Mark Batterson - Dream, Field Seven
Good morning. Can I let you in on a little secret? Revival starts tomorrow. I got such a clear word coming into these days of revival. And the Lord said what I do in 2022 is about 2023. So Pastor Chris, when you get a word and it says that God is building a new floor, all God is doing is benchmarking us. And so we're taking a step. We're taking a step. We're pressing in, we're praying through, and God is laying foundation. What I love is when we worship, I always ask the Lord for Scriptures, for pictures, for promises. I usually don't have a flashback to one of my own messages. So this sounds funny. But you remember the story I told months ago about the city of Chicago where they didn't just reverse the river. Do you remember that? But they raised the city 10 feet. I mean, they would put these cranks and just crank these buildings up. And as we were worshiping, I just felt like the Lord said, I'm cranking you up, I'm lifting you up.
And so, you are the God who begins a good work, but you are also the God who carries it to completion. And so Lord, whatever you started in each one of us during these days, oh God, multiply it, continue it. Lord, we're excited about Revival starting tomorrow. In Jesus' name, amen.
A few years ago, thanks to my friend, Hoseway, I was able to attend the welcome conference in New York City. It's a gathering for those who work in the hospitality industry, lots of chefs, restaurant tours, and probably one pastor. One of the speakers that day was Dan Barber. Does that name sound familiar? Season one "Chef's Table," Blue Hill At Stone Barns. And Dan Barber told a story that day that I will never forget in all try to do it justice. The French chef Alain Ducasse is the first chef with three restaurants, with three Michelin stars in three cities. Basically the Michael Jordan of restaurants. And Ducasse heard about Blue Hill and decided to pay a visit. So Dan Barber is incredibly flattered, but I mean his culinary hero was coming to visit. So just a little nervous, a little nervous. What do you serve your culinary hero for breakfast?
Well, Blue Hill has an all pasture dairy, which means the cows don't get any grain. And so Barber decided to keep it simple and show off his butter by serving it on some freshly baked bread. So the big day arise, Ducasse is eating his bread and butter and he's eating it so slowly and so carefully if there is such a thing. He doesn't say a single word. At one point, he closes his eyes as he's eating the bread and the butter, almost like he's meditating on it. Well, Dan Barber is kind of dying like what does he think? Does he like it? And so Ducasse finally finishes it and says it was great, but Barber wasn't buying what he was selling. So he asked to question, Mr. Ducasse, how could the butter be better? And Ducasse answered the question with a question? Has it been raining often at Blue Hill farm? Ducasse just gotten off a plane from Japan. He had no idea that hurricane Irene had just hit the East Coast.
Long story short, Alain Ducasse could taste the weather. The butter had been washed out and watered down by the rain. Ducasse is on the way out the door and he turns around and asks another question. Was the butter churned by hand? You know I can't resist that. Or by an electric mixer? Barber was just a little offended. Blue Hill would never use an electric mixer. It ruins the viscosity of the butter by whipping in too much air. Ducasse asked one final question. The butter that I ate, was it from cows near the barn or far away? Well, Barber told him the cows graze right by the barn. And that was that.
A few days later, Dan Barber's walking through the pastry kitchen and he catches an intern, mixing the butter with, you guessed it, an electric mixer. "Chef," she said, "I can make butter so much faster in the mixer". Not only could Alain Ducasse taste the weather, he could taste the mixer. A few days after that, he's outside. Denver, where are the cows? Finds the farmhand, farmhand hand says, "Trying an experiment. I'm pastoring the cows in field seven, the field furthest away from the barn". Barber ask, "Why"? "Because it's full of weeds". Alain Ducasse could taste the weather, tastes the mixer and tastes the weeds in field seven. I want you to hold that thought and jot this down. Always think ecosystem. It's a leadership principle. It's a life principle.
Every thing is connected to everything else. Every one is connected to every one else. No man is an island unto himself, John Donne. Dr. King said it this way, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere if you realize that it's always about the ecosystem". In 1936, a Harvard professor, founding father of sociology, Robert K. Merton published a paper titled, The Unanticipated Consequences of Purpose Social Action. It was Merton who coined the term unintended consequences. Simply put, every action you take, every decision you make has a ripple effect, has consequences beyond your ability to predict and beyond your ability to control. My grandma Johnson said it this way, "You can't never always sometimes tell".
