. Now is where the good opportunities abound. Now is where the blessings of God abound. Hallelujah. And now is the day of salvation. Today, many a times we quote this verse for salvation, you know, and it, you can apply it as such because there’s no day of salvation for people any more. Now is the day of salvation. Now has become the day of salvation. So you tell people receive Christ now, don’t delay, don’t push it to the future. Now is the time. For those of you watching right now, now is the time to believe on Christ. Now is the time to make sure your salvation in Christ. Hallelujah. Amen.
So, but all that, even this verse is used for that purpose, actually this verse is more than that. It’s telling us all the favour that you want from God, all the good opportunities you want from God, all the good seasons you want from God is now in the now. And all that is of Jesus, the day of Jesus, the day of salvation is in the now. So let’s live in the now. And how do you do that? Be conscious of the now. Be conscious, amen as you relate to people, as you talk to people, be conscious, live in the now. You know, how many of you have talked to people before, you talk to them and then, it may be your spouse, you’re talking to your wife and then you know, your mind is drifting and you’re thinking what to do, or what to eat later or, you know, in my case, it’d be like what’s my message, you know, my other point that I need to bring up and all that, because I’m talking to Wendy and sometimes she’ll look at me and say, “Erm, are you with me? Did you hear what I said?” Then, you know, my intelligent mind, my lightning-fast mind will try to rescue me and I’ll say, I’ll repeat the last line that she said just now. Amen. But she got it, she knows me. I haven’t arrived yet. Amen.
But I need to remind myself to be in the now. I need to be in the now, as a pastor, sometimes, you know, there’s a tendency, in my past, when I was less experienced and I didn’t know about grace and all that, I used not to enjoy. I see preaching as an assignment, you know, but now I’m enjoying preaching. Hallelujah. Sometimes I enjoy it so much that I just go on, like the mercies of God, endures forever. Amen. Heh, I’ll let you off. Praise the Lord. Amen? So the first thing the enemy does is that he attacks you all when you are resting. Now, the word “Amalek”, back to this again, now, Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. Again, the word “Rephidim” means resting places.
Now, look at the word “Amalek”. “Amalek” is from the Hebrew word “amal”, amal- and “amal” means, literally, painful toil, wearisome labor. Okay? The story goes on to say that the enemies came and they fought with Israel. And Israel was fighting and Moses was raising his hand. He was standing and raising his hands. But soon enough, he got tired, he felt tired and his hands went down and the Bible says that when his hands went down, alright, the enemies prevailed, Amalek prevailed over Israel. So, Aaron and Hur came and they put his hands up but you know what they did? They made him sit down. Hallelujah only when he sat down, Israel prevailed. What is that a picture of? Us seated with Christ in heavenly places. Only when you rest, amen, victory will prevail in your life. Only when you rest, amen, if you’re too busy trying to fight, alright, learn to rest.
Now, nobody sits down in a battle. Nobody sits down in a battle and yet God teaches us, the art of warfare, God’s way to victory is always sit down. Amen, “You prepare a table before me,” and you know what? You don’t stand at a table. You sit at the table. “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” Amen. You know, who feels like eating in the midst of your enemies? Your enemies today can be that bodily, you know, symptoms in your life and it could be a child that is, you know, having some trouble, you know, sleeping, or it can be, it can be your boss or you know, an assignment that you have not fulfilled and it is troubling you and you’re not sure you can accomplish it. Whatever it is causing stress, that’s your enemy. Okay, your enemy today is not flesh and blood. Amen. So, if that’s your enemy, do you feel like sitting down and resting? No, in the natural, you don’t, yet God tells you, sit down and eat.
And by the way, the word “bread” in Hebrew is “lechem”, and the word “fight” is “lacham”, literally from the same words. It’s literally spelled the same way, “lechem”, “lacham” and it’s just pronounced differently. In other words, the way you fight the enemy and it’s even used here, when Israel fought with the enemy, the word there is “lacham”, even in Exodus 17 here. Right, “lacham” is the same, where you get the word “bread”, “lechem”, Bethlehem, amen, house of bread, “lechem”, “lacham”. In other words, you fight by feeding. The more you feed on God’s Word, the more you listen to the Word of God, the more you feed, the more you sit down and listen to God’s Word, you are fighting your enemies. Moses sat down and the enemies were defeated. So will your enemies. Amen. They’ll all be defeated when you rest.