There are lots of things past our pay grade. Lots of things that we cannot figure out. And this, family, is when and where and why we need spiritual gifts. We need words of wisdom. We need words of knowledge. We need prophetic words. I'm gonna add one to the mix because it's so very important right here, right now. We need the gift of discernment. Laura and I were with my mother-in-law not long ago. And she's a spiritual giant. If you want someone praying for you, it's my mother-in-law. And she said something that struck us. In the course of conversation, she said, "What we need right now above all else is discernment".
Discernment, she said, is one of the most underestimated, underappreciated gifts of the spirit. And I think she's right. Well, what is discernment? Here's my definition. It's tasting the weather, tasting the mixer and tasting the weeds in field seven. It's understanding the ecosystem. It's understanding the unintended consequences, but here's the key. We need the help of the Holy Spirit. This goes beyond emotional intelligence. It goes beyond contextual intelligence. It goes beyond old fashioned intuition based on accumulated experience. Discernment, if you're taking notes, is supernatural insight plus prophetic imagination. That's it. It is supernatural insight and prophetic imagination. It is seeing with spiritual eyes. It is hearing with spiritual ears. It is our sixth sense, spiritually speaking.
We need to discern what God is saying and what God is doing. God, what are you saying? What are you doing? Where are you moving? 'Cause that's what I wanna be about. We need to discern the promptings of the Holy Spirit. We need to discern what the enemy is up to. "Do not be unaware of his devices, his designs, his scheme," 2 Corinthians 2:11. We wrestle not against flesh and blood, which means we need to discern powers and principalities. "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge," Hosea 4:6. The Hebrew word for knowledge is discernment. A lack of discernment can destroy you. "Without discernment, we're tossed to and fro, we're blown here and there by every wind of doctrine," Ephesians 4:14.
So many philosophies, so many ideologies competing for our time and attention. We live in a culture where your truth is your truth. We need discernment to know what is right and what is wrong. We need a conscience that is finely tuned to the spirit of God and convictions that are grounded in God's Word. So discernment is how we connect the dots. By the way, I love this. Sir Richard Branson, the serial entrepreneur, his maxim is ABCD. Always Be Connecting the Dots. Always think ecosystem. Discernment is how we read the room. Discernment is how we see past presenting problems. Discernment is how we spot potential.
Stick with me here 'cause this is critical. Jon Tyson Open Dream '22, what a powerful word! If you missed it, check it out on the NCC app. Jon, pastor to the church in the city of New York City, spent a few hours with our team and I asked them to share a little bit of a story. So from the age of 14 to 16, he was a butcher. A butcher in a meat factory in Australia. And I'm thinking to myself, how does a butcher in Australia get to New York City pastoring a church? That's a fair question, is it not? He had a supervisor at that meat factory that called Jon out and said, you're a leader. There are leaders around you, but you need to call them out. You need to call out the gifting, call out the anointing, call out the calling. In Jon's words, no one else cast a vision for my life.
Oh church, if we are casting a vision for people's lives, that's why we're in this, that's why it's time to dream again because we're the ones that cast the vision for others. And so may God raise up prophets in butcher shops. You are that prophet. You are that prophet. So many things we need to discern. We need to discern potential, discern motivations, discern issues, discern timing. That's a big one. Discern decisions. It was about a couple of weeks ago that we started texting in these prayers, putting them on post-it notes. You're online, putting them in the chat. And here is one of the themes I realized. I'd say maybe half of them have to do with discernment. Like this relationship. This problem, don't know how to solve it. I need discernment.
There's this big decision, I don't know what to do and I don't know when to do it. I'm just gonna stop right now. Who needs discernment? You're in the house, you're at our campuses, you're online. Look at that. Look at that. That's more than half of us right here right now. And so, oh God, you said, ask me for wisdom. And we're asking God, Lord, thank you for the multitude of counselors that you can surround us with. Thank you for spiritual fathers and mothers that have been there and done that. Lord, thank you for your Word and thank you for the Holy Spirit. Oh God. Let us be a people that operate with that gift of discernment, with supernatural insight and prophetic imagination. In Jesus name, amen.
We're 15 minutes into the message. Welcome to National Community Church. Oh man, Lord help us today. My spirit is so full, and I think it's okay to have a little season where little bit more teaching, a little bit more digging, a little bit more worshiping. Is that okay? We're in a series called Dream in a revival called Dream '22. And it's been amazing. I love where the Lord is taking us as a church. If you have that Bible, would you meet me in Athens? Acts 17. And we're gonna pick up where we left off last week. Verse 23. "Then Paul stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said, 'People of Athens, I see that in every way, you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully.'"
Looked carefully. I was out in field seven. "I looked carefully at your objects of worship". And this is where my heart breaks, because we live in a time and place where yes, we are less religious in the traditional sense, but we are more spiritual than we've ever been. And there are people that are reaching and searching and looking. And we have the answer. He's the way, the truth and the life and His name is Jesus. "I found an altar with an inscription to an unknown God. So you are ignorant at the very thing you worship". Lord, help us. "And this is what I'm going to proclaim to you". And we'll get into what Paul proclaims in just the moment.
Can I tell you that this is not a moment to stand down? It says, Paul stood up. I want you to stand up right now, wherever you are, all of our campuses. I want you to stand up, stand up. Okay, you can sit down. I just wanna mark the moment because we are here for such a time as this. We are here for such a place as this. And this is the moment for us to step up, step in, walk into the Areopagus like Paul and compete for the truth. We have a core value criticized by creating. How do you do that? You write better books, you produce better films, you make better music, you start better businesses, you draft better legislation. I don't care what you do, you do it better. How? With the help of the Holy Spirit. We need to compete for the truth with sanctified competitive streaks.
Jon Tyson called it holy ambition and holy discontent. So powerful, so on point. So challenged by that word. Jimmy Rollins said he had a word of the year, occupy. Never seen anybody eat that many grapes. That was awesome. Come on, we're taking ground. Faithfulness is not holding the Fort. We're not trying to create some subculture. We're believing for the redemption of all things. It's called Shalom. It's the restoration of all things back to their original intent. Can I just say on that note, do you have a word of the year? Maybe you got it over the last few days. I'll tell you what my word is here in just a little bit. How do we compete for truth in the marketplace of ideas? How do we cultivate discernment, the gift of discernment? How do we operate with prophetic imagination?
'Cause I can tell there's a hunger in the house, there's a hunger online. You wanna operate in these gifts. You know you need them. You know it, but how? I think it starts here and it's modeled by the Apostle Paul. I think we need to have one ear to the air and one ear to the ground. In fact, can I even just do this? I don't know. Oh, wow. That was so unplanned. I watch these things back and occasionally I have regrets. We need to be dialed into the prompting of the Holy Spirit. That still small voice needs to be the loudest voice in our life. We need one ear to the air and we need an ear to the ground. I think it's an Issachar anointing. It's understanding the times and knowing what we should do. And I'll double back to that.
So Jimmy Rollins shared this word of the year, occupy. And by the way, Dave Cooley on NCC Daily shared his word of the year. Okay, yeah. I love Dave Cooley too. His word is create. By the way, here's what I do. The way that I dial in is, I went and bought the book that he talked about 'cause I want a piece of that. I wanna understand how is God moving in Dave Cooley? Because maybe just maybe I can get a little bit of that in my life. And so, I just felt like, we gotta do this, we gotta do this. So we have these prayer cards, right? So here's a thought, maybe coming out of Dream '22, maybe you need to write down that word. And it could be two words, it could be a verse. And so I'm doing it. And this is gonna be a bookmark in my Bible. I just kept coming back to this phrase, watch and pray, watch and pray, watch and pray. And I felt like, okay, I think those are much.
And so for me, 2022 is the year of the ear. That's it. God give me a prophetic ear. And so I jotted down a couple of verses. Proverbs 5:1, it says, "Bow thine ear". I'm reading through the King James this year. Matthew 26:41 is that pray and watch so that you don't fall into temptation. Leviticus, 14:17, I love it. They anointed the priest by taking that anointing oil and right thumb, right big toe and right ear lob. Just put your hand on your right ear right here. Do you realize that in Scripture, you dig this? And you'll see God talked about, keep your hand there. Talked about a stiff neck, uncircumcised ears that couldn't hear and they wouldn't change. And so I say, oh God, consecrate these ears. Let us hear the still small voice of your spirit in Jesus name, amen.