Don’t be in a hurry, don’t be worried, don’t be troubled, praise the Lord. And Jesus said about the end times, when these things happen, let’s go back to that again, Jesus said what? When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, see that you are not troubled. The same root word where you find Him telling Martha, “You are troubled about many things,” He says, “Don’t be troubled for all these things must come to past but the end is not yet.” What is Jesus telling us? Next verse, “For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines, pestilences…” Aha, pestilences, plural, all kinds of plagues. Let me tell you this, right, Jesus says and even earthquakes in various places, but He says, “See that you are not,” what? “See that you are not, see that you are not troubled for all these things must come to pass but the end is not yet.”
So, you know, if you hear end time teaching and they’re telling you the mark of the beast is here, the mark of the beast cannot be here as long as we’ve not seen Jesus face to face. Hey, by the way, the mark of the beast is something issued by the anti-Christ and the anti-Christ, you know, he might be around somewhere but he’s not visible. Only when he’s visible and he’s a world leader then can he enforce the mark of the beast. So the mark of the beast is not present, it’s not in anything. Amen. The mark of the beast in the book of Revelation during the seven-year tribulation, alright, you cannot buy or sell without the mark of the beast. And now people are trying to say that, you know, it’s possible to take the mark of the beast today… It’s not something vague or ambiguous. It’s something very clear.
Okay, so He says, “See that you don’t be troubled.” If you’re listening to end time teachings and it’s troubling your heart, you’re not listening to what God wants you to hear. Amen. You’re listening to that interpretation of that person, okay? If it brings darkness and doom and gloom, you know, into the whole interpretation, alright, and your heart is troubled, you know, just forget it. Amen. Go, take a walk, amen. Take a walk with your loved one, your… and just enjoy life, amen, amen, eat ice-cream, amen, sit down somewhere, relax because I rather you do that, amen, physically rest, than to be, you know, pursuing in all these things and getting worried and then asking people and then googling and then trying to find this person’s opinion, that person’s opinion. Jesus Himself said, He’s the only One you need to listen to, “See that you are not troubled.” Amen. Praise the Lord.
Friend, Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you.” Why not you rebel? Rebel against that troubled heart, that worried heart, just rebel against it. You know, Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Therefore, I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food?” Now, stop here. What do you think He’s saying? Is not life more than food? Is it bad life? Is it a life that is defeated? A life that is full of stress? No. Of course, He means quality life. Is not quality life more than food and what? Body more than clothing? What, what’s the point of having a body that’s sick? Is a sick body more than clothing? No, of course not. He’s talking about quality life and quality body. Is not quality life more than food and quality body more than clothing? And how do you get them? Do not worry about your life.
And the word “worry” here, is the word “merimnao”. Don’t be stretched apart, don’t be pulled in different directions about your life, even your daily necessities and this is a picture of eating and drinking is not just what He’s referring to. Eating and drinking is more than that. Is not the life more than food and the body more than clothing? He’s talking about your health and your life, your quality life. Amen. He’s saying those things are more important, it’s more important you have life in its fullness, in its abundance, amen, that Jesus says “I come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” Your quality life is more important than your food. And your body is more important that you’re healthy, right, body, than having clothes. What’s the point of having clothes to put it on sick bodies? And He’s telling us the secret.
Would you like to know the secret of a healthy body, quality body and quality life? Do not worry. Do not “merimnao”. Do not allow yourselves to be distracted, to be torn apart, amen, worried about this, worried about that. Do not worry and it seems like Jesus keeps on repeating in the Sermon on the Mount, in this portion here, He keeps on saying, “Don’t worry and you’ll be supplied. Don’t worry and you’ll have quality life. Don’t worry and you’ll have quality body.” And so, in other words, you must see this, you must see that worry is harming your health, worry is affecting your career. Worry is affecting your family life in a negative way. Alright, you must see that. You must see that when you let go of worry, you let go of failure, you let go of shame, you let go of defeat, you let go of depression, you let go of sickness. You let go of anything that would hurt or destroy.