Few years ago did a silent retreat. It was Laura's idea. She did the first one. And then I thought, I need to get in on this. And it's not too complicated. You maybe take 24 hours. You just don't talk to anybody, but God, and you put your phone on silent. You let the people you love know where you are. But you literally, you grab your Bible and you grab your journal and you get a pen, and you pray the prayer that Samuel prayed, speak Lord, your servant's listening. Again, we need a revival of listening. And so I went on this silent retreat, it was crazy. I went down to Lake Anna and you can't drive from here to there. If you drive through Fredericksburg, Manasseh, anywhere, anywhere in Northern Virginia, you're gonna go by civil war battlefields, right? And we drive by them almost like every day.
I never stopped because when I'm going somewhere, my goal is to get there as fast as I possibly can. I don't stop at places. We don't need gas. I'm gonna buried this needle. We're gonna get there. Weirdest thing, I stop at a civil war battlefield. I had no idea what it is, but on the silent retreat, it was the battle of the wilderness. I go to one of the historical markers. I think we have a picture of it. And it's unbelievable what it says, kid you not. One of the Grant's officers, here it is. Says, "It was a battle fought with the ear and not the eye".
Okay, all I'm saying is when you're on a silent retreat and you read that this is a battle that's fought with the ear and not with the eye, it adds a little oomph. I'd say when we open the Bible, God opens His mouth for starters. Does anybody need some ear cleansing? Is there too much white noise in your life? Is that inner critic, really loud mouth. We gotta tune those things out and make sure that we're tuned in to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. Blaise Pascal said, "All a man's miseries derive from not being able to sit quiet in a room alone". I wanna go to two passages that have impacted me. These are very practical applications. And then you just see how the Holy Spirit leads you here.
The first one is 2 Samuel 7:19. King David has just been coronated king. And here's what it says. "Then King David went in and sat before the Lord". Isn't that interesting? "And said, 'Who am I?'" Do that for half a day? False humility isn't doing anyone any favors. False humility is believing that you are anything less than who God says you are in Christ. You are the image of God. Don't let anybody tell you anything else. You're not the by-product or random chance. You're not just a bunch of cells that work together. You're fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God and the apple of God's eye. I'm no expert on self-esteem. But if our kids don't know that, we're in trouble. You're the image of God, you're the apple of God's eye. Oh, you're God's workmanship. Oh, created in Christ Jesus to do good works prepared for us in advance. We need to know who we are in Christ. And so maybe just take half a day. Maybe take an hour, sit before the Lord.
Who am I? Here's another one, Hezekiah. 2 Kings 19:14, "Hezekiah receives a letter from some messengers, reads it". Oh, man, he is getting baited and trolled. This is his oldest Israel. It says, then he went up to the temple of the Lord. And what did he do? He spread it out before the Lord. This to me is such a beautiful picture. Can I suggest that when we text our prayers, when we write them on a post-it note, when we put it in the chat, or when we write them in a prayer journal like this, we are spreading them out before the Lord. So much shaming and blaming and hating and canceling in our culture. Listen, some of you need to take those letters, take those emails, the Yelp reviews, the book reviews. I know a little bit about this, the annual reviews, and spread them out before the Lord. What do you say? 'Cause there are a lot of opinions. What did Jimmy talk about? Set us free from the fear of people's opinions.
I heard Erwin McManus say this years ago, and I have never forgotten it. Don't let an air of criticism pierce your heart, unless it first passes through the filter of Scripture. If it passes through the filter of Scripture, we need to repent. Another sermon for another day, but go read Acts 3. This promise of times of refreshing, but what's the condition? Repentance. Repent so that you can experience times of refresh. All of us. We all want times of refreshing without the repentance. No, no, no. It doesn't work that way. Repentance will be the thing that sets you free. You put that idol on the alter. Lord, forgive me, I've fallen short. And God's grace is sufficient. Now the time of refreshing can come. And I would say one more thing. We gotta get better at this. Should I do this? I don't know, this is just turning so interactive.
By the way, these shoes, these are my renaissance shoes. I got these in Ethiopia. They were a gift from the cobblers there. Beza International Church, I spoke it, Africa Arise. I didn't plan on it. I didn't pick my socks very carefully. Should add some fancy socks on. So these are Enzi, Enzi. They're made in Ethiopia. It's a renaissance expression of basic international and the cobbler's there they're employed and they have amazing leather in Ethiopia. These are my favorite. These are my preaching shoes. I don't know, I just wanted to share that. What did Jesus say? If they don't accept you, who they're really rejecting is me, yeah? And then what do we do with them? I'll know after I go hike in the mud. Oh, wow. That was a far more effective illustration than I saw. There was some dust on these shoes.
By the way, the Lord spoke a couple of things to me. We did a nightwatch just consecrating this alter. And this goes for all of our campuses and online, God is here, there and everywhere. But two things as we consecrated this alter, I felt like one, the Lord said, it's holy ground. There have got to be places where we go, where we have to take off our shoes because the ground is holy. You know that when I write, when I sit down at the keyboard, I take off my shoes 'cause I'm not good enough to do this. I need God's anointing. This is holy ground. I'm gonna worship you with 26 letters of the English alphabet. When are you taking off your shoes just as holy ground, as an act of worship, 'cause I need to get closer, I need to get grounded in God 'cause there's a burning bush here. And then when do I need to shake the dust? Some of us, who needs to shake the dust off of your feet?
Come on family. You're online, who needs to shake the dust? You're at our campuses. Maybe this might be tougher if you're in person, this might be the advantage to being online today. Just take those shoes off. Just do it as an act of worship. God, I'm letting go. I'm moving on. I trust you, I bless you, help me. All right. Oh Lord, help us, help us, help us. An ear to the air, an ear to the ground. We need to exegi Scripture. We need to study to show ourselves approved. Rightly dividing the word of truth. Yes? I would also suggest that we need to exegi culture. Part of renaissance is reconnaissance. That's why they sent 12 spies in.
Now the problem is, if you do reconnaissance and bring back a negative report, that's the problem right there. 'Cause there was 10 negative people that kept Israel out of the promised land for 40 years. 10 negative people cost them an entire generation. Part of innovation is incarnation. It's understanding the culture, understanding the language. And that's what Paul is so good at. He knew what was happening in field seven. He could taste the weather. I'm seeing these idols to an unknown God. And so let's just go there and see what God has for us. Oh man, oh man, oh man. I just jumped through two and a half pages, I'm sorry. Verse 32. "When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, 'We wanna hear you again on this subject.' At that, that Paul left the council. Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, and a woman named Damaris, and a number of others".
Now I wanna be careful how I say this. This is kind of a spoiler. This is how it ends. And then I'm gonna connect the dots, ABCD. They're scholars and I love scholars. I'm grateful for my seminary experience, but I also say the goal is never knowledge, knowledge puffs up. What we need is discernment. And that's a different thing. It's book smarts, street smarts with the help of the Holy Spirit mixed in. Salaam, I had so many professors who stretched me and challenged me. "A mind stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original shape".
Oliver Wendell Holmes, it's one of my favorite quotes. So we need scholars, but sometimes we're too smart for our own good. So some scholars suggest that Paul, he wasn't very successful in Athens. I mean c'mon, Damaris and Dionysius, that's it? And a number of others, they didn't even get named. Not much impact. Really? Because if you study church history, you see second century church historian, Dionysius was the first Bishop of Athens. Who is it? Who's here? Who is that one person that... It's not about you. It's never about you. It's about the people that you're gonna impact. Here's what I know, in this room right now, in different fields that you work in, there are leaders of tens and leaders of hundreds and leaders of thousands and leaders of millions. If you wanna know the way that my brain works, I've had the opportunity over the years to speak in so many different contexts. And I enjoy that and I try to steward it.
I've spoken to thousands of people in amazing venues. Doesn't ring my bell anymore. You know what I love? Give me with a handful of leaders who lead tens of thousands of people because now there's a multiplier. Don't you worry about the outcome. Don't you play the numbers game. You just worry about who's right in front of you? Who's in the Areopagus today? Who am I working with today? Who's next to me today? Because if you impact them, you never know how you're going to impact church history. Oh, give us eyes to see who is all around us. On that note, I won't dive in 'cause I don't have time, but you should have gotten an annual report on the way in. And would you just prayerfully take this as a praise report? Just look at what the Lord has done. And I'll just say this. Every number has a name, every name as a story and every story matters to God.