Remember, the enemy comes to what? Steal before he can kill and destroy. And what does he steal? He tries to steal away the Word that brings you peace. Amen. Just like Amalek, Amalek is what? Painful labor. Then Jesus goes on to say, “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns. Your heavenly Father feeds them, are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? Why do you worry about clothing?” Again the word “worry”, “merimnao”, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, look at the flowers of the field,” Jesus says, notice the emphasis, how they grow? Would you like to grow beautifully, amen, in Christ, in your Christian life? Amen, would you like to grow, amen, into greater health, amen, even bodily? Would you like to grow in every area in your life or you rather be stagnant? Of course not!
You want to grow and Jesus said this, “Look at the flowers, how they grow?” In what manner, by what means they grow, how they grow, how do they grow? He says they neither toil nor spin and the word “toil” here, because this is the New Testament, but actually in the Hebrew Bible, it is the word “amal”. And over here, in the Greek, it is the Greek word “kopiao”, like kopi-o, amen? Think of coffee, kopi-o, kopi-ao, alright, is the word to grow weary, tired or wearisome effort. Well, friend, good news. He’s telling you how to grow, amen, not be, you know, how to increase? The word “grow” is how to increase in life? It’s literally the word there, in the Greek, is how to increase? How to increase in every area? How does the flower grow so beautiful? And the flower’s bodies actually is health. If it wilts, amen, it becomes diseased, it dies, right?
So how do they grow? How do they grow beautiful and healthy? Amen? How? They toil not. Now, in the Hebrew Bible, in the Hebrew New Testament that messianic believers are using in Israel today, if you look at this word “they neither toil”, is the word “they neither amal”, wearisome labor, which is “kopiao” in the Greek. So don’t get involved in this wearisome, painful toil. It’s not toil that is wrong. It is the painful toil. If you are working hard, people say “I got to work hard!” No, you’re wrong, friend, you got to work, but not hard. Amen. Work with an inward rest and your work becomes more successful, amen. And my time is up. Praise the Lord, thank You Jesus, amen!
If you have never received Jesus as your personal Saviour and Lord, would you like to receive Him right now, friend? Jesus said, listen carefully, “God so loved the world,” God so loved you that He gave His only begotten Son, amen, that God gave His Son for you. Amen. You are the beneficiary of what God did when He loved you. He gave you His Son. It’s meant for you, amen, that whoever believes, the greatest simplicity, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, He’s not telling you to do a lot of good works and then you will obtain salvation. No, He’s saying just believe on Jesus, that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and He rose again from the dead to clear all your debt, your sin debt before God and today you stand before God in the righteousness of God, amen.
You stand before God cleared, acquitted from all your guilt. You’re acquitted because all your sins have been remitted. Amen? If you are that person and you want to receive Jesus and His salvation, pray this prayer with me right now. At the same time, you are receiving the shalom peace of God. Hallelujah. Pray this prayer with me right now.
Father, I thank You that Christ died on the cross for all my sins and I thank You that His blood has washed away all my sins completely and I thank You, Father, that You raised Jesus from the dead when you pronounced me acquitted. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Saviour, now and forever, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Hallelujah. Thank You, Father. Hallelujah. You know, I just feel like God is setting people free, especially those of you who are having problems sleeping at night and there are a number of you. He’s bringing healing and peace in your sleep, right now, in Jesus’ name. Amen. Thank You, Lord. And tonight, I’m going to say this, tonight, when you put your head on the pillow, you will sleep sweetly, amen, your sleep will be sweet. That’s the Word I receive, sweet sleep, amen. Praise the Lord, thank You Jesus, Hallelujah. Amen. Stand to your feet, church. Hallelujah, praise the Lord.
This coming week, the Lord Himself bless you with the blessings of Father Abraham and all the blessings of Deuteronomy 28. May they all manifest, even this week, in your life. And the Lord Himself keep you and your loved ones from every sickness and disease. The Lord Himself keep you from harm and danger and from all the power of the evil one; kept by the power of God, Hallelujah. The Lord favours you, smiles on you, prospers your way, and everything that you touch He cause it to prosper this week and the Lord lift up His countenance on you, smile on you and grant to you and your families His shalom peace, wholeness and well-being. Friends, stay in His rest and enjoy the good life, in Jesus’ name, amen.