Acts 17:24-28. These are the last verses I wanna look at. Listen, our other speakers, they spoke a long time. So I'm taking a little bit of liberty, y'all. "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth". Never apologize for that. "He doesn't live in temples built by human hands. He's not served by human hands as if he needed anything. Rather He Himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. For from one man, He made all the nations that they should inhabit the whole earth. And He marked out the appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands". In other words, I can't preach this but when and where you live is no accident. You are right here, right now by divine appointment. Would you just say amen right there? "God did this so that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from any one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being as some of your own poets".
Wait, what? What? Paul was reading there, poets? He knew their culture way. He studied their way. What? How would he know this? He knew what was happening up in field seven. He connected the dots. He had discernment. "As some of your own poets have said, we are His offspring". I'm gonna connect the dots and then we're done. Paul is quoting a cretin philosopher named Epimenides. So here's the backstory. In the sixth century, BC, Athens was hit with a terrible plague. A plague that killed many of its citizens. Despite sacrificing to their gods, the gods of their city, the plague continued to spread. One of their religious leaders believed that the city was under a curse because of the sins of King Megacles. Megacles had broken a promise, executed some enemies who he had granted amnesty to. And the religious leader concluded that an unknown God was offended by those atrocities.
And so the leader of Athens sent an envoy to the island of Crete to summon one of the ancient world's most respected philosophers, a man named Epimenides. When Epimenides arrived in Athens, he was astounded by all of the idols. And it was his task to identify the one God who had not yet been appeased by the sacrifices of the Athenians. Epimenides made his way to Mars Hill. Where was the Areopagus? Made his way to Mars Hill and said tomorrow at sunrise, bring a flock of sheep, a band of stone bases, basins, masons, and a large supply of stones and mortar to the grassy slope at the foot of this sacred rock. The sheep must all be healthy and a different color, some white, some black, and you must prevent them from grazing after their night's rest. They must be hungry sheep. I will now rest from journey, call me at dawn.
The next morning, the hungry sheep, the stone masons and hundreds of Athenians gathered at the base of Mars Hill. Epimenides said that he was gonna offer sacrifices based on three assumptions. One, there is still a God whose name is unknown and is not represented by any of the idols of the city. Two, that God is great enough and good enough to do something about the plague. And three, any God great enough and good enough to stop this plague is also great enough and good enough to smile upon our ignorance, if we acknowledge that ignorance and call upon him. Epimenides ordered that the sheet both black and white be released to graze. Then he prayed aloud to this unknown God acknowledging their ignorance and asking this unknown God to make either the white sheep or the black sheep lay down. Which seemed like a foolhardy prayer. Why? I mean, are there any sheep herders at NCC? I'm guessing not.
So I better. Hungry sheep don't lay down, not until they're full. But wouldn't you know it. One by one, the white sheep buckled their knees and laid down, and on the spot where each sheep laid down, the stone masons built in alter. And Epimenides ordered that no name be assigned to this God. As an admission of their ignorance, they inscribed the words, agnostic Theo to an unknown God. The Athenian sacrificed the sheep on the altars. And by dawn, the next day, the plague stopped. We're talking about the sixth century BC. But he wasn't just a poet, he was a prophet. What he quoted was just one little line from a fuller poem that you aren't gonna believe this. Are you ready for this?
Here's the full thing. They fashioned a tomb for thee, O holy and high one. The Cretans, always liars, evil beast, idle bellies! But thou art not dead, thou livest and abidest forever, for in him we live and move and have our being. If God can use a Cretan philosopher named Epimenides to not only stop a plague in the sixth century. Oh, but around 46 AD, Paul's gonna be in town. He's going to need to connect these dots. And he does it. May we be a people, people are searching for God. They're trying to find their way back to God. They're trying to fill this God-shaped hole. And we get to point those who worship at an altar to an unknown God, to the God of heaven and earth, to the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, to the way the truth and the life. And His name is Jesus.
Let me zoom out. Tell you what I think is happening in field seven. I mean, this is probably another message for I'm just... There are so many passages right now. So many promises, so many scriptures that God is quickening, that I'm leaning into, but I just don't have time to touch on all of these. So I'm gonna close with this one. Can you dial in for three more minutes? Moses set up a tent, a meeting. Do you remember this outside the camp? And this is where he would meet with God.
But there's this moment where Moses said, "God, the burden is too great, I can't do this". And God says, watch this. I'm gonna put the same spirit that's on you on the 70 elders of Israel. And so he invites the elders out to the tent, and this is a precursor to the day of Pentecost. It's so beautiful. And so they go to the tent, and wouldn't you know it, God pours out His spirit and these elders begin to prophesy God's praises. But two men remain in the camp. Couple of my favorite names, Eldad and Medad. Now there are different opinions as to why they stayed in the camp.
One rabbinic tradition says they did not consider themselves worthy. And so they stayed in the camp. They were sheltered in place. There were online. Guess what? The Holy Spirit knows no boundaries. Our categories are our categories. And so, God pours out His spirit, and it says that Eldad and Medad began to prophesy in the camp. What is that about? 'Cause here's, if I zoom out, here's my issue with this. God sets up a structure, sets up a system. It's called the tent of meeting. He says, you come out to the tent, I'm gonna pour out my spirit. And then he moves outside the system, outside the structure that he created. God, you can't do that. Oh, yes he can.
So here's the word, here's the word to hang on. Don't box God in, or you box got out. God's never gonna tell you to do something that's outside good pleasing Perfect will as revealed in Scripture. It's never gonna happen. But if you want God to do something new, you can't keep doing the same. Your system is perfectly designed for the results you're getting. I know that if I'm gonna grow spiritually, I've got to do some different things. That's why fasting is one of the disciplines I'm really gonna cultivate this year, because it produces hunger pangs that produces spiritual hunger pangs.
So here's the good news. God wants to move in your life, but maybe, just maybe, He wants to move in a way that you haven't experienced before. We love Isaiah 33; behold, the Lord is doing a new thing. But I love what Pastor Heidi said during one of our prayer gathering. She said, "Everybody thinks they know what the new thing is". Well, then it wouldn't be new. Would it? So maybe it just comes back to where we started this whole thing. Come Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit. Would you just right now, posture yourself?
In fact, let me invite you to stand. I wanna invite you to stand at our campuses, online. You take a posture that works for you, and maybe hands like this. Come Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit. Produce the fruit of the spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control. What do you need today? Which one of those fruit? Which, two or three?
Produce that fruit in us. The gifts of the spirit, God, the gifts of the spirit. Oh God, words of knowledge, words of wisdom. But right now I pray over this congregation in all of our campuses, our entire extended family, oh God, I pray the gift of discernment. God, I pray that we would be a people that could taste the weather, taste the mixer, taste the weeds in field seven that we would have this supernatural insight to see past the presenting problems, and see those supernatural solutions. And O God, I pray prophetic imagination, sanctified imaginations, in our relationships, in our workplaces. You have problems that are past your pay grade.
What did Einstein say? A problem isn't solved on the same level it was created. Oh God, we need the Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit. Come Holy. Did you know that the Bible says, seek the gifts? Ain't most people operate, well, that gift comes knocking on my door. Okay, oh, you're gonna be waiting a long time. Now God says, seek the gifts. Now here's the key. Don't seek opportunity, see God and opportunity will seek you. So really what we're doing is just seeking the heart of the heavenly Father. A God who wants to fill His people, empower His people, who wants to anoint His people, who wants to sanctify His people and turn us into this remnant, this creative minority, this company of prophets You are a prophet. You're a teacher prophet. You're a doctor prophet. You're a barista prophet. You are an Uber prophet. That might be my favorite. You're a prophet, wherever you go, whatever you do. That's how revival, that's how reformation, that's how renaissance happens. And it doesn't happen just for us, it happens for Damaris and Dionysius. Doesn't it?
And so, O God, we take a minute just to take our eyes off of ourselves. And we pray for those in our circle of influence, our friends at school, our colleagues at work, the people that we commute with, the friends that we play ball with, our running group, O God, O God, give us the discernment to see them the way you see, to see that image of God. And so Lord, we bless you today. Whoever needs to shake the dust off of their feet, O God. I just, I pray right now, I'm just imagining our cleaning crew coming through our campuses.
Where is all this dust coming from? Come on! Come on! Just. See, there was a little bit more. The altar is open, if you need to consecrate yourself to the Lord, if you need to shake the dust off your feet. We're gonna continue to just worship the Lord and discern what He wants to do. Discern, discern, where He wants, where He wants. And maybe, just maybe, you leave with one of these, a word, a verse of promise. Let's seek the Lord together. Here we go.